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!