Monthly Archives: July 2013

Life In-Between Places

Selling Nearly Everything We Own

We’ve had a lot going on since we left Mt. Carmel. One of our biggest tasks has been selling all of our things and organizing the things we want to keep in storage. We had a yard sale at Michelle’s grandparents’ house where we sold most of the things that we owned. We had a three day yard-sale from Thursday to Saturday. It went really well and we were able to sell all of our major items! It’s not easy to sell all of your possessions. Having help from Michelle’s grandmother Meme and her aunt Sandie was a big blessing because they’re all yard-selling gurus! We don’t consider ourselves very materialistic people, but then again we are American so at least some materialism runs in our consumerist-blood. We will miss our fun and cute apartment, and all of our stuff that made it our own. But we know much greater treasures await us in the Kingdom that neither moth nor rust can destroy.

Goodbye stuff! Had a successful yard sale!

Goodbye stuff! Had a successful yard sale!

Visiting Churches

Since we left our home in Mt. Carmel, IL we wanted to spend time with our families and to visit several churches that are supporting us to go to Thailand. Since we were staying with Michelle’s parents in Kentucky, we were able to spend some extra time with the church in Scottsville. We also made a couple of trips to visit churches relatively close to the area. We spent a weekend with the Linary Church of Christ in Crossville, TN where Michelle’s family lived after they returned from the mission field in Russia in 2003 after being there for five years. We were also able to visit Lone Oak Church of Christ in Paducah, KY. While visiting with them we set up our Thailand table and passed out some of our new brochures and bookmarks to help inform people of what we’ll be doing and to remind them to keep us and the work in Thailand in their prayers. Everyone we were able to talk to was excited about what we’ll be able to do in Thailand! Visiting with these different churches has been a big encouragement to us and it’s been great to reconnect with old friends!

Time With Family

Over the past month we’ve really enjoyed being able to spend some extra time with family. For a few days we were able to babysit our nephew Caleb while Bobby and Melissa (Michelle’s sister) were at Camp Wabashi in Indiana. We were also able to spend some time with our youngest niece Elsie. We had a blast enjoying the little ones, they’re such blessings! We are really going to miss being near to them and watching them grow!

Picnic at the part with Michelle's sister Melinda and niece Elsie.

Picnic at the part with Michelle’s sister Melinda and niece Elsie.

One of the things that Michelle’s grandparents, Meme and Papa, love to do in the summer, is to go fishing on Lake Barkley in Kentucky. So one day the four of us decided to take Papa’s boat out on the lake and fish for catfish together. Long story short, we had a great time on the lake until the boat sank with, you guessed it, our phones and new camera on board! We were able to save the boat but Gary’s phone and our camera didn’t survive the surprise baptism. We’ve sent in our Camera to Sony and are in the process of getting it replaced. We definitely had a day to remember out on the lake! Hard lesson learned: never take electronics out on the water! 

Michelle's great catch before the catastrophe!

Michelle’s great catch before the catastrophe!

Family Reunion

This past weekend we went to a family reunion for Gala’s side of the family in Arkansas. We left Kentucky on Thursday to make our way to Memphis to drop off our things at Michelle’s aunt and uncle’s house where we’ll be staying until the end of August. We’ll be in Memphis to spend more time with our sponsoring church before heading to Thailand. On Friday we caravanned with family to western Arkansas. We stayed in a nice cabin together with all of Gala’s immediate family in a really beautiful part of the Ozark mountains. There were over 50 members of the family there that weekend. It was fun to have four generations of the family all under the same roof! We had a blast staying up talking and playing games with family like farkle and charades. On Saturday we spend time swimming at the river not far from our cabin. It was a great spot along the river to swim. The water was really clear and passed along a beautiful cliff side. On Saturday we all got together at our cabin for lunch and to spend the afternoon and to eat dinner together. After eating a group of us went on a hike through the woods in search of a waterfall we had read about. The hike wasn’t easy but was well worth the wait once we arrived at the over 80’ waterfall. It was great spending time in God’s beautiful creation! We’re thankful to have been able to see everyone since it will most likely be a very long time until we see them all again.

Enjoying the beautiful scenery with family!

Enjoying the beautiful scenery with family!

Moving to Memphis

We drove back from the reunion Sunday to make it back to Memphis in time to go to Bartlett Woods’ evening service. That night they had a special presentation by a group that recently returned from a mission trip in Poland about their trip. It’s awesome seeing how excited they are about missions. And to see how they want to be people who are not only sending out missionaries but going out into the world themselves.

We’ll be here in Memphis for about a month to spend time with the Bartlett Woods church of Christ. While here we’ll be involved in a lot of different church functions and plan to spend as much time with members of the congregation as we can! This first weekend we’re looking forward to going on a rafting trip with their youth group on the Ocoee river in East TN. Keep us in your prayers as we have several things to work out and get in order before our move to Thailand! We’re hoping to buy our plane tickets this next week and from what we’ve seen we’ll able to go at the very end of August!

We're here!

We’re here!

Our Sponsoring Church

We have exciting news to share! We have found our sponsoring church! The Bartlett Woods Church of Christ in Memphis, TN recently let us know that they are excited about becoming our sponsoring church. We’re in the early stages of partnering with them, and have several things we need to work out with them. Over the last few months we’ve been in dialogue with Bartlett Woods discussing the possibilities of partnering together through their decon over missions and missions committee chairmen Scott Robbins. We had our first meeting with Scott in March and have been in dialogue ever since.

With the missions committee.

With the missions committee.

In May we were able to visit the Bartlett Woods Church of Christ and spend a Sunday with them. That morning they had their annual Ministry Fair where their deacons set up tables with displays to present the different ministries they have happening to the rest of the congregation and get others involved. The 30+ deacons completely covered their gym floor. We set up some of our Thailand things at the Missions table and were able to talk with and meet several people. It was a really great time to talk with some of the members of the missions committee and learn about the other mission efforts Bartlett Woods is involved in too.

That afternoon we had a couple of meetings with the missions committee and the elders. Our time with them was really encouraging as both groups expressed their excitement for us and our future plans. At evening services Gary was able to preach. He spoke about how the Great Commission is a call to “Glocal” missions (both global and local) while also telling about the work we’ll be doing in Thailand.

Gary Preaching

We look forward to developing our relationship with Bartlett Woods as we join together to carry out God’s mission in Bangkok! Soon we will be returning to Memphis to spend some time with them before heading over to Thailand.

Please keep us in your prayers as we finish drafting our working agreement with the church there, and as we develop our plans and timeframe to spend time with Bartlett Woods and to head to Thailand! We’re ready to finally know our dates to arrive in Thailand and to get busy in the work there! It’s been exciting to see how God is bringing everything together in His timing!