Sunday, December 26, 2010

Isaiah 58:6-11

One of our favorite blogs from Haiti (we've shared them recently). These verses in Isaiah 58 continue to challenge and propel our motives for Haiti. We come back to it again and again as both encouragement and admonishment (depending on our current need).


Thursday, December 23, 2010

A Way To Help


The Rescue Center is responding to the Cholera outbreak in such a thorough way. If you'd like to sponsor them in this effort click the link. Their blog is self-explanatory.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Piper Poem

What is God’s sovereign grace?

Not grace to bar what is not bliss
Nor flight from all distress but this:
The grace that orders our trouble and pain
And then, in the darkness, is there to sustain.

~John Piper

Monday, December 20, 2010

My Hope Lives On

I wont lie, as we step out and ask the Lord to use our lives in whatever way He pleases, there are a billion fears crouching from within and without. Each threatening to undo us. Some days are more frightening than others. Believe me, I'm tempted to retreat into the comforts of the familiar - to leave the God I love and hide in my small definition of comfortable. But God. Don't you love that? BUT GOD! He changes everything. He makes everything whole. Nothing makes sense without Him. My God, who is a jealous God, possesses me and reminds me of HIMSELF. He is HOPE in a dark and ruined place. He is HOPE amidst all of my doubting questions. He is HOPE regardless of the favor of man. He is the HOPE that every man longs for and desperately needs. He is the HOPE worthy of treasuring and surrendering all to. He is HOPE. This song is such a good reminder of the essence and sure footing of HOPE!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Paradoxes from Sam Storms

He was conceived by the union of divine grace and human disgrace.

He who breathed the breath of life into the first man is now himself a man breathing his first breath.

The King of Kings sleeping in a cow-pen.

The Creator of oceans and seas and rivers afloat in the womb of his mother.

God sucking his thumb.

The Alpha and Omega learning his multiplication tables.

He who was once surrounded by the glorious stereophonic praise of adoring angels now hears the lowing of cattle, the bleating of sheep, the stammering of bewildered shepherds

He who spoke the universe into being now coos and cries.

Omniscient Deity counting his toes.

Mary playing "this little piggy went to market" on the toes of God (well, being Jewish, maybe it was “this little pony”).

From the robes of eternal glory to the rags of swaddling clothes.

The omnipresent spirit, whose being fills the galaxies, confined to the womb of a peasant girl.

Infinite power learning to crawl.

Mary playing "patty-cake" with the Lord of Lords!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Newsletter from Greg Yoder (V.P. with Christian World Outreach).

This is the most recent letter from Greg Yoder. He is in Haiti now and I thought his perspective and thoughts were worth sharing on our blog. I copied and pasted the letter so it's not exactly the same format as the one he originally sent out (sorry Greg, if you're reading this), but the content is all the same.



December 12, 2010


Dear Friends,


"Tet chage.” This is the phrase I have heard over and over the last five days here in Haiti. I have found there is not an exact translation but the best I can give is “there are so many problems your head is spinning”. I almost feel this way as I write this letter because it is not the Christmas letter I had planned to write and my flight home tomorrow has been canceled. I now am scheduled to fly out on December 15…maybe.


I am sitting at Pastor Joel’s house as I write this letter. This is where we have been held up since I arrived on December 7. That evening they gave the results of the Nov. 28 election. They said there would be a run-off between two candidates and the people were not happy with these results. Immediately people took to the streets burning tires and creating road blocks (see photos). These things were happening countrywide and I had flashbacks of when we lived here and Jean-Claude Duvalier was ousted in the 80’s. There were no vehicles in the streets, no stores were open, schools were closed, flights into Haiti were canceled until December 15, doctors were not able to get to clinics and hospitals, and basically the country was shut down. The people are not satisfied with the response of the president or the election committee. There have been clashes between supporters of a couple of candidates. These candidates did not back down and had encouraged their supporters to take to the streets. Of course rumors run rampant here so it is hard to know all of the truth.


This continued until Saturday when things calmed down. I was able to travel around then. If you did not see the blackened pavement from the burnt tires and a road block around one of the election offices you would not have known anything had happened. Traffic was normal (for Haiti), stores were open, people were in the market place, people were everywhere like normal. This is Haiti, one day upside down and then back to getting on with life.


Cholera is still prevalent and education seems to be the answer to keep it from spreading. The people who are dying typically seek treatment too late. There are posters being distributed teaching disposing of waste properly and how to make a simple rehydration formula. The CWO staff has been educating people anytime they have contact with groups, like at the churches, the Feminine Training Center, the feeding program, etc. Unfortunately there are broadcasts on the radio saying that the government has asked not to tell the people where the cholera came from which has given them something more to be angry about. The good news is there is now a report that the number of deaths has dropped.


