Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!

As 2008 draws to a close, I am doing what I love to do...hanging out with my babies (Jody, the "old man," has already retired for the night). They are very excited to go outside and bang pans to ring in the new year. (which for them will come two hours early...)

Like most people I ponder the year past as the new year begins. This year was a good year. There were some challenges and losses, but overall it was a very blessed year. God has done big things in me this year, and I am so thankful for His faithfulness.

We are one week away from leaving for Africa. I am excited and nervous. This is such a milestone, one that we have been waiting for for quite some time. God is faithful and His timing is always right. We are starting this year off with an adventure that is right in the center of His will. That is the best place to be.

May each of you begin your new year in the center of His will. May His blessing reign in your life all year long. Happy New Year!!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


Tomorrow is our Anniversary. We have been married eight years. I can hardly believe it! It has been eight wonderful years full of adventures--both good and bad, but all of which have only brought us closer. I love him more now than ever, and am so thankful for the wonderful marriage God has blessed us with.

Happy Anniversary, sweetie, I love you!!!

Election Update

The elections in Ghana are not over yet. The two main candidates did not reach 50% of the votes, so they are doing a re-vote, which will occure on the 28th of Dec. Please continue to pray for the right man and for peace.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

The Snow is Falling...

Yes, it is snowing outside. I love snow days. You never out grow snow days. There is just something about a snow that says "be lazy, have fun, and do nothing of importance." We had a fun day with our family and kids. They love the snow, and are so excited it will be sticking around for awhile.

We are a little less than a month away for Africa. So exciting. We have raised all of our funds, THANK YOU, LORD!! And thank you all for supporting us.

We are down to the small details of getting everything ready. The final big hoop is our visa's which have been applied for and we are awaiting their return. Now it is a matter of getting everything packed and in order. It's a good thing I LOVE this part! ;-)

And with all that, there is Christmas around the corner...only 3 more gifts to go! And, also, Jody and I will be celebrating our 8th anniversary next week!

One thing for certian, we have a busy few weeks ahead of us....

Saturday, December 13, 2008

One Proud Mommy!

I love my kids. They are good kids. Sure, they drive me insane some times, and some times they can be really naughty, but I think that goes for all kids. And like all kids, they have a tendency to be selfish. They even throw tantrums once in awhile when they don't get what they want.

For the past few weeks they have been after me to go through their clothes and toys, so that they could give some to the African kids that do not have any. The clothes part is easy--if it's too small it goes. The toys, well that's a whole other subject. But, today, Son and I went through all of his toys, and he gave away quite a bit! He looked at every car, one by one, and gave away over half of his collection. He kept three of his rescue heroes and gave away the rest. He gave away one of his little buzz toys, saying he had another one like it that was blue.

The biggest suprise to mommy---he gave away a stuffed mater. (Malachi LOVES his stuffed animals, and he especially loves mater. He has one that he sleeps with everynight--along with about 10 other things!). That one was a little tough. He thought about it for awhile, and said "good bye". I told him (like a hundred times during this process) ,"you don't have to give away anything. It's up to you, but you don't have to if you don't want to." He said, "No, I want to." I asked him "why?" He said "because, some kids don't have any stuffed animals at all, and I have my other mater."

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Elections December 7th

That's right! Election day is coming this Sunday---in Ghana. Please pray for the right man to be elected, and for a smooth, fair, and peaceful election. And even more importantly, for a somooth and peaceful transfer of power.

Monday, November 24, 2008

God's Peace

Peace I leave with you; My [own] peace I now give and bequeath to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. [Stop allowing yourselves to be agitated and disturbed; and do not permit yourselves to be fearful and intimidated and cowardly and unsettled.] John 14:27Amp

This has been our theme verse this weekend. God is good. His peace reigns in our hearts and lives. We serve a VERY good God.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Can't go without a fight....

Today was my last day of work. Praise the Lord I am free. For the last few years I have worked for a small family business. It has been one of those jobs that you can't check out of at the end of the day, and has occuppied way too much of my time. Truth be told, I should have left a long time ago. I should have listened.

Anyhow, I am free, but that freedom isn't coming without a fight, and we are in one right now. We could really use your prayers.

I know that is seriously vauge, but I can't say much more.

Moving make things even better, Jody is no longer employed. Great timing. We serve a souvreign God, and He will provide.

The last two weeks have been crazy getting all the last minute stuff done for work, and I am so glad it is behind me. My kids have been with a sitter most of that time, and since they are not used to that they have been acting out to let me know that they need my attention!! So, Jody and I decided that a weekend away was the ticket. We packed the car up in less that 30 minutes and headed to Seattle. We are crashing at my Aunts house for the weekend, just us and the kids.

Please keep us in your prayers.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

60 days and counting...

Before I begin, my sister is home and OK. God works miracles and they were able sew her up and send her home. She doesn't even ahve to be on full time bedrest like first thought. Praise the Lord!!

OK, well we are down to the sixty day mark. We are so excited. I only have 18 more days of work. I am really excited about that.

