Wednesday, September 2, 2015

How to sum up 6,000 miles on the road?

Great times with friends 
around the table.

First stop . . . In'n'Out Burger!

Soaking up every minute with 
Chuck's family.
How do you sum up over 6,000 miles of driving, fun visits with so many of you, and a feeling that there is never enough time to take care of things for family?

Well, it was BUSY and REWARDING. We were so thankful to be able to visit friends, new and old, and to be able to take care of a few things for family that were way overdue. There's never enough time to spend the kind of time we would like to, catching up with each of you, but we are thankful for so many of you who opened your homes and kitchens to us as we travelled all the way from Mexico, through Arizona, California, Nevada, Oregon, up to Washington visiting friends, families and churches sharing the ministry of the last year with so many of you.

"Beyond Limits" church service at
Mission Hills Church. A service
dedicated solely to special needs
adults. They donated funds to buy
wheelchairs for Mexicans in need.

Treasured memories with 
Colleen's family.

All packed & ready to head 
south of the border.

You know the commercial where they ask people who've just won a competition, the first thing they want to do, and they say go to "Disneyland" or "Hawaii"? Well, we had a few things on our list of "wants". Upon entering the U.S., our first want is to eat at In-N-Out Burgers. Check. Might sound weird, but Target is another desired stop and strangely therapeutic as you roam the aisles realizing that one store sells 90% of what you "need" at well over half the cost of what you are used to.

While the kids played with friends and family, Colleen and I met with a number of churches and organizations who serve in similar ways to Global Church Partners (GCP). We were thankful for the opportunity to learn, share each other's passions, and hope for future collaborators in our ministry to equip and animate churches in Mexico. We learned so much from meeting with folks doing huge things in education and non-profit leadership. We are praying for next steps in continuing to collaborate with these people. In all, we left with a greater vision for what could be and a better appreciation of who is already doing remarkable things in the U.S.

As you may recall from our spring newsletters, we had a large support-raising goal. This year's trip stateside seemed different from previous years, as we are probably more comfortable in telling our story and God opened up more opportunities to share with churches and individuals. We found these churches and individuals had a desire to help equip the Church outside of the U.S. We are so thankful for what you did to help us. Thank you for hosting events and inviting friends who might be interested to learn more about GCP. Incredible! And, just like every other step of faith we've taken, it wasn't until we were only 12 hours from home, here in Mexico, that we learned that just enough financial support had come in to almost cover what our current salary and payroll taxes are for the next year. Praise God! We still have many more ministry expenses to trust God for, but we are greatly encouraged by this "just enough" provision.

All in all, we were beyond grateful for the opportunity to have spent time in the U.S. this past summer. Being out of country gives you a greater appreciation for what we used to take for granted (i.e.: convenience, availability, resources, order, space, etc.). We value time spent with family and friends, as it is a rarity we soaked in every minute. We were overwhelmed by the doors God opened to be able to meet with so many of you. Sometimes spontaneity was the best method for reuniting with friends we haven't seen for decades. New partnerships began with churches and organizations that we would have never dreamed of on our own accord, which brings us back to our common theme of this year, "Just show up!" and God will take care of the rest. We are encouraged, energized, and looking forward with great expectation.

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