Please continue to pray for peace in Haiti and for those who are trying to make a difference in the lives of the people here. I am always amazed by the faith and determination of those who could easily move away from Haiti to a better life. As I rode around Saturday with a doctor friend he said he would never leave Haiti except for a short time to visit his family in Boston (who tell him to leave Haiti) or to get more education so he can return. This is the attitude of the CWO staff here and we thank God we are able to partner with them to make a difference in Haiti.


For those who have been to Haiti everyone you have met is fine. The effect on them has been the inability to buy food in the markets and lack of work to earn a living because they have stayed off the streets.


Thank you for your prayers, letters, packages, and financial support in 2010. You have been a true blessing by responding to God’s call to be a part of the ministries of Christian World Outreach. We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. We look forward to how God will use all of us in 2011.


Serving Together,

Greg, Laura, Sarah and Rachael


Praises:

Praise the Lord for safety of the Haiti staff during these troubled times.

Praise for the funds to purchase a much needed vehicle in Zambia.

Praise God for the volunteers who work with the AIDS orphans in Zimbabwe.

Praise the Lord for the growth of the school in Burkina Faso.


Prayer Requests:

Continue to pray for the Schmicks who are moving forward toward full-time ministry in Haiti.

Pray that Greg is able to get home (if not already).

Pray we will receive the support we need to end the year in the black.

Continue to pray for us as we plan for 2011. We already have 12 possible teams going out.


PO Box 2716, Centennial, Colorado 80161-2716 • 12249 Mead Way, Unit B, Littleton, Colorado 80125-1732

Voice: 303-723-0333 • Fax: 303-721-6104 • E-mail: information@cwomissions.org • www.cwomissions.org

Thursday, December 9, 2010

A Frustrated Country





















For a good political update on Haiti click here.


Dean Yoder, President of Christian World Outreach, sent out an urgent prayer request for C.W.O. staff in Haiti who are locked down. Currently, each of them are safe but unable to work.

Christian brothers and sisters, please keep Haiti in your prayers. We need God to intervene. Only He is able.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Haiti's "Election"

This blog post has given me, the outsider, a better understanding of Haiti's political situation.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

All Things New

Still They Cry

Lord, hear their cries.

Please read the injustice of poverty captured in only words and then pray for Haiti.

When I finished reading this post I cried. Injustice is hard to reckon with. It is hard to look at or read about. We must. We can't turn a blind eye. Oh, I'd rather pretend this doesn't exist but Christ in me draws me to call on Him in intercession for these people.

Only God can transform. Only God is our Hope.

Advent Conspiracy

Sunday, December 5, 2010

C.W.O. Haiti Mission Trip



Check out a recent short term trip that some of our new friends took with C.W.O. They captured well a few of the many ministries in Haiti.

"The Reckoning"



Our family, of four, was making short time of the many sandhills between McCook, NE and Broken Bow, NE. All the while, tuning into Andrew Peterson. When this song came on, I was arrested once again, with the odd reality that this earth is not mine. In fact, my life is not my own but the life I have been given is to be a palpitating expression of longing for the Lord. The ultimate reward being Himself on that reckoning day. The day that even the earth groans for. Suddenly, Peterson sings several seemingly paradoxical attributes of God. Just as we flew over a hill, there was the suspended tummy sensation accompanying a seriously deep, "WHOA!" God you are AMAZING - totally different than everything else! You are HOLY and I am thrilled at the wonder of You!

Consider the cause and effect from our dear brother John: "Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure." 1John 3:2,3

O, what indescribable power and wonder at beholding Him!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Piper on Prayer

It's so easy to agree with John Piper in my mind and heart, but it's very hard to actually live like this. I need to get urgent about prayer, it's a constant area of struggle for me. Check out this challenging video.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Job's Faith

Job 19: 23-27

23 “Oh, that my words were written!
Oh, that they were inscribed in a book!

24 That they were engraved on a rock
With an iron pen and lead, forever!

25 For I know that my Redeemer lives,
And He shall stand at last on the earth;

26 And after my skin is destroyed, this I know,
That in my flesh I shall see God,

27 Whom I shall see for myself,
And my eyes shall behold, and not another.
How my heart yearns within me!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

How Long Lord ~ You Alone Are HOPE

"Like a servant who earnestly desires the shade, and like a hired man who eagerly looks for his wages, so I have been allotted months of futility and wearisome nights have been appointed me." Job 7:2,3
For the needy shall not always be forgotten;
The expectation of the poor shall not perish forever.
Psalm 9:18

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Pictures and a blog update

First, The Boston Globe has been doing a very good job in Haiti taking pictures of what is happening there. We've been watching their site since the earthquake and I've included a link today of some tent cities. There is an estimated 1,600 tent cities in or near the capital, one of which is directly across the street from the Christian World Outreach headquarters in Port au Prince. You may be interested in keeping up with the story in pictures. As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words. Click here for the link.