There are still quite a few things on my ToDo list, but they are getting done. Slower than I would like, but that's OK. Most importantly is getting the kids as ready as we can. We talk alot about it, and read about it and look at things are the internet.

Well, the Christmas season is officially upon us. The halloween stuff is gone from the stores, and the Christmas stuff is up. Malachi is very grateful for this as he is not a fan of halloween stuff. Somehow Thanksgiving always seems to get skipped in the world of retail. Why is that?

As I write this the kids are watching their favorite Christmas movie, Elf. They have been waiting all year, and are so excited that they are dancing around and quoting the movie. This is my favorite time of year, too, and I am looking forward all our family Christmas traditions.

Our second newsletter goes out monday. You can read it here.

Please continue to pray for us. We really need it as the time gets closer. Also, we are still in need of finances, so please keep that in your prayers as well.

I know this has been a random post, and here is one more random thing. We as a family to do not celebrate halloween in the traditional sense, but we do dress up and go to some sort of party each year. This year we went to a carnival at my Aunt's church up in Bellevue, as we were up there for Grandpa's memorial service.

Each year the kids get to pick their costumes. This year Son was Optimus Prime from Transformers. Daughter wanted to be Jasmine, but the Jasmine costume showed her tummy and so she chose not to get that out fit (so proud of her). All of the disney princess costumes were really expensive, so mommy gave her the option of being Hannah Montanah (a wig and t shirt were so much cheaper). She was so excited. She loves Hannah Montanah (even though she's only seen the show once).

So, here are some pictures of my little Hannah Montanah and Optimus Prime.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


My spirit is grived this morning regarding our next president, and even more so by the passive attitude I have encountered from several believers regarding it. It is time for the church as a whole to wake up! This election is about way more than a "democrat" winning. WAY MORE.

But on to other things, because I have already spent my morning "educating" some young voters about their "oh well" attitude.

Even more heavily on my mind is my sister. She is 24 wks pregnant, and at a random ultra sound three days ago they discovered her cervix was opening. It got worse over night, and they transported her to a hospital that has a neonatal center. (I am sure I just butchered that word) Today they are going to sew her up, and hopefully that will fix the problem. She will still be on at least moderate bedrest for awhile. PLEASE keep her in your prayers. That the baby will stay in full term.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Why argue with tithing?

I got to admit, my blood is boiling right now. I just deleted a comment from someone I don't know who had made it his mission in life to prove that tithing is not new covenant nor for Christians. He is a "theologian" and from what I gathered from his blog, looks like he has even written a book about it. From glancing at his blog (not gonna waste my time or pollute my mind by reading it in detail) it looks like one of his major proving points why tithing is not for Christians is that tithers have also been affected by the economic problems we are facing. What a load of crap!

For those of you who stumble upon this blog or perhaps don't know me well, I am not one to keep my opinions to myself, and if you are wrong, I have no problem telling you. THIS GUY IS WRONG!!

This is not the first person I have come across that shares this opionion. Amazingly, the first time I ever heard of someone not believing in tithing was right after I graduated from Bible College, and it was a fellow student. I was floored. I didn't even know that the issue was up for debate.

Since that time, I have talked about this issue in depth with fellow alumni, and I have also....get this, what a concept....studied the Bible and what it has to say about tithing. Many of my fellow alumni don't have the same attitude that this guy seemed to have. They are generous, giving people who genuinly love the Lord. Their motive is not to find a way out of giving, as it is with most who object to tithe, but rather . So I have listened to their standpoint. However, I still find too much in the Word that says otherwise.

The arguments are all pretty much the same. Tithing is not mentioned in the NT, and Jesus never says anything about it. Giving is talked about, but not tithing. Tithing was to take care of the priests in the OT. We are now all priests and kings, so why tithe? Tithing is law, and we are no longer under the law. Things like that....

Well, first and foremost, I would always rather err on the side of caution. When speaking with unbelivers who say, what if you are wrong about God, my typical answer is then I am not out anything. On the flip side, if you are wrong, well I hope you like hot weather....

I feel the same way about tithing. If I am wrong, than I am not out anything (except money, and who cares about that). If I am right, which I am, then I get to recieve of the blessings of God.

Tithing is not a mosaic law. First fruits and offerings are mentioned as early as Cain and Able. Giving of 10% is mentioned as early as Abraham.

Jesus came to fulfill the law, not do away with the law. For instanace, he says that not only are you not to commit adultry, but you are not to even lust after a woman, for in so doing you have committed adultry in your heart. Jesus takes the law and takes it one step further. The same holds true to tithing. We are not to stop at 10%, but we are to give generously.

Many that I have spoken to who do not believe in tithing, also believe that any of the OT that is not mentioned in the NT is not applicable to us today. What a load! God's Word is WHOLE, and it ALL applies to us! If you care to study it deeply, including all the "boring" laws, lineage, etc... you will glean something that is applicable to you today. As my mom says, the Word of God is finely woven together from start to finish with the same thread. It all ties together. OT and NT.

