Wednesday, July 1, 2015

We've Moved!!!

We have moved to a new website/blog!

Please click here to visit our new site.

Thanks for visiting!!

Mitch & Amanda

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Standing in Awe

Here is an excerpt taken out of Voices of the Faithful - Inspiring stories of courage from christians serving around the World by Beth Moore, pg 61.

     "They're speaking our languages, 
describing God's mighty works!" 
- Acts 2:11b (MSG)

     A large tree had grown up at the edge of the road, its branches winding outward and down as a result of the prevailing wind of the region.  The little shade provided was sufficient to cover one table with rustic benches.  The larger branches supported a tarp, which provided shade over one more table. Under the tarp, two Wayuu (WHY-you) women were cooking goat, plantains, yucca and arepa (ah-RAY-pah) (corn-meal-based bread).  Even with the constant breeze, the heat was demobilizing.  The women had cloths tucked into the front of their dresses with which they constantly wiped their faces.  The meat and a choice of plantians, yucca, or arepa were served in a paper bag.
     While waiting more than two hours for customs to open for our border crossing, three Wayuu boys left the side-of-the-road restaurant and approached the ruck.  One of them was trying to sound out the Wayuuaniki (WHY-you-NIE-key) word written on the side.  He made out the words Suwarala k'ai (sue-wah-rah-la kigh-EE), which mean "new/fresh beginnings."  As we talked, discovered that he went to school and could read Spanish.  I showed him a copy of the New Testament in Wayuunaiki and asked him to read the title.  His face was a study in concentration as he sounded out the letters.  All at once, he listened to what he was saying and understood. His voice great heavy with emotion, and he softly translated, "The Story of Jesus Christ."
     May we all be awed when confronted with God's Word in our own language.
-Kaye, South America

When was the last time you stood in awe of the Word of God?  

Mitchell and I are in the phase of ministry where we are sharing with a lot of people about what God is leading us to do in ministry.  It has been such a blessing to us to be reminded on a regular basis how precious the Word of God is as we share about how many in the world are still without it!  

We are reminded to stand in awe of the Word of God, and to not take it for granted.  It is a priceless gift and there are still many that need to hear it!  

May we all stand in awe together and marvel at the amazing saving power of His Word, as we go and pray for more to go as well!  

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Growing Pains

Growing Pains.  Those irritating things that we get when our bodies are growing quickly.  Some dont see them as anything major, but to those who are experiencing them, they are very real and can be very painful!

Well, there are seasons in life when I go through these growing pains spiritually as well.  Times when God is bringing me through things that makes me uncomfortable, can cause some pains, but ultimately is a sign of what is going on inside - growth.

We have recently moved, again.  I enjoy going to new places and getting to know new people and routines.  I really do enjoy it!  But, I am coming to understand that even when I enjoy it, it still instills a certain level of stress in my life.  I am on a journey in discovering the effects of stress in my life, and I am 'growing' in this area by learning how to cope with it in a healthy way.

Growth is a good but often painful thing.  Growth is what brings us forward.  It is what changes us to be more like Christ.  That is the desire of my heart, to be more like Him!  So bring on the growing pains!

"[He] will transform our lowly bodies so that they 

will be like His glorious body."  
Ephesians 3:21

Blessings - Amanda

Monday, March 16, 2015

All Things New

All things are new for us right now.

We are in a familiar place, being back in Nova Scotia, but so many things are still new to us.  

Our entire family structure has shifted.  Mitch is out of the home most days working, and I am home home with Amy 4 days a week.  The other 3 days consist of church, mom & tot play group, and ladies Bible study.  The days that I go to those usually end up being an all day thing in town because we live a bit out of town and we have one vehicle.  Lets just say that Amy is finally getting use to taking her morning nap in the car on our way into town, and her afternoon nap at the church in the crib they have.  

It has been quite the adjustment for me being home with Amy a lot more too.  I am really loving it!  She is growing and learning SO much and I absolutely love being with her for it.  She brings such joy to our lives... :)  

Mitch has also taken on a whole new role which has taken some time to adjust to.  A week after we arrived he began interning at our church.  He works along side the pastors helping them with a wide variety of tasks.  He also is given set time each day to work on our Ministry Partnership Development (MPD).  He has had numerous visits with church's in the area and we have been encouraged to have some express interest in joining with us in ministry.  

