My husband and our college age daughter leave tonight to spend their spring break together in the Caribbean. Warm weather, sapphire blue sea, long stretches of beach to roam, orphans to nurture, soil to till, gospel to share. The girl with a gift for teaching and the father with the heart to farm venture together to the Village of Hope. Not your typical Caribbean get-a-way but a Jonah-like trip, an answer to His command expedition.
As I reread my post from last July, “What’s a Girl to Do?” about my daughter Olivia, the one with chestnut brown tresses that spiral in ringlets down her back, I watch her pack for the trip that may very well rock her middle class American world. Olivia and my husband leave behind the warmth and comfort of the home and hearth in exchange for a missions trip to Haiti. The father-daughter duo plan to serve, the white knuckle kind of service that reaches deeper than any pocket or purse.
Eight months ago, this daughter of mine, sat cross-legged on the floor in her room asking me with tears streaming down her flawless ivory cheeks and a wet, shredded tissue in hand:
“What am I to do; I want to do something worthy.”
Where did the time go? Wasn’t it just yesterday that she ran about the farm in dress ups fashioned after some medieval princess? The braces, glasses, and bruised knees replaced by womanhood. Just a breath ago, I wiped chocolate from the corners of her mouth and now she will do the same for a precious Hatian child living in the Village of Hope orphanage.
As she prepares for this trip, I often silently reminisce about our summer tea parties under the big maple tree and the afternoons we spent nestled in the porch swing reading Charlotte’s Web count as some of our favorite memories of her childhood. And now, my little girl turned woman, God’s workmanship, created in Christ to do His work that He planned beforehand ( Eph. 2:10), touches this little piece of the world with compassion and the love of Christ.
So the man to hold her hand in this maiden voyage is the same God fearing man that held her tiny, crinkled hand the second she made her way into this world—her dad. What more could a mother ask for? As I make the final inspection of the packing, I imagine the two of them hand in hand running together through the airport, giddy with anticipation of what God will do through them while in Haiti. I close my eyes and envision Olivia resting her travel weary head on her father’s strong, protective shoulder.
So my girl followed her life map to Haiti, for now. My little bird grew strong wings and she’s putting them to the test; she’s soaring into flight and I couldn’t be more proud.