let me back up a bit.
this past fall, when pat and i went to Haiti, we took the youth pastor from our church with us. the hope was that he would come and decide to bring teams of junior highers back on trips. we already had a relationship with Pastor Francois, and wanted to continue it. we wanted to continue to love him as well as we could...and, for him, that means COMING and being with him and his kids and his church.
Aaron (the youth pastor) did love it and quickly put a trip together to go back this spring break! it is a parent-child trip (every child that goes has to bring a parent.) Rebekah is in junior high and obviously wanted to go. we decided pat would go with her and i would stay home (SAD. but he has the relationship with Francois!) i could have gone, too. but we thought it would be too hard for joshua...rebekah is his favorite person in the world. pat is a close second. if i left, too, we thought it would just be too much.
THEN. a couple weeks later, joshua comes out of his class at church with a flyer and hands it to me. it says, "Family Mission Trip to Brazil. Spring Break 2015." he has a huge smile on his face and is looking at me expectantly. i'm all, "oh! that sounds so great! but that's when dad is going to haiti with rebekah!" i'm assuming he wants pat to go with him. he says, "i know. YOU can go with me. grandma and papa can watch the other kids." he's already figured it out. and it surprised us greatly. it surprised us that he WANTED to go. he's not our risk-taker. it's hard to know what's going on in his heart a lot of the time. but he CLEARLY had a desire to do this. so pat and i had to at least consider it. and we did. we talked and prayed and let some time go by. and felt like we needed to pursue it. if joshua has the desire, we need to act on it. my parents GENEROUSLY agreed to watch the other 4 kids for their spring break (i mean?? how amazing is THAT?!?) and we put in our applications to go! i'm beyond grateful for this opportunity. in most opportunities, joshua is always going to choose pat to be "the one" to do it with him. this is a rare opportunity for me to have time with just joshua. and i don't take that gift lightly!
so...the week of march 28-april 4, pat and rebekah will be in haiti with pastor Francois, joshua and i will be in Brazil (it's a HUGE country!! we'll be in the south-west part...near paraguay), and bailey, lincoln, sawyer and levi will be having a ball with my parents! it's a bit overwhelming. all of it. the meetings we've had leading up to it...the fundraising...the languages we're trying to pick up...and packing lists and traveling details and vaccines needed. whew. it's a LOT! but it will be worth it.
would you pray?? for God to work in the hearts of the kids (and adults!) going. for safety. for my kids we're leaving behind (i worry about their hearts....emotions of leaving sawyer to go to africa come back ohsoquickly). for God to use us to love those in haiti and brazil in beautiful ways.