One of the big things we were praying about and seeking discernment in was regarding whether Mitch should get a part time job while we were here.  We have some debt we want to pay off and we would use the funds from his job to do so.  The only problem was his restricted availability.  So we prayed, and God provided the perfect job!  He is working at a specialty burger joint, and they are more than willing to schedule him around his internship, MPD schedule and no Sundays.  What an answer to our prayers!

So one might ask how long we plan to be in Nova Scotia, and all we can say is 'I don't know'!  We are waiting for Mitch's green card and because of uncontrollable circumstances on our end we have not yet been able to apply for it.  We hope to apply within a couple of weeks, and once he gets it we are USA bound!

We have complete peace and trust in God's timing of all of this.  We have our plans, but we have learned to hold those plans loosely.  :)

Monday, February 9, 2015

We've Arrived!

After 2 very long days and over 1,800 kilometres of driving we have arrived in Nova Scotia!

We had a 2 day window that gave us a break in the weather for traveling!  We left Ontario last Tuesday and booked it to Quebec where we stayed the night.  We got up bright and early on Wednesday and drove the rest of the way to Nova Scotia.  We only came upon bad roads around Fredericton NB, and Amy did amazing in the car!

Since we have been back we have mainly been focused on getting unpacked and settled.  We are staying with family, and it has been great being able to have them spend time with Amy and make up for lost time.

This week we are really beginning to focus on MPD (Ministry Partnership Development).  We are excited for this time and cant wait to see how God is going to work and who He will raise up to partner with us!

If you'd like to know how to pray for us right now, please check out our prayer page, or if you'd like to receive our newsletters shoot us an email! 

Friday, December 12, 2014

Accepting Weakness

"Do you not know?
     Have you not heard?
He Lord is the everlasting God,
     the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
     and his understanding no one can fathom.
He gives strength to the weary
     and increases the power of the weak. 
Even youths grow tired and weary, 
     and young men stumble and fall;
but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength.
They will sore on wings like eagles,
     they will run and not grow weary,
     they will walk and not be faint."

Isaiah 40:28-31

I am weak.  

Yes, I will admit it!  There was a time in my life where I might not have so easily admitted this.  I might have said it, but not really meant it, but not anymore!  I understand this clearly now...

We are finished.  After 8 years of waiting, preparing, saving, working, and studying we are done!  Yet, we have only just begun.

As we have struggled and worked these last 8 years God has been stripping aways bits of ourselves.  He has been working in our lives, challenging us, growing us, and ultimately humbling us.  

As we have walked this road God has been revealing to us that we are weak.  The only reason we are where we are at today is because God has provided us with amazing strength in our times of weakness!  

Our Graduating Class
I have been growing in my understanding of what it means to rest in Christ.  To truly give Him my burdens and lean on Him.  I have recently come the realization the effects of stress on my body and also how stressed out I usually am.  Once again, I've received a glimpse as to how weak I am.   As Isaiah wrote "He gives strength to the weary, and increases the power of the weak..." I find such hope in the midst of my weakness!   

As Mitch and I graduate and as we transition, yet again, into a new big chapter in our lives I am reminded of the LORDS strength.
 I am reminded that He is the One who works through the lives of those who trust Him.  If there is one thing we have learned during our time in training, its that we cannot do this task!

How encouraging, right?  

I mean, the one thing we were here to learn how to do, we found out we cannot do!  

Well, we cannot do it on our own.  

Isaiah 40:28 starts off with a little, but very important word: BUT.  

"Even youths grow tired and weary, 
     and young men stumble and fall;

But what?!  

"BUT those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength.
They will sore on wings like eagles,
     they will run and not grow weary,
     they will walk and not be faint."

The task of moving to a completely different place in this world that does everything differently that we do, in hopes to teach ourselves their language and then teach them how to read and write, translate the Bible and teach it to them is impossible!  We cannot do it in our own strength or ability.  BUT...

