One Million Arrows Christian Parenting Blog
- The Mission Minded Family
By Julie Ferwerda
- Big Hearts, Open Arms
Guest Author: Judy Wiley
- Our Hearts Stirred...Our Family is Growing in 2010
Guest Author: Andrea Young
- Lessons from Charlie
Guest Author: Alex Waits
- God is Bringing the Nations to Us
Guest Author: Brooke Garcia
- Life Lovin' Kids Save More Babies
Guest Author: Goulding Family
- Bringing Our Family to the Mission
Guest Author: Michelle Northcutt
- Out of the Mouths of Babes
Guest Author: Sammie and Lawrie Barth
- Stanley Clan Moves Downtown
Guest Author: Rebecca Stanely
- At Home with the Couch Potatoes
Guest Author: Kristin Couch
Entries for: Arrow Families
When I first picked up Ann Dunagan's book, The Mission Minded Family, something looked fishy. The first thing I noticed is that our covers are uncannily similar, with a silhouette of a family and a map of the world behind. Add to that, India is prominent on both covers! But the similarities don't stop there. Getting into Ann's first few chapters, many passages rang so familiar to the message of One Million Arrows that I began to suspect plagiarism (grins). I turned to the copyright page and then discovered it was I who was guilty of plagiarism because Ann published two years ahead of me (2007).
The Mission Minded Family is a delightful read from cover to cover. Where One Million Arrows intentionally stops a bit short in practical parenting ideas for the mission (OMA is intended to be more inspirational), Ann's book hits the mark. Her book is a perfect mix of "show and tell." She offers many practical ideas for getting one's family involved in missions, for developing children's hearts with a sold out purpose, and she sprinkles in plenty of personal family examples as well as biographies of many refreshingly unknown yet inspiring men and women of faith. Ann and her husband Jon would be among these examples. They have made many great sacrifices of faith during their years of ministry and because of it, God has given them many amazing opportunities and miraculous provisions.
Three or four years ago, the path ahead seemed clear for Emily and Moody Alexander—and much more direct. The native Texans had four children and considered their family complete. They were comfortable in their sizable home on a quiet cul-de-sac in Pantego. Moody had joined his father's practice at what is now Drs. Alexander Orthodontics in Arlington, and Emily was home-schooling the kids.
That was before. Before the entire family went to Ethiopia to adopt Abe. Before they learned, after they got back home, that Abe was suffering from cerebral palsy. Before they returned to Ethiopia and adopted Seth. And before their passion for making a difference against incredible odds began to spread.
In February 2007, we first fell in love with Africa when we joined four other couples in starting a school in Zambia. Our school educates 400 orphans and 150 widows daily.
Through this experience, we have learned that the Lord can use all of us—RIGHT WHERE WE ALEADY ARE—to make a BIG difference in this world! Continuing the story for us, this means that our family of five is soon going to be six.
Alex and Laura Waits are headed to Lempira, Honduras, this summer to live out the mission with their children while living and working among the Miskito Indian people. Here is a recent post from Alex about how the boys of Lempira are grabbing hold of his heart.
Our first visit to Mama Tara's Miskito Orphanage was in November of 2009. Only four months later, in March of 2010, we found ourselves back in Puerto Lempira in preparation for a long-term move to the area.
It has been our heart's desire to take our family to Mexico. We want to be closer to my husband Angel's family and to have opportunities to share with them and point them to the Lord. We also want to be used as a family to reach the nations. We are continuing to pray about that and to seek the Lord's guidance. But for now, this is where our family is, living in Virginia. We still desire to be serving the Lord, so for now, this is where we are serving. And guess what? God is still faithful to bring us the desires of our heart. Only he is bringing the nations to us!
We recently had the privilege to meet some refugee families that relocated to our town this past month. While we were visiting with a Colombian family, they invited us in but didn't have any chairs. But we didn't mind! They went to ask their neighbors who are from Iraq. They speak very little English. They have two daughters that have been going to school here the past month, and the youngest daughter is doing very well learning English, and also taking a Spanish class and knows basic Spanish. As we all had a conversation, I would translate from Spanish to English and the daughter would translate from English to Arabic. It got quite confusing, but everyone was patient.
Our family has been involved with the local Community Pregnancy Clinic for several years. Each year, we participate in the Walk for Life to raise funds for the clinic. This year, my husband challenged our older children to brainstorm ideas as to how they could raise funds. They began by starting a blog. Every other day or so, the two oldest, Tucker and Chloe, work on writing a post that either has something to do with how the fundraising is going, or something to do with the preciousness of life in general. The fundraising has been going in earnest during this last ten days before the Walk.
Most recently they organized an event with a local restaurant that agreed to give 25% of all income from a given night. A couple weeks ago, they baked and sold cookies to high school and middle school kids who walked by on their way home. Just before the event, they hosted a garage sale generating items donated by friends and family. They also sold raffle tickets for a beautifully painted gourd, donated by Grandma, and they have been going door-to-door asking for donations.
From the onset of their marriage in 1994, Gary and Michelle Northcutt of St. Louis, Missouri, have been an example of love in action by opening their home to anyone in need. What started with giving a temporary home to a pregnant teenager ended with taking care of eleven foster children, six of which they adopted.
Last year, the Northcutts moved to Leeds, England, where Gary worked as the maintenance supervisor at a missions organization and Michelle homeschooled their children. Just this month, the whole family relocated to Livingstone, Zambia, where they will be working with and providing homes for orphans, as well as setting up self-sustaining revenue for the children. I'm extremely blessed by the testimony of this family and I know you will be too. Here is a little bit of their story:
The first week of March, I hosted a blog tour for One Million Arrows. Basically, this is where you get people from your target market to read the book and write a review on their blog so others can learn about your book. One of the tour particpants, Sherri Barth, took a unique approach to her review, and I'd like to share it with you...
Over the past couple weeks, our family has been reading a book together... One Million Arrows: Raising Your Children to Change the World, by Julie Ferwerda.
For the Stanley Clan from the suburbs of Atlanta, walking in obedience to Christ has taken on a new challenge this year of moving to the front lines of their ministry—inner-city Atlanta. This decision began as a result of working a summer ministry camp for inner-city kids, and now they feel a special call to live in close community with the kids and their families.
Rebecca says, "Our journey into inner-city ministry began with the conviction that if we claim to be Christians, we MUST love our neighbors as ourselves. And the children in our very own city are living in poverty amidst violence, gangs, teen pregnancy, and failing schools.
Shortly after our daughter was born my husband, Jon, felt the Lord tugging at his heart to go into ministry. This was no small consideration for our family. We had just moved into our dream home, and Jon had climbed the corporate ladder into a high paying job.
A few months later, we sold our home and moved to another state so Jon could attend seminary. After that he began a ministry called "This Day Ministries," where he uses his gifts to preach expository messages, verse-by-verse from Scripture. Since 2005, we've been traveling many Sundays as a family, filling in at various churches that need help. I have grown to understand the importance of supporting Jon in his call to ministry. It's not an easy life, and sometimes I battle discouragement in not having "roots." Yet when I see lives stirred in response to my husband's teaching, I know that this is not about me, but about the mission.
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