Sunday, March 24, 2013

ten reasons i am leaving my children for two weeks: here we come south africa

Daniel and I leave in four weeks to go to South Africa with a team of eight people from our church, serving the least of these at the Restoring Hope Village.

Three million + orphans in SA.  That is a staggering number.  Our tiny offering of time and love to give is a drop in an endless sea of need, but we want to start there, giving our little bit. 

This has been a matter of prayer and in the works for some time and we are so excited to go and follow God's leading. 

The trip was overwhelmingly and promptly funded, confirming that money is rarely an issue if God calls you to do something.  We're so thankful for the people who gave so freely. {you know who you are}

Below are my notes from sharing with our church family the reasons we each chose to go. 

I love top ten lists; some of you know that Daniel even used a top ten list to ask me to marry him.  There are so many reasons I want to go to South Africa, but I decided to put them in my favorite top ten format. 

So here they are.

1.  Thankful for the hope of eternal life that my salvation brings; wanting to share hope, knowing that only Christ brings hope for the pain life brings.  I accepted Christ as a child and knew the talk, walked the walk, but our son's death changed everything I believed into something more real.  You can't just be here, then gone, and that's the end, with just this little shell left of you.  There has to be something more.  There has to be eternity;  because if not, where does your soul go,  the part of you that's you?  Everything I believed about God became startling and clear and real to me.  Eternity = hope.  I want to share that.

2.  I know what hopelessness feels like.  It's crushing, it's demotivating, it's dark, dark, dark.

3.  I know what it means to be given the gift of hope.  That gift- that so many of you have given to us. . . is priceless.

4.  I want to honor and follow my husband's leadership. It can be a little scary to be married to a man who walks with God.  You kinda never know what he's going to do.  Daniel told me over a year ago that he was going to go on a mission trip, and I was like. .  . oooookaaaay!  When Louis and Amber came, during their presentation, Daniel leaned over to me and said, this is it, I'm going there!  I was really happy for him but then I started thinking. . . what if God tells him something big while he's there, like adopt or move to Africa. . .   maybe I should go so that I could know what my future might look like!  But I also want to go just to share in this experience with him, rather than haave him explain it to me when we get home.

5.  I want to say yes to God.  I'm blessed by so many people in our church who say yes to God and lead by example, and I want to be that.  I just don't want to start saying no to Him:  I want to say yes.

6.  I want to listen to wise counsel.  When we first started talking about me going too, we sought counsel from people that we were sure would advise me to stay home with our children.  Our parents floored us by enthusiastically supporting the idea and tripping over themselves to watch the kids during our absence; no, don't go wasn't what we heard.  I then went to my beautiful Mrs. A. . .sure that she would tell me to stay home and take care of my children.  Instead she pointed out that they would be fine, following God was more important than following safety, marriage priority > children priority and she also made me aware of point # 7.

7.  I want to teach three little white kids that the world is bigger than smalltown, USA.  And they are so excited and supportive of us going.  They want to go.  I hope they will eventually.  We aren't fans of children running family direction, but we wouldn't go if they weren't okay with it.  They're okay.  They care about these little people without any mom or dad.

8.  Because there's no substitute for human touch and compassion; $$ can't hug.  Just that.

9.  Seeking a wider perspective of the work God is doing globally. We don't have the corner on ministry here.  I know that zooming out can bring clarity to our vision and I'm so excited to see what God is doing in another part of the world.

10.  Because the world will know we are Christians by our love for one another.  And I think that extends to loving the least of these.

And then there's the many who are called to be faithful at home;  Africa isn't in your future, but lots and lots of endless laundry and Sunday School teaching and feeding hungry neighbor kids and being there when people need you and sharing hope with your coworkers and employees and the list goes on and on. . .

You are important, you are needed, we are not all that and a bag of chips because we're going a little farther than across the street. 

My sister writes about staying home when others go.  Read it, she's awesome.  That's her quote below.

This is my life, Lord,
Help me not to wish it away,
Waste it away
Or, not taste the joy of the people around me.
Lord, help me to be a joyful giver of Me.


  1. Following your husband and honoring his leadership and listening to wise counsel= important steps to obedience to God.
    I will be in prayer for you and Daniel and also for your children. You are following God and it's such a beautiful thing to see in a world where following God wholeheartedly rarely happens =/

    1. Thank you for your comment. . . my unknown friend. :) Thank you for praying, too.

  2. Random thoughts:

    Your kids will be fine, I am sure. I know it won't be easy for either party when it comes to saying goodbyes, but I'm glad you're going! Glad you have supportive parents, too!

    I hope that someday you can take the kids with you somewhere on a missions trip. I have seen families do it - not always all together - but it's HUGE in making their little world bigger and seeing God work in other areas of the world.

    I also hope you don't feel like you have to defend yourself and your decision to go. God is leading you, it's your family, your decision. You know -- naysayers are always there, whether you're feeding your child peanut butter and jelly for lunch or adopting a black precious child from Africa.

    I'm happy you have this opportunity! I'm slightly jealous, but really, after this past year, I just want to be HOME, wherever that is. :) (And if I ever travel internationally again, I plan on bringing one of those babes home with me - gotta make it worth it to sit on a plane for that long!! ;))

    1. ha ha isn't that the truth Rebekah! long live pb & j! Thank you for your wise words of encouragement. appreciated.

  3. I love this so much. Like, I can't even begin to express how much I love every word. My heart is there too.

    1. I know your heart is there and that is why you guys are such influential people in our lives. Thanks, Wendi.

  4. I totally support you (I'm a little jealous) and you all will be blessed!!

  5. awesome. just awesome!! praying for you too...