“Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and ordained thee a prophet unto the nations” (Jer. 1:5).
As a new father, these words have taken on fresh significance. Realizing that God had pre-ordained Jeremiah’s life work even before he was born gives me great hope. From Jeremiah’s earliest years, God was preparing him to be His messenger and to speak His words. We all know that Jeremiah went on to become one of the greatest Old Testament prophets and provided timely warnings and critical leadership during a time of crisis in Israel’s history. He was able to do this because, from his earliest years, God had prepared him.
I would like to believe that just as God prepared Jeremiah in his mother’s womb to be His servant, so He has already been doing for our new little daughter Alison (Ali) Grace, born October 21, 2015. What her future holds and what direction her life will take we cannot know, but we can have confidence that God is preparing her. Looking back over the past several months we can clearly see His hand at work. For example, she was born right in the middle of our furlough even though we did not plan it that way. This proved to be a tremendous blessing as it allowed Cindi’s parents to share in her birth and provide us valuable counsel and support as we transitioned into
parenthood. We were also able to dedicate her in our home church in Arkadelphia, Arkansas. This was special to us because we began our courtship while helping to plant a church in Arkadelphia, and we were married there. What’s more, our church-planting experiences there helped prepare us for our mission work with AFM. Arkadelphia will always hold a special place in our hearts.
We praise God that He is allowing us to spend the first few months of Ali’s life with family. Although we will be sad to leave our family, we also look forward to bringing her back to Thailand and introducing her to our friends there. We have already seen how hearts seem to soften around her and how she opens doors for us to draw close to people. I never realized how much people love babies until I had my own! Although she is unaware of it, we are confident that even in her earliest days God is already using her as a missionary and preparing her to be His servant. We pray that she will help win many hearts and open many doors for us to reach Thai people. Please join us in praying for Ali, Thailand’s youngest missionary!