Monday, August 29, 2011

All I Have is Christ

Almost a year ago the Lord lead us to Broken Bow, Nebraska. I can not begin to express how God has used this place and His people here to love us and send us out. Last night both of our pastors said, "You know, we're trying to pray you out of the country." Just their heart for shepherding us in this has been incredible and undeserving.  We're blessed.

Tonight I enjoyed another night of Life Group with a couple of precious sisters. God gave them when I least expected their friendship.  They have been such a means of grace this past year.  SUCH a means of grace!!!!  When we first landed here one of the life-giving truths was "Christ is all I have, Christ is all I need". That truth has nourished, convicted and motivated me for a year. This song was referenced tonight and again I am just praising God for His kindness, His vast love, His jealousy that draws us to enjoy Christ alone, His faithfulenss and the joy He freely fills us with when we wholly treasure, "All I Have is Christ." MM - MMM GOOD!  Lord help us to see you, to taste your magesty and to know your lavished splendor!  Oh but for the love of God through His Son - Jesus Christ.  What else can make this heart happy?!  We were made for this - to know His love!

81 became 89

Our family in front of a Haitian history museum
There's more than one way to skin a cat.

I typed that phrase knowing what it meant but not knowing what it's origins were.
Turns out no one really knows where it comes from. Mark Twain used it back in the late 1800's in one of his books, some people think it came from a Southern expression of skinning catfish, others say it refers to a gymnastic trick.
But pretty much everyone agrees on what it means.

There is more than one way to get things done.

Our original budget was an estimate. We, of course, have never lived in Haiti and CWO doesn't currently have any people from the U.S. living there that could help us with a budget.  So we asked questions about the cost of living and did some research. The White family was really REALLY helpful in that process.  Living in Haiti is sort of expensive. The reasons, I am told, are multiple. For one, the UN has a significant presence in Haiti. All those UN guys rent a lot of the housing, thus making the cost of it go up. Secondly, it's an island. Lots of things from fuel to food to Fords are imported. That makes all of those things more expensive too.

Back to the skinning the cat part:

God has been building our sending team by the week and we are getting very close to being sent. Thank you and Praise God! We have been blessed over and over by many of you. Your prayer and support are very valuable. As He is doing that, we have been re-evaluating our budget and trying to trim here and there. We submitted a new slimmed-down one today, asking if we can go on 90% of the original, and pending CWO Board approval we will go with the new one.

That means instead of having a budget that is 81% filled we have one that is little over 89%.

Bottom line: a bit more than 10% sends us

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Charis Babcock

Charis with one of her two sons.

I'd like you to meet the one and only Charis Babcock!  She completes our racing team.  The duathlon is 9 days away and counting.  We are all working super hard and it is a great honor to have Charis join in on the 'fun'.

Charis is Michelle's sister and so that is how I know this lovely lady!  One of my favorite things about Michelle is that she comes with sisters.  Charis is a fabulous piece in their family puzzle.  I love witnessing their sisterhood.  Though there are few similarities between the four of them they are a strong, passionate, oppinionated and spicy group of girls that love Jesus, His church and eachother.  Their conversations are stimulating and faith building and a little bit crazy.  Seriously, just a crew of chick-bliss.

Thank you Charis for following Jesus and being excited about missions with us.  I am so glad to have you on board!  This running/biking stuff isn't easy but so much more fun together and with a missions motive.

Check out her duathlon page here and consider sponsoring her.  It's a fun way to help send us missionary folk.  All proceeds go directly to Christian World Outreach and will be used for our ministry in Haiti.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Live like a Narnian!

"One word, Ma'am," he said, coming back from the fire; limping, because of the pain. "One word. All you've been saying is quite right, I shouldn't wonder. I'm a chap who always liked to know the worst and then put the best face I can on it. So I won't deny any of what you said. But there's one more thing to be said, even so. Suppose we have only dreamed, or made up, all those things-trees and grass and sun and moon and stars and Aslan himself. Suppose we have. Then all I can say is that, in that case, the made-up things seem a good deal more important than the real ones. Suppose this black pit of a kingdom of yours is the only world. Well, it strikes me as a pretty poor one. And that's a funny thing, when you come to think of it. We're just babies making up a game, if you're right. But four babies playing a game can make a play-world which licks your real world hollow. That's why I'm going to stand by the play world. I'm on Aslan's side even if there isn't any Aslan to lead it. I'm going to live as like a Narnian as I can even if there isn't any Narnia. So, thanking you kindly for our supper, if these two gentlemen and the young lady are ready, we're leaving your court at once and setting out in the dark to spend our lives looking for Overland. Not that our lives will be very long, I should think; but that's a small loss if the world's as dull a place as you say."
- Puddleglum in the Silver Chair by C.S. Lewis

LOST and noon-ball

I love LOST!

