For next week take this “do what you can” step for your God-sized dream: Share about your favorite nonprofit organization. They are all God-sized dreams in action. How have they inspired you?
Friends, I just want to warn you that this turned into a novel. But, hey, if my dream is to write a book… Please read it anyway. Maybe it will change your life…I hope so. I know it changed mine.
It’s safe to say that my husband and I have a heart for other cultures, overseas ministry, and making a difference in the lives of people we meet.
We spent several years with an amazing organization, the Network of International Christian Schools. (NICS) During that time we were living in Bandung, Indonesia, and working at Bandung Alliance International School (BAIS); Tobin as the IT Director/Yearbook Teacher, and I taught mostly upper elementary with one, extremely memorable, year of teaching preschool/art/random math.
It was life-changing, to say the least, and opened our eyes to what truly experiencing another culture looks like. We loved Indonesia, and we also loved the people there; because when you live in another country that long, whether you plan on it or not, those people find a place in your heart. And sometimes occupy a large territory of it, too.
We stayed five years.
Therefore, I AM 5% Indonesia…and no one can take that from me. (However, if I live to be older than 100, I may need to reconfigure the percentage. )
Being part of NICS changed our lives…and lives are being changed all over the world. If you happen to be a teacher and are interested in overseas teaching, this is the organization to check out. There are twenty schools around the world in some amazing places.
And then we moved “home”…though, since living overseas, the word home is extremely relative.
We bought a house and are putting our roots down deep. I suppose things would look different if we didn’t have a family, but we do…and we want Mae to have a place to call home.
God has blessed us above and beyond what we could have dared to hope for…an amazing neighborhood and community, an incredible church, friends who are family and now a part of our hearts and lives forever.
But does that mean we’ll never go again?
There was a time in the last two plus years when I would have told you, Absolutely not; we’re here to stay. Forever. Probably with a theoretical foot stomp thrown in there because I’m like that. I look around me, and sometimes I just have to catch my breath because I’ve fallen in love with where we are. Pulling up those roots would tear up my heart, and I think I’ve always had it in my head that this is it.
And it really could be.
But God has a funny way of stirring a heart and reminding it that He’s got it all planned, and those plans are mapped out beautifully, according to what He knows is best for us. Not what we think we know.
He hasn’t called us to do anything else yet.
And He may not; so we stay and pour what we have into our lives here and now. I love this place and am incredibly thankful each and every day that we are blessed enough to call this place our home.
But I have to tell you a secret, one that made me literally weep all over the keyboard of my Macbook last week.
Lately, my heart’s been wondering…Could it be that we might go again?
I don’t know…I just don’t.
What I know is that I came across this.
I did not go looking for it. In fact, until last week, after Holley gave our assignment for this week, I’d never even heard of it.
I actually discovered it when a friend from Indonesia posted his sister’s blog on Facebook…she is a nurse for Mercy Ships Africa.
So, of course, I had to check out the website, which linked to a 60 Minutes special. (Which I’m going to post. Which you need to watch.)
I cried the entire way through it…all the while, letting more dreams take root in a corner of my ever-bleeding-for-someone heart. Because, of course, my husband and I don’t have medical degrees. Or plans to get them. Hey, it’s best to stay within your giftings.
But in browsing their website, I discovered something…or a few somethings.
First, people raise their kids on these ships. For a long time, we talked about how wonderful it would be to raise Maelie on the mission field. And there’s a school…school = teachers. I do love to teach.
But guess what? They also need a writer…someone to write publications for press, someone who can give a glimpse into this amazing ministry, someone who can love these people and share their stories.
Can someone please come to my house and attempt to calm down my ever-racing, I-want-to-do-this, heart?
And, lo and behold, they need IT . Folks, he’s good. If the guy can deal with Indo technology for half a decade and not lose his sanity, I’m pretty sure he could deal with it anywhere. Even on a floating vessel.
Those of you who know me will not be surprised that my ENFP brain couldn’t spin fast enough. Let’s go! Let’s go! it shouted…and potentially still IS shouting.
I may or may not have started packing our bags.
And I’ll admit to you that I had to cry this out for a few days before I came to the place of truth. That place that said something like, Mel, not now. Maybe someday, but not now. Ok, that voice was
most likely my husband.
It’s a truth I had to wrestle with…the one of joy in where He has us for now; the contentment of praying for His will and going if someday, He does say, Go; but staying if He says stay.
That wrestling ended up being good because a peace took over my heart, and I handed it to Him. I love that I can trust Him to show us if this might be in His plan…when it’s His plan. That day is not today…and it probably won’t be for several years. (Though He could definitely surprise us! Hello, Indonesia? Neither of us saw that one coming…)
But what I know is that I found myself completely fascinated, burdened, and stirred by this ministry that has somehow missed my radar for so long. It’s one where people are literally being the hands and feet of Jesus to some of the poorest of the poor…
Making an eternal difference.
All of the workers pay their way for the privilege of being part of what Mercy Ships does. These God-Sized dreamers are my new heroes.
Would you consider supporting someone who is part of this amazing ministry?
Friends? I think there might be another God-Sized dream taking root in my heart.
I have no idea what it looks like, but I can’t wait to watch.
And here’s the clip from 60 Minutes…the best 12 minutes you will spend this week. If for no other reason than simply having your eyes opened, will you watch it? I want to be honest and tell you that this news clip is somewhat graphic and difficult to watch…and they warn you of that on the video. I ask you to watch it anyway.
Thanks for stopping by today, friends! On Tuesdays I link up with my dreaming sisters at our sweet friend, Holley’s place. Will you join us and see what God is doing in some brave and beautiful hearts?