Saturday, June 9, 2012

lessons learned on the mission field

We've been home for a week and are starting to get back into our groove.  When we left for our trip people told me "this trip will change your life."  I was sure they were right.  So I waited expectantly and wondered what would change.
I took this trip with the prayer to God that if He wanted to move us to the mission field I would gladly give up my dream house, Jim's new dream job and our comfortable life in the states to do whatever He wanted (well within reason:).  I even surrendered our family size, thinking maybe He was going to call us to adopt again.  You know what He called us to do?...nothing!  He clearly said not to change anything!  What in the world is that?!!!  

Jim and I talked about it and both feel that God has given us a heart for missions so that we can support and advocate for missionaries on the field.  If everyone went, who would send them?  We do think He has called us to do some things...advocate for Village of Hope (more on that later), Jim may start going to Haiti a few times a year to work in a hospital there doing anesthesia and training local doctors, and praying for our missionary friends.  It's a lonely life!  It's a spiritual battle!  I really had NO IDEA!!
     So I really don't feel changed.  I do feel like God spoke clearly about some things.  He reinforced that I am not God as I cried out to Him that first night wondering why in the world He wouldn't send families for these children?!!  How could He?  How could He watch my friend cry out for a baby at home and at the same time watch a baby lay in a crib with a bottle propped and nobody to nestle her in their neck and kiss her baby toes?!!  I know He is good but I don't understand why He doesn't do things that seem so good?!

     Then He gently led me all over the Bible for a spiritual spanking.  It started gently in Romans:

"Oh the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God!
How unsearchable His judgements, and His paths beyond tracing out!
Who has known the mind of the Lord?
Or who has been His counselor..."
Romans 11:33-35

Then He lowered the boom on me:

"Who is this that darkens my counsel with words without knowledge?"
Jove 38:2

"Where were you when I laid the earth's foundation?"
Job 38:4

Then He revealed just a hint:

"Return, faithless people, declares the Lord,
'for I am your husband.
I will choose you one from a town and two from a clan and bring you to Zion.
Then I will give you shepherds after my own heart,
who will lead you with knowledge and understanding."
Jer 3:14

Finally by the end of the week I was holding the children and praying over them.  Hand on their head with the deepest southern draw they have probably ever heard (and not a lick of it in Spanish) I whispered in their ears and pleaded that God would send them a forever family.  A family to kiss their toes and blow raspberries on their tummy. A Mom and Dad who will dream about what they will become...if it was His will.
But, if it wasn't His will and if He wanted them to spend their young life in the orphanage I prayed and pleaded that they would know Him.  That He would catch hold of their heart and that they would have a love and passion for Guatemala and for the people there.  That God would use them to change the culture of Guatemala.  And as I prayed tears filled my eyes as I realized His plan really is much better than mine.  And I make a terrible God.  And instead of walking around frustrated and hopeless I spent my time thankful for the universal language of tickles, and hugs and the awe of a ceiling fan to an infant:)

"Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.  Share with God's people who are in need, practice hospitality."
Romans 12:13

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