Thursday, July 31, 2014

Guatemala Day 3

Hola!  Como estas? 

We are doing great!  I continue to be amazed at the work that God is doing here.  It is certainly the work of he is able to do exceedingly and abundantly more than we can ask or imagine! (Ephesians 3:20)

This morning after worship, we went to observe our Ignite interns at another public school where they teach English.  Just like the school I told you about yesterday, PFM has been invited to this school by the school district superintendent to come into the schools to teach English.  The government recently cut the funding for English classes in public schools and the school district found out that we (PFM) were teaching English on school nearby.  The superintendent approached Potter's Field and said "We have 150 schools in this district.  Will you teach in them all?" - Talk about God opening doors! - Of course, we don't have nearly the staffing to teach English in 150 schools, but we can do 4, so that's what we're doing!
 This is a public washing place across the street from the school we visited.
Many women gather here to wash their laundry.
 The children were so excited to have visitors.  The boy in the left hand corner, saw my boys outside the classroom door and waved excitedly for them to come over.  Caden and Noah came over and the boys introduced themselves to each other in Spanish!
 This is one of the serving Ignite interns (completed training, deployed here in Guatemala) teaching English using a Bible verse.
 School we visited
Looking down the street from the school

 You can't tell but there are 17 of us in this van (and not this is not even a 15 passenger)!  Ha ha ha, road rules are bit different here!  Cobblestone roads make for a rollercoaster like ride and cars come from every direction on whichever side of the narrow street they can fit.  Fortunately, the cobblestone keeps you from going very fast.  Oh yeah, and pedestrians most definitely DO NOT have the right of way!

After lunch we spent the afternoon learning more about the day to day aspects of ministry here in Guatemala from various PFM missionaries and interns.  I had the privilege of talking for quite a while with one of the women who is a full-time missionary here.  She and her family (husband and three kids) have been on the mission field for 11 years in a few different Central American countries.  We talked about the challenges of homeschooling on the field and balancing ministry and family.  I learned much from here and was so encouraged!  Meanwhile, my boys were outside playing with her two daughter and two other young boys (missionary kids).  

Yesterday, at the Kids Club, Josh got to know a young man who is a Bible College student (there is a Bible College that meets at the PFM center).  He also works with PFM and has a real heart for the middle school aged boys.  He expressed a desire to learn to play guitar because he believes it could be an effective ministry tool in reaching these boys.  Today, Josh began guitar lessons with him.  Josh intends to work with him each day for the remaining three days of our trip.

This evening Josh and I lead worship for chapel and then were blessed to be taught by Pastor Pete (formerly of The Cry - Christian music group).
Walking the few blocks from our hotel to the center.

We continue to be so blessed by the privilege of being a part of this ministry.  God is in this place and he is moving in the people of this community.  It is so exciting!

Tomorrow will be a bit of a "rest" day.  I'm going with a few of the ladies to the village market after worship and the boys are going to hang around the center.  Then we'll see what the afternoon holds....

Love to you all!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Guatemala Day 2

So Much Fun!!!  Oh my goodness, I don't know how else to describe today.  It was long, busy, and exhausting....but SO MUCH FUN!!!  I am certain today we were spoiled as most mission trips are much more difficult.  I will say, I am BEAT!  My feet and ankles are killing me, but the joy in my heart greatly dulls the pain!

We woke up this morning and after breakfast headed to the PFM Center.  Josh and I lead worship for the Ignite chapel.  We have lead worship for Ignite interns 4 times now, and every time I am so humbled.  The deep heartfelt worship coming from young adults who have left their home, abandoned any personal plans or ambitions to give Jesus one year in complete service on the foreign mission field is awe inspiring and humbling.  What a privilege!  And let me say, although the PFM Center is beautiful  and in a fairly safe community, these interns work their....rear ends off all day.  They are either in intense Bible study and teaching or serving.

