|The beautiful kids at Casa Angelina along with team members|
Well, I'll tell you one thing: it involved a lot of waiting, and waiting, and waiting! But, it was worth it!
Glenn and I knew that we wanted to be missionaries before we were married. In fact, because of all the mission trips I had been on, I would not date anyone who was not "called" to overseas missions.
|A view on the way to pick up the team from their hotel|
We were married in 1990 with a desire to get to the mission field in 6 years but no real plan. We found it hard to live in San Diego financially, so Glenn joined the army. Jake was born in San Diego in 1992. The army moved us to TX where Erika was born in 1993. Then on to Germany where Nick and Krister were born in 1995 and '97, then to TN where Annaliese was born in 1999.
During that time, because finances were tight, marriage was hard, caring for 5 kids was difficult, and because we didn't have the most peaceful home in the world...., we lost sight of going to the mission field and began to think that we were so attracted to missions because, well, we were senders, and not goers.
|A team from our church working at Casa Angelina|
|A beautiful church in Antigua near Central Park|
|Praise and worship at Casa Angelina by campfire|
|A team took Glenn deep sea fishing|
Once he graduated, he said that he would NEVER do that again: Go to school full-time and work full-time. But, God started putting a desire in our hearts to go to Bible school. We had been greatly impacted by the a teacher in Colorado Springs named Andrew Wommack and it seemed as though God was leading us to go there. So, plans began. After more waiting, we finally left for Colorado Springs in 2003 with a big Uhaul truck, 7 of us, plus Glenn's sister and her son.
|Holy Week-this is an "alfombra" that is made out of colored sawdust.|
|Erika and her missionary friends buying a cotton candy in Antigua|
In order for us to graduate from Bible School, Glenn and I had to go on a missions trip. He chose to go to Russia (this is in 2005) and came back saying, "We are going to Russia as missionaries!" The missionary in us was stirred up for sure! But then I went to Kenya, Africa and said, "I left my heart in Africa!"
Somehow, Glenn's heart moved towards Africa. In 2005 we began praying about which country the Lord wanted us in: Uganda or Kenya. Our son Nick, 10 years old at the time, said, "I think the Lord is saying that it's on the border of Uganda and Kenya, but on the Kenya side."
|A completed "alfombra" or carpet|
Since I had only been to one of his church's in the city of Kisumu, I asked him where his home town was. His reply: "On the border of Uganda and Kenya on the Kenya side." Wow! That sounded like confirmation to me! So, the next summer, Glenn and I went together to Sabastian's home town to scout out the land and to see if this is where we were supposed to be. We did a lot of teaching and getting people baptized in the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues. It was an awesome trip! It was a big "YES!"
So, we started raising money. We ended up sending all of the money received over to Kenya for the support of Sabastian and his family. It seemed directed from the Lord. We had them move into the house that we were holding for our family and paid rent for them for 2 years and then we helped him build his house. Altogether, we've sent around $16,000 or more over there. The house is not complete but they live in it and we hope to have it completed by a team in the next few years or so.
Glenn kept going to Kenya the next few years. I had gone in 2005; we both went in 2006; Glenn went with other teams in 2007 and 2008. All were incredible times!
|Missionary kids performing a street drama during Semana Santa|
|A processional during holy week|
|Missionary kids performing a street drama during Semana Santa|
I received a couple of prophecies during our wait of 4 years. They both came around the middle of our wait. One said that the wait was long because God was aiming that arrow to hit the target right in the middle and that we would be amazed at how everything comes together.
The other happened while I was attending a different church for a month (thinking that maybe we were at the wrong church because "nothing seemed to be happening.) It was a very long prophecy but the gist of it was that God was asking us to do something that would "drive us crazy" and that is to wait some more.......
I had been working at James Irwin as a teacher since 2005 and while on a break one day in 2008, I decided to email our pastor and let him know that Glenn was in Africa again. We had met on and off with Pastor Mark and so he knew our desire to go the the mission field. His reply was ecstatic! He wanted us to meet with him as soon as Glenn got back to hear all about it! We were excited!
|Beautiful government building in Antigua|
|Erika performing a street drama at about 3:30 am|
|La Merced, a beautiful Catholic church in Antigua|
So, off to Guatemala we went with 4 out of 5 of our kids, March of 2010. This is the first time we weren't all together as a family unit. We left our oldest behind to finish the last few months of high school and to start college at John Brown University in Arkansas.
Guatemala proved to be an awesome experience for us. Glenn interned at the orphanage, the kids and I helped when there were teams, and we made a lot of GREAT missionary friends. We grew in our marriage, as a family, and individually. What an incredible experience. (And no, we don't speak Spanish all that well still--Glenn does pretty good though!)
|Ingrid, a sweet girl from Casa Angelina|
|This is the painting I bought to remind me of Antigua|
So, whatever God has told you about your future, keep it before your eyes. Daily thank God that it's going to happen. Even better, spend time praising and worshiping Him and then speak those promises into the glory. In the glory there is acceleration. The glory is His presence. It's all of who God is made tangible. His glory is incredible and I am called to release it all over the world.
|A widow's house was built for one of these ladies by a visiting team|
|Saying good-bye to our neighbors right before leaving Guatemala|
|Our tienda (store) owner neighbors (outside our neighborhood). The girl, Natalie, made me the purse.|
|A high school where the missionary kids ministered by drama|