Wednesday, September 29, 2010

God's promise

Bryan and I have had a lot on our minds, especially having had Ray and Sue from Beautiful Gate visiting this past weekend. It was a time to be challenged, encouraged, warned, prepared, and many more things when they were speaking with us. Ray does not sugar coat anything and expressed that this journey will be life changing, but it won't be easy. We will have high points when we will see God moving and feel His presence like we have NEVER experienced before, but we will also have valleys that will be dark and it will be easy to begin questioning whether we really heard from God and are still following in His will. He told us to keep a journal because it will be our reminder that He has called us and He has shown us clearly that He wants our family to go to Beautiful Gate. Satan will try to discourage us, lie to us, and hurt us, but God will never let go of us.

I decided to read Romans 4:13-25 today. This scripture talks about Abraham and the promise that was granted to him because of his faith. He could have easily given up on God when he was 100 years old (I always smile when it says he was as good as dead, what a description)and his wife was 99 and well past the time of child bearing, but he believed that God would follow through. Verse 21 says, "and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform." Even when experience and common sense told Abraham, there was no way God could come through and give them a child, he had faith like a child that God can and will do everything that He promises to do.

I have not had the luxury of hearing God speak out loud like Abraham did, but God has given us clear signs that He wants us to follow Him. He has used our son, Elijah and He has used a chance encounter on a airplane to tell us to follow Him and trust Him. I know that He would not call us to be missionaries and then leave us hanging. He will come through and He will give us everything we NEED. It won't be an easy road to travel, but we will not travel the road alone.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Let's Go!

Anita and I have decided that we are going to put a lot of trust into God's hands for our future in Lesotho. We have called the travel agency to start looking for airline tickets for the beginning of December. We will post the exact dates when we have the tickets. This is a really big and really scary step for us. We are only have about 60% of our total commitment that is needed for our journey for the 5 years. We are taking a gigantic leap of faith and trusting that God will supply for our needs while we are at Beautiful Gate. He has called us to this, and now we are going to trust that He will bring us through this. We would like to thank all the people that have donated/committed to our mission so far. This has truly been a humbling experience for me. I have always been the type of person that likes to "take care of things myself" and now we are going to let God and family and friends help with the final portion of the fundraising. But, we are also very anxious to get to Beautiful Gate. Buying tickets may not sound like a large step, but it gives us a very real date to be there and will mark a large change in our family's journey. There have been many small signs from God telling us to get the tickets. One of which was reading from the book of Matthew the other day and it was about Jesus calling some of his first disciples. They were simple fishermen, and when Jesus asked them to follow him, they IMMEDIATELY left their fishing job and followed Jesus. Some of them even said good-bye to their father and followed Jesus that day! Sometimes that makes me feel really bad, in that, we had to take so long to follow our calling. But, the Lord's plans will not be deterred! We just need to "Let Go and Let God!"
Bryan

Monday, September 20, 2010

Preparations

We have been extremely busy these past few days installing a new floor in the kitchen and dining room. We are mostly done, but still have to put up the baseboards in the kitchen. Bryan, Randy and his parents did a fantastic job. Now we have to get the house cleaned up and an appraiser will be coming through on Wednesday so we can refinance our house and get it on the market for renters.

Faith has surgery scheduled next Monday to have her adenoids removed and tubes placed in her ears. She has been struggling with her hearing for 2 years off and on, so hopefully this will fix her hearing loss. Please pray that the surgery will go well and that she will have no complications. I am so excited for her to be able to hear well and hope that she will enjoy not having to sit so close to the TV or asking us to repeat ourselves over and over :)

We are still in the process of weeding through our belongings and deciding what to bring and what we should sell or give away. Our garage sale pile in the basement is HUGE and I feel like I still have so much to sort through. It is amazing how many things we accumulate over the years! Some is important and some is just junk. Trying to prioritize the kids "treasures" is interesting. I am amazed by how many toys I thought they would want, but they say give it away, and other toys are super special and I thought we could give them away.

Ray and Sue from Beautiful Gate are coming to Zeeland this weekend. I have a hundred questions and am looking forward to seeing them and talking to them. It will be great to get updated on what is happening there and will help renew our spirits and remind us that all this preparation is for a good goal. I need to end this post and get some work done! :)
Have a Blessed Day,
Anita

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Interview with Mercy

Mercy and I are enjoying a little one on one time while her brother and sister are at school. I thought it would be nice to get a 3 year old's perspective about us moving to Africa. The joys of a 3 year old is that you never know what they might say:)
1. Mercy, do you want to move to Africa? "Yes"
2. Why? "Because I want to pet animals. Are we going to Africa today? I want to pet a giraffe. We don't have an airplane at our house, we need an airplane."
3. Why do we need an airplane? "So we can fly to Africa."
4. Are you excited to meet some new kids? "Yes"
5. Why? "Because I like new kids."

