Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The summer months are going by so fast! We’ve traveled a lot since our last update. Through these travels we have been able to share about Bolivia with three church bodies.

We started out here in Elgin. We were really excited to officially share with our church about our calling to Bolivia. Most of our family here in Elgin has heard about these plans, but it was great to share with them the stories that brought us to this calling, more detailed information, and pictures. It’s always inspiring to see the faces of those we’ll be ministering to, as well as those we’ll be working with. Sharing with our church in this way really emphasized our desire that our church family is coming alongside us as a part of this ministry. We don’t want the mentality to be that we are leaving our church; instead we want Elgin Community Church to be entering Bolivia with us. They are and will continue to be our partners in serving Jesus Christ. We were blessed to have our family gather around us in prayer, lifting us, and our needs, up to the Lord. It was a great Sunday of encouragement and affirmation.

The next weekend we headed up north to Wisconsin. It’s a family tradition to spend the Fourth of July up at the cabin. We enjoyed the lake and the company, as most of JeanaLe’s extended family (plus a few extras) were up for the holiday weekend. We played putt-putt, swam, enjoyed a few games of beach volleyball, went fishing, water skiing, and knee-boarding, participated in the first-annual bags tournament, relaxed in the hot-tub, and just relaxed period!

On Sunday we worshipped with our up north church body at Wabeno Presbyterian Church. This is a tiny, little church filled of people with big hearts. Our family is always welcomed with plenty of smiles and even some laughs as we fill up at least two pews. This particular Sunday we overflowed into three. We weren’t able to make a formal presentation about Bolivia, but we talked with the pastor after church and with one other couple who are old friends of our family. We were able to leave our letters at the church and know they will be passed out to people who are thankful to be included in the Lord’s plans for us.

After church we rushed home to change and head out to the Townsend parade, a true display of the Northern Wisconsin lifestyle! The rain held off for the parade, but not long enough to see the fireworks show; it was cancelled. We spent the night indoors and played games while the boys decided to go fishing anyways and got totally soaked.

Our next destination was St. Louis. This trip happened to be on the weekend of our first wedding anniversary, so we did a little celebrating as well. We spent Friday night in downtown St. Louis at a beautiful hotel. It was relaxing and fun to be a little spoiled. We woke up and enjoyed a delicious breakfast before heading home to O’Fallon.

That Saturday night we planned to have some Chapel of the Lake church members over to the Marshall’s house to share personally about how God is working in our lives through this call to Bolivia. It was a really fun day of being in the kitchen and baking some fabulous desserts for that evening. We got to enjoy dinner as a family and then started welcoming our guests. It was such a great time of sharing. Everyone there got to learn more about what we’ll be doing in Bolivia; and since there was really no time restraint, we got to go way back and share about how the Lord has been planning this all along, and how He continues to make it clear to us that we’re on the right path. It was an encouraging night to say the least and we’re so thankful to all those who came. After this the family decided to go bowling! We had such a fun time together and even got a silly at the end with a game of full out crazy bowling. Sunday after church we enjoyed a wonderful steak lunch and then sadly had to get back on the road. Time with family is always too short!

This next weekend we’ll be going to JeanaLe’s hometown and sharing with her church family at Kenosha Christian Reformed Chruch. Please keep us in your prayers for this Sunday as we’ll be sharing up in front of the church and that is always a little nerve-racking. Other ways you can pray for us are:

• Praise for save travels so far and continued prayers for safety on the road
• A big praise that we were kept from a speeding ticket (roses in the car, the fact that it was our anniversary, and a very gracious officer were huge blessings!)
• Praise that we have reached 25% of our needed support!
• Continued prayers for the Lord to raise up more supporters for us; supporters who are thankful and excited to be a part of this ministry with us
• Humbleness and confidence as we ask for help in this way
• Pray for us as God is preparing our hearts to teach VBS next week at our home church and for the children who will attend