My God-Sized Dream: Another Dream?

For next week take this β€œdo 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… πŸ˜‰ 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. πŸ˜‰

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.

In reality, the chance to be part of NICS and BAIS was a dream come true, even if we didn’t know we were dreaming it at the time. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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. πŸ˜€ 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. πŸ˜‰

What I know is that I came across this.

Mercy Ships.

I did not go looking for it. In fact, until last week,Β 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. πŸ˜‰

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. πŸ˜‰

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. πŸ˜‰

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. πŸ˜‰Β 

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…

Loving people.

Saving lives.

Making an eternal difference.

All of the workers pay their way for the privilege of being part of what Mercy Ships does.Β These God-Sized dreamers are my new heroes.

Would you consider supporting someone who is part of this amazing ministry?

You can go here to do that.

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?

God-Sized Dreams



  1. I don’t watch 60 Minutes but I actually had seen this segment while passing thru channels! Your heart and mine are so similar. We are like magnets attracted to anything that emotes God instilled compassion to others. It is a blessing to have hearts like that, but also a burden, as we want to do it all and do it now! : ) I am glad you have established some roots, and Mae will grow up knowing how to be compassionate thanks to her parents, no matter where they serve the will of God. Enjoy the dreaming and scheming. Sometimes it is hard to wait on God, but half the battle is the preparing of your heart for the doing. I think you have that part down!

    • Oh, friend…I agree with the blessing/burden thing…I’ve hardly been able to think of anything else! But at the same time, even more today than yesterday, I am thankful for and content in this place and for where we are. We are really blessed…and I’m blessed to call you my friend, too. :)

  2. I can’t wait to get home to be able to watch the video this evening but I couldn’t wait to tell you how exciting this ministry sounds. I have never felt God calling me to serve outside my ‘home area’ but I love that God gives us all a heart for different people. I pray that God continues to prepare you as you wait for His timing. Have a blessed week.

    • It’s was so fun to read about the different passions God gives to others…no matter what they (we) are, He can still use us. Blessings to you, friend! Have a great week! :)

  3. I am so proud of you!! And will be praying for God’s direction in your life!

  4. Wow! Got tears in my eyes now! What an amazing ministry! I can’t believe I’ve never heard of it! Thank you for sharing it! And I can’t wait to ‘chat’ with you about it very shortly! :)

    • It was so fun to chat with you yesterday, friend…thanks for taking the time to watch the video and share a bit about it, too. You are a blessing. :) (((hugs)))

  5. Dear, dear Mel,
    Wow! Thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing about your previous missionary service and the place it has in your heart. I can see you there leaning over a group of children as you share the love of Jesus with them and teach them practical lessons for life. God bless you!!

    I had seen this 60 minutes piece awhile ago but this clip this morning with your words before it left me with a lump in my throat and joy in my heart for these special folks who choose to travel the oceans to heal those who otherwise would never be helped.

    I know dear one that the Lord has you in His grip and wherever and whenever He sends you in His name you will joyfully follow. You inspire me! Love you!

    • Oh, sweet friend, thank you for your kind words. I love that, as His children, we can trust Him to lead us and know He will always hold and protect us. I am so inspired by the men and women (and even the kids) who are part of this ministry…they are truly being Jesus to those who need him so desperately. It’s amazing. Love you, friend…many blessings!

  6. Oh sweet Mel – I just loved reading this and hearing your heart singing and shouting through the whole post. Praying for God’s dreams for your life and your heart for missions. Our mission field changes (boy don’t I know – at 12 I said I was committed to a mission field in Africa yet here I am ministering from a global energy company – maybe I’ll end up in Africa after all….). Love to you sweet sister, keep that shining tender heart.

    • Thank you for that, Gindi…you are so sweet. :) My mission field has definitely changed a few times, too…I’m thankful He always knows because I sure don’t! Blessings, friend! :)

  7. One of my good friends from high school spent three years on Mercy Ships (as a teacher then as a director of sorts). She absolutely loved it. The older I get the more I realize my concept of home is a very fluid thing. πŸ˜‰ Keep that tender heart!

    • That’s so great! :) Yep, I agree with the home thing…and maybe it’s because we both know where our true home is. It’s nice to have that place on earth but more important to know where we’re going. (It’s still hard for me, though!) Thank you for your sweet words, friend…blessings!

  8. I think I can make it official…you must be my long lost sister….at the very least, bloggy sister. I love your heart for missions and can so completely relate to that thing in you that has invested enough time in another country that it has become part of you and the longing to GO again. The tension between God’s timing and our longing is a challenging, stretching and character building one. Mercy Ships is an awesome org. I just love your post…and your love for coffee and the mission field. I literally hold my kids hands with one hand and a coffee cup in the other. So funny. Looking forward to see how this unfolds.

