As I sit on the plane at Brussels airport awaiting departure to Liberia, I’m reminded of reality by the 3 empty seats next to me. Sadness begins to set in, as I realize how much of this journey was fueled by my family, and now they sit waiting to head the opposite direction.
The beginning of our furlough trip was amazing to say the least. I had the opportunity to see a part of the world I could only view from Google images. Unfortunately, that came to an abrupt halt as we dealt with some surprising health issues with Isaac. I’m sure the majority of my friends and family know of these complications, but if you haven’t read Allie’s blog, here it is… https://bestversionliberia.com/2019/07/03/update/
I remember vividly holding Isaac’s limp body as I ran through the little mountain village screaming for a doctor. I must have prayed 500 “Hail Mary’s” as I cradled his body listening intently for sirens in the distance. That 20 minutes (we were far away from any hospital) felt like the first 20 years of my life (very slow), and 5 of those minutes I truly believed I lost a child, and I was not prepared for the flood of emotions and feelings that would bring. All the courage and faith I thought I had, felt sucked dry. At that very moment I was willing to do anything to see sign of life in my son.
All the strength and sacrifice I preached in the past seemed like rubbish in that very moment. I didn’t want to sacrifice my Isaac nor did I want my faith to be tested, although, I named him after the Isaac Abraham began to sacrifice in Genesis, I quickly found out my faith was nowhere near that of Abraham’s. I fell to my face and begged God to let this pass. I told him I was not ready to let him go, and he granted me my prayer.
After the dust has seemed to settle for the moment, I have a lot of alone time to reflect on my relationship with Christ and the reality of our family’s 2019 commitment coming to an end. As I tell all of our friends here in Liberia the story of our Isaac, and the reason my family did not return with me, the response is gut wrenching. Tears fall off grown men’s face as I tell them how upset my wife was that she will not see them again for awhile. In the past, these Liberian friends (family) of ours were overjoyed each moment they got to see Isaac, Brady, and Max. Their smiles were a mile long when my wife would come spend time with them, and give them a cookie, or a coke and try to learn new words in Liberian English. But if we’re honest, Allie and I know that our new family gave us so much more than we could ever give them.
As sad as we are that this 2019 commitment is coming to end, it’s hard not to be overjoyed with the health of our son, or sons for that matter. We know our service doesn’t end today. Liberia has completely transformed our hearts and minds for the poor, and our soul has been set on fire for justice for the least of these. We are just getting started, and we will continue to take the path God lights for us.
So, thank you for coming along with us in prayers and donations. It’s because of each of you that The Best Version Project seed has been planted, and we pray as we continue to work in Liberia with Orphan Aid, Liberia that we can pave new roads for these orphans to follow God’s light. We were able to accomplish so much by living here over these past 6 months. We have learned a lot about this culture, and how to operate more efficiently and effectively to benefit the future of these orphans. We can’t wait to see everyone and tell you personally what all you have been donating towards. These children have faces and names, and together we can assist them in being the very best version of themselves. I hope you’re excited as we are about impacting these beautiful children.
We love you guys. We Love you guys. We love you guys.
In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
“He must increase, but we must decrease.”