Friday, July 30, 2010

How Great is our God

This is Scott (Cindy and Hannah are still in Honduras).  Alex and I had to be out of the house tonight because it was showing. YAAAAY! It's been a while.

We saw this cloud in the sky illuminated by the setting sun. How awesome is our God!

He is your praise; he is your God, who performed for you those great and awesome wonders you saw with your own eyes. Deuteronomy 10:21

I thank God for the reminders of His greatness that he sends for me.  My God is not too small to handle all my needs.  My God is great enough that He can forgive sin.  My God loves me enough that he sent his only son to die.  If you don't know him, you can. 

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


My time at MOP is coming to a close (1 1/2 more days for Hannah and I, 3 more days for Scott and Alex).  At times it feels like we have been here forever and at other times it feels like we arrived only yesterday.  Our brains, emotions, hearts, souls, and more have been challenged and pushed to limits we weren't actually prepared for.  I'll have to come back and share with you some of the things we have been discussing.  Going to need some time to process.

Did you know that 1.9 billion - not thousand, not even million, but BILLION people have no access to the bible?  How can we say we love the Lord our God with all our heart, all our soul, and all our mind and sleep at night knowing we aren't doing everything we possibly can to reach the world?  How can we frolic through life without a burden that is overwhelming?  I just can't get that to add up in my mind tonight.

So much more needs to be shared, but first I need time to meditate on it (and by the way, this morning's spiritual life session was on meditation).  After Honduras I'll share a little more.

The kids continue to have a fabulous time here and already beginning to realize that good-byes are just around the corner.  Pray for them as the goodbyes they will say in the next couple days are just the beginning of a life style of good-byes.

It's been good to be here and we are now even more ready to be in Spain.  Pray that our financial partnership comes in quickly.  Why not even pray about how you might join with us financially?  And yes, continue to pray for the sale of our house - because yes, we still own a house.

Monday, July 19, 2010

God Size Appointments

Well, I left a tease on my facebook status today and have had many people want to know when the whole story is going to be shared, so I figured I couldn't get away with waiting until tomorrow.

Settle in, this might be a little long.

Before we left NC we sent a missions packet to the pastor at the church where we were members when we lived in Michigan (13 years ago).  The pastor is not the same pastor as when we were there and the location of the church has changed, as well as many of the people.  The church was a little country church located in the midst of the cornfields.  We did not hear back from him before we left for Michigan, but did receive an invitation late this past week to meet the missions team chair between services today.

We really didn't know what that meant - were we just introducing ourselves, were we meeting with him, were we with the team, were we sharing with the congregation?  Who knew?  But this morning we piled into the car and drove to Adrian (about 1 1/2 hours away from training) and showed the kids the town we used to live in.  Then off to church we went.

We have been praying about our support and wanting to see God move in dramatic ways and He did today.  We arrived a few minutes early and walked into the foyer of the church (now realize this is while services and classes are going on) and a couple sitting on the couch declares "I know you."  Although we recognized them, we couldn't put a name with their face.  They reintroduced themselves to us and we immediately remembered them and their precious daughter (another story - maybe I can get them to tell their story here).  We started catching up and they asked "are you moving back to Michigan?" 

That opened the door to share that no, we were actually moving to Spain.  Which led to all kinds of questions and conversation - but here's the kicker, the God moment!  He says "I'm on the mission team."  Now we are no longer a stranger sending in a packet, we are known family.  He then takes us over to introduce us to the chair who we were to be meeting.

God had already prepared that way too - because this gracious gentleman knew the religious condition of Spain and was telling us about it.  We had to do none of the "why Spain" conversation.  Hold on - there's more!  He then asks us if Ogden partnered with us on a short term trip what it would look like and the first thing that popped into my head (or was shoved there by the Holy Spirit) was ESL classes.  He proceeds to tell us of the opportunities he and his wife have had to see first hand how ESL is a powerful tool in spreading the gospel.  Isn't God good!

We continued the conversation with constant interruptions of people who recognized us from 13 years ago (do we really still look like we did then?), but they weren't interruptions.  You see, the missions chair was getting to know us through his own church's testimony of the times we spent together.  Who would have expected a 30 minutes conversation with a mission chair in the foyer of a church between services could accomplish all this time did.

