Life seems to happening quicker than I can keep up with here on the blog. My head and heart are full of scattered thoughts I want to share, yet I can't seem to pinpoint where to even begin!
Okay, I think the easiest way to recap it all is just to rewind back a couple weeks to the beginning of March and share how God showed up in a pretty big way... AGAIN (surprise, surprise)! If you've been following our journey from the beginning you may remember THIS POST way back at the end of August. For the other 99% of you that can't even fathom following a blog for that long... I'll sum it up for you! (o; Long story, short- God opened a door for me to be a part of leading an orphan care ministry at our church. With excitement, a little bit of anxiety, and a whole lot of reassurance from the nudging of the Holy Spirit, I said YES.
Over the past five months, prayer has been given as to what this ministry could look like and what it would offer to Preston Trail Community Church. Ideas of how we wanted to launch this ministry and name this ministry have been discussed across the table between Nancy (director of Compassion Ministry) and I and given much thought and prayer individually. Last month, we were meeting and decided that we both felt at peace with starting simple and letting this ministry transpire organically (just saying that word makes me feel all hippie-like). Considering we weren't entirely sure of what the need was within the church, we thought it was best to just start with a simple social and get to know our "audience". To be honest, I had an underlying fear of NO ONE showing up if we did an official BIG "launch" of the ministry and the idea of inviting people just by word of mouth for a small get together at the local Starbucks to chit chat, was A LOT less intimidating to me! Classic Hilary style I convinced myself that there would be a total of maybe FOUR people that would RSVP to the Evite and be at the Starbucks... ONE being me (duh), TWO being Joshua (because there's an unspoken obligation that comes with being married to me) THREE being Nancy (because she rocks and has helped get this ball rolling), and FOUR being my mom (because she's that kind of stellar mom who shows up to all my sister and I do in support of us... even though we're in our 30's! And for that, I'm so stinking grateful! ).
Well, well, well... I'll have you know, GOD SHOWED UP- and brought people with Him too!!! I might have unknowingly picked the smallest Starbucks in town to meet at- BUT I'm just sayin', we filled the entire front of the store out! Fifteen people showed up to express their interest in being a part of this unfolding ministry, which by the way we've named... Abba's Children!!! Fifteen people that I basically didn't really know (so they didn't all come as a pity guest on my behalf). Fifteen people that have passionate hearts that genuinely LOVE God and LOVE others. Fifteen people that represent all aspects of orphan care from international adoption, to domestic adoption, to foster care, to sponsorship, to just wanting to be a support and encouragement to those in the process! Fifteen people who God burdened their hearts to show up on a Friday night to a "social"... that God had planned all the way back in August and knew just who needed to be there.
We went around the crowded, mis-shaped, circle of chairs and shared our hearts and what God was doing in our lives, and as I sat there listening to each story, my heart was happy- because I felt like God was whispering, "See, I told you I got this! It's not about you Hilary, it's about ME and as long as you're obedient, I'll make my name big!". And so I walked away on March 4th seeing a glimpse of His plan coming together. And while I still don't know what the big picture of Abba's Children Orphan Care Ministry at Preston Trail looks like, I'm cool with that- because I'm learning that He just shows me one step at a time and asks for me to faithfully step out in obedience. This seems to be becoming a theme in my life and I'm strangely becoming more and more comfortable with that.
So, with one successful social under our belt, we're getting ready for our next social coming up Thursday, March 31st, where we're doing a family potluck! I'll just have you know, so far we're already up to 28 YES's on the Evite! Wahoo! (Keep in mind that is including kiddos, but still! Bring it!) My hope and prayer is to get a better feel for what the immediate needs are for Abba's Children to offer to our church family AND to hear the hopes and dreams of what other's would love to see offered in the future. I'm confident that God is already at work and is just as excited as I am to make His name BIG! Here we go!
I'll do another post here soon about our awesome camping trip we had with the Aston's over spring break and what a blessing their friendship is in our lives! But for now, I'll give you a glimpse of the fun we had being all outdoorsy! This picture of Jude and I fishing, in a strange way, captures how I view this ministry opportunity and how God has let me be a part of it. I sort of feel like Jude, like I'm playing a role in casting the vision and reeling it in- but the obvious truth is, God is right behind me, holding the "pole" and guiding me, whispering in my ear only what I need to know in that very moment. I love that we have a God who desires to use us in accomplishing His work. I love that He is also a God who stands behind us, holding the "fishing pole", reassuring us how to reel it all in!