And I think Gabe has a few dreams like this as well:
But that's not where the Lord has us yet. And it's a little bittersweet. We both imagined ourselves in cross-cultural missions somewhere, using our respective aviation and medical skills to bring the love of Christ to people wherever God sent us. We knew we were inadequate to the task, but trusted God to make up the chasm between the work He has for us and our abilities. And in His amazing love for us, He has.
" Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us."
Let me show you the mission field He has us on right now:
Purdy Women's Prison. WAY WAY out of our comfort zone. Same crazy-for-Jesus friends who are called to plant Veritas Christian Fellowship (above) also got saved behind bars themselves and are taking His love back into the prison to share with the "offenders" there. Only to us they are "ladies" who are precious to our Lord and who need to hear His truth and see His love. Even more blessed every time we are there.
Gabe's mission field 5 days a week: Clover Park Technical College school of aviation maintenance. The Lord is opening doors here for him to build relationships and share the reason for his hope and the truth about Jesus' saving love almost daily. He has no doubt "this is why the Lord put me in this program".
As I walk around the streets of our little town daily, I am continually drawn to pray for the people here. God gives me precious opportunities to share with friends here and see Him move in lives far beyond anything I could achieve. He's given us a love for our neighbors for however long He keeps us here.
But most precious of all the mission fields He has brought to us is Anya :-)
We know very little about her beyond this picture. She is a 13 year old girl living in an orphanage in eastern Ukraine. She is shy and quiet, likes animals, crafting, and "yogurts". We have the incredible blessing of sharing our home with her for 6 weeks this summer starting in July. We are quickly trying to learn some Russian/Ukranian (praise the Lord for Google translate!), clear out space in Ciara's room for her, arrange for a bigger vehicle, and some other details. But mostly, we are awed with the responsibility to transcend language and cultural barriers to show her love, God's pure and amazing love for her, through our home. We want to show her this through how we treat each other, through how we treat our kids. Talk about motivation to get over some of our selfishness and love on each other more! It's only through God's grace that we will be able to, so please pray for us!
The biggest point I want to make in this post is this. We aren't anybody special. We aren't "saints"(except by the grace of God!). We fight and complain and get lazy and selfish like anyone else. I think we hoped that "going to the foreign mission field" would change us into the Christians we hoped to be...or at least make us look more like those people. Instead, God is changing our hearts daily, nudging us out of our comfort zone and closer to Him. In every situation above, we reach out because we see Jesus more clearly as we step out in faith towards Him. And we are so in love with Him that we just want more. I pray the same for you! Look around...He has a mission field right in front of you too.
Isaiah 42:6-8, 43:4
And will hold Your hand;
I will keep You and give You as a covenant to the people,
As a light to the Gentiles,To open blind eyes,
To bring out prisoners from the prison,
Those who sit in darkness from the prison house."
"Since you were precious in My sight,
You have been honored,
And I have loved you"
In His love,