These are our friends. I can't tell you their names or even where they live because it could impact their safety. But I do want to tell you about them because they are heroes to me. And they would probably laugh and hate that I call them that but they are.
We met them years ago in California, before any of us were married.
We were all in a small group at our church together. Then they got married and so did we.
We felt like God was continuing to lead us into college ministry and they felt that he was leading them overseas...to a people group who have never heard about Jesus...in the middle of a desert...where the risks they face are numerous.
So, fast forward a few years and we live in Raleigh/Durham now, in a beautiful area with a lovely home. I get to be home with our two kids. We own two cars. We eat out at least once a week and adjust our thermostat without a thought. We are working with college students (just as we planned) and they speak our language and help us with our kids.
This picture was a taken a few nights before our friends moved. To a desert far away. And, yes, they have a baby girl who was not even a year old when they left. They left their families, their car, their thermostat and their culture. They went to form relationships with people who don't know who Jesus is or what he has done for them.
And we sat with them, this night before they left. And we asked if they were scared.
And they almost looked a little puzzled at the question.
They acknowledged that they knew the first days and weeks there would be hard but where you would expect fear and sadness, there was peace and joy and anticipation in their faces and voices.
All of their language study and culture study, all of their prayer and preparation was about to be put to use with a people that they love deeply without even knowing them.
Every time I receive their email updates I cry.
I cry because they really understand that life isn't just about the here and now.
Jesus really is coming back and he has really asked us to tell others about him.
I cry because I'm still trying to preserve my own comfort and "american dream" in so many ways and they left it all, happily.
I cry because their example pushes me away from pursuing things that don't ultimately matter very much.
I think they really believe God's word when it says that if you try to save your life, you will lose it but if you lose your life for His sake, you will find it.