Early this morning I boarded a plane and headed to Orlando for the Pre-Field Education Seminar for the week. This seminar is designed to, “equip parents to understand, plan for, and meet the educational needs of their children,” while serving in foreign missions. I was really looking forward to attending because I have a ton of questions about the logistics of putting Ellison into school once we arrive in Austria. After only 4 hours together today, I see that I’m going to walk away with even more questions and honestly my mind is churning…I’m anxious.
Truth be told, Ellison is our family’s test case.
We have no idea how she will do and we are doing the best we can to educate ourselves on the options and make the best choices for her. No one in their right mind would want to put their child in harm’s way but if this is not done correctly that’s exactly what we will do. It’s not as simple as throwing her into a German speaking environment and expecting her to flourish. We want to set her up for success and truly make this the best transition that we can.
I had so many takeaways today. Some of them left me really excited, some have left me scratching my head and quite honestly some of them made my stomach do flips. Before spiraling out of control, I had to remind myself that I am to take a position of utter trust in the One who brought us this far.
Before the session this afternoon was kicked off, the facilitator reminded us of this story in Matthew 19: Then children were brought to him that he might lay his hands on them and pray. The disciplesrebuked the people, 14but Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.” 15And he laid his hands on them and went away.
I was reminded that as much as I love Ellison, her father in heaven loves her so much more. I can place her in his lap and I believe that he will “put his hands on her.” He will keep her right where she is supposed to be and he will guide us as we seek him.
Friends, if you are prompted, I would love for you to pray along with me? Pray that God will direct us as we wrestle with questions about what school will look like for her. We don’t know what all of our options even are at this point (due to legal issues in Austria). Pray for wisdom this week as the facilitators guide each of the families here as we all make important decisions about our children.
I’m powerless over so many details at this point but I’m still trusting…..
On Labor Day, we decided it was time to start the major purging that had to be done before we go overseas. So we emptied our attic…..
Once we got everything in some sort of order we decided to do a yard sale and just get rid of most of it. It was so freeing to know what had been lurking up in the attic and to have it gone.
During the process of getting ready for the yard sale, we realized that a lot of energy and time had to be exerted just for the logistics of moving our family. So we decided that we needed to move to somewhere temporary so that our final weeks could be focused on seeing friends and family and saying good bye well instead of on moving logistics.
Some of our friends have a beautiful home and several months ago decided to use their basement apartment as a gift to others. A few weeks ago, they offered to house our family there as soon as we needed it and we jumped right on the offer. The bonus is that it is about so much more than just having a place to stay, we are getting to live with some folks who we love and admire so much. They have 2 little girls, a huge backyard, and lots of toys. The kids cannot stop asking when we are actually going to live there.
We are all really looking forward to moving there and living among our community until we leave.
When we went to our initial training for support raising, one of the speakers said something to us that really rings true today. She told us to pay attention as we meet with people in an effort to bring them on our “support team.” She said that we are being called into ministry not just on the other side of the world, but right here….right now. Every opportunity we have to share our story and our hearts and ultimately invite someone to join our team is an opportunity to be silent and listen to what He has in mind. We heard those words but honestly what rung louder was the fact that we had to raise nearly 10K dollars per month to live and do ministry in Austria.
But it has happened. Right before our eyes, we have become intimately connected with a group of supporters. Over the past several months of raising support we have hurt with others, rejoiced with others and asked why with others. We’ve attended funerals, held babies, laughed hard and cried silently for others. It’s been a beautiful thing, one that we could not even imagine.
I was one of those people who did not want to raise money to go overseas and somehow God has given me the ability to view this through His timing and His calling of who’s to be on the “support team”. When we started off, I only used the term support team becasue that’s what I was told to do. Today when I say that, I realize that this truly is a beautiful team of supporters. Cheering each other on to the finish.
So here’s a big shout out to our awesome support team. We would not be here without you and we are honored to do life with you.
In case you missed the news, our little Asher broke his leg on Jude’s birthday, August 16. I was changing his diaper and he got his leg stuck in between the slats. When I went to pick him up….yowzers! He screamed a really weird way and within 30 minutes we were off to Children’s Healthcare to get him x-rayed. After about an hour there, we found out that something was not right but the doctor on call was not entirely sure and said we needed to see an orthopedic the next morning. So they put him in a splint and we were off to Waffle House (Jude’s birthday request).
The next day we arrived at the orthopedic and as soon as the doctor walked in she said he has a buckle fracture and will need to be in a cast for 4 weeks. Sad times. Within days of having the cast on, he learned how to walk in it.
Overall, he has been a great sport and it hasn’t seemed to bother him. This Wednesday is the big day that we get it off! Can’t wait to see him back on his own two feet.
Thank you so much for being a part of our summer “Take the Plunge” giving campaign. We saw thirty new partners join us as we head to Austria. We are so incredibly grateful for God’s faithfulness on this journey. We made it to 70%!!!