Parties and Preparation

Hi friends,

We have another update for you today! First, we wanted to thank you for reading our updates and following along with us in this journey. We can't see exactly who reads our blog posts, but there are a LOT of you and we are so thankful for your interest in our lives and our ministry!

Before we let you in on what we've been up to lately, we wanted to update you on our monthly support situation:




Our latest report shows that our monthly ministry partners have committed to $2285/month, which is HUGE! We're so thankful to those of you who are or who have supporting us financially in our upcoming ministry! And most of all we are so thankful to God for how He is moving and working in your hearts to support us both financially and otherwise. We are so grateful for your friendships, old and new, and for how you pray for us.

As all of you have probably experienced, one of the most difficult attitudes to maintain is one of thankfulness. When trouble or hardship comes we all struggle to be thankful and often find ourselves with an attitude of ungratefulness or complaining, but one thing we've been learning over these last few years is that thankfulness changes everything. We wrote a more lengthy post about that a little while ago, which you can read here, but Philippians 4:6-7 never stops being true!! Instead of worrying about the fact that we're two weeks away from flying to Romania and we only have about 2/3 of our financial support raised we're choosing to bring it to the feet of Jesus each day, telling God what we need, trusting HIM for provision, and above all just thanking Him for ALL He has done so far.

Even though we're in the midst of some crazy preparation at the moment, we had the opportunity to sit down with dear friends of ours this week and it was such a refreshing time! They are missionaries living and working in Germany and Africa; Phil is the Executive Director of Open Schools Worldwide and Tammy works as a teacher-trainer with Teach Beyond, and they have known us since before we were married. Phil and Tammy Peters were on staff at Tauernhof when we were students there back in 2002-2003 (Phil was the Principal of the Bible School at the time) and they have become very special to us. We're so inspired by their faith and trust in God to provide for them over their entire lives in ministry and we feel so blessed to have them in our corner.

We're also excited to report that we have renters lined up for our house and we're meeting with them this evening to sign the lease so they can move in this weekend! At the risk of sounding redundant, we are SO thankful that God has provided this family completely out of the blue to rent our home in August when we were faced with the possibility of not having renters until September and having to absorb the cost of the house for another month. Praise the Lord! Our vehicles still haven't sold, so please pray with us that God will provide buyers for our vehicles at fair prices. We really feel that we need to purchase a vehicle as soon as possible when we arrive in Romania, since we'll be having to do a lot of travelling around in more remote areas where public transportation isn't even available, and we plan on using the money we get from selling our minivan and truck here to do that.

Even though the last weeks have been increasingly challenging, we have been having lots of fun. We hosted a going-away party for our family and friends and we had a great time!










We also celebrated Miriam's 4th birthday this week which was a ton of fun. She really enjoyed her ballet lessons this year and has turned into quite the ballerina, so a little party at the Royal Winnipeg Ballet's Ballet in the Park was an obvious choice!








Our little ballerina-in-training:





And my absolute favourite photo of the evening...


It's safe to say the birthday girl had a wonderful time (and so did the rest of us!)



Please continue to pray...

- and thank God for his provision through our monthly supporters and everyone who has given a one-time donation! We are so thankful for how He is providing and for all the amazing people He has surrounded us with, even those we've never met!

- and thank God for the ministry he's preparing for us! We're so excited to begin working with Torchbearers at PDF and to experience all God has for us there.

- Please pray for students to sign up for the bible school at PDF this spring! We can't run the bible school with fewer than 10 students, so we're trusting God to bring the students He wants to participate in the program.

- Please pray for our kids. Specifically for how they're coping emotionally with all the change in their lives and for a meaningful last few weeks in Canada with friends and family.

- Please pray for our financial needs. We see God working in providing support for us and we're so thankful for how he's provided so far!

- Please pray for buyers for our 2 vehicles. We really need to sell both our van and Jerry's truck before we go so we can buy a vehicle as soon as possible after our arrival in Romania.

