Since the "big announcement" of mid April -the fact that our family is posed to hit the mission field in the next six to eight months- so very much has happened. Our excitement has met with mixed reviews. Most of them positive and encouraging. Many of them laced with cautionary tales of forgotten friends who struck out for the mission field only to meet with crippling illness, dangerous criminals or larger-than-life insects! We have had friends who want to partner with us financially (we're not there YET but we'll hit you up when the time comes - ha ha) and have offered to start saving items we can take with us to share with those we will meet along the way. God's people never cease to amaze me with their first-blush reactions to news such as ours. It's no secret we have a large family. Some of our family members have ongoing needs that are well-met here in the States. We have much to weigh and balance. This decision was not made lightly as "impulsive" or "spontaneous" are not adjectives anyone would readily apply to me. Yes, The Philippines has large bugs, diseases that no longer exist in the US, plenty of crime and no Wal Mart! But far outweighing those little annoyances are the beautiful people, the children who need the loving arms of parents around them, the beauty of the landscape, the openness of the culture, and the unreached population we hope to extend a hand to. . . more about them later in the post! In just a couple of days, I am scheduled to speak on the topic of Special Needs Adoption at the Together For Adoption conference in Winston-Salem. I was asked to do this long before the chance at the mission field cropped up. I am awed at how well these two paths converge! The group our family will serve, if God allows us to transplant, is the visually impaired orphan! I expect, as has been the case in every "good thing" we have set out to accomplish, we will end up receiving the blessing much more than those we aim to serve. God has used hearing impairment, Reactive Attachment Disorder, Down Syndrome and advanced age at the time of placement to remind us that we can not do any seemingly selfless deed without being swept away in a tide of His blessings. In light of what we have experienced, we go overseas a little selfishly. We know the blessing the Lord lavishes on us when we try to serve Him. It's a "secret" the apostle Paul discussed so many times in His letters to fellow Believers.
"What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ" Phil. 3:8
Galatians 6:9 And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.
Ephesians 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
It's seems so close at times, I wake up in the morning and feel like I am THERE instead of HERE. Other times, I look around at all the "stuff" we have to sell, pack, get rid of, do, change, cancel, paint, repair and consider before we can be free of this life and I get weary. God is going to have to do so much in preparation for our family to go and yet, it seems He has already begun, starting with the positive reaction from ALL of our children to the announcement! That was not something we expected and clearly falls under the "more than we ask or imagine" category!! Certain children of ours tend to lean toward the melodramatic and can, at times, be just a teeny tad smidge self-focused. Well, shut my mouth . . . everyone is on board!!!!!!
I close this little jaunt down the bunny trail with a special "PRAY FOR US" as the time clock tics, so many pieces of the puzzle must fall into place and only The Great Commissioner can bring the longings of our heart to a full-fledged, sustainable missionary life. More than we ask or imagine . . .