Friday, February 3, 2012


As a teenager, I went on mission trips with my beloved church in Mississippi to far away locations like Tennessee.

When I turned 15, my parents sent me home with my Aunt Nina and Uncle Wayne, missionaries in Mexico. I stayed for three life-changing weeks. I could not wait to return -- and still would love to go back.

As a college student, I worked at Camp Garaywa in Mississippi as a camp counselor. Garaywa is the camp for Girls in Action and Acteens -- BOTH organizations in the Baptist church that teach MISSIONS to girls. As such, each week the camp hosted a different missionary to speak and teach the campers. In my opinion, Garaywa is what heaven will be like. I. Am. Certain.

I purposefully home school with a curriculum that places heavy emphasis on biographies of missionaries.

I have been ready to GO for a very long time.

For this season at least, God has had other plans. Motherhood brought four beautiful children, two of whom have special needs. For this reason alone, I have felt sure God kept me ministering to my little corner of the world to keep my boys near the healthcare they so need.

But this year, my trio began the high school ministry at Scottsdale Bible Church. They came home from one of their first high school services talking all at once...they had learned about the emphasis the ministry places on missions and they were beaming. Then they were expressing concern. Then they were asking me a million questions, "Do you think we could go, Mom? Could we go?"

Ah. Could we go?

Was this something they could even do? Would any of the locations support a wheelchair? Crutches? Could I go in order to meet the day to day needs of Benjamin? My head was spinning.

But high school pastor, Jason Fischer's head did not spin. He said there were definitely possibilities that would work for the boys. He was realistic that some of the locales would not, but a couple at least would. Absolutely, I should go....but as a team member raising support just like the triplets. Deep swallow.

Ok. First hurdle cleared. I was immediately emotional about the possibility. Grateful for the yes. 

Then I got a precious phone call from one of the team leaders -- Stephanie was already weighing options, looking at possibilities and had questions about specifics regarding the boys' needs.

Deep breath. This might happen.

The kids had their interviews with the mission team leaders and a couple of weeks later we received word -- the Shrader trio -- and Mom -- are headed to Buenos Aires, Argentina (with a team of 25 -- just one group from the more than 125 high schoolers going on mission this summer from our church)!!

We rode the elation for a few days before the fear began to creep in. Satan is just so good at hitting us right where we are weak. My first fears were about the physical needs of being in an unknown place without hubby to help me figure out how to overcome the obstacles. I really wanted to ruminate on that for a few days. But honestly, my heart is so mission-minded that I found it almost easy to give that one to God (ok,  so I took it back again a few days later....I gave it back to Him. Whew. It is a process!)

But then the second fear hit: we have to raise a lot of money EACH for this trip. The first thing they instructed us to do was began writing support letters.

Whoa. I have never asked for money. What if we offend people? What if we can 't raise enough? What if....?

The "here-Lord-let-me-help-you" side of my personality kicked in. Maybe we should not ALL go. One child a year, wouldn't that be an easier way?

Wise hubby said, "Uh, no. They all go."

Wise children said, "Uh Mom, God can do this."

Wise Mommy...well, I just got out of the way (ok, I may have to continue getting out of the way when fear creeps in....just so you know.)

This is what we have been seeing for the last week when we visit the mailbox:

Returned envelopes with the promise of prayer support and financial support that makes me weep. Families without a job sending money to send three amazing kids (and their mom) to minister to the families in Argentina. Single moms sending money that no doubt is needed for so much else. Dear friends sending checks that shout, "we know you can do this!" Great aunts who send their check then call to ensure I know we are being covered in prayer -- and just to encourage -- oh how she encouraged with her "You are the most courageous little Mama I know!" High school friends of both Wade and I -- many who have never met our trio -- supporting this cause, this chance for my little corner of the world to impact ANOTHER corner of the world. And the list goes on. And on.

We are humbled. We are grateful. We are unworthy. But today, 3 months before our money is due, and less than two weeks since we sent our batch of letters, we are 1/3rd of the way there. One third!

Wow. What a blessing!!

Stay tuned for updates! Isn't God amazing?


Ellen Stumbo said...

Thank you so much for leaving a comment on my blog! I agree, I think we would be great friends, and if your heart is for missions, I know a place in the US with lots of great medical resources that needs families like yours ;)
I am your newest follower!