Pioneering

For the past year and a half, my friend and I have been pioneering a ministry here in our city.  We go to places that are fronts for prostitution and human trafficking, and try to make connections with the women who work there.  It has been a long, sometimes grueling process of much prayer, research, networking, trying to grasp the issue so that we can create a strategy to help and bring Jesus to them.
Last week, two of my friends and I took our kids (eleven of them in total!) to one of these places where there were some friendly Thai women who seemed open to getting to know us more.  We gathered on Tuesday morning and listened to a worship song with the kids, then we prayed and asked God how He would like us to bless our new friends.
I took notes on my phone and I chuckled through some of them.  One of the little boys got a picture of Minecraft while he was listening to God, and his mom wisely told him he should maybe pray into that a little more and ask God what it means.
Almost all the kids got a word or picture from the Lord, and by the time we went around the circle, we could see that God was saying something to us about a birthday.  My friend had just had two dreams that week about eating birthday cake, and she felt God telling her to take a birthday gift along on our visit.
We loaded up in our three minivans and drove to Costco.  I picked out a huge cake that said “Happy Birthday!” and we drove across town, praying that we heard right about what we were supposed to do.
On the way, Ellie said, “Mom, I saw a picture when we were praying.”  Ellie was in and out of our prayer time earlier, so I hadn’t even asked her if she had heard anything from the Lord.  She is just 4, and I only told her that we were going to visit a friend.  She tends to carry the weight of the world on her little shoulders anyway, so I’m trying to keep her life carefree as long as I can.
I asked what this picture was that she saw when we were praying, and she said, “Mom, I saw these ladies standing in a row next to God and Jesus and they were all blind.  Then they looked up and saw beautiful golden heaven that was sparkling, and they saw angels. The angels said, ‘Surely goodness and mercy shall follow you all the days of your life!’ and then the ladies said it back to the angels and God looked over at them and they could see perfectly!”  One of the other kids in the car with us told Ellie she should share it with the women she was about to meet, but Ellie wasn’t interested.  She claimed she was much too shy for that.
Well, we descended upon this massage parlor, all 3 mamas and 11 kids armed with a giant birthday cake, flowers, paintings and a little gift bag with some earrings from Kairos Traders.  We were met at the door by Miss Jan (not her real name) who ushered us into a tiny room like a closet where we were pretty much stacked on top of one another.  “Who’s having a birthday?” my friend asked.  And Miss Jan said, “Me! My birthday was yesterday! How did you know?” Her eyes grew wide when we put the cake on the table.  We explained to her that God cared for her enough to tell us it was her birthday, and she kept pointing to her arm saying, “Goosebumps!”  The children shrieked unabashedly and showered her with hugs.  She kept telling us how lucky we were to catch her, since she is the owner of the massage parlor and was only there for a few  minutes that morning to check on things.
We had a grand time, singing happy birthday and blowing out the candles and then cutting the cake and passing it around to everyone while we got to know each other a little.  Before we left, the kids took turns laying hands on her and praying for her.  At one point, my friend looked up and said, “I feel like God wants me to tell you, ‘Goodness and mercy shall follow you.”  My little girl Ellie leapt up off the bed she was sitting on and said, “God told me that same thing!”  And she told Miss Jan the whole thing in a loud, clear voice while Miss Jan looked both astonished and teary.
As we drove home, Ellie kept marveling over the fact that even though Miss Jan does not know God, He knows her very well and He wants her to get to know Him.  We are praying for her every day, and hoping to start a Bible study with her and her friends so that they can get to know the Jesus who loves and cares for them.

We Went to Holland

and France and Belgium and Switzerland and Luxembourg, with a dash of London thrown in by mistake.  It was so wonderful to see Hj’s family again and introduce Ellie and Adam to the Holland they have heard so much about.

 

We missed our flight in Denver so we got to sit in the airport and wait for 13 hours before starting our 8-hour flight.  It was a long day, as I recall, but I try not to recall.  I know we ran out of snacks early on.

