We do a lot of ministry in our home. In fact I have hard it said that the best preparation to be a missionary is to be one at home. In your community and your neighborhood.
Of course we have three children 9 and under and one more on the way come April so – We like being home. After all home education allows for a great deal of adventure and flexibility but there is also much to do in the home. And we have many days of fun, at home.
We also enjoy hosting foreign exchange students. We have done this off and on since my oldest was 2. And the things we have learned; the connections we have made. The youth that have been led to a hunger for Christ especially. It is beautiful to be His hands, t be the boots on the ground, introducing these young ones to something that is completely unknown to them. Then watching what He does in their lives while they are with us.
For the last two years the kids we host have been from China. We have a young lady with us now in fact. One I am really struggling to connect with. It grieves me that I feel such constant frustration with her. I need to continually remind myself that this is likely her only experience with Jesus Christ and His truth. I need to try to let go of the things many inconveniences and distractions; the plumbing disasters and all of the common sense things that she just does not know. I need to show rather than say because language and understanding, its so very minimal with this girl.
And I admit, guiltily that I am running out of patience with one more young one in our house that needs to be trained in every single thing. Cleanliness, baking and cooking, proper eating, cleaning and dressing appropriate, electronic use (this girl is always on an iphone or her MacBook – grrrr) Her interactions with our children; with us. It feels impossible for this to work if I am totally honest. I cannot communicate with her in a way she understands and vice versa. She is afraid of everything, has no real connections with anyone and while she is completely reliant on us, she also desperately wants to not be and so – Imagine the many disasters that have ensued because of this. lol
In all of this, as my husband and I try to figure out the best way to make this successful for everyone involved, I pray. And pray more. I seek to remind myself of the many differences, big ones, between our family and hers. Between our country and her own. At the same time I hear that voice reminding me that even if we cannot speak with her verbally, we can always show her, even if it is in deed alone. For whatever reason, the Lord has placed this girl into our home and our life. I remember that it is His way, not mine. I can either that salt and light when I am called, or I cannot. Its a test of faith. Do I trust Him enough to let go? To follow His lead with this stranger who is in our home yet not really a part of our home? An adopted daughter, even if only for a year, that is nothing like any of us, not a part of us, not eager and excited, desiring every moment and experience but desperately trying to make a way for herself. By herself.
I imagine my children at her age and I admit I cannot see having any of these issues with them. But how silly of a comparison is that? Really. We speak the same language, we have always been family; trained up and taught at home, in the ways of the Lord. Different than this one who has grown up in boarding schools, been given her every desire, has never known the need to make a meal or clean her clothing, care for another – Experience in life is so powerful. We need it. And in some cases we need someone to come along side us and train, or mentor, us, in the way that we need to walk. When someone does not know what exactly, real life looks like, someone needs to come along side them and show them, offer to guide them. Mistakes will always be made, but its that much easier when you know someone is there who cares. And yes, I need to care more. I need to see this for what it is; I need to pray for Go to give her a teachable heart, a desire for what we can share with her, and until that desire comes along I need to just press forward; focus on Jesus and do what I can and must to show the way. Just in case she happens to take a glance.