Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

This is Equip Canada's training center/retreat lodge. This is where we will be for three weeks starting July 8th- suffering for the Lord (minus the snow).

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

"TO DO" Tuesday

So on today's episode of "TO DO" Tuesday we are going to rest. What?Why? Because we are tired!

We've been going, going, going and it is time to take a short break! Over and over again Scripture reminds us that we need to take the time to rest, but not just any rest. We have to take time to rest and to refocus our hearts and minds on Christ, the author and finisher of our faith.

God promises to give rest to the weary. Here's to taking Him at His Word!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Monday Update

Things really began to move forward in big ways this past weekend! Saturday was CAHRAZYYYY! Here is the way the day went!

-Up with the birds to pick up our moving van.

-Packed everything we own into the van in an hour or less.

-A drive down the mountain-UHAUL with Kyle and Norb's cat, Corolla close behind.

-Arrive at Ma and Pa Hoovers to find a wooden rolling cart awaiting all our belongings-
Thanks Dad!

-Unload Norb's cat to end the constant meows that Kyle endured from Asheville to Archdale.

-Unload all non-meowing items from truck

-Escape inside from the heat and grab toothpicks to prop open our eyelids b/c naps were needed!

-Trip down the road into High Point to return the truck. Lots of odd peeps at the gas we really need to discuss the NC sin tax one more time? We know you don't like it. Buy your carton b/c it's not going to stop you!

-Quick dinner with the parents at the seafood house.

-Back in the Corolla for the trip back up the mountain! Minus a screaming feline...sniff...sniff...tear.

Wow! It was a hot, busy day, but it is DONE, D-U-N-N, DONE!

Sunday was much more relaxing! We went to church and were blessed by the prayers of our Asheville family. They commissioned us along with another family, the Kendalls, who will be going to serve at the Rift Valley Academy in the Rift Valley of Kenya. We came to Trinity four years ago after many long Sundays of unfruitful searching for a Church. We were discouraged and longing to be fed from God's Word and be part of a growing Body of believers. God richly blessed us with the Body at Trinity. Through God's sovereignty and Trinity we have had rich opportunities (including through a series of providential events finding the ministry of Equip!) and relationships. It is bittersweet to be leaving AVL, especially all of our dear family at Trinity.

Today we are cleaning our apartment from head to toe. No crack will be left untouched! No cobweb will be left unswept! Tonight we will begin invading the Wood household for a week and a half! A big thanks to John and Deb for their kindness in extending their BEEYOUTEEFULL home to us! God is so good!

Here is the itinerary for the next week and a half!
6/28-Clean apartment and move in with the Woods
6/30-Officially our lease is up!
7/2-7/5- SWO Visit!
7/7-Kyle's last day of work at Brooks Engineering Associates
7/8-Hop a plane in the PM for Vancouver, British Columbia.

These are the days that we need all of your prayers to propel us forward. The enemy would like us to grow fearful during these days. Fearful that we are doing the wrong thing. Fearful that our funding won't be there in September. Fearful that the bottom will fall out of this whole scheme, but that's just it. God is doing the work, not us, and we can trust in a God that has gotten us this far and is not in the business of abandonment. Thanks for reading this little blog. It means the world.

July 8th and beyond!
July 8th-Leave for Equip Canada Training
July 31st-Return from Canada to NC
August-Hoover Beach Trip, hanging with family! COMPLETE SUPPORT RAISING!
September- Leave for Liberia!

Friday, June 25, 2010

#10: Now the real countdown begins...

Ummmmmm, have you noticed most of our Top 25 revolves around food? Cuz it does...and I'm fine with that! So here goes, the Top 10 in no particular order...Doesn't the countdown for the space shuttle start at 10? Yeah, this is kind of similar. T-minus 10 weeks till Liberia...

#10: Early Girl Eatery

I (Jessica) am spotlighting the Early Girl Eatery because it is a place that I love, but only get to go on special occasions, i.e; when other girls come for a visit. Now this isn't because the Early Girl is a gals only sort of place, but it is because Kyle isn't fan.

Too many vegetables, too little red meat, too much goat cheese...

Honestly I am the only one forcing the Early Girl on the list because I am convinced it could close down forever and Kyle wouldn't even notice. However, I feel differently and jump at every chance I get to grab breakfast with a friend or a relaxed dinner with visiting folks at the Early Girl.

