The Simple Life

Here in the south, we never pass by an acquaintance without speaking. Well, unless you are alright with the possibility of being labeled downright rude.

It's always the familiar... 

-Hi! How are you?

-Good! You?

-Good! 

We learn this little exchange quite early in life. I often hear my own six year old through the screen door talking to someone in the front yard having this very conversation with neighbors on their afternoon strolls. Some comment that he's polite- maybe. But really, he's just heard his mama say this one hundred million times a day. 

It's the phrase that always comes right after that initial exchange that, as of recent, has me cringing. Nowadays I anticipate the next statement, slightly hoping it's something else.. but nevertheless the words come.

"Just busy!"

And I agree,

"Yep! Busy!"  

I find myself now replacing "busy" with "crazy!", because it paints a more truthful picture of my own household right now. 

I've begun to crave simplicity. In my life, house, daily routine, pantry, clothes, schedule, everything.

More things = more mess. More commitments = more anxiety. Which ALL equals less time with the family and friends that I love. 

God was moving me to make a change in my life. And then Carla and Hannah contacted me about a fundraiser for their church's mission team and their ministry. It was the proverbial straw dropping onto the maximalist camel's heavy ladened back. Straws went everywhere. I knew then God was telling me to make a change. 

If two completely normal people, just like you and me, can live with the bare necessities to save lives, surely we can simplify to save our sanity

Here is more from Hannah Lawrence Smithabout these selfless missionaries ....

Mack and Marilyn Locklear's motto for life is to “Live simply, so others might simply live.” 

At 58 and 60 years old, while most of their friends were retiring to vacation homes and
spending time with their grandchildren, Mack and Marilyn headed for Jamaica. Most
people picture sandy beaches, palm trees and crystal clear waters on the edge of a Sandals
resort when they think of Jamaica. However, the Locklears did not go to vacation. They left the
comforts of home and everyone and everything they knew and loved to travel to a part of
Jamaica that vacationers rarely see. They desired to fulfil the Great Commission (Matthew
28:19-20) by sharing the gospel in a Third World country. In September of 1996, Mack and
Marilyn landed in Jamaica, committed to following Jesus by loving and serving the last, the least
and the lost.

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After moving around a few times and serving with other missionaries on the island, the Lord led
the Locklears to a small town called Martha Brae, located in Trelawny Parish. God let them find
favor with a landowner who allowed them to purchase some land adjacent to the Martha Brae
River. It was on that land that they built Riverside Baptist Church, and eventually, a home large
enough to accommodate mission teams for short-term mission trips.

In 2007, when Mack and Marilyn were on the shady side of 70, God gave Mack a vision for a
children’s home. He knew there was a growing need to help the many abandoned and abused
children all over the country. The Locklears witness firsthand the cruel conditions in which
many children live. Mack struggled with the burden on his heart to build an orphanage, and he
prayed about it for almost a year before sharing it with Marilyn. He knew they were getting
older, and that they would not be there forever.

When Mack shared with Marilyn the desire that God had laid on his heart, there was a moment
akin to Sarah’s laughter when she was told God would give her a son (Genesis 18). Marilyn
looked at Mack and said, “Do you know how old we are?”. But just as God fulfilled His promise
to Abraham and Sarah, the Locklears saw His vision for a children’s home come to fruition in
Martha Brae, Jamaica. Mack and Marilyn supplied much of the financing for the children’s
home themselves. God provided the rest of the money and resources through a few supporting
churches and individuals, and in 2010, the Locklears broke ground on Noah’s Ark Children’s
Home.

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Mission teams from supporting churches and Christian schools came and helped with the
construction of the home and a retaining wall on the edge of the river and around the property.
Construction was finally completed in 2012, and after two years of paperwork, inspections and
red tape, the first four children came to the home in 2014. Noah’s Ark Children’s Home now
houses ten young boys, with hopes of offering a loving Christian home to more children in the
future. Costs to run the home, including workers, food, school uniforms, and basic necessities
can become overwhelming at times, but God has never failed to provide their needs.

The Locklears live a simple life in Jamaica. They do not have cable television or even air
conditioning. They do not drive new cars or wear fancy clothes. Marilyn teases that her
“perfume” is called “Off mosquito repellant”. Mack and Marilyn Locklear sacrifice the luxuries
of this world, and even time with their own family, just so they can help the boys of Noah’s Ark Children’s Home have a life worth living. More importantly, they live a simple life so that they
can share God’s plan for eternal life with those they come in contact with in Jamaica.

"And some have compassion, making a difference." – Jude 1:22 (KJV)

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So we've helped them create a shirt to represent this message and to remind ourselves that the life Christ wants us to live can truly be simple. The proceeds will benefit the Locklear's ministry in Jamaica, The Noah's Ark Children's Home. You also have the opportunity to "give one" to a volunteer or resident of the Children's Home. Simply add the "give one" option to your cart before proceeding to check out. 

Click here to start shopping!

Love & Blessings, 

Anna