Saturday, July 16, 2011

One Week Left

We are down to our last week in this house here in the is hard to believe that it's been almost an entire year since we arrived from Mexico.  At that time, it might have been discouraging for us to have known that we'd still be here nearly a year later, but in reality, this cozy little house has been a blessing, a haven, a retreat and God's provision for us. 

We cleaned out the fridge today...amazing how grubby it can get in a year.  So it feels good to have that done!  Now that it looks so clean, though, the reality of our move is setting in a little harder.  Not that we're not excited about the move to Mexico and our upcoming ministry, but it's easy to get attached to places and things...there is always loss involved any time we move and it's important to work through the feelings and emotions to avoid a build-up of grief. 

So I've been doing some processing with the kids...letting them know what's going on and what's coming up.  We've talked about the sadness of leaving family and friends and we're talking about the excitement of what is to come. 

Speaking of what is to are some of the things we have to look forward to:
  • spending a few days at Grammy's house in OK and playing in the creek with cousins
  • celebrating Jkaile's fourth birthday
  • visiting the Grand Canyon
  • conference with coworkers from Pioneers
  • visiting friends in Chihuahua
  • making memories together as a family
So let the countdown begin!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Church Meeting

A few weeks ago, my Mom called with the news that she had run into a pastor friend of hers at Walmart.  This pastor is actually the one who baptized my Mom when she was a young teenager...his first pastorate was in the little country church that my Mom's family attended.  Pastor Ed has followed my family's missionary journey and always invited my parents to share at the different churches where they have pastored over the years. 

Pastor Ed has pastored the Spring River Indian Baptist Church for a few years and this church has supported my Mom's ministry during that time.  Now that my Mom is retired, however, they have been wondering where to find another missionary to partner Mom just happened to have a name handy and that is how we came to share about our ministry at the Spring River Indian Baptist Church this last Sunday.

We were given a warm welcome and the entire hour to show pictures and share about our future ministry in Puebla. 

One of the interesting things about this church is their passion for missions...not only do they give to the general mission fund of the IMB, they also desire to partner with and support a missionary family with whom they have a personal relationship!  We could tell they were excited about the possibilities and they did, in fact, vote to take us on as their missionaries.  It was a true blessing for us to have this opportunity to share about our ministry with them and they have already blessed us...we look forward to visiting them again before we leave for Mexico.

Hot Summer Days

When it's so hot outside, you just gotta find ways to beat the heat! 

Gracia opted for grabbing a turn on the 
Gameboy in the air conditioning...

Friday, July 8, 2011

Open House Goodbye Party

This is the first time we've ever done this for our kids, but we think it is a great idea!  We hope it will help their transition go a little more smoothly if they are able to have some closure by saying goodbye.  So this is what I will be working on for the next couple of days.  There is lots to do and I'm not sure I'm up for this, but I do want to make it special for them.  

Thursday, July 7, 2011

One Day at a Time

We're quickly approaching our ETD (Estimated Time for Departure)...well, what we're pretty sure is our ETD (it tends to change on a weekly basis, but that is pretty normal for missionary life, gotta be flexible!).  I'm tired, really really tired.  And I'm fighting a cold/upper respiratory thing that doesn't seem to want to let go.  If I let myself dwell on my weaknesses, though, sometimes I think that I'm probably not going to make it...but I am pretty sure that I will.  Because I am learning more how to live one day at a time.  Yes, I have my moments...when I'd rather just curl up in bed and check out for the day, but mostly I'm good. 

When I'm tempted to lift up my eyes and get overwhelmed at the heights we have yet to climb before we can settle down on the other side, I remember to focus on the next step...just what I need to get done today.  I am remembering to keep up my strength just for take care of myself today so that I can begin tomorrow with fresh strength. God gives me enough strength to get through the next thing.  Besides, I want to live in the present, be here through each day and enjoy the blessings and joys that God gives me in each moment.  I don't want to miss a thing! 

Sometimes I look back where we've come and I stand there amazed at everything that we've accomplished in the last few is truly amazing!  We have negotiated through the complexities of an agency transfer and trust me, it's complicated!  We have nearly doubled our support level in the last few months and we're rejoicing over the fact that we only lack $215 of monthly support to get to the level we need to be at to be able to go (yes it is a 'minimum' and yes it would be great to get more, but it won't hold us back from going!).  We've made two trips to Florida in order to complete the orientations required by Pioneers and God more than provided the funds needed to cover the costs for those trips.  In fact, we have enough in our account to cover upcoming expenses such as our travel costs to Mexico and the costs of an upcoming Pioneers conference that we'll be attending in August.  We'll have a lot of initial expenses for setting up in Mexico, too, so it's good to see God providing for that as well. 

I could really go on and on...God has worked mightily through us and for us and we've been very blessed as we've traveled this path. 

Recently someone asked me if there is anything I fear about the future...I had to think about that one!  I think if I had to put words to one of my fears (and yes, it is fears, plural), one of them would involve a sense of inadequacy about this ministry we're joining. Tribal church-planting ministry is difficult and complicated...the more we learn about things like Church Planting Movements and Teamwork and Cross-Cultural Relationships and other missionary stuff like that, the more complex it seems to become!  So when I'm tempted to feel overwhelmed and like I'm not up for this challenge, God reminds me that the 'success' of this ministry doesn't depend on me and my abilities anyway.  That's really good, because I'm pretty sure I would fail at that one...God is just calling me to go and be what He asks me to be.  What that will look like I'm not exactly sure, but I suspect a lot of it will look like being a wife and mother and friend

So what's next?  Well, this weekend we're having an Open House Goodbye Party for our kids...a time when their friends can drop in and say goodbye before we leave.  So I'm deep in planning mode for that party.  And then on Sunday night, we'll be speaking at a church in Oklahoma, thanks to a referral from my Mom.  Next week we need to focus on pulling together a lot of documents, etc. to send in to Pioneers to have in our file.  And we'll be working on moving out of our house here at the Village and will probably be taking off for Arizona around the 22nd of July.  We're leaving a few days early for the conference to visit friends along the way.  I'm hoping to spend the last couple of nights before we leave at my Mom's house so we can have a more proper goodbye and celebrate Jkaile's 4th birthday with them before we leave. 

After the conference in Arizona, we'll set our sights on traveling south to Puebla, Lord willing.  I say Lord willing because plans might change for some reason, they have a tendency to do that (and yes, it does drive me nuts sometimes).

I have mixed emotions about leaving...excitement for what's coming up on the horizon and yet all those goodbyes are hard to face.  I guess the best strategy for facing the future is to take it one day at a time...savor each moment at a time...feel the emotions, the sadness and the joy and let God fill in the spaces