Family Practice

There is something very special about families that engage in adventures together. When those adventures are aligned with God-guided missions, it is very powerful! We have three “families” on this team. Pastora Myriam with her mom, Gloria, and her children, Julio & Angellie. The other siblings: Ronnie & Ashley Leftwich and her brother, Alex. And a father/daughter duo: Dr. Sam Lynch and his daughter, Kaylee. Wow! Parents, grandparents, spouses, siblings, children… pretty amazing when you stop and think about it.

Sam and Kaylee
Sam and Kaylee
Families are not perfect. And sometimes when you are a “Christian” you think your family life should be “perfect”…and, if it’s not, then something is terribly wrong with you. Nothing could be farther than the truth. In fact, I’ve believed for a long time that it may be quite possible that our messiest days in family life are the days that Christ’s love is most deeply manifest. I will never forget a call from a work colleague many years ago. She was crying. It had been an “awful” morning. Her kids were screaming, they were late for school and work…it felt like life was falling apart. She thought she was the worst mom ever. But in that very moment as I prayed for her it was crystal clear to me, and I shared with her: “this may be your most holy moment as a mom”. Because it is not about the easy days or the smoothness of life.
Ronnie & Ashley with Alex.
Ronnie & Ashley with Alex.
It is about the love that keeps on going beyond teenage rebellion, beyond divorce, beyond addictions, beyond dysfunction and heartache and financial woes and all sorts of “life”. It is the reckless AND intentional persistence of Love.

Pastora Myriam with her children Julio & Angellie, and her mother, Gloria. Three generations!
Pastora Myriam with her children Julio & Angellie, and her mother, Gloria. Three generations!
Being with a multi-generational team that includes families is probably one of the most beautiful expressions of this Love that I’ve ever seen. Here these people come into another country to serve with strangers they hope will accept them. That alone is a risk. Creating memories with your family is a practice of Love. Taking that practice into a culture you do not control or create is a risk that says, “I trust you enough to experience this moment by moment without knowing the end result. Let’s do it together.”

Last night the dentists among us (Dr. Robin and Dr. Sam) shared powerful stories that I will never forget. Sam had a morning devotion that reminded him to “trade fear for confidence” in the Lord as he embarked on his first dental mission in Guatemala. The scriptures that tell the stories of Joshua and Moses are clear examples of how faithful God is to walk with us in EVERY situation and circumstance. Sam experienced that scripture all day long as the team took care of over 60 patients and probably 100 teeth. And then, much like the teachings of Jesus, Dr. Robin shared a story of a blind man that came to the dental chair.

Drs. Robin and Sam
Drs. Robin and Sam

And before you read on…take a moment to remember how most all of us are nervous or even fearful about the “dental chair”. It’s scary! OK…continue:

This amazing man who is blind walked in to be seen by a doctor he does not know, from a country he will likely never visit, who speaks a language he cannot understand and whose credentials he cannot verify. He climbed straight into that dental chair and by doing so, he was saying something like… “I trust you enough to give you complete access to the two primary modes of communication I have with life: taste and speech. Please fix this.” That is what God wants us to do: trust and surrender. Dr. Robin was Christ to that blind man, and you are probably Christ to someone today too. It is an act of Love; don’t be afraid to trust… and don’t be afraid to be trusted.

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