Tuesday, August 19, 2014

World's Worst Blogger

Okay, it's official.  I am the world's worst blogger!  I am confident advertisers will never offer to pay me to advertise on my blog...not that I ever expected or even hoped for that.  Truly, this blog is intended to keep friends and family updated about our ministry adventures...and it's often a therapeutic way for me to process things that God is teaching me.  That being said, if you've been reading this blog for long, you've come to expect that when we are "home" (Seattle area) I kind of drop off the grid.  This is because time with my friends and family at home is too precious to miss even a moment of it with computer time!  I do apologize, especially to the many wonderful friends that we have that are not in the Seattle area.  I know that to you, our time at home is no different than our time on the road and you like to be updated regardless.  However, for us time back home is essential for our spiritual and emotional well-being.   We're usually only home for a couple weeks, so I like to make very moment count.  With that in mind, I'm going to give you a quick update on the past couple weeks and the upcoming weeks...and then I'm going to log off and not make any promises about writing again for the next couple weeks.  I'll try...but don't count on it. :)

When we got back from Guatemala, we got really sick.  We all had a nasty cold that hung on for a long time.  That first week back was kind of a blur of sleeping, driving, laundry, and coughing.  Last Monday (8/11), one of my sister's had a new baby.  She is a beautiful, healthy little girl and I adore her!!!  Our family was blessed to stay with some dear friends last week.  It was an extremely restful, refreshing, blessed week.  What a gift that they would open their home to us and allow us freedom to just rest.  During the week, the boys attended VBS at our home church, which was such a treat for them and I visited with my sister and baby niece.  For the next couple weeks, we have our trailer parked at my sister's house and we are enjoying time with her family!  The cousins all get to play together every day and I'm helping around the house a little...in between snuggling sweet baby girl!  I'm overjoyed at the opportunity to spend so much time with all of them!

In the meantime, Josh is doing some recording at my Dad's studio and we'll have a couple events north of Seattle this weekend.  We'll be back on the road September 6, heading east toward Billings, MT. 

Well, that's my quick update so you're not all wondering if we're still alive.  Like I said, I'll try to write a couple more times in the next couple weeks, but no promises! :)  Love to you all!....now I have a baby to snuggle! :)

Friday, August 8, 2014

thinking about our "why?"

We are all sick today.  Josh and I feel awful!  We're hacking and coughing, absolutely exhausted and wanting nothing more than to just curl up in bed and sleep.  Not today, though.  Today we drive...530 miles to be exact.  Between hauling the trailer, freeway construction, and too many pit stops for little bladders and hungry bellies, by the time we arrive at our RV park we will have been on the road for at least 12 hours.

As I look across the front seat of the pickup at my poor husband, my heart is full of pity and gratitude at the same time.  He looks awful...Don't get me wrong, I still believe he's the best looking man in the world, but with the two day stubble, the blood shot eyes, and the weariness on his face...well, he's seen better days.  

I'm so proud that he's mine.  That he would choose a day pulling our trailer over the comfort of his bed.  

I know I just painted a pathetic little picture, but lest I fall into the trap of throwing myself a pity party, let me clarify.  I know we've got it really good.  We have plenty of nice clothes, access to healthy food, our own comfortable safe little trailer, and a ministry that we absolutely love and is providing for the needs of our family so that we can give ourselves completely to this ministry God called us to.  We have family and friends who love us and pray for us faithfully.  Most importantly, we have a God who couldn't bear the thought of eternity without us so He sent His Son to pay the penalty for the sins that separated us from Him.  God made a way for us to be justified and sanctified.  He chose us to be His own children.  I could go on and on....We are blessed.

Sometimes though, life feels a bit overwhelming...Like today.  So as we drive and drive and drive, I find myself considering the "why" of what we do.  As I cough and I listen to Caden cough and Noah sniffle in the back seat, I ask myself what makes this worth it?  Why spend our sick days traveling instead of in the comfort of a home?
I don't have to think for long, though.  I know why.

