Monthly Archives: March 2013

Moments That Take Our Breath Away…

Phil and I have been praying, really praying that we would be able to reach our neighbors for Christ.  We are blessed to live in a cul-de-sac where everyone has kids.  Every afternoon around four pm our little circle of Wingfield is all abuzz with kiddos: sidewalk chalk, softballs, tricycles, and powerwheels.  It’s the best.  Just the other day we brought some cookies from our house over to our neighbors from Pakistan: Hassan (about 6) and Ajuwa (about 4).  No sooner did the neighbor to our left bring over a cookie from her house for Adelina.  More and more our lives are becoming enmeshed and it is really cool. 

 
Haasan and Ajuwa are raised in a Muslim home.  Their mom wears a head covering and is very kind and polite.  I’ve been chatting with her every chance I get and two days ago I was amazed at the beauty of a moment given to me by God.  I was outside with Adelina getting ready to push the stroller to the park for a picnic supper with Phil and the kids.  She was standing there looking somewhat out of place in our little suburb when we started making conversation.  She kept looking at my belly which grows ever rounder by the day and asked how the baby was doing.  I smiled and gushed.  She paused and pursed her lips.  After a long silence she said,  “Ajuwa had a twin.”  “I looked over at the dark and captivating little girl playing contentedly with her brother and could hear the heaviness in her mother’s voice.  She went on to tell me the tragedy of how this family lost a daughter and how Ajuwa still asks for her twin.  Throughout the story and with a distinguished accent she said, “It is hard for a mother, you know, to lose a child.”    
 
I do know.  I watched my own sweet mother bury her firstborn.  But when someone is grieving, no one else’s grief offers any real consolation.  I listened and prayed thanking God for this moment of tenderness and transparency.  Perhaps one day, I will have the courage to tell her about how Jesus carried me through my own grief and the wisdom to know how to share God’s love in a way that is neither contrived nor hollow.  But it starts with a moment and this moment was a beautiful start.  
 
Please keep us in your prayers as we wait.  We wait on the Lord for that happy journey to Idaho in January where we will be assigned a country in which to serve.  We wait for the birth of our second son.  We wait on God’s provision which seems to come these days as manna, just enough for that day, but surely it is there.  He is there.  We wait for more moments in which we hope to shine the light of Jesus which colors our daily life more magnificently than words can compose.   
 
Be blessed in Him!
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He Bends Down…

I love the Lord because he hears my voice and my prayer for mercy. Because he bends down to listen I will pray as long as I have breath!

Psalm 116:1,2 NLT

Jess and I have been digging into the Word and it has helped that we are finding our groove back here in Sparks. (It also helps that the kids are sometimes sleeping in until 7:00!!!) I came across this psalm a few days ago and I was struck by the first two verses. In particular, I love the part that says “he bends down to listen.” How amazing that God bends down to hear my prayer. He leans in and takes in every Word! He hears my voice, He listens to what I have to say!!!

I love how personal God is to those who trust in Him. He never wants to be the “other up there.” He wants us to be HIS people and He wants to be OUR God. I am so thankful that God is MY God, and I am thankful that He answers prayers. Here are a few of the ways that He is answering our prayers…

1) I got a job as a flight instructor and also as a care-giver to the elderly. (I know that you know this but it is still an answer to prayer, so I say HALLELUJAH!!!) I am also waiting to hear back from Trader Joe’s after having an interview last Friday!

2) God continues to provide for our family as I have been out of work. A good friend of ours, who wouldn’t want to be named, did our taxes and we are going to get a helpful return from last year.

3) We continue to have great conversations with our neighbors and we are working on inviting them to church for Easter!!!

We are so grateful that God bends down to listen to ours and your prayers! Thank you for continuing to stay in touch with us and follow us on this journey! You are a blessing to us!

The blessing of a park near our house!!!
The blessing of a park near our house!!!
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A new tricycle from the Steward’s
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Perfect end to a day!
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Fun with Grandma
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A wonderful Mommy, a loving sister, and a sweet boy!

It’s A Start…

Jeremiah doing his best Ray Charles Impression
Jeremiah doing his best Ray Charles Impression

I got a job! I spent last week applying for various jobs all over the Reno/Sparks area. I applied at Trader Joe’s, In-N-Out, Home Instead (a home care group for elderly), Whole Foods, AT&T, Dassault Aviation, and a number of other places. I had a friend try to set me up with a job at a door shop. I applied to be a flight attendant with US Air, based out of Phoenix AZ, a pilot/mechanic with Dynamic Aviation out of California, and a mechanic with Allegiant Airlines in Las Vegas or Phoenix. I was doing my best to look at every possible avenue.