Second, I included a new link on our blog for Christian World Outreach. This is the mission agency in Colorado that we will be working with in Haiti. Check it out if you're interested.

Third, we have been "internet-less" for a few days now because of the move. I'm borrowing internet today. We have a few letters to write and a few emails to answer. Lord willing we will be reconnected tomorrow and start working on communicating better.

Monday, November 8, 2010


We are in our second week of training with Christian World Outreach in Denver, CO. It's been a good time for us, mostly because of the people we are meeting and the relationships that are being formed. We are very excited and encouraged by the spiritual maturity and Christ-likeness we have found in the C.W.O. American missionaries in Burkina Faso and Zambia and the national staff in Haiti, Burkina Faso, and Zimbabwe. There seems to be great unity of vision for missions and like-mindedness in doctrine. We are very blessed to be a part of this group and are eager to learn more from them in the months and years ahead.
Please be praying as we move forward in this process. Specifically we need prayer for growth in our relationships with the Haitian leaders. Pastor Rigaud and Pastor Joel and Marie have been very welcoming and things have gone well this week. Our hope is that we can assist them in meaningful and helpful ways. There is not a lack of work or need in Haiti, we just need to find the ministries that would be most strategic for the sake of the Gospel. Also pray that we will learn the language quickly. We are planning on starting language-study soon and will continue to learn it after we get there. Please pray that the Gospel would be over-flowing in us. We need to be very grounded in the Word of God and full of the Holy Spirit to do this. Lastly, continue to pray for the financial support that we need to raise. We are in the process of putting a budget together and hope to have it finalized soon.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Orphan Sunday

At Bethlehem Baptist Church we enjoyed the leaderships' commitment to Orphans and this included emphasis on Orphan Sunday. Click the link for a quick vimeo.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

A Different Kind of Cholera

I woke up thinking about another sad "cholera" outbreak in Haiti. Jason had read this blog post (posted below) from Desiring God International. Not only does it make us sad but a bit angry to see this "spiritual help" coming out of America. While we treat the Haitian's practical needs (and there are many) we rob them spiritually with false hope. What a sick and awful reality. Brothers and sisters, Jesus is real. Death is real. Our need for Him is real. The Gospel is clear in Scripture and we can not handle it foolishly or "redesign" it like the "say a prayer" method does.

Now is the time Lord. Come Holy Spirit come and lead us into all truth. This is Your work. Sift the wheat from the tare in Your kingdom, for the glory of Your Name. Lord raise up true laborers who treasure You above all else. Send out Your disciples to make disciples of all nations - from shore to shore. Lord, You stand at the door of judgment. Our time here is short. Equip us to accurately share the Good News in word and deed. Set Your children's hands to the plow in perseverance of the faith. Make us disciples so that we can disciple. Keep us from all misunderstandings and from leading any soul astray with empty good intentions. Oh Lord, make truth to reign until all the "ransomed church of God is saved to sin no more". For Your glory Lord, we ask.

For the record - there is no such thing as a *magical* prayer that saves souls. Jesus saves souls. Faith in Jesus saves souls. It is a work that only He can do. Faith comes by hearing and by hearing the Word of God!

Say the prayer and go to heaven

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Adoption

Makayla woke up to a dream about our family adopting 3 kids. :) Good dream! It is a topic that has come up frequently in the past 5 years and even more so now that Haiti is more than a good idea. We often see little black babies or hear stories of broken orphans and our whole family is drawn to them because our God LOVES the orphan. We definitely want to pursue adoption in Haiti. Two kids is simply not enough for this Schmick clan.

Adoption is so near to the heart of our God. One of the things that ministered to us every Sunday - and I mean EVERY Sunday - at Bethlehem Baptist Church was the families that had chosen to adopt. Some children looked so loveable and easy to receive but there were many, many families who accepted mentally & physically impaired orphans. Talk about elected love! Now if that does not scream Gospel, I don't know what does.

I am "Mephibosheth" (Jonathan's crippled son) who when received by David at his table said, “What is your servant that you should notice a dead dog like me?”. I am that child of wrath, that lost sheep, that unwanted soul and then He rescues me and calls me to Himself. He redeems me in my broken state and gives me a name. He makes me whole. I am His child. I have a place. I have a purpose in Christ Jesus! YES! Adoption is beautiful. It is right.

