Friday, August 10, 2007


We have had a great week. The training has been exceptional here at Mission Training International. We have so many new friends and mission peers who have wonderful stories and great callings to all over the globe. God is doing fantastic things through ordinary people - people who are answering his call and fully committing to sharing Jesus with the world. We are also so very blessed that we chose The Mission Society as our sending agency! They have done an excellent job preparing us to this point and they have so many steps and policies in place for us... we feel so safe and so secure in knowing that they have carefully paved the way for us and laid a groundwork that is second to none!

We had an interesting experience the other night... Laurie's mom came to Colorado to spend some "grandmother time" with the kids this week. She took Sarah to her hotel one night to spend the night, which gave us a much-needed evening alone. However, we found ourselves sitting in complete silence. Here we had the whole evening to do whatever we wanted to without a 3 year old in tow and we had no idea what to do! Maybe it was the calm after the storm... we have been so focused and so busy for the past year, with training and fundraising, travel, jobs, home, etc. We are finally coming down from our rush and busy-ness and we are able to focus totally on the mission. So our big evening alone was spent in silence... awkward at first, but we later settled in to the peace of drinking coffee and reading and enjoying the quiet of the evening and each other.

Peace be with all of you during this week. Please keep our family in your prayers as we continue in training for two more weeks, then leave for language school.

Please look for the August newsletter this week! It will be released within the next day or so.

Sunday, August 5, 2007


We survived PILAT training! Actually, it was a wonderful program and we are very happy that we were required to attend. We feel confident about learning Spanish when we arrive in Costa Rica at the end of the month, we have new tools in our language learning tool box, new strategies to help us... it was really an excellent program. Confidence was a HUGE thing! We are motivated and ready to build on the limited knowledge that we have from our service in Mexico.
We now begin the second program at MTI - SPLICE. From what we hear, we will spend the next 3 weeks learning about relationships... team relationships, ministry relationships, family relationships, etc. We have mixed feelings about this program - we have friends who have finished SPLICE and they tell us that is is a difficult time of self-reflection, with LOTS of tears involved. One missionary told us last week, "Get ready. The next three weeks are devoted to ripping you apart." That was so motivating!!! Can't wait... We'll let you know as we progress through the program.
Survival on another note -- we decided to use our weekend off to go backpacking and camping in the mountains. On Saturday morning, we set out on a hike up into the mountains. We quickly decided that we were incredibly out of shape and didn't make matters any better by overloading our packs! As our children literally ran up the mountain, we huffed and puffed and took lots of breaks to "take in the view" - code for BREATHE! Seriously, the views were breathtaking and it was a fabulous hike past two lakes and through a meadow, complete with a beaver dam and pools. We decided to make camp about a half mile past the second lake, mostly because the clouds were threatening and we needed to set up tents quick! We made camp just in time for the downpour... 5 full hours of downpour, complete with lightning and thunder and leaking tents. At 7 p.m., Billy donned his raingear and went to ask the boy's opinion on cooking dinner. Their tent was literally standing in water! And the fatal blow came when we discovered that the matches were wet. That's it... we abandoned our gear and hiked out of the mountains. Wet, cold, and hungry is not a good way to begin a two-night backpack trip!
Back at the car, we decided to take our wet selves straight to the first Mexican restaurant available. The rain had stopped and we choose to sit outside on the patio. The restaurant had a firepit outside with a roaring fire... we salvaged the campfire experience! Sarah was happy, we were all in good spirits, and we weren't in leaky tents and wet sleeping bags! We returned up the mountain today to retreive our gear, ate lunch by the lake, Sarah fished for awhile, and we hiked back down again. All in all, it was a great weekend!
We survived PILAT. We survived our own foolish packing and hiking plans. We survived an unusual Colorado thunderstorm and ill-fated camping trip. And we are ready to begin a new training program.

Love to you all!!! Please keep our family in your prayers as we quickly approach our departure for Costa Rica at the end of the month. Pray for peace and focus and God's guidance as we move through our final training. Pray for our children as they continue to adjust to leaving Texas and beginning a new chapter in their lives. Pray that we do more than just "survive"... pray that we THRIVE!