Friday, March 13, 2015

New House, New Blog, New Things!

Hey All!

This blog has served me well for the past 5 years as we've documented our mission journey, babies, and other great things that have taken place. I've always loved writing out my thoughts. It helps me process life. It helps me process my faith.

I've taken a hiatus these last 7 months to focus on my relationship with the Lord and with my husband and with my kids. It's been so good. I've dug deep into the Word of God and have come up refreshed and changed. But I can never get away from writing my thoughts out, so I've still been doing that, by journaling and writing to friends. And hoping that one day I'd get back into blogging again. Just praying about the timing.

And now is that timing!

While this blog has been a great place to write, our journey is somewhat changing. This blog was for our overseas missions journey, and so I've started a new area to write. One to document this new stage of life- whatever God may choose to do with us, wherever he may choose to use us...  I pray there will always be a song of praise on my lips.

The first post is up - about our new house (and the whole house hunting journey).

Check it out! Click Here ---- Songs of Jubilee

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy New Year! [Welcome, 2015]

Happy 2015!

May we:
"Leave the broken irreversible past in his hands and step out into the invincible future with him."
(Oswald Chambers)

Psalm 126:3: The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy.

Marana tha! (Our Lord, come!)

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Breaking the Silence

Hey Faithful Followers,

It’s been quiet on here lately for a reason. We wanted to let you all know that we have stepped out of the missionary training for now. We are taking the time to focus on our marriage and our family. We have recognized our deep need to allow the Lord to work on our lives in these areas, and so we ask that you will pray for us as we open our hearts to his work.

We are still passionate about tribal missions, and desire from the bottom of our hearts for every tribe and tongue to know his name. We pray that MANY will answer the call to take the gospel where it has never been taken, and for now, we support those who are doing so. We leave our hearts open to still going in the future, if God will allow it and open the doors in that direction, but we are learning to trust that he has a sovereign plan for our lives and that he will take us where we can best be used for his kingdom… even if we do not understand his ways.

Thank you so much for supporting us in prayer, in finances, in encouragement, and in following us. We have felt loved and cared for.

I may not update this blog much in the present. But hopefully in the future, I will start doing so again. If you know our family personally and just would like updates on our girls, you can check those out on my Mom Blog.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Summer in Pictures

We're back in Indiana for our summer break. We've been having lots of fun! I think it's easier to SHOW with pictures than to tell with lots of WORDS, so here are a bunch of pictures to let you know what fun we're having! :) 


Our beautiful view from the place we are staying- Sophie loves running and playing down here


Working (Ben's remodeling the place we're staying)

4 Wheeler Ride

Swinging (look at B's silly face!)


Stroller Rides

Roller Skating

Ice Cream


Driving Lessons

 New Friends

Old Friends

Sleepy Babies and Cuddles before a New Baby arrives!

Poor Brielle's elbow got dislocated... But she fell asleep on me for the first time since she was a newborn and it was an easy fix at the hospital :)

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Language Learning Lessons

Most of us has had to take a language class at some point in our lives. For us, Ben took Spanish while in high school, and I took Spanish in high school and French in college. French was certainly my hardest class during college. It was so challenging to learn a language well while only being immersed in it for several hours every week. From my time in these classes, I knew that learning a language overseas would have it's challenges for me. Thankfully I have a good short-term memory. But I'm a perfectionist and hate saying things when I can't say them perfect. I also am social and hate not being able to communicate.

Our last class at the MTC was a class that taught us about language and culture learning, and I learned a new method of language learning that was completely fascinating and encouraging to me (and Ben) called TPR (Total Physical Response). 

In this class, we would have several objects in front of us... maybe around 15. We would start by pointing to three and having the teacher say what they were. We learned Russian in our class. We would not say the words, we would just hear them and point to the right object. After we felt confident we knew the first three, we would add a few more in. We would continue this until we were able to confidently and quickly point to all 15 items. It was amazing how quickly we learned the items, and we were learning how to say them much better than a textbook could have taught us! After a couple of weeks of learning Russian, we had the opportunity to speak it, and I was amazed at how much I was able to remember and say. While I know my perfectionist tendencies will still be difficult in language learning, this way of learning language has been encouraging to me, and I feel more confident about doing so!

