Our things are slowly getting packed up, paperwork organized, Spanish cheat sheet still to be made...but in one week we will be heading out on our "Whatever Project #2" driving to Baja to work in an orphange and then camp as a family for Christmas. It all kind of started when our church did this and that led to our first Whatever Project I honestly have no idea exactly what lies in front of us. Long cars rides...yes, missing family...yes, a crazy paper airplane party with orphans...yes, seeing extreme poverty with our children...yes, getting to know precious children...yes. More than any of these things, more than any of the fears, the one thing that rings in my heart (and maybe this is just plain selfish) is that I want to see and know Jesus more deeply. He says,
The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
So we are jumping in and going trusting that even though our kids may see really hard things that we do not have answers for, that seeing God's heart will grow them even more.
It is such a strange thing to be stepping out equally as a family. As a Mama, I so want to protect, to channel, educate, control the things my kids see and the way that they see them. I think that is a God-given desire....but God has been VERY clear that as a family we are supposed to take this trip. I can give in to worry and fear (will they be safe? how will the girls deal with being at an orphanage for a week? How will I deal with it? Will they be willing to eat what is put in front of them? How do I truly answer the deep questions that they might have?) Ultimately, they are God's children far before they are mine...So I am leaning hard on this promise:
Trust in the LORD with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight.
We have jumped ship from the traditional American Christmas...just stockings and one very small gift for our kids. We are bringing more gifts for the orphans and migrant children than for our own children... my prayer is that the true gifts they will find are compassion and joy, a hunger for authenticity and depth with God...but again, it is not in my control.
The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me,
because the LORD has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners,
to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor
and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,
and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
instead of ashes,
the oil of joy
instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
a planting of the LORD
for the display of his splendor.
How will all of it work? I have no idea. How will we ever come back once we have seen...I don't know. Will God use us in the lives of others, maybe. We are stepping out saying, "God, our hearts are yours. Do what You will, lead us...our greatest desire is to see more of You."
...being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.