Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Sunday, December 6, 2009
We started the Christmas season by going to the Tubingen Chocolate Festival and Stuttgart Christmas Market. We spent the day with about 15 folks eating chocolate from various parts of Europe, sharing our hearts as we walked through the Christmas market in Stuttgart and just hanging out!
Saturday, November 7, 2009
Change is always an interesting thing. Some people are open to the change in leadership and allowing us to do things differently than our predecessors. Some people want things to not change at all and are upset with the fact that we aren't Fred & Diane. We understand that, we want to be sensitive to that, but we also know we need to be who God has gifted and called us to be.
Lou managed to turn 48 this month. To celebrate, we went to visit the Vincenza House in northern Italy. Our friends, Steve & Teeter Mauldin, are filling in at the Hospitallity House, so we went to hang out and enjoy a quick tour of Venice.
We spent four days with the Mauldin's. Two days were seeing how the Vincenza Hospitality House operates, and picking their brains about doing ministry. We sent two days being tourists in Venice. It was a fun time!
Friday, September 25, 2009
Fall has yet to start here in Germany. Mornings are cool, but for the past week or so, it's been sunny and in the 70's. Very unusual -- at least that's what we have been told. We will be sending more regular updates, along with video updates. We are excited to be hear and grateful to you all who have loved us, encouraged us, supported us.
Friday, August 7, 2009
Finally, the container showed up and we worked hard to get all of our goods packed. We had a great team, but Clint Mahan was instrumental in getting it packed so everything would be get to Germany. We are so grateful to all that helped us! It is scheduled to arrive on Wednesday, 19 August. Hopefully, it will arrive with everything still in tact! :-)
We are very excited and a little sad. We are saying our good-byes to our family this weekend, which will be very hard. We appreciate all of your love, friendship and support! We'll be in touch again, after we get settled in K-town.
Saturday, July 25, 2009
As we prepare to leave in two weeks for Germany, we realize that we are truly struggling with mixed emotions. We are starting to feel the pressure of the enemy and are wrestling with being impatient, fearful, nervous. At the same time, our confidence in what God has called us to do fills our hearts with joy & excitement. We are about to embark on the biggest change and adventure of our lives. Some times we feel God's presence in our lives in amazing ways; other times we are in a quiet darkness.
We can relate to Nouwen's cry. We know God is with us, even when we feel alone. We know that God hears the cry of our hearts, even when we don't feel His presence. We will continue to cling to the Lord and know we will have that moment with the Creator of the universe where we hear him say, "Do not be afraid; it is I".
Saturday, June 13, 2009
Here Lou is with our old friend Garret Maki. Garret and his wife, Min-Yi, live in Minneapolis - at least for now. They are moving to Houston in the next few weeks. It was great seeing Garret and catching up on life.
We have managed to enjoy a night at the ball field. As most of you know, Lou is an avid baseball fan! We had a night off and went to the Baltimore game. It was "floppy hat" night at Campden Yards. I'm not sure this is the best look for me, but we had a fun and relaxing night at the ball field.
Next stop....Washington DC. We will enjoy five days in the DC area visiting with friends and family. We are amazed how many people have entered our lives over the years and we cherish these relationships. With our move to Germany just around the corner, we are enjoying this opportunity to see folks before we head overseas.
Monday, June 1, 2009
We have gone to three graduations. Andrew Hess graduated from Denver Seminary. Sue Smith graduated from UCCS with her nursing degree. Mike Laney graduated from the Air Force Academy. He will be reporting for pilot training in Mississippi later this summer.
When you attend three commencements and hear three speeches, you begin to reflect on life pursuits, dreams, goals and life in general. We began refleciting on our own life pursuits and dreams. When you graduate from high school (for us it will be 30 years this June), you have all these ideas of what you want to achieve, the person you desire to become, how life is going to play out.
When 30 years go by, you realize that the journey usually turns out very different. For us, we didn't think we would be about to embark on full-time ministry, moving overseas or spending a year preparing for this next adventure. But, here we are. Getting ready to move to Germany. It is exciting and scary! We are still amazed at God's goodness to us. We know that He will move and by His grace use us, despite our short comings. We are grateful, thankful and blessed! To be continued!
Sunday, April 26, 2009
Here is our home. Fred & Diane Stock are the current house directors. They will be leaving in June and we are hopeful to arrive in July. The top floor is the living quarters. There are three bedrooms and an office. There is also a loft area that we will be able to convert to a nice study area for us.
