Daring Daughters . . . and Dirty Feet

I’ve always had this “thing” for baby feet. I pull off darling shoes, and little newborn socks, and just want to kiss each of those tiny toes! I always ponder where a baby’s precious feet will go, and about God’s destiny and purpose for each new life.

But speaking as a mother, what happens when our kids grow up, and God perhaps would call our sons, or our DAUGHTERS, to dangerous places?

Daring Daughters . . . and Dirty Feet

588-christi-feet

Our oldest daughter, Christi, recently climbed a mountain barefoot. She didn’t want to wear out her TOMS, which incidentally are shoes produced by a company that helps kids in impoverished countries . . . . who don’t have shoes. These dirty feet actually give a pretty clear glimpse of our daughter. Christi’s always dreamed of daring things for God.

She’s grown up on a steady diet of missionary biographies — Amy Carmichael, Gladys Aylward, Florence Nightingale, Lottie Moon, and Elisabeth Elliot; but she’s done more than merely read about godly self-sacrificing women. Christi’s been living-out her own mission adventure story, as she’s also continually dreaming about the future.

The Bible says, “And how shall they preach, except they be sent?

as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace,

and bring glad tidings of good things!” – Romans 10:15

For more about the vision for Daring Daughters — including the new facebook page, twitter page, upcoming events, and blogtalk radio show, please click here . . .

christi-gloria

Raising daughters . . . to fulfill God’s destiny

I want to be a mom who encourages each of our children to completely fulfill God’s destiny — not by our own efforts, but by God’s GRACE!!! Jon and I know that each of our sons, and our DAUGHTERS, have been entrusted by God into our family to be raised FOR HIM and His mission-minded and eternal purposes. We want each of our kids, including each son and each DAUGHTER, to fully obey God’s call and purpose for his or her life.

Sometimes, as a caring and loving mom (who remembers kissing our babies’ feet and tucking away their precious hand-knitted booties for the next generation), that can be challenging and stretching.

But oh, what a JOY!!!!

Our daughter, Christi

christi-wall

christi-wall-kids

Here are a few pictures of our daughter on a mission outreach in East Africa. Christi was instrumental in helping to establish Harvest Ministry’s orphanage outreaches in Uganda, currently caring for hundreds of children orphaned primarily because of AIDS.

During her last year at home, Christi worked tirelessly in our ministry office, coordinating child sponsors and sharing needs. She’s traveled the globe to share the Gospel and to help others; but her passion for people who need Jesus is just as fervent here in the United States! She loves to mentor young women, to pray for those who are hurting, to speak out for world missions, and to have fun with community outreach projects (just last weekend, on Oct. 31st, she worked alongside an “army” of college students in an exciting city-wide canned-food drive!).

As mothers in God’s kingdom, we need to not only raise our own daughters to love the Lord, but realize that there are multitudes of God’s precious daughters throughout the world, who desperately need all the motherly-and-sisterly-love we can give, along with our sacrificial support and prayer.

Fulfilling a dream . . . for God’s girls in Cambodia

As for Christi, she’s now in her final year at ORU. This semester, she’s writing her senior paper, focusing on the horrible issues surrounding child prostitution and international human trafficking and the necessary process of healing after sexual abuse. She’s also preparing to be an ATL (Assistant Team Leader) for an upcoming two-month ORU summer mission to Cambodia, in Asia.

It’s amazing how God puts all the details together. Some people say that homeschool families isolate their children and keep them sheltered from the world. For us, we have protected our kids and teens from allowing compromising friends and lifestyles of sinful distractions, as we’ve covered them in the power and blood of Jesus Christ, so they can IMPACT a dark world with the bright light of our wonderful Lord.

Interceding for God’s girls . . .  in Iran

As a side-note, I (Ann) have had a tremendous burden this week for persecuted women, especially in Iran, who are being abused and tortured for their unfailing love for Jesus Christ. Just today, I received a specific prayer request from Voice of the Martyrs to uphold two beautiful Christian girls in Iran, Maryam and Marzieh, who are suffering persecution right NOW for their faith.

Please pray for our daughter Christi, for Mayam and Marzieh, and for God to give all of us more of His passion for ALL of His daughters throughout the world.

I love Proverbs 31. Sometimes we neglect to read all the verses about God’s virtuous women. As moms, we don’t need to be afraid about what is to come, for our household is “clothed in scarlet” (protected by the blood of Jesus). We need to reach out our “hand to the needy” and train our daughters to be women who “fear the Lord.”

Here are my favorite verses from Proverbs 31:

“Open your mouth for the speechless,

for the cause of all who are appointed to die.

