Tuesday, December 17, 2013

I give up

Okay okay I admit it. I've been feeling discouraged.

Life seems big and unmanageable right now.

People have failed my expectations

I have failed my expectations

there is so much to do: with missions, with life, with ministry. Sometimes I feel like it's unending.

Today after feeling very disappointed, I was thinking I give up!  Really this isn't what "i signed up for"

then I realized: I HAD signed up for this. I have been asking God to do above my (our) abilities then try to fulfill them on my own.  How silly!

So today I give up.

20 Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, 21to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen. Eph 3:20-21

Monday, December 9, 2013

with eager anticipation...

It took Nathanael and Glenn a lot of work to print out our letter and brochure. Those are hot off the press and are being handed out/sent in the mail.  There are butterflies in my stomach thinking: this could really happen!

The exciting part is seeing what God will do!  I know on our own strength we just can't come up with the funding needed for our trip. It is exciting and stretching to trust God. That is an "easy" thing to say in this part, the beginning of our journey. Pastor Anita challenged us to pray for that which only God can do. For us, the goal of leaving this summer seems daunting. (in more ways than just getting funding too!)

I have been spending the last month fasting and praying about Belize: for our journey and that God would go before us.  There is much to be done in the physical but the spiritual is also very very important.  Some of the strongholds that I see especially involving men and the sex trade.. I just don't know how to overcome but by prayer and fasting.

Even though I'm not physically there I am working on my Circle of Prayer, surrounding where we will be praying with prayers.  Thus I anticipate the journey: the building of supporters, the joy of seeing people walk with us, and the excitement of seeing what God will do.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

What Do I have to offer?

I have been struggling with the fact that going on missions for 2 years really changes so many lives. We are choosing to leave friends and family who we hold dear.  Our children will be forever "third culture kids" or at least they will be this for a while. I also expect God to change me and those around me.

The change is profound and impacting.  Sometimes I question why am I doing this?

Today I was reminded of an experience I had in Mexico, about 16 years ago.  I was in YES at the time and visiting a very poor family. They were probably the most poor I had known in my short life. Their entire home was in one room.

I was really impacted. What could I give them?  I couldn't give them a better life, or a different house. I didn't have the ability even to give them more food. As I contemplated and prayed over this. I came up with the only answer that made sense.

Jesus. He is really all I have to offer. I can train people, give them language, help them have a better birth; but in the end none of it matters.

I get so caught up in this world. I forget I am an "alien and stranger" here.  There are so many needs and wants that in the end don't matter.

Today I choose to remember that Jesus is all I have to offer and all I need.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

coming to my limits.. to allow God to be God

One of the hardest things for me about joining EMM has been the budget. Both Nathanael and I have been blessed with jobs that we are able to work more or less dependent on family needs, or dare I say it wants.

The process of the budget and approval has gone through. It is finalized. As I said before the amount in the budget, the bulk of it was determined by EMM.  For me it was difficult to look at it and say this is it, this is the limit and it won't change for 2 years. It is hard to have someone else tell you more or less the way to spend your money.

I am thankful. God is stretching me.  This budget is actually more than I think I need, but I have no idea what a budget should look like while living in Belize, or even what our daily spending will look like. We still don't have a team leader, there are 2 other positions that need to be filled on our MST. I am being called in a greater way to prayer and trust.

I realize that to see God work, I have to get to the end of "me". Awhile ago I came to the conclusion that I truly function at a "works mentality" with God at times.  If I haven't completed what I think should get done, prayed the way I think it should look like, then perhaps I'm not of any worth, or God won't listen to me.

This wrong God wants us to pray with an attitude of expectation, allowing him the divinity that he deserves. If I am only praying for things that I can do, I am not trusting that God is able to fill  my every need. I don't have the confidence that he is who he says he  is.

I am thankful to  him for stretching me. I can't wait to see the things he will do even in this part of the process.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

it's official and other such stuff

While our support letter is still in the works, we are officially in the "support raising" part of our trip to Belize.  This part is the most uncomfortable for me.  I have already seen that in this process of going, God has stretched me, and I expect that to continue.

I worked at Esperanza, and began to see the value in having supporters. In fact right now,  we support Esperanza every month. For one it causes people to think and pray about you more often.  It brings both parties to their knees; a reminder to the supporter to pray, and the one in need to ask of God and trust his provision.

Giving support also makes you feel involved in something greater than yourself. It is amazing to see what God does with willing people.

Finally over the past few years I have learned that giving generously often involves giving to the point of being uncomfortable.  For the longest time I had the idea that I would give of my "extra". Living in a self centered, materialistic culture has made me think some of my wants are needs. Truth be told, we have been stretched, but always had bread on the table and money to pay the bills

I am doing my best to realize it isn't my job to go out and beg people for money.  I share his vision, he stirs hearts.