That is as far as we got in our conversation. She was so focused on animals and seeing animals that I lost her attention. With Mercy being 3, I am sure she thinks this is all just a fun vacation that we are planning. She has no idea that by the time we spend 5 years in Lesotho, she will be more African than she is American in her culture and maybe even her language. That it all from Mercy for today!
Anita

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Small miracles are still miracles

Today, Bryan and I were privileged with the opportunity to travel to my old church from my junior high and high school years. We shared our story/ testimony and then were able to show a video our good friend Terp made for us. It was an amazing experience. Any of you who have known me for long, know that public speaking is the last thing I would ever, ever want to do. I HATE it and do not feel that I can do it well. I usually get sick to my stomach hours before hand and shake violently when I am speaking. God did a miracle for me because that did not happen for me at all today. I was only mildly nervous and the nerves were gone as soon as I started to speak. It was amazing. I know I often look for big miracles in life, but to me this was a miracle. God is good!

Being back at Jasper Bible Church was like going home for the holidays and seeing extended family that you have not seen in years (15 years to be exact). I forgot a few names, but not the faces of some great friends. It was wonderful to share our story and hear their excitement for us. I enjoyed sharing how God has worked in our lives for the past 11 years and it was a reminder to me that God is still at work in our lives and will continue working on us until we meet Him in heaven. God has blessed us so much and I am so thankful for all the family, friends, and neighbors He has brought into our lives.
To God be the glory!
Anita

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

To buy, or not to buy. That is the question!

After watching that movie (Faith Like Potatoes, see earlier post) and talking with a friend the other night, I have been debating something very important and very scary for a person who likes to have everything all planned out..... Do we buy our plane tickets for late November/early December now, or do we wait a little longer before purchasing them? This friend challenged me the other night by saying that we need to just "go ahead and buy the tickets. God will supply for your needs. The money will take care of itself." This got me really thinking about my trust in the Lord. While it is easy to say that I trust Him, have I really given Him the COMPLETE control in this situation? Is our self imposed goal of a monetary amount too restrictive? On the other hand, I don't want to get to Lesotho and have to come back early because of lack of funds. (Or is that me not completely trusting that God will take care of us). Or am I just worrying too much. Please pray with us about this decision.

On a lighter note, a close friend just finished a beautiful video for us to use for our presentations to churches and friends about our mission. I will try to post it on our blog at a later time.

Bryan

Monday, September 6, 2010

Faith like Potatoes

We just watched a movie called "Faith like Potatoes." It was a good movie about a farmer in South Africa who becomes a christian and really takes some HUGE leaps of faith. It is based on a true story and I was just amazed by some of his prayers and how quickly they were answered by God. Rain during a drought to put out a fire, life back into a body that had been struck by lightning, and a crop that everyone thought he was foolish to plant. Not all of his prayers were answered the way he hoped, but his trust in God and faith were unbelievable. This man had faith that was compared to a potatoe, but we are told in the bible that we only need faith the size of a mustard seed and we could move mountains. I want that kind of faith for myself and for my family. I want to pray and then expectantly wait for my prayer to be answered. I want to love and trust Him, even when His answer is no or not yet. So, I guess if I have a prayer request right now, it would be that my faith, and that of my family can grow deeper and stronger and we will learn to give complete control to God as we move and get settled at Beautiful Gate.
Anita

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Humbled and Blessed

Today, a friend from church stopped by my house and dropped off a tub of money his son saved for our mission. His son is a college student and over the summer, he saved up his extra money to help us get to Beautiful Gate. As I stood by the door after his father left, I just began to cry. I got the vision of the widow walking up to the offering plate and putting in all she had. College students do not have much. What a beautiful offering from a young man. He could have used his money for so many other things like eating out, entertainment, or college books, but he choose to give it to our family. I am humbled by his generous heart and proud of his parents for raising him to be a young man who cares so much for others and for God's kingdom.

This week's report from AFBGI was a very good report for us too. Our fundraising support has been very slow in coming in, but this week we have hit the mark of being 35% of the way to buying our plane tickets and 25% of our way to being completely funded. God's faithfullness in this tough economy is blowing us away. Thank you friends and family who have sent in your support! Thank you friends and family who cannot afford to send us financial support but have been praying for us. God is hearing all our prayers.
God Bless all of you!
Anita