Sunday, October 27, 2013

Where it All Began, part 1

Sunset in Haiti

 

People always ask what led us to move to Haiti.  They are especially intrigued why a family of 6 would move here for up to 5 years, and longer if God leads.  The story is long...much longer than anyone truly has time to listen to in one setting.  So, I will begin writing it here.  Maybe it will inspire someone else.




For me (Cathi), the journey to missions began long ago.  As a young girl, I remember my favorite Sundays at church very well.  I always loved the weeks that we had a missionary visiting.  We would hear their stories from far-off places and pray for them.  Since my dad was the senior pastor, we often housed them while they were in town.  This gave our family more direct access to ask questions and learn from them.  It was such a joy as missionaries returned multiple times over the years.  I absolutely loved these times!

The beauty of Haiti
Additionally, my parents had a piggy bank for missions.  Every dime they got went directly into the piggy bank.  Since this was in the days of cash/check only, a LOT more change went through their fingers.  At the end of the year, our church always did an offering for missionaries.  My parents would empty out this piggy bank of dimes onto the table.  Our entire family helped count and roll the dimes and it always amazed me how something so small could add up to such a large sum of money!  Every dime went to Lottie Moon Missions. 

Sunrise over the mountain

These things started to instill an appreciation for missions and a heart for the world around us when I was very young.  I remember being enamored with the stories of missionaries, and always wondering when the next one would come through with their stories, pictures, and goods from the country they were ministering in.  It also still amazes me (maybe even moreso now) that the missionaries who visited regularly brought little gifts for each of the kids in my family.  That meant so much to me!

As I look back on this, I see how God used the faithfulness of my parents to mold my heart.  By the age of 6 or 7, I knew there was a world beyond the USA, and I was excited about it! I knew there were people who had never heard the name of Jesus, and that missionaries were desperately needed.  My heart had just started to take shape for the world beyond America.

Sandra, our 7 year-old, with a heart of gold for Haiti!
My challenge to all adults: do not take lightly what a child's heart for missions & the world can become!


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