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Why England?

This post talks about some of the reasons why we have a heart for England. Take a look before you continue on to the rest of the blog.   ...

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

This popped up on Facebook


This came up in my memories from 2 years ago, we were commissioned by GEM and then sent home to start our fundraising training so that we could start fundraising that summer.

This journey that God has been leading us on has been one of the scariest, hardest, most difficult, faith demanding,  self denying, God relying seasons in my life. But in it - beyond the moments of fear, doubt, loss, and release has been some of the biggest God providing, God speaking, God leading moments I have ever experienced. 

When we started I thought I could plan it all out, that I could  rationalize and organize it so that it would be a minor inconvenience to make a major change. I thought I had learned about sacrifice and understood my faith to be strong.  BUT God had so much more in store. He isn't worried about my schedule or my organized lists... He, in all his devine grace, is worried about my heart..about me becoming more like Him,  heaven focused leaving the things of this world behind.

One thing we covered at training was that God isn't just worried about or focused on the ministry to the people we are going to serve - even if that's all we can see. He is also just as focused on me and invested in our growth and the ministry we have to our family, friends, and partners here. It stood out, that tiny two letter word in the middle of the sentence.  God is really going to use this time to invest in me and worry about my growth? When we started I was looking at this season of 'in-between' as just a time to rush through and use to get to the final point (UK). But God, as my loving Father, saw this time as a chance to grow me and help me.

And He has.. like I said above.. I have learned so much about me and about my God. It is still hard, when the partner meeting is canceled, when the church says they can't support missionaries going to a first world country, when I want so badly to raise our little one in a home all our own, when I talk with youth in England and I just want to be there ministering, when you can't give a leaving date because it's not in your power to make it happen at that time no matter how hard you try... we (as missionaries) don't admit that often because we are supposed to seem like we have an unshakable faith and complete battle plan... but I am human and the journey is long....

BUT GOD gives grace and there's those moments when someone who never thought of England starts praying for the people,  when we meet missionaries at conferences who were where we are twenty years ago but have been on the field eversince, when after crying out to God he brings up a verse or song, when we are counting the days and we get an encouraging  text or card from a partner, when another person sees God's plan for Somerset and joins our team...

I have learned about leaving, loving, counting the cost, and listening. I have seen God move and comfort and provide. I am so excited to see what he does next.. not just when we get to England but as we wait here in the 'in-between'. What I all didn't know when this picture was taken makes me amazed at how much God still has to show me and makes me wonder what I will be able to write when we take out first picture in England. 


Thank you for taking this journey with us.  ♡


Sunday, April 15, 2018

We finished training


2 Corinthians 4:1-12

"Therefore, since through God’s mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart. Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways;we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God. And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.  For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake.  For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.

But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side,but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body.  So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you."



We worked on memorizing the above verse during out time at CIT.  It has so many great reminders and points to focus on, not only now as we continue to work towards the goal God has set before us but once we are on the field serving the people in England.  The first line alone helps us keep our focus - we have this ministry because of God's mercy.. there is no reason for us to ever lose heart because we are just servants in His ministry. He is the one who is in control. 

We talked a lot about the fact that God's heart is for the people on the field AND for our growth as we prepare here (and serve there). That is so easy to forget! We can so easily put all our efforts and thoughts into the future, and we can look at the time it takes to get there as wasted.  We rush through waiting periods, trying to get to the finished moment - whether it is marriage, having a baby, getting the new job, or starting a ministry over seas.  We train ourselves to think of the end product - we miss the journey and what God is doing before then. We miss the joy of being engaged, the little moments of pregnancy, and the lessons of the heart that grow us for the field. We focus on everything that has to be done for others that we forget that God also cares about our heart through the whole process.

Working hard in class


We had such a great time learning and being poured into by the facilitators at the campus. I look forward to sharing nuggets of our lessons with you guys over the next few months.  There is so much that we took in and I know it will take a while for us to process it all. 


We passed training (we even have a certificate to prove it 😃) and are making our journey home. Little did we know we would be leaving beautiful mountain view with 75* weather to be driving towards a record setting blizzard. Thankfully we made it to my parents house (in Milwaukee) before the snow hit there. We are now camped out here until we can head home to Green Bay.  


