When my husband and I founded St. Bryce Missions in 2010, this is what we knew: that God was asking us to open the door for Him to use our pain for the good of others. You see, the foundation is named for our sixth son, Bryce, our sweet baby boy who flew home to heaven in his sleep at three months old. It was a small “yes” to offer in our grief, a surrender to the fact that our pain could perhaps do some good in this world if we were willing to be generous with it.
We had no idea where it would lead and how our lives would look five short years later. But that small “yes” was big in that it was the first step out of our grief and into a life of purposeful, intentional “yes” living—where we began a discipline of saying the small “yes” to the thing that God was asking right now and leaving the growing impact of that “yes” to His doing.
By 2011, we were saying “yes” to moving our family to the rural mountains of Costa Rica to bring the Good News to an indigenous population living in isolated reserve lands there. And then “yes” to growing the vision of our work to reach other periphery communities around the world. And “yes” to helping mothers generate income for their families by starting a social enterprise initiative. And “yes” to helping local churches build the infrastructure they need to impact their communities.
And then one day in 2013, as we drove along the mountain paths, we found an indigenous mother walking with a small baby. We stopped to ask if she needed help, and she told us she was walking out to wait for an ambulance to bring her baby to the hospital. Looking at her worried face and the lethargic little one in her arms, I knew we could not leave her there. We waited with her until the ambulance arrived. And then I gave her my phone number and told her to call if she needed help. She did.
That night, we opened the doors to our home to her and her child, and she stayed with us for three days while her little one recovered. It opened our eyes to a very real need of the people we had come to serve. We found out that the indigenous population suffered infant mortality rates 5 times higher than the rest of Costa Rica because of lack of access to medical care, and the mothers’ inability to navigate the system without some kind of support. So the St Francis Emmaus Center, our outreach to indigenous mothers, was born with a single, small “yes”.
Nearly two years later, more than 170 mothers have been served at the center, which we run out of our home. This year, in the Costa Rican medical system’s official publication on their efforts to lower the infant mortality rate in the indigenous population, St. Bryce Missions’ efforts were cited as contributing to a 50% reduction in infant mortality in 2014.
Today, our days are filled with advocacy meetings with the Child Welfare Department and social workers, communications with medical staff, guiding moms through labor and early lactation, providing care for sick children. It is high impact, world-changing work and we are passionate about it.
But we never set out to change the world. We simply desired to move forward from our grief by embracing a life of “yes”, a life in which obedience to God’s promptings in small but faithful ways built the Kingdom here on earth.
We are firm believers in the fact that He wants to use all our stories in a similar way- He demands we be world-changers because this world needs more of Him. But that change doesn’t always look like a single high-impact, life-changing “yes”. More often, it is a series of small, obedient “yeses” offered one at a time. Our impact builds as our faithfulness becomes more consistent. The small “yeses” offered to the need right in front of us, over and over, becomes the building block God uses to change the world.
What “yes” can you give today that may seem small, but is building your impact for the Kingdom?
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