becoming a teenager

When you have five children, family vacations that require airfare do not exist. All our getaways involve stuffing all seven of us and our belongings into our minivan.  All of our kids, though, dream of someday flying somewhere. A few years ago our two oldest were talking about going on a airplane. The discussion inspired Kevin and I and we made a plan for our team.  When one of our children turns 13 they will go on a trip with a parent that involves airfare.  Would we take them to Disney or the beach or to snowboard?  All of those ideas were okay but we started to think that this special trip should be something more. We live in abundance surrounded by abundance.  Our children can often get the idea that they are suffering because we have said no to what their peers own. Our home can hold more than our family. Our pantry is full of food. The heat and the lights are always on.  When they are sick, we have tools and every specialist imaginable at our fingertips. And there is a Bible in every room of the house. This is the life they live.  It is their "normal".  

What if this airplane trip could also be something to open their eyes to how others live in the world? What if this trip could expose them to how our brothers and sister in Christ are sharing the gospel in other countries? What if this trip could be more than a fun memory, but something to completely change the dreams they have for their life? 

Somehow the day has arrived.  Our oldest will turn 13 this summer. He is an amazing young man.  And I say young man because he is not a little child.  We have incredible talks about deep things of the heart and of God's Word. He is a friend to those who have none and stands tall in the face of adversity. He truly is such a gift to our family.  God gave us a huge blessing by placing Kody as the leader of the pack.  A few weeks ago, I was very i couldn't get out of bed sick. He and his brother ran the show.  They took turns taking off of school to care for their sisters, make meals, care for the home and even, without being asked, teach the homeschool lessons.  He is already a great kid which makes me even more excited for his year 13 trip.  

My husband and my oldest will board a plane in July to Nicaragua. They will spend a week with missionaries there experiencing the life and culture.  Their days will be spent with the orphanage and feeding center. The Casa Bernabe orphanage complex is located on Nicaragua’s East Coast in a small, impoverished port community. Verbo Church founded the orphanage, which is currently home to approximately over 100 orphaned and abandoned children ranging in age from 2 – 18, who are cared for by a staff of 30 people. Verbo Church started in Puerto Cabezas in 1982. The ministry opened its school in 1985 and built the first orphanage building in 1991. The property, which sits on three acres of land, was purchased in 1996. The church and orphanage were constructed in 1998, the school was built in 2000 and the discipleship house was built in 2005. Two beautiful new dormitories for the children, complete with kitchen and dining area, were completed in 2014.

If you would like to learn more about this organization, including how to sponsor children living at the orphanage go here.  

As a mama, I am still a little nervous about sending my heart to another country.  But more than any anxiety is excitement for him.  I know this experience is going to be forever a part of him and inspire the work God has for him in the future. First step in giving him wings to leave the nest and fly. 


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