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Monday, 21 June 2010

Keeping track of the days...

Have you ever noticed how busy you are and how you wish you kept up with everything you do on a daily basis so that when you are really tired and you wonder why you could look back at the list and say - oh yeah!! that's why!!

Since I last wrote, Alan and I have had our days absolutely chopped full. Last Tuesday and Wednesday we had a series of tests at the hospital to try to figure out why we can't seem to have children - FUN :Z. Thursday we drove with our pastor to Bawtry in Yorkshire for a final interview with Pioneers. The meeting went well and we were happy to be asked to come on board with Pioneers full-time serving in Germany starting in January of 2011. Now the fun part begins with fund raising and support gathering. Alan and I are both learning to trust God fully to meet all our needs. I guess in some ways I'm a bit further along in the trust department because I remember how God miraculously provided for me while I was with Teen Missions but Alans never been dependent on anyone other than his parents and so he is understandably a bit more apprehensive.

In any case, we are prepared to go and we're excited to go. We know there is a ton of work God is calling us to do and hopefully others will want to be a part of our team as we reach out to German nationals, University of Heidelberg students and US Army Base soldiers and their families. In addition to this we hope to work very closely with the local church God led us to on our Easter trip to Germany, with their youth group, deaf and homeless ministries as well as eventually lead a small group out of our home. Other thoughts we've had are to open a missions training house where christians can come to be encouraged, discipled and eventually trained for outreach and evangelism locally and also around the globe. We've also talked about a charity, cake & coffee shop to use for outreach into the community. Growing our team in Germany will be a focus too as we hope to host Pioneers Edge Summer teams and other individuals looking to serve God in Germany like us.

After returning from Bawtry, Friday's focus went to selling my car and listing our house for sale. In fact I spent the majority of the day cleaning the house so that estate agents could come to evaluate it and the rest of my day cleaning out the car to sell it. I didn't want to sell my car but with us moving to Germany and with the cost of running it being so expensive both Alan and I decided one car would suffice for us both. My driving of manual cars has improved although I've not yet psyched myself up for the driving test. Maybe after Georgia :). In the end I did sell my car for the asking price so I was happy.

On Saturday Alan and I worked at the church for several hours clearing out the back garden to make way for new landscaping and a barbeque area for the church. I love gardening :) I think I got it from my dad. After that Alan really wanted to go sailing so I went with him and took webster and we took pictures from the shore and then walked the about 4 miles back home while Alan sailed.

Sunday was a good prayer meeting at church followed by the church service. Iain spoke on the Walls of Jerusalem and on Nehemiah getting the whole town to chip in to make it happen. He likened it to our work at Hillside and how if each person just did a little bit we could make it happen which was exactly what Alan and I were saying to eachother the day before. After church we tidied up a bit before going sailing together. It was the first time the Mary Belle had been out to sea (rather just staying in the bay) and we just had a blast sailing her. She handled really well and Alan is a great sailor. He'll be sad when he sells the boat to help raise funds for Germany but it's good he's gettin this time now to sail her after the amount of work he put into the boat to make her sea-worthy.

Today I had to run around like a crazy woman to get the house cleaned so the estate agent could come and take pictures for our brochure and board. I also had to check-in for my flight, pack, mail the stuff sold on ebay and run errands (literally as I have no car now! :)). Tonight we have a leadership meeting at the church and then I'll finish packing and we'll try to get to bed early as we need to leave for the airport no later than 7am for Alan to make it to work on time.

If you're reading this and you're in prayer this week... please pray for us. Pray specifically that we won't miss each other too much while I'm in Georgia and while Alan stays here in England. Pray that we'll begin to raise funds for our mission to Germany and that I'll be able to sort out and sell lots of my stuff stored in the attic at home. Pray that God will watch over us as we spend the last few months here in England and that we'll keep focused on our end goal. Pray that if God is willing for us to have children that He'll give the doctors wisdom as to what could be wrong and that we'll be blessed with a child (or two!). Finally pray that the love between us will continue to grow and that we'll cling closer and closer to Jesus and to eachother as we step out in faith to serve Him. We're so thankful for each of you and for all the prayers you've prayed for us already. :)

Monday, 14 June 2010

Last minute trip to Georgia planned

Well last week Alan and I decided it would be a good idea for me to try to get to Georgia to see my family and to begin generating prayer and financial support for our mission to Germany. Also I'll be going through my attic and doing another major clear-out to raise funds to pay for our plane tickets home for Thanksgiving and Christmas. My plan was to go in July or August but the plane tickets jumped several hundred quid between June and July so I made a last minute decision to go this month.

