One of my friends, who also has a blog, used to do this neat thing, 10 on the 10th. If my memory serves me, she’d post one picture from all 10 hours of her day on the 10th of each month. I loved it. I even tried it myself a few times on our personal family blog, finding it to be a great way to show a bit of what a normal day was like in our lives, which the grandparents seemed to love. Back then I had two adorable babies and an undying love for my camera, so there was never a lack of sweet photos. Well, times have changed. While I now have 3, instead of just 2 adorable babies, and I do still LOVE taking photographs, especially of them, it’s no longer as easy as it once was. Who has time for uploading photos (even though it’s probably tons easier and faster than it was back then)? Not to mention, who wants to see photos of unending laundry, or worse yet, pictures of us getting to be at the beach all day every day, which will just make you all insanely jealous?! 🙂 So, while I promise to give it my very best effort to do a true 10 on the 10th after we actually get to Africa, and maybe even a few times before, right now I’m just gonna give you the top ten things we’re up to lately both in regards to getting ready for Africa, and in life in general. Oh, and pardon all the references to numbers, but the numbers are what got me to thinking about this post in the first place.
1. Eleven days. Eleven days ago my mom, my otherwise healthy, vibrant, energizer-battery of a mom, had a brain bleed during sunday morning church. She should/could have died instantly, but she didn’t. There are at least a dozen good blog posts/sermons that could come from the last 11 days of our life, but I’ll just keep it short (for now) and say how overcome my family is with the greatness of our God. It seems that at least once a month or so, I hear of a family losing a child or a parent or a job. Families that love the Lord with all their hearts. Some who are so similar to Nate and I…headed to the mission field, 3 small kids, just starting their blog and beginning their own missionary journey, only to find one day in May that their 3 month old daughter stopped breathing at the sitter’s and is no longer living. Other friends who moved to Africa to do missionary medicine, only to have a brain tumor take their 1 year-old daughter’s life just a month after arriving in Kenya. It boggles our finite human minds. I’ve wrestled with trying to understand the ways/thoughts of God. Sometimes I can even try to explain it to myself, putting most of the blame on the simple cause and effect of sin entering the world long ago. But though I try, what is still so unexplainable to me, is God’s grace. My Dad put it best as he recounted all the miracles we experienced over a few days last week. He said, “Beck, I can understand the miracles. I know God and believe He still does miracles every day. What I just can’t understand, is why Us? Why would he do it for us?” I was asking myself that very question, yet I still had no answer for Dad, other than grace. Amazing grace. We could have been planning a funeral. We could have been wondering “why us?” from the other side of things. We can rest again in knowing that “His ways are not our ways, neither are His thoughts our thoughts.” So we stop asking questions and celebrate that Granny K is still with us. That she knows us, can speak to us, can see us (even though her vision was affected). May we praise Him always, no matter which side of the “why us” we are standing on.
2. 12 Families. At last count, during the week of my mom’s hospitalization, there were at least 12 families that helped us by happily caring for our 3 children for hours on end. This doesn’t even include the dozens of people who visited us all in the hospital, brought food
and the hundreds that prayed. This is simply the 12 families who loved on and fed our children, giving us the time to be with Mom and Dad. I kept saying I could do a pretty convincing commercial, not just for Freedom Baptist Church, but for the Church in general. This is the Body at work and it’s always beautiful to be a part of it, but even more so when you are the one in need. We are humbled, but grateful to be a part of such a wonderful plan.
3. 2 Praying Friends. I know I said hundreds of people were praying for our family this past week, but right now I just want to talk about two of them who prayed with and for me in the heat of the battle on the sunday Mom had the bleed. The first prayer had such a supernatural calming effect on me that if there’d been video footage of that moment in time, we’d have the physical working of the Holy Spirit caught on camera. At the sound of my friend’s voice on the other end of the phone, I lost it. I was beside myself, ugly crying, hardly breathing, scared-to-death. She immediately began praying the Truths of God’s Word over me over the phone and I instantly became still. Instantly. No short post-sobbing gasps. Just peace. The second prayer was some time later, and different from the first, but still gave me such a peace-that-passes-understanding. My friend reminded me that she wasn’t just sending happy thoughts my way, but because of Jesus we get to boldly come before almighty God and ask Him to do what only He has the power to do. To heal. To comfort. To give peace. I’m reminded of Ephesians 3:16, “I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being.” There is power in the name Jesus, in the truths of His Word and in prayer. Thank you for praying, friends. And thank you, Lord, for leading me to praying friends.
4. July 10th! 1 Year Till We leave! Nate asked me if I knew what today was, and as I ran through the list of important dates, I certainly wasn’t thinking about this one. Excited to report though that one year from today we will be boarding that long flight from ATL to Nairobi to begin orientation with AIM!
5. We have 74 official Prayer Partners who have pledged to pray for us weekly! We need at least 100 before we leave, but with 74 already praying, we’re pretty sure getting 26 more shouldn’t be too hard. 🙂
6. 1st mailing complete! We sent out our first Newsletter and prayer cards to every address we had and some we thought we had. If you didn’t get one in the mail, let us know and we’ll happily send you one.
7. God has already given us many financial partners. With 11 months left to raise our support, we already have 15% of our monthly support and 7% of our outgoing fund accounted for! This is beyond humbling and so very exciting to find pledge cards in envelopes hiding in between the bills and junk mail to which we have grown accustomed. It will never get old to see pledge cards for us with the names of dear friends who truly believe in the work we are doing. Who believe in us. Humbling and heartwarming to say the least.
8. We are knee deep in Summer time and loving every minute of it! Time with friends at the beach, the pool, the thunderstorms, the ice cream, the watermelon…and Kamp! We leave soon to visit friends/family in the midwest and to work/play for our second summer at Kanakuk’s K1 Kamp in Branson! Blessed. Beyond. Measure.
9. 16 guests in 17 days. We’d like to believe it’s strictly their love for our family, but we’re pretty sure our close proximity to the ocean may have a little something to do with our increase in houseguests during the summer months! It sounds crazy to most people, and we will be dead tired on day 18, but we are so excited to have some of our very best friends on the planet staying in our home very soon! We’re just hoping our move to the Serengeti will have the same appeal.
10. The 411. Many people keep asking, “What’s next?” The answer is this: partnership development, a couple of conferences and a whole lot of prayer. We will spend the next 11 months building a team (see my previous post on Tired Hands). We will do this by speaking at churches and to groups, in the hopes that those who hear about our ministry and feel led to do so, will partner with us both financially and in prayer. We must raise 100% of our monthly and outgoing support by June 2015 in order to move to Africa. If you’d be interested in having us speak at your church or to a group, let us know. We love talking about AIM and Kijabe Hospital. We will also spend quite a bit of time preparing ourselves for the mission field by listening to required online lecture series, doing some required reading, attending medical mission conferences and by completing various training modules assigned by AIM.
Thanks for following our journey.
Becky (For all the Cooks)