Posted in celebrating life, thankful and grateful

Our New Baby

So while we were away at the family conference in Spain, our guinea pig Mommy had her baby.

Our guards said we were gone for four whole days when the cutest little fluff joined our family.

From the moment we heard that she had joined the family the girls were in love. And first thing when we got home they desperately wanted to see her.

Abi’s face totally sums up how we feel about her.

So welcome to the family, Squirmers.

Squeakers, Squealers and Scavenger s are trilled to have a new housemate (though you and Momm will live in the upper apartment cause we’re going to try not to do any more pig babies).

We love you so, little Squirmers.

Posted in BRAVO, celebrating life, JOY, living in their world, Overwhelmingly Thankful

At Last!!!

After 3 months of sleeping on mattresses on the floor, today we celebrate having a fully assembled room for our little ladies. That’s right, THE BUNKBEDS ARE DONE!!!!

(Peek-a-boo, Eden!)

And naturally you’re dying to see how the whole space came together, right? Well, that’s why we made you this video. 🙂

We are beyond ecstatic to see some of the final HUGE pieces of the house come together, like THESE AWESOME NEW BUNKBEDS!!!!!

🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

Posted in Uncategorized

Igreja Baptista

(Translated: Baptist Church)

So here in our happy little job city, the kids have gotten the chance to participate in a budding children’s program at the local church. We meet under a tree’s shade outside of the church building on a straw mat (like the one at the bottoms of the pictures below). The little ones sit on the edge of the mat and draw in the sand a little when they get squirmy during the lesson. So far our kids make up about half of the class. It’s simple, Biblical and a lot of fun for the kids to get specialized lessons. Our church leader’s wife leads the lessons and I get to be support staff, sometimes helping in lesson planning and helping her with curriculum access.

Each Sunday the Sunday School classes have someone stand up during Sunday morning service and explain what they learned that morning in Sunday School. This past Sunday, the children’s class put on a small presentation, acting out their story lesson and singing about it.

Rachael, being the strongest Portuguese reader in the group (Go, Rachael!), read the Bible text. Then Abi got to be the paralytic coming to Jesus to be healed.

Rachael (because 3 of the kids came late this Sunday) also got to be a mute first receiving the ability to speak from Jesus.

Then they all sang this song:

Translation: Jesus cures the paralytic, cures our soul, cures our feet, our hands and our bodies.

It was a great Sunday in the children’s program celebrating that only Jesus can heal us and has proven it through miracles in the past.

Posted in BRAVO, celebrating life, JOY, my heart, the Oldest, willing hands

And Then We Have a Nine Year Old!


This amazing little girl turned NINE yesterday surrounded by our adopted overseas family.

The children’s department made much of our birthday girl throughout the day

and then there was much rejoicing as she enjoyed a piece of ice cream cake in the evening among friends.

She had counted down the days and her radiant smile throughout the day was nothing but contagious.



I could not be more proud of you. Your heart is beautiful. Absolutely beautiful. How you gently care for the little ones that flock around you is just amazing to watch. Your kindness, your gentleness. You see even the smallest ones and long for all to be included. You graciously listen when others just pass on by and you are always willing to offer your arms to help embrace another. Your laugh is contagious and your joy radiates. How you go out of your way to speak well of others, even if they have not been kind to you. How you see the best in people. How you long to honor others in speech and actions. I am just so incredibly blessed to get to be your Mom.

Thank you for daring to embrace people from other cultures, even when it’s messy and hard. Thank you for daring to listen to others when you are not sure if they will stop to listen to you. Thank you for being so willing to offer reckless abandonment hugs to any and all who will receive them.

You lead your sisters so beautifully well. You care for the inner hearts of people, even when it costs you time and tears. You just love so incredibly well, holding nothing back and offering all that you have. You are such an example to me, Rachael, and you encourage me so by just being you.

So here’s to a wonderful year ahead, my dear Rachael. I absolutely thrill at the opportunity to watch you grow and take flight in our Lord. Oh how awesome it is to get to cheer you on as your beautiful heart grows in the Lord.

I just adore you so, Rachael. Happy, happy ninth birthday, Love. And thanks for letting me still call you my baby. =)



 P.S. Stop telling people you only have 4 more years until you’re a teenager. Mommy’s heart can’t take it. 😉 



Happy 9 years, sweet Rachael. You are an absolute blessing to our little pack of foreigners.


