Monday, May 31, 2010

Weekend Fun and Answered Prayers!

We've come off of a weekend full to the brim. Mi hermano y la familia (a little Spanish for ya) came for a visit. It is such a blessing to enjoy Asheville and the mountains with our family. We are truly blessed by so many who have protected our freedom and made the ultimate sacrifice so that a weekend of enjoying God's creation and each other is possible.

Update:
There is much to tell but we will spread it out over several posts. We will be completely revising our budget for Liberia in the next week. We found out that our housing and a few other budgetary needs will be provided for! PRAISE THE LORD! Things are really moving into place and we continue to be blessed and confident that the Lord is orchestrating the next phase of this journey.

The other week when we did the grand Trinity Growth Group tour someone asked us "What is your biggest fear, and what are your primary prayer needs?"

Kyle and I both answered individually and it was neat to see what each other said in response. We both said that there are very few things that we are anxious about right now. God has really provided unity of heart and mind for us and that is such a blessing. We both agree that our peace is only attributable to the sustaining power of God and the prayers of His people. THANK YOU FOR YOUR PRAYERS! Our prayer needs revolve around God's provision both now and once we are on the field.

1)Pray for God's protections; marriage, health, ministry

2)Pray for our relationship with those already working with Equip Liberia. Pray that God would provide unity of spirit and purpose to present the Gospel in word and deed to one another and the Liberian people.

Thank you for your continued support. June is a big month. We will be having a yardsale on the 5th (next Saturday!) and moving out at the end of the month. Big stuff!

Thanks for reading this little ole' blog...it really means a lot!

In Christ Alone,
Kyle and Jessica

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Liberias's President Comes for a Visit

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf (Liberia's 1st democratically elected leader since the war) came to Washington for a visit this past week. She even sat down with President Obama for a chat in the oval office. Read more about her visit and Obama's praise for the budding democracy and development in Liberia in this article.

Peace Weekend Readers,
Jessica (and Kyle)

Friday, May 28, 2010

#14: Let's PLAY BALLLLL!


#14: The Tourists

Round about the latter part of March when the weather is starting to make an upturn Kyle and I usually look at each other and ask one question,

"When is The Tourists' first game?"

The Tourists are Asheville's minor league baseball team. Yes, we know, not exactly the most intimidating team name that you've ever heard, but if you've ever seen the way that real tourists drive around AVL then you would understand. DANGEROUS! We have spent quite a few nights over the recent years in the sta
nds at McCormick field and are proud to call ourselves Tourist fans...I think...

The Tourists have a long history in AVL and their games are kind of a staple of summer time in the downtown area. You know Babe Ruth? Yeah, he played at McCormick field...and evidently said something really nice about our mountains and now that is plastered on everything in the stadium.

Kyle and I have made a lot of memories at Tourist game
s. One time we almost got hit by a renegade foul ball. Thirsty Thursday always provides some good people watching. The foot race from 1st to 3rd base between four semi-intoxicated guys in ridiculous outfits was an event to remember. When my grandmother visited we took her to a game and she hooted and hollered until we had to take her home. A fun time was had by all! Teddy Tourist (A giant teddy bear...I know once again super intimidating mascot) gave me a dozen roses the day I graduated college. Awwwwwww...now you are really intimidated. Lots of memories....
Grandma and Jessica the night she (grandma) got thrown out for berating the team...Note: Do not take grandma to any sporting event with you. She will embarrass you as an adult as much as she embarrassed you as a kid at your t-ball games, trust me.

Then there is this guy...Joe Mikulik, the team's manager ...We were there the night that they honored Joe (which despite his outburst a few years ago is a really great manager) for 10 years with the Tourists. We choked back emotions at the photo montage with Miley Cyrus singing It's the Climb in the background, sniff, sniff, phfffft. You may know the name. He was featured on ESPN one day a few years ago because of this:



All that to say...Thank you to the The Tourists for many lazy spring/summer/early fall evenings spent enjoying one of the greatest games ever invented.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Announcement! EVERYTHING MUST GO!

AVL TO AFRICA YARDSALE
Help send us to Liberia by buying all of our stuff!

Saturday, June 5th- 7:00am until we run out of steam
Sunday, June 6th-12:00 noon until 3:00

Furniture,books,cds,clothing,home decor,etc...

GOOD STUFF, GOOD PRICE, GOOD CAUSE!

If you have any items you would like to donate to our yardsale please contact us by Wednesday, June 2nd! Also, if you want to help with the yardsale let us know! We will put you to work!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

"To Do" Tuesday: WATSAN decoded (postponed)

Remember that time we were going to have "TO DO" Tuesday and then it was Monday night and Jessica realized that there was no way that Kyle was going to sit down and write on the blog? Yeah, I remember that time...