Now wait - we aren't done yet - because while Scott was trying to still talk with him and I was talking with old friends, the chairman brought up the subject of financial partnership.  We didn't even have to do it!  We serve a very mighty and powerful God!  (he will get back with us in the coming weeks regarding how we can partner together)

We then went to worship and sat under a fabulous sermon where the pastor preached on Colossians 3.  He called the church to cast off the things of the old self in a very powerful way.  While he was encouraging progress, he made it clear that if the church was to reach the world then their behavior had to be different.  The congregation participated in Lord's Supper during the service (it wasn't passed, but you were invited to come to the table and partake) - but only after you "cast off some old rags of behaviors that were not characteristic of a believer."  Members went to members and you saw tears around the congregation.  The Holy Spirit was moving and present. 

We then went to lunch with a dear friend.  How precious was the time of visiting.  She played a vital role in our lives when we lived in Michigan and to reconnect after so many years was beautiful.  There is nothing like friendships built on a common faith.  I realized during the drive back that my hope for the women of Spain is that they will realize how faith in Christ transforms every aspect of their life, including their friendships.  As we were about to leave she asked if I had pierced ears (no earrings for church today) and as I responded yes she took off her earrings and gave them to me.  She said they matched my eyes and outfit and they were just a little way of her showing God's love to me.  What a perfect ending to a God filled day!

I do not know why I am constantly amazed at how God moves.  I pray that one day my attitude becomes one of expecting Him to move instead of being surprised when He does.

Ogden Community Bible Church when we were members

(they have moved to town in a larger building and sold the original property to another congregation - Cornerstone Baptist Church - such a small world!)

Friday, July 16, 2010

Friday Morning at MOP

We are in our fifth day of MOP.  My brain is overwhelmed and my heart is broken.  What a spot to be!  At this point in life the only thing you can do is to depend on and rejoice in the Lord who is in charge of not only my life, but the entire world!

Yesterday was a stressful day - topics included suffering and persecution in the morning and moral purity in the afternoon.  It was a slap in the face with reality.  We are going to a safe country so in a sense we thought we were "safe."  The discussions were centered around the continuum of suffering - from inconvenience to martyrdom.  Once again the "rose colored glasses" were removed.  I had to do quite a bit of thinking on this quote....

"The man who is afraid to suffer cannot belong to him who suffered."  Tertullian

Still having to ponder that one....

We have enjoyed some time with the kids (played a game of Phase 10 last night that lasted 3 hours), laughed a lot at what they are learning and getting used to everything having a place when you live in small quarters.

For the weekend we have some down time and will spend the day at a park tomorrow with our new SEND family and then on Sunday we are spending the day with old friends from Adrian. 

And yes, we still own a house.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


Lessons I have learned in three days of MOP -

  • I am not a very good sitter.  Classes are all morning and all afternoon and we are supposed to be sitting still and listening and taking notes.  I am definitely better at multi-tasking and moving.  Finally figured out if I eat the new pretzel M & M's it helps me to pay attention
  • Cross Cultural Ministry is more difficult than I ever wanted to admit - your own personal culture influences so much of your life and it makes judgment very easy.  Will I ever master the idea that different does not equal better or worse?  
  • The "rose colored glasses" of mission work do not give an accurate picture of what life is going to be like when we reach Spain.  Yesterday was our first session on security and safety issues on the mission field.  There are some very serious considerations we must consider as we move forward.  
  • I have a long way to go to being the person that God has called me to be.  (knew that before we got here, but have been repeatedly reminded as we have discussed some pretty hard topics)
  • Alex and Hannah will do fabulous on the field.  They have made some great friends here already, of course they are going to Japan and not Spain - but they don't seem to think that is a problem.
  • God cares and answers prayers.  A family here prayed before they arrived that David, their 11 year old who just finished the fifth grade, would have a friend here.  He doesn't have any close friends with similar interests in Japan (they are already there).  He is either several years younger or several years older than those around him.  They knew these weeks would be so much better if David could connect with someone.  David was the first person Alex met here.  They are both 11 and both just finished 5th grade and both love soccer and asking questions and exploring the world and so much more.  They have been connected since we arrived.  Isn't it great to know that God loves our children even more than we do?

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Birthday Help

Day 1 of training down and it was nice to be with old friends and to make new friends.  It is amazing to me how when you are with a group of people who love the Lord and who have decided to leave it all for the sake of another hearing how you almost immediately feel like you have been friends forever.  Oh, there are plenty of differences and idiosyncrasies (had to look up how to spell that word), but the hearts are joined in one goal.   A very neat place to be.

