Harder Family

Harder Family

Saturday, November 9, 2019

The Adventures Continue...

Deuteronomy 11:19 "Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down, and when you get up." 

There have been some new and exciting things happening in our lives:

As a parent, we all want what is best for our children. The most important thing for us as parents is that our children know God and have a deep relationship with Him. It takes priority over everything...school, sports, success. From the first day we started homeschooling, we decided that we would take a year at a time. We also discussed that each child is different and we wanted them to feel successful wherever they are. For example, Abigail and Grace are part of Torrey Academy, which is through Biola University, and are taking College Prep Science online this year for school. These programs challenge them and it allows someone outside of their mom, to give them grades. It has been amazing to see them rise to the occasion and work hard in these classes. 

DJ attends a local homeschool co-op Monday-Thursday from 9-2pm every day. He has been loving the program and the kids at his school. This is what he needed to succeed. Let me just stop right here and say what an awesome God we serve. Wayne and I had been praying for months what to do for DJ for school. Public school wasn't the best option for him, and neither was homeschool. He needed his parents to be his parents and not also his teachers. He had a hard time differentiating the two. Meanwhile, God moves us to Kentucky to a smaller town near Lexington and what do we discover? This answer to our prayer...a school perfect for DJ's needs with amazing teachers with special needs experience! God is so good!!! God also provided a counselor for DJ who not only is an adoptive mom herself, but she has had experience working with kids with autism, kids adopted from China, and uses connected parenting methods/play therapy. We have seen DJ get stronger and grow so much since we moved to KY. 

The rest of our children have been doing more traditional homeschool with me, with a few online courses as well. Sophia has been desiring to go to school for about two years. In the last few weeks, she kept asking about going to school. She said she needed to be motivated by others. She is very competitive and she said she didn't have anyone to compete with at home and she really wanted to be challenged. Last year, she had kids from church that participated in a once a week class. She was able to compete with them and it kept her appeased. Since we moved, we haven't been able to plug into anything like that in KY. After praying about her request, Wayne and I decided last week to enroll her in the local public school. It was a heart-wrenching decision, but one we felt was best for Sophia. The first week I doubted our decision when she came home sobbing that she hated school and wanted to come home. We had agreed before we sent her that she would need to finish the entire year to help teach her follow through. By the end of the week, Sophia was enjoying school and meeting new friends. Sophia is most excited about being part of band and getting to finally learn how to play her clarinet! We pray together each morning about Sophia using this opportunity to be a light in her school. This is where all the things she has learned at home and at church get put into action. This is her mission field!

I say all of this because too many homeschool families get lost in the concept that homeschool is the only way. I love homeschooling and it has been the best decision for us up until this point, but we also know that everyone is in different places and each person needs to do what is best for each individual child in their family. In this case, we are praying that Sophia's needs for her education will be met at school. No school is perfect, including homeschool, so we are excited to see her do her best in this new environment and see how God uses it go grow her.


Another exciting adventure took place last week. Last week we participated in an outreach at UK regarding international missions. About a month ago, we met with Christian Student Fellowship's (CSF) missionary. We wanted to find out ways we could get involved with international students at UK. Two years ago at Thanksgiving, we hosted college students at our house in Chicago. It was such an amazing experience for our entire family and we wanted to participate in something like that again here in KY. Not only did we find out information about hosting students at Thanksgiving, we discovered a huge outreach through the college to international students. There are two things that God has given me a passion for, missions and orphan care. 

Wayne and I signed up to be language partners with an older student. We also discovered a group that works with refugees in the area. Wayne and I are so excited to get plugged in and participate in these ministries. This is another HUGE answer to prayer. We had tried to get involved in Chicago, and God kept shutting the doors. We weren't sure why, and then we moved. Since arriving in KY, God keeps opening doors. It reminds me of our attempts to foster/adopt years ago and God shutting the doors. Then when we were least expecting it, God opened the doors. We aren't sure what God has in store for us, but we will place our seeds out and see where God wants us to serve. We know that He will guide us and will open/shut doors as He deems to fulfill His purpose. 

The event that we attended this last week at campus was so encouraging. There were about 350-400 students from the different Christian organizations on campus that met together to talk about how to serve the international community on campus. The worship music was filled with the Holy Spirit and the testimonies of people who have been called out of these groups to serve the Lord as missionaries was touching. One couple serves the Lord overseas in a special country. Their testimony was one of my favorites. They were called by the Lord about 20 years ago to go. My favorite part of their story was an older missionary grabbing the husband by his hands and with fire in his eyes telling this younger man to take his family and just go. Don't waste time, just go to the people, they need to hear about Jesus! God has used them in amazing ways because of their obedience. 

It reminds me of Matthew 9:36-38 "When He (Jesus) saw the crowds, He had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then He said to His disciples, 'The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.'" We were challenged a few weeks ago by a visiting missionary to take part in the 9:38 challenge. At 9:38am and pm, the challenge is to pray that God would rise up laborers to go to the field and reap the harvest. When you hear of people responding to God's call to go, it touches your heart. At the UK event, they stressed that not all of us are called to GO, but we are all called to take part. So either you go or you send others (support them in going). To take this a step further, John Piper said, "If you are not going, and if you are not sending, then you are disobeying." We are all called to take part in the Great Commission. In fact, we are all missionaries. Wether we are called overseas or right at our jobs, we are called to share the gospel with everyone we meet. 

The most convicting part of Tuesday night at UK was the poem that the missionary read from a local Asian believer to others around the world. It reminded me about what we read in Hudson Taylor's life story. A man spoke to Taylor and said, "I have long sought the Truth, as did my father before me, but without finding it. I have traveled far and near but have never searched it out. In Confucianism, Buddhism, Taoism, I have found not rest, but I do find rest in what we have heard tonight. Henceforward, I am a believer in Jesus...How long have you had the Glad Tidings in England?" Taylor was ashamed to tell him and vaguely replied, "For several hundred years." The man responded in astonishment, "What? Several hundred of years! Is it possible that you have known about Jesu so long ,and only now have come to tell us? My father sought the truth for more than twenty years and died without finding it. Oh, why did you not come sooner?"

I will end with this poem. Pray that God shows you what He wants you to do in response to this powerful message from our sister in Christ!

Where Are You? 

You who are fortunate enough
to know what it means to be saved?
Where are you who have been 
washing in the blood of Jesus Christ?

Where have you been?
Can't you see that we are in agony?
Didn't Christ command you to come to us?

The world is perishing in it's darkness.
Thousands are dying in the flames of Hell.
Have mercy, and come to us;
we beseech you to come!

We are clad in rags of ruin;
totally bankrupt; only God can help us now!
But will we have a chance to hear His voice?
His peace and His salvation...
will we have access to them?

Where are you?
Where are the bears of light?
We call out to you, but there is not answer...
have you fallen asleep?
Where are you?

~Poem by a Central Asian believer


  1. Any chance you met Micah Lemaster at the int’l student event? He works with CRU and was one of our students in Chengdu!

  2. This is so beautiful as I read what God is doing in your life. Praise the Lord!!