It's over now, but for 6 seasons I was addicted to it. The plot was awesome. The character development was great. Jack, Sawyer, Kate, Hugo, Ben, Charlie, Desmond, the was so much fun to tune in every Wednesday night to watch (or the website to catch up if I missed an episode). Still, if I see a picture of one of the actors I read about what they are doing now and what new movie or show they are going to be in.

I also love to play basketball. I'm a below average player but I like the game and the competition. When we lived in McCook I would go to the YMCA and play ball over the noon hour three times a week. I tried hard not to miss...not because I wanted to work out, but because I liked to play. If the Y was closed for some reason or if enough guys didn't show up to play it was a disappointment. It was a lot of fun and I always looked forward to it.

Every Wednesday after playing ball I would be in the locker room getting ready to go back to work and looking forward to that night...because Lost was going to be on at Mom and Dad's house! It was my routine and it made me happy. I probably looked forward to those two activities as much as anything else in my week.

Lost and noon-ball are good, not bad. Both can be done to the glory of God I think. Fiction is great and sports are great. Both are gifts from God and can be enjoyed. But this was, for a time, what I spent time thinking about and pursuing. It seems silly in retrospect, but at the time this was a major source of delight in my life.

Rather than delighting in God I was delighting in His gifts.

"It would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased." C.S. Lewis

This was also about the same time I stumbled upon the "Don't Waste Your Life" series by John Piper. I really had no idea what he was talking about in the study even though I was the one leading it. It just seemed like a good thing to do and the title was sort of edgy.

But through the course of this study the call to missions was beginning to be born in my life. The contrast with what I was and what God wanted me to be was emerging. I started to see that joy in life must come from more than a hobby or TV show or "drink or sex or ambition".

Don't be too easily pleased.

I'm still learning this lesson. Something external like moving to Haiti doesn't solve this internal problem. It's a life-long work of grace in order to increasingly enjoy God.

Monday, August 22, 2011

All is vanity

I saw this on another blog and I am reposting it. If you want to see the original blog post click here.

Here is an excerpt from the blog:

"The video of “Hurt” communicated exactly what the dying Cash seemed to understand, echoing Solomon of old: wealth, celebrity, fame, all of it is vanity in the maw of the grave. By contrasting images of the young celebrated Cash with images of the old, gasping, arthritic Cash, his “House of Cash” closed down and boarded over, the video turned then to what Cash saw as the only real alternative to his empire of dirt: the cross of Christ Jesus."

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

80% !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Well. We're officially at 80% of our monthly ministry budget!

When we decided to go to Haiti we thought ministry support-raising would be a breeze. It turns out to be quite difficult. It's humbling and faith-building at the same time. Once we got going on it we knew it was going to be harder and slower than expected. The last few months have been especially trying. We've spent some time discussing and praying and wrestling with God's will and timing in all things.

When we are faithless, He remains faithful. That is good news for fickle people like us. On Christ the Solid Rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand.

We just wanted to share this on our blog. It's big-time exciting for us. It was a milestone in this process that seemed very elusive.

Thank you to those who have prayed and given to this ministry and to us. You've been an enormous blessing.

Stay Away From Jesus

This guy has been playing loud at our house lately. A friend gifted it to us on itunes and we've been enjoying it more the longer we listen. It reflects truth. More specifically, it reflects true teaching that we've been drawn back to over and over again. The music is good (there is influences from Petra to Switchfoot), but the truth is better. Lyrics are below.