Zach turns twenty next Tuesday and he will be at camp and I will be here in Michigan.  No birthday cake or birthday dinner, but would love to shower him with birthday cards.  If you have a moment, would you send him a card via snail mail (that means regular mail, mom)?  Wish I could be there as he only turns twenty once, but perhaps his name being repeatedly called at mail call time will make it up.

You can mail him at:

Zach Hunter
Camp Don Lee
315 Camp Don Lee Road
Arapahoe, NC  28510

Monday, July 12, 2010


We arrived at Missionary Orientation Program (MOP) this afternoon.  What fun!  We have spent the evening just getting to know other families who are headed to a variety of mission fields.  Every story is unique.   What a blessing to be amidst believers who want to reach the world for Christ!

Yesterday in the car Scott and I were discussing some of the required reading for MOP.  It had to do with culture adjustment and kept referring to neighbor stories.  Made me start wondering what kind of neighbor we will have when we arrive in Spain.  I decided that between now and the time we arrive in Spain I'm gonna pray for my neighbor (kind of like I pray for my kid's mates).   I now have a personal  prayer for Spain.  Makes me a little more excited to get there.

Pray for us this week as the schedule is full.  Check back tomorrow for another update.  (and yes, we still own a home so keep praying about that too!)

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Saturday Travels

House is ready, to do list is nearly complete, and my mind is beginning to slow down with things I have forgotten.  We will begin our drive to Michigan in a little while to take one more big step towards being in Spain.  Pray for us as we spend a lot of together time - really close together time - for the next two weeks. 

We can hardly wait to get there!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Our Schedule

I've had many people ask over the past couple days where are you going and when?  So today, here is a snapshot of what is ahead of us for the next 23 days.  I'll keep the blog as up to date as I can over the next days, but please keep us in your prayers and thoughts.  We will be depending on the strength of God in a way we haven't had to before to accomplish all that is before us.

  • Thursday, July 8
    • Today is my last day at work until August 2.
  • Friday, July 9 
    • Scott's last day at work until July 26
    • Alex returns home from camp in the afternoon
    • Packing and cleaning (house is still on the market so house must being showing order when we leave)
  • Saturday, July 10
    • We will drive to Independence, Ohio (about 8 hours) and stop for the night
  • Sunday, July 11
    • We will drive to Farmington, MI (about 4 hours)
    • Check in, unpack, and meet other missionary families
    • 5:30 is the official beginning of the Member Orientation Program (MOP)
  • Monday, July 12 - Wednesday, July 21
    • Each morning will begin with breakfast with all the families at MOP
    • Hannah and Alex will then spend the morning in classes designed to help transition children/teens to the mission field
    • Scott and I will spend the morning in classes covering topics such as
      • Spiritual Life
      • Expectations
      • Coping with Cultural Stress
      • Cross Cultural Servanthood
      • Leave and Cleave
      • Mobilization
      • Church Planting
      • Finance
      • Health
      • Moral Purity
      • Language
    • We will all eat lunch together (as well as meet with SEND staff during our lunches)
    • The afternoons for Hannah and Alex will include "play time" while Scott and I return to classes
    • Dinner is back together with everyone (a lot of together time during these two weeks) followed by fun activities and homework in the evenings
    • Wednesday, July 14 - Sunday, July 18 Zach has off from camp so will be at home alone - sad that his only days off that are long enough for us to see him are while we are gone
    • Saturday, July 17 - Sunday, July 18 we hope to travel down to Adrian to visit with friends from the years we lived in Michigan
  • Thursday, July 22
    • This day is designed to be a Day Alone with God. 
    • Hannah and I will leave SEND around 2:00 and head for the Detroit airport, where we will fly to Memphis and then Raleigh to meet the Honduras mission team that I am leading.
    • Scott and Alex will remain in Michigan to finish MOP
  • Friday, July 23
    • 6:55 AM Hannah and I (along with 10 others) will depart for Honduras
    • Scott and Alex will complete MOP around 5:00 and then drive to Canton, Ohio (about 4 hours)
  • Saturday, July 24
    • Scott and Alex will tour the National Football League Hall of Fame (definite father/son time) and then continue the drive home - they are unsure if they will drive the entire way home or stop again, depends on how tired Scott is since he has to do all the driving (about 8 hours)
  • Monday, July 26
    • Scott returns to work after being gone for two weeks - imagine his desk
  • Tuesday, July 27 - Thursday, July 29
    • Alex attends soccer day camp
  • Friday, July 30 - Sunday, August 1 
    • Scott and Alex drive to Arapahoe, NC to visit with Zach
  • Saturday, July 31
    • Hannah and I travel home from Honduras - we arrive in Raleigh around 11:00 PM and will then drive to Kernersville - hope to see our beds by 1:00 AM
  • Sunday, August 1
    • 1st time back at Cornerstone in three weeks - will definitely be ready to see friends
    • Alex heads to my parents for a week of spoiling and pampering
  • Monday, August 2
    • 1st time back at work in 23 days - can you imagine my desk?

