Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Appreciating My Mom and Dad a Little More...

Today I appreciated my mom and dad a little more.

See for the last few days I have been diving in with a medical emergency involving one of our summer project participants in Russia. A young gal - Kristen - was not only to keep any fluids down for a while and our team took her to a local clinic. It happened to be the 2nd time she had been this summer so I dove in with the team leader - Michael - and on the advice of our emergency medical insurance company (SOS) we had her evacuated to Germany. Someone had to travel with her so Michael and I decided the best move was to challenge another of the gals - Ashley - who was going to be leaving early on Monday anyway. Turns this gal spoke a little German too.

The part that makes me appreciate my parents a little more is how Kristen's parents (believers) responded. On some level I understand. It's their little girl (though she is 20) and she is on the other side of the world and sick. But after several calls with her dad, I realized I was not talking with a rational person with normal concerns. He was driving me crazy with questions I couldn't answer and demands I couldn't meet. Each time, Robin said I was patient which help because inside I wasn't.

This morning, we knew they had arrived in Germany and his daughter was released from the hospital but we hadn't heard from them personally. So he called me and goes ballistic saying he was going to hold Crusade responsible for this situation. "This situation" he referred to was all in his head assuming the worse. He was mad because I didn't have her on a plane right that moment even though I wasn't sure the doctors didn't want to observe her more or if they could get a flight that soon and I was waiting on them to contact me. Fortunately, Michael called me from Russia as he was yelling at me so I could say I had to talk to Russia and get off the phone with him.

Turns out they were fine. They had been awake at the hospital till 4 am while they ran tests and when she was released they checked into a hotel and preceded to sleep for 6 hours. They woke up, she emailed her parents, they got something to eat, bought a phone card and called me. Tomorrow they will rest and work on changing their airline tickets

Here's where I appreciate my parents... I don't think they would do this. When I first joined CCC staff, my mom said she was struggling with letting me go. In her quiet time she read the story of Jesus as a boy in the temple. As Jesus told his mother and father that 'He must be about His Father's business", my mom realized the same was true for me and she gave up control. She knows the safest place for her son (daughter-in-law and grandsons too) is in the center of God's will.

She has never complained that I lived in California, Colorado or the remotest parts of the earth. She doesn't demand that we 'bring home the grand kids' like some Christian parents do of their missionary kids. She doesn't get overly concerned or irrational. She trusts in the Lord who called me. And if its possible, my dad does more. He has always just trusted that the Lord is in control.

We are facing an uncertain future, my friends. (Maybe I should say it is a certain future since there is One who holds the future.) The remaining locations where the gospel has not yet gone are in the most dangerous places on earth. The dark places are dark because the enemy has a stronghold and yet the light of gospel needs to go forth. Someone must go. It will cost lives. I fear that students will be willing to lay down their lives and go and yet parents (even those who call themselves Christians) will stand in the way. They will say "not my son", "not my little girl". They will threaten mission agencies with phrases like "I hold you responsible!"

How 'bout we hold God responsible, huh? How 'bout we trust that the Lord who has our best interest at heart is in control. How 'bout we even let our sons and daughters experience the joy of sharing in His sufferings! How 'bout we let them - if its His will - experience the blessing - yes, blessing - of being persecuted for His name sake!

I guess I am going off. I do care. I care enough that I dove in to help this gal get medical care. I care so much that I authorized us to use our funds to cover the cost of evacuation. I don't want to see people in a harm's way. I have a pastoral caring heart. But I just wonder what it would look like if we really surrendered control of our kids and like Hannah gave them over to the Lord's service.

I just hope that God would call my sons to follow Him and I will be willing and proud to let them go wherever He calls them. I certainly don't want to stand before the Judge one day knowing I selfishly stood in the way of them obeying the Lord.


Jane said...

Andy, that was beautifully said. I totally agree with you. As a parent we want to protect our children, that is natural. But when we have had them baptized and given to God as children we can't take them back when they feel called to a place that may be dangerous for them.
Thank you for this word. I think you should have it printed in the CCC magazine. I really think parents should read it.
Give you precious wife and boys a hug and kiss for us.
BTW, we are joyfully awaiting the arrival of little Zoe Sahar Lathem in September. Then we will have a grandbaby to spoil.

Andy McCullough said...

Your comments from a mother whose son went to be with the Savior while coming home from a mission trip is more powerful than anything I wrote. You and Warren model the type of parents we need today. For me, it's all theory until my sons are old enough to where Robin and I will have to let them go where God has called them. I hope we will pass the test if we are so honored to have our sons called to go.

Know you and Warren will be great grandparents!!! Early Congrats.