Sunday, November 13, 2016

Deep in the Heart of Texas

Kerrville, Texas
Howdy Ya'll!

After almost seven years of work here in Indonesia, we have decided to take a year furlough from June 2017- July 2018.  
This decision did not come easy - it was covered in quite a bit of prayer.  We knew coming back to America sounded great but the logistics seemed too hard.  So we started praying and waiting for His answer.  We sold everything to come - we have very few keepsakes left - no house, no furniture, no car, etc.  The idea of purchasing things for just one year did not seem to be a feasible plan.  So we waited and prayed, prayed and waited.  Along the way some other opportunities arose that seemed like a good alternative plan - but we continued to wait and pray.
We started contacting different places and asking questions, sending emails, waiting, and praying.
During August we received an email from a missionary resource that said, "We may have a house for you."  We gathered the required paperwork, mailed it in, waited, and you guessed it...prayed.  
Over the summer we had contacted a few missionary organizations about a car - waited..prayed.
In October we heard from a church in Kerrville, TX.  They invited us to use their missionary home for the year.  It is furnished, with essentials and ready for us in June.  PRAISE GOD!  One prayer answered.  We still waited to make a final decision - there were a few things stirring and we were just not sure yet where things would end up.  So we prayed, "God, show us the way."  A few weeks later a missionary organization contacted us and said, "We have a car for you for the year you are back."  PRAISE GOD!  
It was all seeming pretty clear when we then received an email from a private Christian school in Kerrville that said, "We would love to have your son join us next year."  How can we not PRAISE GOD!
We made our decision, turned in our paperwork to the school, and now just need to work towards preparing ourselves and our home here for us to come and be Texan again for a year.
Kerrville is a small, quaint town in the middle of the Texas Hill Country.  Similar to Bandung here, it is a bit cooler and beautiful.  The Guadalupe river runs right through the town and it is surrounded by parks and woods.  

We are truly blessed by those who provide for missionaries on furlough.  What a beautiful ministry.  We, in a fun twist of events, will be right in the same area where we met, fell in love, and were married.

A little back to our roots.  A chance to show the kids where we started and some of our favorite places.  A chance to renew and refresh.  A church that will feed us spiritually in a way we have not been able to experience in our time here.  A chance to eat cheese... :)
This is also a chance to be back on the same side of the world with ALL of our children.  An opportunity for Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter - all together again hopefully.  
We are so grateful for this opportunity.  We are grateful for the prayers that have sustained us over the last seven years.  Thank you to all of you who have been faithful prayer warriors on our behalf.

Tuesday, November 08, 2016

God is Always Faithful to Answer Prayer - Even When I Became Discouraged

Dear Friends & Family,

It is with great joy and jubilation that we are able to share with you some wonderful news.  After almost six years of prayer - God has answered our prayer of making our home church legal.  

It's official...the International Church in Kota Baru has its government paperwork! Now for phase two: A church board, governance, finances, full time pastor (s), building, etc, etc, etc...He is building this flock through so many here now and over the last 5-6 years here...thank you for worshiping with us and building "The CommUNITY"!

As we sat in the service at a church in Jakarta, Paula kept fighting back tears. As we walked out we looked at each other in sheer amazement of how big our God is! All legal channels were blocked in this community - but the love and care of an Indonesian church hours away has enabled us to be a legal English speaking church in Bandung.

Let us say that again - An INDONESIAN church in Indonesia has now legally planted an ENGLISH church for expats. It is ironic how it works. We came all of this way to be missionaries - and the local church is ministering and serving us.

Join us in prayers and songs of thanksgiving!

Blessings in Christ!

Wednesday, November 02, 2016

Should We Stay or Should We Go Now.....

Welcome to November!

I remember the days of a chill in the air.  Getting out my sweaters.  Gathering with family.  Cooking turkey ad other comfort food.  Being thankful.  Hunting season.

Now...decision month.

Each year around November 1 all of the staff here receive their invitation to return letters.  We all then have until December 1 to let our administration know if we intend to return for the following school year.  This date does not come as a surprise - we all know it is coming - but the month of November is no less intense and emotional.  Everything gets in the way - emotions, stress, exhaustion, friendships, family, students.  All good things - but they can cloud the real issue:

What is God calling me to?  Where does He want me to serve Him?

Please pray for our entire staff as we all begin this month.