- Please pray for Jerry's upcoming trip to Vancouver (August 5-7) to visit some churches there and say goodbye to his family. This is one week before we leave for Romania.




 

We need:


- Of course, we are still in need of monthly financial support and one-time donations. All information on how to donate is HERE.

- Buyers for our vehicles! If you are in the market for a 2005 Toyota Sienna Minivan or a 2008 Nissan Titan Long-Box Pickup Truck or know someone who is, please EMAIL US!



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Well, that's all we have for today's update. Thank you all for following along with us on our journey!
We'll have another update for you soon!

J&C

We are Torchbearers

Hi friends!

We have a quick update for you today, including a support-raising update as well as a recap of our weekend at the Torchbearers Tour that came through Winnipeg.

We had an AMAZING weekend at the Torchbearers Tour 2016 this weekend!!  This is the first time that the tour has come through Winnipeg, and it was a great time of connecting with Torchbearers International staff and former students of many of the centres around the world. Jerry was able to speak at the conference and share all about the ministry of PDF, and the response to what he shared was remarkable. It is clear that God is blessing the ministry of the Romania Torchbearers centre and we couldn't be more excited to be a part of it.




Many of you might not be familiar with the ministry of Torchbearers International; they exist to make disciples - Dave Firth, the director of the Business Ministry Leadership (BML) program at Capernwray New Zealand put it something like this: Torchbearers exists to lead people into a closer fellowship with Jesus Christ so that they then can turn around and lead more people into a closer fellowship with Jesus Christ also. Their ministry of discipleship is powerful and effective and they are doing the work of The Great Commission in a wonderful way. We would strongly encourage you to check out the Torchbearers International website where you can read all about their programs happening in 20 countries, at 25 centres worldwide.

http://www.torchbearers.org

“Our mission is to proclaim the transforming presence of Jesus Christ through biblical teaching and practical training, equipping men and women for service in His church worldwide.”

- Torchbearers International


Another highlight of the weekend was going for lunch at Stella's with Chris Thomas, the son of Major Ian Thomas (the founder of Torchbearers International) and the current director of Torchbearers International. Neither of us had met Chris Thomas before and so it was wonderful to hear his stories of other Torchbearers staff we know and to share with him a little bit about us and how God has brought us to this place in our life. It was also great to hear about his experiences at PDF as he's been there many times and knows Ebbe (the director at PDF), and to be affirmed in the reasons we believe God is calling us to this ministry.

One thing that stood out to us this weekend was something all the Torchbearers staff we met have in common: they all have an extremely genuine faith rooted in Truth and characterized by an unmistakable, unashamed passion for Jesus Christ and sharing Him with others. It was so refreshing just to be around these leaders and we can't wait to serve alongside them and other leaders like them at PDF.

After all the tough stuff we've been slugging through lately with our preparations to leave, this weekend was a breath of fresh air. It reminded us just how awesome it is that God has called us to this! Instead of feeling overwhelmed and stressed we feel thankful and excited and humbled that God has called us to be Torchbearers!


Fundraising Update:


We are excited to report that there has been some action on the support-raising front since we last gave you an update! Here's a snapshot of the thermometer showing our current support amounts and pledges:



We're so thankful for how God is providing our monthly support needs, and we're so thankful for your generosity in supporting us. Since our last update we've had not one, but TWO people who don't even know us pledge to partner with us as monthly ministry supporters! It's almost unbelievable how God works when you put your trust in Him for provision, and we have no doubt that He'll continue to provide for us.


As always, we'd love it if you'd SUBSCRIBE to our email newsletter if you haven't already.


If you've pledged support but haven't actually donated yet, or if you're interested in making a one-time or monthly donation, please CLICK HERE to go to our donation page.


If you'd like to view our ministry budget, you can do that HERE.


Please continue to pray...

