I did not choose to be a World Race parent. That role was chosen for me by my daughter, or I should say more truthfully…by God. It is not unlike any parenting role. It’s just that most of the same concerns you have about your children who live close by are magnified when they are half way around the world. When a parent gets a call that their child is sick, or injured, a feeling of helplessness is the first to surface. Trying not to panic, your mind tries to latch onto the facts and figure out the best course of action. A couple of years ago when Hannah was sick in Ghana, the only course of action was to pray and wait. Even though I must admit my first thoughts were of the prices of airline tickets to Africa and who I knew with money that could buy them for me. Honestly, I could have panicked and gotten myself there, but waiting turned out to be the only thing I could do. Communication was limited and my mother’s heart was stuck thousands of miles away. I couldn’t ask the doctor questions. I couldn’t transport her. I couldn’t check to make sure she had the right medicine. I couldn’t even talk to her. I pictured her sick and haling a cab in the middle of the night in a foreign country all alone. The hours before I heard more were filled with anxiety, in between my prayers for peace. I can tell you that it gave a whole new meaning to trusting God. Ultimately she worked through it without me. She did what needed to be done and got the care she needed. I was proud of her even though it meant she needed me less than I thought she did. It was the first time my role had shifted from hands-on to intercontinental consultant.
This week my heart cringed when I saw that some World Racers had been in a car accident in Romania. Reports that a couple of the girls were hospitalized in serious condition took me to my knees for them as well as their parents. It is the phone call that World Race parents dread answering. It is the circumstance we pray does not happen. Our kids injured. Yet the community we find ourselves in, of those who have been drafted as Racer parents, has stepped up with encouragement and prayers. Words of kindness, and heartfelt well wishes have surrounded the parents involved and their injured kids.
We know that this could have been us getting the call. We are aware that the world is not a safe place no matter where your kids are. We know that there are no guarantees, yet we watched our babies who are no longer babies fly to fulfill their calling. We knew it would be hard for us to watch them from a distance. And we smiled anyway. Now in this difficult place, after an accident that nearly claimed some of them we find our own calling has not changed as much as we thought. We are still praying, albeit more diligently. We find that our circle of children has expanded greatly from our own to all the kids in the World Race family. We are sorting through the details we hear… on high alert should someone in this new family of ours need us. We are embracing the parents and upholding them in their place of managing while in crisis mode. Best of all we know that they are not alone in this moment. God indeed had a plan when he drafted us to be WR parents…that we would grow, together not alone, but with our new family. I for one am grateful for that detail. Even as I pray for R Squad I know that there are multitudes doing the same. Therefore, I am not surprised when I hear that there are two nurses on the squad that have stayed at the hospital around the clock to care for their teammates. I am not surprised that no surgery was required or that statuses have gone from critical to stable. I continue to pray for this new family I am grafted into, because I will weep with those who weep and I rejoice with those who rejoice. I know that whatever the outcome of this event is, that God will show himself strong, and therefore, I can leave it in his hands and lay it at his feet.