Adam turned 3 while we were in Holland, and Hj turned 30.  Hj’s parents celebrated their 35th wedding anniversary as well, so there was plenty of cause for celebration.  We spent a fun weekend at Disneyland Paris with the whole family, before Hj and I took our kids on a  little road trip.

 

 

 

We spent a night in France at a YWAM base with our friend who is like family, Allison.  We spent another lovely day and night in Switzerland with more beautiful friends that YWAM has allowed us to meet.

We’re so glad we didn’t miss the beautiful country of Luxembourg, where we stayed in a castle and visited an art gallery.  The countryside was green and lush and moist and refreshed our souls.  After a few years of living in the desert of Colorado, a rainy day feels like such a novelty to me.

 

 

We got to spend time with both of Hj’s grandparents.  We did the Easter egg hunt in Opa Fousert’s green yard among the tulips and daffodils, being careful not to fall into the canal. We made some sweet memories with all the generations together, sharing tea and cookies and memories from the past.

 

 

We loved all the special times we had with Hj’s family.  We packed a lot into 2 weeks, but we saw everyone we wanted to see, we ate everything Hj had dreamed of, and we visited all the spots ew really wanted to see.  Here Ellie is riding to the train station on the back of her cousin’s bike.  We took the train to the Hague for Adam’s birthday, and visited a children’s book museum.

Hj’s granddad gave Adam a harmonica for his birthday.

 

I hope you can see beyond the jetlag and culture shock of the Amish woman in the photo below.  It doesn’t look like it, but I was having the time of my life!  I shared with over 400 Dutch young people about growing up Mennonite, marrying a Dutch guy and about the goodness and faithfulness of the Lord in my life.  To be honest, I preached a little.

The next day, a photographer came and took pictures of me in the park by Hj’s former home, right next to his old school.  At one point, I remember seeing faces crowded around the windows.  I suppose not every day an Amish woman is being photographed outside the schoolhouse windows.

Something I have been working on

Next to Kairos Coffee House I also work with Kairos Traders.
Kairos Traders exists to promote social enterprises by telling their stories and selling their products and services. We serve these businesses by being a sales platform for them here in the States. The more products we sell, the more people can come out of exploitation and work for these enterprises.  From our profits we will offer 0% interest loans to new social enterprise startups and soon we will offer our first loan to a catering business in Nepal.

To step it up a notch we are now launching an online store. With the online store we can reach a lot more people and make them aware of the good work these businesses do.
To start the store we need inventory. We are launching a Kickstarter campaign where you can buy single products or bundles from these businesses and we will use the money to buy inventory for our online store.

One of our new partners is a business called Sak Saum. The owner used to be part of our base and now started a business in Cambodia. I love Sak Saum because they start at the beginning with preventing and providing a safe place.
Because people with backgrounds of exploitation have often shut down the creative areas in their brains, the freedom to be creative is transformative.
Sak Saum uses overstock & second-hand fabric to buttons made from coconut shells, and wallets & purses made of repurposed tire & cement bags. They take something discarded and make it beautiful. When the designers teach the employees how to make a wallet out of an old tire they remind them that there is nothing God can’t redeem.
He takes the very things we thought disqualified us and uses them to display His love, power, and redemption to the world.

It has been quite a journey trying to launch the campaign but it is finally here.
The first 5 days are going to be a “soft” start and then we will bring it to the public and promote it!

You can help us by going to our kickstarter page and pledge in those first 5 days so we have some momentum. (click on last sentence)  Different pledges will give you different rewards so shop freely! (see the photos in this post)

Year’s End

Our fall was busy, and I don’t use that word lightly.  In fact, I hate the word “busy” and I try to avoid using it whenever possible.  I prefer to say I have a full life, but even that is starting to get a dark tone to it.  Constantly being busy shrivels my soul like no other, so I usually work hard to make time for pausing, reflecting, and being quiet.  It feels like swimming upstream sometimes, but I think I’m learning to feed my soul and spirit more than drive-thru fast food.  I discovered, though, that I am better at short bursts of very busy with white space in between than I am at constantly being sort of busy.  That’s kind of unrealistic, isn’t it?

