Friday, July 20, 2012

week 3

These first few weeks have been a whirlwind! I will try to give the update on our family... Brendan is having a blast. While we've been here, he has gone canoeing and sailing on the lake, played on the rope swing in the creek, hiked, built forts, tent camped with the Milton boys, gone shooting, worked at the Potter's Field Lodge (where the horses are kept), designed and built working lego guns, etc. There is a family of 7 here who will be moving to Uganda later this year. Mackenzie has become friends with them and spends a lot of her time playing with them. She really misses her friends back home. The Lord knew she needed someone here, and we are so thankful He provided some special people just for us. And Kylie, well, she is just the same here as she is at home! Our sassy little girl has no problem bossing everyone around. And she has surprised us with her ping pong skills this week:) Donathan has jumped right in. He teaches a School of Worship class twice a week and leads worship for various classes and Bible studies. A good portion of the interns are musically inclined and interested in leading worship, so hopefully there will be time to work with them towards that direction. As an added bonus, he has been on two floats (river rafting), jumped off a cliff and gone shooting a couple of times :) We miss our family and friends and our church family immensely, but we are so thankful that the Lord has brought us here. We are enjoying getting to know all the staff and interns, and thankful to glean from all the pastors and teachers that come here. As a sidenote... I know for myself, that having all the familiarity and normality stripped away enables the Lord to expose and reveal things in my heart that He wants to deal with. Such a good thing, although painful at times. I love what Kay Smith said in her book "The Privelege": Brokenness is necessary to the Christian life. It sounds scary and unpleasant but if we're to be useful to God, it's essential. We want to be useful to Him, don't we? So we need to understand brokenness and we need to accept it. The simplest definition I can give you is this: Brokenness is living in the bright light of truth about myself as I am before God. True brokenness brings us to the feet of Jesus and we are changed. When the light exposes our sin, selfishness and shame, we give it up and lay it down. We don't justify it, we don't ignore it, we don't insist on "our rights." That is my challenge and your challenge as well. More of You and less of me...

Monday, July 9, 2012

we're here!

Well, we made it. Sorry for the delayed post. It's tricky to get the right time to use the wi-fi where our computer is and finally got all the pictures loaded as well. So here is our trip in a nutshell... Firstly, our kids left the week before with Donathan's parents and stayed the week with them in Missouri. So the first leg of our trip was just Donathan, Scott Condon and myself.
We left Monday morning and had to drive through Tropical Storm Debbie, which slowed us down considerably, but we made it to Morgan and Paul's house in Buford, GA that night.
(Added plus: Chipotle for lunch in Orlando.) The next day we set off early, got our Starbucks, and drove through Atlanta traffic which also slowed us down considerably. (Added plus: Chipotle for dinner in St. Louis, MO.)
We finally made it to Donathan's parents house in Higginsville where we got to stay two nights and had a day of rest and enjoying family.
We took off Thursday morning, but it took us two hours to get going since we had to make a Walmart stop (with children) and then, oh, what luck! Another Chipotle happened to be there. I know it seems like a sickness, but I had to stock up on my good Mexican food for the next year!
We made it to South Dakota with our first flat trailer tire.
We camped that night and somehow made it to Rapid City, SD the next night after our car breaking down on the highway with a disintegrated tensioner pulley and broken fan belt. We learned all about AAA. (If you plan to take a road trip, get the premium version...)
However, God was so good to us. We were only 10 miles from the last exit and there happened to be a playground across from the mechanic who happened to have the parts even after 5 o'clock and happened to be able to do the work after hours and finish it quickly. On our way again aaaaand, another trailer tire goes. We learned all about steel belted tires on this trip too.
So after our exciting day, we decided to choke up the big bucks and stay the night in a motel, rather than deal with all the camping gear. Next day we made it to Mt. Rushmore, with no incidences!
We didn't stay too long as we had to get moving. We continued on and camped in Wyoming, after passing by some crazy forest fires.
We made it into Montana on Sunday. It takes a long time to get through Montana! Rather than push through, we stopped in Missoula and camped at Jellystone. We actually got cold at night. It dropped into the 40's. These Floridians weren't ready for that...
Next day we set out and finally reached Potter's Field Ranch in Whitefish in the early afternoon. The drive was absolutely beautiful. The weather was perfect and the scenery was breathtaking.
So here we are. (I have to say that Scott was such a trooper putting up with 3 kids in the car! He deserves some kudos.) We are settling in and enjoying getting to know everyone and finding our niche. For the first 6 weeks or so, our family will be staying in two travel trailers while they finish working on our other housing.
The kids are having a blast and seem to fit right in. The interns that are going through the Ignite program have arrived and today was the first day of the program. Excited to see all that God will do!