We met the Higbie Family at our church in Wisconsin but it wasn't until March of 2012 that we actually got to know them...it wasn't until then that we took a step out of our comfort zone, out of our "busy schedules" to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit and go help them peel some potatoes for a fundraiser they were having that week. I say that because that's probably not something we would have decided to do on our own for people we didn't really "know", but after the church service that day when Diane starting telling me about their story and the fundraiser and the help they needed, the Holy Spirit prompted me and I knew we needed to get involved, even if it was just donating our time to help them peel some potatoes and attend a fundraiser until past our bed time. I point that out because serving isn't always convenient, loving others doesn't always look like things we would choose to do, but if you know God is telling you to do something, you just obey and He will reward you for it. Josh led someone to the Lord the night of the fundraiser, God multiplied our time and everything we needed to get done was accomplished, and we know that meeting the Higbie's was truly a divine connection and friendship!
It didn't take much time spent with Diane to see her beautiful loving heart, so passionate and full of faith! Every moment I spent with her I was encouraged and uplifted, strengthened and refueled. I can't even tell you how much it spoke to my heart to see her love on her family, her precious children, even the ones who weren't "home" yet! She never hesitated to pray, to praise, to sing, you could just see Jesus right next to her every moment and that so blessed me and encouraged me in my own personal relationship with the Lord!
Just a few short months after getting to know Bob, Diane, and the girls, Josh and I followed the call of God on our lives to Pastor my home church in Texas and the Higbie's were such an awesome encouragement to us and our faith as we prepared for our big move. We were learning to trust God, and I mean really trust Him, quitting our jobs, not having a place to live or any guaranteed income, just acting on His Word to go...just like the Higbie's, obeying God's call on their lives to adopt those precious children "a world away", trusting God to provide every step of the way when everything was stacked against them. And to see Bob's faith because I can relate to his doubt and reasoning, wanting to understand everything and know how it's all going to work, that's me for sure, but how he just trusted anyway, wow! Josh and I thank God for this couple!
I want to share a few things about faith...
"But without faith it is impossible to please and be satisfactory to Him. For whoever would come near to God must [necessarily] believe that God exists and that He is the rewarder of those who earnestly and diligently seek Him [out]." (Hebrews 11:6 AMP)
We are supposed to be channels for God to work through us, and how does God accomplish things on earth? How does He love the unlovable, father the fatherless, feed the hungry, etc.? He does it through His Body! We as Christians are His Body, we are the hands and feet of Jesus here on this earth, God works through us, us in obedience to Him, actually taking action. We cannot please God without faith and faith without works is dead.
I like the way The Message explains faith in action - James 2:14-20
14-17 Dear friends, do you think you’ll get anywhere in this if you learn all the right words but never do anything? Does merely talking about faith indicate that a person really has it? For instance, you come upon an old friend dressed in rags and half-starved and say, “Good morning, friend! Be clothed in Christ! Be filled with the Holy Spirit!” and walk off without providing so much as a coat or a cup of soup—where does that get you? Isn’t it obvious that God-talk without God-acts is outrageous nonsense?
18 I can already hear one of you agreeing by saying, “Sounds good. You take care of the faith department, I’ll handle the works department.”
Not so fast. You can no more show me your works apart from your faith than I can show you my faith apart from my works. Faith and works, works and faith, fit together hand in glove.
19-20 Do I hear you professing to believe in the one and only God, but then observe you complacently sitting back as if you had done something wonderful? That’s just great. Demons do that, but what good does it do them? Use your heads! Do you suppose for a minute that you can cut faith and works in two and not end up with a corpse on your hands?
22 Obey God’s message! Don’t fool yourselves by just listening to it. 23 If you hear the message and don’t obey it, you are like people who stare at themselves in a mirror 24 and forget what they look like as soon as they leave. 25 But you must never stop looking at the perfect law that sets you free. God will bless you in everything you do, if you listen and obey, and don’t just hear and forget.
26 If you think you are being religious, but can’t control your tongue, you are fooling yourself, and everything you do is useless. 27 Religion that pleases God the Father must be pure and spotless. You must help needy orphans and widows and not let this world make you evil.
The Higbie's are full of faith, they are living this out right now, right in front of us, sacrificing so much and being away from their family, against all odds and obstacles, they are not loosening their grip, they hold fast to the promise of God...they continue to speak God's Word and truth when the doubt and the voice of impossibility scream in their face...and God is very pleased with them, they are fighting the good fight of faith, that is the fight you know, keeping the faith, continuing to believe...
We encourage everyone to get on board with Bob and Diane and help them out financially as well, they are trusting God for the finances to come in, even as they are already oversees to get these precious children, and how do you think God will get the money to them? Through you and I, He works through people and the longer people disobey and not give when God is telling them to give, the longer it takes. We already know personally the reward of obeying God and giving when He tells us to, it's not ours anyway, we are His channel, to flow through us, not for us to keep everything for our own desires, God has always taken care of us and we do not go without, He is faithful!
We pray that the eyes of there condemners have been opened to see the great work that God Himself has fulfilled through Bob and Diane. To God be all the Glory and Honor and Praise. Bob and Diane, thank you so much for living a true Christian life and not being merely talkers but being "doers of the Word!"
-In His Service, Josh & Angela Napiwocki