Tuesday, October 23, 2012

We are a bridge. In one way, we, as all believers, are a bridge from the lost and hurting world to our compassionate loving God. In another way, we are a bridge from the Church here in America to the Church in Africa, and eventually back the other way; from those holding the ropes back here to those taking a turn over there. We dont want to just tell our story. God is so amazing and so faithful and has done incredible things in my life, Patrick's life, and that of our marriage. But there are so many more stories, and we want you to know them. Through our blog and newsletter (and our future website), you will have the opportunity to get to know people. Church planters, doctors, seminary teachers, other pilots, boarding school dorm parents. And, most importantly, Africans.
So please, for just a few minutes, take a step onto the bridge. A whole world awaits you.

Monday, October 15, 2012

We talked about having two blogs, one for personal updates and one for ministry updates. But decided against it for two reasons: one, i have a hard enough time doing one, never mind two! And also, where would one stop and the other begin? The sacred is just as much a part of who we are as the temporal, as they are in the life of every single person on earth. Whether or not you believe it, you are part of a larger story, that started before the beginning of the earth and that will continue after its end. but i digress.
  • We had a get together last week at church, and open to the community, to share more of our story, and more about what missionary pilots do. Some people will choose to partner with us because they know and love and want to support us; others will do so primarily because they are passionate about missionary aviation, church planting, medical missions, Africa, or any number of reasons that have nothing to do with us personally. We are humbled and excited as God brings people to us to join this team that He is putting together. This meeting was a good chance to answer questions and share specific practical details, like where does the money go, where will you live, what kind of planes will you fly, are you taking your children with you? (just kidding. we didnt get that one again. but i love it, i just had to stick it in there! ;-)
  • This weekend, Patrick and I are going to worthington, minnesota to check out our new (temporary) home. We will get to tour the airport, learn more about Patrick's job, see the house we will live in, and most importantly, meet the Proclaim Aviation team. They have already been so helpful and we are excited about being a part of Proclaim.
  • In November, we have our first speaking engagement scheduled (other than our own church.) Some friends from college that live in Oklahoma invited us to come for their missions emphasis Sunday, and we are thrilled to do that.

the kids' weekly grocery store treat: a green juice ;-)

the day before the sale, i finally gave up on trying to keep the kids out of the tables and tables of breakable items i had set out, and we took a day off. i had not been spending any time with them, so i would like to say that this face is due to my undivided attention, but i'm pretty sure its just the donut :-). The struggle to prioritize your family and keep as much routine as possible, we are learning more about that. it was just so crazy there for a while. the sunday we spoke in church just happened to be the same weekend of the moving sale. and i got sick that weekend too. after church, we went out to lunch with Patrick's family who came to support us. its a small town, nearly everybody goes to one of two restaurants. we were debriefing, and out of nowhere, hannah yells, mommy, you forgot my panties!! (and yes, she was wearing a dress.) Yikes. classic case of being too distracted with ministry?

caroline has moved on to another stage, there is now nearly nothing that is beyond her reach. her personal favorite is the kitchen table.

we finally had caroline's baby dedication last weekend.

the scene around our house when daddy gets home at night. caroline has to be right in the middle of it, too. she gets very upset if patrick doesnt pick her up right away!

i have never seen a messier child. at every meal, she rubs her food in her hair. doesnt matter what it is. and i dont have any idea what to do about it. as with most toddlers, i imagine, she doesnt want to be fed, she wants to do it herself. so i have to put it on her tray, and she promptly throws it all on the floor. and i've allowed her to get into the habit of walking around eating. i know she'll eat more if i leave her tray on the table, instead of cleaning it off, so that makes more mess. but she's such a picky eater, i just let her do whatever she wants. (wow, that sounds even worse when i say it out loud! its the third child, what can i say. i'm too busy trying to get the other ones to eat their vegetables and not play pirate with their forks.)

such a big girl! i cant believe i have a child this old. she is really enjoying our once a week co op morning with the homeschool group, and we are learning alot together when we do school in the afternoons.

we have been putting together some booklets to give to potential partners, with information on Africa Inland Mission, our financial needs, the top 10 questions we get, etc. The kids helped me stuff them the other day.

a trip to the pumpkin patch provided some much needed family time, last weekend. caroline had a great time rolling daddy around in the tunnel.

once again, my little climber. if she cant reach something, she'll just pull a chair over to it. the problem is, the only chairs we have right now are folding chairs, so they often fold up on her. she just tries it again, though!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

God is so good, so good, so good!

