My mom thinks I am crazy. She does not understand this missions stuff at all and does not want to. She thinks it is super irresponsible and it makes her mad when I talk about it. I get it. I get that I am her kid and she is worried for me and she is worried for my babies if this turns into something more permanent. She wants us to be safe and happy and have plenty. She also wants people to bring the love of Jesus to the Philippines – she just wants someone else to do it. Not us. Like I said, I get it and while it is hard not having the support of the people closest to you, sometimes I think it is a good thing. Sometimes I don’t, but that is not my point. I HAVE to find words to explain the unexplainable to my mom. I have to dig deep and try hard to help her understand how I can absolutely not want to do something but at the same time have a deep desire to do that very thing. She challenges me with her skepticism and her doubt that I am functioning at full capacity and I have to constantly be ready to answer the hard questions and know exactly what I believe. I have to be sensitive to her feelings while at the same time being firm that we will do whatever we feel God is leading us to do. Period. It is a very fine line. And I am brave enough to talk about it on here because my mom does not read my blog …. and I hope she doesn’t start anytime soon.
It’s hard when family questions our sanity, but not unexpected. I kind of knew it was coming. I’m pretty sure I even had a conversation with God when I realized He might actually be serious about this overseas missionary stuff that ended something like … ‘Okay, but You’re telling my mom!’ The harder thing is when other people question our sincerity and our calling. Unexpected people. The people I thought would be some of our biggest supporters somehow turned out to be our biggest critics. And I don’t get it but I’m not sure how much I want to talk about that on here. I don’t want to hurt any feelings or make anyone angry so I’ll just leave that one alone for now.
Then there are the people who are as excited as we are about serving ‘the least of these’. People who have had nothing but encouraging and loving words. To be honest… most of the people who have contacted me wanting to help through prayer, or financial support, or raising money have been a surprise. Not all … but most. They are the people I almost didn’t send our missions letter to because I really didn’t know them well but something told me to send it anyway (I wonder Who that was) and I listened. I sure am glad I did because it is those unexpected blessings that have kept me going when I have started to question everything.
One example, is a girl I went to high school with. We did not hang out in the same crowd. She was a cheerleader; I was in the band. We became friends on facebook a few years ago because you become friends with everyone you went to high school with on facebook – it is the great equalizer. We have interacted maybe twice since becoming friends. As I was going through my friends list deciding who I should send our missions letter to, I came across her name. I immediately thought, ‘No, I don’t know her’ and moved on down my list. But her name kept popping up when I would type a person’s name in to send a message. Finally, I clicked on it and sent her our letter. She contacted me today wanting to know how she could help. She said she wanted to donate to our mission. She said she was going to take our letter to her son’s catholic school and see what they could do about helping us raise money. She said her family would do everything in their power to help us. I DON’T EVEN KNOW THIS GIRL! I’m not going to lie, I started crying when I got her message. Some of the people who know us well and know our hearts are not willing to help us, yet this girl I barely knew almost 20 years ago will do everything in her power to see us fulfill God’s calling. How amazing is that?
Another example is the men Chris works with. Chris works with some pretty rough guys – it is the oil field – enough said. Most of them don’t go to church, don’t read their bibles and don’t really like ‘Christians’ at all. Chris is perfect for this environment because he is a pretty rough man too. He will take no crap off anyone and lets you know it in no uncertain terms. He is a bad boy. And he is a Christian. He is perfect. Chris does not shove his faith down anyone’s throat but he doesn’t hide it either. He just is who he is. He doesn’t care what anyone thinks. Really. He loves Jesus and wants other people to love Him too. He listens to the Christian radio station in the truck and reads his bible on his phone. If anyone asks about his faith, he will tell them about it. He is rough, tough and real. The guys he works with respect him. So when he told them about wanting to go and help feed starving kids in the Philippines and help fix some houses so people did not have to suffer through another rainy season with no protection – they all wanted to know how they could help. Not one of them asked if God had called Chris to do this or if it was just something he wanted to do. Not one asked if their donations were tax-deductible. Not one asked if Chris’s church was going to take up donations to help feed these children and repair these houses. They heard about a need from someone they trusted and wanted to know how they could help.
These are just a few of the unexpected places I am seeing Jesus these days.
I don’t know everything there is to know about the bible, I don’t know how to always be in the center of God’s will, I don’t know how to be like Jesus all of the time … but I am learning in a very real way that God doesn’t need me to know everything. He just needs me to believe that He does and be willing to move when He says, ‘Go!