He will get to it. He always does...

"TO DO" Tuesday is meant to let you in on the details of the work that we will be doing in Liberia. It is your opportunity to see first hand how the Lord is at work in our own lives and the lives of others through the work of our hands. This week since our WATSAN tutorial has to be postponed I thought it appropriate to let everyone in on our ever growing "TO DO" list here in Asheville.

This past week was a whirlwind of speaking opportunities, work, a sleepover, meetings, celebrations, and more! This next weekend will be much needed time with family.

Then the real work begins...

June 5th we will be having a yardsale...scratch that...a life sale...

We have to sort through all of our worldly possessions and see what we might be able to glean a few dollars from. We will be up at the crack of dawn for yardsaling duties on June 5th. Let us know if you are up for helping! If you have any items you would like to donate to the yardsale shoot us an email or a phone call!

We will be moving out of our apartment at the end of June. Which means that everything has to either be sold, stored, or burned by the end of the month. Right now I am leaning towards burning because it seems simpler...Our "TO DO" list is inevitably going to get larger before it begins to shrink.

The time is drawing near for us to begin the process of packing for Liberia. It is hard to think through everything that you need to bring, send ahead (or behind), or buy over the course of a year, not to mention a year in a third world country!

Recent additions to our packing list:
Oil or gas camping stove
pressure cooker
clothes pins
good, sharp knife
linen pants

A little glimpse into the Hoover's pre-Liberia life!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Blessings and Answers

Prayer Request Answered: LOST season finale means that we will not spend an entire year in Africa worrying about Jack, Kate, Sawyer and John Locke.

A huge "Thank you" to the Growth Groups at Trinity for so warmly welcoming us this past week!
We have had 3 potlucks in 5 days and have been able to really save on our grocery bill! Truly it has been a blessing to share more about our calling with the body of Trinity. God placed us at Trinity over 3 years ago and we are so blessed to have everyone within that body make this journey to Liberia with us! Sorry we don't have any pictures from this past week's speaking tour! It is hard to take pictures and talk about Liberia!

In other news...

On top of our Growth Group speaking tour we were able to meet Steve and Sandy Skinner, a couple that is involved with an ongoing work in Liberia, West Africa Crossroads. We are excited to possibly partner with them during our time in Liberia. It was a great blessing to hear about their experiences in Liberia and glean tips and encouragement as we prepare for the big move. Big thanks to the Skinners for their prayers and encouragement!

We also received some very good news on Friday! As it stands now we will be stationed in Saclepea, a small village that Equip Liberia has an office and compound in. The fact that Equip Liberia already has living quarters in Saclepea means that we will not have to pay for our housing which allows us to reduce our budget for our monthly needs!

God is proving Himself immensely faithful. We still have a long way to go to complete our support raising. The rubber is meeting the road and we are trusting that God is standing at the end of that road orchestrating every part of the journey! We will be sharing more details over the next couple of weeks as we draw closer to the end of our time in Asheville. Things are really starting to get exciting...details, details, details!

This week we will welcome my brother and his family (Jessica speaking here!) for the weekend and to celebrate my Birthday! Good times!

Friday, May 21, 2010

#15: Homage for the Hoagie

#15 - Homage to the Hoagie!

(Kyle) Asheville is a place known for its grand mountain vistas, panhandling weirdos, and feminine friendly shopping. Lets be honest fellas - there aren't many things downtown that hint at or scream manliness especially in the area of food (note: I do appreciate the occasional Asian fusion).

Well, for #15 this week I happily nominate Two Guys Hoagies. Yes - it is run by Ashevillians. Yes - they do have earthy fare on the menu (AKA "wraps"), but they have a mean steak and cheese and homemade meatball hoagie, proudly serve RC and Cheerwine products on tap and in the glass bottle, and offer a free sub card (remember Subway?) which is sometimes even double stamped because of a well timed compliment on their new goddess tattoo. For these reasons it has been a lunch time haven for all sorts from firemen and police officers, businessmen and engineers, as well as the occasional tourist who is either lost on their way back to I-40 from the Grove Park Inn or were told of the local goodness that lies inside of the inviting restored gas station along Charlotte Street.