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Difficult Things

Enter ye in at the strait gate . . because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way...Matthew 7:13-14

Today I am going to borrow from Oswald Chambers in his book My Utmost For His Highest.  Just made me think a little about the things I am complaining about. 

"If we are going to live as disciples of Jesus, we have to remember that all noble things are difficult. The Christian life is gloriously difficult, but the difficulty of it does not make us faint and cave in, it rouses us up to overcome. Do we so appreciate the marvellous salvation of Jesus Christ that we are our utmost for His highest? 

God saves men by His sovereign grace through the Atonement of Jesus; He works in us to will and to do of His good pleasure; but we have to work out that salvation in practical living. If once we start on the basis of His Redemption to do what He commands, we find that we can do it. If we fail, it is because we have not practised. The crisis will reveal whether we have been practising or not. If we obey the Spirit of God and practise in our physical life what God has put in us by His Spirit, then when the crisis comes, we shall find that our own nature as well as the grace of God will stand by us.

Thank God He does give us difficult things to do! His salvation is a glad thing, but it is also a heroic, holy thing. It tests us for all we are worth. Jesus is bringing many "sons" unto glory, and God will not shield us from the requirements of a son. God's grace turns out men and women with a strong family likeness to Jesus Christ, not milk sops. It takes a tremendous amount of discipline to live the noble life of a disciple of Jesus in actual things. It is always necessary to make an effort to be noble."

I definitely do not want to be a mop sop.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Partnership Development

I am learning that this process is a lot harder than I expected.  I guess I just thought we would wake up one day and people would be lining up to sign up as financial partners.  I am learning it is taking a lot more time than I ever dreamed.  I am also learning that Satan knows that partnership development is where he could get a foothold.

Partnership development is requiring a new kind of faith.  Not a faith that God can handle the situation (which He can), but a faith that believes God can and is working on people's hearts to join our team.  I want to shout and shake and make people join our team as on-going team members and yet I can't do that.  I have to do my part and let God do the rest.

The other thing I am learning is that partnership development isn't just going to happen.  It is going to require us to do something, something out of comfort zone.  I said to Scott last night I don't want people to think every time they see us we are going to ask them to be partners, but yet at the same time I am beginning to realize we have to start asking more boldly than we are.

You know, this process is a lot like leading someone to Christ.  We have to believe that God will work on people's hearts.  My job is to tell and let God move in their hearts.  No shouting or shaking will make them come to know Christ.  Only the work of the Holy Spirit.  Also, evangelism isn't just going to happen.  It requires us to do something, something often out of comfort zone.  And out of fear of non-believing friends thinking salvation is the only thing I talk about, I don't talk about it all.  Hmm, maybe partnership development is just a way of preparing us for Spain.

So, if you are reading this post and you aren't a financial partner, how about asking today how to make it happen (or open the form on the side bar).  For us to be on track to be in Spain by March 1 we need to be at 30% by August 1.  That means we need to double our present support level this month.  I am gone for three weeks in July - so I am going to have to talk about it every chance I get and pray that the Holy Spirit works on hearts.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

If there were only 1000 people in the world...

If there were only 1000 people in the world
  • 206 would be Chinese
  • 167 would be Indian
  • 79 would be from Central and South America
  • 50 would be from the former Soviet Union
  • 51 would be from North America
  • 45 would be Western European
  • 33 would be Indonesian
  • 21 would be from Japan
  • 22 would be from Bangladesh
  • 21 would be from Nigeria
  • 24 would be from Pakistant
  • 118 would be from other sub-Saharan African and other Asian countries
 If there were only 1000 people in the world
  • 114 North Americans, Europeans, and Japanese would own nearly 90% of the wealth in the world and consume more than half of its products
If there were only 1000 people in the world
  • 330 would be Christian (leaving 670 non-Christians)
  • 198 would be Muslim
  • 126 Nonreligious
  • 135 Hindu
  • 60 Buddhist
  • 38 Ethnoreligionist
  • 25 Athiest
  • 17 New Age
  • 4 Sikh
  • 2 Jewish
  • 65 other
Just something to think about.