Ever since our first son was growing (Women are amazing! How do they do that?!), I’ve had it in my mind that childbirth is an act of war against death.
Life vs. death. Life wins.
Let me introduce to you the newest aggressor against death: Silas Anax Banker. His very existence and presence is a statement to the forces of death and destruction that Life has not lost its power. Born during a time where the world is in turmoil. When death, war and disease are flexing their muscles this seemingly weak child lets out his war-cry, “I’m here!”
About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everyone’s chains came loose. -Acts 16:25-26
Silas, a leader of the early church who was imprisoned with the Apostle Paul, is often depicted holding broken chains. Silas is a powerful name, declaring freedom and life in the face of shackles and death-sentences.
I might as well admit it. I’m a crier. It’s on video anyway, so there’s no use in denying it. As soon as little Silas let out that first screech the tears flowed unhindered. Child birth is an amazing thing. It’s also a scary thing.
Silas’ birth was quick, but not without complication. Where Isaac’s labor dragged on for 68hrs, Silas’ only took 5hrs from beginning to end. It happened so quickly that we didn’t have a chance to get Michelle into the birthing tub. “Baby’s coming!” No time. Get the midwives up here, quick!
We were excited. Baby was on the way…
Then something happened. The atmosphere changed. Our midwives suddenly switched to business mode. Something was wrong. Fear was begging for a hearing.
Silas was stuck. His head was out, why wasn’t the rest of him following? I saw our midwife unwrap the umbilical cord from his neck (it was actually wrapped around him three times). He was still stuck. Things started happening fast. They flipped Michelle onto her hands and knees. Something was wrong. Our midwives were calm, but acting quick. (click here to read about why he was stuck)
Then, he was out. We didn’t know he was a he yet, but there he was! He was grey and not moving. Most people don’t realize how inhuman a newborn can look in those first few moments. He’s not breathing. He looks limp. He’s okay, right? Don’t let the scary thoughts in.
I had been prepped, so I knew that it could take a few seconds to a minute before the child takes its first breath. The perception of time becomes erratic in situations like that. You have no idea how fast or slow things are happening.
“Talk to your baby.” The midwife says as she picks him up and starts vigorously rubbing his back.
“Baby! You made it! You’re here! Let it out little one. Go ahead. Cry.”
Then it happened. It was a piercing, high-pitched screech that made everything okay in the world. Tears.
Silas means “of the forest.”
Anax is an archaic greek term meaning, “king.”
Anax is a reminder of is identity. His value is in his blood. It’s unearned. He was created with unlimited, enduring worth. He is acceptable because he is in the image of the Great King.
Welcome Silas Anax. You’re amazing and there is an amazing future ahead of you.
Two years ago I came back from my last deployment, intentionally not returning to my amazing job at a non-profit where I invested in youth who were having a hard time graduating.
God had told me to pursue ministry full-time.
As in, an occupation.
As in, don’t make your own money, but trust Him for money.
As in, put everything on the line and trust the Unseen to supply the very seen, and felt, needs.
As in, trust someone else to be better at taking care of you, your wife and your baby than you are.
Someone else whom you read about, see dimly, but struggle to remember what His presence feels like and what his faithfulness looks like when you’re not experiencing it at the moment.
Trust that Guy.
You might not be able to pay your bills.
You might lose your home.
You probably won’t be able to buy that gadget.
You might not be able to buy your wife a Christmas gift even though you would love to love her that way.
You might have to cash out your retirement funds.
Your bank account might dry up.
And… then what?
You have spent your time and energy following God and investing in others. Who will invest in you?
I can’t imagine that God is a worse Father than I am…” -Hudson Taylor (paraphrased)
For two years I haven’t told anyone my needs. I have provided a way for them to give if God told them to. George Muller did it for 60 something years. Hudson Taylor financed a revolutionary missionary society that way. Rees Howells, the great intercessor, learned to trust God in this way over the course of his life.
I did it for two years.
Now, I think God is telling me to ask for people to support me. So, here I am.
Honestly, I wanted to keep going without telling anyone anything and just trusting in prayer alone. But, it would be pride, not obedience at this point to keep that up.
Please ask God if you should support us in prayer or financially.
Three and a half weeks away from my soon-to-be 10 month old is not an appealing opportunity by any stretch of the imagination. Michelle and I found that we were more than able to survive months apart from each other when I deployed to the Middle East while serving in the Air Force, but having Isaac is a game changer. If my immediate family was the only factor, then this would be a no-brainer. Still, we believe that God said, “Go” so I’m going.
My passion is to help people who are hurting be healed.
So, what am I doing over there? The same ministry I have been doing here: Prayer Resolution. It is, by far, the most life-changing and holistic way for any believer to deal with their past so that they are free to live in the present (healthily!) and move forward toward whatever God has for them in the future (that I know of).
So why go there to do what you’re already doing here?
It’s not that we are short of people here who are hurting and want help. Quite the opposite. For every person healed there will be half a dozen people who will want to go through it as they watch their friend transform. Health is contagious in the Kingdom. Once you taste it, you want the whole deal.
So, why go then? A couple of reasons: There are a number of men (it’s a rather rare thing for men to want to go through this in China… I guess that’s the same story here, but not so stark) who need to get through as many sessions as possible by the end of November. Most of the Safe Others whom my dad has trained are women, so he needs some support of the male type.
When God says, “Go,” who am I to change the assignment?
Another reason for me to go is for my own personal development. It is simply invaluable to work with a wide variety of Safe Others to learn from them and see different perspectives. I also have this dream of some day doing this ministry internationally (not necessarily me personally, but I’d be down) traveling wherever needed in support of missionaries in the field. The more cross-cultural experience I can get, the better.
Finally, I will get to spend Thanksgiving with my family in China. Of course, this is a win-lose for me since I will not be spending Thanksgiving with Michelle and Isaac. Bummer.
Here’s a couple of things that God orchestrated for this to come together:
- A couple of different people gave to us financially, totaling $250. This completely covered the visa costs for me.
- 20,000 delta miles points from a good friend that gave me just enough points, with the points I already had, for the entire round-trip. He actually had to pay Delta a bunch of money to transfer the points to me. This was a huge blessing (however ridiculous the policy is).
- A whole bunch of prayer support.