Monday, October 3, 2011

Pastor Frank is coming, and we really are going to Africa!

Waiting is the name of the game around here lately! September 20th was our target return to Ghana date. There was nothing magical about this date, other than it worked well for all parties (at the time we set it). Scheduling kinks and delays have seen that target date come and go. Leaving us a little disappointed, but knowing God must have something better in store.

It wasn't long after we returned from Portland that we received word from Pastor Frank (our main contact in Ghana) that he was going to be in the USA for most of October and November. It would have been quite a challenge to try and get settled in Ghana with Pastor Frank back here in America.

As of now, the plan is still a bit up in the air about when we will go to Ghana, but we are getting closer to knowing for sure. We will either return with Pastor Frank at the end of November, or wait until after the holidays and go in the beginning of January.

Please keep praying for us! We are ready to go, but still do have some important details to work out.

We also continue to be in need of monthly financial partners. If you are interested in getting involved with our ministry, please visit our website or contact us: .

Also, if you would like to give towards Pastor Frank's traveling expenses and love offering, please click here for a direct online giving link, or visit our website for mailing instructions.

The Kids with Pastor Frank and Cecilia during their last visit in 2008.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Back from Portland, Heading toward Africa.

We are back from vacation in Portland. Well, we're almost all back. Jody will return in just a few more days. We had a great time visiting many family and friends. We wish we could have seen more friends and family, but the three weeks seemed to zoom by too quickly.

Now that we are back, it's time to go to Africa! ....just slightly later than originally planned.

We are working with a local Christian company who is interested in business ventures in Ghana. Working with them would help supplement the remainder of our support needed to live and minister in Ghana. We were supposed to have a meeting to solidify things prior to leaving for Portland. Due to scheduling conflicts the meeting was postponed.

Our original scheduled return date was September 20th. We are pushing this back by a few weeks, so that we can reschedule our business meeting, and finalize all our plans.

This change in schedule doesn't mean a change in busyness! It just means we won't be pulling out quite as much hair as we finish all the last minute preparations and packing.

So, we will keep you posted during the next few weeks, and will share our new departure date as soon as we have it. In the mean time, enjoy a few pictures from our time in Portland.

The kids with their friends at the Oregon Zoo.

Fun at the Beach.

Son being baptized by Papa at Truelife Church. His confession of faith: "I love God... I want everyone to know I love Him and that He's the boss of my life."

Cousin wrestling time!

My beautiful niece and me.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

From Stephanie's Blog: A Year's Adventure

Yesterday marked the one year anniversary of one of the most life altering decisions our family has ever made. We packed up all our belongings in a small Uhaul trailer, hooked to our big blue minivan, said good bye to all of our family and friends, and headed out for South Carolina.

What a year it has been! Our trek across the United States was an adventure in itself, seeing Old Faithful and Mount Rushmore, visiting friends and family in Missouri, and viewing the beautiful landscapes across this great country.

This year we have gone to Mexico (twice for my husband)Link and Washington D.C., and have made friends with missionaries serving around the world.

We participated in an amazing missions training program, and have built life long friendships with some wonderful people with a passion to serve others with a missions call.

Making the decision to move was difficult. It took months of prayer, thinking, and discussing. It was the source of many tears and pain. It is never easy to choose to leave all that is familiar and loved. Stepping out in faith into the great unknown causes a person to take pause; to make a conscious choice to fully trust in the Lord.

The Lord is so good to those who put their trust in Him! He has honored our step of faith and
we have experienced His abundant favor this year. We are so thankful for all He has done.

Our desire in going to South Carolina and the World Outreach Center was to fully focus on getting to Africa. Now, one year later we are weeks away from starting yet another adventure, this time on foreign soil.

At the moment, we are back in Oregon, visiting, and savoring every moment spent with family and friends. We take a moment to give thanks for all He has done this past year, and for all that this next year has in store.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

I just don't think I am ready.

While on an ice cream run to the grocery store the other night, my son turned to me and said, "Mom, I just don't think I am ready to go back to Africa." I asked him why and he went on to tell me, as best he could, that he wants to go to Africa, but he also wants to stay. "...I just know I will miss everyone so much, so I don't think I am ready."

I took this moment for what it was, a chance for my little man to express his mixed emotions, and an opportunity to teach him a life less: We are never fully ready.

I, too, just don't think I am ready. My apprehension goes a bit deeper than anticipation of missing friends, family, and the comfort of familiarity. Am I prepared to do what God has called me? Am I "spiritual" enough? Holy enough? Do I have enough faith and love? Is my Bible knowledge and prayer life up to par? Am I ready to face all the obstacles? Do I have what it takes to give my children the extra care and attention required? When I take inventory of all these things, through my own perspective, the answer is always NO, NO, NO!

However, as I was able to share with my son, it's not about us or our abilities. We will never be ready on our own. That's why we need Jesus. That's why there is grace. If we were ever ready all by ourselves, there would be no need to trust in and rely on the power of Jesus. It's normal not to feel ready. It's in those moments that we cast our cares upon Him, and allow Him to be strong where we are weak. If God tells you to do something, He will make you ready and able.

We are about six weeks out from our target return to Ghana date. There are so many things that just aren't ready in the natural. There is an internal battle going on between totally freaking out and fully trusting that God has everything under control. Truth is, He does have everything under control. He is the Alpha and Omega. He knows how it's all going to work out. He IS ready, and for that I am so very thankful.