So anyway, after Makayla and I thumbed through the newest Boden Catalog the whole while discussing how our adopted babies would look so cute in this sort of outfit or hairstyle, etc... Makayla contemplated in pen adoption. It made her proud mom and dad cry. Yes, Lord, please may our family be used to glorify You in adoption.

By Makayla

We've talked a many time of you -
Though we had never seen you -
We'd talk about who you'd be,
And how old you would be.
We talked about if you would be BIG or little.
If you would be younger or in the middle.
And now we see you!
We know now who you are!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Broken Bow


After looking and praying for a home, it seems clear, that Broken Bow, Nebraska will be our temporary landing spot. Next stop, Lord willing, Haiti. God has provided above and beyond what we needed! The house is newer and quite energy efficient with appliances included. After some extremely generous supporters our rent will be a whopping $150/month which is absolutely incredible and such a HUGE blessing! We have a lot to pay for this year in regards to travel and oversea transitioning. Our move in date is November 15th-ish after we return from the 2 week Christian World Outreach Mission Conference. It will be so nice to have a place of our own and we're excited about getting to know the people of Broken Bow.

Praise the LORD, all you Gentiles!
Laud Him, all you peoples!
For His merciful kindness is great toward us,
And the truth of the LORD endures forever.

Praise the LORD! psalm 117:1-2

Friday, October 22, 2010

Monday, October 18, 2010

"Home"?

We had this unspoken notion that once we willingly and recklessly abandoned ourselves to God's call that His provision would be laid out very clearly. Maybe like a toddler's Easter egg hunt and we with our happy little baskets would meander around and pick up one provision after the other. The question now is, "How could we be so silly?" He does not always lavish provision on His children like this. Sometimes the path is narrow, rocky and unsure. Actually, often times it is. God is a great Provider but He doesn't cushion the lives of His children but tests us so that our faith may be found to honor Him.

He sent the disciples on this note, "Carry neither money bag, knapsack, nor sandals; and greet no one along the road."
Luke 10:4

Has God been faithful? Absolutely. Is God good? Yes. It is in His sovereign goodness and faithfulness that we find ourselves still pondering the transition time, specifically, where we should live.

Finding an affordable home in Scottsbluff to rent has been more challenging than we expected. We have many good reasons for wanting to be in this area but we're trying to hang onto it with an open hand and big listening ears, "Lord, where do you want us and what is this year supposed to be about?"

So with school in tow, open hands and ears we're headed to Broken Bow this week with Jason. This is the other place that we've contemplated living. It would be nice to be near Jason instead of seeing him off every Monday, my Dad lives near Broken Bow and we'd surely see more of Jason's family which would be fun. While Jason works this week we desire to find God's clarity in the sandhills of Nebraska.

But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
Matthew 6:33,34

Pray for us to know the will of God and in the mean time, enjoy knowing Him. He is sovereign, good, wise and provider.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Heigh-Ho It's Off To Work We Go


This tune runs theme on our Monday and we're counting God's kindness in employment. During this season of transition we needed temporary and flexible employment. Jason's family is opening another Schmick's Market (grocery) in Broken Bow, Nebraska. They kindly offered Jason a job to help them set up and mobilize their second store. We are so thankful! Honestly, it's God's good provision. As it stands, Jason will stay and work in Broken Bow for the first part of each week and then be home (in Scottsbluff) for a long weekend. He has also reiterated how thankful he is to be working alongside of his family; building relationships with them during this next year. So... today, is Monday and he's off to work while the kids and I plug away a school. We're already missing him.

Colossians 3:15

And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Pocket Knife Humility


Ethan, for a very long time wanted a pocket knife - like crazy. Finally, through a woops at Target, landed himself a desired tool that was not only a knife but a spoon and fork also. He felt - good. Really - really - good about his new lease on life.

We knew when his pocket was loaded because his walk changed into a nice overly confident strut. He went on and on telling us all of the outlandish things he'd do with his new tool. We grew wearisome of the constant pocket knife chatter. It was all he could think about. Sometimes we tried to gently bring him back to reality, "Uhm, E, I don't think your knife will be able to slice a duck's throat or cut down a tree." His mind was set, though, and he was sure we were underestimating.

The best thing to do in a situation like this with a very zealous Ethan is to let him try it. So we took E to a woodsy area in Eagan. Jason said, "If you can catch a duck you can slice his throat and cut down a tree." With spirits flying higher than ever and the possibilities so close at hand, he walked ahead feeling full of power.