Thanks Two Guys for the many "up the street" lunches that got me out of the office and reminded me that there IS life outside of the 2nd floor.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Waines on Wordless Wednesday (say that 5x fast)


Photo courtesy of Equip Liberia
Introducing the Waines family! Seems a bit weird to introduce them to you considering we have never actually met them ourselves. At any rate here they are! The Waines are the missionaries that founded Equip Liberia and continue to work to share the Gospel in both word and deed with the Liberian people. Take a moment right now to thank the Lord for their work and to pray for God's sustaining hand and provision for their family. Read more about them on their section of the Equip Liberia website.

They look like fun folks, don't ya think?

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

"To Do" Tuesday

Announcing "TO DO" Tuesday...

We spend a lot of time talking about what we are going "to do" in Liberia. "TO DO" Tuesdays will be a day that we set aside on our blog to share the details of the work in Liberia that we are so excited about! After we make it to the field we will try to use "TO DO" Tuesdays to show you the reality of the work that we are involved with in country. How does that sound?

Ok, it's settled.

From henceforth I declare Tuesdays at The Hoovers: Liberia Bound
"TO DO" Tuesdays

Coming up next Tuesday: WATSAN decoded

Monday, May 17, 2010

Promises kept in the "in-between"

My friend the gypsy mama, a blog pal of mine (Jessica here), called us the "in-between people" in a post the other day. By "us" I mean herself and really all Christians. Seems like we are always waiting for the next chapter...the next part of this journey. It can be a long road home sometimes...

Whether we are anticipating Monday morning or anticipating September 1st. We are always in between something. As I read her post I couldn't help but feel a deep sense of agreement and connection to her perspective. Kyle and I are at the center of an in-between right now.

Excitement, eagerness, hopefulness, restlessness, fear, discontent, homesickness, anticipation...these things are a constant struggle for the "in-betweeners." You don't have to be going to Liberia to know what I am talking about. Maybe it is the loss of a job...maybe it is the completion of college...maybe you are just road weary...YOU ARE NOT ALONE.

I responded to the gypsy mama's post by saying, "We are the "in-between people" and God is our big solid bookends...yeah, big solid bookends." Our Alpha and Omega God hedges us in at every turn. Providing food for the hungry sojourner and cool water to quench the aching heart. Our story may ebb and flow at lightning speed or a snails pace. It may be all up hill or as curvy as a mountain pass.

The Alpha and Omega promises stand:

I will never leave you or forsake you..
I am the way, the truth and the life...
I will bring my good work to completion in your life...
I lead you beside the still waters...
I restore your soul...
I know the plans that I have for you...

The truth is that the only way to fight this "in-betweener" syndrome is to continue moving in the direction of God and clinging, sometimes with battered hands, to his promises. He is leading...meeting us at every step...As Lisa-Jo (the gypsy mama) put it,
Maybe you dread the in between. Be encouraged friend – because when Christ moves in, we can comfortably make our home in the in between..."

Kyle and I are uncomfortable yet somehow strangely comfortable with where we are. We are trusting that God sees us in our tiny corner of the world. We fight to trust that He will provide day by day by day...He is faithful, He will surely do it. (I Thessalonians 5:24)

Please check out Lisa-Jo's full post at (in)courage
Also, Lisa-Jo mentions Linda at Grandma's Letters from Africa I've been blessed to cross paths with Linda and I think you will be blessed by her words too. So scrap whatever else you have to do today and read their blogs!

In other news:

This week should prove to be filled with potlucks and pandemonium as we are scheduled to speak to 3 1/2 groups! Plus I am helping with a slumber party on Friday night...yowzers! Pray...HARD! Updates to come! Maybe even with pictures!

Peace folks,
Kyle and Jessica

Friday, May 14, 2010

#16 Get ready for the goodness!


#16: Tupelo Honey Cafe

Thought grilled cheese and tomato soup was something you left in your childhood? Think again.

Tupelo Honey Cafe (THC) is an Asheville institution. Down home Southern cooking meets culinary heaven...the result is a meal that anyone (and I do mean anyone...I dare you Osama Bin Laden to not like THC) could enjoy. Most of the ingredients at THC are locally grown. Hooray for our local farmers!

Blackberry jam slathered across cat head biscuits...and that is just to start. THC has something for everyone. From fried green tomatoes to fried chicken. Oh, and let's not forget the Brown Butter Pecan Pie. Someone get me a napkin...I'm droolin' all over myself (TMI).

Charming, that is what THC is and awfully good to boot. THC just expanded to two locations. The downtown staple cafe as well as a new restaurant on the south end of town! 2x the goodness! Oh, my!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Wordless Wednesday will be preempted this week by a video...with words...
You can locate this video and more on the web under the multimedia section of Equip Liberia's website. Enjoy seeing and hearing about the work of Equip Liberia up close!
video
Video courtesy of Equip Liberia

Monday, May 10, 2010

Manic Monday...bye,bye weekend

We hope that every one had a chance to check out our new Just Love Coffee storefront. I realize that it might not have been at the top of your "to do" list this past weekend. Take a moment now and skip on over to www.justlovecoffee.com/thehooversinternational and purchase some delicious fair trade coffee. $5 from each purchase comes directly to us and our work in Liberia!

