Monday, May 27, 2013

A different kind of Memorial Day celebration

For we Americans, Memorial Day means a lot of things. To those who have lost loved ones to war it is a time of sorrow. For all of us, it is a day we remember those who have sacrificed their lives for the freedom we enjoy in this country. But this day is also an opportunity to get together with friends and family, and celebrate the beginning of the summer season. That is how we planned to spend Memorial Day, but things don't always go according to plan.

For the past couple days Ian has not been feeling well. The symptoms seemed consistent with the flu or some other "stomach bug". It seemed that he was on the mend, until last night at 3:00 am, when he was doubled over in excruciating pain. We got him to the emergency room, and the tests indicated that he had appendicitis. So, in the ambulance he went, to the nearest children's hospital for an appendectomy!

Rather than spending this morning catching candy at the Memorial Day parade, Ian is lying in an operating room undergoing surgery. This is certainly not the way we envisioned this day!

On one hand, this is a terrible way to spend a holiday. On the other hand, it is an opportunity to celebrate the life of our child. If Ian did not live in the United States, and had been born instead on the streets of a third world nation, or in a village in the jungle, who knows how bad his condition would have become—or if he would have even survived. Rather than celebrating his life, we could have been mourning Ian's death.

When I think this through, it is hard not to consider the implications of moving my family to another country. No matter where we end up, it is almost certain that we will not have immediate access to the caliber of medical care that we have in the States. But what about the people all around the world who are living and dying without hope and without Christ? Shall I ignore Jesus' Great Commission, and opt instead for the perceived safety and security of my suburban life?

I am so grateful for the life of my son, and will do whatever I can to preserve it. But I am also thankful for God's Son, who did not preserve his own life but willingly laid it down (then took it up again!) that we may have true life through Him. And we are humbled and grateful that we may be the expression of Christ to others, here in Ohio and to the ends of the earth!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

An Encouraging Day

Today has been a good day! First of all, we have finally surpassed 50% of our financial goal! We are thankful for the two new ministry partners that have joined our team and pushed us over the 50% mark. Although we still have about $2600 in monthly support to raise, we are optimistic, and there have been some very encouraging developments in the past few days.

First of all, we met with the missions committee at a local church today, and they have decided to make us their "mission of the month" for June. Not only will we have the opportunity to share about our ministry with the congregation; they will be praying for us and contributing financially toward helping us begin serving with MMS Aviation. We are very excited about this new partnership. It's always encouraging and motivating when we meet new friends who share our passion for the people of the world. Since they haven't publicized it yet, we'll keep you in suspense concerning which church I'm talking about!

This past Sunday, Pastor Dennis (our senior pastor at Grace Church) called us up front to pray for us, and challenged the congregation to financially partner with us to send us into service with MMS. We were not expecting him to do all of that, but we are very thankful for the incredible support of our home church. Not everyone is so fortunate to have a pastor and a congregation to stand behind them in such a significant way. We still don't know how the congregation will choose to financially partner with us, but we are humbled and encouraged by this outpouring of care and support.

Finally, speaking of care and support, some of our friends at Grace hosted a "Plants for Planes" plant sale on Sunday. I was impressed by all the effort that they put into this event in order to raise funds (and awareness) for our ministry. Again, I am so grateful for the people God has placed in our lives to encourage us and stand beside us as we follow His call.

Thanks to all of you who have partnered with us as we follow Christ's call to go to the world. We look forward to serving through missionary aviation, and wherever he calls us to go.