PRAYER: We continue to pray daily about the "vision", as Tony has come to call it. I guess it is. God does that. Gives you an idea, lays something on your heart, puts something in your mind, gives you a dream, or just gives you an all-consuming passion for something. A vision. It is so neat to hear my husband, who used to persecute me for my faith, pray every day about serving the Lord with his LIFE. It's just awe-inspiring to me. Following God is so not boring. Except when you're washing the dishes. That's boring.
BREAKING THE NEWS: My mom still doesn't know about our plans. She's the only one! We went for a visit over a month ago to tell her face to face, but it was clearly not the right time. Her husband (my stepfather) had been declining physically, and she was barely hanging in there as his full-time nurse. I just couldn't bring myself to tell her. The timing was wrong and way off. A week later my stepfather died. :( They were married 25 years. I definately can not tell her now! Not yet. She needs time. So, for now, we're just praying for her, praying for the right time, and praying that, in the meantime, no little birdies accidentally leak the news. It's sweet when we ask the kids who they would like to pray for and they say, "Mom-mom".
MISSIONS ORGANIZATIONS: We are looking at the whole "missions organization" thing again. In talking to people, going with an "umbrella" has its benefits. So we're researching it some more. We don't read where it's a biblical requirement to serve Jesus, but we will certainly go with an umbrella if that is what is best. We would also love to go with the support of our home church, so Tony is in the process right now of sharing our plans with them. However it works out is fine with us, all we know is that God has made His plans clear, so we are walking forward. The details are in the Lord's hands, the best and most safe place they can be.
PEOPLE'S REACTIONS: It's been funny to see people's reactions. At first, it wasn't funny, but kind of discouraging. You always want people to be as excited for you as you are. That, of course, is not always the case. It does seem crazy. It is crazy. It was crazy when we took our young kids to Ecuador to do missions alongside us, where there just happpened to be an active volcano spewing ash all over the place. Who does that? Not many people, I guess. The reaction was the same back then. Not everyone reacts hesitantly, and no one says anything, but you can tell when the eyes momentarily bulge and a look of shock, then disbelief, then concern, sweeps over their face. It's still just so weird to me that some Christians think forsaking all to follow Christ is crazy or WEIRD. I never get used to that. And hope I don't.
here are the kids playing underneath the active volcano with their gas/ash masks on
BUT, many people have been very encouraging. I especially appreciate this. Tony doesn't seem to be affected so much from people's reactions, but he's a guy. And a natural born leader. He does what he needs to do regardless of what anybody says. That's what leaders tend to do - that's part of what makes them leaders. Regardless of the reactions we get, whether good or bad, nonetheless, the commands of Jesus still stand: go into all the world, preach the Gospel, feed the hungry, clothe the naked, visit the fatherless, visit those in prison, suffer little children to come unto Me, love your neighbor, etc., etc., etc.,... well, you know them.
TRAINING/EVANGELISM: Tony has been evangelizing as he is able, which isn't all that much when you have a job working with the same two or three guys all the time. Precisely why I encourage him to try not to think he "has to" get a job in Argentina (although he is willing to do this). It's leaves little time for anything else. The other week he took the kids into town to pass out invitations to the Spanish church to as many Latinos as they could find. They knocked on doors, handed out tracts, and talked to every Latin person they saw. Which seems to be a lot lately down on Main Street. Tony is one of those people that has no fear of man. He'll talk to anyone, and he does it so naturally.
SUPPORT/PROVISION: And, since we can't do all this without MONEY, I've begun planning a "Moving to Patagonia" Yard Sale. We have to get rid of a lot of STUFF. Whether we leave the rest in storage or take it with us remains to be seen, but I just can't believe we actually have to downsize after 9 years in the States. We started with our underwear in cardboard boxes because we didn't have furniture! All the proceeds will probably be put towards plane tickets or supplies. Also going to do a Fundraiser meal at some point, as well. Mostly just sharing with people one on one and spreading the word for now.
DEPARTURE DATE: Many people ask WHEN we're leaving. At the earliest, next Fall (their Spring). At the latest, when the baby is 4 or 5. Although I don't see us leaving that late, you never know.
ON THE HOME FRONT: More of the same: homeschooling, preparing meals, washing dishes, washing clothes, changing diapers, lots of Bible study... the occassional fun field trip. In addition to doing a lot of research regarding the Big Move, I've been praying to just NOT LOSE FOCUS. For both of us. It's so easy, especially for me (since I grew up to be an "independent woman of the '90s", not to "waste" my life staying home with kids) to forget that my first God-given ministry is to my husband and my children. If I fail here, I fail (this is my opinion and conviction). It doesn't matter how many people we reach for Christ, if we don't reach your own family first, our own children that God has given us, we've failed. If we lose our own kids for "the ministry" or "the call", we lose. It is very easy, and a subtle slip, to start putting "ministry" or your perceived "calling" ahead of the one you've already been given: your own family. That is the temptation when I think about living in Argentina as missionaries, where the need is SO great. I pray that God always helps me, helps us, to always keep our priorities straight.
I think that's all for now.
PS - posted another pic on Tony's Adoption Story :)