The Young Family Farm »

Masthead header

Zambia bound…

It’s been over FOUR years since I traveled to Zambia. Yes–that’s right…FOUR YEARS.

And it’s time!!! (People…even Richard…is always surprised when I remind them of that as they here of “us” going all the time…but HE goes for “us”!)

Something powerful happened when I was there four years ago. My heart…fell in love–with little ones…with a country…with a continent.

Four years ago, I got on a plane and left my 1 year old girl and 2 year old boy with my parents to go. There was no physical school…no sponsors…no non-profit. There was one man–a friend from our church supporting ONE widow and her children…he thought he was sending just enough for them to live on…but she was being an AMAZING steward of what she was given…and with the extra she was saving she was paying women in the compound to teach the children. Over 400 of them.

When we went, I had no idea the wild ride the Lord was about to take us on…nor the people who He would call to ride this road with us…my dear friends Addie Bowen, Christy Elphick, Asher Collie, Shannon Holden, my sweet sister April…and countless friends who are now sponsors supporting children and ultimately the ministry there…I had no idea how beautiful stepping out in faith to join someone where God was already working could be!!!

We didn’t know what God wanted to do THROUGH US or WITH US or IN US…but we just knew that in James 1:27 He calls us to VISIT the orphans and widows in their distress. So…we went.

It was there that I felt God’s calling to adopt. And with my EXTREME fear of flying–as I was praying through the turbulence…I the Lord I just couldn’t return to Africa unless it was for something absolutely necessary…like to bring home a child.

We came home…and shared Wiphan with the WORLD. This was something I COULD do from home with my babies on my hips. And God not only raised the money to build the schools and amazing friends and family to join us AND supporters to help fund the program–but He raised a team of people to come together and sort through the mess together…through thick and through thin.

It wouldn’t be easy. This was new to all of us. BUT from far away…we did followed Him…and every 3-4 months someone from our team returned…to visit the orphans and widows in their distress…and with EVERY visit…MORE change happened…

Not only with them…but with us too. The school was built…and this momma–was excited…and for 4 years, I’ll confess…content to send the husband and to watch from afar–because 2 things I hate…1) leaving my babies and 2) FLYING.

And we were changed…and we watched our board member’s lives change dramatically with us. Each family has an AMAZING story that I hope to be able to persuade THEM to tell you one day. How God changes you as you step out in faith…whether it’s GOING OR SENDING…YOU will be changed!

AND…as time passed…the Lord, indeed, laid on our hearts for this momma to brave up a flight back to Africa–but it fit with my begging plea to the Lord…I was okay with going as I was bringing home a son!!!

Sure I paced the aisles for the entire trip–and held a barf bag for hours upon hours and became VBFF with the captain and flight attendents as well as the landing crew in Sudan (another story for another day)…but He took me back–but I knew this flight would be worth what it meant to get this flying phobia momma there.

Oh…seeing THOSE cheeks! The first thing that I think because of how much I hate flying…”YOU WERE WORTH IT!!!!” Oh…he was so worth it!!!

And now–here I sit. With my sweet boy home. Sleeping soundly upstairs. And with a million reasons why I should not go. It’s hard to leave the kids. I hate to fly. It’s expensive. 10 days away from my kids. 10 days away from my kids. Did I mention–10 days away from my kids? Which means–planning for 10 days away from my kids! It might be hard for Isaac. It might be hard for Frank. It might be hard for Laney and Parker. It might be really hard for Richard to man the fort solo. It’s really expensive. I mean…couldn’t THEY use the money for my plane ticket more?

BUT–then I realize these are all FEELINGS and little temporary facts…and the money part–not even true…because we serve a God with a limitless supply AND we serve a God that has commanded us to GO VISIT FOR A PURPOSE.

Am I LIVING James 1:27?


And WHAT if we had fallen into the trap 4 years ago of thinking the cost of our plane ticket would be better off just given??? THIS is one of the biggest traps we can fall into and one of the easiest excuses not to follow scripture!!! Instead, in our going–we GOT to SEE and return to be a voice for the voiceless and encourage others to go…and they got to encourage others to go…and together–God is using MANY believers to make a BIG difference! Glory be to God.

I haven’t seen the children in uniforms IN PERSON! I haven’t seen the school IN FRONT OF ME! I haven’t gotten to hug the children my heart has melted for and who ultimately led me to my SON again in 4 years!!! Soooo…it’s time.

I keep saying, “Well Lord–you got me. I’m going this time–and I’m NOT bringing home a child!” And that is pretty powerful folks–because this mom hates, hates, hates to fly. BUT my son was worth it.

And I hear HIM asking me, “Are THEY worth it Andrea?”

“Do you think they need to know that too?”

I hear THEM asking, “Am I worth it?” Because they don’t have mommies and daddies to tell them…

Not all of us are called to go. Some of us are called to send. And you can be a part of telling them.

THEY are worth it.

