The Times, They are A-Changing

Here is the testimony I shared yesterday at church...

Two and a half years ago, I sat in a hospital bed in Jackson awaiting the delivery of our fourth child. At that point in the pregnancy, we knew that the delivery could mean the end of my life on earth. I spent many days alone in that hospital room crying out to God to spare my baby. At some point during that time and probably more than once, I prayed a prayer that went something like this: “Father God, this is your body and your life. Do with it as You will. Not my will, but Yours, Father.”

Let me just say that the way He answered that prayer was NOTHING that I expected and it has been nothing short of AH-mazing. First of all, I expected to wake up in His “marvelous light” and instead I woke up in a dimly lit, machine beeping ICU room. Disappointed–yes, I think I was... After all, “to live is Christ, and to die is gain, right?”

Over the past 2.5 years, though, I have seen the hand of God in my life and in the life of my family like I never imagined. After all, He has promised in His Word that He can and will do exceedingly and abundantly more than we can ask or think. I promise that our lives have not been as seemingly chaotic as they have been since we’ve been here. Kids, kids & more kids  You never know how many kids the Freemans are gonna show up with on Sunday, do ya? Some of you may not even know how many are actually ours biologically. To clarify, we have four.

We have always loved children. We surrounded ourselves with children even before we had our own. And I can’t speak for Jeff, but I have had a heart for children, foster children, adoption and “the least of these” since I was very young. In fact, for as long as I can remember.

So why move to Ecuador when we’re caring for children right here in Mississippi? Well, there were no lightning bolts or burning bushes, no voice from the heavens. I have been touched by the work being done at Casa de Fe since Jenny Jo and Georgianna took the first trip there. I always thought that Jeff & I would spend our retirement years doing something similar, AFTER we had raised our own children. However, in helping to plan for the Casa de Fe 2012 trip, I noticed a needs list in a recent newsletter. I couldn’t help but notice that we were qualified to fill several of the staff needs on that list.

I began to pray that if a move to Ecuador was the Lord’s will that He would impress that on Jeff’s heart and have him lead us in that direction. Little did I know that Jeff had been praying the same thing for me since March 2011–that God would break MY heart for Ecuador. Some time after that, I showed Jeff the staff needs. He said we should email Patti Sue and Tandy. I did, and they were excited  I emailed Patti Sue to tell her that I was shocked at her response. I really thought she would say something like, “You have four kids? Yeah...we have enough of those already. Thanks anyway...” But she didn’t. She is making great plans (work plans) for us.

So again, why go to Ecuador? Why not?  Any reason to NOT go would only be an excuse. Isaiah 6:8 says, “Whom shall I send and who will go for us?” “Here am I. Send me. ” I want to live a life pleasing to the One who made me. I want to live a life of FEW regrets.

As Erma Bombeck said, “When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, ‘I used everything You gave me.’” 

Another quote I would like to share: Jim Elliot, of Mission Aviation Fellowship, who lost his life in 1956 attempting to minister to a native tribe in the jungles bordering Shell, Ecuador: “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.”

I feel completely UNqualified and totally humbled that He would allow a wretch like me to serve Him; and at the same time, I am totally elated that He would allow a wretch like me to serve Him.

May 21, 2012, we plan to be on a plane headed to Shell, Ecuador. We have committed two years to the work that the Lord is doing through Casa de Fe. Will you pray for us?

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