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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!

Monday, August 5, 2013

Praying "BIG" Circles ~ South Sudan

Take a step of faith when God gives you a vision because you trust that the One who gave you the vision is going to make provision. And for the record, if the vision is from God, it will most definitely be beyond your means. 
~Mark Batterson, The Circle Maker

A few months ago we started Praying "BIG" Circles around "BIG" dreams. We started Praying more specifically for where we thought God might be leading us next. Did God want us to continue to be his hands and feet here in Texas, Tennessee, Rwanda, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Haiti, India. All of these countries + states that have a piece of our hearts, all of these amazing countries filled with beautiful people who have lost hope, who are lost & who have never heard the name of an Almighty God who can fill them with hope & give them a peace that passes all understanding. People yearning for Redemption.

And then God gave me a confirmation 'nudge' after only 3 days in South Sudan. I was wrecked for the precious people, wrecked for the war torn country that is recovering gracefully, wrecked for faces with names yearning to learn, to be trained, and then to go on themselves to educate & train. I was wrecked for the orphans & the widows, and for every person that I laid my eyes on. It was an unexplainable feeling. I'd been to Mexico, Haiti, Rwanda, & Ethiopia all of which touched my heart to it's deepest parts, but this was something I'd never felt before and I. Knew. It. Was. God.

We've known since before we were married, over 20+ years that our heart was to be in full time missions. We've always talked about when & where and what it would look like. We've tossed different ideas around, discussed countries, cities, we've suppressed it, shared our 'what if's' with each other, wondered if it would ever happen or if it was just a far-fetched dream & we were crazy to think could actually happen. But then God blatantly begin preparing us. He began sending us on short term mission trips, sending our children with us & soon we realized that nothing is too far-fetched for God.

After Sid's most recent trip to South Sudan in early July, God gave him the same 'nudge', the same confirmation, and the same heart for the people of South Sudan. No doubts. No worries. Giving it ALL to God, knowing & believing that he will work out every detail.

Please join us in praying for God to make the path clear & be in every detail.

Go home. Lock yourself in your room. Kneel down in the middle of the floor, and with a piece of chalk draw a circle around yourself. There, on your knees, pray fervently and brokenly that God would start a revival within that chalk circle.” ~Mark Batterson, The Circle Maker

God has started a revival in our hearts, 
We've said Yes to God... Send Us.

According to the grace of God which was given to me, like a wise master builder I laid a foundation, and another is building on it. But each man must be careful how he builds on it. For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 

~1 Cor 3:10,11

Sunday, August 4, 2013


A week at the beach with the whole Harper family was a success!!! I’d Say EVERYONE had a blast! So grateful for family & thankful for Pop & Nana for helping us all make MEMORIES. Beach fun, pool fun, sea turtle release, boat rides & dolphin sightings and of course yummy foodJ Looking forward to next year’s vacation 2014!!
On The Road
Sydnie Driving us over the bridge

 Typical Parent Photo. Right?




 Levi Loves those goggles

 Charlie & Levi ~ Posers

 The Crew Minus Lacey

 Pool time

 Jojo ~ Catch of the day


 Peat & Repeat... Aka Kenlie & Baylie

 Driving the boat:)


 The girls

 Levi & Baylie

 This little man LOVES the beach!

Thanks Pop & Nana for a spectacular vacation!

Friday, August 2, 2013

Mission Field In Your Home

We weren't exactly sure what to expect when God lead us to host an orphan from China for the summer. It sounded a little weird, a little unusual & maybe even a little hard. But 3 weeks in & this little man has been a blessing. He has had no problem adjusting to being a part of a family, he is super smart, artistic, funny & happy. He is understanding more and more English every day. He loves pretty much every food we've offered and I’d say hot dogs & chips are his favorite American food. We have had so much fun watching him experience so many firsts.

First Hot-dog, hamburger, pizza, watermelon etc.

First time in swimming pool
First time in jumper

First time to see ocean/beach

First time to see giant sea turtles

First time to experience a family vacation

So, So many firsts….

Can’t wait to see how the remainder of his time here goes. No matter how hard that day will be when we hug him one last time before placing him on a plane back to china. It. Was. Worth. It!! If you've ever heard or thought of hosting or exchange programs or adoption, or, or, or….. Say YES to pouring into the life of a child, say YES to sharing your family with a child, say YES to sharing the love of Christ, & say YES to inviting the mission field into your home.

You are Loved Sweet Boy!