Q. ANGIE: Looking back at yourself as a mom of middle-aged children and babies, how did you begin proactively preparing your heart to let go and let God have your children for service overseas?
A. ANN: With each child, there was definitely a time of “dedicating” each one to the Lord and praying over them and committing each little one into God’s hand. I didn’t know what that would look like, but I honestly made a conscious effort to surrender each child to God, like Hannah dedicated her future child (Samuel) to God’s purposes.
I also spent quite a bit of time teaching our kids about world missions, and even as we learned about different missionaries and various countries, I would let the kids know that my heart as a mom was for each of them to fulfill God’s will for their life.
But I think surrendering our kids to God is a layered process; I keep thinking I’ve “done it” but then it’s like the Lord takes me to a deeper level of surrender. As Christi was beginning her relationship with Trae (whose family lives in Niger, West Africa — a very poor and hot and predominantly Muslim country), the decision to surrender became a real process of “letting go,” and a real guy (who Jon & I had never even met in person) who was in love with our girl.
But God is AMAZING!! Trae is an awesome man of God, and we are thrilled about how the Lord has led them together. And who knows where He will take them in the future. The two are looking at several different possibilities: Brazil, France, Niger, Asia . . . and even Kona, Hawaii (to go through YWAM’s University of the Nations).
Q. ANGIE: Christi, when you were growing up, around the ages 9-12, what was your spiritual perspective on Missions & purpose in life in comparison to now? Do you see a direct connection with your mom & dads purposeful parenting style?
Give some examples!
A. CHRISTI: I see a huge connection between my parents’ style of raising us and my heart for missions. It is because of you guys (my dad and mom) that I want to go into missions. My parents didn’t just talk the talk, they lived it. They traveled literally to the uttermost parts of the earth for the sake of the gospel. I saw how alive and on fire they were, and it started a flame in me too.