Sunday, November 28, 2010

Keep your Hands & Feet inside the Roller Coaster at all times!

Thank you again to everyone who supported us and were present at Haven tonight for our send off. It is not easy to say goodbye to everyone and we feel bad that we were not able to give everyone all the time that they deserve. But, we could also feel the love and support of everyone that laid their hands on us and prayed over us. This is just the beginning of what I am sure will be a truly emotional "roller coaster" week. We are truly blessed to know each and every one of you all! It is our prayer that God will bless you in all that you do here at home in the States. And we pray that you will all be blessed through our mission. We could never do this without you!

Oh yeah, the picture above was taken after the middle school youth group spent an evening going around the neighborhood collecting pop cans to help us in our mission. We were surprised and speechless by this act from our friends at Haven! Thanks everyone that was involved with this! We hope to update you with the total raised from this as soon as we have it.

As the last song at Haven was sung...."My friends, may you grow in Grace!"

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

10 Days

My wall around my heart has begun to crumble and I keep crying. I can't believe we will be leaving in 10 days. I am so excited to follow the path God has set before us and I am so honored and humbled that He has chosen our family, but saying good-bye is soooooo hard. I can't write more or I'll cry again...

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thank you and Good-bye

Thank you to those of you who helped out with donating $20 on November 20th, it is nice to have a little extra cash up front as we begin to have more expenses such as plane tickets, health insurance, and travel expenses. Thanks again to those of you who participated in our fundraising dinner at Haven CRC on November 10th. It was amazing to see so many friends who care about us and our mission. We were so overwhelmed by the generosity shown toward our family that we were actually left speechless for a few days. It was a great kind of speechless because we felt God's arms around us through each friend.

I ordered the kids homeschooling supplies and it appears that they will be delivered right about the time we arrive so the timing is perfect (not that we will start the first day as we will all be very tired and need a few days to adjust).

Well... the time is very rapidly approaching for us to say good-bye (or see you later, if you prefer) to all our family and friends here in the states. We will board a plane to Maseru, Lesotho, Africa (Technically it is Chicago, Dulles, Jo-berg, and then Maseru) in 11 days. We have already begun the process of saying good-bye in many ways as Mercy had her last dance class, Eli and Faith finished school and children in worship at church, Bryan went for his last hunting trip with his dad, uncles, and cousins, and this week will be our last Sunday at Haven. There will be a special service as they will be sending us off with a blessing as we begin our mission to Beautiful Gate. The service will be at 6pm and we will have some extra time after the service to say good-bye. Please join us on Sunday!
God Bless You

Sunday, November 14, 2010

$20 on the 20th

My friend created a beautiful postcard as a fundraiser for us and I just tried everything I could to copy and paste it, but was unsuccessful. Basically the postcard was an invitation to everyone who knows us and for all their friends and family to help us offset some of our up front costs such as plane tickets and health insurance, by asking all of you to donate $20 on the 20th of November (or close to that date :) ) We are 60% funded which is fantastic, but much of our funding is coming in monthly donations which will be spread out over the next 5 years so our friends wanted to help us by encouraging people to spread the word to friends, family, neighbors, church members, etc. and allow us to have more money to cover our initial costs. If you could help us out with that, we would be very grateful. We have tried to make it easier by putting in 2 paypal buttons. The first one (located on the right side of this page) is for one time donations which is great for the $20 on the 20th fundraiser and the button under it is for those of you who would like to support us with a monthly gift, but do not want to write and mail in a check each month. It will be automatically deducted for whichever day of the month is most convenient for you and for whatever time frame best suits your budget. Thank you so much for considering this fundraiser and for telling others so they can support us too. We leave in a little less that 3 weeks and appreciate your support as we begin this journey of faith!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

We are in Awe, Shocked & truly Humbled!!

At this time, we cannot find the words to express our gratitude to our Haven CRC family, who came/served the Italian dinner. We were also surprised by the LIME group (Haven's middle school group) with the pop can drive. We don't believe that we have seen that many cans in one room ever! (Picture to come later).
(That's as big a font as I can post)

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Great Weekend!

This was a great weekend for Anita and I! It started on Friday, after work, when we visited with friends in Grand Rapids and had a wonderful meal and great conversation. Then early Saturday morning, I was able to get to church and play board games from 8AM-Midnight. (Since I love to play board games, this was a lot of fun!) Plus, we were able to see soooo many friends and family that are near and dear to us. God has really supplied us with so many perfect people in our lives. Then, Anita and I were able to talk at Gibson CRC (the church I grew up in). What a blessing to go back to where you grew up and still feel loved like you had never left! It was also great to worship our Lord with them and really seeing God show up at the service. I almost began to cry about 4 times during our presentation, but God was able to help me pull it together and show them about Beautiful Gate and the Lord's plans for our lives. It is always exciting to partner with a church. Then, after a few hours of rest, we went back to Grand Rapids and presented our testimony to our friend's Bible study group. What a great bunch of people and fun to see how God works in different people's lives! I can definitely say that there will be a large contingent of saints that will be praying for our mission and Beautiful Gate. We will need that. Lord, continue to bless us in the next 4 weeks!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

1 MONTH!!!!!!!

We leave in exactly one month from today! I'd not be truthful if I didn't admit that Bryan and I are a little freaked out right now! The magnitude of this decision has begun to settle on us and we are a bit overwhelmed. Prayer would be GREAT. We are trusting in God and still know that this is right and in His will, but we are human :)

Monday, November 1, 2010

71% or 57%

While we are still waffling between what our budget should be, we decided to give everyone a little update on how our fundraising is going. If we live on a very tight budget with very little wiggle room (but a lot of trust that God will provide for our needs) we are at 71% with monthly commitments and one time gifts. If we still to our original goal of $250,000 we are at 57%.

We have already purchased our plane tickets and are leaving on December 4th regardless of where we are at in our fundraising because we felt very strongly that God was leading us to just trust Him. He tells us in Matthew not to worry because He provides food for the sparrows and clothes for the lilies and how much more will He provide for His dear children. We feel an amazing amount of peace right now about God's timing. We are also in the process of sending out prayer cards for those of you who are supporting us so you can hang them on your fridge and remember to say a little (or big) prayer for us when you walk by :) If you did not receive a letter from us before but are following our blog please feel free to email us and we can send you a card. So many of you have given so generously to help us with our mission and we are so humbled and grateful for your support. You are being Jesus to the orphans in Lesotho by allowing us to fulfill God's purpose for our family and we are so blessed by your friendship and love.