Sunday, November 25, 2012


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   After arriving in the United States on October 2, we have slept in over 10 different houses with our four children!  If you ask our children where we live they don't really know how to answer.  If you ask any of us where "home" is we are at a loss for words.  We just don't really know.  
    God is beginning to make the answer to that question clear.  While we were in the Dominican Republic this past summer we began to feel that God was calling us to move to the DR on a full-time basis.  When the president of G.O. Ministries approached us asking us to transition to the Dominican full-time, we knew it was God's will.  We absolutely love living in the Dominican Republic, but let's be honest, it is downright hard!  Living in a developing country presents some unique challenges, add four children to that mix and it goes to a whole new level!  God is again asking us if we trust him with our hopes, our dreams and our very lives.  He is asking if we are willing to cut the safety net of having a home in the States out from under us and take (yet another) leap of faith.  The answer is yes.    
    In February of 2013 we will once again be heading to the Dominican Republic, but this time instead of going on a "trip" we will be headed "home".  The decision to again alter our dreams and plans was not without a few tough moments.  Phillip Phillips has a song titled, "Home".  This song has really spoken to both Derek and myself at separate times.  It has served as a reminder that a life following Christ is truly our home.

Phillip Phillips - Home


November 14-18 Derek and I had the privilege of attending the International Conference on Missions, otherwise known as ICOM.  The conference was in Indianapolis and was a wonderful opportunity for us to connect with pastors and churches who are currently involved with G.O. Ministries.  It also served as an avenue to connect with new churches who are interested in a potential partnership through G.O.  
    Thank you for your continued prayers and concern!  In late September we got test results that showed mom's cancer responded very favorably to the chemo, praise God!  We are currently working towards determining the next course of treatment.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

When the radio is off....

  A conversation in the car that started out like this, "I can't believe that a mommy gets a baby in her belly just by a kiss.  It's like magic!!" morphed into something beautiful....a glimpse into the hearts and minds of my precious children.
When I first heard those words come out of Simeon's mouth I considered pretending I didn't hear anything.  But, in an effort to encourage open and honest dialogue with our kids, I half whispered, "Well, that isn't exactly how it works..."  All at once three young male voices bombard my ears.  "What?!"  Logan's voice separates from all the other racket. "Then how do babies get in the mom's belly?"  I don't really know what I said in response, but whatever it was the kids were appeased.  Then, Logan asks, "How come our friends adopted?"  Again, I stumbled through an explanation that I thought would answer his question without raising more.  I told him that sometimes God has other plans that are more beautiful than the ones we come up with.  And that as a result of one adoption, another short-term missions team will be serving with G.O. Ministries next summer.
Of course it didn't end there.
Logan: "Mom, what would happen if teams stopped coming to the DR?  What if we don't need to work there?"
Mom:  "Well, buddy, I guess we would go next door to Haiti and help out there."  
Logan:  "What if Haiti no longer needs us?"
Mom:  "Oh baby, I think even if you worked for your whole life in Haiti there would still be work that needs to be done there."
Logan, now with a husky, teary voice:  "You mean Haiti won't be fixed?  Not even for as long as I live?"
Mom:  "No, probably not.  Unfortunately, there will always be sin and suffering, no matter where we go.  But, we are working to tell people that God is with them even in the midst of all the sin and suffering."
Isaiah interjects his thoughts: "So, Mom, at G.O. Ministries we just want people to know God loves them right?"
Now mom is the one with a catch in her throat.
Mom:  "That's right, love.  That's right."

This is what happens when I turn the radio off:)

Friday, August 17, 2012

Shortly after arriving in May I was given the task of meeting our Haitian pastors at the border. Every month a representative from the ministry meets with the seven pastors G.O. partners with to check-in with them and give them an offering that allows their ministry to function for the next month. Two days after arriving on the field I was asked to make the four hour journey to the border and meet with the pastors. I was told to take them their pay, feed them lunch, collect their ministry reports, gather prayer requests and encourage them with a devotion and some scripture.  Traveling across the country by cramming into a series of public transportation and busses is not my idea of a good time but it didn’t bother me- a 5 am wake up, suspect chicken and yuca for breakfast, military checkpoints, language barrier and not really knowing what direction is home are all components of a great adventure. None of it bothered me at all, except that little thing at the end. Encouraging devotion? Uhhh. Ok. Share scripture? I was terrified. Paralyzed was probably a better description of my behavior leading up to my trip. I didn’t want to crack my Bible or journal for days. It felt like I was being asked to show doodles I made on the back of a placemat at Steak ‘n Shake to Picasso. 