Open your mouth and judge righteously,

and plead for the cause of the poor and the needy.”

Proverbs 31:8-9

May we raise daring daughters, perhaps with dirty feet, who will fully obey and follow God’s plan and purposes, in complete obedience and submission to Him, with fervent love.

God is so good.

May His goodness flow through us, and through our sons and our DAUGHTERS.

11/18/2009 – PRAISE REPORT: Just received news today via twitter (on @persecutionblog and The Voice of the Martyrs) that the two women in Iran, Maryam & Marziah, both mentioned in this article, were just SET FREE after 259 days in prison!!!)

QUOTE from persecutionblog.com: “VOM’s friend, Elam Ministries, which serves the growing church in Iran, has announced that Maryam Rustampoor and Marzieh Amirizadeh have been released from Evin Prison in Tehran. Family members picked them up at the prison this afternoon, Iran time. The two women immediately expressed thanks to Christians around the world who had prayed for them during their 259 days in prison.

“Words are not enough to express our gratitude to the Lord and to his people who have prayed and worked for our release,” they said.

Comments

26 Responses to “Daring Daughters . . . and Dirty Feet”
  1. Thank you Sarah!

    Be sure to check out the new DARING DAUGHTERS blog and radio broadcasts.
    We’re so glad you were encouraged for your own daughter.

  2. sarah says:

    Thank you. I just happened upon this post and I want to thank you with all my heart for the wonderful, powerful reminder of my hopes for my own daughter. I feel strengthened and encouraged from reading this.

  3. Spencer,

    Thanks for stopping by, and for commenting on this post.
    May God bless your ministry to the Hispanic community in your area. AWESOME!!!

  4. Spencer Hunt says:

    Wow. Very touching & motivating. I enjoyed reading this, both for what your daughter is accomplishing and for the thoughts that you have for your daughter.

    A parent’s love can really help guide our children on the right path. Just like God’s love guides us, His children. I served a 2-yr, full time Spanish Speaking mission for my Christian church and can say that it is really enjoyable serving others. I still try to give service to others whenever possible.

    God bless
    .-= Spencer Hunt´s last blog ..Spencer_Hunt: @mixtapekid45 Hope your weekend went well Peter. =-.

  5. Robyn,

    Thanks so much for your sweet comment. Yes, God’s love and grace is so wonderful. It’s truly an honor to share it with others . . . beginning right at home.

    Blessings to you and yours,
    Ann

  6. Robyn says:

    A beautiful story, a beautiful daughter, and such a beautiful testimony to God’s love and purpose for each of us.

    Keep sharing your wonderful life and love.
    .-= Robyn´s last blog ..Tweet Tweet =-.

  7. Dear Jamie,

    God’s Great Commission to go into all the world to share the Gospel (and His Great Commandment, to love God and love others) is the core of our life. Just as being a Christian totally affects our worldview (including our child-raising, Bible training, family discipleship, and homeschooling), so also having a heart for the WORLD and for SOULS influences every area of our life.

    I would encourage you to take a look at the FREE samples of THE MISSION-MINDED CHILD – Raising a New Generation to Fulfill God’s Purpose) and THE MISSION-MINDED FAMILY – Releasing Your Family to God’s Destiny, and you and your daughter could take our FREE 40-Day Mission-Minded FAMILY CHALLENGE (right here on our website, it’s “Eight weeks to becoming a more effective family . . . for eternity” – This challenge includes daily FREE online videos, 4-5 min. each, or 20-30 min/weekly, which can be accessed at any time). This 40-Day Challenge gives a pretty good intro to our family’s heart and passions (and in practical terms, HOW we do this), and some ideas about raising your kids to PRAY and GIVE, and have a heart for the nations and the lost.

    Also, as a homeschooling family, you might want to take a look at what we have available for mission-minded homeschooling, including our one-year FREE homeschool unit study world missions curriculum, Teaching With God’s Heart for the World.

    Keep in touch! I’d love to hear about how your daughter is growing in the Lord and how He is developing this heart for Egypt. It’s a very needy country, and as I’m sure you know, quite dangerous. May the LORD help YOU also, as a mom, to be able to release your precious little girl into whatever God has for her life . . . with wisdom and discernment.

    In His Love,
    Ann

  8. Jamie says:

    Oh, my goodness! This is the first time I’ve visited your blog (coming over from To Love, Honor and Vacuum) and I cannot tell you how touched I’ve been reading your blog! We’re a homeschooling fam, too, and my eldest, who’s eight, has a passion for being a missionary to Egypt. I really thought that this would be something she’d get over in a couple of days, but to my surprise, she’s holding strong after many months.
    How have you encouraged your daughter over the years? I’m a little lost on how to do this.
    .-= Jamie´s last blog ..New Year, New Look =-.

