With so much action occurring over the past few years (medically, financially, educationally, procreationally (ha!), etc.), the last thing we needed to look at was making another major change. Although there had been challenge after challenge thrown our way, I am so thankful that I serve a God that wouldn’t allow me to become too comfortable with complacency. I know myself well enough to know that if God didn’t continue to rattle my heart every once in a while, I would have entered a zombie-like state and just continue to stuff our call to missions under several excuses like safety, security, and doing what’s best for me and my family–like God doesn’t want that for me anyway.
Heather was so dedicated to her role as a wife and mother. Although she never saw herself as a homeschooling mom, Sy’s condition forced us to do what was best for him and his therapy. It was in this environment that God made us come face to face with Him and answer some hard questions. Essi and Sy’s school curriculum was focused on Biblical teaching and we had required readings on missionaries that would often leave Heather and I sobbing with such a deep desire to be a part of establishing the Kingdom on earth. Not just that, but when you read the words of Jesus and then your children say, “Why aren’t we doing that?,” it’s a major meaty-handed slap in the face.
Ok, God. Let’s do this.
So last December, I walked into my Fire Chief’s office and gave him my notice. This shtuff was getting real, real fast. I sheepishly have to say that I moved my family SIX times over the next five weeks before we finally landed in our semi-permanent arrangements at YWAM Orlando. (That’s a whole other story.) At least we had several months of savings to fall back onto, right? NOPE. At least we had the money to pay for our first steps of training, right? NOPE. At least we had a decent place to settle our family after we left our home and while we took these steps, right? NOPE.
We began YWAM’s training that every single YWAMmer goes through: Discipleship Training School (DTS). I have to be honest and say that for us, we felt that doing this school was just a formality to get to where we needed to go. We had been through very intense missionary training (even live hostage situation training) about 11 years ago. We even had other people who knew us say, “I don’t think you’re really going to learn anything new there.” Do you remember the sound of the strikes on Family Feud? Cue that noise. We were so wrong about what God was going to do with us in those five months. It was almost every single week of the lecture phase that the Holy Spirit blasted both Heather and I with a God-bazooka to the face. Here’s an example:
Paul Hawkins, one of the first people to help establish YWAM over 40 years ago was speaking at our school and was giving an amazing teaching on the nature and character of God (sounds simple, right?). Big time truths that we had never encountered before rocked our world to say the least; however, it wasn’t the teaching that really nailed us. Paul is a very linear teacher who travels around the globe teaching mutilple times a year. He knows what he’s talking about and his speaking has all the kinks worked out so you get 10 pounds of stuff in a 5 pound bag. It was this week in particular that the enemy was hammering our entire family on several different fronts. We were starting to question if we made a mistake by leaving the safety and security of our old lives. As Paul was wrapping up his lecture on the last day of the week, his lecture abruptly stopped. Everyone was quiet and wondering what was going on. As Paul slowly started talking again, he singled both Heather and I out of the class and told us that he had heard of our family’s circumstances and the obstacles we had overcome to answer God’s call. In tears (no one had seen him cry before), he just blurted out: “You need to know that WHERE GOD GUIDES, HE PROVIDES.” God was so clearly speaking as Paul continued to tell about the amazing provision given to him and his wife despite some major medical issues. We were just blown awayâ€¦ Then the week of teaching immediately ended and Paul Hawkins went on his way. It was exactly what we needed to hear at exactly the right moment.
We now have our DTS training and outreach behind us and have spent our summer transitioning our family into our 300 square foot camper life. (The video and photo tour should be posted this week!) It has a new set of challenges for us every day, but we are loving how it draws us closer together as a family and forces us to keep going back to God for extra helpings of patience and love.
We are happy to report that all the educational requirements for my paramedic recertification were completed this summer and I am so thankful as we are convinced that this will be a huge part of our ministry to overseas nations. I am currently developing health and hygiene training program that can be used to benefit our community here, the multiple teams that will be sent out every year, and wherever God needs to send our family.
Our aquaponics development is coming along swimmingly well (that pun was for my fish). I look back before we started at YWAM at realize how I knew absolutely nothing about aquaponics. It’s even more amazing that I was able to put a system together in the middle of our hectic school schedule and get it working. All I know is that I feel very strongly that God asked me to do this and I see the potential for sharing this amazing food production system with the nations. The summer here in Florida is super rough on any crop. The past few months, I developed several experiments that have set me up for a successful fall planting. As I continue to learn more about this amazing technology in agriculture, we are committing ourselves to being a part of a global solution to hunger, malnutrition, and disease.
Relationships have been established over the summer with organizations who are committed to seeing change in countries where God’s beloved are suffering through severe poverty and medical crises. As I write this, I’m looking forward to meeting again with ECHO this week to talk more about how we can help expand the Kingdom and eradicate injustices all over the globe.
Heather spent the summer taking official aromatherapy certification classes that will add another component to our medical ministry. We have spent countless hours researching the legitimacy of essential oils and how we can best use God’s creation to serve others. Have you heard about this great resource that is listed in the Bible more than 200 times? You’ll be hearing more about this in future posts, too.
On September 25, we begin another important part of our training with YWAM Orlando by beginning our School of Ministry Development. Where DTS was a focus on making sure we fully understand the God who has called us out, SOMD is now puts the focus on our family’s personal call and how to best carry that out and avoid potential disasters that could end our ministry before it even begins. I think back to my Paramedic school and how much practical knowledge I gained from the proper training. I am working to position our family for obedience, effectiveness and longevity in our ministry.
It has been nine months of leaning on God in a way that I never even dreamed possible. When I hear about “daily bread,” I understand it in a whole new way. And you know what? Everything that God has said about Himself has proven to be true. As I write this blog, there is huge temptation to worry about how I’m going to pay for an alignment on our van. It can be a horrifying experience if you let it, but seeing God inexplicably provide is amazing.
It is our desire to encourage those whom which we cross paths (even those reading this blog) to push this thing called faith to a whole new level so you can experience the richness and fullness of a Father who loves you deeply and knows exactly what He’s doing with your great heart. The Harger family is ready for what’s nextâ€¦ Are you?
We would love to hear more from those of you out there, so either post a comment or drop us a line using the tab above. If you are interested in partnering with our family and helping us carry out more of what you’ve read above, please click HEREÂ (Select the option â€œOtherâ€ and in the â€œSpecify otherâ€ field, enter our familyâ€™s account code: 9-HA0021). We cannot do this ministry without the help of our amazing team of supporters and we need more to join the party! Like Yo Gabba Gabba says, “Everything is more fun, everything is more fun, everything is more fun, when you include everyone!”
No Muck Motto: It’s not faith when you know what’s coming next.