You Can Trust the Lord

You Can Trust the Lord

A man broke into our house in the middle of the night.

We were living in a sweet little neighborhood in St. Paul, Minnesota full of charming 1930’s bungalows with one and a half stories, hard wood floors, and gardens with tomato patches and rows of petunias. Charles Schultz, the creator of The Peanuts comic strip, grew up in the house on the corner of our street. A friendly police officer lived across the street from us, and two older, single women lived on either side of us. I hung a tire swing from the silver maple in our backyard. We were first time home owners and parents with young children, so this peaceful tree lined street seemed like the perfect place to nest.

Abiding is the Mission

Abiding is the Mission

Before being called to serve in Ecuador, I spent almost fifteen years as an Assistant Physical Therapist by day and On-Call Emergency/Orthopedic Technician by night. During that time, I was privileged to serve people at their best and at their worst; I also discovered there was no shortage of real-time applications of Biblical principles. 

The Mountain in Front of Me

The Mountain in Front of Me

For two months my family and I have lived in Costa Rica. We have lived in apartment block A2 at CINCEL language school trying to learn Spanish, before heading to Guatemala. For two months we have looked out the same window, staring at the tin slated roofs. We have stared into the beauty beyond the city-- the trees, the birds, and the mountains that are covered with clouds each day. Mountains so tall, yet I could still make out the little antennas near the top that grasp to reach the sky. Little did I know what we were actually fixing our eyes on each day, what beautiful thing entranced me each morning.

Why Cancer?

Why Cancer?

In 2009 I was diagnosed with Thyroid Cancer, and it felt like the straw that might break
the camel’s back. My family and I had been serving as missionaries in Mexico City
when our youngest “bonus baby” was born with some major health issues. The first
year and a half of her life I spent taking her from specialist to specialist seeking
answers. We were under so much stress, it’s hard to fathom how we kept this child
alive except by the grace of God. This was the time when Mexico City was upgraded
by the U.S. State Department to “more dangerous than Colombia” in regards to
murders and kidnappings of U.S. Citizens. Daily the news carried stories of roadside
graves filled with headless corpses and towns terrorized by warring drug cartels. We
didn’t go out at night. It was dangerous to travel from the capital city to the border by
car. We were harassed daily by corrupt police officers looking for bribes from
foreigners. Our house was robbed. Our car was stolen. The Swine Flu Epidemic was
just beginning. And now the doctors were telling us that they had done everything they
could for our sick baby. They told us to go home, she would not survive here.

Losing Control

Losing Control

Last year, in the middle of August, we arrived on the mission field to begin language school. Just nine days after we left for the field, the great state and our home state, Texas,  was devastated by Hurricane Harvey. Here we are, new MAs just getting settled in to our new home, while  our home back in the States and all our family and friends are getting slammed by this storm. We wanted so badly to jump on the next plane out so we could be a service to our home state and town. Our hands were tied and we were unable to go and help those in need.

The Painful Value of Spiritual Stretching

The Painful Value of Spiritual Stretching

Move over, Elastigirl! I've been stretched to the point I'd give our beloved superhero a run for her money. I don’t like it when things don’t go the way I anticipated they would. Honestly, I don’t think anybody likes it when things don’t go their way. After all, expectation is everything, right? Living on the mission field has stretched me in ways I never imagined. Maybe Elastigirl can give you a visual picture of how I generally feel. Unfortunately, it's often painful and I feel like anything but a superhero!

Remain in Him

Remain in Him

“Read your Bible and pray every day.” Perhaps you have heard this advice as the answer for how to grow in God. While it rings true, sometimes our surface application diminishes its impact. Yet, the fact remains, if we are to be effective in our obedience to God, we must habitually commune with Jesus. Yes, the difference between success and failure on the mission field includes understanding the culture and gaining linguistic proficiency, but far more crucial is maintaining one’s lifeline to Jesus. 

Christmas Overseas

Christmas Overseas

If I were totally honest with myself, I would admit that I have mixed feelings about Christmas overseas.  It’s when homesickness hits me the most, and yet I can appreciate the simplicity of the holidays away from the deluge of American Materialism.  I remind myself frequently, “It’s not wrong, it’s just different.”  I have to deliberately look for the beauty in a holiday season that is so different from what I am accustomed to.

Motherhood and Missions

Motherhood and Missions

Confession of a missionary wife: 

People ask me what I do, and my first thought, maybe not always my answer, is that I am a mom. Being a mom is hard. Being a mom with children living outside their passport countries is harder. I constantly ask, would "this" be as hard if we were in the states, would "this" be the same… And as a mom of two tall teenage daughters, are the shorts and dresses this short in the states? 

By the Grace of God

By the Grace of God

I grew up in a small town church in Indiana. We had missionaries visit pretty frequently and every single one became a hero to me. They had these amazing stories about bringing people to the Lord. Their lives were so exciting and that seemed foreign to me. Needless to say, when God called me to be a missionary it seemed like a pretty daunting task.

Be Careful What You Ask For

Be Careful What You Ask For

It's amazing how comfortable you can become in your craziness, you know what I mean?! Like most busy moms out there, I too find my days full to the brim.  Between homeschooling our four children, (1st, 3rd, 7th and 8th grade) taking care of household duties, finances, cooking, not to count 'outside the home' duties as director of a girls home to over 40 young girls, Pastor's wife, ministry team, etc... there isn't much more time in the day! However, for the last year, something has been pulling at my heart strings... I want to do more . . .

God Has Your Number

God Has Your Number

I remember waking to my 8 AM alarm that Spring morning, my phone buzzing on the floor next to my bed. The sun cast warm rays over Lake Michigan and stretched its golden fingers down my street, through the trees and into my dorm room. My eyes adjusted and all at once I remembered my flight to Houston left in just a few hours. Groggily, I reached for my phone and silenced the chirping... That’s when the text came.

A Priest, a Pastor, and a Witchdoctor Walk into a…

A Priest, a Pastor, and a Witchdoctor Walk into a…

I remember the first baby dedication I ever officiated as a missionary in Bolivia. I felt so privileged to be a part of a young indigenous family’s journey with Christ – that is, until I was told about them afterward. My heart sank as I learned that earlier that morning, the young couple had gone to a Catholic service to have their baby baptized, and the day before to an Incan witch doctor to have a spell cast on it for protection . . .