Where did October go?

Hi everyone,

We have had so much fun this month but it has flown by. Jeff is in the busy time of the quarter with papers and presentations. He has been even busier with meetings and events for his job, but it has been fun and exciting to watch him plan events and grow as a leader. The awesome part of his job is getting to know amazing students who have passions for countries all over the world, however, the challenging part has been figuring out how to reimburse receipts.

I am still looking for more work and I have a few interviews coming up with families. However, the Lord has been providing through random connections with families and babysitting jobs. Praise the Lord! A stable, full time job is not where the Lord has me right now, and I am (still) learning to be ok with that. My emotions flux day-to-day about the job situation. It has been harder to find something, since we will only be here in California 8 more months, but the exciting flip-side to that is we will be going to Romania in about 10 months!

Also, we just sent out our second newsletter, which explains more of what we feel called to help with in Romania. If you didn’t get it and want to, you can sign up on the right-hand side of the page. We are so blessed by all of you that have already given financially and those who have asked to be part of our prayer team. We had an exciting conversation this morning about the possibility of team members and how they will be involved. We are also discussing which cross-cultural training program works best for us, and budget, and schedule. Details are starting to move along! We have enjoyed looking at apartments in Romania posted online. It is too early to get anything, and we won’t be doing it online, but we are having fun dreaming!

Through all of the craziness of life, we have had a lot of fun this month!

At the beginning of the month, we had the honor of celebrating Canadian Thanksgiving with friends!

Our Canadian Thanksgiving!
The wonderful Canadian flag cake.

We also found a groupon to rent bikes in Venice beach! We haven’t ridden bikes in years!

Ridding bikes along the beach!
Another view of the beach!
We rode up to Santa Monica and then we stopped a little further to enjoy the weather.
Fish Tacos and a really cute guy!
Our cool bikes.

After we returned the bikes, we had to stop for a funnel cake! The obvious choice after a long bike ride.
We also saw U.S. mounties. …kind of.

We also enjoyed Pasadena Art Night again this October. We went to a gallery opening titled “Pages.” Art and a gallery about books and the art of words, some of my favorite things!

One of the art pieces at the show.
Jeff enjoying the gallery.

“To exist merely to exist is stupidity. To exist to make art is a pretty grand act.” Bella Lewitzky

Pages
Then we had a yummy dinner at Olive Garden.
My handsome husband enjoying dinner.

And this week we carved some pumpkins! My sweet little boy, who I care for part of the week, didn’t really like pumpkin carving. It was too squishy for him.

My sweet Mr. Z trying to put the goo of the pumpkin back into pumpkin.

Last night, Jeff and I had a great date carving pumpkins and passing out candy.

Picking out Pumpkins at the pumpkin patch.
I made stuffed peppers for dinner too!
Carving pumpkins
Our two carved pumpkins. Jeff’s says Joy and I tried to do the wonder woman symbol.
Happy Halloween!

Jeff’s Job and My Epiphany

Sunday was a great day of communication and conversation for Jeff and I. You know when you have a day where the conversation is fluid, there is understanding, everything is laid out on the table, a space for openness and honest, and a time of listening. Those of you who think that marriage makes communication so much easier, it doesn’t. I do hope that it gets easier with years of practice but somedays it feels like there is a completely different language spoken from ones’ mouth to the other’s ears. Thus, Sunday was very refreshing!

We have been working on the next newsletter to go out to help expand on what we will be doing in Romania, and lately it has been hard for me to truly wrap my mind around the details of it or how to begin to share it with you. Jeff is a visionary and sees big picture and is filled with ideas. I, however, need a written out list of the details and how these goals are going to be accomplished. This is why Sunday was so good. On our way to church, Jeff was telling me about his job and we have been reflecting on the past week at welcome week and meeting so many new students. During church God told me to look at what Jeff was doing in his job already and how happy he was last week, getting to spend so much time with people and students excited about missions. I then had my epiphany.