Well, I gotta run, it's time for family dinner, and Maudi just fell in the toilet (dont laugh, ok, you can laugh, it is pretty funny...). I know this is not the deepest most thorough exegesis on tithing, perhaps on another day.... but for now, if you find yourself questioning tithing, I say ask yourself two things, first why am I questioning this? what is my heart motive? Then, I ask that you go to the word and study it for yourself. And ask God to search your heart, and to reveal HIS WORD AND WILL on the matter to you, he will.

PS One more quick note....God never takes back His Word. He will always fulfill it. I have never seen a faithful tither that God did not bless, but I have certianly see those who don't go without....

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Tithing, Giving

The issue of tithing and giving has been on my mind quite a bit lately. First, we want to thank each and every one of you for your generous giving to AFN. We are blessed and humbled.

For us 'seasoned' believers, we know that God's word is clear about tithes and offerings. He says to bring both to the storehouse. (See Malachi 3) Tithe is the first thing we give; our first 10% belongs to God. Anything that we give above that is an offering. These are basic principles most of us know and live by.

However, the question of where does tithe belong is sometimes not as clear. I, Jody, and the leadership of AFN believe that your tithe should be given to your local church. We believe that the storehouse is the local church. Your church, where you are equipped and where you minister, is your storehouse; your tithe should always go there. If it doesn't, your church will not function properly.

Think of it as you would your own household. You get your food and rest at your home. You work to provide for your home. What if you began to give your earnings to another household? What would happen? The funds would dry up, and your household, your family, would go without. The same is true for the local church.

I want to take this even further now. Within each local church are multiple ministries or needs or departments---however you refer to them. These ministries are branches of the church body. Just like your own body, you feed the stomach, which then nourishes the rest of you---your arms, legs, hands, etc... Your tithe belongs to the the stomach of the church---the general fund as many call it. You cannot feed your body through your arm; it does not receive nourishment that way. If you give your tithe to a specific ministry within your church instead of to the general fund, a malnourishment occurs, and the church as a whole begins suffer and cannot function properly.

When you bring your tithes and offerings to the church your tithe belongs to the whole church body, or general fund. Your offerings belong to whatever ministry, need, person, etc... that God directs you to.

To all our supporters, we say thank you, however, we ask that you remain faithful first and foremost in your tithes to your local churches general fund. That is where it belongs. Any offerings or givings that you feel led to give to AFN, we humbly accept.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Just an update...

The time is going by so quickly!!! We are now only 82 days away from departure. We are all so excited. In the meantime, there is quite a bit going around here. When we moved into our new home, this past January, we were told that they would be building a house in the "lot" behind ours (aka, the back yard). In actuality, they are turning our home into a glorified duplex. They began construction this last monday. It hasn't been too bad. They start around 7 and are gone by 3. Sure has kept the kids entertained!!

However, because the back yard is completely gone, and our front is too close to the road, we had to make the hard decision to find our dog a new home. We had talked about this with the kids two weeks ago, and so they knew this was a possibility. They were sad, but they understood, and have had a really good attitude about it. To "make it up to them" we took them to the pet store to pick out a new pet. We are now the proud owners of "Elaina the Hamster." The kids are so excited about the hamster! The deal was that Son got to pick out the hamster and Daughter would name it. So, Son keeps saying "I did a good job! I picked a good one!" To which Daughter replied "And I did a good job naming her!"

Beginning Monday, I will start training my replacement at work. We have found the perfect person for the job, so that is great! I have put alot of time, sweat, and tears into this company. However, I know it is time to move on, and I am looking forward to being able to focus fully on the kids schooling, my family, and of course, Africa!!! :-)

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Prayer Calendar

You can now sign up to pray for us while we are gone, as well as while we prepare to go. Click here to get more info and to sign up.

Free Clinic

Cecilia had been complaining about a pain in her side, which would happen most often after eating or going to the bathroom. I was pretty certian she had some sort of bladder or kidney infection. What do I do? I can't exactly just take her to the DR.

I checked out free clinics online. Almost all of them were related to WIC or to a school, both of which are inaccessable to someone not in their system. (so much for "free") Somehow, I stumbled upon a clinic called Good News Community Health Center. If you asked me to show you how I found it on the net right now, I couldn't tell you. I know it was God's leading.

I called at 12:30pm to see if she could come in, while I am on my way to pick her up from her hotel in Janzen Beach. The receptionist told me they only take 4 walk in patients a day and that you have to be there by 1pm. And as far as appointments....they are booked for months! Well, knowing that there was NO WAY I could make it by 1pm, I decided to take a chance.

We got there at 1:35pm. I explained the situation, and the DR decided to see her even though they already had their four for the day. What an amazing DR and what an amazing ministry. Everyone was so nice and helpful. They didn't hide the fact that their sole purpose was to love people and share the Good News. They reach out to those in our community who don't have another means of healthcare. They also do lots of classes and education on health and wellness.

