One Million Arrows Christian Parenting Blog

Posted in: Arrow Families

Bringing Our Family to the Mission
Guest Author: Michelle Northcutt
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northcuttsFrom 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:

When Gary gave up our business 3 years ago at the Lord's prompting (to pursue ministry), we had no idea how we would make it financially. But we have so many stories of the Lord's provision.  One of the first times we needed money was for celebrating three of our children's birthdays (close together) because I had promised them a party at Chuck E Cheese.  I told the Lord how my heart was burdened because I didn't want to have to break a promise to my children.  Money was so tight that we only had enough gas in the van to get to church and back the next day (Sunday), but I left it in the Lord's hands, not knowing what He would do.

Just before church the next day, a friend came up to me and said the Lord had impressed her to give me a "BILY" gift and she handed me an envelope.  I had no idea what a "bily" gift was until I opened the envelope: 'Because I Love You.' The envelope contained a check for $50-enough for the party and for gas to get us there.  I cried in appreciation to the Lord for His gift to my children.

God has taken us on many such journeys of financial trust. There were times when He asked us to give away what we had, challenging our faith as we waited for his provision.  One December He told Gary to give away all our money for that month.  Of course I wasn't too keen on the idea, but as I prayed I knew I had to follow my husband's leading.  After we had given away $1,100, Gary felt the Lord say, "enough."  So then we waited to see how He would provide.  Soon thereafter, we received a letter from the federal government saying they had miscalculated our April tax return and so they credited our bank account with $1,120.  The Lord replaced every penny we gave away and gave us $20 extra.  Not only did we have the joy of seeing the Lord provide, but He allowed us to be a blessing to others as we gave.

I could give you account after account of how the Lord has supplied all our needs.  Recently, He's provided for our flights and for shipping our household goods to Zambia.

We are grateful for the gentle way He has led us through this journey of trust, as now we can honestly say that we are not concerned about finances.  He will provide for His work in His timing.  He promises throughout scripture that He will provide the things we need (Matt 6:33) as long as we seek Him and His righteousness first.  Also in Isaiah, He tells us that the righteous will never beg for food, and we hold on to His promises.

Arrows in the Making

northcutt kidsWe are truly grateful for the way the Lord has built our family-He placed each child specifically with us.  All of them have a story of how we should never have been able to adopt them-either rules were bent, or certain boxes were not check on forms-some glitch in the system happened that allowed them to come home to us. He has given us children who are such a blessing and are now ready to be a blessing to others. What has really blessed us is how the children are excited about our move to Zambia and taking care of the children there.

Every morning we read the bible and pray together as a family.  I have been amazed at the children's prayers.  They pray for the children that we will be taking care of, asking God if we can adopt them.  When I first heard the word adoption, I was so surprised, as we've never mentioned doing it.  I asked our kids if we could just take care of the children, or did we have to adopt them.  It was unanimous - "We have to adopt!"  Perhaps this is because they have been adopted and so understand the need for permanency for a child.  I have told them we will seek the Lord as to whether we are to adopt them or not.

Bringing Home to the Mission Field

There was a time when we believed we couldn't do much ourselves until our children were grown. But the Lord has gently shown us over the last few years that the best way to train our 'arrows' is to go into the mission together. Serving the Lord by taking care of the orphans in Zambia is not a calling that God has given to just Gary and me. It's definitely a calling for the whole family and we expect the children to be involved in reaching out and helping those in need, too. It has been such an incredible blessing to watch our children grow in their faith as they look forward to the job that has been given us."

The kids have been thinking a lot about this move and the implications of it.  One day Jeremiah prayed, "Lord could we please get to Zambia quickly, before another child dies?!" Then a couple of days later he asked me, "Mom how long will we be in Zambia?" 

I replied "I don't know, as long as the Lord keeps us there".

He thought for a moment and then said, "But Mom we can't leave - if we do more children will die!"

To read more of the Northcutt's inspiring testimony of how they got to Zambia and what their work is all about, visit their website.

Favorite verse:

1 John 3:16-17: We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoever has the world's goods, and sees his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him?

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