- and thank God for his provision through our monthly supporters and everyone who has given a one-time donation! We are so thankful for how He is providing and for all the amazing people He has surrounded us with, even those we've never met!
- and thank God for the ministry he's preparing for us! We're so excited to begin working with Torchbearers at PDF and to experience all God has for us there.
- Please pray for students to sign up for the bible school at PDF this spring! We can't run the bible school with fewer than 10 students, so we're trusting God to bring the students He wants to participate in the program.
- Please pray for our kids. Specifically for how they're coping emotionally with all the change in their lives and for a meaningful last few weeks in Canada with friends and family.
- Please pray for our financial needs. We see God working in providing support for us and we're so thankful for
- Please pray for buyers for our 2 vehicles. We really need to sell both our van and Jerry's truck before we go so we can buy a vehicle as soon as possible after our arrival in Romania.
- Please pray for reliable renters for our house. Our house has been advertised for rent and we're praying that God would provide renters for August 1st so that Jerry's able to take some time off work before we leave. 


We need:


- Of course, we are still in need of monthly financial support and one-time donations. All information on how to donate is HERE.

- Buyers for our vehicles! If you are in the market for a 2005 Toyota Sienna Minivan or a 2008 Nissan Titan Long-Box Pickup Truck or know someone who is, please EMAIL US!


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That's all for now, friends! We'll have another update for you later this week!

J&C


Loosening Our Grip

"For our personal property and possessions are to be a matter of indifference to us, and our hold on these things should be very loose." 

- Oswald Chambers (in his book My Utmost for His Highest)


Hi friends,

We wanted to share with you today what's been going on lately with our preparations and let you know about some of our upcoming needs.

We've had a busy week full of phone calls, emails, and making arrangements, and it's been exhausting. We had to change our flights slightly because of complications with our visa process which resulted in a huge fee (thankfully we purchased travel insurance so we'll be able to get this fee reimbursed!) and a huge headache. We've also been ironing out details regarding which country we'll be paying taxes in, etc. which has been a challenging process, not to mention all the work Jerry has been doing in preparing our house for renters, etc. Not a day goes by where we don't have something important to accomplish and life is weighing heavily on us because of this. We feel the time before we leave slipping away...there are only 6 short weeks left!




On the bright side, we are feeling more and more detached from our "stuff" every day. As we think about packing suitcases and shipping some things ahead of us we're realizing how little we actually do need. We're finding it much easier than we ever expected to loosen our grip on our possessions and take only that which is required for our daily life (which, to some people in the world, is still TON of stuff!). It's so freeing to be rid of things we don't use, clothes we don't wear, and anything that isn't absolutely necessary.  We've both read Oswald Chambers' book My Utmost For His Highest before, but I (Chrissie) am reading through it again this year. It's a daily devotional book with a short meditation for each day including one scripture verse and application and it almost always gets me right in the heart. This is not a feel-good, fluffy devotional book by any means...it challenges me to the core and often gets to the heart of the matter in a way that I so desperately need every day. Two passages stood out to me this week, and they are very much related - the first I shared at the beginning of this post and the second is below, and both are about letting go of things that hold us back in our relationship with God and things that distract us from our true purpose and calling as followers of Christ.

"There has never yet been a saint who has not lived a maimed life initially. Yet it is better to enter into life maimed but lovely in God’s sight than to appear lovely to man’s eyes but lame to God’s." 

- Oswald Chambers (in his book My Utmost for His Highest)

As we continue on in this journey and as we continue letting go of our personal possessions it has felt as though we're living a maimed life, as Oswald Chambers describes it. God continues to prepare us for our move to Romania by refining our hearts and our attitudes, and though it feels so strange and awkward to be depending on others, borrowing things from people because we no longer own much, and letting go of critical relationships as we know them now, it is such a good reminder that a life maimed in this way, because of obedience to God, is pleasing to Him. The further on in our spiritual journey we go, the more maimed our lives should appear to the world because there is so much in all of our lives that is not pleasing to God.

