Friday, October 25, 2013

The 'Last' Fall

This will probably sound silly, but it just occured to me today that this will be our last autumn in Oregon for at least 4 years. You would think that with planning to leave for the missions field for the last several years that would have been an obvious conclusion that I would have already come to. But alas, it's just donned on me. I was in the car alone today, driving through some back country roads when it struck me. The beauty of the country here in NW Oregon captures my attention every year, but today I realized it would be the last time I'll see it for awhile. This was also shortly after we spent the afternoon at the local pumpkin patch, just a mile down the road from where we live. We've gone there every year for the last five, and it's our favorite. I didn't even think about it while we there, but that's the last time we'll go there for quite awhile, too. I have pictures of my kids doing the same silly activities every year; they're just a little bigger each time. Today's pictures will be the last of those for some time.....

That feels pretty weird. There's a little twinge of fear and some sadness mixed in that pops up when I think about it. We are all so excited to head to Indonesia, and we're truly feeling prepared to go more and more each day. But, then also, we're a little nervous. This makes me realize that leaving will also be hard, and that it will be a sacrifice. It makes me contemplate things a little differently when I think of making Thanksgiving and Christmas plans this year; birthdays and holidays will take on a new significance this next year I think. It will be the kids' last statestide birthdays this next spring, last Independence Day, last Camp Tilikum, etc...

The bottom line is however, that the United States is not our home. We are in this world, but not of this world, and our citizenship lies in Heaven. We've been called and will rely on Him to be our joy and our strength; and knowing Him, He'll have a whole new list of holiday and birthday traditions waiting for us in SE Asia. If we look at it from that perspective, it gets exciting again. The kids and I "happened" to read about Abraham today, being called to a land faraway that he didn't even know existed. He didn't have Google Earth or books at the library to glean information from. And yet, he was faithful and very blessed. We tend to think of ourselves that way, too, except we also have Skype and airplanes!

...scared, probably ignorant of what's to come, and doubtful at times, but trusting and dependent on a Good and Mighty Savior...

Here's to the holy adventure!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Loving Others for Jesus

Click on the picture to read an article we wrote about how MCNW has impacted our journey
Do you ever feel like you want to be more involved, or get your family more involved in loving others for Jesus but just don't know where to start? Sometimes it seems like it should be easy to find ways to serve, but's not. Maybe it just feels like it takes too much research, or you just don't know what opportunities are out there. It is easy to get involved, whether you never leave your town, or you travel far away. It's also easy to get your kids, your family, involved. You just have to GET CONNECTED to the right people!

Mission Connexion NW is an annual event in the Portland area that attracts thousands of people from all over to attend plenary speaking sessions by some top-notch missionaries and teachers, participate in a few of over 100 workshops dealing with every area of Christianity and Missions one could think of, and peruse dozens and dozens of booths by missions and service agencies from the Portland area and far beyond. We (including our children) have enjoyed it immensely over the last several years and count ourselves blessed to live in an area where something like this happens. It is one the best ways to let others lead you into what the best ways to serve are in your community....babies, homeless, teens, Muslims, college students, adoption...-you name it, there is someone there to help you get involved! You can come for part or all, and IT'S FREE!

We recently spoke for a few minutes at a pastors' luncheon in Salem, OR encouraging them to encourage their church bodies to visit MCNW this next January, and have also written a little blurb about it in this month's MCNW newsletter. There is MUCH going on in the worldwide Christian missions/church community and MCNW is definitely in the mix! Check it out in the other features of the newsletter.

God has a way just for you to be blessed by allowing Him to use you to love others!