God did set up creation to rotate through days and nights, seasons of harvest and seasons of rest.  I think that is the thing I am trying to learn, to find the rhythms that bring fruitfulness and peace.

This fall we had about 100 students join the already 150 full-time staff here, and that’s not counting all the kids.  We are at max capacity in this building.  God has been speaking to our leaders the past few years about building systems and roots that can hold more people, so it is a blessing to see the fulfillment of that word.  Hj and I led the business track of our DTS this quarter.  We had 5 students, who are in the lecture phase of their discipleship school.  Most of the time they were with the other 50 students in DTS, but we had several hours a week with them.  They got introduced to what business as mission (BAM) is, we took them on a number of field trips to local businesses, and they were instrumental in launching a fair trade store here on our campus.  They left this week for several months abroad, putting into practice all that they have learned the past three months here in Colorado.

Hj is helping several businesses in the 10/40 window establish an online presence through website and social media.  It’s a challenging job without ever having visited these businesses, but he is planning a trip next year to several countries where he can meet the business owners, as well as create and gather the content he needs.  Hj has committed to another year at the coffeehouse.  It has been a year of explosive growth at Kairos and with it, of course, growing pains and challenges.  We are sending 3 employees to do a discipleship training school with YWAM this year.  If I didn’t believe it before, this year has confirmed my belief that one of the most effective ways to invite people into the family of God is to hire them.  Especially here, our employees rub shoulders every day with young people who are passionate about following Jesus and they can’t help but be drawn into the story of what God is doing.

For almost a year, my friend and I have been going to the places in our city where prostitutes work because of a dream she had in which God told her to go every week and to take me along.  During the summer, we had 4 interns who went with us every week, but this fall it was just the two of us.  For security reasons there are a lot of things I can’t say on this platform, but God has led us one step at a time into a deep love and commitment to these women and introducing them to Jesus.  In January, we will officially launch this new ministry in YWAM and I will spend a few months doing nothing but research and prayer on many different fronts so that we can wage a strategic war on prostitution in our city.  We will seek to find out the biggest needs of the women we love, and working with law enforcement, politicians and spiritual leaders to understand what are the spiritual and legal strongholds we can work with or against.

During this time, Hj will be working in a three-month counseling course that is specifically focused on helping refugees.  He will be staffing the course, which means he will sit in on the classes, run the finances and mentor several of the students personally.  There has been great interest in this course, and they have accepted about 20 students so far.  We are excited, because they are coming from all parts of the world to learn how they can make a lasting impact in the global refugee crisis.

As you might know (or maybe you forgot), we live on the generous donations of our friends and family in order to be able to do missions.  We cannot be paid for any work we do with YWAM, but we are blessed with extremely generous families and friends who support us monthly and a church family who loves us and prays for us so faithfully.

There are so many wonderful places to invest your money this holiday season, but if God lays on your heart to give toward our mission, here is the link to give, for a tax-deductible receipt.

https://www.ywamcos.org/support?code=618

SOBE

I’ve just been through a 6-week business intensive that we call the SOBE, School of Business and Entrepreneurship.  Technically I was staffing the course, but the truth is that I was there to learn.  We had 13 students from around the world, who each gave a 10-minute presentation of their business plan to a “shark tank” as their final exam.

We had phenomenal speakers every week; a collection of local businessmen who are embracing missions alongside us, as well as speakers from around the world who are very connected to the missional aspect of their businesses.  They were all brilliant, and gave generously of their time and expertise.

I heard so many things I don’t ever want to forget.  Here are a few of them.

As Christians, we usually divide our work and activities into sacred or secular.  We think a missionary or a pastor does sacred work, while a lawyer or business owner does secular work.  What if we are all called, as believers, to full-time ministry in our field?  It might be farming land, trading stocks or representing clients in a courtroom.  When God made Adam in the Garden of Eden, He “took the man and put him into the garden to cultivate it and to keep it.”  Genesis 2:15  We were created to work; what if this is our daily worship?  It reminded me of a quote I read a long time ago, when I was first introduced to the idea that God did not set up a secular/sacred divide in our work.  If money and trade and business were His idea, why would He not be right in the middle of it?

