There are the typical ones like, "Where will you live?" and , "How long will you be there?" and of course, "Aren't you afraid??"
But today I got a couple I don't think I've ever gotten before.
I was at the playground with Elliott watching him run up to the top of the biggest structure and run just as fast back down, over and over again. "Wear yourself out, my sweet boy," I was thinking to myself with visions of naptime dancing in my head.
A lady was there with her granddaughter and we started to talk. The conversation inevitably led to where we were from and why we were here in NC. I told the abbreviated version of our story and when I was done the lady looked at me with all sincerity and said, "When do you have to go?"
The question struck me as funny. "When do I have to go?" I thought to myself.
A little bit later a man who had overheard our conversation came over and had about 100 questions of his own. I don't mind in the least because it's a great opportunity to share the real motive for our efforts--Christ. So as I was watching Elliott splash in a mud puddle that had suddenly captured his attention, despite the array of slides and swings he was surrounded by, I answered question after question before I was hit with another new one.
"So, who pays the bills for you guys?"
I couldn't help but laugh a little bit at his straight-forward approach, but told him that we had some very generous people and churches who gave to "pay the bills".
Those two questions have stuck in my mind this evening as I think about what lies ahead and what has come to pass in our lives. I share our testimony so often that I think I forget sometimes that God is so incredible that He is diligently directing our steps each and every day, down to the smallest detail, and in turn preparing us for the next day.
The truth is we don't have to go to the Jung|e. We want to because we have a Savior who is worthy.
The truth is no one has to "pay our bills" so we can go. They want to because we have a Savior who is worthy.
Here are some things that I know, but I can only explain by the fact that God is the one doing this, not us:
- Our largest donor to date is someone I have never even met in person, but rather "by chance" on a Facebook fanpage.
- Richard has nearly $100,000 worth of aviation training that we don't owe a single penny on.
- We have put over 100K miles on our car in just over four years, flown on dozens of flights, visited nearly 20 states and several countries and God has always--ALWAYS--provided for car repairs, plane tickets, meals, and lodging. We've never been stranded or had to go hungry or without a place to sleep.
- We have literally hundreds of people who give to us every month be it through personal giving or through the local church so that we can not just live in Brazil, but eat every day, afford to put gas in our car, and be able to keep the lights on.
- We have had the privilege to meet some of the most amazingly humble servants of God as we've made this journey to the field and God in His divine sovereignty has placed them in our lives always at just the right time to challenge us, encourage us, pick us up, rejoice with us, cry with us, laugh with us, and labor with us.
Because of who He is. Because He is so big and so incredibly amazing that I honestly say that it's not a "we have to go", it's a "we want to go!" We want to tell these people that there is hope and His name is Jesus.
That it's a beautiful hope.
And when I think of how sovereign He is, I can't help but be excited to think of what He's up to behind the scenes. All we can do is take inventory of the past... and it's overflowing with miracles! We don't know what tomorrow holds but we do know this: He is a good God and in the end, He will be glorified through trials and tribulations and through rejoicing and victory.
My earnest prayer is that those of you who give and pray and encourage us in this journey in which we are just the hands and feet, you do so with that in mind. That we serve an indescribable God who makes this life so much more exciting that we could even dream of and it's all for His glory and for His children's joy.
So, thank you for following along with us. Thank you for praying. Thank you for giving. But most of all, thank you for loving our Savior.
That's what this is all about.