On Friday, I decided to stop by Reno Flying Service to drop off my resume. I was hoping to fly for the Air Ambulance service (even though they require a minimum of 2,500 hours and I have roughly 700). I sat down with the chief pilot and he said that I wouldn’t be able to fly for the Air Ambulance service, though I could flight instruct if I wanted. I would have to find my own students but I could have the job if I felt so inclined. I did. YAHOO!!! That was easy…sort of. Now for the hard part! I need to find some students!

I already have one student who contacted me back in December. The chief pilot knows of a few people who are interested in flying but I am going to need to recruit a few more in order to fill up my week. Jessica has already hopped on board and she is working to develop a brochure for me to hand out and looking into advertisement options. She even created a Facebook page! (“Who can find a virtuous and capable wife? She is more precious than rubies.” – Proverbs 31:10)

So, while I would love to work as a flight instructor full-time, I may have to work another job in order to make things work out for us. I hope to have an interview with Trader Joe’s later this week or early next week, and I am still (perhaps naively) hoping that things will work out with the aircraft maintenance job in Stead. Who knows? Maybe God had that job on hold so that I would get a job as a flight instructor as well!!!

So, we are doing our part and God is faithful, ever so faithful. It is certainly another example of his grace, the unmerited favor that He freely pours down on us. We are grateful and it is a blessing to have our faith stretched and grown.

On the home front, we are getting settled back into our house. I feel like a ‘real man’ because I have fixed a running toilet, replaced our garbage disposal, and figured out how to hook up our gas dryer. (My A & P training came in handy as I used teflon tape to help seal the gas pipe!) We were able to hang out with our neighbors last Sunday. Our neighbors directly to our right are muslims from Pakistan. We had heard that they were anti-social, but Jessica saw their son playing outside and she took our kids over to make some friends. (Just in case you didn’t know, children are the best “in” for any relationship/evangelism!) Jessica met the wife, her sister, and her mother and they had a good time visiting. The women were making an Indian dish called Biryani and they brought some over to us when it was finished. (Yes, it was delicious) I was able to talk with the husband when we invited their kids over to see Adelina’s “alligator” (which is really a bearded dragon named Tobok). We are excited to get to know them and hopefully have some conversations about Jesus.

We also got to see all of our other neighbors (whom we knew from when we lived in our house 2 years ago). It is great that we already have relationship with them and we can build on it. All of their children love to come over to our place to pet Tobok and watch him eat. They also like to play with Adelina’s toys! It is awesome how God has given us influence with our neighbors and we can’t wait to use it for His glory!

We are excited about MAF candidacy and the adventure that awaits, but we can’t wait to make the most of the present opportunities. The future and MAF will come. Right now is the time to invest in the lives that live next door and be faithful and fruitful here on Allegrini Court. Thank you so much for all of your prayers and we look forward to letting you know more about our neighbors!

Tobok, The Bearded Dragon
Tobok, The Bearded Dragon
Bed Time
Bed Time
Grandpa Ray came to visit
Grandpa Ray came to visit
Fun with Mirte Iubelt!
Fun with Mirte Iubelt!
Because boxes are FUN!!!
Because boxes are FUN!!!

 

When Faith Comes In…

It is true when people say that it is easy to have faith when everything is going well. But it is when things go south that we find where our faith really rests.

So, I heard from the gentleman up at the Stead airport and he informed me that they are not looking to hire anyone for a couple more weeks. Bummer! We really need a job and I was very hopeful that this job would work out. I would get to make money while gaining valuable experience! Why wouldn’t God open this door? I don’t know. I can’t say. All I do know is that God has a plan and He is leading us to the perfect place.

As I survey our situation and want to just act and do whatever it takes to get a job, I realize once again that it is in quietness and rest where I will find God. I must not trouble myself about a job, because God knows that I need a job and He is the Provider! This is easier written than done and it is a struggle, but I keep coming back to Scripture and the character of God and it brings me peace.

So, this is where faith comes in. The rubber is making full contact with the road. Do I trust God? Do I trust that He is good? YES! Yes, I believe that God is good, He is in control, and He will work all things out for good! Hallelujah! Will you join with us in worshiping God in preparation for His provision?!?!