Baby Steps to Ethiopia

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Click to View our Prayer Card

We’re busy at work here, knocking out a huge “to-do” list to get us to Ethiopia.  I thought I’d share a bit of a timeline here, so you can follow our journey.

Over the past year, we’ve already completed most of the preliminary steps with Lifesong, including applications, references, and a Missionary Readiness Assessment (a type of psychological evaluation).

Since we received final approval from Lifesong in July, we have been putting together our budget and preparing to begin our support-raising efforts.  We have just finalized our budget, and you can see some of the details on our “Prayer Card.” Basically we have two support categories, Start-Up Costs and Monthly Support.  Preparing all of that has taken several weeks of research.  We’ve had input from three current Ethiopian missionaries and Lifesong, and we feel confident that our budget will allow us to serve effectively.

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Groaning

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A few months ago, we had an incident.  It was one of those moments that haunts mothers . . . a second I’ll never escape.  We were at the cabin (my parents’ house on the river) with some friends, and we took the kids down to the dock to fish.  The water was high and moving fast (the river is dammed and rises and falls as they open or close the dam), not optimal conditions for fishing, but the kids had begged, so there we were.   Because of a shortage of life jackets, Caleb didn’t get one.  He’s pretty cautious in “dangerous” situations, so I wasn’t worried about him. Continue reading

To think that I can barely cope with the small slice of the world’s current suffering that I’m aware of, and yet HE, He carried all the pain, the sickness, the death, the sin of all humanity for ALL TIME on His shoulders. He knew every tear, every cry of anguish, every moment of gut-wrenching fear and loneliness. And that burden was so great, but He was greater. He has defeated it, and He is making ALL THINGS new. Take heart, weary friends; we are not forgotten; give that burden to Him. He has overcome.

Why I Write

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My good friend Deana asked me to join a blog tour of writers and bloggers writing about why they write.  Deana is actually a professional writer, as in she makes money doing it, so I’m honored that she included me in her post.

I’ve been a writer since I learned to read, and the two pursuits, reading and writing, are intimately related in my mind.

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Let’s try this again . . .

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Nearly a year ago, we announced our plans to move to Ethiopia and work with Lifesong for Orphans, but pretty soon after that announcement our missionary journey got rather bumpy, and, at one point, completely dissolved.  It’s been a long and very challenging year, to say the least.

We’ve been praying a lot that God would direct our steps.  We don’t want to do anything that is only our own agenda and not His.  When encountering obstacles, it’s hard to know when they are challenges to be overcome and when they are indications that you are on the wrong path.  Sometimes they look strikingly similar.  We pray for God’s protection and leadership, but we also know that following His Will is no guarantee of a smooth path; in fact it promises to be challenging.

So we spent a year wrestling and waiting.  Sometimes pushing, sometimes letting go.   Continue reading