Wednesday, July 14, 2010

We're going

We are going to Rwanda August 15th.  We are staying for 9 months.

Last night, I decided that this is how I will start talking about this from now on. 

Do we have the money for plane tickets?  No.  Do we have the money for renting a home there?  No.  Do we have the money to pay for the kids school?  No.  But I am sick & tired of saying, "Well, we want to be in Rwanda, but we don't have the finances yet...  We are hoping to be there August 15th, but it will take a miracle."  Saying this again yesterday, I was suddenly overcome by a deep discouragement that this was just never going to happen.  There is no sign that it's going to happen.  I had thoughts like, "I should just give up & accept that it's not happening."  It was not a fun place to be.

By the end of the night I decided that what I have to do is change the way I think & talk about it.  We're going.  I think the reason I've hedged around it with my words in the past is because I don't want to be shown as "wrong" later- if it doesn't happen I don't want to look like a fool.  However, I do believe this is what God wants us to do, and for my own mental & spiritual health I need to start talking about it as a fact.

If it doesn't happen, well, then I'll let you know.

The other night we watched the movie, "Faith Like Potatoes".  If you can get through the first 30 minutes where the main character is a real jerk (after that God totally changes his life) it is a really inspirational movie (based on a true story, by the way).  The main character is a farmer, and later a preacher too.  Everyone is talking about a drought & how there is not going to be any rain.  His faith leads him to choose to plant potatoes- a very water thirsty plant.  And he lets everyone know this at a country wide prayer meeting in a stadium.

He puts all his family's crop money into seed potatoes, which he plants in the dry dusty ground.  His faith means that he continues to tend to the potato plants even when it looks (from the surface) that they have died (potatoes grow under ground you know).  I don't want to totally spoil the movie for you, but you should know that God rewards his faith.

This farmer/preacher is talking to the children in the orphanage and tells them to pick up a potato, to touch it and smell it.  He tells them that their faith should be like that- something you can touch.  I was reminded of the verse,

"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."   (Hebrews 11:1, KJV)

in the NIV it says it like this, "Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see."

But I was thinking about "substance".  That's what he was talking about with the potatoes I think- your faith should have substance, it should look like something.  For us, I guess right now our faith looks like the fact that we have enrolled our kids in the private school in Rwanda.  I'm asking God, what else should our faith look like?  Should it look like plane tickets for August 15th?  If that's what He wants we'll do it.  I know for sure it looks like me talking about our trip as something sure & certain.

What about for you?  What does your faith "look like"?  What has God spoken to you, but you have not yet seen the fulfillment of?  What can you do to give your faith substance today?

In Christ,

Friday, July 9, 2010

We're Back!

This has taken me nearly a week to get in here to post- but we're back from Mexico!  It was a great trip.  I thank God for keeping us all safe & healthy during this trip.  I'm also thankful that the cooking went well.  You can read more about the cooking part of this trip on my other blog.  I won't go into it all over again here- for everyone's sake!

You know my main concern was how it was going to be with Nate there.  Basically, when we got there I just decided I was going to have to go into what I call "Third World Parenting Mode".  If you travel to any area that is impoverished you will probably see this scene:  children outside, playing together, with no adults around.  The older children take care of the younger children, while the adults are either working in the fields, selling things in the market, or doing what needs to be done for their families to survive.  In our case, Mike was busy with projects, and I was busy in the kitchen, so I just knew that I had to trust God to take care of Nate, know we had team mates around to see what he was doing most of the time, and just trust him to be OK.
Thanks Donna for helping Nate!
Thankfully, Nate did not ever leave the gates of the orphanage compound.  Maybe it had something to do with all the toys and play equipment, and kids to play with, were inside the gates.  Or maybe it had something to do with the fact that when we got there I pointed out the gates to Nate and told him not to go out them or he would "get lost and eaten by bears".  Really, I did!  I was actually joking & I didn't think he would believe me.  I thought I'd get a, "Mo-m!"  But he said nothing.  So, I guess in Nate's mind if you're in Mexico there could be bears there...  Although that would be giving him credit for listening to me, which I'm not sure if history would "bear" witness to that!
Nate had a good time & spent all day long playing.  Of course he did plenty of things that were naughty- like throwing dirt or rocks.  Actually, it looked like he rolled in the dirt every day we were there.  Dirt head to toe, but he did have a good time!  KaLia had a good time too.  She was a little shy at first because of the language barrier, but along with Nate she eventually got involved in playing with some kids & then would not stop begging me to adopt two more kids from Mexico!
Now that we're back I feel like it's taken me all week to catch up - I left the house a mess & had to bring a mess back with me also.  Thankfully it's all starting to get back in order now- I love order!

We are still praying & believing for a miracle of provision in order for us to be in Rwanda in August.  August!!!  I am trying (with some help) to put together a fund raising event for August 7th.  Similar to the TTI banquets we have had in the past, except this will be on a slightly smaller scale.  I know summer is a busy time, but if you are available please plan to join us that evening.  And please let me know if you can invite some friends to come with you.  More details will be coming out to you soon.

Your prayers on our behalf are always appreciated.  We would not be where we are today without people like you praying for us.  I know our God is faithful & the plans he has for us are for our good.  Not to harm us or cause us pain, but for good!