Hi, I’m Linda! Angie asked me to join her in co-founding Hopeschild International and I consider it the highest to honor to work alongside the Howard’s. Things you may like to know about me are: I am a child of the King, a wife to Jeremy and mother to three kids-Payton (19), Claire (8) and Sophie (5), and I am a lover of all things community- fellowship, food, the written-word and music. I thank Abba for bringing me to this mission. And it s my privilege to update the blog from time to time. I thought I would start by giving you a story of my background.
Do you ever feel like you missed a window of opportunity somewhere in your life?
I know I sure did.
It was about five years ago. I remember I was rocking and nursing Sophie, who was still a newborn, and I was embracing the euphoria that comes with the miracle of life. But I must have been fighting postpartum too because I was also crying buckets of tears. I had just read an email from my church announcing a mission trip to Ecuador to visit a congregation we had helped start. Suddenly, I wanted to go to Ecuador.
I had a realization. I wanted to become an international missionary.
But I had a newborn, and two more children.
I was juxtaposed between the gravity of mom-life I was in and the window of missionary-life I was feeling called to.
I had never dreamed before of going on a mission trip, but an acute longing was stirring in me to sit in foreign dirt and hug children. To praise and worship in foreign tongue. To experience something that pushed my limits of fear.
But I missed that window.
I was 32, rocking my third child, and settled in for the path of life that would take me to my 50’s, at least.
I couldn’t go on mission trips.
My adult-life began when I welcomed my first bundle of joy in my arms at 18. Because I was a mom so early, I didn’t even get a “college-kid traveling the world before you settle down” experience.
But still, the desire didn’t leave my heart. So in a half-way attempt to appease my heart, I prayed,
“Father, if it is ever your will for me to go, I will go anywhere.”
Due to a turn of events I would have never foreseen, just weeks after Sophie’s first birthday I was boarding a plane to Haiti.
It was the first of two trips I would take to prepare myself for Hopeschild International, the second one was going to Ecuador to visit the church plant.
It’s been more than 5 years since my stirring for missions started. And I have found something so very true,
Our Father will open closed windows of opportunity.
Psalm 37:4 tells us,
My delight was in the Lord. And my desires were not too big for Him. He gave me them. And He will give you yours too.
As Angie and I traveled to Uganda this year to form the Hopeschild International team, I sat and cried buckets of tears again, not for missed opportunities, but for possibilities and hope.
I am an international missionary.
I am unworthy to do this, but I find grace, instruction and renewal every day. And being a Mom doesn’t limit what I do, it makes me a better Mom.
Father has reminded me over and over again that Hopeschild International is His ministry. I have no skills that make me a candidate qualified to accept this invitation. And there is no age requirement or limitation. Only a heart desiring Him.
As we embark on the formation and dedication of HCI, I thank you for following us. This is His ministry and you are invited to bring your heart to fountain. You are invited to join us and help us pour the living waters of life in and through this calling.
But with whatever you embark on, I have full confidence in this:
The window is open.