Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Day 6 in Africa

We have been here for 6 days and are busy getting settled. We don't have internet at home so our communication is very limited for now. We will be going into Mozambique on July 19th and then coming out on the 30th and heading back in on August 1st and staying until August 14th.

The kids have been busy this week at the church. There is an American team here and they are holding a VBS for the kids and youth at night each day this week. It has been good for the kids to get to know some of the kids at the church.

Our house is right across the street from the church and only a 10 minute walk from the mall which is where the grocery store. We will post pictures as soon as we can.

This week we are busy shopping around trying to find the best prices for the appliance we need as well as new things for the bathrooms. We are going to have to redo the bathrooms now in order to get them in good working condition. God is good and He is great. We are completely trusting Him to provide all our needs.

Monday, June 22, 2009

On Our Way

We are in the DFW airport waiting to get on the plane for Germany then a 14 hour layover and then on to Africa. Thanks for your prayers, encouragement and support We will post when we can.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

We leave on Monday

We leave in 3 more days! Wow, I can't even believe it is already time. Six years since we first felt the Lord calling us to Africa full time. Several years of praying, dreaming, planning, wondering is finally here. I am so amazed at all the Lord has done in us and for us. He totally amazes us each day!

We are READY to be on the plane. I will tell you though I am not looking forward to all the goodbyes this weekend. It is defiantly a bitter-sweet time. We are so blessed to have so many people who love and support us. We are thankful that the Lord put each person He has into our lives. I am thankful for the Internet it will help stay connected to everyone here. Our vonage phone does work and right now we are able to get voice mails and as soon as we get settled and get our Internet up we will be able to call and receive calls. Remember, it will be like a local call for you.

We got a call the other day from the Mission director. He was just checking in with us to make sure all the last minute details are coming together. He told us that after the PaulAnn team leaves we will go back into Mozambique with the last team for the summer. They are going to a village called Matsilele. This is the first village we went to in 2003. This is the village where the Lord began to call us to full time missions. This is the village that I meet a friend, her name is Casilda. This is the village that I have longed to back to each year and have not been able to get there. I am praising God that He is taking us back to where it all began and I can't wait to see my friend and tell her I have been there 4 other times and now I live in South Africa!!! I just can't wait to get there. I praise the Lord!!!!

We will post as often as we can along our travels. I am even going to attempt to video blog. We will have a layover in Germany and it looks like we will get to see some sites! Thank you again for all of your prayers, encouragement and support.

Prayer Request ...
-our health as we travel
-for our time with family and friends
-for our finances;we are not fully funded & we are trusting the Lord to provide.
-for the hearts of the people in Mozambique - for their eyes to be open to the TRUTH

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Our Shipping Container has left San Angelo

Today was one of those days. Let me say that if you haven't read the last post you need to scroll down and read it first. Our sea crate was due to arrive at the local warehouse at 9 am this morning. We went to get the church van and trailer so we would be able to load up the furniture that wouldn't fit by the time the container was full. We arrived at the warehouse at 9 am and the container wasn't there yet but the workers were busy getting our crates from storage. We settled in the van and waited.

As we were waiting our realtor called to see where we were at because he wanted to bring something to us. We weren't sure what it could be since we had already closed on our house and thought we had taken care of everything. He showed up within 5 minutes and began to tell us why he came. He said a few weeks ago he was telling a man about our family and the man told our realtor that if he sold his house for him in less than 30 days he would make a donation to our family for the move. Well he just came from the closing and did sell it within 30 days. He said that he didn't want to remind the man of what he had promised, he would just wait and see what God did. Well after the closing he was given $1,000 to give to us. He came right away and handed us the check. Amazing!!! We are so thankful for the amazing ways God continues to show us this is HIS will for our family.

Well by 9:45 we started wondering where our container was so Mark called the shipping dispatch to find out. The lady did some checking and said that it had arrived at 9 am. Mark told her that we were at the warehouse and it wasn't there. She did some checking and called us back to tell us the container arrived on time but it was sitting at our old house. They called the trucker and explained that we sold the house and our belongings were not there. They gave him directions to the warehouse.

Here is how the day went ... The container arrived to the warehouse at 10 and they were finished by 2:30. We knew that we were going to have too much stuff so we told them the packers several times from the start of the day that there were certain pieces of furniture that we did not want to take. That the boxes were more important to us. As the day went on they were busy unpacking crates and trying to fit everything in the container. Let me say that these guys were very hard and did a good job overall. The only problem was that even though we told them we didn't need an armories and dresser it was packed anyway. By the time they got to the last few feet there were still several boxes that needed to go as well as our bed. Well it was too late to get to the dresser etc. Long story short they got all the boxes in and when they shut the container doors we were left with my bike and Mark's bike, 2 tool benches, our King size headboard, mattress and box spring, (the king bed frame was packed), a shop vac and a jewelry box (one that has several drawers and side doors etc. I never really had much to fill it with so that was fine to stay behind).

