Family Missions Part 1 – The Beginning

*The following posts were written at earlier dates, waiting for just the right time to be made public.

February 24th, 2015

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As the kids have begun to be more independent, and life has settled into a comfortable pattern, I have begun looking forward to doing things that had to be set aside during all of the “baby years”.

Jenna will officially be a kindergartener this fall, and Connor will turn 3 at the end of September. These past few months, my heart has been aching with a desire to go on a mission trip with my family. I realize the kids are young, and it will make things harder. But just because something is hard, or unusual, does that mean we shouldn’t do it?

I’ve mentioned my idea to Cory several times over the past few months, and every time, his reaction is the same. He looks at me with an almost a bored expression and simply says, “okay”.

Sometimes I wish he would tell me it’s a terrible idea and that I’m crazy. Or maybe seem excited about it. But he knows how I work, and knows that if this is meant to be, it will happen, so he’s fine with it.

I spoke to a few missionaries I know to see if they could point me in the direction of ministries that help young families serve in other countries. Their response was quite disheartening. It was suggested that we leave the kids at home, or simply serve in our own community. The message everyone kept sending me was “just wait until your kids are older”.

But at what age are kids magically prepared to serve as missionaries? I must have missed that passage in my Bible.

I understand the sentiment, and I agree that we can help locally (which we do). In the great commission, Jesus told his disciples to go and make disciples of ALL NATIONS. He didn’t instruct them to hang out in their backyard, but to go out to all the world.

I understand that travelling with children can be a challenge. Ministering with children will be a challenge. But just because something is hard, doesn’t mean we don’t do it. My greatest desire is to find a place that needs us. A place that needs our individual dynamic. Our individual talents. My children are just as valuable in ministry as I am, regardless of their age.

1 Timothy 4:12 says “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.”

This past week I devoted myself to praying and fasting about the direction our family should take. I chose to fast from chocolate, and while some may think it a trivial matter, for me it’s not. It’s something that I eat daily and think about several times an hour. So, choosing to fast from chocolate is perfect because every time I see chocolate, think about chocolate, or crave chocolate, I pray.

This was a challenging week to surrender chocolate as it was my birthday week. While dining out in celebration, our waiter brought a GIANT chocolate chip cookie to the table. It was baked in a pie pan and smelled like heaven. I sat and prayed about our trip while Cory ate half of my cookie pie. The other half was sadly left untouched.

Today is the end of my week-long fast, and I feel like I have even less direction than when I started!

I don’t know where to go, when to go, or what to do. The only thing I can do, is continue to wait on the Lord and listen for His voice.

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