We apologize for the delay in posting part 2.... wow, time is just flying at lightning speed right now!
With all the excitement of the Kindle Fire... If you missed part 1, which was about Christi's time serving in the Dominican Republic, be sure you click here and read that first!
You'll definitely want to read about this sweet little guy -
Now for PART TWO:
So, we left off at Dan saying, "that's great babe, my part is to be a sender". In all honesty, Dan had never really considered overseas mission work, full time or part time... and Christi hadn't either until her trip to the DR.
Upon returning, I, Christi went through a period of really wrestling with the Lord... wondering how HE could burden her heart so heavily to serve the people of the Dominican Republic BUT at the same time make it so clear that now was not HIS timing! Dan was absolutely instrumental in helping me to process all that I had been through and encouraged me to continue to seek the Lord's timing and purpose.
We soon found ourselves engaged (insert excitement here), getting married, buying a home, going back to college, and working full time. Life, as it is now, was flying by!
The Lord soon led us to send Christi back to college at Lincoln Christian University, which we were thrilled about. At the same time, because of the intense program I was enrolled in, we knew this meant that I most likely would not be serving overseas any time soon... which saddened our hearts, but we knew the Lord had other plans!
LCU was a wonderful place where we were both challenged to dig deeper into God's Word and use our gifts to further the Kingdom. In many ways although he wasn't enrolled, Dan was soaking up all that I was learning. While we were serving in many ways, we had grown comfortable and were more willing to serve where and when it was most convenient for us, not really being bold in the name of Jesus!
As we neared graduation time, we again both felt the Lord calling me to serve the vulnerable overseas. We asked the Lord to show us where HE would have me serve and He led me to a trip to Honduras (July 2009). A week before I was planning to leave for Honduras, the trip was postponed due to political unrest. I was given the option to go to Guatemala or wait until the following year to go to Honduras. As we prayed about this decision, it was Dan that sensed the Lord was leading me to Guatemala. I vividly recall struggling with this decision and Dan telling me that this may be God's plan all along, for me to serve in Guatemala... and that if I felt like Honduras was still in the Lord's will, I could go both places.
We NOW know that God wanted me to go on the Guatemala trip! THIS TRIP CHANGED OUR LIVES!
The first photo is Milagra- a precious little girl found in a dumpster and the 2nd is Yulisa- a sweet little girl with a big heart that was attached to my hip!
As God would have it, right after I applied to go to Honduras, we were sensing that the Lord was prompting me to serve in a ministry full-time... and I was THRILLED to leave corporate America! For the last year or so at LCU, we were researching ministries where I could serve, specifically in orphan care or adoption, based in the states. As we came across many opportunities, God seemed to shut the door for each one. We continued to pray, research, and surrender this to the Lord and HIS timing!
Summer of 2009 is fast approaching and while we are thrilled for me to serve in Guatemala, we are very uneasy about my current job. I shared my heart and desire to serve in an orphan care ministry with a friend who mentions Lifesong for Orphans AND tells me that Lifesong is LOCAL! WHAT?!?!!? Do y'all know about this ministry? INCREDIBLE!
I spent that evening into the wee hours of the night scouring every inch of the Lifesong website and finding myself more and more drawn to this ministry! I go to work the next day and CAN'T concentrate... AT ALL! Eventually I leave early, drive straight home, and call the folks at Lifesong. If any of you know the director, he's a busy man... can be very hard to get ahold of. Not this day! After a brief conversation with the sweet office manager, I was transferred to the director, Andy.
The conversation went something like this, "Hi. I'm some random girl you don't know. I have no experience serving in orphan care or adoption. BUT, here's my heart... and I really feel like the Lord is orchestrating something here!" He was so gracious to share more about Lifesong, talk about how small the staff is, and share that he wasn't sure they could afford to hire anyone, but would look into it. I, without talking to my husband, blurt out something along the lines of, "I don't really care what the pay is... I just want to serve with y'all".... that may not have been the smartest thing to say considering we were a young couple with college debt trying make ends meet. However, we were both completely at peace with the conversation and KNEW that if God wanted us to serve at Lifesong (yes, us... not me) that HE would make a way for it to work.
I soon spent some time in the Lifesong office and asked them to consider allowing me to work part time until we both knew if it was a good fit. Within the first 2 weeks of being part time, I gave my notice at my corporate job and told Lifesong I could start full time as soon as they would take me! :) God was on the move and we couldn't have been more excited to be involved in all that HE was doing in and through the Lifesong ministry!
So, in the same month I start working at Lifesong for Orphans AND serve the orphan and the widow in Guatemala... God is doing a MAJOR work in our hearts.... stayed tuned for part 3!