A New Chapter – Mindy Houser

And so begins the new chapter in God’s penning of our story. Of course, it was written before there was time, but we are only now discovering this twist in the plot.
It is difficult to pinpoint the exact page in which the events began to turn. It probably started on the first page with our birth into homes where Jesus Christ was the center.
If you flip ahead, you’ll find the section where we surrendered our hearts and lives to Him.
The plot thickens in the sixth chapter when the two main characters cross paths at Crown College, a place where Christ and world evangelism was emphasized.
Oh, and this part always makes me cry happy tears: the birth of Blaine – and then later, Adeline.
Skip ahead to find our joy and privilege to serve at and attend Calvary Baptist Church in Ashland, Ohio – a loving church with a heart for missions.
Let’s see… There’s that chapter in which we became foster parents. We felt what it was to truly love a child who was not “our own,” but God’s precious child, nonetheless.
Oh, and then there’s the part where we took a trip to Kenya with Medical Mission Outreach. There, we were touched by the sight of so many people, young and old alike, in dire physical and spiritual need.
Not too long after, we knew God had called us to adopt, and we started the process to bring home our child from Democratic Republic of Congo.
We had become dynamic characters in this story, our hearts and vision widening at the close of each paragraph. We often spoke of serving the Lord abroad, reaching the unreached, being called to abandon the familiar for the cause of Christ.
Ah, here we are… The part when I discovered that Amanda, a dear college friend, had been diagnosed with leukemia. I was shocked and heartbroken to know she had to suffer through such a great trial. She and her husband Zach had been serving Christ in China, but her illness had forced them to abandon their thriving ministry there to seek cancer treatment in the U.S.
At one point, I hoped to encourage Amanda via an online message with the thought of God’s “multi-purposefulness.” Because we can only see the surface of what God enacts and enables. But beyond that, time and eternity will reveal numerous reasons for everything that occurs – no matter how horrible it may seem. God has purposes beyond the surface of Amanda’s leukemia. Calvin and I had no idea how soon God would illustrate that in our lives.
Days after her diagnosis, Amanda and I were chatting online, and the topic of adoption arose. I began to share my heart with her. You can refer back to previous pages in our story to read how God had been molding Calvin’s and my heart with compassion for the orphaned and exploited children worldwide.
I confided in Amanda that Calvin and I dreamed of someday following God’s leading to a needy place, planting churches and seeing lives changed through Christ. We dreamed of children’s homes being built as a ministry of those churches and seeing orphans loved, redeemed, and claimed for His divine purpose.
But we wouldn’t even know where to begin. We would need to see it accomplished first. How would we even begin to find a church that had plans of starting an orphanage? Besides, it was just a dream. Who knows what our future held?
That’s when Amanda exclaimed, “Mindy, this is incredible. I need to tell you something!”
She then proceeded to tell me about new friends of theirs, Carl and Michelle Gormley, who have been serving in the Philippines for the past seventeen years.
In the midst of their work in China, Zach and Amanda had heard of the Gormley’s and their need for help with summer Bible clubs. Zach and Amanda gladly volunteered and boarded a plane to cross the Pacific.
They loved their short time in the Philippines, and before they returned to China, the Gormley’s spoke of their need for a young couple to join their ministry for the long-term.
Especially with plans of starting a children’s home ministry.
Yes, you read that correctly. A children’s home.

Once we reached this climactic point in our online conversation, Amanda typed this: “Maybe part of God's plan was for me to become sick so I could share the Gormley's ministry with you. Then you and Calvin would feel led to go the Philippines and help the Gormley's!”

You see, they had considered going themselves in the future but had never felt peace about it. Leukemia solidified the decision not to go.
But what they never realized was how they would play such a significant role in seeing their friends fill the gap.
The next few paragraphs of the story and several months of our lives are consumed with consideration, counsel, divine confirmation, and asking ourselves, “Are we crazy?” But now we’re at the present and the peace that surrender brings.
It’s true.
Calvin, Mindy, Blaine, Adeline, and Houser Little One #3 are headed to the Bulacan province of the Philippines!
We are thrilled about the opportunity to work with Carl and Michelle Gormley and their four daughters, Kayla, Courtney, Kassie, and Chloe. We’ve enjoyed getting to know them as they are currently in the U.S. on furlough (there’s that hand of God again!), and we are looking forward to learning from their influence and experience. The Gormley family has been a blessing to us already.
There are 1.2 million orphans in the Philippines, and the need for orphan care is great, but the children’s home ministry will only be a part of what Calvin and I plan to involve ourselves with while in the Philippines. We plan to assist in the church plant work, Bible institute, Christian school of over 350 children, and other ministries at Calvary Baptist Church in San Jose del Monte.
You know, until several months ago, we had never considered the Philippines to be a part of our future. But ever since God has opened this door, He’s also opened our eyes to His strategy for using the Philippines to reach the “unreached” areas of the world:
“There are well over 100 million people in the Philippines. Although over 90% of the population are enslaved in false religions and traditions, this nation remains one of the most open countries in Asia for the Gospel. Considering the fact that over 60% of the world’s population lies in Asia alone, we realize this strategic open door in the Philippines is for such a time as this. Did you know that over 20% of the Filipino population works overseas in places such as: China, Japan, India, and Malaysia? Or have you considered the staggering two million workers in the Middle East alone? Think of the potential for the spread of the Gospel! What we see is an open door, not just to one country, but to many ‘closed’ countries for the Gospel’s sake.” (written by Calvin)
Stay tuned for future installments of this story as we turn our lives upside-down, take a survey trip to PI in June, begin deputation, attempt to learn the basics of Tagalog, and embark on this God-given adventure.