We are currently in Hampton, VA right now doing a few weeks of Partnership Development. I feel that God is truly blessing our time here, however, I think I would venture to say that this has been our hardest trip yet!
So far we have broken a glass and a toilet at Chandler’s grandparents home, had two kids at the urgent care with ear infections, some sleepless nights, some tears, and some moments of wanting to give up and go home! Can I just tell you that it’s tough parenting in other peoples homes. I begin feeling like I am in a fishbowl and everyone is watching me and my kids. When they act out and throw tantrums or won’t stop crying I tend to put so much pressure on myself to make them behave. It’s hard. Sometimes PD just stinks.
This is not a post to whine and complain (no, I get enough of that from our 3 year old!), but rather to share the real life struggles that God allows as we prepare for Tanzania. I think it is easy to think that following Christ makes life easier. Well, I am not finding that to be true. In fact it’s harder, however, the peace that I have in knowing my life is held in my Father’s hands far outweighs a life of ease. I know He is with me and He is teaching me to be more like Him. This verse came to mind as I was pondering all of this…
“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” -John 16:33
Jesus didn’t promise that this life would be easy, but He did promise us peace and also that He has overcome the world. More than ever, I am so thankful that HE has overcome. He has and will always overcome my weakness, my failures, my lack of trust, my lack of patience with my kids, and the list could continue. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. Even in the midst of the craziness. Even when I don’t think I can do another night in someone else’s home I am reminded that it. is. worth. it. Jesus has called us to this and He will give us what we need to keep going! There are men, women and children in Tanzania who are waiting for hope and we are blessed to be a part of introducing them to the only ONE who can give hope.
Yes, this trip has been hard, but at the same time it has been so good (it’s funny how hard and good often go together). We have been blessed with 5 meetings so far and at least 3 or 4 more this week! We have a goal of reaching 40% of our monthly support level by the end of August and it will be neat to see if and how God chooses to do this! Praying that we will watch HIM do some mighty things this month.
In the midst of challenging and stretching times, we are also learning that we need to take time to be a family. It’s easy to get so caught up in meetings and phone calls and emails that we forget that we need to hang out and have fun! Yesterday we decided to go to Panera for dinner (our girls LOVE bagels, cream cheese and yogurt!) and to the park to run around and blow off some steam. It was fun just being together!
I pray that we will never forget that these three amazing kids whom we share life with are also are our ministry partners. I pray that they will feel that they are just as a part of this journey to Tanzania as we are! So thankful for them (even when it’s crazy and I want to pull my hair out!!!).