Saturday, January 8, 2011

God the Provider - Tommy

Hey everybody! I just wanted to throw in my two cents on something really cool that God did for us this week. As most of you maybe know, Becky and I are taking a nine day trip to Nicaragua at the end of this month to take a look around and do some research in preparation for moving down there this September. As we were budgeting for the trip and planning for how many dollars it was going to take we had an unexpected expense related to the excursion throw into the mix. It was a rather significant sum but we had the money and it wasn't a huge deal, but still it didn't exactly make me really happy.

At the end of the day I sucked it up and chose to believe that God would take care of it since He has a pretty good track record for that kind of thing. Well sure enough He did! I got a call from some friends who told me that they wanted to help with our trip and was going to write us a check for guess how much? That's right, the EXACT amount of our unexpected expense! Neither Becky nor I had said anything to anyone about this at all. God strikes again!

Thank you Lord for filling the hearts of your people with so much love and concern and kindness for each other and thanks to our friends who have been there in so many ways big and small for a very long time. God is good and He will provide. We are so out on a limb for Him right now (at least by our standards) but I have never felt as secure in His will and provision as I do right now.


Thursday, January 6, 2011

God the Provider - Becky

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

Today I just want to share with you something that reinforces our faith in God's provision.  In our endeavor to get to Nicaragua, we have obstacles to overcome.  One of the most obvious challenges is for us to get enough money for travel and for our living expenses while in Nicaragua.  A few weeks from now we plan to take a trip down there to check things out, and though we have been blessed to get cheaper airfare (thanks to a friend for jumping on a discount when she saw it), there have been some other expenses involved that we didn't expect.  It was one of those situations where we did have the money, but there were other things we wanted to use it for.  Well, we found out today that someone has offered to donate that exact amount of money to our cause—and they knew nothing about our needing that sum.  I am amazed, once again, at how God provides for us.  We really have no cause to worry about anything.

The money thing was a pretty "big" thing that happened, but there have been "smaller" things too.  (But, who are we to judge what is big or small in God's eyes?)  I realized today that I was missing an essential component for a creative project I am working on, and as soon as I thought through the specifics of what I needed, I found that I did, in fact, have exactly what I needed.  At camp a few years ago, Tommy and I were working on a play about Samson that involved two different actors playing a young and an older version of him.  I vaguely thought that we should make sure to get two wigs for our actors, but then I sort of forgot about it and didn't say anything to anyone.  When we showed up at the camp, one of our friends told me that she had something left over from Halloween that she thought we might be able to use.  It was a wig, and we already had another one in our storage closet.  I hadn't worried about the situation at all, and God totally provided without even being asked.  We have even more reason to trust in Him when we do ask.

Things like these keep happening to us, and I pray that they continue to happen and in greater measure.  I am so excited to think what the possibilities of that could be.


Sunday, January 2, 2011

The Journey Begins - Tommy

Hey everybody; Happy New Year!  This is Tommy and I just wanted to jot down a few things to go along with Becky's post.  We hope to use this blog as a way for you to join with us as we travel down this new road that we believe God has put in front of us.  I know that sounds rather clichéd and I really don't like canned Christian speak but I honestly can't think of another way to say that right now. 

Our lives have taken a drastic turn in the last 4-6 months and we are fully convinced that this is from God and that it will be for the better.  More than anything else I want you all to understand that we are not specifically pursuing goat breeding, sustainable agriculture or foreign missions; we are pursuing God.  Teaching goat breeding and sustainable agriculture techniques in Nicaragua is the opportunity that we believe God has placed in front of us right now and we are dedicated to pursue that goal until we either land in Nicaragua to live or God shows us something else that He wants us to do. 

Stay tuned to this blog to be caught up on the whole story and to follow along with us as we try to follow God in a deeper way than we ever have before. 

I want to leave you for now with this thought...

In this new year I don't want or need any more house, cars, money, clothing, TV, movies, video games, guitars, amplifiers, (you know, all the vain things that charm me most )*

I just want and need more Jesus!


* When I Survey the Wondrous Cross - a post for later...

Saturday, January 1, 2011

The Journey Begins

Happy New Year, everyone! Since I last wrote, Tommy and I have solidified some of our plans, so now I am more at liberty to speak of them in detail. Our main decision was made months ago, but it has taken us quite a while to tell all of our family members and other people who needed to be told personally. It is only now that our "secret" is officially "out."

So... I guess I'll just jump in and tell you (if you don't already know). Tommy and I have decided to move to Nicaragua to teach the people there about goat farming (and about Jesus, of course). The main goal is to glorify God by loving other people. Obviously, there are countless ways of fulfilling this goal, but we really feel that God is calling us to take the opportunity that is in front of us right now. Our hope is that actually leaving the country and putting our focus on the lives of other people will put us in a better position to do God's will. (Important Note: This is not to say that one has to go into foreign missions to do God's will. I don't believe that at all. This is something that God has put on our hearts specifically, so please don't mistake our enthusiasm for this calling for any judgement against anyone else.)  Our lifestyle will change drastically, but we are excited to have the chance to minister to this group of people.

Most Nicaraguans live on less than $2/day.  We hope to use sustainable living techniques like goat farming (like I said) and gardening to provide the people of the Jinotega region with a way to sustain their own livelihoods instead of leaving them to rely indefinitely on the charity of others.  (This is already being done with great success in the Philippines. In fact, that is where we got the idea.) While we work with the people, our hope is that we will develop real relationships with them—showing them genuine, Christ-like love—that will allow us the opportunity to share our faith with them.  However, many of the people we will be working with are already Christians, church leaders who are struggling with whether to move into the city where there are jobs—or to stay at the rural church and starve.  Our work with these people will be done through the local mission that is already established in Jinotega (Misión para Cristo).  (Our group (Hope for Life) will be another branch of what they already have going on down there.)

Each of the families involved has different talents and abilities to bring to the table.  Between the two of us, Tommy and I hope to add the skills of photography, videography, grapic design, and creation/maintenance of multi-media that we can use to garner support for our project and to keep our friends, family, and supporters in the loop about our progress.  (We will, of course, spend much of our time in Nicaragua working with goats, plants, and people, but we may spend as much time, if not more, on the computer.)  We are excited to see what God does with our particular mix of individuals.

There is so much more I could say about our current goals (and I intend to), but I have already written too much for an introductory post.  If you have any specific questions, feel free to ask and we will try to answer them.  Meanwhile, we appreciate your prayers.

In Anticipation of What 2011 Holds,