Given that this week has suddenly turned nuts - sooooo much to do! First priority is our interview with Pioneers on Thursday in Bawtry. Then we're listing our house for sale and are also selling my Clio and about a dozen things on ebay to raise some funds. Doctors appointments to try and figure out why we haven't been able to have children yet and driving lessos. In addition to that we have the regular youth on Wednesday and Friday and Housegroup on Thursday.

Next week it's Georgia, time with the family, my precious nieces and sell, sell, sell! Looking forward to seeing great friends and enjoying the time away but I will miss my husband and sweet dog Webster to bits. God is starting to carve our path to Germany and we couldn't be more excited!

Monday, 7 June 2010

Watching God move in the lives of Teenagers

Sorry it's been a while again since I've posted but I've found being out of work has left me more consumed with things to do than ever before. Currently what consumes my time the most is work with my church which is fantastic because it's what I want to do for the rest of my life. Working for God has got to be the coolest job ever because it really doesn't feel like work and it brings so much joy and such a feeling of purpose and accomplishment. Nothing I ever received at Microsoft or Expedia or any other job even came close to what I feel as a full-time missionary.

Even though we haven't had our final interviews with Pioneers and received our appointment letter for Germany both Alan and I feel like I'm already in full-time christian service. I have been blessed to join up as a leader in our youth group and am also serving one day a week for a charity out of our church called the Ministry of Food. What I've enjoyed doing the most for them is building a database of manufacturers who could provide excess or unwanted food and charities who would want to come and get it. It's been nearly ten years since I was a database developer at LaserDirect and I just love working with data. Strange I know but I do love it! Probably because of the organization it creates and you all know how I love to be organized! lol

The other day I was cleaning out my house, throwing stuff away, finding stuff to sell on ebay to supplement our finances and I thought - wow I really love doing this kind of thing lol. I'm sure God thought it was funny to stick someone who absolutely loves being organized with a husband who really couldn't be bothered to organize anything if his life depended on it! I reference his car, boat and wardrobe as evidence to this claim lol. Alan is a fix-it man and fortunately for him today I made a list of fix-it tasks around the house that need to be done before we move to Germany. It's two pages, single-spaced. Haha he laughed when he saw it. I'm not sure how to take that exactly!! :)

Tonight we had a leadership meeting at the church where we talked primarily about the youth group and everything Hannah and I have been working on and planning for the next few months ahead. I absolutely love watching God move in the lives of teenagers. Just in the last few days I've had half a dozen of the teens we're working with ask me to get them bibles. One girl that I like a lot who is very shy asked Jesus into her heart on Sunday and I look forward to taking her through an aalpha course so she can fully understand the implications of her decision and also help disciple her for a few months before we go. God has been so faithful to continue to put people in my path that I can work with, minister to and challenge. About a month ago I started a scripture memory challenge with our Wednesday night Influence group and the teens have really taken to it. They moan and groan a bit when I stop them on the street and make them quote the verses but as long as scripture gets engrained in their heads I can put up with the moaning :)).

Whether here in the UK or in Germany I know Alans and my missions focus will be on teenagers - evangelizing to them, discipling them, training them up in all areas of their lives and getting them onto the missions field. There's nothing better in all the world than seeing young people on fire for God and spreading that fire to their friends, their families and their schools. The great thing about the 15-23 age is most haven't become callous,hard or hurt yet, they all love a good challenge and they are dreamers. They believe they can do anything and with someone believing in them and loving them I honestly believe they can too.

Desperate for love, desperate for attention and desperate for Jesus - what better mission field could there be?!?