I have passed this place (181st and Stark) hundreds of times and never thought twice about the name or what they do. I was really impressed with their ministry, and wanted to get the word out.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

worthy of a post all it's own....

I am going to be an Aunti to a niece!! Yep, Jenn is having a girl. Total shocker!! I thought it was a boy, and I have called every baby right since Taelynn! :-) But, girls are cool, too. :-) I believe they are going to name her Stephanie Jr. Pretty sure I heard that somewhere....

Daughter is so happy it's a girl. Son.....well......he is cool with it now, but not so in the beginning. When I told him, he just stared at me. Then he started to cry. He really wanted it to be a boy.
:-( Maybe next time.

Monday, September 29, 2008

So much going on....

There are so many things I wanted to tell you all about that I don't know where to start....

I guess I will start with a silly story. I must preface it by saying that Pastor Frank and Cecilia arrived Wednesday evening and we are having a great visit with them.

Today the two of them went to the MFI concert, which is held at a hotel, so they will stay there for a few nights. The kids and I took them there today, and on our way Son fell asleep. So, as Pastor Frank is inside registering, Cecilia and us were waiting in the car. I see Cecilia swat at something, and I asked "Is there a bug?" She said "yes" A few seconds later, Daughter says "Mom, there's a bug back here. Mom, there's a really big bug back here!" I open the slide door, and a small flying bug goes out. As it does,Daughter makes a very paniced whiney sound. Cecilia just busts out laughing. She says, "that tiny bug. In Africa big bugs (using hand motions to make her point)!" Daughter's eyes get real big and she says, very seriously, "I do not like bugs!" Oh, what an adventure she is going to have!!!

Last Sunday our church took a special offering for us. We want to say THANK YOU!!! We are so proud of our church family. PHC...we love you, and thank you. Thank you, also to all of you who have been supporting us. We praise God and thank Him for you.

We have been working with two numbers of what we need to raise. $11,000 is for our trip, for which all donations have been going. It covers the airfare, travel insurance, expenses while in ghana, visas, passports, etc... We are almost there. We have $3077.00 left to go!!

The second number is what we need personally to cover our regular living expenses while we are gone. Funny, the landlord wants the rent if you're home or not! :-) Jody has been working alot of extra hours, and I have been cleaning as many apartments as come my way. We have $3547.00 left to go. Last year, Jody was able to pick up alot of extra work during the fall months, so we are praying for a repeat year.

We purchased our tickets this week!!! WOW what a good feeling!!! With Frank here we were able to sit down and find some dates that work for both of us and have a good fare with only one connection. So, our dates will be: January 8, 2009 to March 5, 2009. We fly directly to Amsterdam (10 hour flight!) and then to Accra (7 hour flight). Then it's a 4 hour bus ride to Kumasi. BUT for the sake of our babies, we're going to say the night in Accra and save the drive for the morning.

I am really getting excited. We are about to begin a new chapter. It is so awesome. We don't know what the future holds (I mean, do we ever??), but just knowing that we are moving forward is indescribably awesome.

We have been spending alot of time talking about the Canaan Life Project with Frank. CLP has been in his heart for many years. We have been praying with him about it for the past two. The more we talk about it the more I see his heart, and the more excited I get about it. It is very practical. It is discipleship. It is seeing past the moments when the fire God falls into the everyday challenges; it marries the two.

Jesus came to preach the good news to the poor. Salvation is the ultimate free gift. But we are whole persons, and Jesus cares about our whole life. He cares if we can feed our families. He wants us to prosper, and have a good life. Canaan Life seeks to teach people how to live for Him in all areas of life. To honor God with your work, your money, your relationships.

I want to see the fire fall. I love to see God move powerfully. I love to see people radically saved and set free. I love to see poeple healed. But, and the same time, I really love to see people disciples. That is the great commission. Duplicate yourself; multiply. AMEN!!

OK, changing the subject now, we are trying to sell our van. It is a good van, but we don't want a payment anymore. So, if you know anyone interested, let me know. Same goes for handyman and cleaning work. If you know anyone looking, send them our way. And, just a reminder, with the holidays coming, if you plan to buy anything of, go to our website first. and click on the link to amazon. We get a referral fee each time you buy via our website.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Yesterday was great!

Thanks to all of you who prayed for us yesterday. We had a great time worshipping with our friends at Lake Oswego Christian Center. What a great bunch of people!

Thank you, Lord for opening this door and connecting us with another group of believers. Amen.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Please Pray for Us Tomorrow!

We have been blessed with an opportunity to share our vision and trip plans with another local church tomorrow morning. This is the first time we have gone outside of our church family to speak about missions. We are a little nervous! But are very thankful that God has opened this door for us.

Please pray for us tomorrow morning. Please pray that God will show us clearly what to share, what to say. Please pray that the hearts of the people will be open to receive, and that they will give obediently.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

We're already half way there!

I can't believe nearly three months have passed since we first began preparing for our trip! Only three more short months and we'll be on our way. WOW! The time has really flown by!

There is still SO MUCH to do. I know that it will all get done, but sometimes it is quite overwhelming.