After chapel, we went with two vans full (read - MORE THAN FULL) of PFM staff to a public school where the interns who are deployed in Guatemala teach English classes 4 days a week.  Today, after their classes, Pastor Michael did a Gospel presentation with his pottery demonstration.  Josh played a few songs during part of the presentation.
~ A little bit of info about these English classes : PFM interns teach at four different schools for several hours each morning.  One of the interns said that altogether she teaches 300 students each week.  God supernaturally opened the door for this ministry!  That's a whole other story.  What I wanted to share though is that PFM has been very upfront about being a Christian organization.  Up to this point, the schools have allowed PFM to use Bible verses in their English classes but no Gospel presentation.  PFM has been praying for God to grow these seeds that are planted.  However, today was the first time that a school had allowed us to do an evangelical presentation!  Praise the Lord!  So exciting to be even a small part of that!

When this school outreach was finished, we headed back to the center for lunch.

After lunch was our Potter's Field Kids club.  Kids from all over the city come to the center!  We provide a meal and the kids just hang out and play for a while.   There were about 50 or so kids running around and it was so much fun to play with them.  Caden and Noah did a fantastic job getting to know and playing with other children.  Caden has perfected "Como te llama?" and "Me llamo Caden." and "Jesus Christo te ama (Jesus loves you!)  My sweet boy is a little missionary.  Noah also made a real effort to participate and be friendly, which is a little more intimidating for him.

At Kids Club we played Red Light Green light and a few different forms of tag.  Oh my goodness, I ran and ran and ran and I don't remember the last time I laughed as much as I did today.  It was a blast!  The kids are desperate for love and they attach themselves to you with very little effort.
 This little boy challenged me to a race during Red light Green light....He won....several times :)

After games we gathered together and sang a bunch of super fun songs in spanish with motions.  I have no idea what we were singing, but the dancing was hilarious.  The kids loved it...and so did I! :)  Then we gathered in a circle and sang a couple more mellow worship songs in Spanish and then English.

Then kids divide into age groups and there is opportunity for a little more one on one interaction with the kids.  Then they gather together for a Bible story/Gospel presentation.

This all takes about 2 hours.  Afterwards the kids are dismissed but invited to hang around and play in the field for a while.  Josh played soccer with a bunch of the older boys for a while and I spent some time chatting with some of the interns.

The rest of the afternoon/ evening was spent getting to know the PFM leadership better.  We came back to our hotel a little earlier this evening as we are all exhausted.  I'm not certain what tomorrow holds, but I can't wait! :)

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Guatemala Day 1

Well we made it!  Monday was a LLLOOOOOONNNNNNGGGGGGGGG day!  We left our hotel (after less than 4 hours of sleep) at 5:45 AM.  After three flights, two layovers, three delays, two trips through security, two trips through immigration, two trips through customs, and 8 hours in the air we finally arrived in Guatemala at 1:00AM Tuesday morning! By the time we went through immigration and customs and then got to our hotel and into bed, it was nearly 3am! UG!  It was quite an adventure.  Though it was a long day and our last flight was delayed a few times, overall everything went very smoothly.  We had no hiccups in security or immigration and our flights were pretty much free of turbulence.  We all were able to sit together on each flight and the boys enjoyed flying for the most part.  (Caden loved every bit of it, but Noah got a little scared on our first take off.  For the next two flights he simply sat away from the window and put his head in my lap during take off. That helped and he was fine for the rest of the flights.)

Because we got in so late last night (actually early this morning), we delayed the start of our day a bit and had a pretty laid back day.  We slept until after 10am, which was soooo needed and then headed over to the PFM center.  This is where our Ignite school is and where the interns and staff live.  It's also where the church we partner with meets and where our Potter's Field Kids Club is held.  We spent some time with Pastor Michael Rozell (founder of PFM), Pastor Don McClure and several other PFM staff.  We discussed the vision of our partnership with them as well as the history and heart of Potter's Field. - While we had this meeting our boys played with a few children of PFM staff outside and had so much fun!  No doubt, this first day will a highlight of their trip.

