I wanted to make a real difference. Just like you do.

And I was sure it meant going.

So I went. My husband and I embraced a tiny, hurting nation, where everything went wrong almost all the time.

Like the millions of others who have come and gone — and continue to come and go — from Haiti, we worked to make a difference. Children’s homes. Schools. Meals. Job training. Discipleship. And because God’s Word assures us that labor done through and for Christ is not done in vain, I know it wasn’t.

But today, as I consider my life’s impact thus far, I can’t deny . . . my greatest influence and my greatest legacy cannot help but be to embrace my own family.

I am raising a generation in my very own living room.

For a while that took place in the sun-scorched land of Haiti. Then, when God flung the doors to the U.S. open in answer to a nine-year prayer for three adoptions to be completed, my influence on all five children continued under an American roof.

But the basics haven’t changed. It’s a children’s home. A school. There are meals. Job training. And especially discipleship.

And while part of me hates that I have limits — shouldn’t I be helping dozens of children who need families? — it’s clear where God wants me right now. Looking into these particular faces. Answering these questions. Calming these fears. Showing these five what a relationship with Jesus is all about.

My surrender to Him today is about staying rather than going. It’s choosing the mundane over the “glamorous.” It’s letting go of what I always pictured and letting God paint pictures of His own.

I’d love to share my story with you. The adventure and struggle. The memoir of going. In a Sun-Scorched Land proves to me and to you the faithfulness of God when we say “yes” to anything. The “anythings” that look thrilling from the outside, but can tear us to shreds as we live them.

But I’d also love to encourage you from where I am today. Doing life, one moment at a time, raising the next generation — embracing that which God says will always make a real difference.