Sunday, February 27, 2011

Care Packages

So many people have asked us if they can send us care packages, letters, etc. The thought just blesses us to no end. We wish that the answer was "yes". 

There are several reasons that it's not a great idea. First, it's super expensive.  Like, you could feed an entire village of hungry people for a month, or you could send us a package.  Second, it will take a long time (Howie could grow another full beard in the time it would take for you to send him new razor cartridges). And third, it's unreliable; you'd have to be willing to accept the fact that it might not actually ever get to us. 

That being said, many of you have also asked what you can do. Well, you can donate on our PayPal so that we can buy special treats, birthday stuff, etc.  We can also use online Amazon and iTunes gift cards. Please note: this is NOT me dropping not-so-subtle hints.  I'm simply writing this because we've been asked over and over in the past few days. We really don't need much right now, but we do have a Kindle and our computer, and we would always appreciate more books, music and movies.

Most of all our desire is to minister to others. We would love prayer that as we transition from our traditional consumer-driven lifestyle, with all it's bells and whistles, that God would give us deep joy and contentment. 

Friday, February 25, 2011

T Minus 5 Days . . .

I'm going to get my last shot right now.
Howie is going to buy space bags (for packing) and 3 more bins.
I have to get a new pair of shoes for Little Howie.
It's the kids' last day of school (sobs) . . .
Trying to feed everyone things out of the pantry and refrigerator, regardless of what they'd really like to eat.
We're feeling scattered in a million different directions, but we're all getting very excited to leave.
Saying goodbye to more friends, so I'm gonna try to get through today without crying, but I doubt it will happen. It hasn't happened for the last 5 days.
Thank you for praying for us. We need prayer for working out all the details in the next 4 days, without losing clumps of hair in the process.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Poor Rich People

"Ronnie, a blind boy who lives in eastern Uganda, is unique not because of his circumstances or the fact that he is blind, but because of his love for Jesus. If you were to meet Ronnie, one of the first things you would hear him say is, 'I love Jesus so much, and I sing praises to Him every day!'

One of Ronnie's closest friends is a girl who is deaf. What stands out about these two isn't that they are handicapped or very poor, but that they are totally content and obviously in love with Jesus. They possess very little of what 'counts' in our society, yet they have what matters most. They came to God in their great need, and they have found true joy.

Because we don't usually have to depend on God for food, money to buy our next meal, or shelter, we don't feel needy. In fact, we generally think of ourselves as fairly independent and capable. Even if we aren't rich, we are 'doing just fine.'

If one hundred people represented the world's population, fifty-three of those would live on less than $2 a day. Do you realize that if you make $4,000 a month, you automatically make one hundred times more than the average person on this planet? Simply by purchasing (a) book, you spent what a majority of people in the world will make in a week's time.

Which is more messed up -- that we have so much compared to everyone else, or that we don't think we're rich? That on any given day we might flippantly call ourselves 'broke' or 'poor'? We are neither of those things. We are rich. Filthy rich."

Excerpt taken from Francis Chan's Crazy Love

Monday, February 21, 2011

Ultimate Packing Challenge

I feel like this should be a reality TV show. A bunch of contestants see how well they can pack 600 lbs. of clothes and random household items into 12 suitcases.  I'm fairly confident I wouldn't win.

In a nutshell, please pray for this packing process.  I'm still weeding through things, and making sure we have only what we really need to take with us, and then the extras will get thrown in, if room and weight permit.

I'm so grateful to my mother-in-law who is helping to pack all our stuff, and storing everything in their home for us. I don't think I'd even be this far along in the process if it weren't for her help, and for the help of my sister Carrie coming twice to help me have garage sales. In fact, I'm sure that I'd be crying in the middle of a room full of unorganized socks, pictures and toys if it weren't for my family. I'm grateful, and amazingly, not stressed.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Our progress . . .

Money is such a fun topic to write about.
Just kidding.
We're very sensitive about asking for money because, well, it's awkward, and we don't want to be "those" friends. But the fact is, we're totally dependent on gifts of monthly support to be able to live and work in Kitale.

Many of you have asked how we're doing with our support, and what we still need per month. So here it is.  We still need roughly $400 per month in support.  That could come from 5 or 6 families, or it could come from 20 families.  That's where we stand.  We're all geared up to leave on March 2, and we will leave regardless, but we're still a tad behind on monthly needs.

We would LOVE prayer about this.  God has already provided for our family in truly miraculous ways, and we are in awe of how God works. We have no doubt that all of our needs will be met. Please pray for God to bring us families, organizations or individuals who can come along-side us on a monthly basis. All donations are tax-deductible.

If you need further info, please don't hesitate to contact us:

Thursday, February 10, 2011

What if . . .

I can't lie. I'm getting scared. All the "what-if's" are creeping in. They're the same "what-if's" that many of you have asked me about. 

When you're a mom, you automatically feel innately responsible for the happiness of your children. It can't be helped. What if they don't like the food? What if they're home-sick? What if they don't like school? What if they cry at night? What if they get sick? What if they resent us for taking them to live in Africa? What if my kids aren't happy? 

I just brought this before the Lord in prayer, and he gently reminded my human, forgetful spirit, "the happiness of your children is not the primary goal". Actually, it's not a goal for them at all, nor is it for anyone. God's will for all of us is not our happiness, but our holiness.  The goal for this life isn't that we're "fat & happy". It's that we live to reflect the glory of God, and that we're continually being sanctified.  That's a fancy word for becoming more and more holy everyday; more like God; purified; free from sin. That's a job that only God can do. 

Does God love it when my children are happy? Absolutely. Is that His primary goal for them? Absolutely not. Right now, my children are made happy by candy, games, movies, playtime, a favorite meal, a good long visit to the park, a new puppy.  Does that help them become who God wants them to be? Does it give them peace? Does it keep them content?  Nope. Once we're home from the park, the happiness is gone. When the piece of candy is gone or the gum has lost it's flavor, the party's over.  Only God can give comfort, lasting peace, and take the troubles and hard things in life, and allow them to be a part of our sanctification process.  It's a beautiful thing if we let it be.

So I'm praying that God will help my mommy-heart to remember that it's ok if my kids aren't happy all the time. It's ok for them to dislike the food. It won't scar them for life if they have a tough time in school or if they miss their friends. God will take care of their hearts the same way he's taking care of mine, and they will ultimately be in His hands every moment, just like they are now. 

If you want to pray with me, I'd be grateful. Pray that God would give me wisdom, clarity and understanding to help my children process the changes that will come our way in the next few months. Only yesterday Kenya Joy broke down in tears telling me that she didn't want to go because she didn't want to leave her friends. I need wisdom in how to handle these moments . . . this is uncharted territory for me as a mom. What if . . . 

What if . . . God did what He always does . . . "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid". John 14:27

Sunday, February 6, 2011

A little taste of where we'll be living and serving.
(This is kinda small. You can click bottom right to watch it bigger on YouTube.)

Thanks for stopping by!
We would appreciate prayers for our family. 
We will be living and working on 100% support. 
If you'd like to help us financially, 
click on PayPal to the right to make a tax-deductible donation.