Our Romania ministry will look like what we are doing here, but hopefully on steroids (not us, but our ministry).

Let me explain.

You already know that Jeff is the Co-president for Fuller’s Intercultural Studies Program (non-fuller terms: helping to lead the student government of his degree program.) He works with students who are passionate about culture, the Lord, and going on mission. He helps set up events to make students and the community aware of global issues and how they can get involved through partnering organizations. Jeff and Mark’s(the co-president) goal for this year is to help build more partnerships between organizations in LA and globally that students can intern or get involved with after Fuller. This past week was welcome week, where tons of new students came into Pasadena from all over the world. Some came for years on the mission field and others are trying to find what type of ministry they want to be involved in. Through their cabinet(the group of students volunteering with them) they are putting on events on spiritual growth, culture shock and re-entry, self care, etc.

So…God was pointing out to me that Jeff is so happy being with students excited about missions, learning what it means to discern their call, and what it means to live a life following the Lord. And then God was like, Uhmm….see he is already doing that! Oh duh Lauren! Why didn’t I put this together before!

I have said it over and over that California is a stepping stone for us and here is just one more reason. We are here to learn how to do marriage together, how to be away from family, how to keep in touch with people far away (some of these are more for me), how to live in christian community through our Church, how to make new friends in a new place, how to get to know a new city, how to do adult things like get insurance, how to trust that God is going to provide…and God is now saying how to practice ministry with students. California is our training ground!

In Romania we want to do discipleship, to encourage students, to empower them in their call, and to help develop unity between denominations and cultures. This comes through living life with people and intentionally building and feeding the relationships we make when we are there.

We are learning to do the same thing here.

Anyway, this is my epiphany. I don’t know if I made any sense but how awesome is the Lord! He knew we couldn’t go straight to Romania and be effective. We needed to be here to learn first.

The group from the LA Scavenger Hunt during Welcome week!
A beautiful sunset we had Saturday!

Learning Flexibility

Hi all,

Sorry I have not written in a while.

I have been searching for jobs and Jeff has had finals the past week. I had a phone interview 2 weeks ago and a 2nd interview with the family last week. I was told I have the job and I will start this week but I have yet to get a straight answer from them as to when I will start. ( Learning Flexibility)

Last week, my family that I have had part time for 10 months now, was preparing to move to a new house, thankfully not to far. So it has been nice/ a blessing to be out of work so that I could assist them. Saturday, Jeff and I had the joys of having their little boy, I’ll call him “Z”, come stay at our house ALL DAY! Jeff was not  so thrilled to have this happen the day after he had pulled an all nighter and written a 15 page paper and read 7 books the past 4 days, that’s nothing right. (Learning Flexibility) But we had a great time playing in the backyard, finger painting in a ziplock, and singing some songs with Jeff and his guitar. Z loved watching the ceiling fan too!

Jeff made up a really catchy song that Z loved to sing and dance to.

Sunday we took a day of rest and watched some movies and then went to Del Rey/ Venice beach. It was so nice to be in 80 degree weather, instead of 100, and the beach was not that crowded by the time we got there. It was such a relaxing time to have time to talk with each other besides one sentence blurbs before the other walked out the door or passed out on the bed.

Del Rey Pier
Sunset at the beach!

*Note: don’t go to Venice beach after dark, unless you are looking for pot, to get drunk, or to discover unique musicians playing near the trashcans. Also, I have a very active imagination and whenever I watch shows/movies, I become overly involved. We have been watching old reruns of Numbers( a show about murder and crimes in LA) probably not the best choice, and at the beach I was certain we were going to find a dead body. Later that night, walking away from the Venice boardwalk there was a man face down in the grass, looking quite dead. Jeff almost peed his pants because of what I said earlier,  Jeff then walked us around him and we heard the guy groan, thus we know he was really REALLY wasted by 8:30pm. Thankfully, Jeff and I got back to the car safe to return to our familiar helicopters in Pasadena.

