It wasn’t always easy to keep our plan from the kids, but it was necessary.
Kept in the Dark
Although Liz & I have mentally been “in process” for over a year now, our kids found out about our “new adventure” on December 31, 2013… New Year’s Eve.
Why we waited? …to maintain a tight reign on who knew about our plan until it was announced to our church family at MissionPoint. We didn’t want any other churches or groups to know about it first and then have it filter back to our home church second hand… via social media or in conversation.
At the same time, it wouldn’t be fair for our kids to find out only on January 5th, at the same time as everyone else. So, for a couple of reasons, we decided to tell them on New Year’s Eve:
- Given the holiday break in the church schedule, it would give them a few days to “digest” the news, without seeing their church friends (again, protecting the flow of information).
- New Year’s provides a natural opportunity to talk about new projects, new ideas, new plans and a new direction. 2014 would definitely be all of that for us.
Given the fact that we are a homeschooling family and therefore together nearly all the time, it wasn’t easy to be discreet about our plans… but thankfully it worked.
Unveiling the Plan
It was important to us to root the plan in the Word of God, so after our New Year’s Eve company had left, I opened the Bible to Joshua chapter 1 (the passage that began this process) and read verses 1-9: highlighting the following:
- As Joshua’s life was taking on a new role and a new direction… God met with and talked to Joshua.
- 3 times, God says to Joshua “Be strong and of good courage” (vv. 6, 7 & 9).
- 2 times, God says to Joshua that if he wants to have success, he needs to take in, meditate on and observe the law of God or, God’s word. (vv. 7 & 8).
- God would be with Joshua, wherever he went (v.9)
I also gave each of the kids their own personal travel journal inscribed as follows:
“Sophie / Dominic / Timo … Here is a place to write down your thoughts, questions and yes, perhaps even your fears, concerning the next great adventure that God is about to take our family on. Write them down and you will see that God will answer your questions, honor your thoughts and calm every fear. He’ll do it because he loves you and wants to do something incredible both in and through your life.
Love, Mom & Dad”
We then let them know that within a year or so, we would be moving to France, possibly for as long as 2 years, to replace Bro. & Sis. Brochu as missionaries, under the AIM program. Following our discussion, we prayed together as a family.
They were very surprised, but also very, very excited. There were a barrage of questions, some of which we didn’t yet have answers for (including…. “Can we get a dog?”).
They were quite excited about the idea that they may need to be involved in music in the church after the Brochu’s leave, because they both look after music (our kids have varying degrees of piano skills, Dominic is learning guitar already and Timo dreams of playing drums).
Two things sum up well their reaction.
- First, Timo’s first journal entry
- Second, Timo’s prayer:
“God, fill the people of France with the Holy Ghost.”
(talk about melt a parent’s heart!)
Summing it up:
Without question, we believe that the Lord has been preparing the hearts and desires of our kids in the same way that he’s been preparing us. They are now… #AIMkids.
Other posts on how patience has played a key role in the process to date:
Patience is a Virtue
Love this Mike. I am so excited for you and your family. Reading Timo’s thoughts brought a tear to my eye. A missionary heart in a child is evidence of a missionary heart in the child’s parents. So glad you will be a part of the Atlantic District’s long missionary heritage.
We really desire that our kids not spend this AIM term sitting back and “watching mom & dad do their thing”, rather, we desire that they come back able to say that they were an active part of what God will have done there. Amen… Lord, let it be so!
What a great story. This certainly shows that you will come to Europe as ONE family, not as two adults with three children!
There are several little incidents or comments that the kids have made, since July 2103, that have let us know that God was working in the kids’ hearts as well. God is wanting to use entire families to bring life to churches, towns and even countries. You guys have been an example to us… change Assen!
I can’t wait until we’re in driving distance!
What a wonderful story, I agree with Bart, you were ONE. Thanks for sharing.
Thanks for commenting Sis. Callahan, glad you enjoyed it!
Pingback: About « AIM Long
Pingback: AIM Long