Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Summer 2017 What's New?

“In that same hour Jesus rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said, "I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, ‭‭                                                  -Luke 10:21-

“Da brach Jesus, erfüllt vom Heiligen Geist, in Jubel aus und betete: »Mein Vater, Herr über Himmel und Erde! Ich preise dich                       -Lukas 10:21-

These verses have struck me between the eyes lately. Jesus Rejoiced in the Holy Spirit? Wow How did that look I wonder? Well it looked so remarkable that Luke wrote down that it happened, and then immediately Jesus broke out in praise to the Father. Our hope for you our faithful supporters is that you can also find reason to REJOICE in the Holy Spirit. We hope you are able to rejoice in the Holy Spirit in these warm summer days. Praise and worship is the way that Jesus broke out and rejoiced, and we can too. God has given our family such joy in the Holy Spirit lately and that is our prayer for you too this summer! Here are a few updates from our family

Lydia and Richard running in the Freiheitslauf
Lydia Proudly carrying the Canadian flag in school parade
Lydia & Richard ran in a Freiheitslauf (Freedom Run) helping women who escaped from slavery and education for children who have no school. Lydia was in a parade with her school the Christian School of Kandern celebrating 1250 year anniversary of the town where her school is located. She proudly carried the Canadian flag.

FAMILY as a family we had the wonderful opportunity to go to a camp together where Richard was preaching. The whole family had a great time the kids and Simone got to be involved in the program. Wort des Lebens (Word of Life) is a German ministry that has camps and retreats for youth. This was a musical camp where Simone was able to give vocal coaching to the kids in the musical. They prepared a musical and after the camp was over toured Germany to present it in several different  cities. The musical this year was Joseph. Please pray for Simone & Richard that they can build further partnership in Wort des Lebens organization. 

SUPPORT UPDATE: We are doing much better financially. We are still hovering at around 90% of our normal salary. We still need a few supporters to...
1. Increasing their monthly donation by $25-$50.

2. Share our ministry with others, who are interested in Europe or Germany, or those who are looking for missionaries to support. Please share our information, BLOG, or personal support giving link HERE.

3. Pray that God would provide every need as he has so faithfully done

Family Vacation with the Müller's and De Leeuw van Weenen
SIMONE loved the time serving at Wort des Lebens musical camp. She really feels a calling to work with them more in the future. She loves being used in that way where her musical gifts can be used practically right away to love and serve teenagers giving them more confidence and ministering to them. Pray for further partnership with them for camps and other events. Simone is giving up students from the Christian school in Lörrach to be more available for students in Kandern.

LYDIA is almost finished with second grade. She has caught up in her Math skills and is starting to understand the real concept behind multiplication and division. Lydia also loves swimming these days and meeting all her friends at the pool. Thanks for praying for Lydia in her difficulty that she experienced last year. She has come through it well. 

Richard Preaching on the Holy Spirit
RICHARD was glad to have the whole family with him this time at Wort des Lebens camp.  Richard was able to spend time with the dynamic leadership of W.D.L. It was so encouraging to see such an on fire group of young leaders. Richard has a few more preaching opportunities over the summer along with preparations for the kick-off of ISTL (International School of Theology and Leadership) in the Fall in Freiburg. Richard is also planning with a few young men that he has been mentoring what a church plant in the town Weil am Rhein could look like. These few guys are really excited about doing a business and church plant alongside each other to reach people and to support the work of a church. Yafet, Florian, & Marco are the guys who have had the vision together to start a church. God is doing something in this generation in Germany!

FAMILY is looking forward to vacation & a short six week break from school, work, etc. We will take vacation in Germany this year. We do not have to drive very far & it's less expensive. We are grateful  to find such a nice place. Please pray that we will have a time of rest & recuperation from a very busy and hectic year. 

ANA has been creating her own type of opinions of what she likes and dislikes. This is very good, but then she can be very stubborn too. She just received new orthotics for her legs to help her walk better. She has loved the warm weather so that she can swim more often. She is almost able to swim on her own without a life vest.

Caleb getting a quick nap in while playing in he new box
CALEB has been taking swim lessons the last month and getting very good at it. He loves Kindergarten. He had a great time also at the camp and played so well with all the teenagers there. He is growing so much. Caleb is often mistaken for a 6 year old, but still has one more year in Kindergarten.

