The Only Requirement is a Willing Heart
After our first trip to the Dominican, we promised we'd return. We've made good on that, going every other year.
Our second trip included our girls, leaving little man at home with friends.
Jason took the third trip solo, teaching a tribe of willing kids who were interested in learning painting as a trade.
The forth, and most recent, was my favorite by far. We contacted the orphanage, asking what we need we could fulfill. We expected them to answer with some hard, sweat-inducing tasks like cleaning, painting or building, but the leader of the organization surprised us.
He recounted how, on our past trips, we had taught the kids English, played games, painted buildings and helped where needed. This time, he was hoping we could just show the kids what family looks like.
We're offering you free labor.
Yeah, we know.
Maybe we'll find some jobs when you get here, but as you're getting ready to come, would you think about the following?
These kids don't know what it looks like for a husband to love and respect his wife.
Jason, can you get a game of basketball going with these guys and just tell them about all the things you appreciate about your wife?
They've never seen a husband and wife make a decision together.
Make some references as to how you BOTH decided to come here and how you BOTH work, manage your finances and discipline your kids.
These kids have never seen a Dad play with his own children.
Jason, show them what that looks like.
Leah, these girls have only ever seen adult women as mothers, never as mothers who are also educated, thinking women who might choose to someday have a profession.
Can you talk to them about how you love being a mom and how you also love teaching, earning an income and contributing to your family financially?
Can you spend some time talking to these girls about how important it is for them to take their education seriously and then explain what sort of freedom that will achieve for them?
Do you think you can just live your normal lives in front of these kids and model what a healthy family looks like?
We can do that.
We went and we laughed and hugged and had honest conversations and it just wasn't that difficult.
I mean, in some ways it was. The brief experience of being a minority, the language barrier, the living conditions...those are all tough.
But, it wasn't the earth-shattering, ground-breaking work we thought it was going to be.
I was reminded of how Jesus appeared to His disciples after He was crucified.
It was the biggest event to ever have happened on planet earth and after He was resurrected from the dead, He just sat down with his friends.
He didn't have a big speech planned.
He made them breakfast and then told them to push their boats out into deeper water.
I think this is the deeper water.
Jesus has rescued us.
He has saved us.
He has fed us.
He has taught us how marriage works best.
He has given us wisdom for raising our own crew,
and now, He has asked us to go out into the deeper waters, modeling family for 250 kids.
It's not miraculous.
It's not magical.
It requires no super human strength or extraordinary finances or fancy degrees or special titles.
Loving well requires nothing more than a willingness to go and do the things that Jesus did.
Why are we so surprised when we find out that it's really very simple.
Love is the answer.
Love will change all the broken things and heal the hurt and rescue the lost.
It's a big ask, but it's not complicated.
If your heart is willing, you're halfway there.