Peeling potatoes was more essential for Brother Lawrence’s spiritual growth than attending the evening prayer service because Brother Lawrence recognized that God was there in the kitchen as much as he was in the chapel.  -Andrew Spencer

I was especially delighted with the thought that when God made mankind on earth and gave us the mandate to cultivate it, He had hidden in the earth all the raw materials we need to create boats and cars and computers and fidget spinners.  Not only that, He hid in humans the intelligence to figure out how to make this stuff, trade it, ship it, and then how to manage it.  The business of creating products and services was all God’s brilliant idea to help us thrive on the earth.

I learned about what BAM (Business as Mission) is, and what it is not.  It is not business for missions, nor is it business to cover up the mission, as in restricted-access countries.  BAM refers to for-profit, sustainable businesses reflecting the kingdom of God in their mission and values, including these four bottom lines:

  1. Economic Profitability
  2. Social Impact
  3. Environmental Impact
  4. Spiritual Transformation

I believe Jesus is the answer to our soul’s greatest needs, but suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food.  If one of you tells him, “Go in peace; stay warm and well fed,” but does not provide for his physical needs, what good is that?  James 2

Lots of kind-hearted people have been touched by the plight of the poor in developing countries, and were moved to give from their abundance.  When I lived abroad, I was on the receiving end of containers from the USA, filled with clothes, shoes, food, all manner of donated items to help the poor.  It didn’t take me long to figure out that this creates a cycle of dependency that hurts the local economy, besides the psychological and spiritual difficulties this dependence creates in a society.

I now see that BAM brings beautiful answers to the problems of the poverty cycle.  One of our teachers in the SOBE has started a business in a country where desperate poverty has caused many women and children to be sold into the sex industry.  His business supplies a living wage for men and women to provide for their families with dignity, in an environment that champions them as valuable children of God.

In the past, Hj and I worked with several ministries that were fighting sex trafficking and prostitution.  The biggest struggle these ministries faced was trying to find viable jobs for women who sincerely wanted to leave, but felt that prostitution was the only means by which they could afford a house and food for their families.  BAM addresses these needs, through spiritual discipleship as well as restoring hope and dignity through jobs.

This isn’t just for developing nations.  As a school, we took a field trip to Denver to visit several businesses practicing BAM.  We saw a coffee roasting company that employs homeless young people, as well as a connected coffee shop that does the same.  We visited a discount building supply store and cabinet shop that employs men and women transitioning out of homelessness or prison.  In traditional business, I’m sure these are the people you don’t employ, but that’s the beauty and irony of the upside-down kingdom Jesus taught.  I asked the owner how hard it is to employ people that the rest of the world tends to marginalize, and his answer really surprised me.  “It’s really not hard at all.  They’re motivated to work!”  We joined them in a lunchtime Bible study the day we were there. I found it so inspiring to see firsthand the way God is transforming individual lives and society through these businesses.

 

So, that’s [some of] what I learned in the SOBE.

“There is no understanding of any domain or dominion without understanding its design and purpose before sin and the fall. We were not made for sin. Sin happened, so God must and we must deal with it. But we do not have governance, science, education, family, business, beauty and the arts, communication because we are fallen from God’s ideal. We do not have nations and cultures because, after sin, there was no other way we could be ruled. We have all of these arenas of life because we are created in the image of God and they are all part of revealing Him. They are all ways in which we know, see and worship God. Our work, creating communities that reflect who God is, is our worship now and forever.”  Landa L. Cope

 

 

 

 

Updated update

VISITORS!
Hj’s sister came for a few weeks to visit us, all the way from Holland.  She brought her little daughter Feline along, as well as her friend named Rosalie.  They arrived on koningsdag, the day when the king’s birthday is celebrated in Holland, so we got to start their visit off with festivities!

They went on lots of adventures and the kids got to play together to their hearts’ content and maybe even beyond.  🙂  There are plenty of things to do around the Springs, and they even spent a weekend with our friend in Estes Park and explored Rocky Mountain National Park.