Prayer requests…
1. For the new Church Planting project that Richard is involved in.
2. We still need a few more monthly supporters to get us to 100%.
3. For more Gospel opportunities for Richard & Simone with our current contacts & neighbors.
4. Praise God Simone has plenty of extra work on the side, but pray for balance and energy.
5. For success in Richard's ideas for a few books that he wants to write.
6. Praise God we will now receive monthly financial support from our health care for Ana
7. Please pray for the start of International School of Theology & Leadership that will start in Freiburg in the Fall ISTL

GOD BLESS YOU THIS SUMMER AND INTO THE FALL!

Monday, July 18, 2016

June Update, Summer Ministry, and other News

Richard Preaching at Black Forest Christian Fellowship
"O mein Gott, rückhaltlos gebe ich mich ganz in deine Hände. Wohlstand oder Not, Freude oder Kummer, Freundschaft oder Verlassenheit, Ruhm oder Erniedrigung, Ansehen oder Missachtung, Trost oder Trauer, deine Gegenwart oder dein Verhülltsein - alles ist gut, wenn es von dir kommt. Du bist die Weisheit und die Liebe."
                                                                    -John Henry Newman, 1801-1890-

"Oh my God, wholeheartedly I give myself into your hands. In prosperity or adversity, joy or sorrow, friendship or loneliness, fame or disgrace. Wether I am regarded or disregarded, in comfort or mourning. Wether you reveal your presence or conceal yourself - everything is good when it comes from you. You are wisdom and love."
                                                                     -John Henry Newman 1801-1890-

Richard Preaching at Georg Müller Schule
RICHARD is preparing for a busy summer of speaking engagements. He has been at a camp in the Stuttgart area with Georg-Müller School. and many preaching engagements in between now and English Camp here in Kandern. He will be preaching in the Chemnitz area then in September for a "mission to the city" where a former English camper is the youth pastor. Richard has been busy writing a theological paper that he hopes can be published. He has found a translator who will translate it into German. Please pray that this could be published in English, and German. You could read it on Richard's Blog or on his Academia Page

FAMILY Thanks for praying about our washer and dryer. We were able to wash clothes while our washer part and new dryer were being delivered. We now have a new dryer, and a repaired motor, and electronics board on our washer. We are winding down our school year and the kids have all kinds of end of the year activities. The kids are so excited about the summer and vacation at the beach!

SUPPORT UPDATE: Last month we asked you all to think about increasing your monthly support
Lydia made some nature art at Church
and there has been some great response so far. We still have to get in touch with several people to ask them personally, but we are hard at work to get our support level back in good standing. Please think with us about...
Increasing your monthly donation by $25-$50. If all of our 55 person support team would increase their giving be $35 monthly then we would meet our monthly need by 100%.
Please think about sharing our ministry with others, who are interested in Europe or Germany. Even those who are looking for missionaries to support. Please share our information, MISSIONARY BLOG, or personal support giving link HERE. It would be great if you could introduce us to new people. Also think about Churches & Business that might be interested in our ministry.
A specific need this Fall is language study for Richard. The cost of this class is in the neighbourhood of $3,000. If anyone is looking to make a one time gift you can do that and earmark it for "language study" for Richard HERE.  God Bless you thank you for following our blog, reading, and praying for our ministry here in Germany.