The LORD will renew our strength.
Im not sure if this makes sense or not, but I am thankful for God's Word and the encouragement and hope that this passage brings me.  
As we graduate we understand the hugeness of what we are desiring to do.  We understand that it is God who will lead us, guide us, and equip us with what it is going to take.  We understand that we cannot do it, that we are weak...

Monday, November 17, 2014

Finishing STRONG!

It has been a while since we have written anything.  It seems that this last season of our training has been quite the whirlwind!

We are approaching the end.  The end of our training that is.

4 weeks and we will be graduated!  This time of equipping has been amazing!  We have been challenged and have grown SO much.  We have learned what it takes to take God's Word to unreached people groups of this world, and the biggest lesson we have learned in all of this is that there is absolutely NO way we can do it.

One might ask then, 'how is it that you're going to do it?!'.  Well,  we cant forget that this is God's work.  We are willing to go, but we have to rely on God to work through us.  We need Him.  Like the hymn says "Lord I need you, Oh i need you.  Every hour I need you!  My one defence, my righteousness!  Oh God how I need you!"

We are in the midst of our Language Practicum class right now where we are putting our skills to work as we go through the steps of learning the German language.  We wont learn the entire language by any means, but rather will be able to practice all of the things we will do when we learn a new language overseas.

Amy has been in class with us some of the days, and she quite enjoys seeing all of the students and listening as the teacher speaks.

We are working hard at finishing this training strong!  We are so thankful for this season of training, and we are getting really excited about the upcoming time of partnership development!

A big THANK YOU to all those who are partnered with us through prayer and finances as we have trained.  God has used you in amazing ways to encourage us!

God is SO good, and we have so much to be thankful for. :)

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

To Be Faithful Part 2

The last post we did was about faith.  It seems like that our faith is always being tested!  We trust God with one thing, and just after that something else really big comes up that stretches us to trust Him even more.  I guess that is the christian life...  :)

When I last wrote, we didn't know where our next steps would take us.  We were in Nova Scotia for the summer looking to reconnect and build up our financial support team more.  We were very behind in some of our school bills, and in order for us to return we were needing to raise a hefty chunk of money.

In our own eyes it seemed impossible, but we knew that if it was God's will for us to return to the training and finish this year that He would do something amazing.

Our last Sunday in Nova Scotia was one that was leaving us hanging.  We would tell people: "See you next week or next year!".  As we sat in the airport waiting to board our flight we still didn't know what was going to happen.  Up to that point in time we still needed several thousand dollars if we were to start up classes in just two days.  Right before we boarded our flight Mitch checked our e-mail one last time and when I saw the look on his face I just knew God had done something huge!  He showed me the phone and told me to read this e-mail that we had just received.  I read it and it was from someone who wanted to look after the rest of our remaining debt!

We walked down the terminal to board our flight,  tears in our eyes, humbled again as to why God would choose to use us.  

He is faithful!

God is rarely early but He is always on time.

So here we are!  One month into our final semester of training at the MTC with just 3 months left.  Classes are going great!  We have finished up our Literacy course and we both really enjoyed that.  Learning how we can teach a people group how to read and write for the first time was great, and it got us pumped up for the idea of one day doing it outside of the classroom.

We began our Language Practicum this past week.  That will be the single most biggest class we will have.  It will run from now until the end of the semester, and in it we will be putting to practice all of the things we have learned so far.  We have been partnered up with a student who spend many years in Germany and has German family members.  We will be doing language sessions with him as we will do once we move into a cultural context, in addition to some cultural sessions.  We will be using the program to input all of the data that we collect and learn from him, and will have to prepare a report on what we learned through this whole time.

Adjusting to the life of new parents plus us both being full time students its been a bit crazy.  This new class is going to be very time consuming, and will entail a lot of homework.  We will have to work out a childcare program for Amy with our classmates as well.  This is to give us a feel for what it will be like overseas.  If babysitters are needed then us and our co-workers will need to work that out amongst ourselves.  All of this is to prepare us for what we will face overseas, accept that there will be all of this, plus more and all in a new place and culture!  Are we ever thankful that we have a body of believers going along side us through prayer and support?!