Most of you have received our most recent support letter. If you haven't been receiving our letters and would like to please contact us. Our next letter will come out in July! It will be our last letter before heading to Liberia so you won't want to miss it!

We spent this last weekend just being lazy around the house. With all of our recent travel it was a welcome release! Kyle fiddled with a science project (a resistivity meter) and I went to the local tailgate markets and returned home with a bucket of strawberries that I made into jam. Want a jar? Just let me know! Oh, and Happy day after Mother's Day!

Here are a few pictures for your enjoyment!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Coffee Talk with Linda Richman

Remember that SNL skit? Well this post has nothing to do with SNL or Linda Richman but it does concern coffee. As everyone knows Kyle and I are deep within the muck and mire of support raising. God is showing Himself more than faithful during this time. We have been encouraged by the Body of Christ and we are trusting that the Lord is going to provide everything we need to get to Liberia in September. With that said let it be known that we are not above getting creative with our support raising!

We have more than a few friends that are in the adoption process. Adoption (especially overseas adoption) can be outrageously expensive in a similar fashion to missionary work. Many of these adoptive families have utilized a great fundraising tool. Just Love Coffee roasters is a fair trade coffee roasting company and fundraising organization for adoptive families, missionaries and other philanthropic causes. Kyle and I have set up our own store front where you, yes YOU, can purchase coffee, t-shirts, and other accessories. A portion of each purchase will come directly to us each month! What do you think? Is that cool or what?

Buy coffee in America. Share the Gospel in Liberia...yes, please.

Friday, May 7, 2010

#17 again...ok, for the first time...

#17: Blue Ridge Parkway


How many of you can claim the Blue Ridge Parkway as the way that you get from one end of town to the other? We've been privileged to enjoy America's most scenic highway on nearly a daily basis during our time in Asheville. Ever since I was a little girl I have loved the parkway. I recall family trips to the mountains and the terrifying feeling that we might drive off the road and into the clouds at certain points along the parkway. Here in Asheville you can go from the east part of town to the south of the city in mere minutes via the parkway. Head north and climb up to Mt. Mitchell in less than an hour. Great for getting around the city quickly and enjoying a lazy day driving and hiking in God's creation. Are you looking for a laid back vacation? Hop on the parkway in the Shenandoah valley or around Cherokee, NC and drive the full 469 miles of beauty at your leisure...sigh...

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Wordless Wednesday


Nigerian Dwarf Goats, also known as West African Dwarf goats. This one is smiling, makes my heart go thump, thump...

In case you were wondering I (Jessica) am really hoping for a goat or two in Liberia...not sure if that is even feasible but I would love it! Anyone wanna teach us about animal husbandry in the meantime?

Monday, May 3, 2010

Weekend Adventure!

The Hoovers have had a whirlwind of a weekend! This past weekend we had the incredible opportunity to share our hearts with the congregation at Conrad Memorial Baptist Church. Conrad is the church that Kyle grew up at in High Point, NC. so we were particularly excited to share the work ahead with these folks. A bonus to this opportunity is that it allowed us to spend time with family (Kyle's parents and grandparents still live in the area) and spread the word about our work in Liberia. After our time at Conrad and a delicious lunch at Nana and Papa's house (Thanks Mom Hoover and Gigi!) we hopped in the Corolla and sped back up the mountain to Marion. Kyle taught the intro to Equip's well drilling class for the spring session and then we motored on up the mountain home. Whew! We need a nap!

*WARNING* I will now take a moment to brag about my wonderful husband!

It is so great to see Kyle sharing his heart with folks about the ministry of mercy to the nations and the journey set before us. It is even more wonderful to see him use his technical knowledge to train folks for the mission field. God has given him such a gift when it comes to teaching! He really knows how to take technical issues and translate it into real world practice. So there you go...He is awesome...now all of you ladies are jealous!

We will share more in the coming days about our weekend journey and I did manage to take a couple of shots of Kyle in action teaching the Equip class so I will post that later too. Thank you to everyone at Conrad that so willingly listened,asked questions about the work ahead, and gave so generously. It is with your prayers, support and love that we can go confidently in the direction that the Lord has called us!

Peace Framily (friends and family),
The Hoovers
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