Here he is unloading his luggage at the airport
I had to get one last pic!
As I type write now, Rick is flying across the Atlantic Ocean. I am sad to not be with him, but see my part in this trip as holding down the fort here. Don't get me wrong, I was desperate to go with him, but it just wasn't possible this time. It is not the first time he has gone without me. Actually, this is at least his 4th trip without me. It may be more. My brain can't calculate that for sure right now.
Most of you know that we don't have family that live nearby, but even in the last week, I have been reminded of the amazing community that God has provided for us. I have friends, new and old, that God has placed in my life over the last 12 years. Many have said to me that I can call if we need anything, and you know what, they really mean it. Just today, I found out that our life group of friends that we have been journeying with for a year and a half are going to bring some meals to help me out. I can't even express how much that means to me. So many people near and far are praying for us and this ministry. Even as I am typing, I got a text from a dear friend saying that she is praying for us.
That really is what life and ministry are all about. We come together as the body of Christ to love each other and reach beyond ourselves to show that love to those that don't know the Lord. That is what we hope Beyond Survival will be, a community of people with one heart, one mind, and one desire to reach out to those in Swaziland. I love the words of James 1:27
"Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world."
I am reminded of how God put Africa on my heart. It was April/May 2006. Rick's dad had died 2 months earlier. It had been a very difficult year for our family. Rick was on a vision trip to Norway with other leaders from our church to meet with church planters when literally, out of nowhere, God began laying Africa on my heart. I specifically began learning about the children called the "Nightwalkers" who had to walk miles each day to be fenced in at night so that they would not be kidnapped and raped, if they were girls, or turned into boy soldiers, if they were boys. The phrase that God used to grip my heart was, "These moms have the same hopes and dreams for their children that you have for yours, but they do not have the opportunities you have." That phrase kept going over and over in my mind haunting me to a reality that I had no idea existed. It was at that moment, I knew I must do something.
When we began this journey that became Beyond Survival, we did not even have adoption on our radar. That was a work that God did in our hearts 2 years later. Little did I know that God had that in mind all along. The really cool part is how God worked to make Isaiah's and Laila's story one in which He could be glorified and one where they would know without a doubt that God had His Hand on their lives from the very beginning. While I was thinking of those children and feeling this deep urgency to do something, Isaiah was conceived. It was in that timeframe of April/May 2006 that God was knitting and forming Isaiah's little body in his Swazi Mama's womb. That brings chills to me every time I think about it. It is just one more piece to this puzzle that God is still completing in our lives.
If you would like to keep up with updates from Rick's trip, go to our Beyond Survival Facebook Page and like it. His internet access will be sporadic at best, but he is hoping to post as much as he has accessibility. I don't know about you, but I can't wait to hear what God is going to do!!