Saturday, July 10, 2010

Halfway Home!

We are continuing to have the most amazing missionaries come and speak here in Mozambique. Iris Ministries had a global meeting here this week, so many of the team leaders from around the world have been here - what an amazing group of precious people.

We were able to spend an entire afternoon with the team leaders from the city in Asia where we want to serve. We learned so much about the heart of the Asian church, and part of the plan that God has for our family was revealed. It was an amazing day for us!

We are trying to change our flights to get back home a week earlier that planned. Randy and I might need to make a quick trip to Asia in the fall to meet the rest of the Iris team, so we are willing to sacrifice the safari we had scheduled after the mission school :)

Thank you for praying for our friends' family - no malaria!!!!! We are enjoying our sweet family time together this summer. The weather has been cool (for Africa), and the beach is absolutely beautiful. I also love being completely surrounded by more than 150 people who love the Lord. I also think that this summer is helping our family adjust to doing with much less than we were willing to give up before.

Heidi Baker baptized Molly in the Indian Ocean last Sunday, and Bill Johnson prayed over our Mason - what a week!!!! We miss each and every one of you, and we have sooooooo much to tell you that we can't discuss over the internet about Asia and what God is doing there. And we also have AMAZING pictures of our summer that won't load here because the internet is so poor. We will just have to have coffee when we get home :)

Much love,
Randy, Mary, Matthew, Mason, Molly and Madelyn

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Week 4 and Counting :)

We have had another great week at mission school here in Mozambique! Heidi and Rolland Baker have taught many of our classes, and we are so impressed and in love with them and their ministry. They are truly a couple who has laid down their lives for the poor and serve with great joy.

Jackie Pullinger, who wrote Chasing the Dragon, was our speaker last week. She has worked in the very dangerous slums of HongKong for 30 years. She had such great insight about working in difficult situations and still living a life filled with faith and hope. I can't wait to get home and order the book :)

We are all healthy, but it is a challenge to stay that way in such a dirty place. Please pray for our new friends who are at school with a 4 year old and 7 year old. The 7 year old might have malaria, and we are awaiting test results. If you remember the worst case of flu you ever had and multiply that by about 20, you can imagine what having malaria feels like.

Homeschooling is going well and helps break up our days. We still love going to the beach whenever we can. Last week we went to the ocean when the tide was very low and explored the tide pools. We found sea urchins, starfish, and several "unidentified" sea animals. Having the beauty around us helps make up for the diet of rice and beans and beans and rice :)

Please continue to pray for our Michael, Missy and Dan. We miss them soooooo much, and it is worth every penny to call them when we can. Please also pray for continued guidance for our future mission work. We will meet with the long-term mission committee here before we come home. Hopefully, we will know an exact city and have very clear direction about the type of work we will be doing by the first of August.

Love you all!!!!!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Two Weeks and Counting!

Hi sweet friends and family!!!! We have finished our 2nd week of school, and we are having a great time here. Molly asked Jesus into her heart, lost a tooth, and has a birthday tomorrow - woohoo!!!

We also have had a great answered prayer in regard to our future mission work. We both feel strongly that we will not be in Africa, but in the country where our three little ones were born. Iris Ministries has a small mission team there, and we will meet some of them when they come to Mozambique for a conference in July. We love the people here, but we have realized that our hearts are somewhere north of the equator :)

Here is a schedule of our days: We wake up at 5:00 am because the sun comes up EARLY here! We have breakfast (hard roll or mommy-cooked something), have class from 8-1, lunch at 1:15 (beans and rice or mommy-cooked something), afternoons at the beach, the sun goes down at 5:00 pm, dinner at 5:30 (rice and beans), bedtime at 7:30. Fridays are our practical missions day where our family goes down the road to minister to 4 VERY poor families with blind mothers and grandmother caregivers. We come home from this outing dirty and very tired :) Saturdays are our free days which are spent shopping in town and at the beach. Sunday is a very wonderful (and hot) church service led by Heidi Baker and a pastor from Mozambique.

The teaching at this school has been phenomenal!!!! Heidi and Rolland Baker are simply amazing and have such wisdom after 30 years uf living in the dirt and loving the poor. We know we are exactly where we need to be this summer :)

Please continue to pray for my mother and our children at home. The enemy is a poop-head and loves to attack those we love. We so covet your prayers as we continue to enjoy where God has placed us for this season.

We are learning so much about peace and faith. Pray that we are willing to receive everything God wants to give us.