Posted in Crossing Cultures, honesty, life friends, the Cost of Love

When You Let Go of Your Last Known Embrace

It’s really hard to process. I don’t even really know where to start.

Part of me wants to go back home and hide and pretend like we will see each other again next year or the year afterward.

While the other part has a stinging that’s hard to put into words.

It’s just so hard to possibly explain to you how bittersweet it is to have other missionary friends.

Like not just the kind who live in the same town as you by the mere grace of God, but the kind that live literally ALL over the world.

And then to make it worse, there’s the kind that are returning to the States because their shorter term mission is nearly complete and the whole rest of their lives is about to unfold.

I feel like they should come with some kind of a warning label. Something that reads like, “I’m amazing, but I’m also going to rip your heart out when you realize we will probably never live in the same part of the world. Ever. But we absolutely will have to be friends.”

Oh man, it’s that kind of stuff that I just don’t even know how to process.

I have never had a file for that. That kind of box just does not exist in my world.

Oh the plight of missionary friends. Missionary friends that are amazing. Absolutely “kindred spirit” amazing. Their passion for the Lord, their burning fire for sharing His Word in even the hardest of places, their sharing of Scriptures and times that God just presses into them and drives them to deeper layers of faith, their hysterical laughter over the ironies of life, their shared resilience that just pushes and encourages you so. Oh man, why do they have to be such a blessing?!

You know, like if they weren’t such a wonderful family it wouldn’t hurt so much to say, “See you ‘later.” When all the while we both want to leave the conversation on the note of “you never know what meeting He could orchestrate in the future,” our hearts ache within us at the thought that He just might not orchestrate a time to see each other again.  No one wants to even say it. But it catches in both of our throats as we walk away. You return to your country and me to mine. Please, Lord, may that not have just been the last time I get to see them on this side of Heaven.

And THIS is why I feel like they should come with a warning label, people! Ugh. It rips your heart out.

Like think about it, our distance, friends and family, is intense. I don’t really like to think about it. I still like to feel like we live in your backyard. You know, just your very large, kind of wild backyard. 😉 And while the distance feels almost too much to bear sometimes, there’s a comfort that we can both rest in at the end of the day. Lord willing, we have every plan to come back. We have a time to look forward to when we will grab you up in our arms. We know where to find each other. For now we find each other online, but come our Stateside assignment, we get to find each other side by side for a beautiful season. A beautifully “promised” season. (I put that promise in quotes but don’t be scared, anyone. I’m just trying to learn not to speak in 100% definites if it’s not found in Scripture. I’m not the planner here, just the willing tool in His hands. So while that’s the game plan on absolutely everyone’s radar, God holds the ultimate trump card in His Sovereign hand and I want to be yielding, even in passing speech, to whenever and wherever He would lead.)

But for my international missionary friends, there’s no reunion hanging out there. No lingering meeting to hold in our hearts on the “the distance is too far” days. We’re not even on the same continent, some of us! How in the world would we ever even cross paths?!!

I can’t explain to you how this fact about our lives feels. Because in all honesty, I don’t even have words for it. It’s that lump caught in my throat when I think about it. That thing that makes my eyes hit the floor sometimes cause it’s too intense of a hurt to put words to.

Oh my, but how beautiful it is. How incredibly beautiful to have precious hearts literally all over the world sharing in the same drive. The same devotion. As much as Mozambique becomes even on your radar, friends and family, because we live here, there is an endless list of countries that pop off the map for us too because we have “family” living there. Serving there. Pouring out there. And a piece of our hearts are with them.

That’s just how we’re wired.

And it hurts to let go of the last embrace known to us. And it hurts to take that first step in the opposite direction that they’re going, wondering if your footsteps will ever line up again while here on earth.

But you can’t possibly keep from loving them. It’s just not even fathomable. They’re family. They’re precious.

And part of you is just overwhelmingly proud to call them family. Overwhelmingly delighted to encourage them in their pursuit of spreading the Gospel to the very ends of the earth.

There’s just no words for how proud and honored you are to call them family. Just like there’s just no words for how much it hurts…

when you let go of your last known embrace.