Let me say we were a little frustrated but when it was all said and done we have to acknowledge the fact that we prayed that the Lord would allow what needed to go to get packed. It didn't turn out quite the way we thought it would but it is DONE and on its way!!! We spent the afternoon finding a new home for the bikes and shop vac and then we were able to sell our mattress, box spring, headboard and jewelry box to a used furniture store that has been so helpful over the last few weeks buying a few odd things from us. So tonight we sit and we feel so much better having our container on the way. The Lord has shown us over the last several months that stuff can just get in the way and cause so many distractions. Our container is full of stuff that will be nice to have but the bottom line it is just STUFF! Stuff that causes stress, stuff that creates mess, stuff that steals time away from us. Yes, it will be nice to have, fun to unpack, but the Lord has really shown us that we don't need so much! Anyway, just part of the process.

We are so thankful for all God has shown us along the way! We are looking forward to what the rest of the journey holds. Please continue to pray for our family. We fly out in 12 days. Pray for our health. We have been so blessed with our health and we are continuing to ask the Lord to grant us health as we travel. Please pray for our finances. We only need 100 more families to commit to giving $25 per month and we will be fully funded. That is just like giving up one meal out to eat a month to support a missionary family. Please join us in praying for rest of our financial support to come in.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

13 days til we leave!

Well, it has been BUSY around here. Last week was a BIG week for our family. We sent our dog to her new home, we finished packing our household items, had a birthday party for our son, the movers came (see story below), we cleaned our home, meet the new owners and closed on the house! It was definitely a busy and emotional week for sure. Now we are staying at a friends home for the next 2 weeks and trying to wrap up all the last minute things before we leave.

The movers were supposed to come on Wednesday but we got a call and they asked if they could come on Thursday. That was fine since we didn't have to be out of the house until Friday afternoon and we really weren't ready for them on Wednesday anyway. We woke up early Thursday and pulled everything out into the garage and driveway, except a couple of mattresses which were in the living room. We were waiting and around 9:15 we saw the big semi turn the corner and head down the street. I must admit that was an emotional moment for me. We have lived in this house for 13 years and it has been our HOME. We have seen several military families come and go over the years and never thought it would be us with a big semi with crates in our front yard. This is just a bitter sweet time for us ... we are so excited for the new journey the Lord has for us in Africa. This has been 6 years of dreaming, praying and planning for this and now it is here.

Well, the 2 guys that came to pack our stuff were so nice to work with. They did a GREAT job. The problem is we have felt like we are taking too much stuff and we were ready for our 20 foot see container to get to our house so we could see what would fit etc. When they pulled up they were bringing crates and not a container. Well long story short, the container was on a ship in Houston and the crane that was supposed to take it off the boat broke so they had the local moving company come and pack us so they could store it in there warehouse until Friday at 1:00 and then they would unpack the crates and load the container. That was fine until the end of the packing on Thursday and we had all 5 crates full and still didn't have the 4 bikes and 2 or 3 mattresses as well as a few ladders in. They had to call for a moving truck to come and pick that up when the semi came back to get the crates. With that said, the stress increased. STUFF ... too much stuff. We have tried to clean out but you still face the battle of well, we might need this and we might need that, on and on. We knew it was going to be tight and we had a plan. We had asked to guys loading as soon as they got there if they thought this would all fit int he 20 ft. and they said they believed it would. We wanted to be sure because there were some furniture items we would have told them not to pack just to be sure.

On Friday we went and got the church van and trailer and headed to the warehouse to wait on the container. We were prepared to take some of our furniture out and sell it so there was room. We waited and took care of things around downtown while waiting on the container. We got a call at 3:30 that the container would not be in town until the 10th. So we are now waiting until tomorrow for the container to come and we will see if it will all fit. If not then we will be selling some furniture. Please pray that tomorrow will go smooth and we will stay focused on the Lord and be able to be a blessing to the movers. We are praying the stress of the stuff will not overtake us.

About a month ago our daughter put together a video for us to use as we promote our move to Africa. She did a great job and we wanted to share it with you.

Here is the video our church put together for us when they Comissioned us as Full Time Missionaries on May 31st.

We also had the opportunity to speak at another church this past Sunday, West Side Baptist Church. We felt very welcomed. We will also be speaking this next Sunday morning at another church here in town.