Friday, September 17, 2010

Last bit of summer...

Seeing as I have little to no time for posting these days, here's a link to my latest facebook photos of our last bit of summer. We were able to get away for some Esau family camping at the end of August and although it was very rainy & extremely "interesting" to camp with a 1 year old, we had a great time.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

One week in...

We survived our first week of missions training and although we came out of the week feeling utterly exhausted, it was a good kind of exhausted. We absolutely love the people that are in our class and really enjoyed getting to know our classmates a little more each day. Most of our sessions this week were on Spiritual Authority with Randy Friesen. It was a pretty intense subject to start with, but SO good. Very informative and challenging and necessary. Spiritual warfare is something that a lot of people try to avoid or even run from, but it was important to realize the authority we have in Christ and that we are to stand firm in our faith.

As for Callie, she'll be spending Tuesdays with Grammy Glen, and then Mondays & Wed-Fri. will be with her new babysitter, Julie. Julie and her husband live in Abby and have graciously offered to watch Callie in their home, along with their 3 beautiful children. Callie is extremely social (I think its pretty obvious who she gets that from) so I wasn't too worried that she would have a hard time adjusting to full time childcare, but she did even better than I had imagined. Julie said she napped well, ate well & played well with the kids. And the real confirmation came when we arrived to pick her up after her first day. She looked up when we walked in, gave us a huge grin and a bit of a squeal and then went right back to playing. She didn't even want to leave. I take that as a very good sign and it was great for my ease of heart & mind.

So.... after a long weekend and LOTS of reading for upcoming projects, we're gearing up for another week. Excited to see what God has in store for us this week. Really trusting that He has amazing things in store for us this fall. Last week was true evidence of that.
That's it for now. Just thought I'd give you a brief update on how things are going. If you're wondering about prayer items, we could really use your prayers in the area of 'renters.' Still looking for the right people to rent out our townhouse and we NEED them for no later than October 1st, so please pray! Also prayer that we would have sponge-like hearts & minds as we take in classes each day & that we'd learn as much as possible over these next months of training. And last but definitely not least, prayer for rest & sanity in amongst the chaos! :)

Monday, September 06, 2010

The here and now...

By this point, I'm sure most of you have given up on me and this blog ever being updated. But for those that are still checking in, I finally have a few minutes to give you a run-down of our lives. Keep in mind, this is the extremely shortened version (scary, I know). If you want to hear all the details, give me a call some time. I love to share about God's goodness in our lives. :)

I'll get right to the point. Basically, our upcoming missions training (which starts tomorrow!!) and the prep needed for that, has virtually taken over our lives as of late. We found out at the end of July, that our salary during training wouldn't be enough for us to stay in our townhouse and had to quickly start the process of trying to get renters. Thankfully, we were offered the ground level suite of a house through some people at our church, so we knew we had somewhere to live, but our townhouse strata doesn't allow rentals and we knew it would be a hassle to get permission.

Turns out, it was.

First we had to write a formal letter, explaining our situation and requesting permission to rent out our house. Then after several trips to the council president's house, gently hounding them to please hurry up as we didn't have a lot of time, we ended up getting a letter stating that we would have to provide documents proving our "financial hardship." So... I had to put together our monthly costs break-down, with a signed letter from MBMSI stating our monthly salary amount, and we sent everything into our strata.

And then we waited. And waited. And WAITED.

Finally, after weeks of waiting and being left with little to no time to find renters, we got the official approval to rent out our place. We had a couple of people through to look at it, but no bites.

Thus, Sept. 1 came and went, and because we had to move into our new place before the start of training, and for the sake of the people we're renting from (as they had left it vacant, waiting for us for 2 months), it meant having the burden of not only rent payment but also our mortgage and all other utilities on top of that. At first, this was terribly stressful and we weren't sure how it was going to work. But God is GOOD and ALWAYS provides. We were able to pay the bills (through a series of small miracles), move into our new place (we spent this last Friday & Saturday moving) and didn't have to be rushed by renters who were needing to move in.

So that brings us to yesterday. We still had some significant details that needed to be taken care of before the start of training (ie: childcare for Callie this fall, cleaning our townhouse, & finding renters... just to name a few).

Well.... not only did God provide us with a wonderful lady to watch Callie this fall (just in the nick of time!), but he also provided us with ridiculously generous friends who called last night to say that they're paying professional cleaners to come and clean our townhouse for us, so that we don't have to!!!! How amazing is that!?!?! So rather than spending another day away from Callie, and having to clean til we're blue in the face, I get to be at home with my sweet girl today, unpacking and getting ready for the start of classes tomorrow. Jon went to our old place to do a bit of touch-up work and to have the carpets cleaned, but other than that, we don't have to do the rest. And that, my friends, is one of the most incredible gifts imaginable right now.

So... THANK-YOU TO OUR DEAR, DEAR FRIENDS FOR YOUR INCREDIBLE GENEROSITY! You know who you are and we cannot thank you enough.

All that to say, classes with MBMSI start tomorrow and though we've had virtually no time to even think about it, let alone prepare for it, we're excited and very ready to start this next phase of the journey.

That brings me to another big item---- We also found out in late July, that our time frame is going to look a lot different with this whole missions process. We originally thought (and had planned to) commit 10+ years with MBMSI, right off the bat. Turns out, we're going to start out with their "Jornada" program, which means we'll be doing a 3 year term, and then evaluating to see if we want to/feel called to/MBMSI wants us to, continue on. Rather than do the 4 months of training, 1 month trip to our country, and then 2 month internship & fundraising (the 10+year commitment version), now we'll only be doing 4 months of training, then fundraising, and then we're gone (Jornada version)!

So instead of being here in Chilliwack for another year and a half or so, we'll be here for approx. 6 more months and then we'll mobilize to our country. Shocking? Yes. It was to us, at first. But we're seeing that there is value in this and it will give us a chance to get a bit more experience under our belts before we commit really long-term. The other difference to our plans, is that rather than start a new team of people and then mobilize to our country, we'll be going by ourselves and joining an existing team and learning/helping them for the next few years.

All in all, it was a bit tough to swallow at first (especially because it was never presented to us before hand) but we're honestly feeling totally at peace about it and trusting that God is going to teach us incredible things over the next 3 years. We're excited to see where He's going to take us (not only globally, but emotionally, spiritually & physically too), the situations/adventures we're going to encounter, and the lives we're going to be touched by, and hopefully, in return, touch as well.

So, its going to be a crazy few months, with full-time classes & trying to fit in as much time with friends & family as possible, before we leave. But we feel confident its going to be good. I can't promise that I will be able to blog often, but I'll definitely try to keep you in the loop with where things are at. And to show you pictures of our sweet-ever-growing-mischievous-1-year-old-girl.

Thanks for all of your support!