Saturday, May 28, 2011

The Countdown Begins

I can't believe that it is less than two weeks and we will be on our way to East Africa. WOW! We are leaving on the 10th instead of the 9th. And we will be home sooner than we thought, 3 days sooner. I guess that means John will not be gone from work quite as long as he expected. That could really help with our monthly bills.

John is at the drill site working on the local well he has been practicing with. We have been blessed with some great helpers. Thanks so much for coming out and getting dirty to help with this ministry. The kids went with him so I am at home with a little time to myself. There is much I need and want to do while I have the time. You might think it would be all about me but it isn't. I need to clean and organize many rooms. Plus do mountains of laundry so we can start packing for camp and our trip.

As I sit here thinking about how quickly time is passing and all that must be done before we leave I have made a couple of lists to share. One is a list of things that have fallen into place in the past couple of weeks. The other is the list of things that need your prayers from this point on.

God has really done so much in the past couple of weeks, I am just in awe. In the next two weeks many things need to happen to finish up our preparations.
  • Our passports have gotten here.
  • We have gotten our shots through our doctor and been covered by insurance.
  • We have a donor match for up to $5,000 given towards our trip expenses.  
  • We have had people give items for our garage sale to help raise money. UPDATE on that: We raised almost $400 with the garage sale and taking some of what we didn't sell to resale shops. Thanks so much!
  • HUGE praise is that John has been given a leave of absence from work. He will have a job when he returns.
  • Plane Tickets are ordered.
Below are some areas that still need your prayers.
  • Our trip is coming up soon. We have gotten the funds for most of the flight and room and board expenses. We NEED $2,000 more (at least) sent to Equip Disciples.
  • We have some trip expenses that will not go through E.D. that we are trying to get funds for. We have to go get the Yellow Fever shot after all, that is a $400 expense. Our Malaria meds are about $400, too. We will need money for food and such in the airports and when we have long layovers. (This does not include any extras we might like to buy while we are in East Africa. We have not even thought about money for that.) We are selling other items in our home and trying to get the money that way. 
  • Outside of trip expenses we have two cars that need repairs. John's car needs the ignition switch replaced and the car I bought for Sami and I to use needs some repairs so she will have a car while we are gone for three weeks. John is going to try to work on that car this weekend. We will have to find a time to put his car in the shop to change that out.
  • Pray that we will be able to make it on half a months pay in July due to John's leave of absence in June.
  • Pray for our daughter that she will not have any major issues with the house or car while we are gone. And that work would go smoothly for her. 
  • Pray for our son in MO that he will continue to do well at both of his jobs.  He is sick right now so he needs healing prayers. We will not be able to talk to him for three weeks so that will be hard.
  • Pray for a safe and fun time at children's camp next weekend. The kids and I are going while John stays here working on the well stuff for the trip.
  • Pray for safe travel of all of E.D. team members.
  • Pray for easy flight changes and least amount of hassles on the long trip
  • Pray that God will put a hedge of protection around each of us because as we seek to do His will Satan will attack any way he can
  • Pray that we will have a successful well, and/or wells while we are there
  • Pray that the conference will go well and they will learn much to take back to their churches
I know that is a LOT to pray about for just one family but I know I have some faithful friends and family out there that are mighty prayer warriors and I can count on you to lift these things up! We love you all so much!


Sunday, May 22, 2011

Donation Match

What a glorious Sunday we have had. It has been a day of worship and praise starting with morning worship at 8 o'clock right down to the youth choir leading our worship time this evening. As we sang and worshiped throughout the day so many things jumped out at me from the songs. One of the first songs we sang talked about an awakening of the soul and letting God's will be done in me. The one that really reached out to me was when we sang "Our God is Greater". As I lifted my voice up to God and sang "and if our God is for us who could ever stop us and if our God is with us what could stand against us?" all of the worries of the world just disappeared from my mind. The concerns about who will send us, where we will go, where we will get the money to go and many other questions that have been a concern for us. We are living our lives for Him and only Him. We are doing our best to put aside the worldly desires and only focus on the desires He places in our hearts. And if we do that we can be assured HE will see those desires to completion in His timing and in His way. What a comfort to be able to rest in that truth.

We in no way want to come across as only caring about asking for money for our trip to East Africa. Your prayer support is so important to us. We need major prayer coverage for this trip and our ministry in general. Without your prayers we will be under even more spiritual warfare than we will be with it. So we thank you so much for all of those prayers. Please keep them coming!

