It was hard to uproot our family to a new country, language and culture. But staying here is sometimes even harder, and we need a good reason to stay. When you are far from home, far from friends and family, living off the kindness and generosity of gifts from others, trying to function effectively in a cross-cultural ministry-there are questions that need to be answered.
Is this where God wants us to be? And why?
|At the very beginning of our journey...almost four years ago!|
Is it worth the difficulty of support raising, the pain of cultural adaptation and language learning, and always feeling out of place. Is it worth all the money that it takes to maintain a missionary family abroad--are my skills and abilities and what I have to offer worth the price tag of what our churches and supporters give? Is it worth keeping our kids from growing up near grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins? Is it worth the sacrifice of never quite being fully known and understood because of cultural and language differences (the biggest challenge for me personally)? If these questions could not be answered satisfactorily, it would be hard to stay.
|We miss our cousins! The cousins on Dan's side...|
|...and the cousins on my side-with my sister's daughter photoshopped in because she kept crawling away! :)|
When I look back on our decision to come here, I can see that we had a basic idea of the vision, of what we hoped to accomplish. Then we got here and that was challenged by a couple of years full of difficulties and questioning; when our expectations collided with reality. But it was also a time of growing and learning, and I am seeing now that it was a time of God beginning to answer some of these questions and clarify His vision for bringing us here.
This second term, I have found a greater clarity and understanding of our work here, what we hope to accomplish, and Dan and I's individual roles in that work. We are excited about it, and hoping to be able to clearly communicate it to you. Why? So that you can be excited with us! So you can better understand the work that you are a part of through prayer and giving. Because writing it down brings even further clarity, and as God continues to mold us and the Kids Alive ministries here, we will have something to look back on. But most of all, so that you can know our hearts, and know how to pray well for us and for the people here that we love.
When I sat down to write this post, however, I found I had a lot to say and couldn't fit it in to just one post. So one blog post became...nine! Who knew I could be so talkative?
So, if you are interested, stay tuned.
Click here to read Part 2, What Happens After
Part 3-A Father to the Fatherless
Part 4-Stuff You Might Not Know
Part 5-Why Our Houseparents Need Your Prayers
Part 6-Pray for Them
Part 7-The Oasis Story
Part 8-Top Three and the Oasis in Photos
Part 9-The Last Puzzle Piece