Although we we have only raise about a fourth of our total need, we are at the half way point for our tickets!! YAY! Prices have come down--praise the Lord--that really helps. And all of your guys' faithful giving has been awesome! THANK YOU!! God has also been providing us with side jobs, so we have been able to save some money, too.

Pastor Frank and his wife Cecilia will be with us Sept 24th-Oct 7. We can't wait!

Thursday, September 4, 2008 is up and running on the website.

Still working on getting it on the blog, but it is now working on the website. So, if you have some shopping to do at go to FIRST, then click on the links for That is all you have to do and we will get a referral fee of 4-15% of your total purchase price each and everytime you shop. So, spread the word! :-)

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Thank You, Seeking the Compass, and

First, Jody and I want to say a heartfelt THANK YOU to everyone who has given financially. It means so much to us. We are so blessed and humbled. Thank You.

Sunday's sermon on living by the Compass rather than a map really hit home. Pastor spoke about following God rather than the "road map" of methods/traditions. Road maps change, if the landscape changes and you are dependant on the map, you will be lost. A Compass is not dependant on landmarks. To listen to the whole sermon, visit
Jody and I dont want to go to Africa and do things the same old way. Nor do we want to try the latest and greatest method. We want God to move. We want to see the supernatural change people's lives. We want to raise up disciples. If we try in our own might, we will be dependant on a map. We want to be dependant on God, and follow His compass. This is our prayer "Lord, may we rely on you and not our own methods or understandings. Remind us when we start to pull out old maps to use the Compass instead. May we listen to your Voice and follow you. Keep us humble and dependant on you. May Your Will be done. May Your Kingdom come. AMEN"

In a few days, there will be a link here and at our website for If you follow that link, which will take you right to and make a purchase, Ask For the Nations will get a referral fee of 4-15% of your purchase. This works even if you buy something from a third party of (Like a used book from a private seller.) You don't have to enter a code or anything like that. All you have to do is instead of going directly to Go first to either this blog or our website, and click on the amazon link. That's it! Happy Shopping!! :-)

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Some more great news....

Yesterday Jody and I received an invitation to present our ministry to a church in Lake Oswego in a few weeks. We are excited and also nervous. Please keep this in your prayers!! We'll keep you updated with more details as the date gets closer.

YAY! Pastor Frank is coming!!

Well, after three weeks of trying to contact Pastor Frank by phone, I have finally made contact! (Note to the previous blog...just because there is technology doesn't mean it always works! :-)

Pastor is in London, and is planning to visit us for a few weeks at the end of September. He will be bringing his lovely wife Cecilia. We are so excited! Pastor Frank is the best example of a New Testament Apostle that I have ever seen. He is a humble servant of the Lord Jesus Christ, and having him in our lives and in our home is such a blessing.

The kids are really excited about it! They Love Pastor Frank! He is a great African Papa to them. For Malachi there is usually a hidden agenda. See, Pastor visiting usually means he gets to sleep in our bed. Little does he know that this time they'll be sleeping in the family room. Malachi will be so disappointed. ;-)

The timing of their visit is great, as we will be able to finalize details of our trip and spend time in prayer together about it.

YAY! I can't wait!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Staying in touch is so easy....

When I was in college, my Missionary Life Professor said that the saving grace for his wife while overseas was email. He said that being able to communicate easily with family and friends helped her adjust better, and curbed the affects of culture shock.

That was 10 years ago when the wide spread use of email and the Internet was still fairly new. Today, third world countries not only have the Internet, but more and more have access to broadband, and it is quickly spreading into the rual areas.

Gone are the days of analog cell phones. Now with GSM, your cell phone will work practically anywhere in the world---given you have signed up for the right plan, that is.

If hearing your loved one's voice isn't enough, you can see their face while talking live with your web cam over the Internet.

Can't handle just a web cam? Gotta see them face to face?? If you have the cash and a passport on hand, you can get to practically anywhere in the world in 24 hours.

Technology has made it possible for missionaries to stay connected with their family, something that was nearly impossible 100 years ago.

Back then, when you answered the call to be a missionary, you would say good bye to your family (sometimes forever), get on a boat, and make the long journey (often taking several weeks) to a foreign country. Your only connection to family or support of any type was the mail, and sometimes even that was not available.

I really admire those missionaries. What courage and faith to truly lay it all down. Not sure if I could do that....but I guess with God's grace anything is possible. Even so, I give thanks that I live in this era of technology.

I believe that my professor was right. I think today's technology will be my kid's saving grace. They will be able to stay connected with their world back home. It is my prayer that this will help them ease into their new life (even just for 2 months) and curb their culture shock...

