We are the Miles Family. Patrick and Jenni, and our four children Gabriel, Adalie, Asher, and Lyla.
Our Journey to the Mission Field
We are continually praying about (and sometimes struggling with) this whole concept of FAITHFUL OBEDIENCE. What started as a simple conversation between Jenni, my wife, and I (my name is Pat) about the ways to keep our two older kids connected to their birth country (they were adopted from Haiti) went from short term family trips to the D.R. and/or Haiti to now full-time living service in the D.R.
Full time missions. Are you kidding? How in the world did we get here, to be even considering full time missions? To be honest, there was definitely a time in my life when “missions” was a foreign concept in my mind. But within a 5 year period of intense spiritual growth (and a continual journey in seeking spiritual maturity since) I have come to really appreciate the faithful and servant mentality it takes to be a missionary. And look…now here we are, living in another country away from all the things we know (culturally speaking) and love (our families especially) as missionaries. It’s been an amazing journey for me personally, but for our family as a whole.
The Lord has an interesting way of tugging and poking his children to simply follow Him. He has continually kept us on our toes in challenging us to trust Him and obey what we read in His word. It all comes back to that FAITHFUL OBEDIENCE idea. There are times I feel the desire to tattoo that on my arm as a constant reminder of what I need to do every day…heck, every MINUTE I live. To be faithfully obedient – to humbly follow the Lord in every aspect of my life. Doesn’t Jesus continually just simply ask his believers to do that, faithfully believe in Him?
I’ve always been encouraged by 1 Peter 2. Here, take a look from the version in The Message:
4-8Welcome to the living Stone, the source of life. The workmen took one look and threw it out; God set it in the place of honor.Present yourselves as building stones for the construction of a sanctuary vibrant with life,in which you’ll serve as holy priests offering Christ-approved lives up to God.The Scriptures provide precedent:Look! I’m setting a stone in Zion,a cornerstone in the place of honor.Whoever trusts in this stone as a foundation will never have cause to regret it.To you who trust him, he’s a Stone to be proud of, but to those who refuse to trust him,The stone the workmen threw out is now the chief foundation stone.For the untrusting it’s .. . a stone to trip over, a boulder blocking the way.They trip and fall because they refuse to obey, just as predicted.9-10But you are the ones chosen by God, chosen for the high calling of priestly work, chosen to be a holy people,God’s instruments to do his work and speak out for him, to tell others of the night-and-day difference he made for you—from nothing to something, from rejected to accepted.11-12Friends, this world is not your home, so don’t make yourselves cozy in it.Don’t indulge your ego at the expense of your soul.Live an exemplary life among the natives so that your actions will refute their prejudices.Then they’ll be won over to God’s side and be there to join in the celebration when he arrives.
How refreshing is that? This message just sinks deep in my soul and convicts me to live a life for Jesus. And to do so by way of TRUSTING HIM and RESPONDING TO HIM. There was a time when I totally didn’t rely on Jesus as my “chief cornerstone,” and those were some pretty rocky times. Times of ego and a time of a skewed definition and drive for success – worldly success. But I now fully rely on Him to be my cornerstone, my lifeline. And what a difference it has made. I find so much more peace in life knowing I have THE God to serve as my support.
Friends, this right here is why were felt convicted to have this strange and crazy idea to live in a foreign country. That’s it. We want to be faithfully obedient to be His “instruments” in the place where He would have us.
And so, we move forward, doing what we feel God is at least wanting us to do for Him. We are responding. We push on in faithful obedience. And I know, that in doing so we bring Him glory. And that’s worth every crazy moment so far in our lives here. His glory…that’s our goal. We are blessed to be living here, serving where He is leading us.
Graciously and gratefully yours!
Patrick Miles, director of Respond to Christ Ministries