Oswald Chambers' words are based on Matthew 5:30, in which Jesus tells his disciples just how serious He is about us ridding our lives of anything that doesn't please God: "And if your hand—even your stronger hand—causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell."  While this verse may seem dramatic at first glance, it is a great reminder that living our lives with a big gaping hole is better than living a life of disobedience to God, however that looks for each of us in our own lives. And as drastic as this move to Romania feels at times (okay, almost all the time), for us, this is how God is asking us to live, regardless of how maimed our lives feel or appear to others.

And so we continue walking out this journey in the coming weeks, loosening our grip and looking ahead to what God has for us.

Fundraising Update

We have some new numbers to share with you and an updated "thermometer" below, which shows our monthly support amount. Please continue to be praying for new monthly supporters for our ministry in Romania. We are praising God for how He has provided for us so far and we're trusting that he will continue to provide for all our needs.


Our monthly support amount is now $1650 (our minimum goal is $3300). If you're interested in partnering with us as a monthly supporter, please head on over to our donation page to find out all about how to do that (link is below).

CLICK HERE to go to our donation page!

Once again, you can view our draft budget HERE but just to give you an idea, it includes things like ongoing language lessons, travel expenses, health insurance for our family, and very basic living expenses (PDF is subsidizing our rent and utilities).

In addition to our monthly support raising, we have a crazy big ask right now...we weren't planning to travel to Vancouver to visit Jerry's family before we leave for Romania, simply because of the expense it is to go there as a family of 4. We haven't seen most of his family in over 2 years and aside from the importance of saying goodbye to them, we have been presented with a fundraising opportunity with a church in Jerry's hometown. It would be ideal for us to be able to travel to Vancouver for a few days before we fly to Romania to visit Jerry's family and his childhood church, but it would cost us $1500 to fly all 4 of us there. Right now, this is absolutely not a possibility for us as it would take a big chunk out of the little we have set aside for furniture and household items for our home in Romania. As with everything else on this journey, we are putting this situation in God's hands and trusting that if He wants us to go there, that He will make it happen. So we're just putting it out there, as crazy as it might seem, if there's anyone who has $1500 just laying around (or a whole bunch of air miles!) and you feel led by God to help us with this please contact us.

 

Please continue to pray...

- and thank God for his provision through our monthly supporters and everyone who has given a one-time donation! We are so thankful for how He is providing and for all the amazing people He has surrounded us with!
- Praise God that we have enough luggage for everything we have to bring/ship!
- Please pray for our kids. Specifically for how they're coping emotionally with all the change in their lives and for a fun-filled, enjoyable summer for them amidst the chaos.
- Please pray for our financial needs. We are well on our way to raising support but there is still much more we need to raise in the next 6 weeks.
- Please pray for buyers for our 2 vehicles. We really need to sell both our van and Jerry's truck before we go so we can buy a vehicle as soon as possible after our arrival in Romania.
- Please pray for renters for our house. We plan to put our house on the rental market very soon and we are trusting God to provide reliable renters for our home.


We need:


- Of course, we are still in need of monthly financial support and one-time donations. All information on how to donate is below, and if you were one of the people who pledged to us in the beginning stages of our fundraising, feel free sign up for your donation anytime by clicking either of the links below.

- YOU to come to our going-away barbecue!! We'll be hosting a party on Sunday, July 17th starting at 2pm for all our family and friends to say goodbye to us. We look forward to having a great time with you all. If you need directions, just check out our event on Facebook HERE, or email us.  

Click here to make a donation online!

If you are one of the people who pledged monthly support to us over the last few months, we are completely set up with The Great Commission Foundation to begin registering monthly donors and taking donations. You can CLICK HERE to head over to our donation page for more information about how to become a monthly supporter or to make a one-time donation. 

That's all for now, friends! Thanks so much! We look forward to seeing you at our going away party!



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