         

Feline’s birthday was a few days after they left, so we threw an early birthday party for her and Ellie, who will turn 4 next month.  It was so interesting to hear them communicate, in English and Dutch, sometimes figuring it out and sometimes getting frustrated when they were trying to pretend a story.

More recently, we had some of my family come visit!  It’s very hard for me to fathom, but those beautiful women flanking me are my nieces.  Last week we were having tea parties and swimming in the Pomeroon River and this week they are old enough to cut their own pancakes!  The rest of their family was here too; I just failed to get pictures.

This is the other day Andrew’s were visiting– we  took the train up Pike’s Peak and stopped halfway up where there was still enough snow to make a snowman.  Adam found that amusing, it seems.

SOBE!
While Martine was here, the SOBE (School of Business and Entrepreneurship) started.  I am staffing that school, which means I am in class every day with the students, sitting in on the lectures.  We have 13 students from around the world and it has been a delight to get to know them and their visions!

Most days, this is my view from the back of the classroom.  I’m learning so much from each of our knowledgable speakers, as well as from the students.  Meanwhile Hj is at home with the kids, being humble and loving and sacrificial and cheering for me every day!

ART!
I have organized a series of summer art classes for our campus.  It has proved to be a really profound experience and we have encountered Jesus in every lesson!  Yesterday after the art class, I found one of the older students in a corner weeping at what God was revealing to her through the process of creating.

WASHINGTON DC!
I spent Mother’s Day weekend in Washington DC with a number of friends and family.  These 3 beautiful women came with me all the way from Colorado Springs.

We were there to pray for God to move in the Supreme Court, that we would see an end to abortion in our country very soon.  It was a really powerful, beautiful time.  It is such an honor to stand as humans and pray for LIFE.

This year we circled the Supreme Court seven times, praying for seven different areas that relate to the abortion industry and fatherlessness.  My faith was renewed and the flickering flame of hope was fanned in my heart.

We spent an extra day sightseeing in DC, as the ladies traveling with me had never been there before.  I had seen the city plenty of times during the day, but seeing it at night was a whole new experience which I loved!  It felt even more grand and majestic than normal.

FAMILY!
At the end of every day, I am so grateful for the little family I get to call mine.  Before bedtime, we like to sit in a circle, hold hands and talk about the best parts of our day, as well as the sad parts.  Adam’s favorite part of the day is usually, “when Papa came back.”

Ellie  Adam  (typed by Ellie!)

I asked Ellie to write the captions for these photos.  She says, “These two pictures are for God and Jesus, one funny and one happy.  Did you know the devil hates pictures?”  Those are little undies on her head, which she discovered work great as a head covering.

          

Ellie spent the last 2 months in our preschool here on base, two mornings a week.  She loved it and will be going again in the fall.  Adam misses her a lot on those days, and sometimes I think how ironic that having two kids at home is so much easier than having one.

I’ve been reminded lately that 2-year-olds are about the most charming little creatures in the universe.  I feel like I have my own little show to watch every day as he discovers the world and language and his own opinions.

          

 

Yesterday

My friend Heather had a dream about human trafficking when we were in California together a few months ago.  Either in the dream or out of the dream (I do not know), God gave her my name and a mandate.

Our campus is focused on the 10/40 window and unreached people groups, but we also do some local outreach right here in our city.  At holidays, a group of YWAM ladies usually takes gifts to the local massage parlors for the women working there.  By massage parlors, I mean the sketchy ones where you come in and there’s a locked door and a camera to greet you.

God put it on Heather’s heart to start going to visit these ladies every week, and asked me to join her.  As we prayed and waited for God to direct us, He did.  Yesterday was our first day to go and we had four interns join us from the REACH team, the team from our campus focusing on local outreach.  I think REACH is an acronym or then I’m just yelling it.

I’m not sure if I have a comfort zone anymore, but if I do, I wasn’t anywhere near it yesterday.  I had never been to any of these places before; actually never did anything like this in the USA so I had no idea what to expect.  I had to remind myself of Ellie, who announced this week at the breakfast table that she has been talking to Jesus a lot and He has been talking to her.  He came to her in her bed, she said, and told her that she never has to worry because anytime she goes anywhere, He comes along.