Farm fresh food, kid friendly atmosphere, Southern inspired dishes, fresh flowers on the table, all right in the heart of downtown AVL. Yep, my kind of place. I heart the Early Girl Eatery for breakfast, lunch or dinner...signing off for this week...more Jessica than Kyle at #10, but still worth every delicious bite!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Liberians Heart America

This picture was first published in Time magazine. This picture is for those of you wondering about the attitude of Liberia towards America. Liberians think of America as their Big Brother. Pray that this attitude continues and that because of that relationship doors and hearts will be open to the Gospel and discipleship.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

"TO DO" Tuesday: Access to Justice

Today is a particularly serious "TO DO" Tuesday. Be warned, this is not light reading, but it is important to know the seriousness of the scars that Liberian women wear as a result of the war and its after affects. Equip Liberia is doing much to heal those wounds and provide hope in Christ and justice in this present world. I (Jessica) may end up working with their Access to Justice program and feel very strongly that God's heart is for justice and healing.

GBV-Does anyone know what that stands for? Since I am doubtful that any other folks reading this blog were Women's Studies majors I will do some decoding.

GBV: Gender Based Violence

This terminology is used to encompass all of the types of violent oppression that can happen to a person based merely on their biological sex. Sexual abuse and rape against women are the primary forms of GBV. Rape is a weapon of war and has been used in many war torn countries to oppress the population. Rape in some cultures can be a violation not only of one's person, but also a cultural taboo that can make a woman unmarriageable or ostracized from her husband and community.

Equip Liberia is working to bring justice to victims of GBV through their Access to Justice program. Here is a World Vision report about the unique program that Equip Liberia has underway:

(Click on the picture to hear the report on Equip Liberia's Access to Justice program)

For those of you who don't click over to listen to the World Vision report let me fill you in.

Equip Liberia's fleet of vehicles transport victims of GBV to court dates so that they can testify against their attacker(s). Let me put it this way, without transportation there are no witnesses, without witnesses there are no convictions. The Access to Justice program (also known as Wheels of Justice) provides this service to victims to allow them to testify against their attacker(s) in court which ultimately leads to convictions and jail time. Equip Liberia also provides counseling and other needed medical services to GBV victims.

It would be wonderful to think that this was an unneeded service, but in a country that has lost so much it unfortunately is a very real need. Please pray for all the workers with Equip Liberia's Access to Justice program. Not only is this program changing lives, but it is changing cultural attitudes towards GBV. Pray for God's healing and justice to reign in Liberia.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Monday Update

My (Jessica) apologies to all of you that get up at 6:00 am to read this blog sometimes it doesn't happen on Sunday evening. God granted us some rest and relaxation this past weekend and we took full advantage of it! That is why I am sliding in here blurry eyed and rested around 10:00 am to do the update.

I thought it would be nice to let you folks see the state of unrest that is our apartment. Saturday is our "moving" day so we are packing the last few boxes and organizing our new life on the road this week. These next few months we will be transient, drifting from house to house to visit friends and family.

These tubs represent 75% of our belongings...can you believe that is all our stuff? It seems fitting that the Norb's cat is in the picture. He makes his debut as Mimi and Poppi's new cat this weekend! sniff, sniff...that may be the hardest part of moving for us.

The dulcimer in this picture just got sold so that is one less thing to pack up! This is our living room and everything you see fits into one of four categories:
1)pack up

This is our dresser!

All that to say "Pray for us!" during our time of transition. No really big news to share this week just moving boxes and empty cabinets. These are the real days of faith. The days when we don't see the numbers in the bank yet but we hear God calling us forward. Pray that we would move forward with certain faith in a God who has called us and will surely do it.

June 26th-Move our stuff into storage at Ma and Pa Hoover's
June 27th-Commissioning Service at Trinity PCA
July 1st- Latest addition of our newsletter goes out!
July 2nd-Speak to the youth at Trinity about the work ahead in Liberia
July 4th- Happy Birthday America! (Celebrating at SWO!)
July 8th-Leave for Equip Canada Training
July 31st-Return from Canada to NC
August-Hoover Beach Trip, hanging with family! COMPLETE SUPPORT RAISING!
September- Leave for Liberia!

#11: Dinner and a Movie

#11: Asheville Pizza and Brewing Company

"What's with that spaceship on Merrimon Ave?"

"That's not a's even more awesome."

One of the first AVL delights that we experienced upon moving to Asheville was Asheville Pizza and Brewing Company. Asheville Pizza to all the Baptists. That was a joke...ok, A JOKE!

So you're thinking how is it so great? I mean it's just pizza...Let me enlighten you! APBC has pizza, hippies, a $3 movie theater (yes, you can eat while watching!), an arcade, a large screen playing cartoons in the arcade, confusing bathroom doors, classy decor (a muraled painting of dogs playing poker...does it get any classier?), a table with nothing but James Bond movie pictures, a mural of Star Wars characters, need we say more?

