12 Dollars of Christmas: The Malouf Family
This post is part of the 12 Dollars of Christmas series I’m doing, sharing with you about different charities and people who are making a difference for God’s kingdom and asking you to join me in praying for them and in giving $1 dollar (or more) to each of them.
I think I’ve known David and Tara Malouf for over 10 years now. There’s a lot I could say about David and Tara and their beautiful children, Mikaela and Luc. There is no other family (besides my own) that has had as much of an influence on me over the years as the Malouf’s – they even welcomed me into their home for a time when I was in college and allowed me to literally be a part of their family. If you’ll let me, I’d love to tell you a little bit about each of them and what God is doing in them and through them now:
David was my youth pastor when I was in High School, but even though I at first wrote him off as weird, goofy and a “typical youth pastor” I know now that David was never really a typical youth pastor (although he can be a bit “weird and goofy” at times, but I’ve grown to love that now) J David didn’t really fit the mold of what churches look for in a “pastor”, but I would argue that a pastor is EXACTLY was David is – he’s a pastor in the real, biblical sense of the word. David pastors people, he shepherds people, he comes along side people and mentors people. David has been a spiritual father to me and many others throughout the years and I know few people as wise and insightful as he is.
Where David has been a spiritual father to me and it has been his instruction, teaching, and guidance that I have sought when I want answers, Tara has been a spiritual mother to me and it has been her encouragement, strength and ability to speak truth into my life that I have sought out during every period of emotional turmoil over the past few years. Like David, Tara is also a born mentor and is gifted at coming along side of people and walking with them. Tara has a way of drawing people’s deep heart’s out into the open and giving healing space and love. She has a heart for people. Tara is also the first person who taught me by example what it looks like to really wrestle WITH God, not against him. She’s always been honest about her struggles and questions and it has drawn me and others around her to be honest with her as well. I love Tara and if there’s one person I would like to be more like, it’s her. If you want to know more about Tara, I wrote about her HERE a while back.
Mikaela and Luc are two of my favorite kids in the world. Mikaela and Luc are each so different and so unique, but they each love Jesus so much. And they “get Him” and what he calls them to be and do. There have even been more than a few times when one of them has said something that convicted me by their own eager wiliness to follow God and do what He wants. They may be young, but I have already seen God working in them and through them in such honest and true ways. I look forward to seeing where God takes them in the future.
There really is so much more that I could say about the Malouf family, but I’ll stop here to tell you a little bit about the work that God has called them to right now.
For the past few years the Malouf Family have been missionaries with OC International. “OC International is an agency that is dedicated to helping local churches and local Christians grow so that they in turn become those who are reaching others.” David and Tara are part of OC International’s team in the United States. I remember being so excited when I heard about what they are doing, because for as long as I have known David and Tara they have had a heart for the body of Christ in America and a desire for US churches to become healthy. David and Tara now get to be “able to challenge, coach and dream with churches about being healthy both now and in the future.” This is an incredible calling and it fits so perfectly with the unique gifts and passions that God has given this beautiful family.
I encourage you to check out their web site, HERE, and learn more about what God is doing through them and the rest of the OC International US team.for directions. All contributions are tax deductible.
And as part of my $12 dollars of Christmas series I encourage you to join me in praying for the Malouf’s over the Christmas season and I also encourage you to join me in sending $1 (or more) to the Malouf’s this Christmas to help support them and further the work God is doing through them. You can do this by credit card, automatic transfer, or by sending a check, cash or spare change. Just go to OC Internationals on-line giving page
Lord, thank you for the Malouf’s and for the ways that they have brought me to you and turned me towards you. Thank you for their honesty and how authentically they live life before you and others. I pray, Lord, for the work that you have called them to – I ask that you would bless it and them through it. I pray that you would continue to draw people to you through David and Tara. Use their passion and unique gifts to further your kingdom and bring your love and justice to those who are hurting and hurtful. Use them also to bring healing, love and peace to the body of Christ in America. In Jesus name. Amen.
Rejoicing in the journey - Bethany Stedman
Photograph by Crissy Malouf