I think any pictures will have to wait until we return home. The internet cafe here doesn't like my laptop or camera :(

Love you!!!

Friday, June 4, 2010

We are here!!!

We have been in Mozambique for 1 week, and this is the first time that the internet has worked since our arrival. Everything here is beautiful and fragile. The internet in fragile, the water system is fragile, the children are fragile. We have met so many beautiful people from all over the world who have some to this place to learn and serve.

We are living in a tiny house on base that is glamorous in Mozambique, but it would be condemned in the states. We have found it very humbling to live among and learn from the poor. They truly know the heart of God and have to totally rely in Him to merely survive. We are house parents to 8 beautiful girls from America, South Africa, Finland and Australia. We all share two tiny bathrooms, a very tiny sink and a very, very tiny refrigerator. We are learning to navigate the local market and have been able to buy (at a high price) many of the things we need. No Nerd Ropes in Africa, but we have found the best strawberry cookies on the planet :)

The three little ones have done incredibly well!! I have been amazed at how adaptable they are. Africa is "boy heaven" - dirt, sticks and bugs everywhere! Having Matt here has been an incredible blessing, and the little ones adore having him here.

I can't post pictures yet because my Mac Book won't sync with the computer system here. I will keep trying :)

PLEASE be praying for my sweet mom. She was admitted to the hospital this week, and it has been incredibly hard to be so far away from her and my dad.

We love you all, and hope to post again soon. We are loving every minute here!!!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Almost Ready to Leave!

The suitcases are piling higher everyday, the to-do lists are growing shorter, and our excitement in growing! We will drive to Dallas on Monday and fly out on Tuesday afternoon. Unfortunately, we won't actually arrive in Mozambique until Friday morning - long, long flights and layovers :(

We will have a cell phone in Africa, but I won't know the number until we actually buy a SIM card in Pemba. We can Skype, email, and text just like we do at home - woohoo!!! Technology is a wonderful thing for a mom who is already missing her Michael, Missy and Dan.

We can't wait to share our first impressions of Africa with you! Stay tuned - the first post from Pemba might come as early as next Saturday. We love you all!!!!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Not So Fun Part

I am learning that just because God calls you to something, it is not always easy. Randy and I have both had a hard week this week. The stress of actually getting 6 people to Mozambique - booking flights, PAYING for flights, transferring money from savings and watching it disappear in a swipe of the debit card is just plain hard. Realizing that keeping our home long-term is not practical - hard. Knowing that we will dismantle a home and all of our belongings in a few months - hard.

I know God is doing a major work in both of us. He is stripping away EVERYTHING that we have clung to for security and provision. He is putting us in a place of total dependence on Him. And, He is doing all of this because He loves us. I am realizing that what He is wanting to do in us and through us will require a vulnerability that I have never wanted to walk in. There is a selfishness in me that can't be there anymore if He is to be glorified.

Many of our friends are only a few years away from retirement. We are using a lot of our retirement savings just to go to country we have never been before and do a job we have never done before. We are leaving life-long friends to be with a people foreign to us. We are leaving some of our own precious children for months at a time to minister to other children half a world away.

I am really not angry or upset, but just being honest about our journey. People ask us daily how to pray for our family. Pray that we become dependent and vulnerable. Pray that we are changed forever. Pray that God has His way with our family and with the people of Africa. Pray that we learn how to handle "hard" with a joy that cannot be explained. And know that when this walk with the Lord seems hard, He is showing His faithfulness and love with every step.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Prayer Requests

We are now only 6 weeks away from leaving family and friends and flying to Mozambique. We still have travel agents "duking it out" for the best ticket prices, but all of our passports are in and ready to go. We are thankful that you are part of our journey!

Please join us in praying for these things:
* that God will be glorified in all that we do here and in Africa
* that our family will be comforted when we leave
* that we will have a clear direction about what to do with our home
* that God will show up in a big way and cover every need
* safe travel to and from Pemba
* that we will not return home the same way we left - I want God to do a major heart-work in me
* that our Mason will hear and speak
(This portrait of Mason was painted by our friend Michelle Bauman - so beautiful!!!)

The next few weeks will be busy as we confirm (and pay for) our airline tickets, apply for our visas, and move Matthew home for the month of May. He will be going to Pemba with us, and it is just easier to do all of the planning and packing with him here. Sweet friends are loaning us their mountain cabin for a long weekend (woo-hoo!), and then we will travel to Arkansas to see out precious Missy and Dan before we leave. Oh, and I think there will be little packing in there somewhere - ha!

We love each of you and covet every prayer.