“What’s ‘Ten Green Feet’?” you ask. Allow me to explain…
“Ten” – So I’ll tackle the easy part first. The ten feet simply represent our family. We thought of the name last fall when we were pregnant with Adie, our third child. While the Lord called her home last Oct, He blessed us with another little girl whose arrival we eagerly anticipate this Sep. So, while we’ll be a family of six, only ten of our feet will make the trek to foreign lands while the other two little ones get a head start learning the heavenly chorus, “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power for ever and ever.” (Revelation 5:13, NIV)
“Green” – This is multifaceted:
- Merriam-Webster defines green as:
- “Fresh, New”: we often associate the term green with life. It is our prayer that as we place our trust and full confidence in the Lord we would experience the blessing spoken through the prophet, Jeremiah (Jeremiah 17:8)
“They will be like a tree planted by the water
that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes;
its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought
and never fails to bear fruit.”
- “Deficient in training, knowledge, or experience <green recruits>; not fully qualified for or experienced in a particular function”: we recognize the Lord has been preparing us for this experience over the entire course of our lives. However, we know some of the toughest training lies yet before us. The first step in equipping ourselves for this service will be a year at NTM’s Missionary Training Center in Roach, MO, starting Aug 2014 and graduating (Lord willing) in May 2015. From there we’ll move on to NTM Aviation’s headquarters in McNeal, AZ for roughly 12 months as we learn the specifics of their aircraft maintenance and management practices. Once assigned to a position in the field we’ll undergo language training in-country to help make us more effective in our work and allow us to build relationships with and engage the nationals. We pray we will never rest from our learning but will have confidence through Christ before God, as Paul wrote to the Corinthians (2 Corinthians 3:5&6), “Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God. He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant…”
“Feet” – So many verses speak to our feet, whether in reference to our sure footing on the solid ground of God’s Word, or the steps we take along the path the Father desires for us. Here are a couple key verses for our family:
- With respect to God’s provision and protection:
- Regarding the work we are privileged to participate in:
“Green Feet” – Put together, these two words have yet even greater meaning to our family. Imie’s first job upon entering the Air Force in 2001 was a combat search and rescue (CSAR) helicopter mechanic on HH-60G “Pavehawks.” Dating back to Vietnam, rescue units have been affectionately referred to as the “Jolly Greens.” Their association with the Jolly Green Giant was derived from the nickname for the HH-3 and later HH-53 helicopters which the units flew. If ever you see the small, iconic logo of two green footprints there’s a good chance the person behind it is or was in the rescue family.
The rescue motto speaks to the selflessness of its mission and the value of each individual they are tasked to search for, “These things we do that others may live.” It is also a beautiful summary of the Christian life. In its simple form, having an eternal perspective, everything we do, every day of our lives should be focused on 1) having a right relationship with God ourselves and 2) enabling others to also have a right relationship with God. Doesn’t matter if we’re blue collar or white collar. Doesn’t make a difference if we’re a freelancing entrepreneur or a union card carrying factory worker, a stay at home mom or a public servant, a military member or a non-profit volunteer. Wherever we are, we have the same responsibility as followers of Christ, namely, to “go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I [Christ] have commanded you.” Matthew 28:19&20 Whether we minister to the family next door, the cashier at the grocery store, a fellow student at school, or trek deep into jungles in search of unreached tribal groups, our mission is the same as the Navigator’s would say, to “Know Christ and to make Him known.”
We invite you to walk this exciting trail with us. While we were once dedicated to a mission which merely sustained men’s lives here on earth, these things we do now are so they might also have eternal life and have it abundantly. To God be the glory…