FAR FROM HOME
This morning I woke up far away from my cottage in the woods of the Pacific Northwest. Instead of the pungent smells of pine and cedar, I drink in the scent of the sea. And instead of my pot of steaming tea, I sip slowly from a foamy bowl filled with cappuccino served with a spoon. In just a few hours a group of hand-picked parents will make their way from Albania’s capital city, Tirana, to the coastal town of Durres, on the edge of the Adriatic Sea.
These are leaders— in business, in government, in NGO’s, in churches. They are followers of Jesus in a country that is nominally Muslim and predominately atheistic.
And they have kids. Children they love who are being raised in a culture that goes against everything they believe.
In just a few hours Phil and I will tell our story. How we met and married with high hopes. And how, when pregnant with our first child, we realized we had no idea how to raise children who want Jesus. And how that scared us.
And I’ll look into the eyes of the mothers and I’ll see that same fear. We’ll know each other in that long look. The camaraderie that comes from a shared passion.
Every parent there wants what we wanted: children who grow into people who are passionate, all-in, wise, fruitful, faithful followers of Jesus.
We will spend hours talking and listening and teaching and delving into the Scriptures and praying and sharing stories and laughing at the ridiculousness of our dreams for our children.
And God will be here, bending down to listen.
I will tell these parents, so like us when we were young, about how we prayed, over and over again, for wisdom. How we held hands and cried out to the Father for what He promised in James 1v5:
If any of you lacks wisdom,
let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach,
and it will be given to him.
And then we’ll share with them the treasures He gave with so much generosity that we’re overwhelmed and overflowing. I’ll watch in wonder as they scramble to write it down, filling the notebooks with letters I cannot read.
And I’ll tell them that He’ll do the same for them, here, on the other side of the world. With Macedonia’s snow capped mountains off in the distance and Greece right behind us, Phil and I will pour ourselves into a new generation of parents in the hope that they will pour into a new generation of Albanians who will, in turn, raise up a new generation of leaders who will bring Jesus to a country that desperately needs Him.
Will you pray for these people? These parents? This generation?
And will you pray for me? For us?
I have relished praying for those of you who dare to dream with God. Keep telling me those stories and I will keep hoping with you and praying for you.
From my heart far from home,