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Friday, February 10, 2012


          Things have been going well on Chestnut St. I had a my weekend class trip last weekend, and my last class trip is this weekend. Last Sunday we actually got to go climbing outdoors--a nice surprise for the February trips. No such luck this weekend though. Patrick is taking a step or two here and there, but still lacks the confidence to stand alone for any period of time, even though he is capable. Maggie and I, on the other hand, sometimes forget that we aren't capable of standing on our own. There seems to be a constant temptation to start worrying about the future and take matters into our own hands. And a frightening forgetfulness to commit those things to prayer. God is gracious. Pray for us in this.

            I think I've really come to appreciate Oxford. When we moved here I dreaded being in the flat country and farm lands. I had concluded that I was either a city person or a backwoods person. Something in between was hard to grasp. The Spirit is generous to let me be content here.

              Our trip to Michigan was a lot of fun (other than getting rear-ended on the way back--nobody was hurt). Getting to see Tim and Joe is always a treat. Then I got to connect with my good friend from high school, Greg. It had been a couple years, and it was good to catch up with him. We've built a lot of memories together, mostly on mountains, or somewhere roped up and off the ground. Those kinds of bonds aren't easily severed.
Hanging out with Greg
Old Climbing Days
Thank you, Progressive, for picking up the tab.

And this was back in December! (Sorry it's sideways)

Saturday, February 4, 2012


We currently have 9.95% of our support raised to go to Costa Rica. We're getting much closer, and trying to see this as an encouraging fact instead of still having 90% left to raise (just writing this is discouraging).
Patrick and Maggie playing in Michigan Snow

While the reality has set in that Costa Rica is much farther away than we wish, we see how God is using this extended time (well at least it feels extended with our original expectations) to better prepare us.

First, we're constantly having to trust that this is where God has lead us. Being so assured of His leading, we expected the funds to come in quickly for us to be able to leave. This has not been the case, but we still know the youth group is where God wants us to serve. The waiting has exercised our faith muscles. Though it's taking longer than expected, we will not lose heart because if God wants us there, we'll be there!

To echo the growth in trust, we're having to trust God to be the Provider. When we got the go ahead to start raising support, Jonathan and I set ourselves up to slowly decrease our hours at work so we could transition into full time ministry partnership (AKA support raising). We did this hoping to be in CR by August, but it now looks like the end of October is the earliest we can leave. Starting in March, Jonathan and I are only working just over 6 hours a week at our current job. This is scary, but we did this with great confidence that God would provide for us and that this would help us get to Costa Rica sooner. God has provided! At the end of this month we're moving in with some friends and will not have to pay rent or utilities. What a blessing!

Jonathan pulling Patrick on ice
Secondly, God is teaching me humility. I really struggle with being a people pleaser or caring too much about people's opinions of me. What we're doing now with working so little and raising a family, must look crazy or foolish to the majority of people. "How can they survive off of so little? How will they afford food? Isn't it crazy that they are choosing not to work?" When I hear these questions, it is hard not to agree. What we're doing is crazy! However, we know that God says He will take care of us (Matthew 6:25-34). We're stepping out with faith and assurance that He is faithful to His promises. I'm learning to be more confident in what God is asking us to do than to be concerned by the opinions of those who don't have the same assurance. Besides, there are so many out there who think moving a young family to Costa Rica is a foolish thing.

We're learning a whole lot more than what I've mentioned, but I wanted to give you a glance into how God is using this time to prepare us for ministry.