Monday, June 6, 2016

May Update! Camp Ministry, and Support Needs

Richard Preaching at Word of Life Camp
Ministry Update:
Last Month I, Richard, was able to preach at a Word of Life Musical camp where youth came together to prepare a musical and at the end of the week they traveled around Germany to present their musical based on the life of Esther
It was an amazing week of ministry. I preached on the "I Am" statements of Jesus in the book of John. I received good feedback, and many students lives were touched by the time in worship and preaching. One student who has played the character of Ester many times said that one thing she has decided in her life based on playing the role of Esther is, "God is good and he is there." The Connection to Word of Life will
be invaluable for future youth ministry for Richard in Germany. Word of Life makes 10 of these types of Musical camps throughout the year, plus all their regular camps and retreats throughout the year. As a Family we are planning for a full summer. The kids are still in school for a couple more weeks, and the summer begins a little later here in the Baden-Würrtemberg area. During that time Richard will preach in several more places. A School weeklong retreat (July 4-7th), a couple churches, and then at English camp here in our region (August 24-September 7th). Prayer is much appreciated for those ministry times.
Support Update:
Last month we found out that a few of our monthly supporters would not be able to continue to support us. Many had committed to two years of support, and were hoping to be able to continue after that initial commitment, but were not able. As a result our mission has had to sink out monthly income to half of our regular monthly income. This as you can imagine is not a liveable existence for us. That is why we are asking all of our monthly supporters to think and pray about... 
Richard Preaching "I am the Resurrection and the Life"
1. Increasing your monthly donation by $25-$50. If all of our 55 person support team would increase their giving be $35 monthly then we would meet our monthly need by 100%. God is a mighty provider (Jehovah Jireh) and he can do this.
2. We also ask that you to think about people that you could share our ministry with. People interested in Europe or Germany. Even those who are looking for missionaries to support. Please share our information, blog, or personal support giving link HERE. We would love to connect with new people. Could you also ask these friends if you could introduce them to us. Also think about Churches and Business that also might be interested in supporting us. 
3. Another big need that is coming up in the Fall will be further language study for Richard. The cost of this class is in the neighbourhood of $3,000. If anyone is looking to make a one time gift you can do that and earmark it for "language study" for Richard HERE.
The Whole Word of Life Camp

Here is a visual of what we still lack in monthly support. We are roughly at 70% of our monthly support needs. This gives you an honest look at what we need right now. But most importantly we need your prayer that we can meet this financial deficit, and that God will continue to use us in ministry and mission here in Germany. Thank you for reading, praying, and supporting us. God bless you!

Monday, May 9, 2016

Prayer for Ministry this Summer 2016

I know is has been a long time since I have written anything here. I am sorry for that. I wanted to update you on what is happening here with us this Summer in ministry. I will be preaching at several camps this year. The first one is coming up from May 14 through the 18th. It is with the ministry Word of Life (Wort des Lebens). It is a music camp where students will prepare for a musical during the week of camp. In the last three days of camp they will go and present their musical throughout Germany.
WDL Musicalfreizeit für Jugendliche from Wort des Lebens on Vimeo.
The next camp that I will be speaking at is at a school retreat in the Stuttgart area from July 4 to July 7. The last camp that I will be preaching at is an English camp here in Kandern.  That themes for these camps will be all the "I am" statements of Jesus in the Gospel of John. In my research I found out that Matt Chandler has done the same theme a few months earlier at The Village Church in Texas they had a very cool introduction video to that series that I think could help us keep our eyes on Jesus the great "I AM".
I AM - Intro from The Village Church on Vimeo.

 I would appreciate it if you would pray for me in these next months. Please pray for me, "that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel." Also pray for the 400 hundred students or so that I will be ministering to. Pray that they will be touched by Jesus and be able to respond in faith to him.

Also I have many tasks with the Theology and Innovation department. On top of the work of planning for a youth ministry training course, I have the honor of preparing for a Missional Church Planters training course that will be offered through the Theological department. We are working to recruit 8-10 prospective church planters here to Kandern with the goal to train them, and then after a year of coaching and training, sending them out for missional church planting work in Germany. I am also continually busy with youth ministry in the area;  supporting and encouraging youth pastors, and mentoring two young men who have a desire to be church planters. This will be a full Summer so pray that these encounters bring about much fruit for the Gospel. Thanks for reading and...

If God might be calling you to support us you can go to our personalised secure giving link HERE and pledge to support us monthly. God bless you!

"Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen."
Jude 24-25

"Gott allein kann uns davor bewahren, dass wir vom rechten Weg abirren. So können wir von Schuld befreit und voller Freude vor ihn treten. Ihm, dem einzigen Gott, der uns durch Jesus Christus, unseren Herrn, gerettet hat, gehören Ehre, Ruhm, Macht und Herrlichkeit. So war es schon immer, so ist es jetzt und wird es in alle Ewigkeit sein. Amen."
Judas 24,25

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Exciting Missional Small Groups in Kandern, Germany

This is a verz cool example of what God is doing here in the Kandern Area through LEAP Network. It is also a picture of How God is Using our work with the LEAP Network to impact and empower Germany for Mission. Thanks for following us, you prayer and support!


