It’s been a whirlwind two weeks as we packed up and headed to Sarasota, Florida for the first week of reviveFLORIDA with all four kids in tow, and then have returned home to snow still melting on the ground in Indiana where we’ll focus our efforts for this next season on building a support team so that we can walk out this calling God has placed on our lives.
Florida was an incredible time of beginning to test the waters as to what becoming Time to Revive missionaries will look like for our entire family. Traveling to a new state, staying in someone else’s home, attending at least 2 churches per day, and keeping a daily schedule that begins at 6:15am and ends at 10:00pm can certainly present its challenges for our family of six, but it also presents a multitude of opportunities. We are learning to balance the hustle and bustle of the revive daily outreach schedule…
- 6:15am- team meeting
- 7:00am- community prayer
- 8:00am- community breakfast
- 9:00am- training
- 10am-noon- outreach teams
- 12:00noon- testimony time
- 1:00pm- lunch
- 2:00pm- training
- 3-5pm- outreach teams
- 5:30pm- community dinner
- 7-9pm- community service
- 9:30pm- team debrief
…with responsibilities as Mom and Dad and keeping the kiddos on a schedule that is healthy for them. Often that looks like Jeff and me taking turns with caring for the kids and investing in the revive outreach. Usually one of us will attend the morning team meeting while the other stays home to let the kids sleep in, and then we switch duties at lunch time, spend the evening hours together, and then switch duties again for the evening team debrief and the kids’ bedtime routine. The kiddos do such a wonderful job going with the flow. They love being in new cities, staying at a guest’s home, and visiting all the different churches (especially when it involves playing on all different kinds of playgrounds!). It amazes me that God prepared our family for this lifestyle…one we never even dreamed of living…by giving us children who are naturally adaptable and love change. It’s been fun to watch the growth in our children as we have embraced this call on our lives…to see them beginning to look for opportunities to pray with and serve others, learning to hear God’s voice at such a young age, and blossoming socially as they encounter new people every day.
There’s still much that God will sort out for us as we continue to walk this path. Some of the challenges that we’ll watch Him help us overcome include learning where both Jeff and I fit best in this ministry to use our gifts most effectively for building the Kingdom and in a way that allows us to simultaneously build into our children, our marriage and our family in a healthy and God-honoring way, as well as how we will best conduct the kiddos education (we’ll have THREE in school next fall!) in a manner that allows us the flexibility to travel and work as missionaries. We are praying that God will provide someone to walk alongside us and our children as we embark on this journey, helping with the kids’ schooling and care in a similar way that we have help now with Rylan in public school and the younger three going to Crossroads’ Learning Corner while I work two days a week. Only God knows what our future looks like, so we are trusting Him to lead us and provide.
After the 16 hour drive home from Sarasota (that surprisingly took us only 18 hours, even with 4 kids, and consisted of mild screaming only during the last few hours!), we have been settling in at home and preparing for this next season of our journey. In the next 3 months we will focus our attention on inviting others to take this leap of faith with us, invest in the Kingdom of God through the ministry of TTR, and see God prove faithful in ways greater than we could ever imagine as we all take this leap together. It has been an incredible journey so far. We have taken more leaps of faith, more steps outside of our comfort zone, than we ever even desired to, but as God gently beckons us to take each step…leaving the decision our my hands…we are delightfully and wonderfully amazed each time as He is always faithful and trustworthy to meet us there. It’s the picture of a toddling baby, learning to walk on new and shaky legs, trusting the voice of her father to keep coming…one more step…and falling joyfully into his loving and strong arms with each venture. I’m slowly becoming addicted to this way of living…to taking the terrifying, yet exhilarating leap of faith out into the unknown beyond the footing that I can see…trusting only His voice and His leading…and seeing Him accomplish way more than I could ever have done in my own strength or by my own sight.
We serve a God who calls us into adventures (both sunny & snowy ones!), and we couldn’t be more excited about following Him into this one and inviting a team to take it with us…