I vividly remember being called to give my first son up before he even took his first breath on this earth. I sat on a hard, rough bench feeling the burden of carrying him inside. It was hot, the dust burned my eyes and the sound of African music boomed in my ears. My hands were busy holding an orphaned little one that we purposed to love and treat sweetly every Sunday we had the chance. As I fussed with the little guy filling up my lap my own little one was kicking me hard from the inside reminding me he was there as well. I will never forget sensing in my spirit that as real as the little one sitting in my lap so was the the tiny one fluttering in my womb. I was drawn to offer him back to the Lord. Not to give him over, but to give him back. He had first been the Lord's and I was only given the privilege of mothering him for as many years as the Lord determined. I knew that instinctively so it was natural for me to choose to give him back.
As I sat by my youngest sons bedside in a make shift hospital ward with his very bruised and broken body moaning next to me I once again was drawn to give a son back to the Lord. Feeling helpless, afraid and completely stranded I was brought to my knees. Nothing reminds us of our inability like helplessness.
Many things happen in innocence and naivity that you don't often understand the implications of until much later in life. For me the giving back of my boys to the Lord has been a continual process at crucial points over the last 15 years of mothering. None have been easy but they have all been sweet because I know that the Lord loves my children far more than I. So very often the crucial points of faith come when we see our utter despair and brokenness and know we have nothing left to give. God in His divine goodness has allowed me the honor of needing him desperately. I am so very grateful!
May 15, 2012
This is Manuel with his wife and baby girl.
We have known Manuel since he was a boy.
He was an orphan at the first place we ever lived and ministered at in Mozambique-Maforga Christian Mission.
He has had a hard life but we are constantly amazed that he continues to press on. Regardless of the hardships of losing loved ones during the war, seeing unspeakable atrocities, growing up at an orphanage, suffering in poverty, robberies that have stripped away things he has worked hard for over and over, he has persevered. What a testimony. We will never truly understand what it is to live his life but we are so grateful that through it all he has remained a faithful friend and a faithful follower of the Lord.
What a blessing to see him continue reaching out the orphans in need around him with the little he has even when we are far removed...continents away.
What a joy to know he truly understands the gospel.
May 6, 2012
As a missionary, you get used to moving or at least you try as it seems to be something you do often. You make your best effort to remain flexible and unattached to any particular home or furnishing as you realize there is a good possibility you will leave it sooner or later. We have had to start over more times than we can count. By start over, I mean arrive to a new place with only our suitcases and have to literally start over with finding furniture, dishes, a phone, everything. God has been so gracious to us over the years through his people as many, many times we have had items donated.
But, in four weeks we will be buying our house and moving AGAIN. This time feels different somehow. Marc and I talk about keeping this home for a very long time. We are feeling as though we will finish raising the boys here and begin a new chapter of our life here as empty nesters and maybe even welcome grandchildren here. This is not to say that we will never leave it, even if for a time to return overseas someday but for now it feels like home and it is nice to sense that peace of being settled.
So here I am trying to work up the energy to move just one last time -- for now!