If I had been given a hint this time last year what God had in store for us--I would have giggled like Sarah did when she heard she and Abraham were going to have a baby. Slightly in disbelief and a whole lot of "how"?
The flip side is that when I have shared our news with some of our friends and neighbors they have responded with--"I'm not surprised at all." or "Yall have been doing that--now it will be from someplace else."
And from that I guess you can deduct that we will be in for a move. Ok--not a move, but a MOVE!
About 1,190 miles South
Out of the United States
(Insert a big ole--Oh My Goodness)
We've been praying and praying and praying about all the ins and outs of a move like this. And God has been so very faithful to answer our prayers, and lead us in the direction that He would have us to go.
Ok--Ok I can hear the questions before you can even ask!
When are you moving? We hope to make the move in about 9 months. We will need to raise support, get our 501(c) 3 status for our non-profit, start obtaining residency, and a whole lot of other things that we will have to figure out along the way.
What are you going to be doing? We are planning to establish a children's home village in Gracias, Honduras. Instead of an orphanage, we want to have safe family homes for the children that are true orphans(1 or both parents have died) or social orphans (children that have been removed from their homes due to abuse or neglect, or are placed due to lack of finances to care for their children.) We want to provide these children with a place to live and grow in safety with a family that will give love and stability. All of the homes will be led by Christian parents who will model what family is like based on Biblical principles. Our ultimate goal will be to live our lives in a way that others will see Jesus and then share with them about His love.
Why Honduras? We have been taking trips to Honduras since 2005. I (Julie) have gone about 5 times and Ben has gone 4 times on mission trips. Our hearts have been opened to love these people, but honestly, it's where God said to Go--and we are going.
Why now? Delayed obedience is still disobedience. (My kids can quote that! LOL) But really, our plans in our life was going to be to retire and then spend a few months in a foreign country, then a few months in the states with family, then a few months in another foreign country and then some more time with family. But God has other plans--he has led us to action now. So, just like I tell our kids--we don't want to be disobedient by delaying.
Do you speak Spanish? Muy poco or very little, but that is what language school is for. We will be leaving to go straight to language school once we arrive in Honduras. Our days will involve 4 hours of one-on-one teaching time followed by hours of homework. We will live with a host family and be immersed in the Honduran culture. (I'm very excited about this-really!)
Doesn't Honduras have a high crime rate? Well yes, some parts of it are very dangerous. But so are parts of the United States and every other country in the world. Just like we take precautions when we travel in certain parts of the U.S., we will take precautions there. We have traveled quite a bit in our life, and you have to realize that you trust God wherever you are. Bad things can happen wherever you are, and so can good things.
What about your girls? The same God that orchestrated them joining our family, who numbered their days, who knitted them together in their birth mother's womb, knew about this move. So we have to trust that he has great purpose in this move at this time. We are choosing to trust our God when he says that "His ways are higher than our ways and his thoughts are higher than our thoughts." Ultimately, we have to trust that God knows better than us.
What about your guys? Well, they have all reached a stage in their lives of adulthood. They are branching out and leaving home. Jordan will be a senior in college next year and will graduate in April. Zach has a full time job on Kingsbay Base. He is earning his electrical certification as an apprentice. Both are doing great. Will we miss them--unbelievably. In fact, there are days I can not fathom being a plane ride away from my boys. But having lived in a military town for the past 8 years, I have watched other families make those same sacrifices. It will not be easy, but again, we have to trust in God. I'm sure you have noticed that I did not mention Austin and Taylor. That is because they too have felt the call to go to Honduras. I am still blown away by that! They hope to get on the ground before we do so we will wait and see how God works that out.
More Questions . . . I'm sure I could keep on going. There are 1000's of questions that go through my head daily. But I want to leave you right here.
Our God has all the answers! Even to the questions we haven't thought of. He knows the how, he knows the when, HE KNOWS!
Our website for our organization is New Beginnings website www.newbeginningshonduras.org. Go check it out for more information.
Saturday, April 2, 2016
"Be Still and Allow God to Rewrite the Story of Your Life"
These were the words that jumped off the page of the brochure at the Women of Joy Conference I attended with these girls 2 weeks ago.
|Women of Joy Conference in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee|
As soon as I read these words I thought--Yes, I am exactly where I need to be this weekend. But then I flipped to the next page and saw this . . .
Ok--I was blown away by how God works. If you have read our blog lately you know that God has been whispering the word MORE into my heart for the last several months. Every time God begins to be "Up to Something" in our lives, He begins to bring the word More into our lives. Ben and I are watching and waiting to see how God is preparing to rewrite our story again.
We do know that our journey will continue with orphan ministry. In less than 24 hours we will be boarding a plane to Honduras to go on an exploratory/vision trip to see where and how God would have us to work with children at risk. We are meeting with a variety of organizations and in several different cities. We are especially excited to be traveling with our son Austin and his precious wife, Taylor. They have a heart for missions also, and I can't describe the joy to see how God is at work in their lives also.
As we have been preparing for this trip, we have had to have some serious conversations with our kids. We've had to get Power of Attorney paperwork notarized, find copies of our will, write out important numbers, give instructions for emergencies, and discuss the "what happens if . . ."
I don't like dwelling on those realities, but the truth is we just don't know when our last day will be. I know in Psalm 139:16 it says, "in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them." So before I was even created in my mother's womb, God had numbered my days. Only He knows how many days I will be given. I know that I just want to be faithful to live them being obedient in whatever He wants us to do.
Just this past week we have watched the circle of life take place before us. A member of our church, John Moore, passed away. He was a son, husband, dad, and police officer in St. Marys. Almost a month ago he had a heart attack while he was at work and now he is no longer with us. On the same day John died, I got news that a childhood friend's son Caleb had been killed in an accident. Caleb was a son, a brother, engaged to be married and called to be a minister. If we didn't have the hope and peace that comes when you know that someone has a relationship with Jesus, the pain from their loss would be too overwhelming. Just like these men didn't know when their last days would be, neither do we. We only have one life to live and only God's plan will do. Thankfully, these men lived their lives serving as God led them.
God also brought new life into our lives this week. A sweet couple in our church had a little baby boy, Andrew. He came into this world all fresh and new bringing joy and a wonder of what great things he might do with his life.
|Taylor holding baby Andrew|
Just yesterday we celebrated with cousin who just announced she is pregnant. Look at their announcement . . .
They have experienced infertility and now they have the promise of new life. Only God!
And so I will leave our blog right there--Only God.
Only God knows our exact future.
Only God knows our days.
Only God knows our More.