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


So, I just signed up for Skype. It's an online phone/video phone. It's free to download and free to call other skype members. Providing we have access to an internet connection (which may mean weekly trips to an internet cafe) this is how we will keep in contact with people while in Ghana. So, if you wanna call us while we're there, check it out.
our user ID is: jsroscoe

Monday, August 18, 2008


Hallelujah!!!! Our July newsletters are finally ALL done! (Yes, I know it is August 18th) NEVER AGAIN will I attempt such a feat; I'm leaving it up to the professionals! :-)

Everyone will get a newsletter in the mail. If you don't, it means we couldn't find your address. We would like to get as many people on the email list as possible, to cut down on postage. So, if you would prefer to receive future newsletters by email, please let us know. You can email me your email address and I will put it on the list.

A quick prayer note regarding the kids school. We are homeschoolers. We homeschool for two reasons. 1--I want the priveledge of teaching my kids. It is a decision made with much prayer, and one that is very important to us. 2--We are missionaries, and homeschooling fits that well!

Now, Daughter is supposed to be going into Kindergarden this year, but she is actually nearly finished with kindergarden (she would have finished in June if we would have done school full time last year). She will be done before Christmas. She is so smart and is breezing through the curriculum. She knows all her letters and sounds, and can read small sentences. She can do simple addition and subtraction. She can write all her numbers and letters, big and small (altough she is still prefering capitals over lower case) and can write sentences on her own phonetically. She can also write them properly if you verbally tell her how to spell. Yes, I am bragging for a moment, but I am just so proud of my little girl!

Son has also been doing kindergarden with us (although if you ask him, he will tell you he is in 6th grade), and had been keeping up quite well. He recognizes most letters, and knows most sounds. He can write some capital letters and some numbers. He recognizes most numbers, and can count to 20 on his own.

We have been using ACE/School of Tomorrow (love it!). I found out today that they have a missionary program. If our application is approved, they will help pay for the majority of the materials. We missed the Fall cut off, but we can apply for the Winter semester. This would work out well, as Daughter will be ready for first grade at that time. (Son will remain in Kindergarden for another year). Please pray for favor with this application!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

God's Will, Agreement and Alignment

Today's message---the whole series of the past few weeks has been awesome. Pastor (aka Dad) has been preaching on the Will of God, Agreement and Alignment. It has really challenged me ask the Holy Spirit to examine me, and show me the areas of my life that are out of line, and those areas that I need to come into agreement with God about.

Durning Cleansing Streams (a class on deliverance) in college we learned about proper alignment, authority, and submission. There was a simple prayer that was taught that I used to say daily. I have gotten out of the habit, but was remined today how powerful and important those words and the action behind them are.

Lord, I choose to walk in agreement and alingment with You and Your Will today. I choose to be yoked with you. Show me those things that would keep me from being in agreement and alignment with you. I recognize that I am dependant on your grace and strength in order to do this. In the Name of Jesus, I command my body to submit to my soul, my soul to submit to my spirit, and my spirit submit to the Spirit of God. AMEN!

If you want to hear these messages click here. If the series is not here yet, it will be soon.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

It is HOT outside!!!

Whew! Is it HOT!!! Yesterday and today was in the high 90s. I love our new home (we moved in January) except for one thing---no central air! :-(

To escape the heat, we spent the day at the river. It was crowded, but really nice and cool. The kids had a great time, but were so tired when we got home that they didn't even protest going to bed!

While on the way to the river, we stopped for gas. Jody went in to pay and get some drinks Daughter was whining about the heat, and asking for the air to be turned up. I told her, "Daughter, this is how it feels in Africa." She said, "It does!?!" I said, "yep!" Son said "but Summer is almost over." I said "Summer is never over in Africa. There it is summer all the time." He said "WHAT! No winter, no spring!" I said, "nope. Its always hot. Sometimes it rains alot, and they call that the rainy season, but it is still hot, even when it rains." Daughter said "ohhh man!" .....I sure hope they adjust to the heat and humidity quickly. Goodness knows, I never did....

A few prayer requests, and a small blessing. I have been looking for a good computer backpack that is sturdy and meets the second carryon size limitations. I want something that is not going to fall apart---I am really hard on bags, and tend to over stuff! So, this has not been an easy task without paying a lot of money.

Well, on a whim I went to Office Max to check out a bag that I found on the internet. That bag wasnt there. I found one I liked, but didnt get it because of the price. I turned around and there was a clearance table. On that table was a bag, nicer than the one I chose, on clearance for $18.00 (originally $60.00). I just love God's provision and blessing. I love it when He shows us that he cares about the little things we care about.

Prayer requests... December 7th is election day in Ghana. Ghana has been "coup free" and peaceful since 1981, but in it's 51 years of independance has actually only had one smooth, democratic, leadership transition. This was in 2001 from their former president to current president. Let us pray for PEACE, and that God's man would be elected, and that the transition would happen PEACEFULLY.

Secondly, please pray that ticket prices would go down, and that God would show us the exact dates to leave and return. Right now we are looking at 12/29- 2/27 or 2/28. This is diffrent from our original plan, which was mid January to mid March. Due to a VERY happy occasion, we are pushing our trip up. My sister is pregnant--A VERY BIG ANSWER TO PRAYER and my niece/nephew will be here at the end of February. Also, our annual men's retreat was pushed up to the first weekend in March, and it is very important to Jody to be back for that.

