Why I’m taking my family 9000 miles away for 5 months by Travis Sharpe

I am excited to announce that our family will be heading to the Philippines in January of 2015 to live for five months. Trust me, I know it’s a long way from home. We spent fifteen days over there this January. The flights are long, the airport benches are hard and sleep is scarce.


This land is much different. There are different customs and languages. There are many things we don’t understand about the government and how things work. There are lots of challenges that I’m sure I haven’t even thought about yet.


So why would I take my wife and children all that way? What would posses us to abandon our home in Cullman, AL for that length of time?


There are actually many reasons and I plan to write about more of them in the near future. But I can sum up the most important reason we are going by telling you that it is God’s will for our family at this time. God has opened the right doors, provided the right opportunities and basically just lined things up for us.


We are called to go


We are going because we feel called to go. Lots of people ask me how I know that God has called me? To answer that, I simply say that a calling is something that I can’t not do. After visiting the Philippines earlier this year and seeing firsthand the great need, I can’t not go back.
I have seen much poverty during my 18 years of ministering to the homeless. I have been many places. I have been on many mission trips. But our experience in the Philippines was different. I don’t think the poverty was necessarily different nor was the landscape. What was different is what God did in our hearts while we were there.


Making connections


We made instant connections with both the people we ministered to and the pastors and friends we ministered with. Those connections were spiritual. They were lasting. They were real. And when God allows your heart to be knit together like that, you pay attention. You don’t brush it off. You just say “Here am I lord, send me.”


It has been a joy to stay in contact with our friends in the Philippines since our trip six months ago (has it really been that long?). We talk on the phone. We chat on facebook. We just keep in touch and God has blessed that.


The whole family, really?


Yes really! When we went over this year, it was my wife April and my 13 year old son Hunter with myself and about a dozen others from various states. When we go back next year to live for five months our 10 year old daughter Sarah and our 18 year old niece Lynnsey will also be going.
You see, we strive to serve the Lord as a family unit. We want to experience what God has for us as a whole. There is no better feeling than to experience serving with you family and knowing that you are in the middle of God’s will for your family. And I believe that we will grow together as a family when we go through these times together.


What will we do for five months?


That’s a great question and we believe the Lord has given us a great plan. I will share more about that soon in a separate post. But I will tell you this for now, many, many children are going to be blessed! And we are going to give you an opportunity to be a part of it all.
Thank you so much for reading. Please remember our family in your prayers as we undertake this exciting journey.