  9. Joyful says:

    What precious children.
    Thanks for sharing.
    I too love to kiss baby’s little feet.
    .-= Joyful´s last blog ..Sites for 2010 =-.

  10. Sheila,

    Thanks for your comment; although, at the moment our daughter Christi has mid-length dark brown hair!!! She was wanting a change, and it looks fine . . . and maybe she’ll be able to relate better to the girls she’ll be ministering to in Cambodia this summer. (It’s definitely the heart that counts . . . although I’ll be glad when her hair goes back to blond!!!)

    I sure appreciate your heart to Kenya and missions (and your heart to encourage speakers & writers).

    Blessings to you!
    Ann

  11. Ann,

    How beautiful! You must be so proud!

    My daughter has a real burden for Africa, too. We’ve been to Kenya several times, as you know, and we’re heading back in March! She can hardly wait! And she has long blonde hair, too, that all the Kenyan girls love to braid! I’m sure your daughter can relate!
    .-= Sheila Gregoire´s last blog ..Do You Want to Write or Speak? =-.

  12. Ann Dunagan says:

    Dear Yvonne,

    Your comment means (and ministers) so much to me! It means so much to hear about your deep love for your daughter, and how you have have to release her into God’s purposes . . . and about the JOY that God has given you, the GRACE that He has provided, and the GENERATIONAL BLESSING.

    Thank you for sharing from your heart.

    Ann
    .-= Ann Dunagan´s last blog ..Mission-Minded Passports =-.

  13. Yvonne Goodmanson says:

    Dear Ann,

    What a great post about Daring daughters. As a mom I too have been so blessed and also have a Daring daughter. From the time our daughter Danette asked Jesus into her heart as a very little girl she grew to love Him with her whole heart.

    One night, I will never forget. She was laying in bed and weeping.
    I said, “Honey, what’s wrong?”
    She said, “Mom, why can’t everyone know Jesus?”
    I said, “Because many have never been told & we need to tell everyone we can.”

    From that day on Danette was having Sunday School every day that she could in our back yard for any child who wanted to come & she would tell them about Jesus.

    Years later, while attending ORU she meet her husband to be, Neal. The first time she brought Neal home to meet us, we knew God was working His Will in her life.

    For over 11 years now, she and her husband Neal along with their 3 children have been full time missionaries in Africa. The day that they left for Africa with our first grandson, was one of the hardest days of my life because it was time to release her for God’s calling. I remember crying for several days because of missing them so much yet, but most of all crying tears of great joy knowing God was answering our prayers & that our “Daring daughter” was sent to tell those who have not yet heard. Yes we still miss them but we Praise God that they continue their work in Africa and that now our precious grandchildren also have a heart to Love & Serve Jesus. This too is a promise from God that we continue to pray over all our children & grandchildren to every generation for His blessing & that they will serve him in all that they do, for this life we now live is short compared to eternity & only what we do for Him will last.

    Ann, your children are blessed to have you as a mom. Your daughter Christi sounds like she has such a heart to reach others and I’m sure your sons will be used in great ways for God’s Kingdom. Your prayers for all of them will not go unheard or unanswered.

    Blessings to you,
    Yvonne

  14. What a great post!! I will pass this onto my daughter 🙂
    .-= Cornelia Becker Seigneur´s last blog ..On Faith and Art – Reviewing Walking on Water =-.

  15. Ann Dunagan says:

    Carrie, your words, “My heart leaves this page longing for another missions trip,” just TOTALLY blessed my day!!! I’m working on a second companion article right now, about raising boys for God’s purposes and missions. I’m thinking about calling it: “Mighty Men & Missions.” In particular, I’ve been thinking about how we’ve been raising our 5 boys (currently ages 9, 13, 17, 21, and 23), and about how God doesn’t want us to merely raise sons that aren’t “too-bad” or even just “good little boys”; instead, I pray that God would help us as moms and dads to raise mighty GRACE-empowered sons who advance God’s Kingdom!!!!

    Here’s a link to a POWERFUL article I read today. It’s an excerpt from John Piper’s book, Don’t Waste Your Life, and totally goes along with what’s on my heart today as a mother:

    Blessings to you and your family!
    Ann

  16. Carrie Stone says:

    What a beautiful thought to parents of not just girls, but boys as well. You have exhorted and encouraged me with your words. My heart leaves this page longing for another missions trip!!
    Bless you!
    .-= Carrie Stone´s last blog ..A Time For Completion – Day 4 =-.