I am still nervous to leave my babies. I’m still nervous to fly. But I can’t wait to give a million hugs for 10 days–and tell each and every one how worth it they are! How precious they are! How valued they are!!!

And I’m trusting the Lord to do BIG THINGS while we are there. One of the projects we will be doing while we are there is a “True Love Waits” retreat for the older students and widows. (An absolute need because of the rate of AIDS in Zambia…a need because middle school girls are getting pregnant…an absolute need BECAUSE GOD LOVES THEM AND THEY NEED TO HEAR THE GOSPEL AND HOW THEY ARE COMPLETE IN HIM!!!!!!!!!!) Teaching them what the Lord says about purity. And why the Lord wants to have their whole heart. We will have a ceremony where we give them purity rings…and I know they will be forever treasured.

If you would like to be a part of my trip–we have officially started our trip fundraising…and anything we raise over our travel costs will go toward our “True Love Waits” retreat. We also have someone designing a fun t-shirt for us to sale…and we’ll do a pre-sale in the weeks ahead. (Will you prayerfully consider ‘going with us through giving and/or prayer??) If you would like to contribute to our trip financially–you can make a one-time donation HERE and put “Andrea’s trip” in the memo section. (Please email me and let me know if you join us in this–as it may take a few days for them to let me know who is joining our team from afar!) The total cost of the trip is $3500. I was going to send out a letter to friends–but I’ll never make it to the post office with 4 children…but I would just be HONORED to have some of you join me in going!!! And I would be honored to have you a part of our prayer team!

They are worth it! They are worth it! They are worth it!

Every time I get an uneasy feeling in my stomach about flying or leaving my babies…I look at their pictures and remember that, they too, ARE WORTH IT!

Please keep our preparation as the summer approaches in your prayers!!! We will leave on July 14th…just 2 1/2 months away!!! I can’t wait to take you all with me…and can’t wait to see what the Lord has in store for ALL OF US upon our return!!!! Thank you for being a part of my life and being such a huge encouragement to me in this crazy journey of following Him whether it’s changing dirty diapers or flying across the world!

{Special thanks to two of my DEAR photography friends–Asher Collie for image of sweet Wiphan kids in uniforms and special thanks to Shannon Holden for the 3 images that follow. Love you both to pieces…and thankful to share a passion and heart for the world and Wiphan with you both.}

Mama Mimi - April 26, 2011 - 2:07 am

This just brings tears to my eyes – I share the fear of flying and the fear of leaving my babies…that would feel like a HUGE sacrifice to me too. God bless you on this journey and I can’t wait to hear about every single detail!

Kristin - April 26, 2011 - 7:46 am

Amazing to see what the Lord has done through your faith in following Him and exciting to see what He will do through it on this next adventure!! A privilege to witness it sister!

Deborah L. King - April 26, 2011 - 8:50 am

I’m planning on going to Ethiopia next year and I too have a fear of flying and leaving my babies (even though they’re in the 20’s). How do you get past the fear? I know God has a plan for my life but my fears seem to constantly be in my way.

Erica - April 26, 2011 - 1:30 pm

So very excited for you!

Rebecca - April 26, 2011 - 3:58 pm

My life is echoing a similar story. The hubs and I are leading a mission trip to Haiti in August to love on orphans. OK with flying, but so sad to leave our two girls.

May God bless your fundraising and your preparation.

Alison - April 26, 2011 - 4:03 pm

YAY!!! So excited for you, Andrea! Can’t wait to see what all God does through your upcoming trip!

Rory Cookman - April 26, 2011 - 8:30 pm

Oh I so get this. I have had a couple of really bad flying experiences…BUT the Lord was faithful. Honestly, when God led us to Ethiopia a year ago I thought, “Oh good! Only one of us has to go and my husband loves to fly!” Then WHAM! They changed it to two trips and looks like we are BOTH going now.:) This is where the rubber meets the road. I can think of few things harder for me than getting on a high-speeding silver bullet, crammed with other people in the sky, alone for 20+ hours while my kiddos and hubby are at home. Add some turbulence and my face is in the barf bag. Even though I know God did not give me a spirit of fear, there are times that it is an all out fight to TRUST (especially when turbulence hits). I’d give birth naturally again and again if I didn’t have to get on a plane…but then I think, MY LIFE IS NOT MY OWN so why should it matter? Here’s a verse I’ve been clinging to, knowing that I’m going to El Salvador with Compassion International this fall and then to Ethiopia (hopefully next year) to bring our baby home. Ps. 34:4, “I called to the Lord and He answered me and delivered me from all my fears.” God bless as you step out in faith!
Rory Cookman

Kim - April 26, 2011 - 9:48 pm

I can’t wait to see what God uses you to do on your trip!

JOHN - April 28, 2011 - 5:03 pm

what is wrong with you people…there are 1000’s of kids right here that need help….you do this for your selfs….so you can say look what I did look how good I am….god sees through this… -JOHN