Why are we bringing a 1 year old to the D.R.? I get that question a lot. Usually it is not directly asked like that, but Celia and I get the gist easily enough. And before I go on, we understand the concern people have. We're not offended at it either. We know of the higher risk of Malaria (or some other disease) that mosquitoes may bring with them; we know that a blond hair, blue-eyed girl will catch the eye of some sick-o's; we know of the danger in eating foods or drinking water there; we know all that and more...more than most. And its not only Arianna, I know the risks placed on Celia as well.
So how can we do it? Do we not love our little one? Ha! I admit, that might offend me a little if you insinuate that, but I'd get over it- I would understand that there is just confusion as to why we are making this move. So here is the answer in one word: "Obedience." If the Lord were not leading us to go, then I might rightly be asked to sit down and consider the needless dangers I'm risking myself and my family with. However, we are very confident that God Almighty Himself placed within us the knowledge of His will through the reading of His Word over two years ago.
At that time, we did not have Arianna, and she was not even a thought to be quite honest. However, the Lord was not ignorant of the fact that on one crisp, late October morning Celia would wake me up and say those two words, and that upon hearing them, I'd almost pass out! No, my sovereign Lord was not surprised like his feeble child (me) was. So the fact of Him "calling" us to the foreign mission field before we had Arianna made no difference to us. If He called us then, He's calling us now. Some have tried to convince me He's not, but they have not succeeded, nor do I think they ever will.
I think its safer to be in the middle of God's will, than outside it, even if that place seems safer. I'd rather be sitting in a lion's den if the Lord is with me, than sitting on my couch in my comfy home if He is not. In fact, I'd rather be in the lion's den (if He is with me) than on my couch, even if He was with me. My point is, if God be with us, then who can be against us (Ro. 8:31)! I remember hearing a story of how a guy was in an airport in some other dangerous country and for some reason he had to leave his briefcase in the airport over night. He prayed to God for Him to keep it safe until the next day. Upon arriving, sure enough, he found it safe and secure right where He had left it. After he picked it up, he mumbled, "Thanks God, I got it from here." Shortly after a guy ran by him and yanked it out of his hands, disappearing into the crowd. That story demonstrates the point of us being safer with the Lord even in the midst of danger, compared to being without the Lord in a seemingly safe setting. Please do understand that I believe in taking precautions, I just don't believe in trusting in them over God. For example, the Lord has blessed us with a home that has bars all the way around it. We even have it set up to hire a night guard that will walk around our home all night with a shotgun (I can hear the groans now...he needs a night-guard...oh just don't tell me anymore!). I will try to never let Celia or Arianna out of my sight. My point in saying this is to assure everyone I will not be dumb. But rather, on the other hand, I will pray for wisdom.
I would like to finish this post by saying one final thing. And that is that we realize there is cost in serving the Lord. Sometimes, great cost. Sometimes, the greatest cost. Missionaries die all the time; so do their kids. If it seems fit for the Lord, the great God Who giveth and taketh (Job 1:21), to take His little one (notice I did not say our little one because before she is ours, she is His) home before we'd prefer, then may it be. Know this please, as I write these sentences, my eyes fill with tears and the thought of it punctures my heart. But I know that I have a Father Who lost His Son and can relate to me. I have an elder brother, Who gave His life, which separated Him from His Father. My God would know how to give me and Celia and my family and my friends grace to help in this time of need (Heb. 4:16) because He too has gone through the lowest of lows (and His was lower than all others) and can therefore sympathize with us (Heb. 2:17-18). Guys, we have got to develop an eternal perspective. This life is a vapor (Jas. 4:14); this life is not what we are living for! Oh most of us do (including myself more than I'd like), but why when eternity is around the corner!
Please, if you are reading this, and you consider yourself "Christian," life for your Christ! He who loses His life for Christ's sake will save it (Mat. 10:39). If you are reading this and you are not Christian, I urge you, find out who this Jesus is. The last question, the only question in the end will be: Who is this Jesus of Nazareth.
May it never be that these things happen oh Lord, nevertheless, thy will be done. I love you...thank you for Your Son.