It's because of Angel and his friends.

It's because of all of the children learning God's Word while they learn English.

It's because of all of our missionary friends and the Ignite interns.

It's because of the women washing their clothes in the square.

It's because of the people worshiping a far off god in a 500 year old church.

It's because it's something we can do, and God called us to do, and we want to do

...so we do

and I'm glad.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Caden's Blog

Still recovering from the trip.  We had a fantastic time, but we did pick up some kind of nasty cold on the way back that's making it hard to be very productive this week.  I did add Caden's blog though to the menu bar of my blog.  Check it out.  It's the cutest, sweetest thing you'll ever read!  My boy loves Jesus and loves to share his thoughts and heart with people!

Saturday, August 2, 2014

This is the day the Lord has made!

Today's outreach event was amazing!  PFM hasn't had an outreach event like this since March and the attendance today was way more than expected.  I'll let you know the guesstimated count tomorrow, but it was well over the 200 that I counted at 9:30.  Children and families just kept coming and coming and coming!  It was amazing.  I'm not going to write a ton because I'm exhausted and Josh and I are leading a portion of the worship at church tomorrow. 

The pictures show more than my words could ever tell anyway! (The definitely don't show the large number of people there very well, but you can see the fantastic time everyone was having!)
 The main draw of the outreach was a soccer tournament.  PFM invited several school teams to participate and our Potter's Field Kids club has a team as well.
 Warming up for the tournament

 We had a trampoline and two bouncy houses, a large and small.  This is where my boys spent most of the morning.
 Face painting was a huge hit too!  There were four Ignite interns working at these tables for the entire outreach and the lines were consistently 5 or more long for each of the interns.

 These are mi amigos! They were hilarious trying to jump rope!  The kept taking turns and all three struggled but they were having so much fun!
 Me and my amigos Miguel, Oscar, Angel, and Alex?

 Josh and I got roped into a volleyball game with my very persuasive friend Angel!  Before long there were about 5 boys and 2 girls on each side.  It was so much fun!
 This little cutie was so determined to speak Spanish to me.  It was adorable.  With most of the kids, I could convince them that I only new a little and they would dumb down their spanish for my sake, but not her.  She spoke at full speed telling me all kinds of things I never did understand, but her smile made every moment with her a joy!  We colored together for a while (with the little boy below) and then when she was sad because she wasn't allowed to use the face paint on me I distracted her with selfies (see below)

 He spent probably 20 minutes working on making this picture just perfect!

I'll post more pics tomorrow, until then I will go to bed with a heart overflowing with joy and gratitude.  Today.....was a good day.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Guatemala Day 4

Today was somewhat of a rest day.  Josh and I led worship this morning and then the rest of the day has been spent mostly hanging around the center.  I did go to the artisan market in town with a few of the ladies and did a little bit of sight seeing and bought a few small souvenirs.  It was a blessing to have some "girl time".  While we walked I was able to learn more about the town and some challenges and goals of the ministry to this community.

Josh had some great ministry opportunities here at the center today.  He gave guitar lessons to a couple of the missionaries here and also spent a significant amount of time discussing ministry with the local pastor that we work with here as well as a couple other PFM missionaries.

I was also blessed to spend time with different missionaries and interns throughout the day.

Meanwhile the boys enjoyed the amazing freedom that they have had here in the outdoors.  The property surrounding the center is enclosed by a wall and provides lots of space to run around and just "be boys".

Tomorrow is our biggest outreach of the week.  We have a big day and an early morning ahead of us, so I'm going to keep it short and hold off on pictures today.  Thank you so much for your prayers!  We'd greatly appreciate lots of prayers tomorrow morning.  We're hoping for a couple hundred children and families to attend.  There will be soccer, a bouncy house, face painting, music, free food, and most importantly a Gospel presentation!....I'm sooo excited!!! :)