Once a WR Parent…

I began this blog after the first earthquake in Nepal and couldn’t quite get it finished…until today after the second one.

IMG_9773Once a World Race parent, always a World Race parent…at least that is how it seems to me. My daughter has been home for a year and so you would think that my time of scrutinizing world events would have come to a close. This is not true however. Instead I find that I am connected now more than ever to these Racers who are bringing the love of God to a hurting world. I still read blogs and watch videos nearly every day. At any given time the World Race has close to 900 or so young adults on the field in numerous countries and on many continents. They are constantly in flux, some coming, some going, most of them moving from place to place on a monthly basis. The enormity of the task to keep track of them all is overwhelming. So when a natural disaster strikes, like the earthquake in Nepal the first thought is, “Are there Racers in Nepal?”   This time answer was no. P Squad was 24 hours from being in Kathmandu…tickets bought…arrangements made. Plans were put on hold and then changed quickly as the world waited and watched. The squad held up in India to see how things were going to turn out. Agape Mission International, a ministry which has worked with AIM before, sent a message…”Do you have anyone you can send to help us?”

NepalAIM’s answer? Yes. There is a whole squad just over the border waiting for God to make it clear where and when they are to go. And so…God in his impeccable timing…sent 50 young people into Kathmandu to those who desperately need hope. Racers worked in the city and then dispersed to neighboring villages to help set up tents for the local community to sleep in, to distribute food, to clear rubble around homes, to pray for the injured and sick, to give medicines to sick people, to play games with kids to cheer them up, to help rebuild houses and churches. To listen, to hug, to love on people who had lost so much. Feeling particularly burdened for the people of Nepal, and also for a squadmate who is returning home after being severely injured in a car accident in India last month, the Squad sent out a request to make May the 12 “Pray for P Squad Day.” They asked for healing for their friend Vanessa, and for hope for the Nepalese people. It was to be a day dedicated to prayer. Today.

1393974_10152040350711098_1956444195_nThen…earthquake number two hit. Coincidence? I think not. Once again, the question arose for all the racer parents, “Are there Racers in Nepal?” This time the answer was yes, and so the WR parent prayer hotline went into action. It turned the P Squad day of prayer into a fervent flurry of warfare prayer that only moms whose kids are in danger can fully grasp. When the first communication via a text from a Racer in Nepal came in there was a sigh of relief along with streams of tears.

Hey mum it’s Liv. Today while in the village we had a 7.4 earthquake. The ground shook like crazy underneath of me. We are completely safe and hiked to the top of the mountain where we are safe. We are staying with the UN in a big earthquake safe tent. We will be staying here for another 2 days until it is safe to travel back to the city. I am healthy, safe and not afraid. God is good and will lead us where we need to go.

I know this isn’t my daughter…but I cried anyway, because it could have been. Because I know the relief that flooded the hearts of the parents who were worried out of their minds and trying to hang on to trusting God with their kids from the other side of the world…as all WR parents do each day.  The same amazing kids who have stepped up and out onto the faith we taught them and who have the audacity to believe it. The same amazing kids who are now leading us and showing us how to practice what we preach. These kids who are in the right place at the right time to express the love of God in practical ways to people who need it. They have endured much hardship and yet, they say ‘we are not afraid.’ We, the parents, wish WE were not afraid…that we had the courage they have. And we sit at home and wonder ‘Where did these strong kids come from?’ We are astounded at their tenacity, their passion and compassion, their hearts to serve, and their desire to bring healing to the nations. In moments like these we get on our knees because we are humbled by their humility. We bow in gratefulness for their grace. We lift our hands in surrender at their service. It turns our hearts to God and our eyes to his face with tears of thankfulness that he would use them in this way. It is our prayers for them answered, in ways we could never have imagined and would have never chosen. In these days, following two earthquakes, accidents, much sickness, and adversity of all kinds, we pray. We pray for them, for the people they serve, but we also pray for ourselves. That we would have a fraction of the faith they do. That their belief in the God we introduced them to would seep into our hearts and reawaken us. Amen.

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13 thoughts on “Once a WR Parent…

  1. Thank you Michelle. Our daughter is with P Squad in Nepal. It is so true that our kids are teaching us how to walk by faith.

  2. Michelle, this is an awesome post. I feel the intensity of emotion in it. I also feel honored to know there are those out there willing to work, to serve, to go where God wants them to go in obedience. I wish I had been like them at that age. So glad for those who say yes to God, who get it. So glad to be part of the World Race community.

