Saturday, August 28, 2010
To our most faithful supporters, friends (new and old), and families. As August comes to a close I am reminded of our dependence on all of you. Up until now many of you have continued supporting us which we are forever grateful for. After living in Colorado for five months I can finally say that we are settled in. We would love to keep in contact with as many of you as possible during this season of University in the States, and want to remind all of you that we are still on the radar! God is doing so much in our hearts while we are here refining our vision and bringing clarity to it. While we pursue our degrees our hearts are still out THERE, with THEM.
This is the last month that we will be receiving financial support through YWAM Tyler from all of you. We could not have made this messy but beautiful transition back to America without any of it. I almost cant remember when the last time was that i was not on support. You all have been our extended family over the last few years. PLEASE keep us posted as we will [hopefully] do the same.
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Sunday, February 28, 2010
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Over the past few years the Lord has overwhelmed us with generous people who have caught vision for what we are doing and have been involved with it every step of the way. I wish there was more we could do or say that could express how thankful we are for you.Perhaps out of abundance or perhaps sacrificially you have given to us. Either way you have been an integral part of what the Lord is doing in many people’s lives all over the world. As we move home and start a new chapter there are a few realities that we need to address.
The first is that we will not be considered “full time missionaries” through Youth With A Mission. The work we are doing with our business and the schooling we are pursuing is to further ourselves so that we may be more effective “on the field” but we understand that if we have the opportunity to work and aren’t involved in direct ministry as our vocation then we can no longer receive support through YWAM. I know that many of you support us not because of YWAM but because you have caught onto the vision that we feel the Lord has given us. We are so blessed by that. Unfortunately (and fortunately) we can no longer receive your money, BUT there are many many organizations that are doing AMAZING things for the Kingdom that you can give your money to…(more to come on that!).
The second reality is that WE STILL NEED YOU. There are a few ways that you can still help financially and prayerfully over the next few months. If you have ever moved to a new city or better yet, internationally you understand that there are many costs to incur. We are essentially starting from scratch. We have already been blessed with a car (Praise the Lord!) but are still very much so in a bind. Our support has been wonderful and we have been able to go to many countries and live a healthy life in Australia…however we were unable to put much aside for occasions like this. With our one time cost shooting through the roof in the next few months there are few ways you can help if you choose to do so.
(1). You may continue to give your monthly support through May/June. Our goal is to be on our feet with jobs and an apartment and settled in from visiting family and starting classes by May/June. YWAM Tyler will still be accepting support for us through September but then we will be cut off from receiving tax-deductible donations. If you are currently donating to us through direct debit through YWAM Tyler-- please contact their office [firstname.lastname@example.org] and notify them of when you want to stop your donation. If you do not notify them, your donations will be processed through September 13, 2010, which is when we are officially considered out of YWAM.
(2). We would be more than appreciative for a one-time donation. As stated above you may still do this through YWAM Tyler until September. If you are interested in our costs as we transition home we have made up a budget and would be more than willing to share that with you personally through email.
Please communicate with us if you have any questions about this next step. We will be trying as much as possible to meet with many of you when we arrive home to not only touch base with you, but to also act as a time of debriefing for ourselves. If you would also communicate with us what you are planning to do financially over the next few months... That would be very helpful! Understand as well that if you choose to pull your support and give your money elsewhere…PLEASE DO. There are so many organizations and people out there who are doing amazing AMAZING things for the Lords Kingdom. We can get you in contact with many of them (and I, of course will be blogging about some organizations you can give to).
Thank you. And just remember that we are all missionaries. If you are a Christian then no matter whether you live at home or abroad, you are called to be a missionary. Thank you for your support and please contact us with any questions!!
Friday, February 19, 2010
Until then we thank you for your continued prayers and support while we meet with local missionaries, network with other Fair Trade businesses, and get some much needed R&R over the next week before coming home!
Monday, February 15, 2010
**I know this is a bit long but please please read me!! A lot of information about the next stage in our life**
As many of you know, over the last few months we have been looking towards a new season; one brought on by a vision of seeing God’s Kingdom come to places like Dinajpur, Bangladesh where men and women are enslaved in brick kilns forced to labor 18 hours a day, or in Kathmandu, Nepal where young girls are forced to sell their bodies in order to pay off phony debts, or in the foothills of Uttar Pradesh, India where whole families are entrapped by debt bondage to wealthy and oppressive land owners. We have seen with our eyes, but it’s our hearts that break for them, that yearn for a day when they will be truly free.
The realities and complexities of an issue like human trafficking and slavery run wide and deep. There is no one solution, no five-point plan to put an end to slavery, and every victim, every family has specific needs and underlying problems that need very specific attention. But we can’t stop the bleeding by putting band-aid after band-aid on. Poverty, slavery, hunger, lack of clean water and healthcare, these issues don’t come about within a vacuum. There is an oppressive, unjust system (that we ourselves participate in) fed by ideologies of materialism and security, entitlement and even religion that provide the framework for such injustices to take root. This is where we feel God leading us, straight into the heart of it, where major reconstructive surgery needs to take place before the bleeding can finally stop.
So what does that actually look like? For us it means developing and refining our God-given knowledge and skills in areas that will prepare us to make lasting changes for those who are on the margins, those enslaved by an unjust system (or empire). We believe going back to university is an essential next step and will open up many opportunities to participate in the anti-slavery movement happening right now within the States. I (Justin) hope to finish my B.A. in International Studies/Development while Kelly is planning to get her RN in hopes that she can work with victims of slavery, specifically in the areas of aftercare and social development. And on top of all this, Made By People (MBP), our Fair Trade organic apparel company is starting to take shape. Basically, MBP seeks to (1) create sustainable livelihoods for struggling men and women across the world by connecting them with the global marketplace (we sell the things they make here in the States), (2) to use the business as a vehicle for spreading awareness about human trafficking and slavery, specifically in the context of personal consumption: how we are intricately connected to those who produce our everyday products from clothing to chocolate and how our choice to become 'ethical consumers' greatly affects those who make the things we buy.
For the next few weeks we will remain in Nepal meeting with fellow missionaries and businessmen who have made it their lifes work to see these very issues that are on our hearts, come to an end. We will be learning from their experiences and listening to their stories (with a little mix of fun and relaxation too!). We are so excited for this next step and feel as if the Lord has been revealing to us new ways that He is working in the world and creative opportunities to get involved. THANK YOU for reading out updates and blogs. In the next few weeks we will be posting more about how we still need YOU and how this is just the beginning of an exciting and a bit scary journey the Lord has us on.