We had a good time, prayed for a number of ladies, and told them we’ll be back next week to visit more.  They seemed delighted, overall.  Our highlight, though, was when God interrupted our “task” with some unexpected people.  A young guy came up to me as we were leaving one parlor, and asked what we were doing.  I said we were going around blessing local businesses and offered him a pack of Twizzlers.  He said he’d trade Twizzlers for weed, and would I join him in a celebratory smoke?  The Scripture says, If any of them that believe not bid you to a feast, and ye be disposed to go; whatsoever is set before you, eat, asking no question for conscience sake.

I was very unbiblical and refused, but we entered into a wonderful conversation.  He was on his way to get married at the Rastafarian church down the road.  I kept looking at him and his fiancé, who joined us after a bit, and felt such love and compassion and hope for them.  They were as open as could be, welcomed our prayers with outstretched hands, and kept telling us we were so cool, even though we were preaching the Gospel to them, which isn’t always cool.

There is hope for this generation.  Of course there is, but some of us actually believe there isn’t, if we’re honest.  I am seeing young people transformed right before my eyes.  A man who was in prison a few months ago, dedicated His life to Jesus and is giving his life to missions.  I watched a youth who was an atheist a few months ago, picking up a mic and declaring he is opening His heart to the Father’s love.  These are people in my every day life; this is happening right now!  I even know some good young people who just realized their goodness doesn’t come from following rules and they encountered the Father for themselves.  That’s a real miracle.

This is not a hopeless generation!  Ask God to lead you to the ones who are hungry for truth, and He will do it.

 

Easter Celebrations

This year we broke from our Easter tradition of hosting an art gallery, and took a mini family vacation instead.  We got an airbnb in the mountains in a tiny town called Nederland and spent a lovely day breathing deeply and that’s about it.  It used to be a mining town, which is why the Dutch came and named it Nederland but there really wasn’t much of the Netherlands there, tucked into the Rockies.

Easter morning we went to a sunrise service downtown.  I was freezing cold and annoyed at the inefficiency and incompetence on display (a very Weaver thing to feel, I think) and then Adam thawed and I got to wrestle a wiggling 2-yr-old for an hour.  He kept saying, “Devil’s dead!” very loudly, and in the same breath yelled, “I’m farting!”  It was a special Easter morning, the kind you can only have with toddlers.


We came home and had a lovely brunch with several other families.  The dads, instead of taking naps on their recliners as in the Mennonite tradition, went outside and hid Easter eggs.  I am 31 and this was the first Easter egg hunt of my life.  It was very fun, because there were lots of kids and chocolate and little surprises and so much laughter.  Ellie says it was the best Easter in the whole world, and Adam kept saying, “Let’s do it again!”  I trust that in future years the power of the Gospel will overshadow the power of the chocolate eggs, but for now we were all just delighted in our own ways.

It was a joyful weekend, filled with such sweet memories.  (only one or two that weren’t so sweet)  Our life is so full and intense, but God is teaching us how to take Sabbaths and not only that, but how to live from rest every day.  What I’ve cut out (pleasing people, performance, serving out of obligation) God has replaced with abundant grace and joy.  But my number one victory for this year?  Getting up early, like 4:30 or 5:00 early.  It’s changed my life.  The little twin that goes along with that is going to bed early and I have fully embraced that too.

There are a number of things I could point out about this photo, like how I have been wearing that polkadot dress for about 15 years.  I can hear the voice of that sweet little Southern guy who asked me many years ago, “Ain’t it taaaam to update your staaaal?”  I’m sure he would be disappointed to know that no, it still isn’t time to update my style.  I will probably be wearing this dress when I’m holding my grand babies, sir.

Isn’t it easier to be joyful and a Christian in general, in the springtime!?  Just being warm helps a lot already.  Blessed spring, peeps!

Honesty

Awhile back, I spent the weekend with a few other moms.  I was inspired, encouraged, and reminded that there is an army of amazing moms out there raising the next civilization.  These moms are intentional, thoughtful, gracious women who care about their families, who love God and are making a huge impact in our culture.  They want to raise healthy kids who are wise and kind, who will make good choices and lead fruitful lives.