So, the return date we feel good about, it is the departure date that makes me uneasy. See, we have promised to go to SC for Christmas this year (since married in 2000 we have not spent a Christmas in SC, always due to money and ticket prices. Those same two issues are threatening our trip this year, too. Please pray for that as well!) We would be returning from SC on the 26th, and that is a little too close for comfort!

You may say, just pick a later date---not that easy. So far we have ran into one of two things: later dates (even one day later) are either much more expensive or do not offer a direct flight from Portland to Amsterdam and from Amsterdam to Accra. Some flights had up to four connections! Not something I want to do with two kids, plus, the more connections you have, the more opportunity there is for lost luggage!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

We're Done!!

YaY!! We are all done with shots....well, maybe.....

Yesterday we all got all the necessary shots, the most important being yellow feaver, which you need to get a visa. Both kids did great! Son cried, but didn't freak out. He was a very brave boy! Daughter was very brave as well. We had a great nurse, who was very good at her job. The shots were pretty much painless.

After the shots, both kids got to pick out a prize at Target. Son chose IronMan and Daughter picked art stuff. She is so creative!!

So, as far as shots go, we are all done, with the exception of a possible flu shot this winter.

However, please pray for us! We have a decision to make about the Rabies vaccination. Jody and I have gone back and forth about it for awhile, in regards to the kids. Rabies has been a recommended vaccination since my first trip to Ghana back in '97. Neither of us have received it because it is very expensive, and we are not working with animals. But, kids tend to be more at risk since they are more likely to play with animals.

If you get the vaccination, you would still need treatment in the event of a bite, but it gives you more time, and the treatment is diffrent, more safe, and more available. However, the vaccination is a 3 shot series, and the total cost is $775 per person! If you dont get the vaccination and you get bit, you must be treated immediatly, and the treatment is hard to come by overseas, and the side affects are much more dangerous. Plus, it can cost up to $6000.00.

It may seem like a no brainer, but we really are not sure which way to go. First, that is $1500 that we didn't budget for. Second, that is three more shots for two kids that have already had 7 shots/vaccinations this year. Thirdly, there is a shortage of the vaccination in the US, so we may not be able to get it anyway! So, do we not do it and trust God for protection, or do we find a way to make it happen? Please pray that God would give us wisdom for this decision. We have until November to decide.

On another note, yesterday was a hard day for Son and I was reminded of how much our kids need His grace for what we are about to do. Oddly, Daughter seems to be embracing this big change really well. Usually, she is the one more resistant to change.

However, Son is not as excited. A big part of that was the shots. That was a really big deal for him. Since he HATES them. He has been saying "I dont want to go to Africa, because I dont want shots." But, yesterday afternoon, he just broke down crying. "I dont want to go to Africa and live in a diffrent house! What will we do there? I dont want other kids playing with my toys." It broke my heart. How scary this must be for him. And what can I do about it? I know that God has called us---our family---and I know he will be with our kids and give them peace, but as a mom, I just want to make it all better. I held him and we talked about why we are going (to tell people about Jesus), and that he would have lots of friends his age to play soccer with, and that he could keep his special toys inside. My comfort was doing nothing for him, but daddy saved the day by coming home with a Slurpee at that exact moment.

Even though yesterday was a bad day, there are good days when I see that they, too, share in the burden God has given us. They will talk to eachother and to their friend about how the kids there dont know about Jesus, and we have to tell them. Sometimes they will bring me a toy or a shirt and say, can we bring this to Africa to give to the kids that dont have any? I am so proud of them, and I cannot wait to see how God uses them to minister His love to the kids over there.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Little Blessings....

I love the little blessings of God. He is so good. Today I called to make an appointment for our vaccinations at the only clinic in town that does not charge for an office visit, only to find out that they do not vaccinate kids. Bummer. But they gave me the name of another clinic. Well, they do charge for their visit, but their vaccines are WAY cheaper! With the dr visit included it will cost us $60.oo less than the other clinic. God is good!

We also have recieved a HUGE blessing. Our sister church in Lathrop, Missouri has blessed us with $1000.00 toward out tickets. PRAISE THE LORD!!

Tomorrow the kids will get their Menegoccocial immunization at the dr office. My poor babies. I hate to see then poked. But I would rather them suffer a little pain now than alot of pain later! Please pray for them. Especially Son, because as we all know, he HATES shots!

Sunday, July 27, 2008


God is good. When you are in His will, He is faithful to provide for all your needs. One full month has gone by, and we have made quite a headway.

We have about 1/2 of the clothes we need (we have to buy things now, as it's pretty hard to find summer clothes in the middle of winter). We've been picking things up on clearance, and have ran into some really great deals!

We have the kids passports (they came back quickly!), and are scheduled for yellow fever shots this coming Thursday. Jody has been working really hard on a side job, and has made enough money to cover all the shots we have left. Thank you Lord for your provision!!