This week is Welcome week for the new students and Jeff is working most of the events as co-president of his schools student government. Thankfully that means most our meals this week are supported by Fuller! ( Sometimes flexibility works in our favor!)

It is crazy to think that a year ago I was writing you about our experience at Welcome week and all the different events we participated in. It is also hard to believe that a year from now we will hopefully be in Romania. Jeff is now officially in his second/last year of his degree and next quarters’ classes start Monday!

Let us know if there is anything we can be praying for!

-Lauren

What we have learned from a year of marriage

Before I tell you what we have learned, let me update you.

This last week has been very interesting,busy, chaotic, crazy.

So…(deep breath) Monday, there was an accident at work with one of my kids. He is fine but unfortunately mom was not. We had a week of constant breakdown in tears and coming to the point of not feeling like she could trust anyone else with her child. She also said she didn’t like how I responded to the situation, by telling her he would be fine, gave her the impression that I didn’t care enough. She is so afraid for him to get hurt or cry and it makes me sad that she lives in such fear. I never want a child to get hurt either but they are kids and learning and it happens.

So by Friday they decided that they didn’t want to work with me anymore and thus, I lost my most regular nanny job. It makes me sad because I have seen this little boy grow from 7 weeks to 10 months, but I couldn’t have stayed in that type of situation much longer anyway if she could not have trusted me.  So the job search is back on…non profit job or another nanny job…I don’t know what God has planned during this time.

Tuesday, we had an amazing group of friends from our community group come over and help us fold, address, and stuff all of our newsletters. That was such a great help and it would have taken us forever to do that! On Thursday, Jeff took a Trader Joe’s bag full of letters the the post office!  (If you don’t get one and want to, email us and we will send a newsletter your way)

Getting everything for the letters and last week and then sending them out really made this next step in our lives Real! Well now with job hunting again, God is really asking how much do you trust me?  All weekend I have been reading over Matthew 10: 26-31 and remembering How dare I not trust the Lord, who feeds the birds, knows the hairs on my head, and promises to reveal in the right hour what we need.

Jeff has been amazingly supportive this past week and his reaction to this week really shows me how much we have grown together over the last year. He knows that sometimes he just needs to listen and let me cry and he has been a rock for me this week. I am so thankful for him!

So Friday after work, we drove down to San Diego to spend some time together away from crazy life (we didn’t realize how crazy when we booked the hotel) for our anniversary. It was so nice to have that time together. We were able to process the last week, reflect on the last year, and be excited about all the changes that will happen this year.

We reflected on our expectations and decided that we didn’t expect all of the smells(haha) or how much time you really spend together and how much you do need to have certain time apart. We are also amazed at the growth in our relationship with one another. When we started our marriage, it was very obvious that we communicated differently under stress. When I am angry I need to take some time to cool down or I continue to get upset, but Jeff wants to talk about it right then and there to clear the air. He has learned to give me time and I have learned how to express when I need to step away for a minute.

We are also amazed by the growth in our relationship with the Lord. Marriage is truly about making each other holier and pushing each other towards God. Our prayer life, devotional times, and trust in the Lord has grown immensely because we live with our accountability partner and see everything the other is doing (motive, action, thought process).  Marriage is a great meter for how self serving we can be.  You don’t realize how selfish we are until you have to think about someone else’s needs 24/7. I know we are just learning and all you parents and 10+ year married people are rolling your eyes…we know we are touching the iceberg of this lesson. It is just so awesome of a lesson to learn!

Here are pics from San Diego!

Happy 1st Anniversary!
Haha! Growling!
At the Coronado Island beach
Driving back over the bridge from the island
On the way home we drove up the 1, the freeway that goes up the coast, and we stopped at Oceanside to see the World BodySurfing Competition.
Pacific Ocean is so COLD!
We have been having a heat wave so you can see how many people were out
At Oceanside
Bodysurfing! It seemed much harder than it sounds and this was the 55-65 bracket.