After spending several hours at the center this morning, we were graciously allowed time to go back to the hotel to rest.  The boys played video games (the big boy "played" on the computer) and I took a nap!

Then this evening we went back to the center for a bit and then out to dinner with more PFM leadership.  This was a great time of fellowship and learning more about the ministry, but the real fun starts tomorrow! :)

Tomorrow Josh and I will lead worship for the interns in the morning.  Then we'll go help at one of the schools where our Potter's Field interns teach English (and share the Gospel ;)  Then tomorrow afternoon is our Kids Club!!! Yay!  I can't wait.

Thank you all for your prayers and support.  I'll do my best to keep you updated as the week progresses.

The PFM Center is a little bit of an oasis inside the town.  
It is a safe place for the students to study, the church to meet, and the children to be cared for.

Mount Agua from the rooftop of our hotel


Sunday, July 27, 2014

All our bags are packed, we're ready to go!

Our ministry seems to go through waves.  

The first wave feels almost out of control!  We feel pulled in a million different directions and it's difficult to keep up with anything.  We are like chickens with our heads cut off - running this way and that, no doubt looking to the outsider like we have had one too many Red Bulls!  In those times, we feel more than ever the truth of God's strength being made perfect in our weakness.  We run and don't get (too) weary and we walk and don't faint.  Only by the grace of God!  If I'm being completely honest, Josh and I thrive on these long as they don't last too long.  Our personalities love to go, Go, GO!

The second wave is very different.  We ease into a routine on the road.  Our schedule is pretty easy.  We have concerts/church services 3-4 times a week.  The rest of the week, we focus on booking, practice, homeschooling and family time.  During these waves, we strive to invest more time in Bible study and prayer, feeding our spiritual hungers so that we have strength for the first wave, which is always on the horizon.

These waves repeat over and over again.  It is the pattern of our ministry and both bring about great blessings and trials.

This spring we found ourselves in Wave One.  I'll admit, this wave was almost too much for us.  More than once we found ourselves pulled under the water, desperate to find the surface and catch our breath.  As always, our faithful God brought us through and we are better swimmers for it.

In June and July though, we have been riding the second wave.  It has been fairly restful and we have enjoyed a lot of great family time.  As those who typically have spent most of the year under clouds and rain, we have been soaking up the sun and loving it...although over three weeks of 100+ temperatures has been a bit much for our Washington Weather Wimp selves.  Who would have thought that we'd be looking forward to the temperatures in Guatemala?!

Then this weekend we re-entered insanity! We had a concert Friday night and laundry and packing Saturday.  Today looks like this...Morning church service, drive back to RV park, load truck and unhook trailer, drop off trailer where it will stay while we're in Guatemala, grab dinner, evening concert, take music equipment back to trailer, drive 3 hours to hotel in San Francisco!  Tomorrow morning, we will get up bright and early to take the truck to parking and catch our early flight.  We have 2 layovers and a total of 12 1/2 hours of travel tomorrow!  We'd appreciate your prayers!

We have no idea what our time in Guatemala will look like.  Which, by the way, is a bit overwhelming for this planning/scheduling/controlling girl!  It will be a great lesson in flexibility and trust.  We are praying God will help us to be completely surrendered to His leading and will shine His love brightly through us in every circumstance!

I am hoping to write a very brief update here daily, but that is probably a bit ambitious.  We'll see how exhausted I am at the end of each day.  If you don't hear from me for a week, don't panic....ha ha if you'd be surprised by that! ;)  I promise to fill you in on all the details when we return next week.

In the meantime, please pray that we follow well the One who gave everything for us!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014


Bondage....Sin.....Lies.....Products of "The Fall", results of sin that entered the world and tainted God's perfect creation.  Disobedience reveals rebellion and begets destruction...and bondage.

I am weary of fighting the same battle over and over.  Why must I struggle with the same lies time and time again?

Do I choose the chains?  Do I go looking for them because they are familiar?
Do they come for me?  Does the enemy send them after me as he whispers lies in my ear to distract me, so that I do not notice when the shackles fix themselves on my ankles?

