Sunday, November 25, 2007
Thanksgiving was spent at Rachel's grandparents' house in Ohio this year. It was quite a full house, as well as a full table, as you can see above! We enjoyed the opportunity to be together, but, as always, it was hard to say goodbye, especially for Rachel. The main thing that softens Rachel's goodbyes to her parents is knowing that before long we will be living and ministering in the same country...and that her parents love her, as you can see below.
Monday, November 19, 2007
Unlike the past 7 or 8 weekends, this weekend was not spent speaking in a church to raise prayer and financial supporters. Rather, we spent this weekend in Richfield, PA at ECMI's orientation. Above you can see all 10 of us orientees--not a bad looking group! We are the largest group of Americans that ECMI has trained in quite some time, so it was exciting for the leadership as well as for us.
So what did we do at this orientation? We interacted with experienced ECMI missionaries in various sessions, we ate, we shared our stories of calling with one another, we ate, we participated in various Sunday School classes and worship services in the church that hosted us, and we ate some more. The two of us left a bit on information overload, but we are sure that God is using our experience from the weekend to prepare us for joining the ECMI team in Spain. We enjoyed meeting everyone, especially since they will be our future co-laborers. Hans and Jennifer Anderson (the big fella in the beard and the gal in the red blouse) are heading to Spain, as well, so we will likely be working with them more closely than the others.
Here's a picture of the ECMI-USA board, orientees, and other leaders of the mission. For Rachel the best part of the weekend was probably being able to spend it with her parents, since they're in from Spain for these meetings and Thanksgiving. Well, that's it for now. Enjoy giving thanks this week!
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Our apologies to those of you who may check up on us through our blog. As you can see (and may have noticed), we have failed to post anything for over three weeks now, a bit longer than we would prefer. As the title of this post indicates, we have been extremely busy the past few weeks, perhaps even busier than our bishop, Mike Sigman (see Oct. 21's post for him). So here is what we've been up to.
Rachel, as usual, has been working as a therapist during the weekdays, and B.J. has been splitting time between substitute teaching and working on seminary stuff (more books and papers). On certain evenings and weekends, we've been wearing our missionary hats, and the past week and a half we have been wearing those hats a lot. Last Saturday and Sunday (Nov. 3-4) we were at First E.C. Church in Palmyra, PA (the picture above is this church's sign). Last Monday evening (Nov. 5) we were with Community Evangelical Church in Sinking Spring, PA. Wednesday was spent with Bethany E.C. Church in Pleasantville, PA, and this Sunday we split time: we were with Grace E.C. in Millersville, PA in the morning and Mohn's Hill E.C. Church in the evening.
So we're almost finished with our fall tour (we're considering making T-shirts for it), and it's been exciting to meet so many new people and to have the opportunity to share our hearts, call, and passion about Spain with so many congregations! We're now looking forward to this weekend as we have a training with the leadership of European Christian Mission International (http://www.ecmi.org/).
Before we wrap it up, here's some encouraging news we've received in the past week or so: several churches and individuals have committed to our monthly financial support team, so our funding is growing! Thanks so much to all of you who have been upholding us in prayer--we truly are seeing God's hand of provision work in our lives. We don't fully understand how it all works, but we know that your prayers make a difference!