Tuesday, September 15, 2009

A Great Big "Thank You!"

I have the best supporters ever! They are a wonderful group of people who really, truly love us and are committed to praying for us and supporting us financially, spiritually and emotionally. I have so many wonderful testimonies of how they have given to us sacrificially and have been so faithful. God has truly brought a wonderful team of people around us, and I am so grateful! Thank you, Jesus!!

I wish I could take everyone to Mexico with us to take part in what is happening there. It has been my extreme pleasure to be able to take a few friends and loved ones with me, and to see how God has transformed their lives as a result! I know I often post pictures and stories, but I thought I would also post just a little peek into what has been happening over the past 9 months...I hope it blesses you and helps to see where your support is going!

Short Term Outreach Department
“Mexico Adventures”

2009 in review

- 21 outreaches trips completed to, Baja California, Mexico.
4 more trips scheduled before the end of the year – including one to Morelia – for a total of 25 outreaches in 2009.

- 549 participants – some serving at Foundation For His Ministry (“Orphanage”) and some building houses for needy families – working in conjunction with International Disciple Training (“IDT”) a local ministry.

- Participants represented 29 different churches; and came from 6 states, two Canadian provinces and 4 countries.

- 8 weeks of ministry were cancelled by church groups because of worry and concern over the “swine flu” and drug cartel related violence. 5 weeks of ministry carried on despite a significantly reduced number of participants.

What we did:

- built 22 houses and provided much needed help at the Orphanage.

- served over 6,700 meals to the Oaxacan farm laborers

- distributed over 500 bags of staple food items to needy families

- gave out hundreds of pairs of shoes, clothing, baby items, diapers, etc.

Personal ministry:
- sick or injured taken to clinic or hospital
- financial assistance given for housing or legal needs
- prayer for healing
- preaching at a local church
- evangelism (7 people received Christ)
- helping families with legal needs: birth certificates, land title

Isn't it amazing how God can increase our vision?! I will miss our Mexico ministry very much, but I know that God has wonderful plans for us in Australia...just read Jeremiah 29:11! Isn't He incredible?

Together We've Accomplished A Lot!

We will have our last trip to Mexico in October, and it is already feeling bittersweet. Emotion comes on suddenly and unexpectedly when I think about it, but I continue to trust in the Lord and His plans for us! We are fortunate that we will be able to drive down a big truckload of medical supplies, so we will be able to stop and visit with some friends along the way – what a blessing!

Over the summer we continued with trips down to Mexico and every trip proved itself to be amazing and fruitful. Every team we take invigorates me with enthusiasm for the work God is doing. On our last trip, I was so privileged to see Sierra walking out her gifting and passion as she worked with the special needs kids in the day home at the Orphanage. There is one little boy, Martin, who has been coming to the day home program for about 2 years. Martin has autism is doesn’t interact with anyone there. Sierra had been working with him all week, and on our last day there as she left, she waved goodbye to him. Suddenly, he blew her a kiss and said “bye-bye Sara!!” The staff couldn’t believe it! They called her back to do it again, and sure enough, he blew another kiss and spoke to her. They said he had not responded or interacted with anyone previously, and this was a huge, momentous event! Sierra was so excited, and I was so proud. What a blessing to watch your children grow in the Lord!

Our time at YWAM Chico is coming to a close quickly! We will leave Chico on Oct. 31 and head to Santa Rosa in order to spend time with friends and family there before leaving for Australia. I’ve been painting the walls (returning them to beige) and packing and trying to get rid of stuff. It’s amazing how much *stuff* accumulates so quickly! I have felt overwhelmed off and on, just with the sheer volume of all that needs to be done to make an international move, in addition to trying to keep Sierra’s world as stable as possible and trying to determine the best way to get things done, logistics, finances, keeping relationships current – there are moments when I just want someone who will shoulder the burden with me, who will process through the decisions with me, and will be a partner in everything that needs to get done. In these times I remember that it is God who is my husband, and Sierra’s heavenly father, and the head of this household, and it is in Him that I can trust and on Him that I can lean. What a blessed assurance that is!

With all of our travels to Mexico, we have earned a free flight on Southwest Airlines to anywhere in the USA, but it has to be used before January 2010. We have made some wonderful friends through our Mexico trips, so we will be going to visit them on the East Coast at the end of September for a week. I am really excited to get a chance to catch up with our dear friends before we leave! When we return from that trip, we will be in Chico a few days before leaving for our last trip to Mexico. Then, after we return from Mexico, we will have just 11 days before leaving to go home to Santa Rosa. What a whirlwind it is turning into!

What's Happening About Australia?

Well, it’s been a few months since we first *officially* announced our move to Perth, Australia. So much has happened since then, I thought I’d send out an update of what is going on now!

First of all, the exciting news is that we have our flights and an official date! We will leave from San Francisco on November 23, 2009. This will allow us to celebrate an early holiday with our family before embarking upon our next big adventure. We found a great deal for our flights on Virgin Australia, which promises that we will “travel like rock stars”. Now, I don’t know what THAT means, but it sure sounds fun! I hope rock stars sleep on overnight flights…

Since our last newsletter, we’ve been so happy to hear from many friends and family who are praying for us and excited to see what God is doing! We’ve been blessed to have raised over $3,000 so far. I think that after selling everything, we will hopefully be able to bring in another $3,000 or so. That leaves about $4,000 that we are still trusting the Lord for. However, He is faithful to His promises and we continue to live by faith that He will supply our needs!


One thing I know about myself is that I am a person who loves to laugh. I see the irony in life all around me , and it never ceases to give me great joy. It is a blessing to be joyful and full of laughter and life. However, God has been speaking to ma about another aspect of my personality that is not as well developed – that being the state of meditating on the greatness of God and who He is. I realize that I’ve been too casual in my relationship with God. It is true that God is our friend and that He gives us joy through His Holy Spirit – joy is, in fact, a fruit of the Spirit. It is also true that God is awesome, awe inspiring, breathtaking, monumental and incredible. How easily we can use these words in everyday speech and belittle the immensity of their meaning. God is taking me on a journey of learning to hold both these truths in my hands – the truth of His Spirit taking great delight in the childlike joy and frivolity of pleasure while also stepping back to consider His magnitude and to fall to my knees with reverence and awe, fear and respect for His wonderful essence. I am learning that it is in these two truths that we recognize the depths of God’s character and His tremendous love for us. As I consider this and learn to walk it out, I also recognize the power of our own words. This is another area in which God has been teaching me and which I have been immersed.

Our words have the power of life and death in them…listen to that – the power of life and death – and this truth is one God really focuses on in scripture – there are literally hundreds of verses and teachings about our words, our mouths, our tongues. God used His words to bring for the heavens and the earth. Jesus used His words to curse the fig tree and cause it to wither. Likewise, He has given His Sprit unto us, and has given our words that same power. Thus, when I consider how I talk about God, or even to Him, I must confess that my speech does not capture who He is, nor can it. My words can be too casual, too familiar, and incapable of capturing the facets of Him. Likewise, this is true of other relationship and even how I speak of myself. God is fanning a flame within me that wants to bring back the understanding, the respect, the awe of who God is and share it with a generation that has forgotten what “awesome” really is, to understand the depths of God’s character, and the power of our own words. What a wonderful journey with God this continues to be! I fall short every day, but thankfully His mercies are new every morning!