Thursday, May 31, 2007

Monday, May 28, 2007

God's Blessings

Today was a great day. In the morning our church hosted a breakfast in our honor. Many friends came to meet with us and wish us well. During the service we shared a little about our plans and then the elders prayed over our family.As stated in our last entry, we have been using the long weekend to have a garage sale. Friday, a man came to our sale and as we talked, it came up that we are preparing to become full-time missionaries. He is a pastor at a local church. He invited us to come to his church today saying that he felt God leading him to partner with us and be involved in sending us.

After church was over at Cornerstone, we headed to his church. His message was nearing its conclusion when we arrived, but we were ushered in to a pew near the back and were able to listen to a portion of his passionate message. During that time, he pointed us out and asked his congregation to be praying for us as we follow God's call on our lives.

At the conclusion of the service, we were warmly greeted by many in the congregation. One new friend handed Lisa some money saying that she wanted to be a partner in our ministry as well. As promised, the pastor gave financial backing to help send us. He also showed a sincere desire to receive updates and prayer needs so that they can be involved in our ministry.

It is amazing how God works! I never would have expected a customer at a garage sale on Friday to commit to being a ministry partner, on Sunday. But God is good! He is teaching me that I can rely on Him. He will provide all that we need. Today He showed me a miracle of His love I never would have seen if I was still working in the corporate world.

We left New Beginnings and went to my Mom and Dad’s house where they hosted a farewell party. As usual with my parents’ gatherings, there were a lot of people and a lot of food. It was a lot of fun seeing many of you there.

The kids wore themselves out. They had fun running around with cousins and friends. Everybody had a great time with the backyard soccer game. Cousins Jordan and Josiah made a silly video for the girls wishing them well on our journey. We all enjoyed their on-screen antics. Jordan also recorded greetings from many who had visited Mom’s party.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Garage Sale

It is amazing just how much stuff you can stuff into a home! In preparing for our garage sale, I told Lisa we need to move at least every three years so we will never allow this to happen again. She wasn't ready to sign up for that.

We are praying for the rain to hold off. Of course, while God deeply cares for us, He does have a whole world to take care of and the farmers would appreciate a good, soaking rain. Well, we will just hope it all works out.

Rain or no rain, this will be a busy weekend. Friday, Saturday, and Monday will be busy with garage sale activities. Sunday before service, the church will be having a farewell gathering. Sunday after church Mom has planned a farewell party as well. When she and my brother are involved in planning a get-together, this becomes a large gathering. What a blessing to be honored this way.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

End of Soccer 2007

Last night we concluded our family's 2007 soccer season. Alayna's last game was Monday night. She and her teammates played great and ended the season with a strong victory. Alayna played hard and was able to sneak a shot past the goalie to help her team out. For that age level, it was unbelievable how well they held their positions and passed.

Alexie's team finished up last night. They too, played very well and ended the season with a victory. Everything seemed to come together last night for them: positioning, passes, and hustle. After the game, some of the girls sneaked up behind me to help me cool off with a good dousing. The team also signed a soccer ball and gave it to me after the game.

It has been great getting to know the kids on the teams. Our prayer is that we have been an encouragement to them (and maybe improved their skills in the process). We will especially miss the girls that have played on our teams for a couple years now. - For any of our soccer players that may be reading this, I expect emails on a regular basis! :0)

Well, enjoy the some of the pictures from the games.

Soccer Photos

Soccer Photos

Soccer Photos

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Lisa and I presented Cross-Cultural Orientation training for the Cornerstone Missions Team today. It was a lot of fun. This is experiential training that involves a lot of team building activities and student participation. Stuffy lecture, this is not! It is good training for the team, but just as important for us as we prepare to go.

The girls enjoyed a great day with a friend who took them to garage sales, a museum, and hosted a picnic for them. All this before they were able to run through their woods with a friend who also came to visit. They all had a great time! Annalise was asleep in the van soon after we picked her up.

You may have noticed that the count down skipped a day. We have decided to begin our journey June 3 after church instead of early June 4. As we started working on the route, we realized that we would have a number of days where driving time would need to be 10 hours. This seemed unwise with a van full of girls.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Vacation Begins

Lisa and I went to Chicago this weekend. The missions team from Cornerstone has asked us to present their cross-cultural orientation training for them. So we went to get the latest updates of the training ourselves. Meanwhile, the girls spent time with Grandma and a family friend who is an expert at spoiling them. All reports indicate that a great time was had.

I have begun my vacation. Although it is not likely to be a time of R&R. Monday night we had a soccer game to get ready for. We have been busy getting health insurance applications completed. We were supposed to have a soccer party for both teams we coach tonight, but the storms forced a postponement until Friday night. Saturday, the girls will spend the day with another family friend while we present the training to the missions team.

It isn't all work though. We spent the day at my Mom's on Sunday. Late Sunday night my brother and a friend invited me for a night-time ride along Lake Michigan. The sky was clear and the stars were brilliant! I had a great time.

Monday, May 7, 2007

Are You Going to be Sad?

Today at church, two different people asked me a question I had not considered before, "Are you going to be sad to leave your job?" It caught me off guard - both times. Am I going to be sad? I have basically worked there since I graduated from high school some 19 years ago. Am I going to be sad? It has supplied me with a good income and a good deal of training. It will be a big change in my life. But sad? I hadn't thought about that.

At times I have hated my job and would have done nearly anything to get away from it. But that was never His plan; so there I stayed, praying waiting, and watching. Then there would be a conversation of faith with someone and I was reminded of the mission field all believers are in regardless of where we are.

As we have prepared for this transition, coworkers have asked me if I am looking forward to leaving my job. Over and over I have responded that my excitement is about the new direction that my Lord has placed before us. I generally enjoy my current work - even with its stresses.

Am I going to be sad? I guess I don't have an honest answer yet to that question. I suppose I will miss many of the people and the predictable income. But I am leaving with the expectation of doing what I think God has prepared me to do. I suspect that when things are going well, there will be no sadness. When things are not going so well, there will be much whining (with or without sadness).

Friday, May 4, 2007

Just one month before we start on the Oregon Trail!

Time is racing by. So much to do in so little time. I'll be honest and say there are times when it is all so overwhelming. I have prayed frequently for peace and keep reminding myself God knows everything that needs to come together so we are ready to go. He has lead us to this point and He is faithful.

Yesterday I asked Annalise,"What is a missionary?"
"Somebody who tells people about Jesus."
"Who do you know that is a missionary?"
"We are going to be missionaries!" she answered with excitement. She also mentioned some friends of ours in Nepal.

Yes, we will be missionaries wherever God leads which means for another month we are missionaries on the soccer field, in the grocery store, at Thomas' work...right here at home!

Thursday, May 3, 2007


It has been a while since Lisa last posted. Life has been very busy with soccer games. Alexie and Alayna have both been playing well. Lisa and I have really enjoyed coaching both teams this year. It is so much fun to watch the kids improve individually and pull together as a team.

Currently we are working through the details of insurance. It would be so much easier if all of the different plans had similar details. We hope to get the health insurance decisions made soon.

We are still far from being fully supported, but we continue to trust that God will provide for our needs.

We are all pressing on to the end of our current commitments. Lisa and the girls continue to press on with school. They hope to complete everything by May 18. I have begun the process of training my potential replacement. Next Thursday is my last real workday with my company before taking a few weeks of vacation.

Of course, I use the term vacation loosely. I expect that it will be quite busy with preparations for our departure. Next Friday and Saturday Lisa and I will be in Chicago attending Cross Cultural Orientation training which we will then present to our church's missions team the next weekend.