Nine days until Asia. Five years since our last trip there. We have gotten entirely too comfortable here, and we can’t wait to be reminded of what life is like outside of this bubble we live in.
Last time we went we weren’t parents, and the responsibilities we left behind weren’t quite so large. This time has involved a lot more preparation. One of the tasks we had to see to was documenting our wishes, should something awful happen and we don’t return. It seems morbid, I know, but its been irresponsible of us not to have this done already.
We didn’t get around to visiting or paying a lawyer, but we’ve drawn up an at least legally defensible document, articulating the things we feel are important. Nic found this an emotional process — I thought it was kind of fun. It was like creating a “Plan B” that covers a life time!
One of the biggest challenges was to distill the most important things we want our kids to learn into a couple paragraphs of instructions and arrangements. Every major decision we make as parents, and many of the minor day-to-day ones, is about instilling values in Benjamin and Abigail that we have found to be somewhat rare, but so incredibly important…
First and foremost, we want our kids to know Jesus. We want them to know that Christianity is about a relationship with the God of all creation, who shaped them, loves them, died and rose again for them, and has a plan for their little lives that is more exciting, more amazing, and more wonderful than they could ever find on their own. (Jeremiah 29:11)
We want them to know, at a minimum, what His book, the Bible, and especially the New Testatment, teaches about how to live a healthy, compassionate, generous and righteous life. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
We want them to understand that each and every child of God is instructed to be involved in Going. That as Christians we have a responsibility not just to our family, or our community, but to the lost and the hurting and the broken around the world. (Matthew 28:16-20)
We want them to experience the incredible adventure of Going, so that whether God calls them to be Goers or Senders, they will know the wonderous uncertainty and trembling, awstruck joy of obeying His call into the unknown and seeing how His mighty power moves mountains, lights the darkness, and changes lives from the inside out. (Romans 1:20)
We want them to know that if you’re comfortable, you’re not growing. If life is too easy, then you’re not doing enough. If your bank account is full, then you’re not giving enough. If travel means only a vacation, then you’re not seeing the world the way God does. That if you settle for the world’s best, then you miss God’s best and your life is empty. (Matthew 4:4)
It is with much wrestling that we’ve accepted that God has us in a season of rest. (Psalm 46:10) We confess that we’re still learning how to do that. We don’t know exactly what it is we’re supposed to do here, except to teach and equip our kids, and obey His day-to-day instructions. If we knew what came next, we wouldn’t be living on faith, so we are grateful for the wonderful blessings God has given us right now.
But He knows that we’d chose two weeks in Asia amongst His missionaries, than two weeks here, any time of the year. Next time we go, we’ll bring the kids. (Hebrews 11:13-16)