  3. Thanks so much for this blog Michelle. Our duaghter was with S Squad (2nd Gen) and we are now coaches for the Race. P Squad is our squad. We were in Kathmandu waiting for them to come when the first earthquake hit, then went to India for the debrief a few days later. These Racers were so eager to get into Nepal so they could do whatever they could to help — it was beautiful! While we knew there would continue to be aftershocks, yesterday’s big quake waas more than we were expecting. As we keep telling the Racers though, this did not catch God by surprise! He knew before any of them had even heard of the World Race that May 12th would bring more shaking, more tragedy, and yet, more opportunity to show Himself strong through the lives of these incredible young people. Our prayers continue to be with “our kids” on P Squad as well as their parents and family members. We are so blessed to be able to walk alongside these hardcore Christ-followers. At debrief the Lord impressed these verses on my heart for the squad:
    1 Corinthians 4:7 — “But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. 8 We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed…
    4:15 All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God. 16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”

    As I have been typing this, two “random” songs came up on my play list — the old hymn, “It Is Well With My Soul” and then a Rich Mullins song that says, “Hold me Jesus, ’cause I ‘m shaking like a leaf. You have been King of my Glory, won’t you be my ‘Prince of Peace'”

    May the King of Glory be lifted up, and also shown to truly be the Prince of Peace in many hearts and lives – just as He is in the lives of our Racers!

    • Matthew, Thanks for sharing! You have an amazing job and we parents appreciate knowing that coaches are encouraging and lifting up our racers…especially in hard circumstances like these. These kids have faith that can move mountains…literally!! We will keep praying for P squad…and you guys as you support them…as well as all the other squads!

  4. An excellent commentary on World Race Kids. My Daughter was there last year and the first thing that came to my mind was were the AIM kids OK. Thank you for your blog. Chuck Nelson

  5. I’m on P Squad, and we have definitely felt God’s peace and protection through your prayer cover – thank you! It’s amazing to know we have the support of everyone and their mother back home and around the world, and it’s amazing to be part of this community that trusts in God’s goodness no matter what. Thanks for posting this!

    • Melissa, You guys are amazing!! You couldn’t have had a more trying time, and yet you are standing together. We are praying around here like crazy moms do! You guys hang in there!! God is going to surround you and bless so many through you. Much love from the U.S. to you all!!

  6. Michelle
    My daughter, Alyssa, is on P squad. P is for pain, perseverance, and prayer. When they were in Peru many were sick and P was for poop! God is faithful and continues show His love to this group of racers. I spend many hours reading blogs, and Instagram post from the field. These strong, God fearing, people loving kids teach me and encourage me so much as I follow them virtually and prayerfully.
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts and for continuing to pray for WR around the globe.

    Kathryn Nobles
    Rome GA

    • Kathryn, My daughter went to Berry…and one of her friends said there was a Berry girl on P squad…I am thinking it is Alyssa possibly? Love these “kids” even though they are far from being kids. 🙂

      • Michelle
        Yes, Alyssa graduated in 2012! Her sister is a rising senior at Berry. When was your daughter there, and what is her name? I teach in music department as an adjunct, and I’m also a Berry grad. There have been numerous girls from Berry on WR. Small world!

      • My daughter is Hannah Gunnin she graduated in 2012 too!…one of her friends Lindsay Larkin knows your daughter I think. She told me she knew someone on P squad! Small world for sure….and even smaller, as I am also a Berry grad (1985) and married a Berry grad (1986) and our youngest just finished his freshmen
        year there!

  7. Great blog post, Michelle. I love watching parents go on their own race, often hearts in their throats. It means that God is stretching them and giving them an opportunity to trust him more.

    This Saturday morning I could be spending time w/ family, but the other Adventures leadership and I are busy monitoring the situation in Nepal. We are deeply invested in managing the tension between being Jesus in hard places and doing our best to ensure the safety of everyone’s precious children. It’s a profound stewardship.

    • Seth, The thing is that the Racers chose this journey…the parents didn’t. We got drug along…some of us kicking and screaming. What we don’t realize is that God actually chose it for both us and our Racers. That doesn’t usually occur to us parents until about month 6! I am grateful that you guys are monitoring this so closely. It really is a comfort to parents to know how seriously you take it.

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