This weekend was Defender's Day in Maryland. This is the best and least known fireworks show of the year, complete with a narrator of the re-enacted battle and a band. Defender's Day celebrates the American victory in the Battle of Baltimore in the War of 1812. Traditionally, it is the first weekend after the first week of school. The weather is getting cooler, the afternoon sunlight hints of Autumn and one swells with pride of knowing that such a monumental battle was fought in our back yard. This weekend was Defender's Day...and we weren't there. Very soon the leaves will begin to change colors on the Gingko trees in our neighbor's yard...and we won't see them. Our niece was married last week...and we weren't there. The week we came, a friend of ours died suddenly and a week later another friend was paralyzed in a bike accident...and we weren't there. When we left Maryland, we left everything we knew and loved to become a part of something unknown. We left security and safety. We were crazy. In our lunacy we believed that we should take part in a greater plan for our lives than security. We wanted to be a blessing to a community deeply committed to putting families back together, one generation at a time. We believed that if we made these sacrifices of safety, security, friendships, conveniences and Defender's Days, that God would turn them into investments. Pouring out these losses at the foot of the cross turns them into gains for a greater purpose. In our unstable state of mind, we are asking the Lord to allow us to stay here for as long as He will allow, to make an impact here and in Asia. May He add to our losses a hundred more Defender's Days.
"What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ." Philippians 3:8