Passing the Baton

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  • This has been a day of retrospect… a day where God has my attention.

Randy has gone to Nairobi to pick up a new friend. So I usually try to use these times to sit quiet before the Lord. I’m reading some biographies of some men and women who represented the exchanged  and abundant life I daily desire. The team outside are all working so hard to accomplish all Randy left for them to do. So I decided to make them ‘popcorns’. Yes, plural. I decided to listen to some teaching while I popped 8 pots of corn for my 20+ hardworking friends.

I love these people. They have become like my kids. I love being a mom. I always have. And 35 years ago as I was anticipating my first baby at the young age of 20, I was filled with eager joy. I wasn’t walking with the Lord at the time. I had been raised in Truth. I knew Truth. And I believed Truth. But I was not walking in it. Even still, I knew even before my child was born, it wasn’t about me anymore, this child, any future children, they needed Truth.

And in my quest to see them get that, The Lord got me. Over time I became a lover of His Word and a believer in prayer. God used many people to disciple me as I was determined to teach my kids. And teaching them the Truth drove everything I did. I can say that honestly. I may not have had the purist motives some of the time, but I was very cognizant of the potential message in my actions, my words, my responses, my life.  Oh… I made so many blunders, and outbursts, and mess ups and mistakes… but I can absolutely say that my primary focus, my deepest desire, was that my kids knew Jesus, knew the power of His resurrection, that they knew His faithfulness and His love and that they grew up to walk and abide in Him. That was all I cared about, far over education, careers, even relationships, I wanted them to KNOW Jesus.

Again, you don’t need to ask them, I’ll admit… I made so many mistakes and dropped the baton regularly. But I do believe that God saw my desire and poured out grace beyond measure. Grace that covered my mistakes. Grace that covered my outbursts and my messes. And, day by day, month by month, year by year… I grew, they grew and together, ONLY through the grace of Jesus, we are all living for and diligently serving our Savior. We are all eagerly awaiting His return and we are all consciously spreading the gospel and making disciples.

Yes, I know what a privilege and amazing blessing this is. I do not take it for granted. And my husband and I praise our God daily for having revealed Himself to them. It is this faithfulness of God, having seen it proven through my kids and so many other ways that gave me the courage to trust and obey God when He called us to Africa. Out of the blue, never a dream, at a season where it made NO sense, He called us to Kenya and again, He has blown me away.

Well, today, as I was listening to some teaching, I found myself before the Lord. I was being clearly taught something that I think God has been trying to show me for some time. But somehow, this message, this pastor, this time… God’s anointing, God’s desire for me to ‘get it’ spoke deep down in the innermost center of my heart. This pastor spoke boldly of God’s Truth, of His call for holiness and righteousness, he taught of the utmost importance of the furtherance of the gospel and how my motives to serve MUST BE for His glory. I want to want to!!! Oh God may my conduct be worthy of the Gospel and may I stand fast.

  • What moved me to share this today… was after years of praying that God would speak and reveal Himself to my children THROUGH me, desiring to pass them a baton of faith… today… He spoke and revealed Himself to me…. THROUGH my son. The Baton of Faith has most assuredly been passed and I simply praise the Name of my Jesus!!!!
    Hey, if you want to hear some sound and spurring teaching… check out Pastor Ryan Saul at He lives and he teaches…. TRUTH!

11 thoughts on “Passing the Baton

  1. Kari, what a beautiful outpouring of your heart that shows how God has worked in, on, with thru and for you as u have totally dedicated ur ur heart & life to Him!! I love ur passion, focus & commitment to everything He has for u to do, be, & live out before others.
    Only when u get to heaven will u c how many lives u have touched & impacted—-Both u & Randy! I just love u both & stand amazed at how God is using u there.

  2. I love everything about this, Kari. I feel 100% the same about my kids’ faith vs. everything else and I pray that I will see them grow to be able to teach me as I am so doggedly trying to teach them. It also encourages me greatly to see you guys, the Arroyos, and the Nelsons all seeking to step out in crazy faith in a time that, like you said, doesn’t seem to make much sense. I often feel like by the time my kids are grown it will be “too late” for me, but you guys are proof positive that God works in us no matter when!

    • Two things… never let the enemy shadow the fact you are raising up mighty men of valor!!! I know you know that!!! And…. it’s the new ‘retirement’ option! And a fruitful one! Love you and holding a bed for you!

  3. Kari, what a beautiful story!! You and Randy have raised an amazing family with God at the head of your home!! You are such an encouragement to so many and I have no doubt God smiles at the mention of your name!! I love you!! Lori

  4. Pingback: From the Field | Shepherd's Staff Mission Facilitators

  5. I can’t really read your words without tears in my eyes. I love you, dear friend. I hope life will bring us together again one day.

  6. Kari…I so loved reading your story. I remember the times we prayed together over our kids. God is so faithful and is surely at work in each of their lives. It is His beautiful grace that has covered every moment. Oh, the joy of a mom’s heart cannot be measured when her children walk in truth! From the rising of the sun till the setting may His great name be praised as He continues to lead the way! Love you much!!

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