Stay Away From Jesus

Matt 5:44, 6:24, 7:13-14, 10:39, 19:14, Luke 14:26, 33, 9:23, James 2:17, 4:6, Ex 15:3, Rev 3:15-16,
John 6:53, 8:32, 14:6

You won't ever hear this song on Christian radio
Cause the Jesus that I serve is not safe
He'll say take Your cross and die
So if you want a comfy life
Stay away from Jesus
He says narrow is the gate and hard is the way
Hate the ones you love and love the ones you hate
Eat my flesh and drink my blood
But if your works are good enough
Stay away from Jesus
O let the children come
O let the prideful run
The Lord, The Lord is His name
He has died the world to save
But to believe is to obey
So come or stay away
He says be either hot or cold, you can't serve God and gold
Indifference is the road that leads to hell
So if you're happy in your stuff
and if 10%'s enough
Stay away from Jesus

He says come follow me
lose your life and be free
you must die to believe
like a child come and see
He draws every line in love, He is good and He is just
And the words He speaks are meant to set you free
But if you think you are the Way
And in control you have to stay
Then stay away from Jesus

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

He's Shouting: I AM GLORIOUS!

The glory of God is the manifest beauty of His holiness.
It's the going public of His holiness.
It's the way He puts His holiness on display for people to apprehend.

The heavens are telling of the glory of God.
What does that mean?
It means He's shouting at us.
He shouts with clouds.
He shouts with blue expanse.
He shouts with gold on the horizons.
He shouts with galaxies and stars.
He's shouting: I AM GLORIOUS!

Open your eyes.
Do you see it?
Do you love it?
You were made for this.
You were made for this! 
This is why I exist to see that.

Everything is pointing to that.
All the glory that I thought was so attractive is going there.
This is all husks and ashes.

Now we see through a glass darkly then face-to-face.

This light and momentary affliction is working for us an eternal weight of what?

Are you glad that you exist to display the glory of God?
God is aiming that we see and savor and treasure His glory.
The riches of His glory.

So I ask:  Do you see it?  Do you love it?
I say it again:  You were made for this!

This is from a sermon clip at the end of the song, "The Glory of God," by Matt Papa.  Check out this album here.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Why Haiti?

Another great question we hear often is, "Why Haiti?  or What made you choose Haiti?"
Ethan and Ivenson at the center in PAP

The short to that question is...
Haiti just seemed to open up to us.

The journey to that answer goes something like this...
In 2004 we started tracking a blog called Real Hope For Haiti.  Often times the kids and I would be gathered around the computer praying for a sick child or their missionary staff.  A couple of years we took the Advent Conspiracy Call and excitedly gave our Christmas to them.  Haiti/missions was growing in our hearts.

In July, 2009 we were able to join the McCook Evangelical Free Church's short term mission's trip to Haiti with Christian World Outreach.  After our week in Haiti we came away with a clear conviction to be responsive from the Word (1 John 3:17), a heart for the local church and a deep stirring to make our lives available to God (though we weren't sure what that would look like).

In September, 2009 we were able to sell our share of the family business, our house and relocate to Minneapolis, Minnesota to sit under Pastor John Piper's missions-minded preaching at Bethlehem Baptist Church.  Jason was able to take the Perspectives Course along with our whole family taking in lots and lots of good teaching.  It was a year of soaking and being changed.  The Lord continued to grow both missions and Haiti in our hearts.

In the Spring of 2010 Christian World Outreach contacted us and asked us to consider serving with them in Haiti full time.  This was it!  The Lord had made all four of our hearts ready to answer with a joyful absolute.

In August of 2010 we packed up our townhome and eventually found ourselves here in Broken Bow, Nebraska raising support for missions in Haiti!

In this journey God continues to be faithful and kind to refine our vision, build up our faith, make us more dependent on Him; trusting His purposes and not our great ideas.  He is good at every turn and twist in the journey.

As Amy Carmichael said, "It is a safe thing to trust Him with the desires that He creates."

Monday, August 8, 2011

John Piper - What is Glory?

When we were at Bethlehem Baptist Church for one year we attended a missions meeting with Pastor John and a whole slew of others that wanted to respond to the missional command of Jesus. He said one thing that continues to stick with us which we continue to discover.

 "There is one thing you really need to know well if you want to be a missionary. You don't have to know a lot of extra things. You need to know the glory of God. What is God's glory."

I thought it would be good to continue to slowly unpack it a bit on our blog starting with this clip.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Michelle Scollard

Michelle and her family, "Busy with 7 blessings!"  Amazing!!

