March 24, 2010

Leaving "home" to go visit "home"

The bags are pretty much packed and the house has been sorted through over the past few weeks in preparation of heading to the USA for six months. You would think by now that the transition of leaving our home to go visit our home would get easier but that is not always true. As a missionary living in a foreign country, I have embraced Swaziland as my home. Our family is in our seventh year of living in Swaziland and for our children, Africa is more home to them than the USA, where I grew up. Do not get me wrong, I long to see my family and visit with friends but I also do not necessarily want to leave my home in Africa at the same time. I wish Africa was closer to America! :) The Atlantic Ocean is tooooo big!!!!

Through all these mixed emotions, God has been faithful to give me a peace that He is still in control and He understands what I am going through, even on days when I do not! On Sunday, we were saying farewell to a church, Hawane Baptist, that is dear to our hearts as it is the first church we planted and started in our last mission term. The church asked us to greet them and say a few words before Steve began preaching. God impressed upon me to share with my brothers and sisters in Christ that the same God that is here with them in Swaziland is the same God that will be with our family in America. Praise the Lord! It was a great reminder for me, too, that God is not leaving me just because I was leaving Swaziland. He IS going with me and will stay with me!!!

In sorting through several closets and stuff in our house over the past few weeks, I ran across an older issue of Today's Christian Woman. In it, there was an article about a wife that kept struggling with moving all the time due to her husband's job. No, I am not moving all the time but the few key principles that were shared impacted my mind and heart greatly.

1. Dwell in the Land based on Jeremiah 29 - stop wasting time and energy fussing over the loss of leaving and carry on the business of living. Enjoy living in the present and not the past!

2. Learn to be Content based on Philippians 4:11 - be happy and content whatever the circumstances. Focus on the here and now and be thankful for all God has given me...whew!

3. Set My Mind on Things Above based on Colossians 3:2 - Look ahead to the eternal home Jesus is preparing for me in heaven and that is definitely something to look forward to!

4. Be a Living Sacrifice based on Romans 12:1 - I choose to be a living sacrifice - to please God. I desire to place all my different longings on an altar sacrificing them to the Lord.

I am beginning to look forward to our furlough time in the USA for six months. It will be amazing times with our family and re-connecting them with our children. I look forward to worship services in English (rare for us as we are in siSwati language services each week!) and also opportunities for my children to be with kids their ages at church. All in all, it is going to be precious times of rest for my family and truly resting in God's arms as He revives our bodies, minds and souls to continue the ministry He has called us to do for His glory.

I hope to see many of you on my journey as I visit my "other home" and a chance to catch up on all God is doing in our lives.

March 9, 2010

Thank you for praying for our family

Thank you for the many emails we received concerning Lacie's unplanned surgery this past Friday morning. Your prayers and support mean the world to our family.
Lacie did great with her surgery, although she did come out with some minimal pain in her left ear. Praise the Lord for good pain meds! :) Lacie was such a trooper through it all! Lacie and I were able to come home Friday around lunch time and it was great to be reunited with our guys. Nathan was sooo excited to see his sissy. Aunt Jane Lawson, missionary friend from Jo'burg, has come to spend the weekend with our family and we always love having friends with us. Today is Nathan's 2nd birthday and we are so blessed by his precious life in our family. He is our active, little man and adds so much life to our household! :) We praise God for such a blessing to us.

Our family is sorting through our house and belongings as we will be leaving for the USA on March 26 for our stateside (furlough) time. We will leave Swaziland on March 25 to be in Jo'burg for one night before flying out on March 26. Pray for the packing process and long travels for our family, esp for Nathan. We will be on a plane for 18 hours with an active two-year old! :) We will be landing in Charlotte on the morning of March 27 and staying with Steven's parent's in the northwestern area of NC. We will be going to our company's stateside conference April 5-10 and then onto Maryland to visit with family and connecting churches for a couple weeks. We will send out a more detailed schedule at a later time. Our biggest prayer concern is that we STILL need a place to stay when our family is in West Palm Beach from July 1 - September 25 or so. Pray a place opens soon for our family to rent or house sit.

Pray also for Al and Belinda Jordan as they will be coming to live in our house and cover some of our ministry areas while we are on our stateside time until the end of September. They will be leaving the USA on March 16, landing in Jo'burg on March 17 and driving onto Swaziland on March 19. We are very thankful for their willingness to come at their own expense to assist our family, mission team and Swazi people during these next six months. Pray for their last minute preparations and for safe travels in a couple weeks.

This past week, our team leaders, Wayne and Barbara Myers, received word that the rental house they are staying in is no longer available to them. They have been given two months to find a new house, pack and move to a new place. Pray for the RIGHT house for them and clarity through this tough time. They have just returned from their stateside time back in January and had just gotten settled into their current house in the Tshaneni area. We are trusting God to provide the right place for them.

March 7, 2010

Happy 2nd Birthday Nathan!!!

Nathan doing the maize mill at one of the homestead

Nathan loves playing in the water anytime!

Nathan at his first birthday party....loves any kind of cars! :)

Nathan at birth...what a cutie!

Nathan saying..."Hi world, I have arrived!"

It is hard to believe that our little man is already two years old. Wow, where does the time go? It seem like yesterday that Nathan was born and we were becoming a family of four. Nathan has added tons of energy to our family and he is such a precious gift from the Lord. We are learning that it is way different to raise a little boy vs. a little girl! :) We often say that if we could figure out a way to bottle up a kid's energy level, we would make millions! Nathan loves cars, balls, blocks and books. He loves being outdoors and playing with his sissy, Lacie. We look forward to watching Nathan grow up each day and all the wonderful plans God has for his precious life.