Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Into the World

     Today I want to share about my sister-in-law, her husband, their daughter, and what they are about to do. In about a day-they will be traveling far from home to go help care for and teach children in an orphanage in another country. This is another amazing reality to me because of the compassion and courage they are using to prompt their choices. I am always awestruck when people are willing to leave the comfort of the security of home to go and help others, especially children. I have asked them to share about their journey, so the following is what they have to say about it.
     I first asked my sister-in-law, Mindy, to give some background on herself and explain where they are going and what this trip is about.
     Mindy:I have my BA in Cross Cultural Studies. I currently teach elementary music in two rural (two roomed) schoolhouses, grade k-8. I enjoy music, writing, reading, and photography. My goal/dream is to work full time with people from other cultures and to share the love of Jesus with them.
Mindy teaches piano lessons, teaches music in schools, is a worship/music minister/leader, has 4 growing children, and is a volunteer in more groups and activities than I can count. She will be bringing a lot of experience in caring and teaching children with her when she goes to the orphanage.
Mindy:We are going to an orphanage in San Marcos, Guatemala. We'll be there for one week. We leave on October 15th. We will be doing light construction, tiling, painting, and playing with the kids. I may have the opportunity to do some music activities with the kids.
Not only will they be caring for and teaching the kids-they will be doing practical, physical work to help make the day to day lives of the children better.
Mindy:We are going on this trip because our hearts are on the mission field. We have wanted to go on a missions trip for a very long time. We majored in missions in college with the intention of becoming full time missionaries. That opportunity hasn't yet presented itself, so for now, we are going on short term trips. We love kids and are very excited about going to work at an orphanage.
Both Mindy and her husband Mark are teachers at heart, they will be well suited to this experience. Their daughter Emily, a student herself-a senior in high school-has already been teaching and leading children at home and while at summer camp. Emily has already felt the call on her heart for several years-to teach, care for and lead children through the mission field.
Mindy:As an aside note, we met an amazing couple about two months ago who are canoeing all through and around North America for 1000 days. They have done a lot of humanitarian work around the world, and when they found out about our trip, they gave us some money to use for the orphans. We will write about how we paid it forward for their blog. Another friend paid it forward, and that will go towards buying some clothes for the kids. It's great to pay it forward!
To me, this experience shows how Mindy and Mark and their family are about the business of living what they believe while being about the business of their lives, even while vacationing in their home state.
Mindy:What do we hope to learn? We hope to have a deeper and clearer understanding of what God wants us to do. We hope to know how missions will fit into our lives.
It will be exciting to hear all about their trip when they return!
Mark:Just to add some bio background about me. I grew up on a corn/soybean farm in Minnesota. I love to play the trombone wherever I can (church, community bands, symphonies and pit orchestras) and enjoy remodeling, landscaping and camping. When I had just graduated from high school, I went on a missions trip to Mexico City and while on that trip felt compelled by God to go to the mission field. My journey began by shifting gears from giving up my initial dream to farm and went to North Central Bible College instead. I graduated from North Central with a Bachelor of Science degree in Cross-Cultural Studies. Mindy and I met at North Central and became good friends on a missions trip together to Guyana. One of the pastors there in Guyana looked at the both of us among the others on the team and said, "I want those two...they need to be together." The rest is history. I youth pastored for three years in Trenton, MO at First Assembly of God. Then pastored for almost seven years in Lake City, MI at the Assembly of God church there. And have since then been pastoring in Ionia at First Assembly of God for the last 11 years as well as substitute teaching in the area schools. I have been in the ministry now for 20 years. My life-long dream ever since I felt the call of God on my life has been to minister to people from other cultures and to show them the love of Christ and introduce them to Christ. I would have to ditto everything else Mindy said as she communicated our heart so well.
I am very excited for what this fabulous family is about to do. Hoping all the best for them as they travel and share their caring hearts with others. I look forward to learning more about their experiences when they return!