From Vision to Reality

There aren't many mornings where all four kiddos sleep past 7am. That little stinker Sam likes to start the day with the sun. This was one of the rare days when, though all three boys were piled in my bed with me (it wasn't a choice on my part so much as an all-night-long process on theirs), they all blissfully slept past 7. So, naturally, I got a phone call at 5:50am.

This might be one of the few phone calls I could get so early on a sleeping-in day that wouldn't drive me to cussing. When that long, weird-looking number appeared on my phone's display, I promptly hopped out of bed and darted for the only quiet, empty room where I wouldn't disturb the sleepers - the boys' bedroom. (Because why would they be sleeping in there?)

You see, it was my sweet husband calling from another continent and I was eager to hear that they had reached their destination, after over 36 exhausting hours of travel, and had gotten some rest. It's mind-boggling to think that the vision and ministry that began just over two years ago has gotten to this point: a team of fifteen brave, adventurous people have set out for Uganda to deliver the first set of bicycle-powered generators to people in Africa who have no reliable source of electricity. I just don't have words to describe the surreal feeling of seeing God's idea coming to fruition...and I'm not even the one in Africa!

You know one way I'm certain this is God's doing? Over the years, Chris has travelled for various reasons, many times for mission trips, and all the other times there was some sort of chip (though sometimes a smaller chip than others) on my shoulder at the thought of being left alone with all of the daily responsibilities of running our family while he set out on another adventure. (Not that I wanted to go on an adventure, mind you, because I'm not that sort of girl. I just wanted him here to help with these crazy kids!)

But this time is different. While I dreaded seeing him go, I feel grateful for the chance to care for our family and relay trip updates to those back at home while he goes to lead this trip and fulfill God's calling on his life.

Seriously, that's a miracle, folks. (Disclaimer: We're on Day 3 of 11. I may feel differently a week from now...but probably not.)

The Lord has worked in many hearts and lives (not just ours) in order to bring us all to this day, and I think that's what it's really all about.

Yesterday, as I sat in church with my daughter, I was bubbling over with gratitude and pride. The pastor was preaching through Ecclesiastes, which is a book recounting the somewhat hopeless and forlorn musings of King Solomon, a man whose heart had wandered away from the Lord he'd once sought after. As he looked at all the suffering in the world around him, suffering that happened to the poor and powerless as a result of the evil, selfish hearts of the powerful, he concluded that it'd be better to be dead. What he failed to see was that it was within his reach, as a powerful and extremely wealthy man, to stop mourning over the plight of others and step in to help them in the name of the Lord.

As a people with basically unlimited resources (money, power, education, influence), why do we as Americans sit around and bemoan the suffering and hopelessness of the dying world more often than we step in to do what we can to help with what we've been given? Why do we question God's mercy, justice, and love more than we seek to be the manifestation of His mercy, justice, and love?

As we saw the foolishness and wasted life and resources of Solomon and heard the challenge to step up and make an eternal difference in this world full of suffering, I realized that my husband, brother, and thirteen other people on the DFH Uganda team are doing just that. It feels like a drop in the ocean at times, but we're all called to do our tiny little drop of a part. I'm beyond grateful and proud to be the wife of a man who is running after the eternal, and I'm thrilled and humbled that I get to partner with him, my wonderful brother, and my sweet sister (in-law and in Christ), as well as many other family members and friends, to take our little water dropper and make a small difference in a big ocean.

Who am I that I get to play a part in this amazing endeavor? I am a daughter of a loving King, the wife of a Godly man, the sister of a sacrificial couple, the friend of friends to the friendless, the mother of four future Kingdom Builders, a prayer partner to missionaries.

And I'm off to tame these wild animals who are destroying my house as I type.

That's my privilege and service to my King. (I will have to remind myself of that approximately 34, 587 times today.)

Whoever oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker,
    but whoever is kind to the needy honors God. Proverbs 14:31

Whoever is kind to the poor lends to the Lord,
    and he will reward them for what they have done. Proverbs 19:17

"The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
    because he has anointed me

    to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
    and recovery of sight for the blind,
    to set the oppressed free,
    to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor." Luke 4:18-19


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