Thank you, Rockville Christian Church, for the amazing ways you have supported our trip. It is great to belong to a missions-minded church. You have supplied our financial needs fully and quickly, prayed over us, offered to care for our kids and home, and given us numerous words and hugs of encouragement. The send-off prayer offered Sunday morning was a great way to leave town.
We arrived safely in Ohio yesterday and settled the kids in at Grandma’s house. Today was filled with last-minute runs (yes, that’s plural) to Wal-Mart, taking care of some things for work, and various final details before we fly out tomorrow. I tucked the kids in a few minutes ago. As excited as they are to spend this time with Grandma, they are definitely a little extra clingy to mom, which makes it impossible for me to not be emotional. I read a little extra from the bedtime book, and snuggled a bit longer with each of them. As I was saying my final goodnight, I sang the song I’ve sung to them since the womb – The Lord bless you and keep you, the Lord shine his face down on you and give you peace. I’ve sung it to them a hundred times, but it sure did make me tear up tonight.
There are some who would say that a good mom wouldn’t leave her children at this age for this long. But Anna and Ethan know why we are going to Poland (read the earlier post People Need to Know), and the lesson that teaches them is incredibly valuable. We believe that taking this mission trip is ministry to our own children as much as it is to the Holocaust survivors. Going as a couple means that we will grow closer to each other as we grow closer to God through this mutual experience, and strengthening our marriage is a gift to our children as well. So, we believe this is part of good parenting and spiritually guiding the young lives God has blessed us to raise.
… someone please text me a reminder of these words about 9 AM tomorrow when I’m saying goodbye to the two most precious little people in the world. 🙂
One week. In one week we will begin this journey by traveling to Ohio where the kids will be spending some good quality time with Grandma Porter and Papa. Two days later we’ll board a plane and begin and an adventure that is sure to impact our own hearts as much the hearts of those we are going to serve and share God’s love. There is so much to do. We still need to make some arrangements for mail, bills, international calling, our home, etc for the time we’ll be gone. There are a hundred errands to run, things to purchase, documents that need attention, craft activities to plan, and books I want to read to better prepare myself for the culture we are entering. Meals are becoming a challenge, as I am trying hard to make sure that we have little to no food left in the house that could go bad while we are gone. Then there’s packing, for us and for the kids, for a total of 21 days. To top it off, it is the last week of school and we both work in public education! There is so much to do.
It is especially hard because while all those things are necessary, I don’t really care about them. What I really want to do is just quiet myself and spend hours in prayer and God’s Word. I want to connect with God on the sort of level that means that there can’t possibly be an opportunity to be His voice or His hands that I would miss. When I think of two weeks in terms of being away from my kids, it seems like an eternity. But when I think about what we are going to do – sharing the love of God with people who are missing His presence in their lives – it seems like a fleeting moment that might affect all of eternity for that person.
So please pray that if we must choose between the lengthy list of earthly tasks and time spent at the feet of God , we will choose wisely. And if you drive by our house and the mail is overflowing, or you read in a later blog post that we failed to pack something we desperately need… forgive us.