- Raeanne Newquist
It's All About You
We sat in a circle of about 50 people, tossing around a small, orange, stuffed animal fish. When you caught the fish, you had 3 minutes to share with the group how you got to Mercy Ships.
Yikes! I don't have much of a story to share. In fact, I'm still wondering why I'm here. I mean, I do know how I got here, but for me personally, I didn't feel a call from God to go serve on board The Africa Mercy. I don't have a burning passion for this ministry (although it's amazing!)
The fish continued to be tossed around, incredible stories being shared, all the while my heart racing faster and faster. What was I going to share?
Then one woman from Holland caught the fish and she simply said that she came to Mercy Ships because God called her husband. That was it!
Moments later that fish was in my lap and I choked back tears as I shared that we first heard of Mercy Ships from our dear friend Beth Kirchner...
My husband was approaching the age of eligibility for retirement and he began to look for a position to move from law enforcement back into full time ministry. As he looked around, Mercy Ships came up and he discovered they were hiring a chaplain for 2019. He told me he thought about applying and I encouraged him to go for it! Well, many of you know how the story goes, Roger became obsessed with Mercy Ships and watched every video ever produced. He gathered the children on the couch often to watch yet another video. I myself hadn't seen very many of the videos, but their enthusiasm was fun to observe.
As the process went on, interviews took place, it was becoming increasingly obvious that they wanted Roger as their chaplain. He began to ask me, "do you want to do this?" I told him I'd do whatever. Honestly, I was a bit indifferent. But that wasn't good enough for him. He wanted me to be as excited as he was, he wanted me to feel the passion he did, he wanted me to say YES! I felt in my gut that he needed to make this decision on his own and I'd willingly go along with whatever he decided.
"This can't be all about me," he said. "This has to be a decision we all make."
I know Roger. I could tell he wanted to do this so badly he could taste it! But he didn't want to be solely responsible for making such a massive decision. He didn't want the burden of the whole thing going wrong and it being all his fault. "What if we go and everyone is miserable?"
"This can't be all about me," he insisted once again.
But in that moment God spoke to me. It was all about Roger. This was all about God's great love for his son and God rescuing him out of a season that was killing him. Mentally, spiritually, physically, the life was being sucked out of him and this was God's provision for him. How beautiful is the extravagant love of our God?
I looked at Roger and told him, "Yes, it is all about you. This is God's gift to you." And it just so happens that me and the kids are going to have one heck of a time on this great adventure! But truly I am here, we all are here, because of Roger. It's all about him and I'm ok with that.
Many have asked me what I'm most excited about in going to Africa. Honestly, I'm most excited to watch my husband come alive! I haven't seen him this excited about something in a very long time. I'm most excited to see this loving rescue from God come to full bloom and have a front row seat.
Roger, it's all about you, so receive this gift from God in it's fullness! It's going to be good.