All of the fishermen at the pier. Jeff took most of these pictures and I really like this one!
This guy was hanging at the Pier and posing for pics.
Someone caught a Stingray! It was cool to see the barb on it and his mouth.
The pier at the competition.
Jeff and I were waiting for our awesome fish tacos.
I couldn’t resist this face!
Our yummy lunch but the fish taco was eaten before I remember to get a pic.

Yay for sunshine and no cold basement at the library!

It is amazing how quickly the nice ocean view turns back to a desert.
Then after we left Oceanside we detoured to Laguna!
There are these beautiful rocks that the waves break on.
Waves at Laguna
Jeff led us in bible study while we were at the beach. Very refreshing for us spiritually, physically, and emotionally.
Looking forward to the next year together!

A Little About My Favorite Person

My favorite person, is my best friend, is my husband.

Jeff had a birthday on Monday and unfortunately he started his next two week intensive class that day too. But we celebrated the Thursday before with a dinner and a movie date.

Then as tradition in my family, you pick whatever meal you want and what ever cakes you want, and you get it. So Jeff picked his favorite tortellini soup, which I have told you about on a previous post. And we got to share our favorite chocolate eclair cake dessert with our community group on Monday. Although, I think it might have been too sweet for some of these Californians. 🙂

Here is that amazing recipe:
1 box graham crackers
2 small pkg. French vanilla instant pudding mix
1C confectioner’s sugar
3C milk
1 12oz. Cool Whip

Line bottom of 9 x 13 pan with crackers. Add sugar to pudding mix. Make pudding using 3 cups of milk. Fold Cool Whip into pudding. Spread half of mixture over layer of crackers. Add another layer of crackers. Then, put on other half of mixture. Then, another layer of crackers.

Frosting:

3C confectioner’s sugar. Add 4T cocoa. Set aside.
Cream 1 stick margarine. Add sugar mixture gradually. Add 2t vanilla and ¼C milk. Spread onto last layer of crackers. Then refrigerate over night.

So, since he is my favorite person, I am going to tell you some fun facts about Jeff.

– he doesn’t like to wear a shirt during the day but must have one at night.
– he must have a full water bottle by the bed when he sleeps.
– he likes to listen to Romanian techno music.
– he has the most caring/loyal heart for people and most of you do not know how much he cares for you.
– he has lessons and teaches me how to be a better friend. Ex. “see Lauren, that would be something good to text them.”
– he practices Romanian in the shower with himself. ( Love you honey!)

We also have wonderfully amusing conversations:
(at the dinner table)
Me: Jeff, slow down. Your inhaling your food again.
Jeff: maybe you eat slow.
Me: you aren’t even chewing.
Jeff: yes I am. See. ( takes a piece of pasta and chews twice)
Me: ( take a piece and counts) see that took me 15 times.
Jeff: ( he takes one and then for several minute pretends to chew and continues to run his tounge around in his mouth and teeth.)
Me: what are you doing?
Jeff: cleaning my teeth, that’s what you do right? Because there is no possible way for you to chew that long with out cleaning your teeth after every bite. ( showing his cheesy smile)

We also had a conversation on our walk last night about who could sound more like a real cat when meowing! and then we practiced!

Yep! My husband is awesome and so much fun to be with! Jeff Cardell, I love you so much and our silliness together. I am so excited for our lives together! It will never, and has yet to be, dull.

With Love,

Your Wife

Quality Time

Well Jeff’s one week intensive class is over! He has been doing a great job staying on top of his school with semester, even with taking four classes. Thankfully he gets a week with just online classes before he has another intensive for two weeks. He is taking four classes this summer so that next summer he can be more flexible with his time and where we have to be located. Hopefully, we will be getting ready to move to Romania and either spending time with family and friends and in a training program for a month before we go.

I have had two strange weeks of work because Mr. W’s, one of my kids, grandparents were in town. Thankfully, God has provided odd jobs or more hours at my other job to help us out. But tomorrow it is back to a full day of work!

