…1759.34 Miles to go!!! (Isn’t Mapquest great?!?!)
Have you ever prayed or heard someone pray for “travel mercies?” We want to thank you all of you who have been praying for “travel mercies” for our trip because it has been amazing thus far. Adelina, who never sleeps in the car, has slept every time we have been driving during her nap time! Jeremiah…well, he has been amazing since he was born, but today he slept for almost 4 and 1/2 hours after we ate lunch! God is good!
We spent the last week in South Carolina with my brother and his family and the weekend in Mississippi with Jessica’s father and his family. Adelina has had a great time with her cousins and “aunts.” She absolutely LOVES to swim and dance. Jeremiah has yet to meet a face that doesn’t make him smile!
God continues to work upstream as we prepare to serve as missionaries. I had the opportunity to speak with a couple who are friends of my brother and sister-in-law. They had heard a little about what Jessica and I are up to but I was able to tell them even more about what we have been doing in Michigan and what we have planned for this Fall. After we left my brother’s house, my sister-in-law sent us a text informing us that the couple wanted to hear about what is going with us and they are interested in being part of our support team once we are accepted by a mission organization. WOW! We were speechless with tears in our eyes as we drove from South Carolina. It is amazing to see how God is working and providing for us even before we know who we will serve with and where we might serve.
Tonight we are in Dallas, Texas staying with my cousin and tomorrow night we hope to be in New Mexico. Tomorrow is slated to be our longest travel day in the car and after a night of visiting friends we land in Arizona for 10 days where we will connect with precious friends from our campus ministry days. Please pray for more great conversations, connections, and Divine encounters with all the friends, family, and strangers we encounter on our journey. We remain increasingly grateful for the people who are praying for us and we hope to make you proud everywhere we go.
One of the most precious commodities in life is time. And we are making the most of our time as we spent the last week in North Carolina with Mimi & Pops, Phil’s parents. What a wonderful week spent with our family! Adelina got to hang out with Mimi at the piano, with Pops at the children’s museum, and with her parents at the neighborhood pool. A highlight of the week was on Saturday night. Mimi & Pops hosted a dessert for the missions team and a small group from their church. Jess and I were able to tell them about the things that God has been doing, share about what we hope to do as missionaries, and tell them about our plans for the next year. It was our first presentation and it went very well. We are looking forward to the future that God has for us and getting the opportunity to share it with others!
My friend, Tobias, was able to hang out with our family for a few days before he flew back to Germany. It was such a blessing to introduce him to my family and to spend a few more days with him. He was my closest friend in Michigan this year and it was a tearful goodbye. It has been a blessing to know him and to share our time at school with him. It was hard to say goodbye but we are excited about the adventure that lies ahead for him. He is starting flight school in South Africa this November. God has his hand on Tobias’ life and can’t wait to see where his adventure leads.
Isn’t it amazing how God has perfect plans for each and every one of us?
It is finished! I graduated from SMAT on August 10th, 2012! Wahoo! God is good and gracious! I have received my FAA Powerplant rating after passing the written test on Thursday. We had a great graduation on Friday. Neil Dubois, one of the flight instructors at SMAT and a JAARS missionary, spoke to the graduating class about faithfulness in the life of a missionary. He used the book “Horton Hatches the Egg” by Dr. Seuss to talk about the various trials that can and usually do occur when missionaries serve overseas. It was exciting to hear about things we may encounter as we plan to serve as missionaries. We were reminded that trials will come but the important thing is to be faithful. We should not dwell on the “why” question but trust God. Our hope is to be found faithful in the calling God has for our lives, no matter the circumstances.
We got everything out of our apartment and it is on its way to Reno! Now we are going to spend time visiting family, friends, and churches in Ohio, NC, SC, MS, and AZ. Our kids have done great as we completed our trip to Ohio and have moved on to NC. Please pray for safe travels and joy on the road as we drive over 3,000 miles in the next few weeks! Thanks and God bless!
As I reflect on this last year spent in Ionia, MI and think about the people that we will be saying good-bye to and we are going through the process of packing up or selling our stuff, I can see with vivid clarity that there are only a few things in life that matter. My fondest memories are the days that I spent playing with my family, meeting our neighbors, and working and joking with the other students. I can see even more clearly how easy it is to live without the “stuff” that daily vies for my attention. I know that we have and will continue to give up a lot of things that we are accustomed to having in order to pursue the calling that God has on our lives. We will be saying good-bye, or see you later, to friends and family only to make new friends as we journey to far off lands.
Then, as I think about the prospect of uprooting our family and all of the rigmarole that will follow, I can’t help but think that this is exactly where we are supposed to be. We are confident that God is calling our family into overseas mission work and we will obey no matter the cost. I know that not every person is called to the same work, but I am confident that God has a calling for everyone. And, the best news about this is that it is never too late to surrender to God and say, “What would you have me do?”
I don’t know if you have been following our adventure or if this is the first time that you have read this blog. Either way, I want to encourage you with the fact that God is not done with you yet. Abraham and Sarah were “as good as dead” (as the NIV puts it) and yet God gave them a son. You may have known that God has a calling for you, yet you have put it off and put it off until just the “right time.” My friend, that time is now! Forget everything that lies behind and press on toward the calling that lies ahead!!!
Thank you for journeying with us so far. We are blessed to have so many friends to come along with us. We are packing up our apartment and will be on the road this coming Sunday. We will keep blogging and keeping you posted on where we are going and what God is doing!
Please pray for safe travels, God to speak through us and encourage people as we talk to churches and individuals about what God has called us to do, and for refreshment as we have finished school and will begin a very busy Fall as we try out with JAARS in October!