Orphan Sunday 'What If...All Things New Did Not Exist?'

I am starting a blog series for the next few days leading up to Orphan Sunday (Nov. 12) just to highlight how the world's orphan crisis has affected our family and the ministry of All Things New. I am calling it the "What If" series and will highlight things that have been life-changing while comparing them to the idea of "What if this had or had not happened" in relation to the creation of All Things New. You will receive a few more emails than normal, but I wanted to highlight this day.

If it were up to me back in the summer of 2012, All Things New would not have existed. I had been the Associate Pastor of RiverTown Church for a few years at that point, and I was very excited about the idea of updating my resume and becoming the senior pastor of a church. I had not really told anyone yet other than Jess what I was thinking, but I had been praying about it for a while at that point. At the end of July, I had just finished up my resume and I was ready to send it out...

GOD  had other plans.

Jessica came to me about the same time that I had finished my resume and told me something that I did not expect. She told me that she really thought GOD was leading us to move to Haiti. If I am being honest, I kind of laughed it off and almost immediately said no. I was so excited about becoming a pastor, and honestly the thought of Haiti was not even moderately appealing. Where would we live? How would we raise money? What would we eat? What would we do with our house, cars, phone, etc.? How do you start a nonprofit? How do you build a website? 

I knew what it looked like to pastor a church, but I had no idea how to move to Haiti, start a nonprofit, run an orphanage, and manage a business. On paper, it was the easiest decision in the world...we should not move to Haiti.

I told Jess I would pray about it and we actually came up with a plan to pray about it separately for a while, pray about it together for a longer while, and then make the decision. After praying about it separately, however, I came back to Jess and said, "I think you're right, GOD is clearly telling us to move to Haiti."

What If?

What if we had not prayed and just made the easy decision? What if we never moved to Haiti? What if you guys had never partnered with us to change the lives of so many kids and families in Gressier, Haiti?

Moving to Haiti was the hardest decision we ever had to make and the actual process of making it happen was equally difficult. It also made Jess and I stronger. It opened our eyes to plight of children all over the world. It allowed us to make friends and meet supporters that have also hopefully had their lives changed. We adopted all 3 of our children during our time in Haiti. Our youngest son, Ezekyal, is Haitian and was born right down the street from our house there.

It changed the lives of 30 kids so dramatically that the actual difference in their lives could never be quantified. It has protected and helped hundreds of employees and their family members throughout one of the most difficult times in the history of that embattled nation. 

 It is not normally healthy to play the "What If" game, but in this case it is alright because we (and I mean the collective "we") are actually doing it. Over the next few days, you will receive a few additional emails/blogs as we look into the "what if" question for a few different ATN related topics.

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