It is amazing to see God bring details together – details of our past colliding with our present preparing us for our future. There is no doubt that for years God has been intricately writing our story preparing to join it with the stories of others for the purpose of glorifying Him and advancing His Kingdom. We had a really neat reminder of this very thing this week.
A few people have asked what experience we have, and how that will transfer on the field in Ethiopia. Sometimes it feels odd to try to defend ourselves and convince people of this call that we are so certain about. On the other hand, we get it. We can understand people who are contemplating investing (especially when their investment will be financial) in Mercy Branch Inc., wanting to know if we are qualified to go off to Ethiopia, run a guest house, and serve street kids. They are counting the cost ahead of time, wanting to be certain that there is Kingdom purpose, and that their sacrificed dollars will be used wisely. We tried to answer some of the questions regarding our qualifications and experience here. Although there were still blanks to fill in, that we were trusting God with, believing He would equip us since He called us. And there are still blanks, but God is pulling together some of those details in exciting ways that only He could orchestrate.
As we have previously said, our family is very fortunate to have the privilege of being mentored by Trent and Carmen Post, who have been on the field for years working with street children. They were mentored by missionaries, and are now ready to turn around and share their knowledge and experiences with us. They have so graciously offered to fold us into the ministry of Make Your Mark. This is an amazing opportunity for a unique partnership – one in which we both continue to have separate Non-profits and raise our own support – but where we can serve (knowing our family will not be a finacial burden to them since we raise our own support and hope to be fully supported one day by our Guest House) by coming alongside their NGO in Ethiopia, and gain the mentoring that we so desire.
Make Your Mark has just started a really innovative new project for street kids in Addis. It is a strategic, multi-step plan that we are very excited about. Our hearts are so, so burdened to see children reunited with their Ethiopian birth families when possible, and when not possible to be adopted as a full son or daughter by an Ethiopian couple and stay inside their beautiful country and culture. God has really impressed upon our heart the importance of this for these children.This is a huge part of their new project. Just this week Trent and Carmen opened the doors of their day center and had a handful of street kids show up that we are already praying for. We are aching to be over there working with these kids, but we are striving to be patient and allow God to continue to prepare us and piece everything together.
Earlier this week as I was scrolling through my facebook newsfeed, Carmen’s post popped up that read:
…. If you would like to mail or bring games or crafts for us to have at the day center please inbox me. Also please share some fun games that we can teach our staff to play. Us troubled runaways didn’t go to camps like some of you did. Please share your blessings with us to pass on for fun and giggles!!!
My heart beat faster and tears pricked my eyes, because our past suddenly came crashing into our future. I could finally see how those 6 years of our early married life, in camp ministry, where my husband served in the role of Program Director (you know – the one in charge of programming and CAMP GAMES and cooperative, team-building activities?!) was preparing us for this new ministry in Ethiopia! How is that for details? God has been busy weaving and orchestrating our lives for years to get us to this point. I quickly sent Carmen a message letting her know that we had tons of games to share with them. A few of the games and cooperatives we had used in July 2011 with children from Entoto Mountain. Jim and I were really pleased at how well the activities transferred cultures. We are so thrilled to have a tangible gift that we can bring to the day center, and we cannot wait to see how God will continue to work in the details.
Even this very moment, while our hearts are stuck between two worlds, God is preparing us for the future. The same is true for you. How is God working in the details of your life?
But for this purpose I have raised you up, to show you my power, so that my name may be proclaimed in all the earth. Exodus 9:16