I had no idea what to say to the seven men who work in a country where the poverty is beyond my ability to describe with words. A place that is surrounded with such hopelessness.  My first time in Haiti I felt like I was going to drown. How does a guy like me even begin to try and encourage them? For the days leading up to the trip it was all I thought about. When I got up at 5:30 am to begin my journey to meet them I still really had no idea what to say to them. Part of me wanted to give them their offering, pray and high tail it back to Santiago. But I didn’t. As I prayed on my way to the meeting my thoughts started to take shape. Below is some what I wrote in my journal to share with them.

Phillipians 1: 3-14
I’m always struck by this first paragraph of thanksgiving and prayer Paul writes to the church in Philippi. The guy is in jail and he starts of his correspondence by telling them “And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment.” My letter to supporting churches would be more along the lines of a desperate plea for help in my release. Paul is just the opposite.  He tells his friends in Philippi that his imprisonment has served to advance the gospel. Paul is in a valley. He is in a place that most people would see as the low point in their lives. Yet he is flourishing. As I look back on my life it seems like there has been a lot of valleys. The main difference between my valley’s and Paul’s imprisonment is that my valley’s result from me bumbling through life. I usually wind up in a valley because of a series of poor choices or chasing sin. Paul wound up in a valley because he was fulfilling God’s plan in his life. Paul was in a valley, a beautiful valley. 

In our first year of ministry Lydia and I have hit some valleys. But those guys doing ministry in Haiti live in a valley. As Christians I think we expect our faith in and commitment to the teachings of Christ to come with a halo of protection. The truth couldn’t be more than the opposite. When Jesus sent out his 12 disciples in Matthew 10 He tells them they are headed into many deep valleys. They will be like sheep among wolves, flogged in synagogues and that brother will betray brother to death. The idea of seeking safety and comfort don’t really have anything to do with what Jesus is asking us to do. Besides safety is incredibly boring and unfulfilling. Faith should be an adventure. Being crammed in stinky hot bus and not really knowing where you’re headed or where your going is a much better story!

Thanks for all you do,


Friday, July 13, 2012

Whew...this summer has been beautifully, crazily, hectically wonderful:)  I can't believe it is already the middle of July!!!  I can never keep track of what time of day it is...let alone what day or month!  Thank goodness we have some fun pictures to document what we have been doing so far this summer.  I hope you enjoy the pics and that you'll pray about coming down here and serving on a short term trip so we can post some photos of you (wink, wink).
Oh...and I left our camera charger in Ft. Wayne...packed in a box somewhere.  Long story short, I didn't take a single one of these pictures, so thanks to a multitude of fabulous photographers who are willing to share:)
 The whole crew in one of our favorite communities, Hato Del Yaque.
Can you see the mountains in the background?
The boys walking back from playing with some neighborhood kids in Hato Del Yaque.
Isaiah and our favorite intern, Leah.
We have known Leah since we joined her parents’ small group back in 2000.  Check out her blog HERE
Simeon.  I seriously love that dirty face.
Macy.  Enough said:)

Macy & Jessica.
Jessica helps me maintain my sanity by helping with the kids and around the house.  She has definitely become one of the family.
Macy is a Daddy’s girl.

Logan...the next Tim Tebow.
Macy & Mommy having some VBS fun.
Last but not least, one of my summer favorites.
Watching Logan love on this little boy will forever be seared into my mind.  This picture was taken in The Hole, a trash dump in the center of Santiago.  The toddler was covered in the grime that coats the entire community.  In fact, he peed on me BEFORE Logan held him.  Logan knew it and wanted to hold him anyway.  They blew bubbles together, walked around and made each other smile:)
We cannot thank our friends and supporters enough for all you do for us.  
We are so blessed to be serving here in the Dominican Republic.  

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

I recently came across this quote by Lysa Terkeurst,

“If telling the world about Jesus is our real goal, then we must be eager to cooperate with the unique ways God leads people to make this happen.”

The words really struck a chord within me. This is what G.O. Ministries does! At the very core, G.O. Ministries wants to see lives redeemed for Christ. How do we do that? Through individuals gifted by God in unique ways. One of many things we love about G.O. is how G.O. embraces the unique calling God has placed on each of our lives and then works to empower each person to serve in the capacity to which God has called them.

How has God equipped you? How is he called you? How are you responding to that call?

However God has called you, and those you come in contact with, I encourage you to be eager to cooperate with the unique ways God is leading all of us to tell the world about Jesus.

1 Corinthians 12: 4 There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. 5 There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. 6 There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.

I am leaving you with a video my super fabulous husband put together with pictures from our time of unique service in the Dominican Republic last summer:)

Thanks for being a part of the unique way God has called us to participate his work on the island of Hispaniola!