Monthly Archives: June 2013

Last Week In Mt.Carmel

We just finished out last week living in Mt. Carmel, IL. Our last few days there weren’t easy as we had a lot to finish packing and we were constantly saying goodbyes to many people that we love and care about. Goodbyes are never fun or easy. Reading the New Testament you can see the heavy weight that is felt by Paul, and even Jesus as they had to say goodbye to those that they were close to. John 13:1 says that, “Jesus knew that His hour had come to depart from this world to the Father. Having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the very end.” Christ didn’t hold back in His relationships as it was time to leave them just because He knew it would be difficult. No, we see him loving them to His fullest, spending every last moment that He could with His friends and loved ones. In a similar way, our last week in Mt. Carmel was a full one as we tried to spend as much time as we could with our church family and our teens.

On the last Wednesday night with our teens Gary shared some thoughts from Philippians where Paul charged the Philippian church to continue to work out their faith in his absence. We then extended Paul’s same charge to our teen, to shine on like stars in this dark world. We stayed later that night to play a few group games and just spend more time together hanging out.

Noodle Ninja

Wednesday night after class we played noodle ninja together!

Going home that night we continued packing to get a load ready for Michelle’s dad to take to Kentucky who was coming in late that night. We woke up early the next day to get his truck and trailer loaded up with our things.

The next few days were busy with getting things together for us to leave. Things like, rounding up boxes, shutting off our power, and clearing out Gary’s office. Sunday was an emotion filled day. In Bible class we gave our teens a print that we designed together based on Philippians 2:12-16 as a way to remember us and our charge to them to “Shine On” like stars. It wasn’t long after Bible class that the tears began to roll as we had to say our first goodbyes. Our brother-in-law Bobby shared a special message during services. The lesson was directed both at us and the church reminding us not to get stuck dwelling on what God had done in the past but to be open to the new things God has in store for us on the road ahead.  

Morgan, Brenna and Elise with the art print we made for them.

Morgan, Brenna and Elise with the art print we made for them.

Sunday evening our church had a special send-off cookout for us. We were taken-a-back by all that they had done in preparation for it! The entire fellowship hall was decorated in Thai flags in our honor. We enjoyed some time outside in the great weather, and spending time with our church. Many from the church gave us cards and letters to open and read while we’re in Thailand to encourage us. Some of the cards have specific dates on them telling us exactly when to open them. This care package was a big surprise and meant a lot us. They gave us a special farewell cake and a money tree as well. To close out our time together Bobby shared a few thoughts and then the church prayed over us. Many people shared kind words of encouragement with us, thanking us for our time with them in Mt.Carmel. The whole night was another reminder of how much of a blessing and encouragement our church has been to us!

At our send off party.

table

Praying over us and our future ministry.

Praying over us and our future ministry.

We spent our last two days with the young people of the church. On Monday we drove down to Santa Clause, IN (yup that’s right –Santa Clause!) and went to Holiday World with some of the youth group. Holiday World is an amusement park themed after the major American holidays. It was blast spending the day with the teens, riding wooden-roller coasters, enjoying the water park and eating deep-fried Oreos!

Had fun at Holiday World together!

At Holiday World together!

Tuesday we spent most of the day doing our final round of packing. Then for dinner that evening we ate with Melissa and Bobby for our last supper in Mt. Carmel. We’ve been spoiled living so close to our family for so long, and have really enjoyed being able to watch our niece and nephews grow up! We’re really going to miss them! It will be hard to be on the other side of the world away from them! Thank God for Facetime and Skype!

For our final hurrah we played a game called “Aliens” with some of the teens and young adults from our church. Aliens is a crazy rendition of hide and seek played in the dark. We normally can only play this game at lock-ins because it takes a lot of people, so it was a rare and special treat. We always have a blast playing it! It was especially fun this time being able to play with many of the young adults who we had never played it with before.

Had a lot of fun playing Aliens!

Had a lot of fun playing Aliens!

Once we were done, the dreaded moment had come where we had to say our final goodbyes to our teens. We’ve been a part of their lives for six years and have seen them grow so much! They weren’t just our “teens” but they’re like our younger brothers and sisters, and our friends. We’re very proud of the young adults and disciples that they have become. We hope and pray that their passion to serve others, share their faith, and to help the broken and hurting in the world will continue to grow all the more in our absence. We will miss them dearly!

On Wednesday, we cleaned out our apartment, packed up most of our remaining things then made our way to Scottsville, KY where Michelle’s family lives. We have been truly blessed over the last several years. God has taken such great care of us! We have been blessed with eternal riches through the lives of the people there and by seeing the fruit of our ministry grow. Keep us in your prayers as we transition out of Mt. Carmel and say goodbyes to our friends and family! Pray also for our church family in Mt. Carmel and the youth group there as they work through changes and adjustments as well. We also need your prayers as we are still working on raising support and trying to find a sponsoring church. 

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