Sunday, November 23, 2014

THE WHOLE PACKAGE INCLUDES SOCKS



The whole package includes socks

or how to feel over-committed without over committing.

So I got a little note from Ana's school that said that Ana took her shoes off at school and the teachers had to put fresh socks on her because hers were wet.
socken waescheleine 468x624 Richtig Wäsche waschen & muffige Wäsche vermeiden
Since she did not have socks with her change of clothes in her backpack the teachers had to borrow socks from another student. And this is how the note ended: "...Please send the used socks back as well as send a 'whole package' of fresh clothes for Ana, including socks. Thank you."

So there I was. "The whole package". I have never considered that sending a change of clothes to school included socks. My mind races. I am utterly embarrassed! I want those teachers to like me and know that I am a committed mom. I'm on top of things! But socks? At least in my mind, I never included socks. Socks were not even included in life in general. We lived in California and South Carolina. We wore sandals and flip-flops or Ana had orthopedic inserts which did not let Ana take her socks off and blocked any kind of moisture to get in (or out for that matter :-)!).

Of course, I will include socks from now on....

Just like I have to learn to include a pair of Gummistiefel (galoshes) - shoes for dirty, rainy weather, Hausschuhe - shoes for inside use only, Normale Schule - shoes for normal weather, Turnschuhe - PE slippers, Turnhose und T-shirt - PE clothes, Matsch Hose - pants for wet weather, long underwear, long socks, Matsch Jacke - jacket for wet weather, lunch (HEALTHY THAT IS - even though I have discovered that smearing Nutella on a semi dark slice of bread does pass as semi healthy, and if you then include some slices of apple or cucumber - you are sooo set!).

Gummiestiefel
Yes, of course, I knew that all these things are needed in Germany. I respect that, like that, support that..... 

....but I never had to make sure 3 or 4 more people besides myself had to have them.

And of course I also have to make sure that we are always wearing appropriate clothes for the right weather. Cold weather - thick sweater, pants and underwear and big time warm jacket, semi cold weather - semi thick sweater, semi thick pants! And I know I've forgotten something!
 
And then I have to still make sure that the boy wears boy clothes, and the girls have at least something that looks girly! I have to make sure that the sweaters are at least long enough to cover the belly button, and if not wear something over it that is big enough to cover my insufficiency as a "kids dressing expert" - but wait - that's my own "whole package".

I was so relieved when all the kids were set in their own classrooms. Because that meant I have a free morning to work on the 20 half opened boxes standing around. But quickly I discovered that it was a full-time job to just get all the items needed to cover all the needs my kids now have at school. You see, the brain of a German native works differently. It is easily going down the list of "the necessities", whereas my brain was a beach girl from the get go. "No Shirt, No Shoes, No Problem!"

I am committed to fit in! I am over-committed! Yes, priorities. Making a big move into a country that wears at least 3 more layers of clothes then what I have been used to, makes my head fuzzy and my priorities frizzy! Or is that vice versa?

I find myself being more committed to pleasing everybody around me before they possibly get to the point of thinking badly of me. In this new place, in this new culture I am fearful of hurting other peoples feelings of being looked at as a "typical American", and I fear I will fail right from the get go. I am fearful to be looked at as lazy and culturally insensitive, and in all this pressure I don't take the time to be safe. I'm committed to everything around me without committing to the one priority that would keep me sane. 

Fear of man, becomes a trap,
    but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe. (Proverbs 29:25)

Must I say more?

I tend to want to please people - but does that honor God?  - NO

It is you oh Lord I want to please, it is you oh Lord who hears my prayers
It is you who listens, and answers, and protects, and prioritizes! I do not have to fall into the trap of believing that I am loved only if I can please people! Whatever I do, I want to do "heartily, as for the Lord and not for men" (Colossians 3:23)

I am committed to understanding (or re-understanding) the German culture - but it has to be on God's terms!

so now....

....lets sit down with a cup of awesome German coffee, in this 
    very messy house and let God talk to me!
....lets make HIM our priority! 
....lets look forward to another day where yummy German bread
    and cheese and cake is readily available.
....lets love him first and and so have more than enough love left 
    over for others!
....lets full-heartedly embrace a new/old, unfamiliar/so very
    familiar culture!
...And we will give God the "whole package" including the socks!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

IN GERMANY FINALLY!!!

