Our journey towards international missions began about 10 years ago. The Man went to Benin and Togo – which is in West Africa. He, definitely, came home a changed man. Of course, I thought that he had lost his mind. He was ready to give all of our worldly possessions away, jump back on the airplane with me and our three young daughters, and GO. Instead, about six months later, we got on an airplane together and went to Benin with a short term medical mission team. We set up medical clinics in the bush and provide medical care for 200-300 people per day. Now, the Man will tell you that there is no better way to get my attention than to bring a group of babies in front of her. One day, the director of one of the local orphanages brought some of the sickest babies to the clinic. In fact, some of these babies were so sick and malnourished that we ended up seeing them several days for fluids. These babies had nothing. No mother, no father, no family – nothing. Except a lady in an orphanage who loved them and told them about Jesus. Well, after 10 days of serving the poor and oppressed, we came home and went back to our normal American lives. But we didn’t feel normal anymore. Both of us had left part of our hearts back in Africa.
A few months later, our church had a Global Impact Celebration where missionaries from around the world came and shared their journey. At the last service of this event, we walked down and dedicated our lives to missions – not really knowing what God had planned. Little did we know that God was calling us to turn our world upside down. The Man eventually resigned from a stable career at the fire department and started seminary full time. As we continued on this journey, God called us to move to the New Orleans campus. Once again, I thought the Man had lost his mind. But we blindly followed – with no jobs and a house with an American sized mortgage, we went. Still we didn’t know what God’s ultimate plan was. For four years, we served in the Crescent City and came to love everything that is New Orleans. It wasn’t until 3 graduations, 6 years, and countless lessons learned that God revealed His plan. We are going to South Africa to serve the poor and oppressed with Extreme Response.
Once we get to South Africa, we will be starting an after-school tutoring and feeding program for children who are living in extreme, even life-threatening, situations. We will be working with short-term mission teams who come to serve. At this point, we are prayerfully asking people, families, churches, etc to partner with us. This mission that God has called us to seems huge. In many ways, we can’t imagine how He is going to provide this support. However, even when we can’t imagine, we know that He is our Jehovah Jireh. He is our provider. He goes before us and already has His plan worked out.
Together, we are praising Him and serving Him while we wait.
Happy Day!! Journey On!! Blessings to you and yours!!!
The Man; blessed with a servant’s heart. Ready to jump in and serve wherever and whenever; He loves Jesus first and us second. You are likely to find him somewhere with a group of children surrounding him; the heart of a child always recognizes that he is just a big teddy bear. He loves unconditionally and overwhelmingly.
Me; the wife, the mom, the nurse, the writer. Doubting sometimes; sometimes confident. Learning to trust in Him. Serving blindly, following without knowing where the path goes, trying to love strongly, recognizing that in my weakness He is strong.
Big Sis; she loves with all her heart and sometimes that opens her to hurt. Yet, she continues. She is amazing with children; sings like a angel. When her fingers twinkle over the piano keys or when she makes the flute sing, I know that ears are blessed. Her loud and boisterous laugh is happy silly.
Middle Sis; overwhelmingly silly; big smiles and silly giggles are common with her. She is a little bit of an introvert; her friends are her friends for life. If Middle Sis lets you into her heart, she will hold you there forever. She is blessed with fingers that can strum a guitar or clink on the piano and make glorious music for the Lord.
Lil Sis; an animal lover, her heart breaks for all of God’s creatures; she loves beyond measure. Babies – furry or human – melt her heart. She never meets a stranger. Musically gifted with her voice as well as fingers that make a violin sing, she loves performing.
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