Wednesday, November 28, 2012

What I'm Reading and Loving

Click on the links below for some good reading!

Children know how to approach the manger.  They have a way of taking all the frill, the fake, and the phony reverence out of the Christmas story... They see Jesus as approachable, someone who would want to jump on the trampoline with them, someone who would welcome the Darth Vader Lego guy to the get-together.

The truth is, the story of a King born a baby in a barn is not something we need our best clothes on to hear, or something we need to place on the highest, unreachable shelf.
The reports from the agency had told me that she is extremely attached to her nanny. This is good. The fact that she has chosen one person and not every person means that she will probably be able to transfer those feelings of attachment over to me, to us. It's best that she's not "shopping for a new mommy" as a friend put it. It's good. Great. Yea.

But today? Today it stunk.

...the TOMS brand has established itself as a way for conscious “good Samaritans  to believe purchasing a pair of TOMS is somehow contributing to the global fight against poverty – except it isn't.

This is what I know to be true about raising black boys: it will be imperative for me to teach them that some will look at them with suspicion or stereotype based on their skin color.  I HATE THIS.  I hate that it’s true and I hate that I have to burst their innocence and I hate that it may shift their view of the world.  But it’s a part of our role as their parents, and we can’t do it alone.

...this Jesus Advent Devotional, this story that begins in the beginning, in Genesis, and sweeps across His Word and His-Story, that winds through some of the highlights the Old Testament, stories that keep murmuring it — He’s coming, He’s coming.

And we’ll feel the divine breaking into here and we see the light shattering dark and we’ll find what we’ve looked hard for, everything we’ve ever yearned for -- Christ...

Sunday, November 25, 2012

I'm So Glad You Asked

In light of my recent acceptance with AIM, I have had many people wanting to know more about what that means for me. Here is a quick overview of some of the most frequently asked questions. I would love to share more details with you in person, though! Or please feel free to comment with any other questions you might have.

Are you going back to the same place?
Yes. My desire is to return to Mbarara, Uganda.

Will you be with the same people?
Some of the same team mates will still be there. Others have moved on. But there are many other missionaries and locals in our community that I'm looking forward to being with again!

Will you be teaching? 
Not in the sense that you're probably imagining. I don't plan on teaching children in a classroom as I was before. My desire is to disciple single, young women in University who are pregnant or have an infant or toddler.

What will that look like?
Some possibilities include: Working with the local church to provide child care while the mothers are in classes, training Ugandan women in providing quality child care, offering parent education (teaching basic child development, parenting skills, health/safety/nutrition, etc.), and biblical discipleship.

Please ask me about this. I'd love to share more with you!

When will you leave?
AIM sends out full-term missionaries four times a year. My desire is to leave in July 2013, but I must be fully supported before I can leave.

How long will you be there?
Members of our team are encouraged to serve two-year terms with a four-month furlough. So I plan on being there for two years, for now.

Will you come home during that time?
Probably not. Compassionate leave is available, if needed, but a visit home is not in my budget. Visitors are always welcome though!

Do you have to fundraise? 
No. AIM does not promote or encourage fundraising.
We are support-raising, though. "Information, without solicitation."
Although this might seem like splitting hairs to you, there is a big difference. My desire is to have a team of supporters who'll join with me now and into the future. Supporters can give financially, be prayer partners, and/or help me network with other individuals or churches. We're all on a team together working for His kingdom!

How much do you need to raise?
$12,293 outgoing (one-time) expenses
$2,151 monthly for two years

How can I give?
Checks made out to "Africa Inland Mission" can be mailed to me at my Iowa City home address (e-mail me or comment if you need it).
Or even better...
Use AIM's on-line system where you can quickly and easily set up monthly or one-time gifts.

As always, I'm so thankful for you!
Those of you who I've known my whole life and those of you I look forward to meeting someday...
I couldn't do it without your encouragement and support! I am blessed to have you along for the journey.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Sign Up

Have you received my email updates in the past?

You haven't? Would you like to?

Because I would sure love to have you along on the journey!

Please click this link to sign up for ministry email updates.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

It's Official

Last week, I traveled down to Peachtree City, Georgia to spend five days at the Africa Inland Mission U.S. office. I was attending Candidate Week, which was the next step in the process of becoming a full member of AIM.

Honestly, it was a very long and tiring week with late nights, early mornings, and constant training sessions and meetings. Fortunately, the supply of coffee was endless, and it was a joy to spend time with the other people attending Candidate Week. Many of them were missionary kids (MKs) in Africa or have spent significant time in Africa already, so there was plenty to learn from one another and incredible stories about how God brought each of us to this point in our lives.

(I have a beautiful photo of all who attended Candidate Week, but unfortunately I can't share it with you. Many of these wonderful people desire to live among unreached people groups in Africa or in countries that currently don't welcome missionaries or the Gospel.)

On Friday morning, I was given the official word that I have been accepted as a full member of Africa Inland Mission! All the glory goes to God.

This is exciting news, but it also means that I'm about to step back into support-raising. A daunting task that requires a lot of time, energy, and endless faith! Please join with me in praising the Lord for his faithfulness and in prayer as I continue on this journey of returning to Uganda