We trust His provisions in the day to day as well as in the big things.  

God is faithful!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

To Be Faithful

What does it look like to be faithful?     

The faithfulness of God is something that I often have wondered about, wrestled with, and been blown away by.  God seems to always open my mind more and more about what it means to understand His faithfulness.

Looking through the Old Testament one of the biggest themes is the faithfulness of God.  Time and time again God proved Himself faithful to a faithless people.  He revealed his love and desire to have a relationship with them even when they spat in His face and worshiped false gods.  He stayed true to His promises even when his chosen people chose to turn their back on Him and trust in themselves, or others...anyone but Him.

And in the New Testament we see Jesus.  Beautiful Jesus.  We get to see the face of the One who we were told about, the One who we get to walk and talk with, the One who is going to save us.  We get to witness the faithfulness of the Father lived out in the life and death of Christ.  How beautiful is Gods faithfulness!  How mind blowingly amazing is it that we know this One, the Holy One, this Most Faithful One?!

As I sit here typing, sipping my tea, and listening to music filled with the reminder of God's faithfulness I cant help but look back and see the hand of God working in our life.  God has indeed been faithful to His people throughout history, and He has also been faithful to Mitch and I.

Most of the time we don't understand what God is doing in our life.  Most of the time we ask God for His will to be done, yet do all we can to see our desires come true.  The constant battle between 'Your will be done' and 'give me what I want' rages in our minds.  Yet in the midst of that battle God is walking along side us, faithful.  He knows what we need, when and how we need it.

He is faithful.

All we need to do is take every worrisome thought captive, and trust that He is who He says He is, and that is in fact FAITHFUL.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

In the Mighty Jungle

The beginning Process.  No leaves on the trees, Amanda still pregnant, and a lot to clear of all the leaves.

Day 1 of building!  All the upright polls had to go in, fresh green leaves and Amy Grace at 1 month old!

End of day 2!  Uprights up, as well as the roof polls.  

While the men were away for 3 days on the mens hike, I got to work on a few small projects like finishing our shelves...

...our bed, and our dresser shelving.  As well as tending to Amy of course!

After 2 long weeks of building Move in day came!  It was a bit chilly and we got started early in the morning.  Amy Grace all bundled up at 6 weeks old.  

Mitchell got to practice his tree cutting skills a lot while we were in Jungle Camp.  Mostly he had to use a bow saw cutting and chopping it all by hand.  This day though we had a demonstration on how to properly use a chainsaw, and we cut down some of the larger dead trees that needed to come down. 

Amy stayed nice and warm in her cozy fleece sleeping sacks a friend made for her.  :)

The view from our bed.  My most favourite place!  We had lots to do each day to get the basic things done, but we did also have a lot of down time!  I loved spending time reading, napping and relaxing with Amy on our bed.  Mitch wired a couple computer fans to our car battery so on the hot days we could lay in bed and have a cool breeze blowing our way.

Amy began smiling while we were there!  She also began teething, putting her hand to her mouth and cooing.  She just LOVED looking up at our clear roof and seeing all the shadows and lights move.  It was like one big mobile for her!

We had to take part in a chicken butchering.  From the live bird to the meat in the bag we learned how to kill, clean and cut up a chicken.  Pretty interesting!  Most countries overseas dont have their meats prepared like we have it here in North America.  There is often some dirty work involved in eating meat most other places.

The view of our house.  

The Georgian Bay.  Both the men and the women went on a hike along this beautiful coastline!  The men hiked for 3 days during one of our building weeks, and the women went for two days the last week of Jungle camp.  I only went for the 1st day of the hike.  Mitch had Amy all day and they both enjoyed their 1 on 1 time together.  

Some of the ladies on the hike.

Mitch directing a water balloon relay game with all of the kids.  The adults all took turns leading games in the afternoons for the kids.  It was great to see everyone come together and help out in keeping the children busy.  :)

This is just a snapshot of our time in Jungle Camp!  We had a lot of fun, were challenged and grew in many ways!  We are so thankful for the opportunity to train in such a unique and awesome way!