Monday, July 25, 2011

MAY-JUNE Newsletter

Okay, sure, July is almost over, but whose counting, right?

Read our May/June Newsletter: HERE

Monday, July 4, 2011

Moving Forward in Faith

Our family is schedule to leave for Ghana, West Africa, in just 12 short weeks. EEK!!

As each day passes, I find myself having to daily choose to live out one of my favorite scriptures: "Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and He will make your paths straight." (Prov 3:5-6)

In the natural, everything is not in place for us to go in 12 weeks. We do not have the monthly support we need. We have several promising possibilities for support, but you can't take a promise to the bank.

I have been here before: scheduled to go, with no finances to leave, and God did not provide. Looking back, if I had listened to Him, I would have heard Him clearly saying, "This is not the path I have for you," and saved myself from a very humbling lesson.

Now that I am here again, I have a choice. I can look at what happened last time, and respond with caution and fear, or I can more forward in faith. I have listened, He has spoken clearly, now is the time to go. I can look at what He has done, and trust that this is the path He has for our family.

God has already miraculously provided all the funds we need to move to Ghana. He is opening doors for us to work with an international company that would help supplement our income while also helping the people of Ghana. He has provided a team member to join us (a HUGE answer to prayer). He's brought us this far, can't I just be at peace and trust that he will bring us the rest of the way?

The doubts play over and over like a broken record in my mind. What if it doesn't work out with this company? Where will the rest of our finances come from then? What if this person or that church doesn't come through on their promise of support? What if September comes and we don't have the finances? What if we didn't hear God clearly? What if, once again, we are wrong??

I like things to be set in place, plans concrete, organized, no room for error, no room for doubt, no need to trust. But if there is no need to trust in God, that means I am in control. If I am in control, then God has no room to do exceedingly abundantly above all that I ask or think (Eph 3:20).

It is for my benefit that He doesn't reveal the whole plan upfront. It is for my benefit that I move forward in faith, trusting that God will make my path straight, according to His perfect will.

As a family we are choosing to move forward in faith. We are submitting and trusting God. Keep praying for us, and together we will see God do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think....

P.S. Did I say a new team member was joining us? Yes I did! Tesia is a young woman who was a part of our missions internship class. She has been living with our family since March. God has spoken to her heart, and she will be joining us in Ghana for three months. We are very excited to have her with us!

Friday, June 3, 2011

The countdown has begun!

There has never been question as to if we would return to Ghana, it has always been WHEN will we return to Ghana. We know that God is in control of all things, and we seek to walk in the fullness of His perfect will and timing. We may become inpatient at times, but we know He knows best.

At the beginning of the year we set a return goal date of mid September. Since that time God has been opening many doors in the way of relationships and future opportunities. However, here we are, just 16 weeks out from our departure date, and we are still so far from our financial support goals that things were beginning to look like they were never going to happen.

However, it only takes a moment for God to do a miracle. On Tuesday of this week, we received all of the up front money needed to return to Ghana!! God is so amazing! I love being surprised by His goodness.

We are still in need of monthly financial support. For us to minister in Ghana, the cost is $24,000 annually or $2,000 monthly. If you feel the Lord leading you to join our ministry team by becoming a financial partner, please contact us for more information.

In the mean time, we will continue to move forward and follow the Lord as He prepares the way for us to return to Ghana. The next 16 weeks are going to be crazy busy and very exciting. Be sure to subscribe to our blog or "like" us on facebook, for regular updates.

March-April Newsletter

March-April Newsletter

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Spring Family Update

From Stephanie's Blog...

This year is just FLYING by! Seriously, it seems like Christmas was yesterday. Spring promises to be just as busy as winter as we get closer and closer to the big move to Ghana!

Jody just got back from Juarez, Mexico, where he and a team built a roof on an orphanage. The lucky bum got to go with my sister and an old family friend. They had a great time while the kids and I took care of things on the home front.

I recently started a part time job, to help make ends meet and bring home a little extra bacon. Trying to find something that would work with our family's schedule is near impossible. This job basically fell in my lap! Thank you, Jesus!

I work in a Christian call center, answering phones for various Television and Radio ministries. It's open 24-7, so I am able to work evenings, after the kids and hubby are in bed.

About a month ago we took in a new family member. Tesia is a young lady that was in the internship with us. She is as sweet as can be and we are so happy to have her living with us. She is even praying about coming to Africa with us for awhile!

The kids are enjoying the nice spring weather we've been having, playing outside 'till dusk with their friends, building forts, riding bikes, and playing games.

They only have 6 weeks left of school, and are counting down the days. Papa Roscoe made them a BIG promise. "Finish school with As and Bs and I will give you $100.00." That is A LOT of money for little a kid. They have been dreaming of all the things they can buy, "once we are rich."

My babies are growing up quickly and will be 7 and 8 very soon. It's about time they have some of their own adventures. If everything works out, they may be going to spend some time with Nana and Papa with out Mommy and Daddy! I've never been away from my kids for more than two days, so I am not nearly as excited about this as they are.

Life is full and we are blessed. As we move forward in the things God has called us to do, we strive to "Trust God from the bottom of our heart; we don't try to figure out everything on our own. We listen for God's voice in everything we do, everywhere we go; he's the one who will keep us on track." (Prov 3:5-6 Msg)