Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Belize Reunion a chance to get excited!

A few weeks ago Nathanael preached at First Deaf Mennonite Church.  (their interm pastor was on vacation)  He had the opportunity also because of a friend to share about our trip to Belize with the hearing church that meets at the same building Witmer Heights.  After the service, Nathanael met Mim Eberly. 

She had been a missionary in Belize and while she was there, trained as a Midwife.  Even though we haven't spent much time in Belize (yet) she actually invited us to come to the Belize Reunion!

We got to meet a group of wonderful people.  Some were native Belizeans, some were missionaries in Belize and there was a family who lives in Spanish Lookout

We shared a meal and fellowshipped afterwards.  There was a time that one of the older missionaries encouraged others. He reminded us that we don't always know the influence we have at the time. People stood up and thanked the former missionaries.  The former missionaries thanked the Belzeans for their welcoming attitude and willingness.   

Nathanael and I truly felt humbled and encouraged.  We are not going into this alone. So many have gone before us, and are praying for us.  Please continue to walk with us in this journey!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

How many Many Mennonites does it take to put up a tent? (our trip to Emm's Global Fair)

Apparently more than we had.. ;)

On Saturday, we had the privilege (again) of having a table at Global fair.  Nathanael asked if we could borrow a tent from our church.  We picked it up on our way and headed out. Once we got there it was spritzing small amounts of rain. 

I felt it would be a good idea to set up the tent.. so we wouldn't get wet .  Nathanael was reluctant as the tent seemed extra big and complicated.  He did agree because I was also concerned about getting sun burnt. 

After an hour of laughing, about 10 people attempting to read the directions, push together poles, and watch us, we gave up.  It seems that there were some poles missing from the bag, and the wrong canvas in it. 

Nathanel told some of the people helping us that this is a "Secret team building" exercise.. Oh well it was fun to try!

We are so thankful to Summer, Ray and Mary Bergey and Debbie Ulle who came to be with us.
  They also escorted our children around and made sure we were fed!  I love the chance we get at Global fair to get to know other missionaries and their callings. It is also fulfilling to interact with the people of other cultures who bring food to sell; and the other organizations (like MCC and LMC)

Friday, July 17, 2015

Cross cultural missions.. in your back yard??

We are preparing for Global Fair tomorrow (why yes I am a procrastinator)  Feel free to stop by at our booth if you'd like to see us!

I was looking for "facts" to share about Deaf, Christianity and Belize. 
I came upon this startling article. I guess in some ways I already knew the facts.  I have been exposed to them, I realize this is why I have chosen Deaf missions (really it chose Nathanael, and I was called with him).  I also look at it as a huge challenge. Cross cultural missions in your own backyard?  Yes! 
We are on our way to Belize, but what are you called to?

I will leave you with a impacting quote from the article.  If you'd like to learn more, watch this video. Don't totally understand it?  Maybe that helps you get a bigger picture!  Here's a map of what deaf as an unreached people group looks like. 
The much awaited quote:
Most churches regard the deaf as a benevolence ministry, similar to the elderly or disabled. But experts argue that a different paradigm is desperately needed: seeing deaf ministry as cross-cultural missions.
Language and cultural barriers have left the deaf a veritable unreached people group right in America's midst. Christian deaf ministries estimate that only 1 percent of American deaf children will attend church as adults. Less than 7 percent will ever have the gospel presented to them in a way they can understand.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Emm Comissioning

On July 12, we went to commissioning with Eastern Mennonite Missions.  Since it is a distance for most of the people in our church and our friends, we are having one at our church on July 26. (and encourage everyone to come then!) 
It was meaningful to catch up with EMM staff again.  Some people we haven't seen in a year.  We were able to see our supervisors, and meet some of their family. ( who are also going to Belize and will be about an hour away from us)
Nancy Marshall, who we will be directly working with us in Belize was also there with her daughter. It was so good to see them again. 
Spring's sister Summer and our pastoral care leaders from our MST Joel and Heidi were at commissioning to pray for us.  If you notice in the pictures that some of our children are missing, that's because they were. Abigail and Zion stayed home sick.

The speaker encouraged us that there is not a divide between those "sending" and those "going".  We are all doing both at the same time.  I personally have a conviction about this. My mission field is in front of me all of the time... Sellersville streets, the DF of Mexico, or Orange Walk Belize. We must all bloom where we are planted and continue to do what God has called us to. We enjoy supporting others in their goals as well.  We have been supporting traditional missionaries as well as family friends who are in the process of adopting their 9th child from China.  I would love to know that my calling has encouraged you on your journey!

Thank you to all who are praying for us and following our journey.  We look forward with anticipation for the journey ahead of us.
If you would like to join us, we are having commissioning at our church
July 26 2015
Hopewell Christian Fellowship Telford
601 Hunsicker Road
Telford PA
During the 9 and 11 am services

I will leave with the words of the speaker. He was speaking of being in mission: "Is there any better way to live?"

Monday, July 6, 2015

On becoming a MK or a TCK

Apparently when you are going onto the mission field the most often asked question is "are you excited?" 

To me it seems that this is a similar question to when someone is pregnant asking "How do you feel?" 

As someone who is not happy with the typical "fine" answer, I find this question perplexing to answer.  Our children have better answers than I do.  Abigail will tell you she's excited but sad to be leaving her friends. 

This transition for my children is a big one.  Although they moved out of their house last year, we didn't move out of the immediate area.  They have had the same friends, and family close to them for their entire lives.  Not only are they changing the environment, they are changing cultures as well.  Things that appear "normal" to us can really be cultural and not related to how we "have to live our lives. 

For instance, toilet paper. My children are going to have to learn and be in the habit of throwing the toilet paper into the trash can.  They are also going to learn not to drink water from the tap, and to keep doors locked. 

My kids are walking into the unknown.  Nathanael and I are too.  I have lived in Mexico (for 8 months) as a single woman on a team.  Nathanael has been in missions, with the longest being to China for a month.  We all anticipate the journey that God has us on.  At the same time, we do not know what lies ahead for us. 

We are so thankful for those who have joined with us in this journey!  Thank you for your prayers and support.  As a mom I'm working on processing my own emotions and how to help my children through theirs. 

If you are thinking or praying for our family, want to know how to help, or are interested in this journey, here are some resources I have appreciated :)