Sunday, June 30, 2013

The Start of Summer Classes

We had safe and uneventful travel and a very busy first week in the Netherlands. Most of our time and energy has been focused on getting our house set up and livable, getting paperwork in order, and meeting the new students as they have arrived. God has blessed many of the transitional details and we are getting past most of the paperwork hurdles associated with an international move.

My first class starts tomorrow morning at 9:00! Please pray for all the new students as they are also transitioning to a new culture and new living arrangements as they begin studying Greek. The students taking summer classes at Tyndale come from Ghana, Belgium, Suriname, Ethiopia, Myanmar (Burma), Albania, Nigeria, Finland, Georgia, Rwanda, Germany, Netherlands, and China. We also have a few students from America who have come to study on the mission field in Tyndale’s rich multi-cultural environment. Please remember us in your prayers during this first week of classes as we also seek to move from the student dorms into our new house.   

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

And They're Off!

At different times during this past year it felt like this day would never come but here it is: we are driving up to NY today and will be flying out of JFK to the Netherlands tomorrow! Unlike last summer where we only taught the summer classes and then returned to the States to continue to raise financial support, this time we are moving to stay and to continue teaching at Tyndale. We are very excited to finally be joining God’s global mission in this capacity and are convinced that by training international Christian leaders at Tyndale we can make a powerful impact on the world! We will share more details of the trip in a later post but for now I just want to share a verse that has become very important to me this past year.

Within a larger section addressing their financial support of his ministry Paul makes this comment to the Philippian Christians: “Not that I seek the gift, but I seek the fruit that abounds to your account” (Phil 4:17). Paul is clearly not teaching that their giving and support somehow earns salvation, but rather that their financial partnership in his ministry means they will share the credit for the fruit and effects of the ministry. Paul does not desire their money but the fruit that will result from the ministry that would be attributed to their sacrificial generosity.

This has been our heart through this past year of support raising. We are not looking for money but for Christians to join us in this ministry in a way that will make the ministry possible and impact the world for Christ. We can’t do it alone! As Christians we are called by God to join him in his mission to the nations through carrying his presence as his representative everywhere we go. By partnering with us in prayer and/or financial support you are extending your influence and impact to the world through us. We function as a global extension of your ministry and, as Paul makes clear, the fruit of the ministry will be directly attributed to your support! As we finally make the move overseas we are so thankful for the prayer and financial support of God’s people that have made and continue to make this ministry possible. Thank you!

Monday, June 17, 2013

See You Soon...

Well, it's time...the suitcases are packed.  My Mom, my sweet, wonderful, gracious Mom (you know the one) her house does not look like we are packed. But we are BECAUSE all suitcases are at 50 lbs and that's that...guess we'll make do without the permanent markers, bath robe and various oddities that were in the "take" pile and are now in the "take not" pile! 

All silliness aside, I have to be quite honest in saying that the whole "see you soon" thing AIN'T no fun. 

You can tell I mean that by the fact I used a word I do not appreciate: ain't. 

So a few of our recent "see you soons"...

We were able to go home to Henderson and see our Carey Church family.  They are having VBS this week and we miss being a part of that adventure.  It's always a joy to go and see the faces of friends, Sunday school teachers, pastor, secretary old and new and enjoy their company. 

Last night we said "see you soon" to the Steele Magnolias (it's a long story how we got the name, but we let me sum it up with who we are: four families, now 3 generations, who recognize the importance of loving, learning and leaning on the people God puts in your life!).  Not everyone was able to come but it's always a beautiful thing to be with people who you love and who love you through every stage of life.  Thankful, thankful, to come...once I find the camera cord.

This afternoon one of the dearest ladies in my life brought me cookies.  Mrs. Null has been my across the street neighbor since my family moved to Albemarle almost 25 years ago.  She has been like a grandmother to me in many ways and I have learned so much from her.  Her cookies, and everything else, are always perfection...I watched her walk back across the street, thankful but yet another "see you soon".
And then tonight...Aunt Jenny does not have favorites.  I love all nieces and nephews equally and I take the pictures to prove it!  However saying "see you soon" to my Ariana was so very hard.  We both ranked in the sincerely sad.  Please pray with me that God will use these times of "see you soon" to draw Ariana and all of our nieces and nephews, friends (old and young), brothers, sisters, parents, in-laws (I prefer "in-loves") and grandparents to Him and not allow satan to trick them into bitterness! 

 I heard this song on the radio just as I was about to sink into a state of discouragement (and that is so eloquently put it almost sounds like it would be slightly lovely, but believe me, it was not lovely!) and I'm going to share this song with you now...

Next time you hear from me I'll be across the pond...Lord willing!  See you soon!