We feel like we are back in school! We arrived at our training facility on Monday and began classes Wednesday. Things are going well, but we are staying VERY busy!
|This is a book we’re just
starting to read. Anyone have any
thoughts or opinions on it?
Please pray for us as we get into a new routine and try to learn as much as possible over the next week.
Also, there are LOTS of people living and working together. Please pray that everyone stays well and that sickness does not become a problem in this close environment.
Thanks for checking in. We’ll try to write again soon!
And it worked out that we were able to meet three of those families for dinner last night. What a treat to finally meet people I feel I’ve known for years! I loved seeing our kids together. Honestly, walking into the restaurant and seeing faces you’ve only seen in photos is like a great big celebrity sighting!
Thanks to our sweet friends for taking time out of your weekend to meet up. And thanks for your friendship and prayers!
The last couple of weeks have been busy and emotional. We’ve said our good-byes and packed up all that we’ll need for the next 8 1/2 weeks.
Please pray for us as we enter this next big phase…
While transitions can be tough for anyone, we ask for specific prayer for our sons. Please pray that throughout our moves to Virginia, Vancouver, and Norway, they will feel safe and secure. Our prayer is that it will further affirm that even when outside circumstances change, families stay together.
Please pray for Zack and me as we enter a time of intense training and preparation. Pray that our hearts and minds will remain focused on God, and on the calling that He has placed on our family.
Please pray for our parents and extended family. Pray for them as they say good-bye and as the reality of our move sets in.
It’s yet another reality moment for us, as we think about the fact that the next time we’ll see things like our beds and table and sofa, we will be in Oslo!
Once Mom & Tommy arrived home, they took us out to dinner. Saturday, we slept in (well, 8:00 is late for our boys). Then we spent the day swimming, eating, boating, and watching a movie. It’s been a great visit!
I’m so thankful for the time I’ve gotten to spend with my parents over the last several days. I’m thankful for the way each has shown love, support, and generosity to us. And I’m thankful our boys have had another chance to make some great memories with grandparents.
While he spends time with his dad, the boys and I are spending some time with each of my parents. Yesterday, we arrived at Stone Mountain Park to spend about 24 hours with my dad and his wife. We’ve had a great time. Ropes course, 4D movie, mini golf, train ride, sky lift, 4-story indoor playground, outdoor water playground, and the laser show. It was a long and busy day, but it was a lot of fun.
He could have gone elsewhere and would probably have made more money. But there really is something to be said for a job that gave him flexibility to attend a school play or take a sick child to the doctor, and one that ended well before dinner time each day so we could all sit down as a family. He rarely had to travel out of town, and we knew he’d be home on weekends.
I’m thankful for the way he provides for our family. We’ve always had everything we need, and more. I’m grateful for his strong work ethic (he had a great model in his dad). What a great example for our boys!
And I’m excited about the beginning of the next chapter of our lives!
Jenn: Hi, Daniel.
J: How are you?
J: How old are you?
J: What grade did you just finish?
J: So that means you are…
D: In first grade!
J: What are your favorite things to do?
D: Make a tent, and eat hot dogs, and peanut butter jelly.
J: Is there anything else you like to do?
D: Play. Have fun with my brother. My brother’s named William. And I have a family. I have fun with my family outside.
J: So, tell me about your summer so far.
D: My dad went to ski. I have fun with my Mommy. I watch TV and my hair is spiky. But not right now. I want to have snow so I could go skiing and make a snowman, but it’s hot outside. I don’t know what temperature it is in Norway. I think that’s all.
J: Are there any places you like to go in the summer?
D: Yeah. On my brother’s birthday, we went to Graceland.
J: What is Graceland?
D: It has food. And Elvis used to live there. And it’s very fun to go there. And one time I went to Tennessee.
J: What did you do there?
D: Just run. I run and the sun was hot there. My grandparents took me to the zoo. I loved it. Now we are just talking about it.
J: What else will you do this summer?
D: Go running. And walking. And go to Stone Mountains and have a away party [going away party], and go on a big ship, the cruise ship.
