I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. Philippians 1:3-6
This was a good week. Sometimes we have those. Most times actually. Although, when you are going through the hard weeks (see previous posts), the good ones are hard to remember. Last Monday started out with Michael and I sitting at home watching TV when Michael got a call from one of our students saying he had an extra ticket to the Duke v. FSU basketball game in Durham, NC on Wednesday night. Michael got off from listening to the voicemail and was quiet for a minute. He didn’t know I could hear the whole voicemail as he listened to it so I already knew what was going on. I knew he didn’t know how to ask me. And wasn’t he surprised when he told me and I said, “Sure. Definitely.” Going to the game meant he’d have to leave the next afternoon and wouldn’t be back for 2 days. 2 days alone with the 4 kids. This didn’t bother me however. First off I knew I couldn’t say no. If you read my “Honestly” post, you know how amazing my husband is. He pulls above and beyond his own weight around this place and consistently makes time for me to have “off-time.” Going to a basketball game at Duke has always been one of his dreams. I couldn’t let this one go. Also, I knew I wouldn’t really be alone. I quickly texted Theresa, one of the CCF girls I disciple and asked her if she wanted to come stay with me for 2 nights. In the 7 or so months that Theresa and I have been friends, she has quickly become one of the women closest to me. I love her deeply and am exhilirated by the way I see Jesus in her every day. Without even knowing why, she texted back: “Sure. I can do that.” She came over the next afternoon, helped me with dinner, diaper changes, bath, bedtime, etc. etc for 2 days. She woke up at 7am when she didn’t have to, washed poopy laundry (MP’s stomach hasn’t been feeling so hot), made the beds, washed dishes, and ran errands with me. We joked she was my loving wife for the week. Also during that time, atleast 3 other CCF girls volunteered their time to help me. I didn’t even have to cancel my time volunteering at the Pregnancy Center while Michael was gone.
If she’s reading this, she is probably blushing and saying it was no big deal. That’s just who she is. Theresa and so many others of our family and friends have truly become our “partners in the gospel.” The gospel message presents to those who accept it a picture of Jesus, the son of God who was sent to earth solely for the purpose of serving others, showing them what love truly is, teaching them of a loving God who desires relationship with them, and then dying a sacrificial death on the cross to save each of us from eternal damnation. Jesus asks us in Luke 9 to “take up your cross daily and follow me.” He commands us to live sacrificially and selflessly the way He did so that others may see Him in us and be moved by the Gospel to believe and put their trust in the God we serve. We believe that fostering/adopting is one of the ways God has called us to truly live the Gospel message out tangibly.
God asks each of us to live in the Gospel in different ways. Many people have told us what we are doing is “amazing, wonderful, great, etc. etc. etc” We merely see it as being obedient to what God asked of us. But, the cool part about it is that by us living the Gospel in this way, we have seen so many others living it in the way God has called them. Not everyone can take in 3 foster children. Our students at CCF, for one, cannot right now. But, they and so many others have stepped up in amazing ways to support us. Our friends, family and students have truly become our partners in the Gospel, living sacrificially to support us. We have students begging us to babysit, clean our house, or whatever else we need. We have friends who call and ask if they can just come over and play with the kids. I still have a garage full of donations that came both from people who love us and people who don’t even know us, but heard our story.
This weekend we had a birthday party for Baby Girl. I wanted to keep it semi-small so I pledged only to invite those who were either related to us or had taken a sincere interest in T since she’d arrived. Much to my surprise, the party was still not small. I watched as our friends and family celebrated this little girl they’d only known for 2 months. She recieved birthday cards which read “I am so glad you are part of my life.” As Michael blessed the food that morning and thanked God for the family and friends who love us and the kids so deeply, I teared up thinking of the way people have surrounded us through this.
I can barely go anywhere without people asking us how the kids are doing. How are we doing? Do we need anything? I am so thankful that God did not ask us to do this alone. Not only is He with us each step of the way but He has surrounded us with His people who have truly become our Partners in the Gospel. Thank you to each of you for walking with us in this “from the first day until now.” We thank our God every time we remember you.