I remember when Nick and I first got married what my hopes and goals for our future were. First of all, we would have three beautiful biological children (fingers crossed, no special needs), a five bedroom house – decorated in the latest and greatest from Pottery Barn on acreage, all of our three beautiful children would attend only the best private Christian schools. Maybe we would even a have a time share and get to travel some! Of course we would attend church regularly (maybe we would even be important there, oh wow, wouldn’t that be nice!?!), maybe lead a small group, and TITHE of course of course.
Never mind that there’s no mention in there of caring for orphans, widows, the poor, suffering, leaving loved ones for the sake of the kingdom, evangelizing and sharing the gospel or anything of the things that Jesus actually TOLD US TO DO!
Isn’t that what Christians in America are supposed to do, ignore Jesus’ words and live out our days in wealth and comfort? We were straight on a course to living the American dream.
Until the Spring of 2007 that is, when on the suggestion of Nick’s sister, we enrolled in the Perspectives Class. That would definitely be the first time that we realized that this whole Christianity thing wasn’t about us and our comfort, but about GOD and His plans. And more importantly His heart.
“For God so loved the WORLD, that He gave His only begotten Son, that who so ever believes in Him, shall not perish, but shall have everlasting life.” John 3:16
That was the first Bible verse I ever memorized as a child. You can hear a verse over and over and lose sight of the actual meaning. God so loved the WORLD, not just Israel, not just the United States, but each and every human being that ever walked the planet. And truthfully, He cares more for His Glory than for our comfort. He wants to use us to draw ALL people back to Him. Every tongue, every tribe, every nation. That is His heart, from cover to cover, from page to page, the Bible tells us that God’s heart is for the WORLD.
I cannot condense what I learned in a 10 week class down into a few words, but it changed Nick and me. From that moment on, Nick and I started to get much more purposeful in our prayers. We wanted to know how God would use US to make His Glory shine through the nations. I always joke about “our empire”, but really, what I mean is, how will the Holy Spirit use us to expand His Empire?
This prayer has lead us on a very different journey than what I had originally imagined for our family, but one way that it has not lead us is to really let go of everything, leave our beloved Fathers and Mothers forever, sell everything, give everything up for the sake of the kingdom. (I kind of wish that it had!) However, I do feel like God has always had us exactly where He wants us!
Ok, this is the longest post ever. I just cannot be brief when I blog!
I have a point. There are people out there who truly do give up EVERYTHING for the sake of the kingdom. They sell off their possessions, leave their homes forever, they make God’s passion their own, and they leave their comfortable Christian lives to be a light in a dark place. Those people are my heroes. They are like Andrew Breitbart, Cory Morrow, and Walt Disney combined for me (if you don’t know who some of those people above are – they would be people who would make a conservative Texan FREAK OUT they are so awesome)!
Not too long ago, I stumbled across a blog, via Kelly’s Korner, Show Us Your Life International Bloggers, about a place called “Narnia”. I was intrigued, so I started to read it. I quickly realized that I had stumbled across the blog of Christians living as “m-words” in a very Muslim country. So Muslim in fact, that they could not use certain words on their blog or even disclose their actual location.
Eventually I pieced together their location through
obsessive stalking casual reading, and I realized that they lived not too far from us… and not only that, but in a place that I had ALWAYS, ALWAYS wanted to visit!
We had the opportunity to visit this place in May, and I contacted Elizabeth, the blog’s main author and I asked if she would be willing to meet with us! Thankfully she and her amazing family were able to meet with us, and I was so excited!
Like I said, these people are ROCK STARS to me! I was so excited to meet them. I kept telling myself to just “be cool”, “be cool, Stori”. It was so amazing to meet with them and pick their brain and find out how the came to be where they were! At one point Nick actually used the acronym “SOL” (yes, that SOL) while talking with them, and they were so cool about it! I was a little bit mortified…
Anyway, meeting with them was a dream come true! We will continue to pray for them and their success, that God would soften the hearts of those they encounter and that He would provide them with many opportunities to share about His Son.
Oh, and this is their youngest daughter, Lucy. She was so sweet to Isla and kept her entertained the entire night. Isla loved getting to play with such a sweet, big girl! She talked about Lucy the rest of the trip.
Elizabeth wrote about meeting us HERE. We were so honored to meet them!
Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” Matthew 9:35-39
***If you are interested in taking the Perspectives Class, please click HERE to find one near your house.
***If you are interested in learning more about God’s heart for missions and the world, I highly recommend the book, Passion for the Heart of God by John Zumwalt, you can order it from Amazon. com HERE.