This is one of those exciting weeks when something that was born in our minds years ago is coming to fruition. Let me tell you the story.
A few years ago, after having been saved by Jesus, Jesse and I packed up our life and went to Bible School at Ethnos 360 (Nee: New Tribes Bible Institute). We were no longer content with not know what the bible said about who God was and what we were supposed to do with new Christian life. Off we went.
At Ethnos we were exposed to what it would look like to be an oversea’s missionary. They would bring missionaries who were serving with Ethnos in to tell us about what their lives were like in the villages they were serving in. Without going into all the nitty-gritty lets just say it is hard to carve out life amongst non american, non believing, non english speaking people who don’t really understand why you white people have come into their town. Don’t for a second belive the people who say, “Oh, just leave those peaceful tribal people alone, they are up there singing Kumbaya, living off the land, untouched by greed or envy.” WRONGO!!! They are broken people just like us in need of the security that you get from knowing who God is and that He loves you so much He sent His son to earth to pay for your sin so that you could have a relationship with Him forever. If I am being totally honest what these missionaries have to deal with makes this germ-a-phob, order loving, Target shopping loving, clean freak want to head for the hills saying, “Jesus, who? I do not know the name you speak of?”
But we as believers can’t do that, can we? We are all given the commission to go and make disciples of all the world. We see that God loves the world and we are His chosen ambassadors. The work that these missionaries are doing deep in the jungles, the villages, the cities where no one knows the name of Jesus is the most important part of this Christian life we live. In fact it is the last command given to us by Jesus. This weekend at Church Doug said that our mission field is brokenness. Friends, there is not truer statement of fact. Brokenness is all around us here in Texas and reaches to the ends of the earth. We all have brokenness in us wherever we happen to live. We are all here to tell people Jesus is the answer for brokenness. We are all missionaries. My mission field happens to be inside my house with the people who live here and act very tribal sometimes. My mission field is the lacrosse field, the elementary school, the high school and all the stops I make in between–I’m looking at you Sonic workers!
Since I know where my mission field is, what then is my part in this great commission to people who have never heard overseas? Well friends that is where Sojourn House comes in. Did you hear that smacking sound? That was my father in law reading this post and realizing that yet again I have turned a business venture into something that falls under the “charity” category and not the “gain” catagory. What can I say Curtis? I have never made any money on any business deal so if you are surprised it really is your own fault I think. (See years of Horse Business documentation for further proof) Jesse and I set out to buy a house that we could turn into a missionary retreat/VRBO/Guest House. Overseas Missionary’s have to come home every once in a while to raise support, rest and be filled up. Otherwise they cannot keep doing what they are doing and someone else will have to go–gulp! So really this is just a selfish endeavor to keep them on the mission field and me off of it.
This idea was hatched when we would come home from the BI on vacations. Having sold our house and all our stuff we had to stay with family and friends. When in the Dallas area we would stay with our friends the Stewart’s. Now to be perfectly clear there was no more fun time then when the Griffith’s took over the Stewart’s living room, lovingly renamed the “Second Master.” So much love and life took place there. With only one draw back. The Stewart’s keep their thermostat….in Texas……in the summer…..with 9 people living there at 80 degree’s. Now in a perfect world the Griffith’s would keep a thermostat humming right around 68-70. I am for sure not trying to implicate anyone but somehow the thermostat would get turned down to a balmy 75 or so, only to be turned up when ever Cheryl walked by and exclaimed, “No wonder I am so cold!” And in our sweaty discussions at night about how insane people must be to possess refrigerated air and not use it to the best of it’s ability, the thought of Sojourn House was born. A place where people are free to set the thermostat wherever they want it.
We started praying, started saving and told Jeff Stewart, of the aforementioned house that is 80 degrees all the time, to keep his Realtor eyes open for a house. And this summer we finally found one. It has been so fun putting it together. I also have to give a huge shout out to Laycie because I enlisted her help and she really stepped up to the plate. I got to spend time getting to know the little mama who lives with us. I got to see her work hard putting a house together for people she didn’t even know. I realized she has a very sweet heart and a very good sense of style! Plus all the time with Kohen. There is no more perfect baby in the world, but before I go into another 900 words about him let me wrap this up.
Sojourn House is up and running. I have prayed while I was there making beds, washing and preparing things that it would be a place of rest for the traveler. (That is what Sojourn means, traveler.) All over scripture God says that we glorify Him when we care for His workers. We are all travelers, moving through this world, ready to go to our real home, that is in heaven with our Father. Now, I better wrap this up before I break into a Carrie Underwood song……