FRIEND, n. frend.
1. One who is attached to another by affection; one who entertains for another sentiments of esteem, respect and affection, which lead him to desire his company, and to seek to promote his happiness and prosperity; opposed to foe or enemy.

Where do we even begin to describe our connection and thankfulness for Michelle along with her whole family? They have been such committed friends for several years now - brothers and sisters in Jesus.  They are the kind of friends that generously stick with you through thick and thin — people of their word.  You want them on your life team.  If you know what I mean?  The Gospel continues to grow in their hearts and so love for Jesus and His bride.  It is a delightful and contagious beauty in them.  The power of redemption at work in their hearts has challenged us again and again.  They aren't easily tuckered but salty with gracious endurance.

Which brings us to the duathlon: it was Michelle's crazy notion to sign up for this race.  I thought it was a fabulous idea for her until she asked if we'd join.  This captures the nature of our friendship.  There is a mutual encouragement and push to press ahead in ways we thought otherwise impossible.  With that Jason and I agreed.  The company would be great, the cause - good and the challenge - a helpful way to pass the time in our season of waiting-to-go.  Boulder Duathlon - here we come!

Check out her page at Your Cause Sports and consider sponsoring a mile or two.  This girl means busniess. 

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Free Music

Christa Wells is full of great songs.  Spirit-filled, effective music!

Oswald Nailed It

August 3rd.

"Behold, we go up to Jerusalem." Luke 18:31
Jerusalem stands in the life of Our Lord as the place where He reached the climax of His Father's will. "I seek not Mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent Me." That was the one dominating interest all through our Lord's life, and the things He met with on the way, joy or sorrow, success or failure, never deterred Him from His purpose. "He steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem."

The great thing to remember is that we go up to Jerusalem to fulfil God's purpose, not our own. Naturally, our ambitions are our own; in the Christian life we have no aim of our own. There is so much said to-day about our decisions for Christ, our determination to be Christians, our decisions for this and that, but in the New Testament it is the aspect of God's compelling that is brought out. "Ye have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you."

We are not taken up into conscious agreement with God's purpose, we are taken up into God's purpose without any consciousness at all. We have no conception of what God is aiming at, and as we go on it gets more and more vague. God's aim looks like missing the mark because we are too short sighted to see what He is aiming at. At the beginning of the Christian life we have our own ideas as to what God's purpose is - 'I am meant to go here or there,' 'God has called me to do this special work'; and we go and do the thing, and still the big compelling of God remains. The work we do is of no account, it is so much scaffolding compared with the big compelling of God. "He took unto Him the twelve," He takes us all the time. There is more than we have got at as yet.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Real Hope For Haiti needs YOU!

Maybe you can join the fun and help support a desperately needed facility.  Go here ----> CHOLERA HOUSE
This is a super great way to help Haiti.  We know them and trust their ministry! :)

Monday, August 1, 2011

What are you doing and how can we help?

Look at those sweet faces.  Girls hanging out at the CWO center in PAP.

As we meet new people that love God and have a heart for missions these are often the top questions.  I thought it might be helpful to post a little Q & A here.

Who are you?
My husband, Jason, our two kids and I are planning to move to Haiti as full time missionaries with Christian World Outreach in September.  Our first 10 months will be spent building relationships with the national C.W.O. missionaries, learning to live in Haiti, learning the culture and the language.

Who is sending you?
C.W.O. has been in Haiti for 32 years.  They are currently ministering in these ways: 8 churches (with plans to plant more), pastoral training, children's feeding program, two women's vocational trade schools, a medical clinic, a developing water program and a new elementary level school for children in tent cities.

How long will you be there?
After our first 10 months we will take a short furlough just to evaluate everything and then we'll minister in Haiti 3 years at a time.  Our long term vision and heart is two-sided and yet hand-in-hand:  discipleship & training of young men with business creation as missions.  

How are you sent and where is your support?
We are being financially sent by brothers and sisters in Christ, both independently and church families. Our monthly budget is currently 75% filled.  We have one time expenses as well and it is approx 50% filled.  Our organization would like us to be 100% supported or pledged before we leave.

How can you help?
We'd love to have you jump on board in any which way - whether you'd just like to track our blog/facebook page, receive our newsletter, pray for us, contribute to our duathlon efforts or join our sending-support team we welcome you!  Let us know if you have any questions.

Sending organization: