Our six year old daughter had struggled with the idea of leaving. God was calling our family to missions in Africa, but that meant she couldn’t bring her friends or our extended family. Sometimes she braved through her struggles, expressing her fears and hurts. And other times she was just silent, almost in denial.
We did what every other parent does, talking through the hardships, trying to strike up some excitement about the good in the move, and trusting that the Lord would work it all out in her slowly over time.
It was the day before our job match. Our level of excitement was pretty high. We had sat back and watched God in His glorious plan orchestrate this whole thing. We had originally thought job matching would occur months later, but God put everything in His Divine fast-forward: my seminary classes were offered in a way that I could complete them in half the time, snags were all Divinely ironed straight from childhood vaccines mysteriously appearing after 30 years from the bottom of a dusty basement to a kid evaluation that would have taken months on a waiting list completed and cleared within seven days. God’s hand was orchestrating and confirming. And we just stepped back in awe and worship.
Then the phone rang the night before our job match to Mozambique. And in one foul swoop of a failed medical clearance due to past delivery complications we were told that the job to Mozambique wasn’t going to happen. Just like that the entire world stood still. Absolutely shockingly still.
What do you do when the voice telling you to go to Africa is the same voice saying to go to Mozambique?
You tell your kids the truth over a quiet dinner table. You kiss your husband before he goes off to lead youth group. And you load the kids in the van and just drive. Not going anywhere. Just watching the scenery go by. And you cry. And you pray… even when you don’t have the words. We just drive. And you pray without words. And then you come home and go to bed.
The next morning Matt was caught in a series of phone calls. Some from our job match guy extending his apologies. And then Matt’s message was returned and he talked to the medical staff making the clearance decisions. Matt didn’t plea. He didn’t speak angrily. He wasn’t stunningly persuasive. But after a thirty minute conversation Matt called me. He shared that the medical team was meeting together to discuss our file and they would call us after one hour. This was an act of God in the first place since medical clearance is usually not a negotiable process.
You had better believe I spent that hour pacing the hallway in prayer. And then the phonecall came through with the opening words, “Are you ready to pack your bags?”
Within thirty minutes we were job matched to Mozambique.
Our house ERUPTED in jubilation. And much to my surprise a little once-hesitant six year old was celebrating alongside of the rest of us. Happy, yet a little puzzled, I asked her what had changed. And then she said,
“Last night after you and Daddy said goodnight, I prayed in my bed there in the dark that God would please let our family go to Mozambique.”
It was then that I realized that the past 24 hours was all in order for our little girl to fall in love with Mozambique.
Today we know leaving will hurt and we still talk about how it will be hard. But ever since that night our Rachael has never once looked back. Her heart longs to share Jesus in Mozambique.
God is sending our family – every single one of us- to His work in Mozambique.