It has been tough lately, trying make sure we have time for us together. Last weekend was our first night apart and a full two days since being married. It was hard to be by ourselves for once and the worst part was going to church and our community group without Jeff. I know that may not sound like a lot of time, but we have a very flexible schedule and usually see each other a great deal during the day. But I feel that it has made our time together, as little as it may be, much more quality time. Less time means a short walk around the block to tell each other about our days and what’s been going on.

We are still marching on and enjoying the day as it comes! We are so ready for a vacation in August!

On another note, so one of Jeff’s assignments this week was to interview someone who has migrated to the U.S.A. to develop a plan to help people from that culture better transition. We interviewed Mr. W’s grandma, who is from Serbia and it was so interesting to hear her perspective coming into America. She said the hardest thing was not knowing the language when she came. *side note- she is awesome because she calls everyone cookie and has a Serbian/New York accent when she talks. Love it!* Another interesting thing we talked about was “when did New York start to feel like it was home?” She said it happened once they bought a house. She said investing in a piece of land and knowing that was theirs.

Jeff and I have had this conversation many times and again this week. Sometimes it is our church that makes Pasadena feel like home, other times it is the space in our house, and yet as I write this post there are still days that sting with homesickness for Georgia, or for Romania. Sometimes I have an overwhelming feeling of being in transition and other times I truley feel Pasadena is home for now. What makes something feel like home for you?

Thanks everyone for reading! Love you!

*ps. We are working on a newsletter to go out soon! If you want to be on the list, send us your address or your email at thecardells@gmail.com.

Weddings, Friends, and Family

Hi everyone!

I hope you had a wonderful 4th of July, whether or not your American.

Jeff and I have been in Georgia for the last 12 days and it has been wonderful to see friends and family! I know it seems like we are constantly back and forth we feel the same but we are grateful to have been able to do so. We came back specifically for Carrie’s, Jeff’s sister, wedding. It was so beautiful and there was so much excitement in the atmosphere for the couple! Knowing we would be back for that Saturday, we decided to come early and see wonderful friends of ours, Lizzy and Luke, get married too! It was a blessing to spend some quality time with friends through out the week and know no matter how long we are gone, we can pick up like there was never any distance.

I was blessed this trip to see again how mission minded our families are too. It is great to see how much our parents and grandparents are still on fire for the Lord and actively sharing Christ with others.  Two my grandparents left on a mission trip to Wales while we were in Georgia, and I am so proud of them for going.  It was also great to spend time getting to know Jeff’s grandparents, and hearing how she continues to share the gospel with those in her community.  They are wonderful examples of being passionate for the Lord. And Bette and Paul are headed to Romania for another summer team trip on July 15th.  Even though they are exhausted from the wedding, they are consistent in hearing from the Lord and following His leading. It truly is a blessing to know we have such wonderful family behind us.

We were also able to continue our planning for Romania while we were here. One day we drove up to Gainesville and met our mentor/ director at the Adventures in Missions office. He met with us for maybe an hour and half just answering our questions about the budget and helping us move forward to finish it. We also had a meeting with Kevin Williams, a support raising coach, to help us know how to minister to our supporters and prepare ourselves for meeting with supporters and pastors. We were so encouraged, even after and entire afternoon of meetings. We left feeling like God really lead us to Adventures and feeling loved and supported by them. (How awesome is that!) We were also able to spend some quality time with another couple from orientation, about our age and stage of life, trying to go to India. We feel like they may be great friends during this journey!

This week we were able to meet with Pastor Joey from First Baptist Church, PTC and introduce ourselves. It was lovely to hear his heart and vision for the church. It was fun to find out that he had been a missionary in Europe for many years and had actually been in the other side of Romania for a trip. And of course it was great to see the other pastors at the church and catch up. We also had a meeting with the Mt. Bethel missions pastor, a long time mentor and friend of Jeff’s. It was great to explain more of what we feel called to do n Romania and asking how we can help him in his ministry at Mt. Bethel.