Hope you are staying warm :)   


Me and Baby on a break from class








Monday, April 2, 2018

Pre field training


 Hello everyone!

     I hope you all had a blessed Easter. Ours was different as it was (the first of many) not spent at home with our family.  Instead we spent it in North Carolina as we complete our required pre-field training. However we did get to host a wonderful night with the other missionaries here on campus. We all got together and had a potluck Easter dinner... it was such a great time of fellowship, and even though we are all new friends, our hearts bind us. While I missed my family and our traditions, it was wonderful to have this time with these amazing people. Instead of longing for home it made me long for our future holidays - where we can minister to the young adults and families in England who might not have the option of a healthy, happy, family holiday.

 Let me start by saying a big thank you for all of your support and prayers during this time. We were blessed to be able to attend the training slightly earlier than we were supposed to. Our organization generally requires missionaries to be over 70% when attending. However the next 3 dates are all either weeks before or after our due date.. I couldn't imagine taking these classes while dealing with a newborn. Thank you for your prayers while we are attending. I have been dealing with sickness (just sinus and coughs) but they have taken their toll on my already tired body. This has made it harder for me to sleep through the night, which means poor Eric isn't sleeping through the night either.  Please pray for health, rest, and stamina.

We are currently half way through our time here in North Carolina. I am so happy that our organization required this of us. While the days seems long, with a full class schedule before and after lunch, it has all been great information.  Eric and I both feel we are becoming as prepared as possible for the field. We are enjoying the classes in contextualization, cultural communications, mind styles, the heart of the mission, culture shock, team building, how to strengthen marriage and children, and so many more topics.

It has been great to be part of the fellowship here on campus, as we are all in one apartment complex for the month. Being around so many other who understand the journey, struggle, and hope has been really encouraging.  We even met a couple on their way to Germany and another lady from GEM.

I need to get some homework done but I will check in again before we leave this little bubble of training.
 


The cafeteria on campus

Baby (Stephen) and I say 'Hi' on a break during morning class
Eric and I on Easter Sunday

Friday, March 9, 2018

Blessed

It's 2am... I should be sleeping but I can't... I think I took too many naps in the car yesterday,  or drank too much water, maybe it's the food you have to eat as you drive for most of your days (even when you try and be as conscious as possible)... or I am just pregnant. 

I've been using the word blessed a lot lately and it's because  I truly am. Even if I am not where I thought we would be, even if I have worries, concerns,  or struggles. God just by being Him and allowing me in His presences has blessed me. BUT GOD doesn't stop there. He gives me joy, love, family, faith, peace, laughter, support.... He is a good good father. So yes, I may be using the word often... but I can never over claim how much my God has and continues to bless me.


Elim conference

What an amazing spirit led first day of conference. 
Woke up early (5:30am) to head down through huston traffic to Elim Church... it was soo worth it.

Such powerful and prophetic messages given today. So excited to see what God will do in 2018 (the year of redemption)

Two messages this morning, connecting with some good friends we haven't been able to see in months, and then some time to relax in our amazing room... did you know some hotels down here serve free dinner? I didnt.. but it's part of your stay and the food isn't too bad either..

Finished the night off with another great message and some mission prep for next month's pre field training.

I love when God speaks right to your heart and the deepest part of the matter. 

 
 

 
 

Day 2 of Elim.
Message on not giving up ... even when..  especially when... the enemy is discouraging you and trying to make you want to.... God's got a purpose and call on your life and He will complete what He started! 

 

 
 


Well. All good things need to come to an end.. but we take the encouragement,  power,  presence, and memories of the conferences with us. It has been such a blessed time here at both conferences.  We are so thankful for the invite from Pastor Lyn & Deb and for the other missionaries who helped us here at Elim. 
Praying for a tell of our dear missionary friends and look forward to seeing you at the next conference.  

Thank you to our family, partners, and friends who have joined us on this trip through prayer and support. We couldn't have done it with out you. Please continue to pray for see travels home as we head out today. 

Now for our first day of driving home. 
(Special stop - Mangolia Farms) 
Tonight we sleep in Kansas. 

Monday, March 5, 2018

Opened doors

We had such an amazing time at the conference with our friends at New Beginnings Church.
We were blessed to stay with an amazing woman of God, who has become amazing d new friend.

