Foremost, our vision is to be available to the Lord as He leads us, He is the true one who is writing the story of our lives and our ministry. The story He has written so far is a journey of being in His school, learning His lessons, and at times suffering hardship for the way He has led us. But suffering is a good teacher! Many times what we have learned is through our many mistakes and our sins. We have had to course correct many times. Our hope is that as we share our story, other families might potentially avoid our mistakes! But you will also hopefully be encouraged to see that the grace and power of God is fully able to turn any ship in the right direction if we persevere and do not lose hope. We have not "arrived." We are not a perfect family, we are still growing and working on things. There are certainly many more lessons the Lord has for us.
Foundational in our thinking is that the family is the only unit we haven't really chosen. When we go out and take a job or choose a ministry or service organization to work with, although we seek the Lord there is still potentially an element of our choice. And those prayed over choices are a part of life. But God decides which child goes in which family, and He also opens and closes the womb. We believe that because of this, the first place to learn and be trained is the family. The family should be the first unit of discipleship, the first unit of business and industry, the first unit of relationship and support, the first unit of education and the first unit of ministry. We want to support families and help them find that place of function and ministry, by helping them face their challenges, problems and issues and being reconciled to one another.
Essentially our vision is somewhat unique. In our world and in our culture today there are many ministries working with categories of people in different life stages. There are ministries for children, ministries for teens, ministries for college students, ministries for international students, ministries for editing away, ministries for married couples, ministries for young Moms, ministries for the elderly, ministries for widows, and many more. These are fine ministries which are doing a great job at reaching their target audience, an audience which is typically individuals in a common age group facing common challenges. We are very grateful for the many ways these ministries are reaching many people. What we do not often see and what we feel the Lord calling us to do, is to look at families as a unit, and to primarily seek to minister to and with whole families left as God has put them together.
Is this a road for the faint of heart? No! This is a hard road. Why? Because we are all essentially selfish. And we all, in the flesh, want our way, our life, and our achievements to be central, whether we are parents, young people, or children. And our families often see us at our best and our worst. They know all our sins and all our weaknesses. There is no pretense in the home. We believe that because of this, we have the potential to hurt each other, but also to help each other in a fashion that others can't. But only if we are willing to seek the Lord for His help! Men will struggle with being liked, and being afraid to lead if it makes waves. Men will battle an ego. Men will battle lust. Men will battle hard work at times. Men will battle their hobbies. Women will struggle with wanting to control their husbands and their children, and play God. Women will struggle with understanding what submission means in marriage. Women will struggle with fear. Women will struggle with being positive and not critical. Women will struggle with wanting more pats on the back and more significance than they feel in the home. Children will struggle with obedience. Children will struggle with honoring their parents. Children will struggle with respecting their parents. There are many hurdles. But if we work through the hurdles the testimony of a family working together is a bright light that reflects the selflessness that is part of the testimony of Christ to the world. It is not "natural", and makes people ask you to explain the "hope that lies within."
So, in light of this, we desire to be a resource and encouragment for families who the Lord is calling out to walk this road! We are available to do family retreats, speak to your church, give you outreach ideas, and more!