Shortly into our stroll there stood a tree that caught his imagination, "Dad, do you think I can cut this tree down."

"Uhm, no E."

"I bet you're wrong."

"Try it, son."

With a flip-switch we beheld our eight year old's great efforts. Back and forth this speedy red knife passionately soared but it didn't even cut into the bark. I mean not even a little bit.

With bewildered eyes our son connected with ours and said in a humbled spirit, "Huh, I guess not."

Our saying for such moments as these has been, "I just realized my pocket knife can't cut that tree." Sometimes reality brings us back to earth. We are humbled and our perception is shattered, our passionate vision is brought down into the valley.

It's not that we shouldn't capture a vision or possess large passions. Quite contrary.

"Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen."
ephesians 3:20,21

I think as Christians we should live large on the promises of God - capturing His very large vision for His Kingdom enterprises but the challenge then is always, "How do I work this out in the real everyday tasks of life?" We don't live on the mountain top where we objectively observe His unfolding story. We don't live 20 feet away from the mosaic. No, we live right up next to it and we are only a1"x1" contributing piece. We live, labor and love in the everyday.

We had the challenge of writing down His vision for Haiti and our hearts for missions in a support letter. How do you capture the culminating work of God in our hearts for missions? How do you capture His heart for the World, the orphan, the poor, the widow, the lost, etc? How do you express deep, passionate, risk-taking conviction to walk with God in the next season of discipleship? How do you encourage others in their faith to follow Him similarly?

Jason took a whole-hearted attempt at this and we felt good about it. It seemed to capture in a nut shell the way God's direction for Haiti fell on our lives until we "tried" it out. We found out that it read more as an exhortation.

Thank God for the elders that He places over His sheep - to keep a watchful eye. With some good feedback concerning our first attempt at a support letter we bit into reality. "Our pocket knife won't cut down that tree." Embracing humility and being teachable are good lessons. Learning the balance to live in reality with His vision, is good. If the vision and the passion are His then it doesn't mean death to the vision but it does require, "Okay Lord, I can do nothing without you. I am nothing apart from You. This is Your vision how do You want this to work itself out in my daily life?"

1 Peter 5:5-7
"Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time He may exalt you, casting all of your anxieties on him, because he cares for you."

We are thankful for Christian World Outreach's leadership in our lives. Lord knows we need it! :) Here it goes for attempt number two. "If at first you don't succeed. Try - try again!"

Sunday, September 26, 2010

"Raising" Support

Jason and I are sitting across from each other at my parent's kitchen table. He is working on our initial support letter while I update our blog and contemplate all things "raising support".

Biblically what or how should a missionary be sent? In the American church we've come to accept as norm the raising support campaigns, support letters, forthright asking, etc. However, we've wrestled with what exactly should this season of raising support look like. Here are the main points of struggle and the tension thereof: We're fearful of cultivating relationships for the "what's in it for me". We're fearful of striving instead of trusting God as THE Provider of all things. We're excited about the mutual enjoyment of our Global God, with other believers, Who uses ordinary people (like us) to advance His Kingdom enterprises even in Haiti. We're excited to partner with senders who will receive His approval in their generosity.

So what does it look like to trust God for the provision needed to be sent - what does it look like to partner with other believers - what does it look like to reveal our practical/spiritual needs to the body of Christ... These are the questions swirling around in our hearts and minds.
On our way home from church it seems we've discovered a theme verse for the year ahead. This verse brings clarity and balance - as God's Word always does.

Matthew 6:33
"But
seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you."

In all that we do and in every relationship we encounter our focus needs to be seeking Him and His righteousness. As we live and love in Nebraska - He is our goal - His glory is our joy whether the topic of our mission needs are on the table or not.

That's all for now from these Schmicklets as the Spirit applies His profound, yet simple truth to our daily go. May the Lord bless each of you with more of Himself!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Holiness is Wholeness - Jesus, I Come

Out of my bondage, sorrow and night,
Jesus, I come, Jesus, I come;
Into Thy freedom, gladness, and light,
Jesus, I come to Thee;
Out of my sickness, into Thy health,
Out of my want and into Thy wealth,
Out of my sin and into Thyself,
Jesus, I come to Thee.

Out of my shameful failure and loss,
Jesus, I come, Jesus, I come;
Into the glorious gain of Thy cross,
Jesus, I come to Thee;
Out of earth’s sorrows, into Thy balm,
Out of life’s storms and into Thy calm,
Out of distress to jubilant psalm,
Jesus, I come to Thee.

