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Thursday, April 23, 2009

The Beginning

Well, I thought I'd write a post about the beginning of a new journey my family is on. As I have probably never mentioned before, my husband is an aircraft maintenance engineer. He is extremely mechanical and technical, and he isn't afraid of trying to fix basically anything! Over our married life I have had to learn to share him with others because it doesn't take long for people to learn that he probably knows something about the problem their having with their vehicle or something.
Recently, he has been feeling prompted to do something different with his life. This is not some early mid-life crisis or anything. I firmly believe that he has been re-evaluating our family's purpose for God and perhaps wanting to give God more opportunity to lead and direct where we go as a family. Knowing this, I have been in prayer asking God to show us where He wants us to look. Where is He opening doors for us? Through this time, I have found myself being willing to go and do things I never would have said I was willing to do several years ago.
As a teenager, I remember going to Missions Fest a few times with my youth group. The youth rallies would host a speaker who would encourage everyone to be willing to go wherever God leads them in life. Being overseas missionaries, most of them encouraged being open to serving overseas of course. At the time, I remember feeling badly because I couldn't honestly say to God that I was willing to go wherever He led me. I remember asking Him not to lead me anywhere I didn't want to go! I also remember telling God that I wasn't willing to serve overseas as a missionary. Going to Missions Fest felt like a guilt trip for me every time I went. I was resistant... and I knew it. I even remember coming home and ranting to my parents about how I felt the people there expected EVERYONE to go abroad! How dare they tell me that!
Well.... here I am nearly 10 years later, married, two small children, one expected to be born in the Fall, and we are applying for overseas mission work. As I was praying for God to give our family direction, especially my husband (Rob), Mission Aviation Fellowship came into my mind, and I started looking at their website. Rob was at work that day. When he came home I still had the website up and I asked him if he'd considered MAF. Their mission is this: Sharing the love of Jesus Christ through aviation and technology so that isolated people may be physically and spiritually transformed. They have a fleet of light aircraft to serve developing countries in the areas of evangelism and church nurture, community development, medical assistance, and disaster response. Rob was surprised and also encouraged to see me considering this option and being open to it as he had been thinking about it as well. When he was younger his father had talked to him about this organization and was very excited to see him interested in aviation, but Rob hadn't been ready to consider mission work at that time.
So, since that time we have been praying for God to open doors if we're supposed to go this route. If God wants us serving in this way, He will make a way for us. At this time, all we know is we have to be willing and ready to do what He calls us to do! Talk about a change in attitude from those early teen days at Missions Fest. I find myself feeling excited about this possibility. I feel at this time, God is numbing MANY fears and anxieties that could stop me from being willing; moving away from close family and friends, tropical disease, natural disasters, language barriers, travel, cross-culture shock... the list goes on. I know those things exist, but it's okay. It's weird.
The application process is a long one. Which I am thankful for. There is no way we'll be sent away on a whim of emotion or without knowing for certain that is where God wants us to be.
So.... this is the beginning, I'm excited to see where God leads us. And if it's not overseas, I'm excited to see how God uses our family in our community where we are right now. We are all missionaries in our own towns, in our jobs, at our schools, and in our neighborhoods.