This morning we had the privilege of sharing at our church, during the Sunday School hour, about our trip to Ukraine. Each of us had a chance to tell a little about what we did, what we learned, and how God worked. It was so much fun (am I really saying that about something that involved speaking in front of a big group of people?) to tell just a few of our stories and introduce just a few of the new friends we made, to the dear friends we already have.
For my part (Anita) I talked about the three big questions I had going into the trip:
- Would God use me?
- How would God answer our prayers?
- Would it be worth it to take our whole family on the trip?
I’ll post later about the answers to the first and third question, but since I didn’t have time at church to talk specifically about the prayers we prayed and saw answered, I thought I would post them here right away.
I have struggled often over the last year with migraine headaches and a lack of energy. Often I can hardly make it through the day. So we prayed that I would be healthy and have energy during the trip.
We were all pretty exhausted by the end of the trip. However, despite very long days and doing lots of things that really sap the energy of an introvert, we were all (including me) very healthy during the entire trip. Grayson struggled several times with motion sickness, but he handled it so well, and really enjoyed the extra attention being sick got him.
Safety in travel and at the camp.
We had only one delayed flight, that didn’t cause us any connection issues, and only a few very minor injuries (not to us, but to a few others) at camp.
Open hearts in the campers and in us.
Yes. We couldn’t believe how ready the camp kids were to love us, hear our stories, share their stories, and hear about God’s love. And we love them!
That God would bring just the right kids to camp.
He sure did. He brought kids that each of us could really connect with. And he brought kids who were ready to accept Him into their lives.
That we would be able to recognize those who we could reach out to.
We probably missed some opportunities, but each of us were determined not to “take anything home”. We prayed for direction, and worked very hard to seek out kids who needed us. We came home tired, but without regrets.
We had enough to provide for the entire trip. We even had just enough to pay luggage fees we didn’t expect, and give some gas money to the friends who took us to and picked us up from the airport. This was almost to the dollar.
People would come to trust Christ.
Nine kids prayed for the first time to receive Christ and one rededicated her life to Him. Wow!!!! That’s an experience we wouldn’t have missed for anything. We’re so excited that even if WE never see those kids again (the missionaries and church in Odessa who put on the camp are dedicated about following up and discipling them, so they won’t be forgotten), but if WE don’t see them on earth, we will get to see their sweet faces in heaven some day.
That our team relationships would reflect the love of Christ.
Our team (as a whole team of short-termers from America and local staff), and our little team from Mt. Lake, got along and worked very well together. Even our kids got along really well! 🙂
Our kids would handle the trip well and be changed by the experience.
The first was definitely true. The latter, of course, is a more long term prayer, but we have seen growth already.
Some privacy and personal space for us to be a family, for our kids to get good rest, and for the introverts in our clan to be able to recharge by being alone for short periods of time.
At camp we were given our own room–just our family. This was perfect. Leighton actually opted to stay with a room-full guys, and he had an awesome time, but the rest of us really enjoyed having a quiet, private place we could call our own. In Odessa the Price-Williams family (a family who just moved to Odessa in June as full-time missionaries) gave up their apartment to us for the days we were there. We were so humbled by their generosity and kindness. It was much appreciated and it was an answer to our prayers.
If we are giving our requests to God, He does answer. It’s not always how we expect, but He knows what’s best for us, and , and if we are watching for answers, He uses those answers to work in our hearts.