"to open their eyes, so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faithin me." Acts 26:18

Sunday, August 18, 2019

God's Rescue Missions

Sometimes God rescues us when we didn't even know we needed rescuing.

There was a baby girl who was pushed into this world by a mother, who at sixteen, wasn't much more than a girl herself.  She was trying to make it on her own and didn't have too many options in life, so she kept that baby girl in a hotel room at night.  By day, she passed the baby girl around the truckers' arms, as she dished up their food at a truck stop across the street.  Without anyone teaching her to be a tender mom, she couldn't handle it when the baby girl cried, so she punished the tears with cigarette burns and spankings that were never meant for six-week-old baby soft skin.  And after trying hard to make it work, one night the words flew, the yelling got loud enough and the police were called.  God swooped in that night and rescued that baby girl, long before she knew she needed rescuing. 

But rescuing doesn't always feel good.  There is ripping and pulling that hurts.  The Great Gardener will rescue a little seedling by pulling it out of the plug tray and transplanting it to a pot, but as he pulls it the roots will rip and tear, the plant might even wither slightly; it sounds like death is coming at the hands of the Gardener.  But really, he is rescuing that plant.  He is putting it where it can grow, bloom, produce seedlings of its own and bring glory to the Gardener. 

Fast forward many years and that baby girl grew up.  She got married, had a truckload of kids and headed off to the mission field.  Life was humming along as she dished out plates of food, taught her kids school, and wrapped up skinned knees and wounded hearts.  And God looked down again and saw that his little girl was being hurt again in ways that were never meant for one of his children to endure.  She didn't know it.  But he rescued her again. Before she even knew that she needed rescuing, he swooped in and pulled her out.

The ripping hurts.
The pulling hurts.
There are days that she feels withered.
There are days that she feels like she just might die.

But she is in the hands of the Great Gardener.
He is putting her in a new place where she can grow, mature, and bring glory to the Gardener.

Oh God, thank you that your great rescue missions weren't only when I came to Christ... when you rescued me from my sin (though I surely thank you for that, as it was the greatest of all my rescues), but that you also rescue your people from pain and suffering even on this earth.  You truly are worthy of praise.  In all of the ripping, pulling, and withering, may my life bring you glory.  Even though I don't know my future, I know you.  Your character.  Your faithfulness.  Your love.  You truly are The Great Gardener.  Your hands are a soft place to rest my fragile heart.

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Global Reunion

At the end of July/beginning of August, the kids and I were given the opportunity to go to Oklahoma to attend Global Reunion-- a re-entry/third culture kid camp organized broadly by the Church of Christ.  We had an amazing time.  It was such a great encouragement to us spiritually and emotionally.  We were able to start grieving our losses, begin to pursue some healing, receive tools that we can use as we travel these murky waters, and find a community of people that are also trying to readjust to life in America and children who are now a beautiful swirly pattern of many cultures.

On our way, we decided to drive through Texas.  We spent the weekends in Texas and visited the Dallas OPC for Sunday worship.

The littles learned about the Bridge of Chaos, just like their older siblings did many years ago at MTI.  The Bridge of Chaos, starts with being "Settled" on one side, then moves to "unsettled" then "chaos" then "resettling" then "settled again."  And around the bridge of chaos, are the arms of God carrying us through.  It's been so helpful to be able to remind the kids when they are feeling the chaos, that the chaos won't last forever and that God is surrounding us as we travel across this bridge.

They also learned about Yay Ducks and Yuck Ducks!  Again, the older kids had learned this at MTI before we went to the field and the littles have grown up telling us what their yay ducks (things they like!) and yuck ducks (things they don't like!) were, but never really understood why.  The yay ducks and the yuck ducks always swim together and are never far apart.  Together they make a pair of ducks...or a paradox.  Teaching the kids to speak both is so helpful!

The teens had their own camp and I only saw them for a few brief moments during the week.  Global Reunion started as a camp for teenaged third culture kids.  Many teens come every year for camp.  There were over 80 this year!  Our kids had a blast and are already plotting how they can get back next year.  On the last day, we had a flag ceremony.  Timothy carried the Canada flag, Matthew carried the Netherlands' flag, Rebecca carried the Uganda flag and Katelyn carried the Kenyan flag.

We also got to visit with some very special people along the way.  First is my "half sister"...her adoptive parents were my foster parents.  It's been many years since we've seen each other.

We also got to hang out with my old Roomie from our Covenant College days.  We have just a "few" kids between us now.

I also recently started a Go Fund Me Page.  The Lord has opened doors for me to begin graduate school next week online.  I will be studying for a masters degree of mental health counseling with an emphasis in Christian counseling.  You can read all the details on the page.  Just click the gofundme icon below!

Thank you so much for your continued prayers!  Every day we feel God's sustaining grace and I know that he is hearing every one who continues to lift us up daily!  Thank you!