Located on Merrimon Ave. right off of UNCA's (Jessica's alma mater) campus. UNCA students (and all cool people) call it "The Brew and View" It's a fun little dive to shake of the day's grit and grab a bite to eat. The laid back atmosphere lends itself to hangin' out and is super kid friendly. They even have a balloon animal artist on Tuesday nights for the kiddos or Kyle....yeah, it's supposed to be for the kiddos.

So I raise my glass (of sweet tea, for all you Baptists, smile/wink/nudge) to the Merrimon Ave. spaceship. Thanks APBC for many good meals and hours of fun!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Don't you just love coffee?

Don't you? Well if you do this blog post is for you!

FYI we still have coffee for sale at our Just Love Coffee Storefront. The coffees are fresh roasted and delicious plus $5 from each purchase at our storefront comes directly to us and the work in Liberia! We still have a ways to go to be ready to leave in September! Won't you join the journey and grab a bag of coffee? What is the downside? I'm pretty sure there isn't one...yep, not one that I can think of!

So skip on over to and pick up a lb. of Sumatran. Yeah, we've got that!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: You're Gonna Wanna Watch This

Once again this week...not wordless...just speechless.

This is why we are going to Liberia, not just to nice things for hurting people, but rather to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ in WORD and DEED with those whose spiritual need is greater than their physical need. Might we see ourselves as no different.

"Church we are Plan A and there is no Plan B."- David Platt

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

"TO DO" Tuesdays: Birth Doulaing

Some of you know that I (Jessica) am a birth doula. Some of you know that I am birth doula but are utterly confused as to what that means. Allow me to shed a little light on the subject!

I first became interested in becoming a birth doula while volunteering at Asheville Pregnancy Support Services (APSS). I knew that Kyle and I would eventually be heading to the mission field and I really wanted some type of tangible skill to add to whatever ministry God might lead us too. Through the ministry at APSS God showed me that pregnancy opens up the door for very personal ministry. Being a birth doula gave me the practical skills I need to fully support expectant women!

A birth doula is a non-medical birth assistant that provides emotional, educational, physical and (in my case!) spiritual support to a pregnant woman and her partner.

That means that I am there for them prenatally, during the birth and through the postpartum period. I have had the blessing of being a part of some absolutely beautiful births!

Here is me after one of my client's births...long hours...but totally worth it!

Now, I don't know what capacity God is going to use my doula skills in Liberia but I am going prepared. Liberia has one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the world. There are several reasons for the alarmingly high rate of maternal mortality. The most common reasons are poor medical care and sanitation problems that lead to infection particularly after a prolonged labor. Equip Liberia is working closely with native midwives to improve this situation and encourage rural women to deliver in well equipped prenatal clinics.

Read more about the recent Mama Kit's project on Equip Liberia's website.

As I said earlier I don't know exactly what I will be doing in Liberia, but I am hoping to put my doula skills to good use! If you are interested in reading more about birth/postpartum doulas check out DONA International for evidence based information about the benefits of a trained birth companion!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Monday Update: Rollin' on...and on...and on...

Another Monday which means we are another week closer to leaving AVL. It is starting to become real..and overwhelming...but God keeps reminding us that He is in charge of this journey, not us!

We were able to shed a few more pounds of stuff this past weekend. Our second yard sale brought in another $300 once you count in the craiglist items. Thank the Lord for craigslist, really, once you get past the chance that you might attract some kind of creepy weirdo your stuff goes quick!

We still have a few items of interest:
1 antique trunk (circa: 1930)
2 real wood bookshelves (one about 5' and the other about 3' tall)
1 hammered dulcimer (includes hammers, stand, tuner and a couple of books)
1 T.V. (22" I think)
1 twin bed frame

Contact us if you are interested in taking any of these items off our hands. We'll even cut you a deal!

Some folks have asked us how it feels to be getting rid of all of our belongings.
God is reminding us during this season that material things can create a lot of bondage in our lives. They can hold us back from moving freely into all that He has for us. As we have gotten rid of stuff we have both felt a freedom to GO! We have realized that it is impossible to just get up and GO when you are held in one place by things.

This week is a big one. Kyle will complete a major project at work which will alleviate some of the stress that he has been feeling lately. I will complete my job that we do not speak of...HOORAY! At the end of the week we will be speaking at the closing banquet for Trinity's Arts & Sport's Camp! Please keep us lifted up to our Heavenly Father. It is in these details that we can become impatient and lost our cool with one another! Kyle and I have to remind each other that we are working towards the same purpose. We are on the same team! You're on that team with us too so we will keep you lifted up if you will do the same for us!