Out of unrest and arrogant pride,
Jesus, I come, Jesus, I come;
Into Thy blessed will to abide,
Jesus, I come to Thee;
Out of myself to dwell in Thy love,
Out of despair, into raptures above,
Upward for aye on wings like a dove,
Jesus, I come to Thee.

Out of the fear and dread of the tomb,
Jesus, I come, Jesus, I come;
Into the joy and light of Thy home,
Jesus, I come to Thee;
Out of the depths of ruin untold,
Into the peace of Thy sheltering fold,
Ever Thy glorious face to behold,
Jesus, I come to Thee.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Quick Tell

A quick update before we head off to McCook to see some of our closest friends, all of the way from Georgia.

Thank you for praying!
* We enjoyed safe travels: both Jason by plane - the kids & I by car. I had energy & joy the entire time.
* My mom & step-dad have been ooberly generous in letting us add a ton of miles to their car. Thanks!
* C.W.O. was so good to us. Dean Yoder, President of C.W.O., went out of his way to welcome us.
* It was good to see C.W.O.'s headquarters and meet some of their staff. -should've taken pictures. oops.
* Anticipating, even more, to see God at work in Haiti: gladly being spent for Him.
* The meetings went very well - with many questions answered [we'll report more later].
* We enjoyed our splice of family time in the middle of this changeover. Ethan managed to wrestle Jason (their favorite past time) and we all reaffirmed that together is best!
* The pumpkin spice latte from Starbucks, per my sister's recommendation, was toothsome.
* Jason gave his notice today & his boss was more than agreeable. God's favor was definitely received in this as Jason will be able to work out his notice (a rare gift in Rainbow Foods' world of retail) & an open door for future employment (if ever needed).
* We are so thankful for the insurance that God has provided. Jason got his chompers worked on today (along with the rest of the family this past year). Such a gift!

Looking Ahead:
* Pray for Jason as he finishes up his last week, gets his crooked back readjusted by the chiropractor & makes the Nebraska long haul.
* Pray for a temporary home for the next 9 months or so. We've got our minds set on a particular place but nothing is concrete.
* Pray for our future employment. We've got a strong possibility but again it's not quite for-sure.
* Pray for this season of support raising - that God would be honored & the One at work - not any fruitless striving of our own.
* And always - pray that He would have first place in our everyday lives so that His Name would be made great in & through these redeemed clay vessels regardless of our location (here or Haiti)!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Great Is Thy Faithfulness

"Great is Thy faithfulness," O God my Father,
There is no shadow of turning with Thee;
Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not
As Thou hast been Thou forever wilt be."

Jason sent this piece of hymn in an early a.m. text. as I was heading out for breakfast with a dear friend on too little sleep. With a long day ahead this hymn has been a great place to fix my mind.
Life is full and crazy busy. Our family is headed to Denver for a meeting with Christian World Outreach's staff. Jason is flying in from Minnesota while the kids and I drive. It will be good to be together for a little bit. Pray that God would go before us and accomplish His purposes in us. I, in particular, am growing a little weary in the busy transitioning. Pray for endurance and joy.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Moved In PIctures

Our dear friend Angela, from GA, flew in: providing much appreciated packing support!

Our town home in Eagan is almost mobile.

Makayla documents our lives well in pictures.
Jason is in the U-Haul as we trek across South Dakota.

Our fabulous Makayla - the camera master herself. :)

An absolutely gorgeous sky that caused much reason to rejoice in our Creator God!


We made it!
Ethan, where he belongs, in the mud at Ron's Towing & Storage in Scottsbluff !

Another reminder during our move that God is BIG.
It started pouring rain while we unpacked the truck & then God sent a rainbow.

Jason worked tirelessly with such a fabulous attitude! He is amazing!
My mom has a tetras like mind when it comes to packing, especially our 10x10 storage unit. Together they were a great team!

This is one good Grandpa and Step-Dad!
He is so good to us! Thank you!

Figuring it all out... what's - what?


Monday, August 23, 2010

Planting Trees

These packing tunes are extremely edifying. His lyrics are keeping all that is right in front of us...which we need.