We got some wonderful news today concerning our fundraising efforts. Our total amount that we need to raise is $13,000. So far we have raised about $2,300. So we need approximately $10,000 more. There is a donor that is willing to MATCH our donations from this point on up to $5,000. If we can raise $5,000 it will be matched and that will cover the entire amount we have left to raise. What a praise!!! So I would ask you to please pray about giving at this time. We have 19 days before we are supposed to get on a plane to Africa. The tickets are being purchased this week. Any amount you give from today on will be doubled by that donor match. You can give online or you can mail it in. It is quicker if you do it online but either way is ok. Remember all donations are tax deductable. the information is below. There is no amount to small. We appreciate ANY amount you are willing to give.

Our passports are scheduled to come in this week. We have gotten our shots and are planning on filling our malaria prescriptions a few days before we leave (insurance doesn't cover the total costs so it's a bit pricey for the better meds.). John is doing lots of test well drilling here locally to prepare himself for the drilling in East Africa. I know he is getting very excited but also has many concerns. Please keep that part of this mission in your prayers. We want the test wells to be a success. Only God knows what will happen from this trip concerning those test wells. We are excited to see what God shows us on our return to the states. He has been faithful to show us the next step as we finish up the step before.

Thanks again for your prayers and your financial support. We can't wait to share with you what God does on this trip.


Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Things Are Moving Forward

I just wanted to take a few minutes and update you on where we are in the process of our cross-cultural journey. We have many more steps to go but we have come through a great deal of them in the past year. All through the process we have told God that if HE opens a door we will be faithful to walk through it. We desire to bring Him glory in our lives and through the work He places before us.

We took Perspectives last Spring and that is where God grew in us a desire to reach those around the world that have not yet heard or had the opportunity to hear. That class was approximately five months long. FBCA co-hosts one yearly. If you are interested in doing any type of cross-cultural work here or around the world this is a great first step.

We are almost finished with our training with GCPN. We started Panorama last August and we will complete it in June. It has been a wonderful process. We have been in the class with several other couples and a few singles. We have grown so close over the last year that it is more like family than anything else. We learn so much from each other every week and grow in our understanding of what we might encounter when we are on the field. The children have their own teacher while we meet. For the first half of our training they had a couple that taught them with the wife being from Germany. It was great for them to get to know someone from another country. For the second half of our training they have had a wonderful young lady who grew up in Africa as a missionary kid herself. It has given them a new insight on living overseas. The kids have grown close to all three of their teachers.

John got interested in water well drilling when someone from our church did training and brought it to the churches attention. God really grabbed hold of him and got him so excited about this type of ministry. In March the four of us, John, Terri and our two youngest kids, spent a week in West Texas training with Water for All International. It was a wonderful experience and we learned so much. It gave both of us a passion for this type of ministry. We feel so strongly about meeting peoples needs through this water ministry and then getting to share about Living Water. Check out these pictures of actual drilling in those countries and how happy the people are to get fresh clean water.

We have begun our evaluation process with our church. We are being evaluated in many areas, mental, relational, marital, and missions. The children will also undergo evaluations in an educational format to make sure they don't have any extreme educational needs that would be hard to meet overseas. We found out a plus in that area is that we have been homeschooling for a long time and that is one less thing for them to adjust to with a move. We are trying to prepare them as much as we can.

When we returned from our training we were approached by Equip Disciples about joining them on a trip to East Africa in June. They have a church conference for pastors and other church leaders. They have asked John to go to do the water well test drilling so that the church leaders and church planters can take that into the different villages that are so in need of clean water. Terri will be working with the children's Sunday School teachers and training them in areas like finding resources, simple crafts and building relationships with the families. The kids will even be a big part of the church conference. They will be leading a children's conference with the local kids there, doing a Bible lesson, a recreational time and craft time. We feel so blessed to be asked to go. Plus, it is a requirement that the church and other groups asked us to do before we could move forward in the process.

Since we needed a trip as a family this presented us with just that. A chance for the four of us to go overseas for longer than three weeks. We have ordered our passports. The kids have gotten their shots for the trip. We are scheduled to get ours next week. We are planning for our time in East Africa. We are raising money to cover the costs. And we are praying daily for the provisions to come in. We are also attending weekly planning sessions with Equip Disciples to prepare for the conference. We are doing a daily Bible study as a family to prepare our hearts and our minds for the trip. We are spending time in the Word allowing the Lord to fill us so that when we need it He can bring it to our minds.

The cost of the trip is a lot. But we know God can do all things great and small. We are having a couple of fundraising opportunities. One will be a yard sale on May 19, 20 and 21. We are accepting donations for items to sell and will also have a bucket to accept cash donations if someone wants to donate that way. Anyone can donate any amount, big or little. Even five dollars is welcome. It all adds up. Please pray about how God is leading you to give to sponsor us on this trip for HIM.

We have been taking one step at a time. Right now, we don't know what is after this trip to East Africa. But God knows. We trust Him to show us the next step when we get back. We will share that with all of you when we know what it is.

As always, please keep us in your prayers. Those are needed greatly. We love you all.