Do you ever have moments where you just feel like you are relishing in the blessings of a good, good God?
It may be a moment when you are in church, singing a worship song, and simply aware of His presence. Or maybe it’s when you are watching a baby, awestruck of the complexity and beauty of life.
Well, I feel like I had a whole weekend of those kind of moments.
Chandler and I had the absolute privilege of flying out to Southern California to be a part of the GO Fund Vision Dinner. By God’s grace we were privileged to be recipients of the GO Fund, an education loan repayment program for missionaries who are heading over seas. The Vision Dinner is held each year to raise money to help send missionaries overseas debt free. What an amazing experience to be part of such an event. The goal for GO Fund is to be able to send 500 missionaries overseas by 2020! With student debt being at an all-time high, what an amazing ministry this is!
So, as you know we have 3 kids, ages 4, 2 & 1, so as you can guess its non-stop ALL. THE. TIME. Not to mention we are getting ready to move to Africa in 3 months, so that just cranks up the craziness by about 10 notches!
Let’s just say getting away for a few days in and of itself was amazing!
So there was a moment when I was on the plane and I just sat there doing nothing. Nothing. I wasn’t trying to calm a fussy baby, scrounging though a diaper bag looking for a snack, cleaning up a spill…you get the picture. And it sunk in that I was on my way to California with just my husband. What a treat! We were blessed to have our moms come to our house to tag-team our kids. Not to mention the fact that they got to make memories before we leave for Tanzania in August!
Then there was the moment shortly after arriving in Los Angeles when I could see the coastline and I just sat admiring the beauty of the other side of my country, a place I had never been before.
And of course I was in awe as I sat waiting in the hotel lobby and I began to see volunteer after volunteer pouring in to help get ready for the Vision Dinner. I had NO clue how many people believed in and were behind missionaries heading overseas without the heavy weight of student debt.
And then there was that moment I was holding back tears when I ran out to hug my friend Emily, who I was in training with in Missouri. She and her family are missionaries in Papua New Guinea, but had to come home for some medical treatment. Honestly, when I said goodbye to my friends in Missiouri at the end of our training I never thought I’d see some of them again seeing that we were all about to be scattered abroad. So hugging my sweet friend’s neck was an unexpected blessing.
About an hour later hundreds of people filed through the hotel doors. They were there because of people like Chandler and I. People they wanted to see GO to the Nations. Talk about humbling. Talk about relishing in the blessings of a good, good God.
Are we deserving of any of this?
No. No we are not.
But, for whatever reason, my God chose to pour out His love on me throughout that whole weekend.
More blessings included being able to meet amazing people around our table at dinner that night, attending church where we knew a handful of people whom we’d met the night before, seeing Chandler’s sister, Candace (who we got to share a delicious meal of In and Out burgers with), hanging out with Luke, the executive director of GO Fund, and his wife Allison on the way to the airport, as well as encouraging a man from East Asia on the plane ride home who is a believer but was struggling majorly with shame.
God, you are so gracious and kind. Thank you for an amazing weekend where we had the privilege of seeing you at work in our lives and in the lives of those around us.
And thank YOU for taking the time to read about our fun adventure to California and back. You mean so much to us! Please be praying for us as we begin final preparations to leave for Tanzania at the beginning of August.
Together Making Him Known,
Jamie (for the Sharpes)