Trying to rest on the plane
We have finally made it to Germany and have been here for almost a month now! God is good! the journey has not been easy but we are seeking Him and his direction in every way. We spent some time at our parents in law's house for a couple days near Frankfurt and made the trek down to the south of Germany where we now live in a little town outside of Kandern where Richard's offices are. 

We started this journey many years ago when Simone and I felt the call of God to go to Germany. We made our way out to California, and many years later we found ourselves following that call after many years of awesome service at Creekside Community Church. The immediate journey began with packing our stuff into a shipping container after living in South Carolina for a year.
Praying over our shipping container
And now finally we are settling into life here in Germany after a long time feeling like we are travelers, sojourners living in a foreign land. I even commented to Simone today that it seems like we have been living like this out of boxes for a long time, and as I thought about it. It has been like two years living out of suitcases and boxes. There are lots of details to get taken care of like visas that were overlooked by our mission, and getting Simone's German citizenship renewed. Please pray that we get through this stuff quickly, and that the Lord would undertake for our details. 

We spent a few days at Omi and Großvater's house in Krumbach near Frankfurt. We also got to visit the church where Simone and I were married. 
Our little wedding Church
The church and village are celebrating 750 years! We also had a big scare when Ana wandered off. We found her looking over a bridge nearby and into a creek, saying ‘Swim’. She had taken the life jacket that she had found with her. Needless to say it was quite a scare. but also very understandable. She found a life jacket on a warm day, and went to look for a place to swim. Please pray for her and our other kids Lydia and Caleb that they would also adjust quickly and well, and that Ana would not wander off anymore. 

We went to visit all the kids schools during a lazy Sunday afternoon, and are very excited to get started. since then all the kids are getting adjusted to school life here. I even asked Ana today if she had fun at school, and she said in German "Spass" which is the word for fun. We also had our washer and dryer delivered which is a big blessing because our laundry was piling up. I have been setting up my office at TeachBeyond/Janz Team to start getting into the groove there. I have a desk and chairs, and two bookshelf which quickly filled up! yeah!

Leading a group of missionaries in Kandern area
I had the opportunity to lead a group of English speaking missionaries here in the Kandern area who want to be unleashed in their neighborhoods and communities. We had a great time of brainstorming and seeing what God is doing inthe different German neighborhoods here in the area. Right away there are several teenagers even the Mayor's son who wants to play basketball, and that's my game! Benny (the Leader of the LEAP Network) led a weekend training event called Neighborhood 2.0 at a Baptist Church in Weinheim and it was very successful. lots of new commitments and desire for people to live out the gospel incarnationaly in their neighborhoods. We also had the opportunity to go to Amsterdam and meet the Forge International team (Alan Hirsch's author of The Forgotten Ways organization) and the Euro Church Network that has as its goal to "Facilitate missional thinking and Church Planting in Europe." It was a great time of inspiration and confirmation that God has us in the right place and that He is doing a great work in Germany and Europe. 
Benny and I at our welcome day

Please pray with us about a few things. 
-Simone has taken a job for about 40% time at the kindergarten where Lydia and Caleb attend. Pray for her as she settles into this job.
-That we would get essential details of life set up
-That my language school would start without a hitch in November
-That God would prepare the soil here in Germany for gospel seeds.
- To find that right balance to our family, ministry, work, and language study life

Yesterday I woke up and remembered that I live in Germany. It's not a dream! Also we attended a very cool baptism at a church called G5 this past Sunday. It almost upset my baptist heart when other people who were not the pastor were baptizing people, then I remembered the Bible never says who should baptize people, just that they should be baptized. It was awesome when we saw the small group leaders, friends, and disciplers baptize these new followers of Christ. I will end with this...Lydia prayed recently, "Dear God help us do the things we need to do, and help the whole world to understand you, and help the whole wide world worship you amen".

I would say that pretty much covers everything don't you think? I think this will be my prayer for the next year at least! God bless you all and thank you so much for supporting us!
Family trip to Weil am Rhein near at the French, Swiss, and German borders