  17. Allen Wolfe says:

    Thanks for sharing. I love to see parents share with their children a passionate care for helping the hurting and reaching the lost. I especially love to see sons and daughters adopt the heart for missionary work. Christi sounds like a special young lady.
    Allen Wolfe,
    Author of Balancing the Sword

  18. Ann Dunagan says:

    Bo – I appreciate all you are doing to love and motivate young women, and to instill that dangerous destiny into their lives. You sure have some daughters submitted to God’s purposes, not counting all the many young adults you mentor. I’ll never forget the powerful presence of the Lord as Whitney got married and as all the grandparents were involved in instilling destiny and blessing. WOW!!!

    Danette – Your comment about “it’s in the releasing that the fulfillment of vision happens…” is powerful. And coming from you, and all you’ve experienced in releasing your dreams and desires to the Lord for God’s mission purposes in Africa, means so much. Blessings and increased vision to you and Neal, and to all of your family!!!
    .-= Ann Dunagan´s last blog ..Audio #1 – VISION =-.

  19. Danette says:

    Ann,

    Amen! I see so many who don’t want to release. But it’s in the releasing that the fulfillment of vision happens. It’s not easy, but so very necessary.

  20. Bo says:

    Oh…loved this, Ann. May many moms be inspired to raise dangerous daughters…and may many daughters know their worth and authority in the kingdom.

    Beautiful.

    Bo

  21. Ann Dunagan says:

    Don’t give up, Hannah. God is raising up both SONS and daughters (like you) in these last days. Young MISSION-MINDED men will have VISION, as old men will dream dreams. In our family, we’ve been raising 5 boys to be mighty men of God, each uniquely following God’s plan for his life, as leaders and MISSION-MINDED servants – advancing God’s kingdom and pursuing justice and righteousness.

    We do praise God for ladies like you. As you seek the LOVER of your SOUL, JESUS, may God direct your path to just the right godly kingdom-focused man, if that’s His will for your life, so you can also be a wife and a mom. And if not, may you continue to know the Maker as your Husband, and may you continue to have God’s grace to be a mother of many precious little ones who need you.

    Those guys are out there. But as women of God, let’s pray for more MEN to rise up and take their place of leadership, and be willing to step aside or minister alongside, as God directs!!!

    And Laurel, we do admire your whole big MISSION-MINDED family. I read a note from Cassie that sounded like something was a concern. Please send me a private note if you can. WE LOVE YOU ALL!!!

    Ann & all
    .-= Ann Dunagan´s last blog ..Audio #2 – COMPASSION =-.

  22. Love, love, love your article. I am so encouraged to hear about other young ladies following the Lord where He leads. Unfortunately, most of us young people that ARE going are ladies. We simply outnumber the men. Something like all but two of the Journeymen in West Africa are female? Crazy! Honestly, I am beginning to doubt the existence of any “mission-minded” guys.

  23. Laurel says:

    GREAT post! As you know, my 3 oldest daughters have travelled the globe for Jesus.

    I loved your thing about homeschooling. No, we didn’t want our 16 year old daughter at our public high school … but we let her travel to Haiti just 6 weeks after 9-11. We love homeschooling our children so that we can train them up in the Lord, and encourage them to follow their dreams and passions. Then … we must release them when the Lord gives them dreams and passions that take them away from home. We must release “our protection” and give them to the Lord for His protection.

    Hugs,

    Laurel
    mama of 13

  24. Ann Dunagan says:

    God bless you Tanika –

    It’s awesome to hear from your personal perspective as a 17-year-old DARING DAUGHTER who’s been living for all these years (at least 10 years, right?) in West Africa. What a blessing to know that God has put His love in your heart for “your” nation of Niger, and that you’ve grabbed-hold of your family’s missionary calling for yourself. Continue to share your thoughts, as they are an encouragement to other mission-dreaming families. It’s awesome to hear from a mission-minded Jesus-loving teenager.

    Blessings to you!
    Ann
    .-= Ann Dunagan´s last blog ..MEATY: A Vision for Souls – by Amy Carmichael =-.

  25. Tanika Childs says:

    W0W ! I absolutely loved this post. 🙂
    My family and I are missionaries in Niger, West Africa .. and a lot of stuff in this blog reminded me of home.

    The pictures with Christi and the children…it reminds me of home.

    Be blessed & continue the great mission …
    ~tanika

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