Sunday, June 16, 2013
An Unexpected Journey
Last year, I wrote a post about packing hope in a different way. Not just sending shoeboxes with gifts, but packing hope with the missionaries we are sending around the world. Little did I know that shortly after that post, things in my own life would take a huge turn and I am incredibly excited to share with you how God has used Operation Christmas Child and the idea of packing hope to lead my family on a new path.
Operation Christmas Child has been very dear to me for many years. It is one of my favorite things to do each year. Being from a small town, I have never felt more like a part of God's bigger picture than when I am packing shoeboxes for His children around the world. I shop all year for special items for the boxes and look forward to seeing them all laid out on packing day and thinking about the joy that they will bring to a child somewhere around the world that I may never meet.
I will be completely honest, a few years ago, I thought that this was the only way that I could ever hope to impact the lives of these children for God. God has worked in my heart so much over the last two years especially, making me realize that I could do more! Our family's journey began about two years ago when God revealed to both my husband and I that he had a plan for our lives and that it was something that would take a lot of faith. At that time, we had no idea what in the world it would be, but we prayed that God would show us the path that he wanted us to follow and he has done exactly that one step at a time! We began seeking His will for our lives and searching for where he might want us. What did he want us to do? Where would our family with three small children fit into his plan?
God's answer (and it took almost a year and a half of actively seeking) is to become missionaries ourselves. To do what?! Not the answer we expected, but over the year and a half of searching, God had begun to prepare our hearts for change and for following him no matter what. We knew that we would have to take a leap of faith not knowing where we would land, but to become missionaries?! We were content in our typical American lives. After all, being a missionary is for crazy people. Well... call us crazy, because here we go and we could not be more excited!
Last November, when we sat down with some very dear friends of ours and were asked to join them in their ministry at a hospital caring for those with HIV, tuberculosis and leprosy, both my husband and I knew immediately that this is what God was preparing us for. This is an opportunity to be face to face with the children we have grown to love through pictures and stories and packing shoeboxes. This is our chance to impact these children for Christ and to show them God's love in a way that I never thought we would be able to.
I can't wait to love on the children that society has rejected because they have HIV and to teach them and care for them- to let them know that they are loved and accepted by the God who created them. It brings me to tears just thinking about it! What joy my heart feels to know that in a little over a month, I will be standing face to face with the children that have captured my heart!
I would love to share more details with all of my wonderful readers, but for now, I am only able to share this information with you on my blog. If you want to know more, contact me (firstname.lastname@example.org). I am more than happy to share our story with you and tell you about the work we will be doing.
Thank you all for your wonderful support and I look forward to sharing even more with you as soon as I can.