Of course I’m aware that this is a big, eternal responsibility– raising children.  I want to do it well; I want to be intentional and I want our kids to thrive, to love Jesus, to make kingdom impacts wherever they go.  But sometimes I start worrying about doing it all correctly so that they’ll turn out right in the end, like a long division problem.  I soon start treating them like that– a problem to solve and fix.

My friend told me recently, “There are no secrets in families.”  I was telling her how I struggle to know how to introduce my children to Jesus, because I have an aversion to the Sunday school cartoon that’s been watered down to a kind historical figure.  My friend was reassuring me that even if I don’t say all the words right, what I truly believe is going to be revealed to my children, if you can call that reassuring.

To be honest, this realization made me lay down the parenting books and get counseling– for myself.  I want to know that what I believe is pure and true and righteous, because that’s what is going to be exposed to my children, if it hasn’t already.  I can say that I believe God is good, but if I complain about His gifts or His ways, do I actually believe He is good?  Opening my heart very, very honestly to a few friends has helped me discover the differences between what I say I believe and what I actually believe.

What if, instead of worrying about how to teach my children that God loves us, I live loved?  What if they believe it because my life has taught them that, on boring days and through dark valleys and on shining mountaintops?  At the end of the day, they will reject or embrace what they have been shown.  But at least I want to know that what they have been shown is pure and true and righteous.

I’m so grateful for encouragement from other moms, for parenting books and mommy blogs and inspiring examples.  I love teaching my children, a little every day.  However, my faith doesn’t hang on my ability to communicate everything perfectly, to set the best rules, to always make the wisest decisions, to follow new, wonderful ideas.  That would be a lot of pressure on me; pressure that would make me overwhelmed and frustrated.

Every day, I learn more about God as my Father and me, His daughter.  I’m in the middle of being a kid myself– I know how it feels to be corrected and forgiven and loved without limits.  I want my kids to go to sleep believing the same thing I believe when my head hits the pillow: I was loved and delighted in today, and I’m confident tomorrow will be the same.

Packing peanut

It’s about time for us to be responsible and tell you what is up.

We seem busy, and that is an easy thing to do around here. We recently realized that we have been in YWAM for more than a year and we still feel like we are the new people. We are finally getting to the place that we call this place home and it feels that way. One thing that really helped was ripping off our ugly old wallpaper. We got some guy to restructure our walls and I put a beautiful Polar Bear White on the wall. All of the sudden it made sense to put something on the wall and it looked good. Our two hotel rooms became a little less hotel and a little bit more a part of us.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Things at Kairos are going good; we are breaking sales records like crazy. After having some problems with dying fridges and other things breaking down it is good to see that we are moving forward. Our shift manager has quit her job, so me and Ryan are doing everything. We are praying for someone else from YWAM to join our team and bring some new vision in. We are still training lots of people to run their own coffee business all over the world. We had a pastor from New Mexico come and join us for a little while to teach him how to start a cafe at his church. Right now we have Lisa with us who possibly wants to open a cafe in Nepal where she runs a hair salon. Ryan is going to visit a couple that went through training at Kairos and just opened a coffee house in Zanzibar, Tanzania. In April we will get 3 more interns through the School of Business and Entrepreneurship and train them to open their own coffee shop or cafe.

Joy will be staffing that school and I am so excited about it. It is a great opportunity for her to be more involved and help out our BAM team.

Not too long ago me and Joy went to a marriage conference in CA. We had such a good time working on our marriage and learning some valuable tools. I had been feeling a little bit down when it came to my relationship with God and was praying for breakthrough. We spent a lot of the week during the marriage conference listening to God and praying for other people. God spoke to me in some powerful ways. But the real fun came when we came back home and God kept on speaking to me. On the radio, I won 8 tickets to a worship concert and felt quite clearly who to take with. The current DTS was having giving night and I felt to give a certain amount of money to a boy, but I didn’t even know his name. The next day he came to me saying that his outreach fees increased and the money I gave was the exact amount he had to pay extra.
Those are small little things but they help me so much to know that God cares about us.