Progress

30 11 2009

We had lots of things to be thankful for over the Thanksgiving holiday. First of all, the Red Bank congregation (where Evan grew up, in Chattanooga) has agreed to be our sponsoring congregation, meaning that they will be the ones to keep up with our finances for us, and provide our supervisory eldership. In addition, and this is the part that surprised us, simply because Red Bank is already involved in so many different ministries, they are going to support almost a third of our annual budget for this next year. We are so, so thankful for the Red Bank congregation and their love and support of the work in the DR. This is such a great surprise and blessing. Also, we have had several friends and family members pledge to give substantial amounts of money to our work. We still have a long way to go, but we have gotten a great start. It seems like God has really blessed our preparations so far, and we pray that He will continue to do so.

Just to let everyone know about some dates to keep in mind… We are planning to be in Antigua, Guatemala, from February 6th to April 3rd (8 weeks). We will be paying for all of language school and for our annual health insurance premium up-front, so Feb 6th is also the day by which we need to have about $8,000-9,000 in hand. We feel really confident that God is going to take care of it, but please keep this in your prayers. The date on which we plan to move to the DR is April 24th. It is really weird and exciting to search for one-way tickets! Anyway, those are “the plans.”

Manna Global Ministries has an official press release about us joining their DR team. I will try to post a link to it soon.

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New blog, new adventures

6 11 2009

This song in my heart, this song in my soul, this song I was born to sing;

It’s your song of freedom, and I’m free to dance again.

I’ll sing in the darkness, I’ll laugh in the rain; rejoice in your love again.

It’s your song of freedom, and I’m free to dance again.

Your Spirit brings me liberty. Your breath of life, it sets me free.

Jesus, your love it lifts me high, gives me reason to run this race with joy.

Your song within me, Lord, will bless your holy name

Jesus, I’ll dance before your throne, bring this heavenly song to you alone.

This song within me, Lord, will bless your holy name.

Like all writing usually is for me, it was really hard to get started on this blog. I have been thinking for several weeks about what to name our blog, and it finally came to me today while I was listening to some Christian music. For those of you who haven’t been around me and Evan together very much, let me preface this by saying that we sing. I don’t mean that we just sing at church or in the shower or in the car. I mean we sing, like, all the time. We drove to Florida a few weeks ago and passed three hours of the drive singing Christmas songs (it was October then), songs about America, songs we each sang in our Kindergarten graduation programs, you name it. However, by far the majority of the singing we do together is “God songs,” as we call them. The lyrics listed above are from a song called “Free to Dance,” and we were introduced to it a few years ago by an acapella group named Watershed. The lyrics have provided us with the perfect title for our blog.

“The song I was born to sing” is a title that I find most appropriate for our blog, not only because of our mutual love for singing, but because of where we are in our life right now. Before Evan and I met each other, we had both fallen in love with mission work. Being a PK (preacher’s kid), I was blessed with countless opportunities to travel around the world on mission trips, and this was something that my parents both encouraged and supported. I had often thought about doing long-term mission work when I got older. Evan had also developed a soft spot in his heart for mission work, through several trips he was able to take in high school. In fact, when I first met Evan, he had just returned from a summer-long internship with the missionaries in the Dominican Republic. I say all that to say this: Evan and I both feel that over the past several years, even when we had no idea what we were doing or where we were going, God has been preparing our hearts for mission work. We have so often struggled with choices about our careers, where to live, and so many other things. We have tried so hard to plan out our future the way that we wanted it to happen and in the order that we wanted it to happen, only to be disappointed.  The more we struggle to take control of our own lives, the less control it seems we have. But that is the problem; we have struggled to do everything by ourselves, when that was never a necessity or a possibility. As soon as we decided to let God take control of our lives and lead us where He would, He put the work in the Dominican republic back on our hearts. In so many ways and after countless prayers, it seems that He has led us to the work He created us to do, the song we were born to sing, – His ministry.

As we get ready to start an incredible journey, I ask that you would please keep our ministry and work in the Dominican Republic on your hearts and in your prayers. The PLAN is that we will leave for language school in February, come home in April for a couple of weeks, and then head to the DR April 22nd, 2010. We would like to stay at least through July 2012. There is much to be done in a short amount of time, though, so it’s possible that the plans might change a little. We trust that God will help us as we prepare for the future and as we try to do what He would have us to do.

 

Rachel (& Evan :))