Pack Your Bags
Our household has been a little crazy lately. After finishing up a school year jam packed with academic challenges and after school sports (not to mention the daily grind of trying to parent well in this digital age with a tween and two growing teens in the house!!) we were all glad for a week of rest. This past week we have slept in, visited with friends and gone swimming almost every day. It has been wonderful to rest! Yet as one chapter closes, another opens for us and we are busy packing our bags to spend a good bit of our Sumer in Guatemala.
William has definitely logged the most travel miles so far in 2018 as he has travelled regularly to the Peten region of Guatemala, working closely with Hospital Shalom and our good friends there, Tim and Doris Spurrier. We have been invited to come alongside their ministry to help oversee the hospital there in Guatemala as well as facilitate medical staff Stateside who want to help be a part. God has connected us with Samaritan’s Purse in order to do this, a relationship that just has us in awe over how God alone can orchestrate things so beautifully in our lives.
The best part of this trip is that we are all going together. These trips are always busy times for William and I as we will be helping with clinics at the hospital, conducting a marriage seminar and teaching in local churches as well as laying the groundwork for the Bible School classes for next year! William and I are pumped- this is our calling and what we love to spend our time doing. Our kids are a bit more hesitant to “give up” most of their Summer, however to tag along. Our heart has always been to be together as a family, discipling our children as we go along. Please pray for our children by name- that each of them will find purpose and meaning in this trip as well, that their hearts would be inclined to serve and that, above all, a love for the Gospel will be birthed within their hearts.
Yesterday evening was spent packing up our bags and running through a checklist I had made for each of the kids. I went from room to room, inspecting bags and what had been packed- or not packed (good thing I did!)- to be sure each child was prepared and ready. But as I lay down to go to sleep last night, there was another checklist running through my heart. I always think of the Psalmist David when God speaks to me at night or in the quiet of the morning:
“I lie awake thinking of you, meditating on you through the night.” Psalm 63:67
Last night as I lay awake thinking over the business of preparing for a trip this size, I realized how much of our time was taken up with checklists of things but how little attention had been given to an unseen spiritual checklist. Had we prayed for the trip enough? Had we prayed for the hospital enough? Had we announced to friends and family enough how much we need their prayers and support to make this possible? Did our children realize that they are doing so much more than just “tagging along” but they are an essential part of who we are and what we do…in fact, they are so wrapped up in our marriage and our testimony that they cannot be extracted out. We are on and the same, in this calling together.
So, to this checklist of the true essentials I now add one more thing: letting you all know how thankful we are for the faithfulness f God that He has allowed this vision and calling birthed within us to actually be coming to pass. Please pray with us as we head to Guatemala. We know that we are not going alone. A mighty army of angels heralds our way and you all- the saints- are backing us with your finances and prayers. We feel it and our hearts are glad. Please pack your bags and come along with us in prayer and believing as we go…
Help our time to be meaningful and productive. Full of meaning- full of You. May each person we see be a real life to us. May the medical care that we give actual be filled with Words of Life. May the marriage teaching be true and make a difference in couples’ lives. May the messages and teaching we bring have real meaning and not merely sound like clever words. May we grow and change as a family. may we see what is real and significant and walk more in that than we do in the “cares of this life”. Above all, may your purposes for us be number one on all of our lists. Amen