Perhaps sometimes it's both.  Perhaps that's why I can be completely free one moment and the next moment I am suffocating under the weight of lies strangling me.

I am weary, but I will not lose heart.  I will not stop running until I reach the finish line.  I will not quit.  I will not give up.  I will not surrender, except to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  I will throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles and I will do it again and again and again!  I will run with perseverance the race marked out for me!  I will fix my eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of my faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

When I am weary.  When I am tired of fighting this battle I will consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that I will NOT grow weary and lose heart.  I will remember that in my struggle against sin, I have not yet resisted to the point of shedding my blood. (see Hebrews 12:1-4)

No, Christ shed his blood for me.  He came to set me free and I am free indeed.

Sorry, Satan, you can't have this one!  She belongs to Jesus.  

Friday, July 11, 2014

Prayer Requests and Pics

Okay, before I give you a bunch of pictures and updates on our fun family adventures, I'm going to be honest and ask for prayer!

In many ways, this trip is going fantastic.  We are having beautiful weather and enjoying time out in God's creation!  Josh is having really productive booking days.  God is opening new doors all of the time and blessing our ministry at each event.  We see Him moving in and through us!  We are humbled and grateful to be used.  Also, we are all healthy and the trailer and truck are fully functional (no mechanical issues or leaks! Yay!)....

On the other hand, we seem to be under pretty heavy spiritual attack.  Our emotional state does not reflect God's abundant blessing.  Josh and I are struggling to sleep at night, stress and nightmares keep us awake.  Josh is struggling with discouragement and I feel impatient, frustrated, and irritable.  We are being extra intentional about having personal quiet times in the Word, praying together as a family, and listening to sermons.  We know that lies must be fought with Truth and we are working hard to saturate ourselves in the Light.  We'd so appreciate your prayers!  (just as a reminder, you can find ongoing prayer requests here )

That being said, here are some pics of the past couple weeks! :)

Awesome Fourth of July parade in a little town in central Oregon!

 waiting for the fireworks

still waiting

Ooooh!  Ahhhh!

Snake video at the Douglas County Museum 
(we were here this spring and the boys were so excited to come back)


playing in the river at our campground

 floating on a froggy :p

Crater Lake!

 Aaaaah!  Don't you just love this!?!

that's the "Phantom Ship" in the distance

I'll write again soon!  Love to you all!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Counting my blessings

Sometimes it's the little things  

a laundry room near your campsite, when you thought you were going to have to drive 15 minutes into town and sit in a hot crowded laundromat!
hot showers for free at the campground, when you expected to be paying 50 cents for 3 minutes of cold water!
1 dollar ice cream cones, free wi-fi, and a playplace at the McDonalds near the rest of your errands!

"Thank you, Lord, for these sweet little gifts of love.  You make me smile!"

Thursday, July 3, 2014

A Few Pics just for Fun

Perhaps I've gone overboard on the introspective posts the past couple of days?!  Just in case, I thought I'd just post a few pictures of our adventure the past several days.

Ok, I'll start with this one 'cause it makes me happy! 
We said our official "goodbye"s a couple weeks ago to our wonderful friends moving to Hawaii, but were surprised to have a chance to have one last get together while we were all in Portland!  Yay!
We had one day to go visit Mt. Saint Helens and the weather was less than beautiful.
This was our view from Johnston Ridge when we first got to the top.
The fog started to lift....
This was as far as the fog lifted :( 
We spent hours in the observatory reading, watching videos, and listening to ranger talks...hoping the view would clear!  Although we never got to see the crater, it was still a wonderfully educational and fun day as a family.  We have since spent time at the library studying volcanoes and making plans for the diorama we're going to make soon!
 Josh sat in the front row, so he was chosen as the park ranger's special helper! :p
Our boys have now become official Junior Park Rangers both at Glacier National Park and now at Mt. Saint Helens.  They are very proud! :)
 Josh played at a one day revival at this beautiful chapel in McMinville, OR.
Last Sunday was such a blessing.  We shared at a little church in Eugene and had such a wonderful time of ministry.  The people were so kind and encouraging and were very enthusiastic about Potter's Field Ministries as well.  We are blessed, as usual, by the new friends and partners in ministry!
Caden spent all day today (completely unprovoked by me) reading his dictionary! 
Yes, you read that correctly!  He would read a word he thought was interesting and then write down what page it was on a piece of paper.  Then Noah was giving him words to look up!  My little men love to learn!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Did I choose to love?

