As I mentioned earlier this week, a portion of my sales from January 1 to March 31 will benefit a specific family who serves to further the Kingdom of God. Learn more about the new Give Back! program here.
I remember the first time I met Ben and Melanie Hudson*. It was at a Growth Group at church, and they were sharing stories of how they had witnessed to their co-workers. I was so impressed that they were living out the Gospel on a daily basis and incorporating the Great Commission into every aspect of their life. Shortly after that, Ben and Melanie found out they were expecting a baby-their first!
Ben and Melanie shared with me their desire to move internationally and work for an organization that furthers the Gospel. Specifically, Bible translation was their passion. Ben and Melanie had been working towards this life goal for years.... studying linguistics in college, researching opportunities abroad, and becoming fluent in other languages early in life. Since my husband and I lived overseas, and began a relationship internationally, my heart has a soft spot for those who desire to move their lives to another country for the sake of the Gospel.
Late into the pregnancy, the Hudsons traveled to a much colder state (when you live in Florida, everywhere is colder!) for a few months of training with their sending organization. Melanie borrowed several of my maternity sweaters to keep warm while in the Arctic (not really- but our blood is thin here!).
After they returned from the snowy state, Melanie and I met weekly for sewing lessons. She had received a new sewing machine as a Christmas gift, and was determined to learn to use it before moving overseas. Together, we sewed a liner for a basket, a bib, and a snack bag. She expressed a strong desire to be able to sew for others once they were settled in their home overseas.
Shortly before they planned to leave, the Lord tested their faith. They had planned all along to go to a particular country, but when the Visas were denied, they had to trust God's sovereign plan for their future. Ultimately, Ben and Melanie landed in a different country than they originally planned, and have served there faithfully. Even during the darkest of days and the loneliest of nights, they continue to remain true to the calling of Christ to take the Gospel to all nations and make disciples. Since they have been gone, I've had the opportunity to Skype with them, and it truly warmed my heart to see their faces, hear their voices and get a better glimpse into their lives. Skype is such a wonderful thing. :)
Melanie has become quite the "Martha Stewart" of a third world country- making her own yogurt, tortillas, bean sprouts, bug repellent and diaper rash cream. She often shares photos of her latest sewing projects and it makes me smile so proudly to see how far she's come! Their daughter is growing to love the animals, the people and the culture around them - it truly amazes me how much joy they have during very difficult and trying days.
These are dear friends who live across the ocean and work to further Bible translation to languages that have not yet had the Gospel written in their native tongue. This is no quick project and requires years of laborious service. If you feel burdened to support this dear family, consider making a purchase from my Etsy shop anytime between now and March 31, 2013. Thirty percent of all sales will go to their ministry. The Hudson family thanks you, and so do I.
*Names have been changed.