I am sitting here looking at a list of donations for the month of May, and I just feel like I need to give a shout out to all the folks that support Jenny and Keila and Annika in this "thing" that we are doing.
A lot of the people who support us aren't on this list, and never will be. They are the people here in the Dominican and those in Haiti who support us continuously, bringing us safely home from the supermarket on motorcycles, making food for us in our kitchen, watching our daughters for us so that we can "get things done," welcome us in the church we attend up the road, welcome me at the border in Haiti when we get across, make space for me to sleep and make sure there is food to keep me going while I work. They are folk in the churches and in our families in the States and in Nicaragua, who worry about us and pray for us and write us notes, and send us cards, with all the kids in the church signing them, or everyone on the mission committee.
And then there are the ones who are on this list. It is easy at times to forget how much money it takes to keep a family of four going. And frankly, I would feel really good about myself if I could do what I am doing and somehow make it pay for itself, and for our family. But I don't know how I would work that, yet. In the meantime, by the Grace of God, there are all these folks out there are willing to take the risk on us, reaching out in faith to make it possible for Jenny and Keila and Annika and me to do this incredible work.
This work we do always feels like it needs to be done, and sometimes, once in a while on one of the amazing days, it feels like we might actually be doing it the way it should be done--the Holy Spirit present and accounted for. The way it feels to me is something like walking through a very dark forest without knowing at all if I am on anything that even resembles a path, and then, suddenly and always unexpectedly, I come to a place shining with light, and right there is a post with a sign on it that points the way, on down the path that really is there, on through the darkness that will soon close in again, but also on towards the next shining moment.
It is a big risk these folks are taking who support us with their faith. I don't know if I want them to know that, but it is. Each one of us can act with the best of intentions and the purest of hearts, and still screw up. There are at least half a dozen folks in Papaye I thought would be my success stories, people who would light the world on fire, or at least their communities. And now, we are only just barely speaking to each other. What has happened most often is that the folks who are changing their lives and those around them are the ones that I would never have picked. Those realities are humbling, but they are also the realities that make it clear to me that my work is only as useful as my willingness to let go, to be a conduit for the work of the Holy Spirit. I love what I do (all days except most Tuesday, and sometimes one or two other days), but as hard as I try to do it as well as I can, my work is in vain, unless it is truly the Lord doing it. Seems like I've heard that somewhere before....
Its a risk they're taking, and we are grateful for it. Very. If you are one of those risk takers, supporting us with whatever you use to support us, blessings on you. You rock, every one of you.
Mark, Jenny, Keila and Annika