Live Well

Have you ever had one of those days where you woke up and the whole day seemed to be against you? Your alarm didn’t go off, your coffee maker was broken, and already the day seemed to have more problems running at you than you’re ready to face.

The thing is, life is just a series of problems. How well you live is how well you respond to them.

IMG_0010_smThis past Christmas was the first Christmas most of our students in our teacher training program spent away from home. My eyes popped wide open at 4am. The house was quiet but Christmas lights dimly lit the living room and I curled up on the couch thinking through all that God has done over the last year. Last Christmas there were only 7 students in our program. This year, with 18, I just couldn’t believe the amount of fast growth that has occurred. As I sat there sipping my coffee, I wondered what new students would enter my life in this coming year, capturing my heart.

The girls slowly woke up and I saw them start to peak their sleepy heads outside of their doors. I knew today would be difficult–we all missed our families dearly today. How would they choose to respond? My own family had sent presents from America for each girl, and the squealed with delight as I handed them a little bit of love from America. Many had never opened a present on Christmas morning before.

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As I look back over 2013 I’m so grateful for the many problems and challenges that I faced–from my visa, students in the hospital, support raising, to relationships, each challenge was an opportunity to respond and an opportunity to live well. And while I know I failed many times, I look forward to 2014 knowing there will be many problems and challenges to come–more opportunities.

In just two weeks I will be bringing a few students to the eastern most island of West Papua in order to visit some schools and build some relationships with some people there. This is a pretty expensive trip that I have been trying to take for a long time now. Please pray for my team and I as I lead this trip.

This week our students finish their semester one final exams, and in the coming weeks will begin semester two at their university. Please pray for them as they continue their studies.

2014-01-04 18.30.55Over the next few weeks and months we will be recruiting a group of students to admit into our teacher training program beginning this summer. Please pray for wisdom, guidance, and direction as we choose our future students.

This morning I woke up to a pile of wood cravings near my bathroom door. The termites are back. The hot water heater wouldn’t turn on, so I dragged myself into the cold shower. How well will I choose to live today? I asked myself. The choice is mine. Every problem is an opportunity. How well I live is how well I respond to them.

They Call Me Mom

IMG_4163Sudah menikah? Berapa anak?

These are two of the first questions I learned in language school when I moved to Indonesia just two years ago. They are important questions when making small talk with someone you’ve just met.

Are you married? How many children do you have?

I never would have dreamed when I first moved here that just two years later, at the age of 25 I would answer, “Eleven! I have eleven daughters!” But every morning, at 5:30, I wake to the sounds of my daughters bustling around the house, cooking breakfast, washing their clothes getting ready for their day. Today, they are one step closer to becoming a teacher. And today, they are one step closer to changing the world.

IMG_4209We just recently opened our second dorm as a part of our teacher training program. This dorm is my new home, and these girls call me mom. As we sat in a circle that first night, after a busy day of moving and getting settled, I couldn’t help but smile as I looked around the room at each of their faces. Each one had a sparkle in her eye. Each one was ready to learn. Each one was now a part of my family.

A few days into my new role as mom I was feeling a little exhausted. I went from having zero children to having eleven! I walked out of my room one morning with my hair mangled, my eyes barely open. But as I opened my door, my soul was instantly given life. Hati was in the living room teaching Risa and Sati to dance. Elti was in the kitchen teaching Ati how to cook breakfast. Tia and Sara were washing clothes together out back. The girls froze and looked over at me, wondering if they were in trouble for dancing in the living room or making too much noise. But such joy spread across my face, and we all burst out laughing together.

IMG_4159Just last week 9 of my daughters started freshman orientation at a university that we partner with in our city. “Mom I’m so nervous!” Ati said to me. I peered into her eyes, the most gorgeous eyes I have ever seen. Ati’s mother died years ago and her father deserted her. I knew it was a miracle that she had found our program. But I also knew she was born to be a teacher. She is a teacher to every person she interacts with, and is daily selflessly pouring into those around her. “You’ll do great,” I said to her, giving her a kiss on the forehead.

As I peer in to the eyes of each of my daughters, I know I am peering into the eyes of the future. These girls are going to impact this country. These girls are going to go out to schools all over Indonesia and transform them. The children are ready, and waiting. Today, I get to live life alongside some child’s future teacher.

Stop Waiting. Start Doing.

What is God’s plan for me?
What did God create me to do?
What am I most passionate about?
What is that one thing that weighs heaviest on my heart, that I want to devote my life to?

IMG_4343These are all questions I pondered through college, and the days immediately following. As the days ticked by and this daunting concept called “The Rest of My Life” closed in, there was a voice that whispered in my head, Faith, you have to find these answers. Your whole life depends on them.

This past summer I was reflecting on all that God has done over the past two years since I arrived in Indonesia, and I had a stark revelation: I had already begun “The Rest of My Life”. Panic!!! No!!! I don’t have the answers to my questions yet!!!! What if I could be doing more? What if there is a cause I am more passionate about? What if I could be more strategic with my life?

But somewhere in the midst of my freakout I remembered an encounter I had with God last January. As language school came to a close, I had really been grappling with and wrestling with what my role would be here in Indonesia. I had a list of 50+ ideas, but no clarity about which direction to go. God spoke:

Stop thinking. Stop waiting. Start doing.

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It’s such a lie that we have to have ourselves, our strategy, and our plan totally figured out before we can begin “The Rest of Our Lives”. That “voice” that demanded answers was not the voice of the Spirit. But there is a Voice that says Jump off the cliff. Dare to dream. Take action. Be a part of what I’m doing in humanity. And trust Me for the parachute.

My team leader Paul writes about this in his book A Certain Risk:

God is moving across the earth in search of men and women who will dare to take the leap of faith. He is offering us the chance to rise up and actuate his dreams for our generation. You and I were born into days of adversity stirred together with unprecedented opportunity. The signs are everywhere. Our times distinguish individuals who live their faith at the edge from those who shrink back. Does your soul cry out for a faith that sets you free to voyage into the depths of God’s dreams? Do you crave a faith that drenches you with hope and breaks open the floodgates of God’s movements through you? The words on the pages ahead are written for you. Will you stare down a certain risk and take the jump? Who knows? God might be waiting on the other side.

Training teachers?? This was never even on my list of possibilities of “Things I might want to do with my life.” But I was made for this. There’s nothing more fun or fulfilling than jumping into God’s dreams and being a part of what He is accomplishing.

Stop thinking. Stop waiting. Start doing.

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Let’s change the world together

Would you consider joining my team? I’m looking for people who are willing to come together with me in being a part of what God is doing in Southeast Asia. I’m willing to go, will you help send me?

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(Faith Wilson Account #111497)

Thanks for coming together with me to change the world! I love having you as a part of my support team. I can’t wait to discover what God has dreamed for Southeast Asia in the coming months and years.