As for Fuller, Jeff is still in 2 online classes. He starts an intensive in a week, which means 8-5 in the classroom, and he has another class the beginning of August. I am still nannying with 2 families. My boys are 1 yr (26 lbs and 30 inches and walking), and 9 months (26 lbs and almost crawling). Needles to say, the are Big Boys!

It was nice to be back in Georgia for a while, but we are back in California and it feels nice to be in our own home. And I love the cool nights here. I think it says something, when the thing we missed most in California was our Church community group. We are stoked to see them today and tomorrow.

Ps. Sorry if you got a draft copy of this blog. I am not tech savvy and still learning how to do this. 🙂

Us in the Marietta Square enjoying the Fourth of July fireworks
Best Grandpa Ever playing Zumba!
Family Bonding at the Bowling Alley
We got named Alley Cat and Gutter Queen.
The Final Results! Can you guess who is who?

It’s Official!

Hey there, I know it’s long but read the whole post!

It is hard to believe we were in Georgia last week. (By the way: Atlanta seems a lot smaller now compared to LA, I miss the humidity, and we love having our own home!) It was information packed and a very encouraging trip for us.

We stayed with the Director of Long Term Missions, Mark, and his wife Jana, and their family. Jana served in Romania and Eastern Europe as a missionary before she married Mark. It was so fun to sit down and talk with her about all the great things about Romania and how the country has changed since then.

On Wednesday, we had a meeting with Seth Barnes, the founder of Adventures in Missions. We wanted to get to know more about him and his vision for Adventures. It was great to hear his heart for missions and wanting to send out missionaries from all different countries.

I think one of the best sayings I heard this week was, “the goal is to work yourself out of a job.” I have heard this before in human services but think what the world would be like if we didn’t have a need for missionaries! (Mind Blown!)

On Thursday we had an interview with Gary and Nancy, a couple who has been on the field for 35 years doing discipleship. The interview time was one of my favorites because it was so relaxed and it was wonderful to be encouraged in marriage and vision from the Lord.

Nancy also taught a class called “getting to know yourself.” We had taken the Myers-Briggs test before we came, as well as “Leading with your Strengths.” It was during this session that we were able to interpret the results and see how they applied to ourselves. Here are some fun facts about how different Jeff and I are:

– On a scale 1-10 (10 being the highest), Jeff is a 10 optimist. I however, am a 9 realist on the opposite side of the scale.

– Jeff is strong in pioneering but I scored high in structure.

– We are almost the same on the Myers-Briggs except I am an introvert and he is an extreme extrovert. ( surprise surprise)

I just love how different we are and yet how God uses us to balance each other out.

We also had some sessions on financials, healthcare, practical skills for the field, and support raising. It was so interesting to look at support raising because the mindset is completely different than raising support for a single trip or a short term trip.
Also, long term financial support no longer means quick gifts and then forget about us. We need and want people who are willing to give a monthly gift for an extended period of time. (Yes, this means you will never stop hearing about Romania, but let’s be honest, its not like you don’t already!)

Some people may ask, “why not go with a denomination/organization where you don’t have to raise financial support?” First, God has not called us there but has showed us that Adventures in Missions is a good fit for us. Secondly, it is a great step of faith for all involved to rely on God for everything. Thirdly, many organizations where that is not needed have found a great disconnect between the home churches and their missionaries and that relationship is lost.

Long term missions requires more commitment from us and more from the people supporting us. Support doesn’t just mean finances and prayer but also accountability and lasting relationships. We want to be supporting and praying for you just as you are for us. Adventures’ Long-Term department requires us to have a system of people who want to partner with us in this journey. Also, we will have a small group of people who commit to communicating with us on a weekly basis to hold us accountable, in addition to our group as a whole, so that we may encourage each other. If you would like more information about being an active participant in our support team or want to send us a prayer request, you can email us at thecardells@gmail.com.

