Just like many others, this has been a post thats been on my heart for a while – but one I’ve struggled to put into words.
I get asked continually…
“Isn’t Uganda a dangerous place to travel, especially right now with all thats going on in the world?”
“aren’t you afraid to take your child to a place like that?”
“Are you not aware of what just happened in Kenya? And what about ISIS?”
“How can you leave your youngest behind?”
I could list a million more questions that I get asked… but I’ll refrain for now. Let me go ahead and get this out… YES, I am fully aware of what is going on around the world. I am fully knowledgeable of the Islamic groups, terrorist organizations and threats (all over the world). I am also completely aware of the dangers to travel anywhere in the world – especially Africa.
But… and there is a big “but”… God NEVER called ANY OF US to sit in the midst of our comfort zones and quietly hide behind the comforts of our own homes.
The Bible is clear when Jesus says, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” – Luke 9:23
David Platt even talks about this in his latest book, Counter Culture…
“It is not possible to love the poor & live in unabated luxury. It is not possible to care for the orphan and the widow without major implications for the makeup of your family. It is not possible to confess gospel convictions about marriage and sexuality without being criticized. It is not possible to profess gospel truth at all and remain popular among all.”
The reality is, what we are doing is not popular amongst our peers. Richard and I have quickly learned that not much of what we do is popular or even supported by many. But we are also learning that what we are doing is what God has called us to do. Doing missions in another country is not something ‘I’ decided to do on my own. It has been a constant work in my heart by the Lord! Tugging at me, burdening my heart and creating in me a desire that only He can create!
A tough verse, but true indeed is…
“I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. And a person’s enemies will be those of his own household. Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.” – Matthew 10:35-37
I am to follow Christ. The reality is, it is often difficult to think of loving Christ above all else. Obviously I love the Lord with all my heart. But when you factor your children or your spouse into the mix… it can become a heart battle! (just keeping it real) Therefore, missions is HARD. Leaving one or any of my children behind is hard. Taking a child to a part of the world where tragedy and persecution is happening is hard. But I have to trust in God that this is what He has called us to and this is where He has called my family to serve.
Its easy to sit here in South Carolina, in a comfortable town, where people are friendly, welcoming and lets be honest, the Bible-belt of the South and never leave this place because of fear.
Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. – Psalm 23:4
And all of Chapter 23, because oh how comforting it is to walk knowing the Lord is leading and guiding me.
The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
3 he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
for his name’s sake.
4 Even though I walk
through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
5 You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
6 Surely your goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord
So yes, is it scary? Absolutely. Knowing we are traveling across the world where so much is happening and Christians are being persecuted! But I MUST cling to the truth that He has given to me, and I must GO and serve and pour out the gospel to the Nations! I must let go of the fear I am holding inside, and surrender it to the Lord for He has already gone before me!
In June, our family will travel. We will love on babies, share the gospel and pray that the Lord will use our family in greater ways for His ultimate purpose! Please continue praying for us as we seek the Lord! Pray for Annalise as we leave her behind and for all of those serving to love on her while we are away! Pray that God will use even the littlest of hearts, and teach Katherine Grace to love the least of these! And lastly, pray that lives will be reached and give us opportunities to share the gospel.
Thank you so much for your continued prayers, encouragement and love to our family through financial support and just loving us!
Until then… Brantley