It was a great time, we loved hearing from all the missionaries and meeting the congregation. 

Our original plan was to be heading home this morning.  However God opens doors that we never knew existed.
Instead we are extending our stay in the great state of Texas for a few more days to attend Elim Church conference. 

We are looking forward to the messages, meeting with more of our friends, and staying encouraged as we grow on thus journey God has placed us on.

It required some phone calls and trusting God to move but when he wants you to go after somthing he opens the doors.

Within 1 hour we had secured an extra day off of work for Eric (something that normally takes all day to do), found a place to do laundry (so we would have clean clothes), got directions and schedule for conference, and booked one of the ls two hotel rooms (a king suite) at discounted rate (same as a regular room rate).

We still got to spend a wonderful noght with our friends Joe & Sarah Ortiz and their precious little girl. It was a great night of fellowship.

Some final pictures from Spring Texas.




Saturday, March 3, 2018

Early morning prayers.

It's our third morning away from home, on our way to the conference. Normally we would push ourselves and drive long days to make our trip shorter. But this time, following doctor's orders we extended it. We spend around 6 hours on the road - stopping every two to use the bathroom :) and walk around (apparently blood clots happen easier for pregnant women).
This makes this a completely different kind of trip for us.
One, I sleep a lot more ( whether it's in the car while Eric's driving or earlier at night in the hotel) I also misjudged how you can ache when pregnant. I don't bring these up to receive your sympathy, instead to share the difference I notice in travel. Both eric and I also agree there is a different type of fear / stress that you have to learn to give over to God when traveling with a baby (even one in the womb). Before we didn't mind busier traffic, rushing, and knew we both were somewhat sustainable if there was an accident. Now however, knowing the hiw fragile our little one is it makes those stressful situations  (like Dallas) even more anxiety ridden.
Eric is blessed. He can go through that, give it to God, and his joy returns abundantly.
I tend to hold on to my anxiety, I pray about it, read verses to counter it, and play worship music... but it seems like I hand over my stresses and anxieties slowly little bit by bit. I think it's because I am a processor - I need to go over events and memories in my mind from every angle before I am content with them.
This whole trip has been a blessing. We have taken time to see things we wouldn't have if we had not been made to slow down. On the drive from Kansas to Texas we were sharing how blessed we've been by God on this trip and how fun and smooth it has been... then Dallas came, it was stressful and anxious (but prause God we made it alive, with out missing an exit, and on good terms with each other).
Then we get to our hotel and are told by friends it's not the greatest city to stop in... they were kinda correct... the side of the hwy our hotel is on - really nice, new, safe feeling. Go across the hwy and you are definetly entering a poorer neighbord.
We had Mexican for dinnern which was ok, and we swam in the pool which was luke warm and sat in the broken hot tub which was cooler than the pool. This all  sounds negative and like I'm complaining. But (here's honesty time) I was. In my head I built this free night of relaxation into a mini paradise, the perfect babymoon. I had the highest unrealistic expectations for this night of the trip. When reality didn't match my expectations I felt dissapointed, let down and like a failure. I kept apologizing to Eric for this horrible night - forgetting the great trip we've had, the blessing we get to attend on Saturday, and the truth...
Sometimes we do this with God as well... we build up on our minds how He will move or respond... what methods He will use and then when he moves differently than we expected we get (secretly) dissapointed.
It is then when we need to step back and remeber to see the truth.
The truth of the night was Eric and I had a blast... the hotel is safe, clean, and the room amazing... we had a fun experience for dinner, we got to spend some good quality time together... because of who we are we had, maybe not perfect night, but an amazing memeroy.
 And the truth is God is always moving and always working for our good. His ways will always be higher than ours but that doesn't mean we doubt him, it means we get excited to see how He will bring things about.
Satan wanted to distract me from the point and blessing of this trip. He wanted to take a few hours of created anxiety and make me nervous and worried for the conference coming up. God wants to take those hours of anxiety and teach me how to cast them on Him and how to then focus on what He will do at this conference.
Don't let your anxiety/dissapointment over one thing stop you from the excitement that comes from see God move in another.
I'm off to get ready, one more quick (2.5hr) drive and we get to meet some great friends, lern of some amazing ministriesn and share the heart and vision God has given us for the young adults in Somerset .
Xxx Megan