We chose the spot, we dug the hole
We laid the maples in the ground to have and hold
As Autumn falls to Winters sleep
We pray that somehow in the Spring
The roots grow deep

And many years from now
Long after we are gone
These trees will spread their branches out
And bless the dawn

He took a plane to Africa
He gathered up into his arms
An orphan son

So many years from now
Long after we are gone
This tree will spread its branches out
And bless the dawn

So sit down and write that letter
Sign up and join the fight
Sink in to all that matters
Step out into the light
Let go of all that's passing
Lift up the least of these
Lean into something lasting
Planting trees

She rises up as morning breaks
She moves among these rooms alone
Before we wake
And her heart is so full; it overflows
She waters us with love and the children grow

So many years from now
Long after we are gone
These trees will spread their branches out
And bless the dawn
These trees will spread their branches out
And bless someone

Moving Update

Our minds are swirling with mental lists of things to do, things to savor, praises to offer while watching (sometimes patiently) as to how these transitions will come together in His way. Midway prioritization by the coffee pot this morning, the Spirit brought to mind this verse:

But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. Yet indeed I also
count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith;
-Philippians 3:7-9

Our year in Minnesota has been a timely gift from God. We discovered that our prompting list of reasons to make the jump from McCook to here weren't all together His reasons. Heavy on our hearts is deep thankfulness for His faithfulness to us as our Heavenly Father and anticipation for the season ahead. I must admit that I am battling a grabby lust for the joys of the city (which is sin); knowing that rural Nebraska doesn't have the Twin Cities' charms. Hence, the Spirit, faithfully applying Pilippians 3:7-9.

Pray for us as we transition and check things off of our list.
Pray that we'd remain Heavenly minded; seeing and savoring Jesus through it all - that the mind of Christ would purify our motives and keep us focused on Eternity. Thank you.

1) We're outta-here! Our lease is up August 31st. We've gone rounds on where to move and when but it seems our next stop is Scottsbluff, Nebraska. We'll stay with my parents in Mitchell for a little while until housing/job details are more clear.

Praise God we have a landing spot! Pray that we would walk in the grace afforded to us during this transition to live & love in close quarters with extended family - that we would be a blessing to my parents & that this co-existing season would be fruitful in depth of relationship to God & each other.

2) We've booked our U-Haul for this Sunday, the 29th. Our goal is to load and drive part of the way to Nebraska; finishing the rest of the trip on Monday and Lord willing, we'll unload into a storage unit in Scottsbluff.

Pray for a joyful, God-glorifying journey and a safe trip. Moving provides ample opportunities to stress thus squeezing out the dross of irritability & worry from our hearts. We want to be full of praise, joy and patience as we load & travel!

3) Jason will return to Minnesota on Tuesday to hopefully finish out his two week notice. He has a potential job available in Nebraska but the timing isn't quite yet. It seems good stewardship for him to stay a little while longer and collect paychecks as we tie up expenses in MN and restart in Scottsbluff.

Would you pray for his time & heart while we're apart? It can get super lonely. But the time gap can provide loads of free time for Jason to enjoy & utilize wisely. Pray for future employment provision for the next year. Also pray for traveling safety as he commutes. Thanks.

4) We've yet to decide on housing in Scottsbluff.

Pray that we would look to Him to provide and make wise decisions.

5) Homeschool starts September 13th.

I must admit this is a big deal for me. I like to have my ducks in a row. Something about organization & concentration. It is looking like we'll be doing school out of totes at my mom's. Pray that we'd do this flexible schooling well; bringing glory to His Name in all of our transitioning.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Radical by David Platt

The Lord used this message in a big way as we considered serving Him. In many ways this series is the answer to WHY we are compelled to go. I encourage you to embark on this Radical journey with David Platt pointing out what the Savior calls His children to.

RADICAL

Saturday, August 7, 2010

GOD

We are caught up in wonder while standing on the Grand Canyon or at the edge of His massive oceans. Similarly, we are to stand and BEHOLD our God. He is HOLY. He is above everything. At His Name we are called to bow and be WOWED! I'm reminded afresh that the purpose of salvation is not Christlikeness or heaven or happiness but ultimately the purpose of salvation, by faith in Christ Jesus, is to KNOW GOD! Our superior joy is a result of knowing God. How quickly we brush past knowing the King of kings, our God, and wonder what He can do for us or the cares of this world.

"Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, to God who alone is wise, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen" 1tim 1:17

This song came on while doing my devotions in 1 Timothy.

Friday, August 6, 2010

C.W.O.'s Headquarters in Haiti

When we were in Haiti last summer, with Christian World Outreach, we got a glimpse of their ministry. I wanted to share with you, in pictures, some of what they do. The following building that we'll tour is C.W.O.'s headquarters in Port Au Prince. It's a two level structure that survived the earthquake; continuing to be provision for the Feminine Training Center, Pastoral offices and Sunday morning worship services. I believe, it is this building, that they are contemplating building a third level, which would serve as our housing and a hospitality house for missions groups.

The church's sign on the wall around the building.
The kitchen used to teach the ladies culinary skills in the F. T. C. (Feminine Training Center)
The sewing room for the F.T.C.The cosmetology room
Sunday morning worship
We've heard this church, in PAP, is really growing post earthquake.

