On May 15, 2019 at 8:24 p.m., we joyfully welcomed little Emmalynn (Emma) Rose Tumberg into the world! Unlike her sister Ali, who was born in the U.S., Emma was born in Thailand, our mission field. A handful of smiling nurses were there to help deliver her as Cindi pushed through each contraction. As I stood on the sidelines watching and praying, I felt a sense of peace that even though we were far removed from family and many close friends, God was with us and was indeed watching over the delivery. Who would have thought that one day we would be giving birth to a child overseas in a “strange” land? I was surprised by how normal everything felt.
Reflecting on this experience, I think of the birth of Christ. Jesus was born in a “strange” land far from His Heavenly Father and the angels who adore him. He was born with a mission that guided and propelled His life. He was willing to undergo tremendous inconvenience, hardship and sacrifice in order to make redemption possible for our lost human race. He was a missionary born in the mission field.
As I think about little Emma’s future, my heart’s desire is that she would follow in the footsteps of Jesus. I pray that her life will be guided and propelled by a sense of mission and that she will be willing to sacrifice and suffer for it. May she be willing to forsake comfort, convenience and the tender bonds of family and friends to seek and save the lost. May she never lose sight of her great God, and may she always be a missionary born in the mission field!