We are so very excited to finally have no home and hardly any possessions to our name! I know it sounds a little strange, but if you had spent the last few months trying to sell aforementioned home and its roomfuls of stuff, you would feel the same way.
  • We got not one, but two offers on our house while we were in Atlanta at Candidate Week. God orchestrated the situation so that we got full asking price on our house, as is! (Must be that awesome cleaner/interior designer we had come in to prepare for the showings ;-). The buyers also wanted about 75% of our furniture, so we didnt have to worry about finding new homes for it or move it.
  • A gracious man in our church had a home he wasnt using, and offered it to us for the next few months until we move. It is furnished, which was just a huge answer to prayer. Also dishes, towels, trash cans, everything you need. It is also on a ton of property, i dont know how many acres, so its just like living in the country. I can now put my kids out to pasture, and they can be free range :-)
  • Proclaim Aviation Ministries, who we are now officially missionaries with (which still takes my breath away and brings tears to my eyes, that i can say that. just look on their website under missionaries; yep, there we are! www.proclaimaviation.org), has a home that they will rent to us in Minnesota.  It is also furnished, and we are heading up there in a few weeks to check it out, along with the town and the airport where Patrick will be working.
  • We had an amazing turnout for our moving sale, no i did not take pictures. nor did we breathe, eat, sleep, or anything else for about a week. at least it felt that way. We had enough boxes left over to have another full sized garage sale the following weekend. By then we were practically begging people to take our stuff. Pottery Barn duvet cover for $10, sure, why not? Patrick and I tag teamed as we sold each others stuff, thats easier than watching your own things get carted off for pennies!
  • We spoke in church a few weeks ago, which was another "wow, this is real" moment. Our pastor is so supportive, both verbally and financially. We have an informal get together meet and greet on tues, oct 9 for anybody with questions, members of the community who dont go to our church, and people who may want to partner in this ministry. We're praying God brings people who He is leading to part of our team.
  • We have prayer cards, and they will be going out with newsletters here in a few weeks. or whenever i get around to writing them. really, whenever we get around to collecting all those adresses! So make it easier on us, just leave a comment if you'd like to receive our newsletter.
  • A reporter came to our sale to take pictures and asked for an interview. What do you know, apparently in Pratt KS it was front page news ;-). I was nervous about being misrepresented, even by accident, but it was a positive experience, and got alot of people thinking about international missions, and hopefully finding the peace with God that we talked about in the article. http://www.pratttribune.com/article/20121001/NEWS/121009892
  • It has been so encouraging and exciting to see people participate already, in large and small ways. Family was a huge help, we absolutely could not have done it without them. The printing people did up our moving sale signs for free. the paper gave us a discount on our ad. a friend babysat the kids for me, and another friend came to the sale, even bringing along her own babysitter, so she could be completely committed to manning the check out table (huge job) for us, for the entire 2 day sale. Other people donated stuff for us to sale. Somebody I barely know, the lady who does story time at the library, just came up and gave me a donation. My dental hygienist offered to donate supplies whenever we need them, to have a clinic or something. I am so humbled to see all the people God uses, and all the roles that need to be filled, and all the willing servants that step up and say I want to do something. I cannot wait to get to Africa so we can turn around and share with this army of people back here, this is what God is doing! This is how the Kingdom of Light is turning back the kingdom of darkness, this is how the enemy is being defeated. and its because of you, my friend. and you, complete stranger! and you, and you, and you.

Anyone else ever have a hard time choosing a family picture??