One of the reasons we are desirous of partnering with Christian World Outreach is because they are working with the local Haitian Christians; using means of practical kindness to bring the hope of Christ. Unfortunately, many mission organizations are set up in handout fashion only; focusing only on temporary humanitarian efforts and constant practical foreign dependence. We highly regard how C.W.O. is humbly coming alongside as a support of directive encouragement. Though, full of good intentions, helping another people group can become enabling with foreign humanitarian handouts. This conviction to partner with the local church seems extremely right to us. We long for Haitians to treasure Christ supremely; living and laboring to make His Name known in their everyday, amongst their people, for the glory of His Name and the following generations. Instead, of looking to foreign aid for hope, may they see and savor a mighty God who is able to keep them and direct their lives with Christ-likeness - sharing and "spreading a passion for the supremacy of Christ for the joy of all peoples".

Thursday, August 5, 2010

A Successful Trip

How precious is Your lovingkindness, O God!
Therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of Your wings.
psalm 36:7

We are home in Minnesota after a week of traveling to Nebraska. It never feels like we manage time well enough to see and do all that we've been desirous of. However, it was a very great week.

Clarity is one of the reasons we had a great trip. Let me explain: Christian World Outreach approved us to partner with them. We are moving ahead in the process of their missionary policy. (yay!)

Clarity #1: Our immediate "dilemma" ...is there such a word in the Kingdom? Anyway, our immediate need is to loosen up our time and finances, month to month, so that we can better prepare to GO. Our lease is up at the end of this month and that has had us seriously contemplating if we should stay or move. Then, the question was ... Well, IF we move, then where? We think that is becoming very clear. Not all of the details have been ironed out, plans are always subject to change as the Lord pleases, but it seems that Scottsbluff, NE will be our temporary landing spot. This will strategically place us 4 hours away from C.W.O.'s headquarters in Denver, the airport and 4 hours from our old hometown McCook, NE. We have family in Scottsbluff and the thought of living near them (especially nieces & nephew) after 10 years of being away thrills our whole family. We want to continue to nurture relationships near and far to make His Name known. This move will also cut our month to month needs in half which means that Jason will not have the demand to make as much; freeing up our resources to travel back and forth to Haiti, in preparation for our move.

Clarity #2: Lord willing, we will live in Port Au Prince. Since the earthquake housing has doubled and in some scenarios it has tripled. When I expose this to you, you'll get a glimpse at the corruption (the rich get richer & the poor get poorer) that can take place in a 3rd-world country, especially after a crisis - be prepared to gasp because we did... renting a house in Haiti right now is running around $3,500 a month. (gasp) That would put our budget at $42,000 for housing alone - uhm, yeah, that's not good. So, it sounds as if C.W.O. is considering building a 3rd level onto their headquarters in PAP. This will also be used as a Hospitality House for mission teams. I am totally stoked about this connections opportunity to serve not only churches coming in from the states but also the Haitian churches by hosting, feeding and loving on these people as they come to serve. Did I mention feeding? I like to feed people. ;) VERY COOL!

Clarity #3: The next steps with C.W.O. are as follows: we had an encouraging interview with one of the directors and we have another one over the phone this month, we'll visit C.W.O.'s headquarters in Denver at the end of this month or beginning of September - at this time we'll get a schedule for the next 12 months which will include several trips to Haiti, at the beginning of November C.W.O. brings in all their missionary families from Africa for a mission's conference for two weeks in Denver - we'll attend as much of this as time affords, in January C.W.O. hosts a pastoral conference (training) in Haiti for their 9 churches - we're planning to attend and possibly take the kids (that will be fun to expose them & hear their feedback).

For now we have a month of packing & purging once again. School sits on the mid-September horizon, to which, I'm using it as a goal to be transitioned and settled. I keep reminding myself that in spite of all the shuffling around our kids still need consistency & education! ;) (duh!) btw - I LOVE my kids & I LOVE homeschooling!

We know His sufficient grace one step at a time. As He calls - He supplies and that is so reassuring! God is faithful and He is our Provider!

Soon I'll post about His provision for housing in Scottsbluff. It is kind-of a cool story about how God knows what we need and takes care of it and everything He does is for a bazillion reasons. He is incredibly Wise!

We are praying for many of you and will you please pray for us? Pray for us to keep growing in the Hope of His calling and a job for Jason in Scottsbluff that provides both the finances & the flexibility to travel. Thanks!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Mr and Mrs Jason Schmick

Celebrating 13 years together. 13 going on 14, that is! God has been abundantly FAITHFUL! Hallelujah!

(a little celebration tune)