Tuesday, September 25, 2012

A year already?

It's hard to believe we've been here over a year already...and kind of hard to remember what life was like before at the same time. So many things have changed along with the "big change" that I may not be able to put them all into words. But I'll make an attempt.

Mt. Rainier Sunrise....by Sammy

The first thing I think of is, we've spent a year "training to be missionaries", but what does that mean exactly? Have we been street witnessing? (no). Serving the homeless? (once). Going on short-term missions trips? (not yet, but Gabe is heading to Bachiniva, Mexico in October to help build an orphanage with our church; check out the project: Casa de Bendicion). So what have we been doing all year?

Honestly, from the outside, I don't know that our lives look that different than they did before. The changes are more subtle yet significant. For example:

  • We've learned to live on a much lower income with one car, less space and less entertainment. And are a happier family for it.
  • Gabe's been home a lot more than when he was working and we have all enjoyed more time together and a slower pace of life not filled with so many activities.
  • We're actually involved in a church and doing ministry/volunteering rather than just sitting on the sidelines. It's amazing. We have been blessed with some incredible relationships within our church and can definitely see the way we are being discipled there as one of the reasons we were led to WA.
  • We tried homeschooling. I would almost call it an "epic failure" except that with the Lord nothing is wasted. We learned a lot; I learned I have a lot less patience than I thought I did! And I did enjoy some special times with the kids. So far this year we are clearly led to be part of the local public school. The kids are doing great, making friends with kids and adults alike. Their PE teacher is a believer and not shy about it. Pray for us as we seek to minister to the kids and teachers at Eatonville Elementary.
  • We've worked hard on parenting, adding Asher into the mix in March. We are all having to grow and pitch in as a family of five, and it's really cool how we've seen the kids step up and take more responsibilities. We're growing in grace balanced with rules, trying to be more relational as the Father is with us even as we learn to submit to His authority. We are blessed just this week that Sammy has decided he wants to obey the Lord and be baptized! Pictures/video to come after this Sunday.
  • We've also worked harder on our marriage, including a Love&Respect course over the summer. We really learned a lot and are being blessed with more time together as we both grow in our understanding of each other. Or at least I finally learned what "respect your husband" is all about! :-)
  • We are growing in our personal Bible study and prayer time, both individually and as a family. It has been one of those things we put off and were inconsistent with in the past, but now we have discovered it is our lifeblood. As Christ said :“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing." John 15:5 (NKJV)
  • Gabe has gotten a lot of valuable aviation mechanic experience with multiple things broken on multiple aircraft in the last year! Now, praise God, most of the planes are up and working and he is getting more flight time in to prepare for flying in the mission field, wherever that may be!
  • We are continuing to see the Lord's hand at Trinity as He provides labor, materials, new students, volunteer instructors, leadership, fellowship, and community among us. Please pray that we and the leaders and staff will continue to seek His direction as the school grows!
A big question we get asked frequently and have heard since the beginning is "where to next?" And the answer would be "the Lord knows." We don't. He hasn't given us a particular country or area of the world yet, although we both definitely feel called to foreign missions somewhere. We are open to wherever He sends us and whatever organization He will use (or not) to get us there. We really have peace knowing that He knows the next step and we'll get there day by day.

Thank you to everyone who has followed us on this journey so far; your prayers have upheld us and your encouragement means more than we can say!

Blessings,

Bonnie


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