We’re back at 0ur sending base after a lovely holiday season with our parents. And now we wait for the last bit of funds and our visas to come and try to see this time as an opportunity instead of a curse; an opportunity for growth, an opportunity to serve in our home country, an opportunity to spend S’s first birthday here in the states, an opportunity to see tulips and daffodils and maybe even lilacs. Regardless of where we are God will give us opportunities to glorify his name and spread his kingdom. Our job is just to look for them, to be open to his lead, and to not grow bitter. If we view this time as a curse I’m sure we’ll grow stagnant and miss the little gifts God wants to give us here during this season. If we work our spiritual muscles though and listen for his calling here we’ll be stronger and ready for the field when it is our time to go.
Please pray that we will see the little blessings everyday instead of focusing on the wait.
Pray that we will grow and trust God more each day.
And of course pray that the details of our language school and the last of our finances will come in.
Our budget is approved and God has brought in half of it. It’s so exciting to be putting together something tangible in preperation for this trip. M still has his heart set on heading out this January but the other half of our budget is still pending…
And I left off there. It turns out we are still waiting for God to work out the details. In the meantime we’ll be living on base assisting the home staff during their next orientation class.
“It is God to whom and with whom we travel, and while He is at the end of our journey, He is also at every stopping place.” Elisabeth Elliot
I am loving life at our sending base. It is so refreshing to work and live surrounded by a whole community of people with the same desire to serve God instead of pursuing the American dream. What so many people view as our silly eccentricities are a way of life here and it is so reaffirming. The support and love these people have for their workers abroad is so beautiful. At least twice a week there are prayer meetings where they read letters from those abroad and pray over them. There is also a community bulletin with urgent requests and just a general environment of care and concern.
I love also how we are such different people. People from many different cultural and denominational backgrounds are all joined together here. You’d think there would be many conflicts but people here really live by the idea of “unity in the essentials, liberty in the nonessentials and love in all things.” I have the freedom to live and raise my family as I see fit and while it may differ from the views of those around me they are still my coworkers in God’s kingdom and that is more important.
I feel so blessed living here.
I just discovered that I have two completed drafts which were never published. I’ll post them now. Pretend they are from the autumn.
Think of a relationship where all the other person ever did was ask you for things. Not so good. And yet we also want people who love us to be able to ask us for things. Too often prayer gets reduced to simply asking things of God. Since praying is conversation with God, that conversation like one in any healthy relationship should be about more than asking. One way to engage in full-orbed prayer is to step through four basic types of prayer: The ancients called these four steps Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving and Supplication (A.C.T.S). But a easy acronym to remember is P.R.A.Y for Praise, Repent, Ask, and Yield. As you read through each description below, take some time to pray to God in that way.
Praise – Praise God for who he is and his attributes. Give God your Worship and Adoration.
Repent – Confess to God the things this week you have done in thought, word or deed which were not right.
Ask – It is right to ask God for things – to ask him to help and heal you and other people.
Make your requests known to him as child asks their parent.
Yield – Give your plans, your hopes, your future to God. Say “Not my will be done, but Thy will be done.”
And then… Listen – just sit in silence for a while before the throne of God.
1. God is more concerned about who we are than when we get there.
2. God wants us to be disciples before we go to make disciples.
3. God wants us to go as an extension of his church to extend his church.
4. God is more like an artist than a machinist. He deals with each of us as individuals.
5. God tends to lead by revealing just one step at a time. We must learn to trust him.
6. Urgency is not an excuse for unpreparedness.
September was quite the eventful month! We moved to our sending organizations home office and began orientation. In a lot of ways its like being in college again. Mornings are class for both of us and we’re really enjoying it and learning so many things. Baby S tags along while K plays with one of the girls who also live here. In the afternoon M does a job on campus (mostly minor repairs or mowing the lawn) and I get to just be mommy to my little ones. Evenings are spent together with everyone (about 60 or us) eating dinner in the dining hall and a before bedtime trip to the playground (and what a fine new playground it is).
Things were going great and then the unexpected happened. We totaled our car. Thank God that everyone was more or less ok and the little ones were totally fine! S stopped crying as soon as he was taken out of his car seat and promptly began smiling at everyone who topped to help. I got to go on my first ambulance ride and my face was a mess but it has healed up so nicely. I have a little scar in the middle of my head but even that is fading quickly!
On a good note we are getting by without a car. We have been able to borrow another family’s extra car to get to church on Sundays and to take K to AWANA once a week and there have been a multitude of kind volunteers who drove me to doctor appointments and still pick up the occasional item at the store. And everything seems to be falling into place for our longterm trip overseas. We wouldn’t have needed our car for much longer anyway!
I’ve been having a wonderful summer hanging out with my boys and living in our home town again but I feel so ready for the next step of our journey! In the next month we’ll be packing up our apartment and heading to our sending agency’s home office for our orientation. I’m so looking forward to the training sessions. They’re supposed to be really informative and full of practical stuff that you actually use while living over seas. The home office is also a kid haven with lots of families, a big indoor playspace and room to run outside. K has been there before and is looking forward to it. At the same time the move is a little hard for him. He likes our friends here and has been a bit sad since I told him we’d be moving down there. He talks about having fun at the new place but he is suddenly seeming very insecure and easily frustrated. A nomadic lifestyle is rough for a preschooler. Please pray that the transition will go smoothly for him.
Baby boy S was born March 14th at our home. He is a healthy, happy 8lb 7oz bundle of joy. He’s got beautiful dark eyes, brown hair and a great little smile. We are so in love!
My apologies on another very belated post.
On returning from S Asia and discovering our whole plan had fallen in around us we spent months living with my parents while M spent everyday applying for about a dozen jobs (and that is no exaggeration). Things were starting to look bleak. He was way over qualified for most of the positions he applied to and with the economy the way it is competition was fierce. Then he finally got a call back. The owner of a shoestore felt like he was supposed to hire M despite his having no retail experience and he wanted us to come over to his house that night to chat. It turns out he and his wife are very interested in missions and were thrilled that they could help us on our journey. Even weirder it turns out that the owner’s wife grew up overseas while her parents worked for our sending agency. Her father is still an ethnomusicologist in Latin America. Now M put nothing spiritual on that application. Our time overseas was listed as “guest lecturer” or “study abroad”. I don’t think he even listed Bible school since he was mostly a stay-at-home-dad. Thank you God for providing for us!
So until the next orientation sessions starts up we are happily settled in a townhouse in a small town where I can walk to everything including the home of friends from college with a daughter K’s age. We love it here and can’t wait to meet the newest addition to our little family who should be emerging next month. We are so well provided for!