Ps the proofs have been sent to the publisher we should have prayer cards soon :)

Friday, November 15, 2013

MST meeting

Last night we had a meeting with our MST. Some members were missing and some positions haven't been filled yet, but we were thankful for the people who came.

It was very encouraging to be surrounded by people who believe in our vision and calling.  People who are excited about standing with us on this journey.

At the same time it was unnerving. We went over and approved the budget.  This is the final step before we start fundraising...a step closer to leaving for Belize.  The most interesting thing about this process for me is nothing was really decided by me: the budget is decided by EMM, the timing is based on the needs in Belize, and when we are able to raise 100% of the budget.

This is a scary process, stepping into the unknown.  It's not just stepping into the unknown for Nathanael and I but our children as well.  By walking into this calling we are forever altering their lives (hopefully for the good)  I do realize that many of the decisions we make, even sometimes lightly do alter their lives, this one just seems "extra big"

Please be praying especially that we find a team leader. This role is so vital, and as the MST coordinator stated, without the roles filled, we are like a bucket with holes in it.

If you are interested in what a MST does or how it works here's a link: http://www.emm.org/mst-tabs

and because I want a good team:

Saturday, November 2, 2013

and so our journey begins

Two weeks down the missions road and here's a synopsis of what has happened so far:

  • Nathanael has been doing almost all of the legwork, e mailing people talking to people and in general figuring things out

  • We have all members of our MST except for a leader. yes this is a vital role, preferably someone from our church will fill it

  • Nathanael has e mailed initial contacts

  • We have a full job description

  • Nathanael and the people at EMM have been working on finalizing the budget

  • We've looked at some potential houses.. although it is very hard to predict if they will be available when we come down

  • we've been e mailed about our training modules, and Nathanael and I are to find mentors.
  • We are working on developing a core team of 14 people who will pray for us regularly

This week we go on much needed much awaited vacation!  :) Hopefully we will come back renewed, refreshed and ready to work!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

up at 4am..now it's 7..

Well I prayed last night that God would wake me up. I struggle with getting up in the morning esp when I don't have to go to work. I guess I should have prayed more specifically. I woke up at 4 and couldn't get back to sleep.

Well I realize God is not Santa.  And the fact of the matter is he does answer our prayers.

I am thankful.

This my song for today:


Monday, October 21, 2013

The importance of Bike tires

Nathanael helped me last week. He said my bike tires were really low. He repaired my tire, actually put a new one on.

My ride to work was much easier than the past few weeks. A tire. That is what the hard work was for. One leaky tire.

On my ride I was really thinking about this. When we keep up the "work" in our own lives: daily prayer and reading the Bible, fellowship with God, the trials come easier.  Otherwise we are working harder for that "tire" Everything is more work, for that one simple tire.

Recently I've felt the call to pray. I have realized that this is of utmost importance, not an afterthought, not a "God please bless this mess I've made"

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Ready.....................................Set............................................................GO GO GO!

Friday October 18 has become an important date for our family.  Yesterday Nathanael and I had a meeting with the guy who will be our pastor through EMM.  He was the final step in the process of approval. In august we had a meeting with Darrel and his wife Sherryl.  At that time we  were given "homework", told to go home, and pray about our calling.

I have to admit this process hasn't been "fun" or easy.  There were times I questioned why we even were pursuing it.

Last night I had the opportunity to talk to a woman at work about my story of a calling. It renewed my purpose in it.  That initial moment where God spoke to me directly hasn't changed. Circumstances have. People have failed, but the calling remains as strong as ever.

After a conversation with Darrel, he told us we are approved to continue on to the next stage with EMM.

Let me state that one again: APPROVED.  nothing conditional anymore.

And so our journey, which began quite a while ago, has taken a new turn.  Things seem more final but I am still very anxious.  There is much to do,  and per Nancy, Sulmi, and really our goal; we have 9 months to complete fundraising and training.

Usually the amount we have to raise takes 12-18 months.  I guess we really are starting out expecting God to do awesome things (or for it to take longer for us to get to Belize).


Saturday, September 14, 2013

Starting Today..

. So far our family process has been:

June 2012 Nathanael goes on a mission trip to Jamaica and feels called to go
October 2012 In a meeting with our pastors, they suggest we explore Belize
March 2013 we go on a "exploratory" trip to Belize and meet Nancy Marshall. Both of us feel called to Belize, I have an amazing experience" interpreting" in a spanish speaking church
May 2013 we begin the process of applying to EMM to go to Belize
August 2013 our second interview with EMM and the decision to wait and pray about God's timing. We are given homework and told to keep in touch.
Goal?? possibly the summer of 2014.

So far this process has taken longer than I would have expected. It has been frustrating feeling like we are in limbo, but I want to trust God's perfect timing.