J: Are you going anywhere else this summer?
D: First we’re moving to Virginia.
J: What will you do there?
D: Just run and some walking and kid’s classes.
J: What will you learn?
D: I don’t know. About Jesus. About how to be a MK, a mission kid. About how to be a good friend.
J: Are you excited?
J: Are you scared?
J: What will you miss?
D: Adie [our dog]. And Zoe and Dande [in-law’s dogs], and I miss my old house.
J: What are you excited about?
D: To be a MK. And to make new friends. And to tell them about Jesus.
J: Anything else you want to say?
D: No. That’s all. The end.
Ok, so Jennifer has been trying to get me to do a blog post for a while. So I am working on this one and might publish this one once I am happy with it, or it may sit here and collect cyber dust for years and years until we decide to delete it one day.
Why Norway? I have no idea except to say it’s a God thing. I can remember my dad taking a business trip to Norway back when I was a kid. He didn’t say too much about it other than it was cold, he liked the food, the people were nice and it was a beautiful country.
About 2 weeks after he got home from his trip, my mom took the film to be developed (kids, google film developing). She brought back a photo he had taken of a fjord with some colorful wooden houses on the shore and some awesome wooden boats. In the background there were snow capped mountains and a rainbow. Even on 110 film (again, google this), this could have won a photo contest any day of the week. I was captivated by this photo and showed it to all of my friends at one time or another. It is still hanging around my parents house to this day. I may try to find it with all of my spare time (sense sarcasm) and post it online one day soon. God put Norway and the beauty of the land in my heart.
In 2009, a good friend told me he was leading a vision trip to Norway and wanted to know if I’d be interested. Sure! I’ll go to Norway. I went and fell in love with the country. The people were amazing, the land was beautiful, and although it was awesome, I felt sad. I wanted to share what I was experiencing with Jennifer. I couldn’t wait to get home and share photos and videos and story after story of God ordained meetings with person after person.
I got home and we went right back into adoption paperwork and preparation mode. July of 2010, we came home with Daniel. As soon as we got home, God began really speaking to me about full time ministry. I had thought about it earlier in life, but didn’t know exactly where I fit. Turns out, I didn’t really fit anywhere around home. On a Saturday morning in October (I think) I went to Rexall Grille in Duluth for breakfast with some guys for accountability. While I was there, I felt like someone was squeezing my insides. The guys encouraged me to listen and obey. I went home and told Jennifer that I was feeling like God was calling us to missions overseas. Her only response was “I know”.
We began looking into different organizations and after weeks of interviews etc, we decided on one. We have been in process since October of 2010 and it was been an intense time of interviews, doctrinal statements, background checks, references, medical exams and having the boys tested for everything under the sun.
We went to a “ministry fair” for lack of a better term in Memphis in July of 2011 in Memphis. We had times when we could meet with the different groups that work with people around the world according to the areas and people groups they were affiliated with. We chose to separate on the first meeting and then hooked back up for Europe since that is where we really felt God leading us. We were given a list of positions around the world. We looked and saw several that looked interesting, but none were exactly where God was leading us. We went and sat down on a couch to pray and spend some time talking together. I opened the job list back up and noticed that we had missed one section of the European jobs. The first one was in Oslo. We knew that this one was for us.
Fast forward then until now, we are job matched with this position, have been appointed as apprentices and will begin training on July 23rd. We have roughly 5-6 months of training and then should be in Oslo by January.
We are scared. We don’t know where we will live. We don’t know what to take with us. We don’t know how we’ll handle the cold. We don’t know where the boys will go to school. We only know a little Norwegian. BUT- we know God has chosen this position for us at this particular point in time and regardless of our disobedience in the past, He has called and we are now being obedient. We (mostly all Jennifer) will post our thoughts, fears and adventures on here when we have time.
Please stay tuned as we share what God is doing and what we are learning from the people in Norway. Please pray for our adventure and for our kids. They have known lots of transition in their young lives, but what better way to spend your childhood years than serving the Living God and working to make a difference in His kingdom.
to be continued. . . . .