Friday, August 27, 2010

Educating my kids

I just got back from our first trip to the Outdoor Discovery Center in Holland, MI. My kids and my nieces had the most wonderful time and did not want to leave. On the ride home, I was telling Mercy that we would have to come back a few times for a little field trip while Elijah and Faith are at school in a couple weeks. That comment sparked a conversation between my kids and my nieces about school and field trips. As they were talking Elijah said he can't wait for me to be his teacher. He said that he is looking forward to doing some worksheets on his own and learning lots of things with me as his teacher and his sisters as his classmates.
It made me really think about God's way of doing things because Elijah has been asking me to homeschool him since he was in preschool. It did not make sense to me because he is an awesome student and is very social at school so he has plenty of friends, yet each summer he begs me to be his teacher. Bryan and I prayed about what school our kids should attend years ago and really felt God leading us to send them to public school so they could be a light to their friends and teachers. It was hard to try to explain that to Eli each year and tell him it was not because I did not want to have him around and to teach him, but I want to let him be a witness for God to all the people he meets.
For those of you who really know Eli, you will know that he has a way of praying and as Bryan describes it "pushing God" a little to get his prayers answered. This year Eli's prayer for his mommy to homeschool him will be answered as well. I hope he has also prayed for patience and grace for his mommy and him as this will be a very new and bumpy road that he, Faith, and Mercy will be traveling on with their mommy. One of many new and different and sometimes challenging things we will all do together. Today, I am excited and ready for that challenge, but other days it will be harder. God is allowing me not only to give my children an education, but also a chance to change their eyes and hearts to the things He has preplanned for us to witness. Much of their learning will have nothing to do with a text book. They will see poverty, brokenness, rejection, disease, death, but also happiness, true wealth, adoption, and love.

Monday, August 23, 2010

My Dream Job

Within the past 2 weeks, I was sharing my testimony with a friend and I came to a new realization about our upcoming mission. Back in 2002 when I was working full time at Wedgwood, I began to look around for a different job. I had been assaulted a couple times and began to wonder if working with abused and neglected teen girls was where I should stay. I started to research different job options, and found the job I considered to be my dream job. Adoption Associated was looking for a person who would do home studies and help place children with their adoptive parents. I applied for the job and was very excited about the possibility of helping connect children with their new moms and dads. I had worked with teenagers who grew up in the foster system and rarely saw them be adopted, and thought that being a part of something so beautiful as bringing families together would be amazing.

I was turned down for the job because my college degree is in criminal justice and not social work. There was nothing I could do to get my dream job because we were thinking of starting our own family and I did not have the time or money to go get my masters in social work. The dream job was put aside and I moved on. I had my 3 kids, worked on-call for Wedgwood and began to watch my nieces.

It did not occur to me right away after Bryan brought up moving to Lesotho and working at Beautiful Gate, that we would be doing exactly what I wanted to do here. We may not be the front runner who finds the families and goes to court to advocate for the children, but we will help keep Beautiful Gate running smoothly while the director is gone. We will be involved in the kid's lives and witness God's amazing hand at work as each child finds a new home. We will rejoice when we see each kid and their new parents meet and leave Beautiful Gate together. I know that a few will never get the chance to find an earthly home as some will pass on to their heavenly home due to HIV/AIDS, but we will be blessed to have been a part of their family.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

We are 10% closer to our plane tickets

We got an update from Danell last week so she could update us on our fundraising. We have 10% of the funds we need committed in order to buy our plane tickets. I am so humbled and feel so blessed by the love and generosity of our family, friends, and church family. The reality of us moving to Africa is beginning to take hold in many different ways for our family. I spent most of Thursday, Friday, and Saturday selling many of our non essential clothes, toys, books, movies, etc at our second garage sale. Bryan has begun to feel the reality of this move when a neighbor asked to go through our house (not sure how serious she is about buying) and another person showed interest in buying our couches. But saying goodbye to our house and our belongings is not a very hard part for either of us. We know it is only material possessions which can be here today and gone tomorrow. The hardest part is starting to realize how much we will miss our family and friends.

This was evident today when I was having a conversation with my son Elijah. He had a few problems while staying with his grandparents this past weekend and I wanted to talk to him about his lack of patience when he wants to do something. During our talk, I mentioned that this was probably the last weekend that he will have stayed with them before we leave for Africa because he will be in school soon. I meant that they will not have the kids alone again (they will be stuck with Bryan and I visiting too), but Eli misunderstood my meaning. I later found him on the couch with his head buried in his lap trying his best not to cry. I came over to him and asked what was wrong and he just started to sob uncontrollably. He told me he would not get to see Oma or Papa for 5 years and he felt bad that he had not been good on their last visit. It took me awhile to explain that we will see them again before we leave, but that was the last time he would go without mom and dad coming with him.

That is the hardest part of following this call to move to Africa. We have such a great family who all love us and are wonderful to be around. We have fantastic neighbors and friends whom we have known for years and our church family is amazing and welcoming. I have a greater respect for Abraham in the bible now because he did not have the convenience of modern technology. When God said go, he went knowing that was the last time he would see some of his family and friends. We have the privilege of having email, skype, letters, facebook, mission trips, and other ways to keep touch. So, after all that rambling, please know that we do not take any of your friendships for granted and appreciate all you have done and will continue to do for us. With all our love......the Geurinks

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Mustard

I had about 8 friends coming over to my house this past weekend for one of our last board game nights. Bryan and I have been hosting these game nights for about 8 years with neighbors, family, college friends, and of course Mel :) We like to have lots of snacks, pop, dinner, and desserts to offer our friends, so I headed off to Meijer to buy groceries.
There was nothing really going through my mind except crossing items off my list, and then I headed down the aisle to pick up some mustard. I grabbed the mustard and then (I have no idea where the thought came from) I thought to myself, "This is probably the last bottle of mustard I am going to buy in the US for the next 5 years." My heart started racing as that thought ran through my head. Sometimes I feel like this is going to all happen sometime way out into the future and the reality of November being only a few months away gets me all nervous because I feel like that is tomorrow when I look at all that needs to be accomplished.
It may be my last bottle of mustard but soon we will be learning to buy a lot of new and different things in a new country. Will they even have mustard? Will it taste the same if they do? I don't know. I'll be sure to let you all know when we get there!
Anita

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Nervous Excitement

This week has been a nerve racking and exciting week for me (Bryan). A lot of support letters went in the mail last week and many more went into the Haven Church mailboxes last Sunday. We are eagerly awaiting to watch God and His provision for us as we step out and take on this journey. We are very anxious for the day that we reach our first goal and can actually book our plane tickets. It is very hard for me to just "let God do the work" and trust Him with every aspect of this process. Currently, He is teaching me patience, which will come in handy in Africa from what I hear. But, I am confident that He will supply our every need and hopefully overflow our funding, so that we can help others to come and be missionaries to Beautiful Gate with us!
Please pray for our funding and for our family to once again "gear up" for any battles that may come our way with the sword of scripture, the belt of truth and the breastplate of righteousness. Our "feet are already fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace." See Ephesians 6:10-18.
Thanks again for your support and love!
Bryan