*NOTE* This blog has moved!  When you finish reading this post, be sure to head over to for more from A Family of Musicianaries.

I’ve been reading through Paul’s epistles during my personal quiet times for the past several months.  I started with Galatians.  My coming to study this book would seem coincidental to some (I visited a Bible Study one time that was studying it and thought I’d try to catch up in case I ever went again…I never went again, but the study stuck), however, I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that it was providential.  I poured over Galatians for weeks, consulting commentaries, asking my father-in-law questions, praying, crying, and confessing my way through it.  Verse by verse being convicted and challenged.  To say it rocked my world would be putting it lightly.

Since God used that study of Galatians so powerfully in my life, I decided to go back to Romans and work my way through.  I’ve been in 1 Corinthians for many weeks and got to chapter 13 last week.  Chapter 12 ends with these words, “And now I will show you the most excellent way.”!  Isn’t that our cry as followers of Jesus bound to this messed up earth.  Please, Lord, show us the way!  There are so many things screaming for our attention, begging for our focus, demanding to be first priority and we just want to know the “most excellent way”.

So with my attention caught, I read the words I’ve read, heard, sang since I was a child.  “If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal….If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.  Love is patient, love is kind….And now these three remain: faith, hope and love.  But the greatest of these is love.” (1 Cor. 13:1-13 – I encourage you to find a Bible and read these verses in their entirety!)

My boys bicker a lot lately!  I mean A LOT!  It’s enough to drive a woman trapped in a trailer with them CRAZY!!!  I find myself convicted though as I realize my tendency to respond to their lack of love, with a lack of love.  They are rude and I am impatient.  They are self-seeking and I respond by being easily angered.  “Oh Lord, help us!”  I am grateful for God’s grace and yet I so desire to love like Him!  I want to be patient and kind, selfless, hopeful, and persevering! 

I downloaded a sermon recently by John Piper teaching on George Mueller (if you don’t know either of these names, they are both men worth learning about and from).  Mueller said that when we strive to memorize scripture, we find ourselves meditating on Scripture – both which are Biblical disciplines.  I’ve been helping Caden and Noah memorize 1 Cor. 13:4-7 and find myself meditating on these verses as well.  I pray that the truth of these words will sink down deep in my soul and change me.

This morning, hours after my quiet time and after reading these verses again with the boys, I am making lunches to take with us on our errands and I put in an old Nicole Nordeman CD to listen to.  I find myself in tears as my heart prays the words of her song "Legacy"

I don’t mind if you’ve got something nice to say about me.

I enjoy an accolade like the rest.

You can take my picture and hang it in a gallery 
of all the whose who and so and so’s that used to be the best 
at such and such, it wouldn’t matter much.

I won’t lie it feels alright to see your name in lights.

We all need an “attaboy” or “attagirl”.

In the end I’d like to hang my hat on more besides

the temporary trappings of this world

I wanna leave a legacy, how will they remember me?

Did I choose to love? 
Did I point to you enough to make a mark on things?

I wanna leave an offering. 

Child of mercy and grace, 
who blessed your name unapologetically

and leave that kind of legacy!

(Nicole Nordeman  "Woven & Spun" - Legacy)

I pray that by the power of the precious Holy Spirit living in me, 
I might learn to live the most excellent way!

*NOTE* This blog has moved!  When you finish reading this post, be sure to head over to for more from A Family of Musicianaries.