Money for ticket is slowly coming in as well. God is faithful, and I know that He will provide for all our needs.

There is one small set back....newsletters. I have been working on getting them out since June!! All the printing, addressing, stuffing and , envelope licking.....oh, it is not my favorite task! I was going to outsource it to the printers, but my loving sister said she would help, and she has been a great help, but the pile is still there.... Next month, they are going to the printers!

Meanwhile, "real life" goes on. Son had an appointment with the speech therapist this week. He has a slight speech impediment. His DR just wanted it checked out, to see if it would need therapy or work itself out as he gets older. Well, it turns out that my baby is an excellent talker! He is 4 yrs 2 months, and his speech is at the age of 5 yrs 4 months. The DR said there is no need for therapy and that he is very smart. She said that his language was advanced as well. She didn't do a language evaluation, because she said she could tell that he would score off the charts! I was very proud of him. I was also very proud of Daughter who sat quiet while brother got to answer all the questions. Something that I know was very hard for her to do. She is my little social butterfly and loves to talk. I could tell it was killing her not to be able to add her two cents!

Daughter and Son just finished Bible Soccer (Day) Camp. They had a blast!

We have our trailer up and are getting it all cleaned out and ready for this weekend's church camp out. We look forward to this trip all year. It's going to be great!

Work is in full swing for the seems the more I cut back, the more I get sucked back in....but that's OK....things will be back to normal in about six weeks.

Next week, it will be time for school again. We took things slow last year, so we need to get a head star this year. We will finish kindergarten by Christmas break, and then start first grade. At least Daughter will. Son will still be in kindergarten, but if you ask him, he will tell you he's in sixth grade. :-)

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Shots Phase One

Oh, what a dramatic day! Today, Son had her five-year-old annual check up. She is in good health, of course, but part of her check up was giving a urine sample. All I gotta say is have you ever tried to get a 5 yr old girl to "go" in a cup? She told me "Mommy! I am supposed to go in the toilet, not a cup!" Son said, "I'll do it!" I don't know if he was trying to be helpful, or was just facinated with the idea of having something new to "aim" at.

Daughter was due for two shots. She is a very brave girl, and didn't even cry! She is now finished with all her childhood immunizations. Yay!

While we were there, the Doctor reviewed Son's immunization records, and decided Son should have his last two shots, the same Daughter had, so that he will have the complete Polio and DTP series before we go to Ghana. He said we could do it now or later. I opted for now. Son is NOT a fan of shots, so we might as well get it over with.

I told Son that he was going to get two shots, and that this was for Africa. Once he got these two he would only have to do three more, and then he would not have to have any more shots until he was a grown-up. AND, if he was really brave, we would go to McDonalds for lunch. My speech was not enough to comfort him. As soon as he saw the nurse come, he took off down the hall. I caught him, and laid him on the table. I had to hold his whole upper body and arms down---it took me laying over him and holding his hands to keep him from getting up. The nurse had to sit on his feet (after two kicks from Son) to get him to hold still so she could give him the shots in the thigh. He is crying, face beat red, and screaming, "Don't make me do this! Mommy, why are you doing this to me!" Ten seconds later, the shots are done, and after about two minutes, he has calmed down. The dramatic ordeal is over, and he is rambling about which Happy Meal toy he hopes he gets.

Both kids have three more shots to get, which will all be at diffrent times and places, so we get to do this all over again three more times in the next six months!

A really big answer to prayer came today, regarding recommended vaccines. One of the recommended vaccines for travel to Ghana is Meningococcal. This vaccine is normally given as a childhood immunization at the age of twelve, but can be given as young as two. At the travel clinic the shot is $220.00 per person, and not covered by insurance. Their Doctor said that he would give it to them, which means that it will be covered by our insurance. He said he could also write their perscription for Malaria pills, saving us another $20.00. Praise the Lord!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

One week later and a little bit closer...

It is one week later, and we are slowly beginning to check off the to do list.

One major check this week was that the kid's passport applications are finally in. What an ordeal!! It required a full morning off work for Jody (both parents must be present to get a minor child a passport), two hours with both kids in the post office, and a failed attempt to get a good passport photo for each kid. But, we survived, and two hundred dollars later.....we should have thier passports in four to six weeks....

Aside from all the preparations, life does goe on. It has been a busy week, the kids are still in school (I's July, but we took alot of breaks...), and things at work are starting to pick up for the season. Plus it was the forth! We had a really good holiday. We celebrated with our friends in Vancouver on the 3rd, and then on the 4th, we spent the evening at home with our kids in the back yard, making smores and watching all our neighbors' fireworks displays.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

We're finally going!

Yay! The time had finally come. God has opened the doors, and we are preparing to go to Ghana, West Africa this coming January. This has been a dream of ours for many years, so we are very excited.

We have so much to do, and only six months to do it. There are passports and visas to apply for, money to raise, shots to be gotten, work to be finished, and kids to prepare.

It is our hope that through this blog we can bring you along on the journey with us.

If you would like to read our July newsletter, please click here.

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