(For parts 1-4, click here and scroll down.)
As we were pulling out of our driveway after selling our house in Grenada, Mississippi, I remember Kevin looking at me and saying, "I feel like God is just opening up the door for us to do something big, don't you?"
I had no idea what he was talking about at the time, and I'm pretty sure he didn't either. We moved into a rent house, had our fourth child, Carys, and went on with life as usual. I participated in Community Bible Study and baby-sat some friend's children in our home. Kevin started his new job working in home health. The big girls were busy in school and Garrett and Carys went to Bible class during my bible study.
One day we received in the mail a magazine sent out by our alma mater, Harding University. It was called Church and Family. We received these magazines regularly (maybe 4 times a year), and we didn't pay that much attention to them, except to thumb through to see if there was any information about anyone we knew from college. This particular magazine, however, caught Kevin's attention in another way.
There was a full-page ad in the magazine from a group called "Continent of Great Cities". It said (paraphrasing..), "We are looking for families to be a part of a mission team going to Buenos Aires, Argentina. Families to work with youth, with technical issues, administration, evangelism, etc. Would you like to be one of these families?"
Kevin looked at this ad, and couldn't get it out of his head. He asked me if I had seen it. I remember nicely saying, "Yeah, that's neat." I remember thinking, "Oh my gosh, I hope he doesn't think that we are going to do that, but I'll say yes for now just to pacify him."
He pondered over the ad for a few days and then asked me if we could call to find out about this group and what they did. I don't remember why, but I ended up making that call. I found out that Continent of Great Cities is a group that trains missionary teams to go to big cities in South America. What would be involved in us joining a team would include finding a supporting congregation and a 7 month training period in Abilene, Texas. These were two big steps of many things that would have to happen for our family to actually be missionaries with this group. Considering all of this, it was actually too late for us to join the team going to Buenos Aires, a city of 13 million people. (whew!) But I found out that the following year a team would be forming for Porto Alegre, Brazil. A smaller city of 1.5 million in the southern part of Brazil. We agreed that they would get back in touch with us when preparations were being made for the formation of this team.
That was in the fall of 1999. We would have to wait awhile before the new team was being recruited. Time. I would need time. God was opening a little crack in the door of my head - and my heart.