The basement consists of two storage areas, a guest room, a teen room and a child care room. There is a ton of space and we will need it with the volume of people that come to the house.
We enjoyed meeting some of the folks that are part of this ministry. We had a special connection with three young men and can't wait to see them again this summer: Kyle, Nick & Jacob. Kyle is from Washington, Nick from Georgia and Jacob from Nebraska. They are stationed together, but in different jobs, yet they met at the Hospitality House. We truly enjoyed hanging out with them all weekend, hearing their stories and knitting our hearts with theirs. Nick is getting ready to be deployed but will be returning in the fall.
After spending these two weeks in Germany, we are more excited than ever to get out to the field. Please continue to keep us in your prayers as we try to finish our support raising so we can move this summer!
Sunday, March 29, 2009
As I have been reading Breathless, I have been reflecting on what it means to live a life well lived. Isn't that what we all want -- to get to the end of our life and realized that it was well lived? The author challenges his readers to learn to turn our time-starved days into a life well lived. Well, what does that mean? So, I've been thinking about that on our trip. As a Christ follower, I have been thinking about reflecting on Jesus' life and how He modeled a balanced life. Jesus took time to relax, pray, spend time with friends, work, etc. How come I can't seem to live this life? What does this look like?
Last week, we visited a dear friend - Harle Damon. Harle is a retired army officer, who after retirement became a successful businessman and in his early thirties became a Christian. Harle values education, discipleship, the study of God's word, being a faithful husband and a good father. When Lou became a Christian, Harle reached out to him to disciple Lou in his faith. Harle is now 87 and his health is starting to fail. His life verse has become II Corinthians 4:16-17 - which he quoted to us at our visit - "Do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory."
We went to encourage Harle, Harle encouraged us. He reminded us that even though his outward man is starting to fail, he is being renewed because of his faith in Christ. He is still writing, reading, reflecting, studying and loving his wife. His energy fails him, but his heart and his mind are strong. Harle is not perfect, he has made mistakes -- but he has grown and is living a life well lived.
As I continue to meditate on this idea of living a life well lived, I'll finish the book and mediate on the ideas that Mr. Collins presents: developing my character, serving others, living a focused life, nurturing my inner world, sharpening my mind, managing life and leaving a legacy. I will also think about our friend Harle, who has modeled this to us so well.
Saturday, March 14, 2009
We were very nervous to see how our support raising would go. We are embarking on an amazing opportunity, an area of ministry that we feel God has preparing us for over the past 10 years and now we are asking people to pray about supporting us financially during a time when the economy is falling apart.
Yet, God is faithful. We have begun to reflect on our faithfulness to Him. If Lou would be graduating this May, instead of last year, would we be going to the mission field, knowing what we know now? We'd like to think we'd be obedient to God's call -- but honestly, isn't it easier when times are easier. Would we have wimped out on serving God knowing that Cathy had a good paying job and Lou was offered a high paying job after graduating from Denver Seminary. Last June, it was much easier to think about answering the call when the economy was more stable; would we make the same decision if Lou would be graduating this Spring? We'd like to think so -- but honestly, we aren't sure.
We are thankful that God didn't give us that option. God know us and we think He knew that we needed to learn more about His character. This has been quite a faith building time for us. Some people have called us "courageous", but we don't think that's a fair characterization. Courageous people will follow God no matter what; courageous people will be obedient despite the outside circumstances; we're not sure we would have make the same decision this June -- knowing what we know now. Do you think you can be obedient, no more what...think about it...be honest.
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
Here's Caden rocking and rolling!
I (Cathy) walked into church a few weeks ago. I was running a little late, so there were quite a few people in the sanctuary. I was joining my parents and I was looking for them. As I was scanning the congregation, I heard my father's voice. He wasn't speaking to me, or even calling to me. But, I could still hear it.
Do I know my Heavenly Father's voice like I do my own father? I know my dad's voice because I have spent time with him. I have spoken with him, argued with him, laughed with him, cried with him. I know my dad. Can I say the same about God? Do I spend as much time with the Lord, talking to Him, pouring out my heart to Him, laughing or crying to get to know His voice? to get to know Him?
I wish I could say "yes". But, there have been times in my life where I have gone astray, where I haven't heard my Heavenly Father loving directing me to go a different route. Where I have ignored the voice of God. Where I have just flat out missed His voice. As I reflected on that Sunday afternoon, I am grateful that God is a gracious and merciful Father. He is ready to spend time with me - just like my earthly father - any time I want. It's up to me to get to know Him, so I can follow Him more diligently.