Part Two: "Change, Challenge, and Courage..."
Change never comes without challenges, and I knew this when I decided to listen to the Lord’s calling to move to the Miriam Center at NWHCM. It was a challenge just preparing to move, but it happened and there I was. Would it be easy? No. Would it be worth it? Yes. After all, if it is His plan, it is always worth it!
As soon as I arrived at the mission, I knew things were different from my visit in January. Missionaries were coming and going, leadership was being revamped, and there was a noticeable “change” in the air. There was even a sense of tension among many, and I would be lying if I didn’t say I thought about packing us back up and returning to Ouanaminthe within my first week of being there. But, certainly that was not God’s plan for us, the mission, or the children of the Miriam Center. I prayed so much that first week, and God gave me glimpses of the future and that gave me hope and encouragement. This would simply be a season, and I had to know that He had already prepared me for this season of life.
Two weeks before I made the move, I found out that Courtney Pierce (the director of the Miriam Center for the last 4 years) would be moving stateside to advocate for these beautiful children on that end. This would change my role drastically, and I would no longer be solely focusing on severe/profound and infant care. The Miriam Center would now be home to 48 special needs children, and our family would also consists of many outreach/school children as well as 39 faithful staff! WOW! Was I really ready for this? YES, but not without my awesome God!
This was just not going to be possible without supernatural strength, grace, and blessing. I became completely submissive to my Savior, and placed everything in His hands. This was not something I could nor did I want to do without Him! The best part, Stephanie Mosier, was feeling the same way. Stephanie had lived at the Miriam Center for almost a year before I moved there. Her heart and passion is for the education development of special needs care, but she was also feeling God’s tugging to do more. Together, we decided we could co-direct the Miriam Center and this would allow us to remain focused on our individual gifts. This was a God ordained connection, for sure. We had a lot to go through and talk about. We had to come up with a proposal for the Miriam Center which consisted of explaining where we were at in the present time, what needed to be addressed immediately, where we needed to be in 1 year, and what “in a perfect world…” would look like. It was all exciting, but also overwhelming at times. A lot of BIG and HARD decisions had to be made.
A month before I moved to the Miriam Center, I really focused my prayers. I asked daily for more discernment. God granted this, for sure! I still have a long way to go, but one of the most challenging parts of co-directing the Miriam Center is using discernment on priorities. See, it is easy to think everything is “crucial” or “urgent,” but the truth is…it ALL can’t be! I have had to really rely on God to work through me, and let Him prioritize. Of course, there is a ton of administrative duties, but the children will always come first! The paperwork will not magically get done in the middle of the night, so if it doesn’t get done before bed, it will still be there the next morning. If a child is very sick, this is not always the case, so that naturally takes priority. Forming relationships with our staff and tending to their needs is also priority. We have to keep them healthy. The place simply could not BE without them! We all come together to put the Lord at the top…nothing is possible without Him and we all recognize and receive this.
There will always be changes and challenges, but after 4 months of serving the Miriam Center, I know I am able to commit to these changes and challenges. It was all mapped out, and I was prepared. I didn’t know it, but my 2 years at Danita’s Children really served as a platform for this next chapter of life. I could not do what I am doing without that experience. I am grateful for what was and what is to come…
“For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them.” Matthew 18:20