Monday, April 25, 2011

Missionary Mama part 1

When I was in 4th or 5th grade I felt called to be a missionary while at Kids Camp.  For a few years, I was pretty sure this meant I'd live my life in a foreign country.   As I continued to grow up, it was something I filed in the back of my head.  Maybe it meant something different.  Maybe it meant just ministry.  Maybe I was just an impressionable kid.  But I have always been pretty sensitive to the presence of God, so deep down I knew there was something to it.

Fast forward to my sophomore year of college and I went on my first missions trip to Mexico.  I was hooked.  I love it.  I was actually super sick when I went.  I Nyquil-ed my way through cold nights in a tent.  But I was so glad I went.  The next year, I became part of the leadership of the missions trip.  The next year, I was the trip director.  And with a team of people I started a second trip taking youth students to Mexico.  I directed that trip for 7 years and took anywhere from 175-300 students to Mexico every Spring Break.

As a youth pastor, I traveled to Bolivia, Florida, Costa Rica and Ireland on Mission trips.

God certainly did call me to missions.  As a young girl, full-time missions was my only frame of reference. But there are so many ways to be involved in missions.  I now know I will be involved in missions for the rest of my life, and that could look many different ways.

Out of all the trips I've taken, this trip probably required the most obedience.  It was easy to bring Miss Rose to Mexico with me as a newborn, a 1 year old and a 2 year old.  It was even easy to bring Gracie with me to Ireland at 3 months old (pretty sweet that she has a passport photo at 6 weeks old).  Easy decisions to make, although missions with a child is definitely more exhausting.  I won't go into detail about Miss Rose screaming for hours on the last leg home in the car or Gracie struggling to adjust back to California time.

Initially this trip to Romania was supposed to take place last Fall.  Before Lily turned 2.  When the need arose for leadership, it wasn't difficult to offer to go.  I hadn't been on a missions trip in almost four years.  And I would just take Lily.  Making it easier on my heart, and easier on Bean home with the other 2.

Then a variety of things pushed the date back to the Spring.  And after Lily's birthday.  Which meant she could no longer fly free.  I was going solo and Bean would single parent three girls for 10 days.  Several times, I thought long and hard about how to get out of it.  I wanted to go.  But I didn't want to leave my family.

But I knew I had to be obedient.  And God wanted me to go.

It wasn't easy.  It never got easy leaving my family, being away from them.  Especially when I found out a few days before coming home that Lily had been very sick, which changed everything and although Bean was doing amazing--dealing with a sick toddler, who doesn't have her mommy, and two other kids--he was just treading water, as any of us would do.

Obedience isn't usually easy.  Abraham had to put his son on an altar.  Moses' mother sent him down the Nile in a basket.  Hannah kept her agreement and gave Samuel over to Eli the priest.  I could go on and on.

God simply asked me to spend 10 days in Romania.

You know me, always full of words.  So I'll share about my trip in a few different parts.

It was wonderful.  But so is being home.

With Pastor Aurel in front of the church

Standing at the Danube River.  Serbia is in the distance.

In front of the Romanian Orthodox Church in Timisoara

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