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Friday, August 23, 2013

Bibles & Bathroom's ~ Sid's Heart

I love that every time someone asks Sid to tell his story of how God brought us to this place of saying 'Yes' to South Sudan, the first thing out of his mouth is... "Well, 28 years ago..."

The story of God's timing gets better every time I hear him share it. So today's post comes from the heart of the man I love with all my heart, the man who's an amazing daddy to our children, and the man who loves people like no one else I know.


28 years ago as my friend Billy and I read our bibles in the high school bathroom (as we often did) we read Matt 28:19,20 "Go therefore & make disciples of the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all I have commanded you..."  After we read those verses I remember saying, "Man wouldn't that be cool if God did that with us one day?"  We talked about how amazing it would be to one day Go! In my heart I knew it would happen. I didn't know when, where or what it would look like, but God did. God answered that bathroom prayer in 1998 when Billy & I traveled to India together putting on a youth camp for a group of kids. On that trip I learned so much about myself,  a lot about my heart & more importantly I learned about God's heart and how he cares for the least of these. I was surrounded by people just like me that God came to earth and died for. I experienced emotions I never knew existed in my heart and I was forever changed. I was called back to India in 2000 & 2001. Each trip was unique & God revealed more to me about my heart & about where he was leading me & my family of at the time.

Fast forward to 2011 as God speaks clearly about taking our oldest 3 girls (Lacey 16, Sydnie 13 & Baylie 11) on a mission trip to Africa. So clearly that once we committed, He provided all the funds to make the trip happen in a matter of hours! I witnessed my girls having the same experience I had on my first mission trip. Their hearts were transformed, wrecked & ruined just like mine. Every parent should share this experience with their children! 
In 2012 we would co-lead a trip to Rwanda & Ethiopia with our 5 oldest children joining us. What an awesome experience to watch our 9 & 10 year old boys (Tate & Jojo) love on the kids, play soccer, hold hands and play without a care in the world & without speaking the same language. Again I experienced the joy of my children loving like Jesus, being filled with the love of God & pouring it into others. ( Whatever you do... Take your children on mission trips!)

These trips would be followed by subsequent trips to Ethiopia, Rwanda, Haiti, & South Sudan, where God continued to speak into my life. I've always said Gods timing is always perfect and I know it is no coincidence that I lost my job the morning Wendy & her friend Megan were flying a team to Rwanda and then on to South Sudan. It turns out that day was the beginning of the culmination of 28 years of praying & dreaming. It lead me to a trip to Yei, South Sudan, where God spoke & I knew the reasons I had for not going were gone.....completely GONE!! I was at a place where I had never been before and I knew God just wanted me to say Yes. God removed all the boundaries & told me the time is right. The time is now. So I said YES!!

I've always tried to follow the rule of when your not sure what to do, just take the NEXT RIGHT STEP. I know that God will make the path clear ONE step at a time.

Our plan is to LOVE people, share the LOVE of Christ, disciple others, LOVE people, help build foundations, train, LOVE people, educate, LOVE people & then LOVE people some more.

I know God has a plan and I don't believe he's revealed it all to us, but this is the next right step for our family. It's a little messy, & a tad crazy; but God has not called us to a safe, comfortable,  un-crazy faith. He's called us to be out of the box, to love our neighbors and to tell every person we meet that God loves them right where they are. 

The following verses are ones I cling to daily. They are promises of God and He is faithful to his promises ALWAYS!
Trust in the Lord and do good; 
Dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness. 
Delight yourself in the Lord;
And He will give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the Lord,

Trust also in Him, and He will do it.
He will bring forth your righteousness as the light
And your judgment as the noonday.
Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him; 
Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way,
Because of the man who carries out wicked schemes.
Cease from anger and forsake wrath; 
Do not fret; it leads only to evildoing. ~Psalm 37:3-8

Harper Family is...   All In!

Loving Big, Sid

Love watching this guy LOVING BIG!

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