The story of us and North Point begins on a couch in Austria back in 2002. So many people are surprised to hear that, since Ian is an Atlanta native. We were a newly married couple, plopped in a new country trying to figure out how to worship together. After a fruitless search of a place that fit, Ian suddenly thought of North Point and searched on line for messages. 10 years later we’re back in Europe with a heart to see people connect with God, not just from their couches and a computer screen but live, up close and personal.
But there are 3 people that are most important to us. Three little souls in our care. Our hearts wants so much that they too can connect with our Heavenly Father in a way that makes sense and is relevant to them in their lives.
Since coming back to Europe, one of our biggest struggles as a missionary family has been leading our kids in faith. I know it seems so crazy because we’ve moved across the world in faith and for this faith but by the time you make it through another day of figuring out how to do life, you’re stinking tired. You just don’t have the energy to muster up an awesome Bible time with your kids and honestly you’re not so sure they got to see much Christ in you throughout the day. You’re left thinking about the incredible surrondings that they were taken out of and the reality of where they are now and you question and wonder is any of this sticking in? Will this faith be theirs? Will they really ever understand following God to a foreign land so that others may know him too?
These thoughts have been weighing so heavily on my heart over the past several months. It’s been a consistent point of my prayers. I read the other day in Psalm 36 these words: “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you.” I thought…ok God there it is again. You are the instructor and the teacher. I am the student. Will you show us the way to go with our children? We’re doing the best we can but often our best feels not enough.
This past Sunday, we decided to do worship at home with our kids.
As we were preparing what to do with them I thought of how nice it would be to be able to watch a kid focused service on line much like our experience 10 years ago. I’m not sure how I missed this HUGE TIDBIT but KidStuf is available on line now! I was so excited as I randomly found it doing a google search. So we gathered our kids on the couch and we all sat around for 45 minutes and watched and listened as they poured into the hearts of our kids. The message this month is about Faith. It’s the very thing that our 9 year old can’t figure out right now.
She’s experienced some things as a 9 year old that I didn’t encouter until my twenties. She lives among those who pay no attention to her God and who certainly don’t live by His standards. She’s lost everything familiar to her and endured the loss of a baby sister. It’s hard for her to keep going and trusting and believing when life hurts and things can sometimes be so stinking unfair. After watching the program she told us all about the big idea with a grin from ear to ear. The program captivated her like I’ve seen nothing else do in the past 20 months of being here. She got it, it stuck. Faith is believing no matter what.
I hope she knows that it was no accident, me finding that this Sunday. I hope that she can really comprehend that we are in a relationship with a very personal Heavenly Father and even among the doubts, hurts and pains of this world, he’s calling her and he’s right there with her. He truly is the teacher and he constantly reminds me that he loves them so much more that I can really comprehend. He is calling us to himself and in the midst of this hectic I needed that reminder too.