Me and You + Justice and Mercy
Oh my goodness, it’s been much too long since I wrote to you. After all this time, I pray this note finds you well and living in God’s good grace.
The past three years have felt a little like a blur for me. I’ve continued to travel and speak, while journeying with our family through graduations, weddings, multiple moves, the birth of our grandson, and all the various life-transitions that go along with having four grown-ish children. They just keep spreading their wings, like we prayed they would, while Scott and I are still here in North Carolina, holding down the home-fort.
A while back, the Lord surprised me with a life-turn I didn’t see coming. For years, my friends, Kelly Minter and Mary Katharine Hunt guilted, prodded, invited me to come with them to the Amazon River in Brazil. When I finally said yes (to just one trip), I never imagined I’d be writing to you today, after five trips to the Amazon and three trips to Moldova.
Through the years, I’ve been humbled to partner with several great ministries around the world, so two days into my first trip with Justice & Mercy, International (JMI), I was shocked to find myself in the middle of the jungle, desperately trying to get one bar of cell coverage to call my husband. When he said hello, I think my side of the call went something like this...
[Instant blubbering and tears]
Honey, it’s me. I’m fine. We’re all good. I just have to tell you something quick in case the cell drops and we get cut off . . . God is heeerreeee!! And He is doing something so powerful that I’m determined to be here every time He’ll let me. You’ve got to come and we have to bring our whole family here. We’re going all in with this ministry. I’ve never seen anything like it.
The next year, they asked me to go to Moldova and Kelly said, “Yeah, Moldova is gonna wreck your heart in a completely different way.” She was right, my heart was wrecked in the best possible way. The need is great, and God is there, too, doing mighty work through JMI.
So cut to the chase, our family has gone all in with JMI. Last year, Scott was asked to join the JMI Board of Directors. I’ve logged eight trips, he’s on his third, two of our children have made trips and the rest are on deck, ready to go.
All that leads me to the reason I’m writing to you . . .
I’ve spent the last years asking God, OH LORD, in this culture, in these days, how can I help people know Jesus more?
Maybe it will encourage you to know, after all my seeking, I still don’t have a file folder full of clarity and details. But, I’ve decided to run toward the things God has placed in my heart, anyway. Today, I’m writing to share one of those things.
In the next couple years, I’m hoping to take many of YOU WITH ME to the Amazon River in Brazil, or Moldova. I’ve been dreaming of something like this for such a long time and the picture is finally coming together.
What if you took one week away from your everyday life, then filled it with,
+ solid Bible teaching for your soul
+ the opportunity to serve together on mission
+ the life-giving joy of friendship and community.
Each day would include group sessions for worship, deeper teaching in God’s Word and life application through friendship and prayer, plus, each day we’d serve together in different churches and villages.
Our whole group, new friends and old, would share meals and adventures together. We’d pray for one another and the people we serve. It would be a week of personal growth in Jesus and for Jesus, both receiving and giving in His name.
The one thing I know for sure is these kind of HEART+MISSION weeks will happen in partnership with Justice & Mercy, Int’l. In the next months, we’ll use social media to survey your interest, thoughts and ideas as we go forward, and hopefully, very soon, we’ll send you the date for our first adventure together, a boat trip up the Amazon River.
Here’s the reason this dream is coming together now.
JMI is building a new boat, designed specifically for this kind of trip!! The boat will house groups of 40-45 people, plus staff and crew. And great news, the boat builders have begun building and JMI will take delivery by the end of next summer. The cost to build is $440,000 and what’s crazy, amazing . . . almost all the money has already been received!!! Folks who support JMI have sent large and small donations and God is getting HIS BOAT built. There’s more info on the new boat here.
By the end of this long note, I hope God is prompting you to pray about going with us to Moldova or the Amazon, one day. I can’t wait!
I also hope you’d like more info about Justice & Mercy because there is so much more to tell you!
And finally, because I’m so very passionate about the good, good work they are doing in this world, I want to ask you to help us finish funding the boat, if you are able.
As you already know, whether it’s $5 or $5000, everything works together and multiplies in God’s economy.
Here is the link to donate to the new JMI boat
Okay, sweet friend, thanks for letting me pop back into your life after all this time. I hope and pray to meet you here more often. I hope I see you on the road somewhere soon. And I especially hope we get to share a HEART+MISSION week together one day. Just wow.
Until then, here’s our assignment today:
Love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, and all your soul, and all of your mind and all your strength. And love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.
I’m grateful to love you and serve you,