Let me preface this announcement with the following:We are open to what God is doing, even changes to the plans we are pursuing. We respect the wisdom and guidance of the Pastors in our life and know that without God in this decision, it will not happen. Please join our family in prayer, as we know the plans we are making may change throughout this process. We are not making this announcement to gain anything, we simply want to share what God is doing, and to ask that you pray for us, because we are not adequate on our own. We know that you may have an opinion about our decision, but we ask that if you choose to share, that it will be with kindness and in love.
...so please read the following through the lens of this disclaimer.
We're moving to Haiti.
This has not been a hasty decision, nor an easy one as you can imagine. About three years ago, I began praying for God to use me, to use our family. I wanted desperately to give myself completely, without reservation. I really had no idea how on earth I could be used by God, aside from being the best wife and mother I could. So I prayed for the finances for me to become a stay at home mom. I knew that with all earthly understanding, this was pretty close to impossible for our family, the money just didn't add up. But I prayed. As the year progressed, God sparked a tiny little ember within me that maybe I could even do more. I kind of doubted God. My skill set is kind of limited. I'm a total introvert. I'm not a Bible scholar, theologian, or even wise. I have social anxiety, not really a people person (and God is kinda a lot about people!!). I just prayed. Meanwhile, Gary was praying the same prayer. About two years into this change, we started talking more about it, praying more, reading more. God was changing our hearts desires. A year ago, God provided for me to stay at home full time. Honestly, I didn't think this would ever work out, and sometimes I still don't know how our money stretches far enough sometimes. And so our faith began to grow, to understand that God can do what is impossible. It was around this time when Gary and I considered the possibility of a move out of the country, to full time ministry. Maybe Liberia, or Malawi? And mostly we just prayed and waited. It felt like a huge step just getting to the point where we were willing to go anywhere God asked us to go. We prayed we would know when and where, when the time came.
This past March, Gary went on a short term mission trip with our church to Haiti. When he got home, he shared with me that it was a really good experience, but there was NO WAY Haiti was for us, but reaffirmed for us that we were willing to move to another culture, to a far away land, to live for Jesus.
About two weeks later, our church service was a small recap of the Haiti trip. Our Pastor, Palmer Chinchen, spoke on a related topic of going to serve people who were broken and hurting. Then in his very last sentence, he landed the blow that would change our family's trajectory in life. He said, "I'm looking for a family, from right here at The Grove, who would be willing to move to Haiti. I believe there is a family right here who will go." Arrow straight to my heart. A sledgehammer even. Gary and I locked eyes, then looked away from each other. We didn't mention it again. We both knew he was talking about us, what the other was thinking. I was scared, and my heart was beating fast.
To be continued in part 2, tomorrow...