    • Thank you, friend! I’m good with being sisters…I never had one, and so I’ve “adopted” several over the years. πŸ˜‰ One of the things I struggle with most is desire vs. timing. And as much as I long to go, I do know that now just isn’t the time for so many reasons. When it is time (if there is a time when we should do this) He’ll show us…and that has to be good enough for now. And it is…even over the last few week, since all of this happened, He’s been giving me glimpses and reminders into why this season for us is so good. There are blessings everywhere, and focusing on those reasons to be thankful is the best thing for my heart. :) Thank you for your words, sweet friend!

  9. How awesome! Oh to be younger and in good health. What awesome “hands of God”! Thanks for sharing. Oh by the way, I love reading your words, they make me laugh, cry and they encourage me. Please continue with your God-sized dream to touch other lives as you have touched my sweet sister dreamer! Blessings and encouragement!

  10. Mel I just love you so much. I so identify with your heart. I think we were twins seperated at birth! I was blessed and moved by this.. and your willingness to go at any moment.. your heart for that. I will pray as you stay to.. until God says go! And I can’t wait till that moment! Thank you for sharing. I love reading every single sentance you write!

    • Oh, Jenn…seeing you here makes me smile. Thank you for your encouragement and sweet words. I love the dreams He’s planting in our hearts…can’t wait to see where He leads! Love you, friend! :)

  11. Oh Mel, I love you!!! Love your sweet heart! How awesome is this?? You know what’s funny, I had not heard of the group I wrote about (but have yet to post -ha!) either until last week…Honor Flight (I think I was living under a rock). I ended up volunteering for them on Sat. – and LOVING it!! God brings the exact right things into our lives at the exact right times!! He is so wise! I love that you turned it all over to Him. : )

    • I just heard of Honor Flight recently, too…within the last few months. I think it’s incredible…and SO awesome that you got to help out with it! So true with His timing…now to the trusting Him in all of it! Some days are easier than others, for sure. :) Thank you for your sweet encouragement…you are a blessing. Love you, friend! :)

  12. I had major Holy Spirit sized goosebumps the whole time I was reading your post. You’re going to do this, in God’s perfect timing. I know God has something AMAZING planned. So glad I can watch it all unfold :)

  13. I can’t wait to see what God does with your willingness to go and serve. Love it!

  14. Oh Mel, I am so floored by this post! I had never heard of Mercy Ships, but I loved the 60 Minute clip you posted! Amazing! And I can so relate, when something sparks my passion I’m ready to hit the floor running and pack my bags, but luckily my husband also keeps me grounded until God says “GO!” I love your willing heart and know that God is going to use you to change many lives :)

    • I joke that my husband is way too practical, but the truth is that he keeps me from floating away…probably on a ship. πŸ˜‰ It sounds like you can relate, friend! :) Thank you for your sweet words and encouragement…blessings, friend!

  15. You know that verse “We make our plans, but the Lord directs our steps?” I pray God will direct your steps. You never know, God surprises us all the time, I know He’s got big plans for you, and at least you have opened up yourself to the idea of moving again, that’s a good step, in case this is what He wants of you.
    I’m not good at waiting when I sense God is leading me somewhere, I want to go NOW! But He always makes me wait :( I know it’s for my own good, but it’s still hard. I can’t wait to hear what happens. You’d make a great teacher and writer for Mercy Ships!

    • I was thinking as I read what you shared that the place I should always be, every day, is open to His leading. I think, maybe, I lived in the stubborn place for too long…the one that said, “I won’t go again.” Maybe He’ll never call us to go again, but you’re right…I (we) need to be willing. And maybe that was why this last week happened the way it did. πŸ˜‰ But who knows? I’d love to be part of what Mercy Ships does someday! Blessings, sweet friend…hope you’re having a good week!

  16. Mel, my Mama spent two years with Mercy Ships, on the Anastasis, a ship of theirs that was retired some years ago. She doesn’t have medical training, but she was an activities director for the ship. She had an amazing experience! I am so glad you found Mercy Ships, and are encouraging people to support the ministry. The truly do life-changing, amazing work. Isn’t it exciting when God moves our hearts!! Love the idea of them needing teachers and writers!!!

    • I love hearing stories of people who have heard/seen, at least close-to, firsthand about the amazing work Mercy Ships does. I LOVE this…she must have some incredible stories! Thanks for sharing…blessings! :)

  17. OK, I am just now able to sit down and watch this video. Oh, my word. It’s amazing! I can see why it pulls at your beautiful heart. I am so glad you posted this. I pray that Jesus reveals clearly where He wants you right now, and until you get to take part in Mercy Ships:)

    • Thank you for your prayers, friend, and for the chat today…it made my day. :) You are always such an encouragement, and I’m thankful for you! Blessings!

  18. I absolutely LOVE what Mercy Ships does! I featured them this year on my Missions Monday series. LOVE hearing your heart for them friend. Blessings!

    • Thank you, friend! And, for some reason, I missed that you do a Missions Monday series…I’ll have to check it out! :) Blessings!

  19. You’re brave and courageous and bold to want to serve whenever and wherever God leads you. In believing that you’re being used in this moment to encourage me. And, obviously, others. Well done, friend.

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