[Our Russian teacher explains a picture, and we point to the right one]

[Photo Credit: Jill McCormick]

[This is me responding to commands about what to do with a ball... this was after just one hour of going over these commands!]

Sidenote: Many people ask if we are language learning yet. We are not. Because all of the people in our training center are going to different countries, we will wait to learn the language until we are in the country we will minister in (which is the best way to learn language because we will be able to learn language and culture together!). While in training, we are learning many helpful tips for language and culture learning though, such as in this class.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

We Are Here, We Are Here!

In Dr. Seuss' book, Horton Hears a Who (there's also a movie), Horton carries around a flower where he hears people. All of the other animals think he is crazy because they cannot hear the people. If the flower is damaged, all of the people in the town where he hears them will cease to exist as well, so Horton works desperately to prove that he really does hear people and that they exist. At the end of the movie, the people all work together to be as loud as they can, and finally, right when the flower is about to be destroyed, the other animals hear.

As I thought about writing this blog post, I was reminded of this movie as I heard the people from the town yelling, "We are here, we are here, we are here!" Their cry resembles that of the people of Papua New Guinea. They are crying out, "WE ARE HERE" as they beg for missionaries to come live in their village. There simply aren't enough laborers to reach them all right now. 

Last week, we had Field Fair here at the Missionary Training Center. Representatives from many of the fields that NTM works in were here to speak of their needs. PNG is not the only place waiting for more missionaries. It was both encouraging and challenging to hear of the many needs. We were certainly excited, fired up, and humbled at the end of the two days.

[Photo of students considering going to PNG- Praise the Lord!]

[Photo of Jason, PNG rep, sharing about the needs of PNG- photo credit to Rachel]

We were excited to hear about all of the planned church planting works in PNG as we realized one of these groups could be the group we work among! We got a paper that had details about the facts of these tribes, and it certainly made these places become real to me!

Planned Works:

These locations are real. And people really do live and die in them everyday. It's easy for me to forget this as I live on the other side of the world, even as I train to head to one of these locations. I asked our friend Chad, who does survey work in PNG, to send us some pictures from the recent surveys he has done. I.DON'T.WANT.TO.FORGET. These people are real, and they need Christ. I beg you to take time to look at the names of these planned works (listed above) and the faces of the people (below) and pray for them. Pray how you can be involved. Pray for us. Please.

Papua New Guinea currently has letters from 50 tribes begging for missionaries- crying "WE ARE HERE!" - pray that these people would be reached SOON with the good news of Jesus Christ!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

This Ain't Yo' High School's Grammar


When you hear that word, you probably think back to high school and have one of two reactions. You are either like me, and you get excited. Or you're like Ben, and you cringe.
But your word picture is probably something like this:

In our Grammar class here at the MTC, though, we did not learn about comma splices and apostrophe use and correct spelling (we did learn a little about nouns, verbs, and prepositions though).

The purpose of this class was to help us learn how grammar works in other languages. Check out the sentences below.

-In trail I see a tiger big
-Hands smalls
-Pour your boy it into the pail yesterday for my horse
-Kill horse little dog big

No matter how much you dislike (or like) the type of Grammar you originally thought of when you read the word at the beginning of this post, you certainly know something is wrong when you read the four clauses above. 

So this is why we took this class. In other languages, the sentence structure is different from English, so learning another language will involve a lot more than just learning words. It will involve learning sentence structure and other complexities. While the sentences above seem silly and wrong to us, they are normal and correct in other languages. These were some of the actual sentences that we dissected from other languages while taking this class (of course, the words were not English- but I only included the English translation for the purpose of this post).

[One of our homework assignments]

Maybe this post will give you a little bit of insight into some of the complexities of learning a new language that we will deal with when we move overseas. This class confirmed- we will definitely need all of your prayers!