Part of the India team...my handsome fella is on the far right...
Last Wednesday the kiddos and I drove Brent to the Des Moines airport where we said good-bye as he boarded a plane for a trip...a trip to INDIA...for 16 days. He is part of a 12 member team who are spending their days hiking the Himalayan mountains and praying along the way. They are stopping in various mountain villages to serve the people and live among them for a bit before moving up the mountain to the next village. This trip will be a challenge both physically and spiritually.
In the minds of many people, praying through villages doesn't seem like much of a mission trip. True, they are not building houses or community centers. They are not delivering humanitarian aid. The concern of the team and the many teams who have done this trek before them is the spiritual darkness in these villages, where currently it is not safe to share the gospel. They are building relationships with the Indian people and praying without ceasing that the doors will be swung wide open in India so the truth will penetrate the darkness and despair. Sure, the team could build houses (and don't get me wrong, I certainly see a place for a ministry such as this), but they are far more concerned for the lost souls in India. They long to see the people of India under the shelter of the wings of the Almighty.
families saying good-bye to the team...
This is an adventure for both of us as Brent's never been out of the country, and we've never been apart for more than a few days at a time. For me it's an adventure in parenting skills, patience, and a challenge to keep the home front running smoothly. The kiddos are doing really well in Brent's absence. Eva still believes her dad is gallivanting around on an airplane, and Ethan said his dad moved to India. Thankfully neither circumstance is true. They miss him the most at night during our bedtime routine, as Bible story time has always been his gig, but they don't seem to mind my stories of Elisha too much even if I'm, "doing it wrong," most of the time. I've had to break-up a couple of fights, but overall they are doing great and we're having a lot of fun together.
As for me, I'm a relatively self-sufficient person who likes to keep my daily routine, so I'm not afraid to do things on my own for a while. The other night, we had one of our lamps quit working (truth be told the kids knocked it over during a heated brawl and I couldn't get it to work again). My first thought was to just buy another lamp, but then my cheap side kicked in and I figured there must be a way to repair the inner workings. Home Depot came to the rescue, and after a few minutes in the lighting department, I came out with the parts I needed and fixed the lamp. Brent is totally our household jack-of-all-trades, but he may be out of a job as far as electrical work goes. Just kidding. I have a 'honey-do' list a mile long waiting for him when he gets back *evil laugh*.
Even though I know this time apart has been good for both of us in various ways, I am SO READY for him to come home (we still have eight days left). I just miss our daily interactions, our little inside jokes, and our evening dates on the couch hanging out after the kiddos are in bed. And, quite frankly, he's handsome as all get out, so I miss his face! *Sigh* I love him.
I know he is going to come back a completely changed person, so my prayer is that God will "catch me up" spiritually so that we can be united in the new passions and desires God stirs in Brent's heart.
Overall this is simply an exciting time and I can't wait to hear the stories, see what God is doing and how He is moving in India and the hearts of the team.
Please pray for Brent and the 11 other members of the team. Pray for their health and safety during the trek and for God's light to shine in a darkened world!
**P.S. A few friends have asked how my pregnancy is going so far. The update is that the hemorrhage is still present, but that the baby continues to grow and remains healthy. I am nearly 17 weeks now, and am feeling a bit stronger movements, so that is very encouraging. I will try to write an update very soon. Thank you for praying for us and baby Jackson!!! It means more than you know!