All that to sum it up that we had a great week at training! And we are excited to be partnering with you as long term missionaries – because we are accepted and now part of Adventures International!

Here are a few pictures from last week!

Outside the Adventures Office in Gainsville
Most of the Long Term Candidates

It’s Not About Missions

Howdy Y’all ( that southern accent comes back quick)!

We have arrived to Gainesville on Monday and immediately jumped into our first session. We have people here wanting to go to India, Jordan, Ireland, Cambodia, and Swaziland. It is amazing to be here with passionate people for reaching the nations.

Last night we had an impromptu time of studying Luke 7:18-23.

“so he replied to the messengers, “Go back and report to John what you have seen and heard: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is preached to the poor. Blessed is the man who does not fall away on account of me.” (NIV)

We discussed how we will see so many horrible things, meet people who have lived through them, and some people will come out with such great faith and yet in other circumstances we may not feel anything is moving forward with our ministry. John experienced this in his ministry and personal life and he questioned God because some are helped and healed and others are not, and he personally was left in jail. God does not owe us an explanation! we may not understand why things happen but we do know that God is in control, His will be done, and He wants to works things for our good (Romans 8:28).

We also spent time this morning on Luke 3:22.

“And the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son whom I love; with you I am well pleased.” (NIV)

We need to understand that we are to find our identity in Christ and that intimate relationship is what comes first. It is not about our ministry or missions or what we do but that we glorify the Lord.

Sorry if I am preaching but this has truly been something we have bern learning in the last few weeks. We are enjoying are time here learning about the Lord and listening or his guiding.

Thursday we will be having our face-to-face interview. We will also be going over member care, support raising, and conflict resolution. I will try to update you more this week as we can find Internet but we will give you a final update at the end of the week.

Prayer Requests :
1. That we keep an open mind
2. Grow in our understanding in what God is calling us to.
3. Discernment if Adventures in Missions is the right organization for us.
4. Daisy Love- she is the 7 yr old daughter of a Pastor of our sister church. She has battled cancer twice already and is now starting chemo for the third time. Her blog is prayfordaisy.com.

To Georgia Already?

Hey Everyone,

I am pleased to announce that we have submitted our AIM applications!

We sent them in about 11 pm on Sunday and when we woke up we had an email from them inviting us to come to pre-field orientation on May 14-18th, and we must RSVP by next Tuesday. Oh, how the Lord works quickly! That does not mean we are officially accepted yet but because we have been talking with them and they have gotten to know us some, we are allowed to come in May.

Throughout the day yesterday, we were researching how to do this and if the timing will work. AIM only has two of these a year, May and October and so it is important for us to come to one this year to continue moving the process along and start fundraising. Looking at Jeff’s class schedule May is the best time right now.

We are now in the process of figuring out funds to buy plane tickets, but we know the Lord will provide! He obviously has this under control; there was no possibility of us planning for this trip at this speed. We, unfortunately, will not be able to see many friends during this trip because we have to get back quickly for work and school.

We ask that you join us in prayer for:

1. The Conference – Please be praying for AIM staff, that what knowledge the Lord has for all those present would be expressed, that God would bring those to the conference that He desires to be there, and that we would come with open minds and listening ears.

2. Travel – safety, that our bags arrive, there be no delays, and that God would provide the finances for the tickets.

3. Scheduling – that both professors and the families that we are working with are understanding and supportive.

I cannot get over the speed of God’s timing right now, sometimes it feels like we are in such a waiting period and then he suddenly turns it into an autobahn. I am so excited about getting to join in the fun this time, and not have to take Jeff to the airport to go to orientation, but to be able to go and learn too!

His timing is perfect and everything is for His Glory. We pray that our lives bring Him Glory! I hope to say this to God, just as Christ did:

“For you granted him [Jesus] authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him. Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. I have brought you glory on Earth by completing the work you gave me to do.” John 17: 1-4

We hope you have a joyous Easter!

Lauren & Jeff