Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Whom Shall I SEND?

May 2, 2012 was the first “Sending Off” for our family.  Our LIFEGroup hosted a night in our honor to commission us to GO to Ghana.  They are sending us to do God's work.
This significant ceremony was so special to us.  The friends in this group have walked “life” with us closely for the past four years.  We have grown together, laughed together, served together and cried together.  (Tonight I did a LOT of crying!  In fact, kids were praying that “Mrs. Beebe wouldn’t cry!”  Well, sorry!)
The commissioning ceremony took place in a perfect setting - a backyard.  Being outside in God’s creation seemed so fitting.  Beautifully simple.  
Kids played baseball.  Little ones ziplined.  Our first “gluten-free” potluck was delicious.  (Everyone needs friends who will throw a party and meet special dietary needs!  Even families without gluten limitations created Gluten-free food!  WOW!  Now, that is true friendship!)
I love the pictures from tonight.  (thanks Steph!)  Nothing is posed - our group is not a “posing” kind of group.  These friends are simply striving strongly to follow Christ.  Every family is giving their life away in tangible ways and it’s been AMAZING to see everything Christ has done.  What started with four families really living outwardly focused, quickly added other families already living the same way.  Within the families represented, there are 21 adopted children within 15 families, and we are waiting for 8 more children from 3 different countries!  Incredible!

These families have “spurred us on.”  They have “sharpened us.”  Friends are encouraging friends to really “do” what God says to do, and not just talk about it.  Everyone has stepped into life together to impact this world with the love of Christ.  As we studied scripture, we realized our lives needed to be a reflection of what the Bible teaches and how Jesus lived.  It was wonderful to worship, serve, and grow alongside others following hard after Jesus.  Even our boys have found friends who will stand beside them at all times.  
Every family spoke blessing over us.  They shared words that felt undeserved, yet each thing said could only testify to what God is doing in us.  His work in our lives has been reflected beautifully to those closest to us.  After each person spoke, I wanted to say, “I would say the same to you...I would say the same to you...”  These friends have inspired and challenged us with what it means to really give everything to Jesus.  Everything.
Although tears were heavy for me - Kristie and Janet both stepped into the tears with me.   (Thank you, friends, for expressing the "feeling" of all of this!  And, Sydney, wow!  YOU led the way by sharing your heart for orphans!  Thank you for living out your faith at such a young age!  What an inspiration you are!)

At the end of the evening, everyone signed a covenant committing to pray over eight specific areas for our family.  This body of prayer warriors are willing to intercede on our behalf for the following areas: marriage  (Eph 5:25,33), children (Eph. 6:4), spirituality (Col. 1:27-28), family (1 Cor 4:12), education (Deut 6:7), finances (Mark 25:14), ministry (Luke 12:48), and physical health (1 Cor 6:19-20).

Words are inadequate to express how much we will miss you!    Our lives are forever changed because of the families in this group.  Thank you all for impacting our lives with your rich love for Christ.  It’s evident.  

We carry a piece of each of you with us to Ghana -

 Bales, Bowlings, Brownings, Dempsters, Flores, Millers, Moses (across the miles, you are still a part of us), O'Learys, Roberts, Rogers (still feel like you are with us), Sodonis’s, Tegelaars, Weatherlys, and Von Hagens. No one could have “sent” us better.  Thank you for taking the responsibility of “sending” so seriously.  You have loved us well.  We love you.  Always.

Thank you for sending us in the name of Jesus.

And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, 
“Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” 
Then I said, “Here I am! Send me.”  
Isaiah 6:8

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