Also, a big barrel of love to my wonderful Grandmother whose Birthday is on Tuesday!

Happy Birthday Grandma!
I'm not sure why I just wished her a Happy Birthday on our blog. She doesn't have a computer...yet...we're working on that though. We can't have Grandma going a year without seeing us!

Keep following our journey. It's about to get interesting!

June 26th-Move our stuff into storage at Ma and Pa Hoover's
June 27th-Commissioning Service at Trinity PCA
July 2nd-Speak to the youth at Trinity about the work ahead in Liberia
July 4th- Happy Birthday America! (Maybe celebrating at SWO!)
July 8th-Leave for Equip Canada Training
July 31st-Return from Canada to NC
August-Hoover Beach Trip, hanging with family! COMPLETE SUPPORT RAISING!
September- Leave for Liberia!

Friday, June 11, 2010

#12: Frugally Your's

#12: Frugal Backpacker-Gearheads around the world rejoice!
(For all of you who are wondering this is the part of the week that we countdown our favorite things about AVL and WNC! Enjoy the ride!)

Have you ever been to an outdoor store and thought, "Gee whiz, I wish there was an outlet store for this stuff!" Let's be honest what person with a penchant for all things Mountain Hardwear and Patagonia hasn't swooned over a good deal or wished that the good deals were more abundant. If only we could be satiated with the knockoff versions at Dick's Sporting Goods...but those of you reading this post and nodding know that we cannot.

Asheville's own Diamond Brand Outdoors (worthy of their own spot on the countdown for sure) has figured this all out. They opened up a store to send all their overstocks and discontinued styles. The Frugal Backpacker is just the remedy for the gearhead's need to accumulate all things earth tone and functional. Shoes, backpacks and tents, OH MY! All at discounted prices.

Never pay full price for Chacos least not between November and March when all the retired styles get sent over and reduced by at least 50%. Yes, I did just say that. No, I'm not lying. Don't tear up when you look down at your Chaco tan and realize that you paid $98 for that zigzag...$49 more than you would have paid at the Frugal Backpacker!

We will be leaving AVL soon...sooner than we even realize I am afraid. However, I am quite certain that we will be squeezing in a trip to the Frugal Backpacker before we leave...the deals are just so good!

Peace Friends!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Sliding Liberia

I was looking for a good Wordless Wednesday picture to post when I came across something that made me speechless. I figured being speechless was the next best thing to a true Wordless Wednesday picture. Enjoy this video it is from a larger 2008 documentary called Sliding Liberia. It follows 4 young surfers during their time enjoying the waves that lap up on Liberia's shore while coming face to face with the resilient Liberian people in their war torn country.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

"TO DO" Tuesday: Our Growing "TO DO" List

There is much "TO DO" in the Hoover's little world right now! It is hard for us to wrap our minds around our future "TO DO" list in Liberia when we are scrambling to complete an ever growing "TO DO" list in Asheville and the United States!

Short term "TO DO":

~write "Thank you" notes to those who have joined our support team recently
~hold second (and much smaller!) yard sale on Saturday, June 12th.
~laundry-yes, this must be done in the midst of everything else.
~packing and organizing lots of Rubbermaid tubs full of our belongings.
~make a path from our front door to our bedroom that we can walk through without tripping and falling to our death.
~continue sorting through all our worldly goods!

Tentative "TO DO" for the next month:

~complete final two weeks of work (for Jessica) and a final month and a couple huge projects at work (for Kyle).
~move all of our items into storage at Ma and Pa Hoovers by the last weekend of the month.
~drop the Norb's cat off at Ma and Pa Hoovers...sad day...1/3 of our family he is.
~move in with a couple of friends here in Asheville for the last few days of June and the first few days of July.
~ celebrate our country's birth somewhere between Andrews, NC and Raleigh, NC. I'm lobbying for Dollywood Splash Country.
~July 8th: Leave for Equip Canada to take Community Health Evangelism and Missionary Medicine Intensive classes. We know, suffering for the Lord on Vancouver Island. We will be sure to post pictures so you can see the difficult conditions and harsh climate...wait that's not Canada...that's Liberia. Yes, we will soak up the mild climate and scenic beauty!

Long Term "TO DO"

~Hang around Canada until July 31st.
~Meet the Waines family while they are home for their daughters wedding in Victoria.
~Return back to North Carolina in August for a month with family and friends.
~Finish raising our support so that we can leave ASAP!
~August 8-14 we will be hitting the beach Hoover style for some fun in the sun. You should be very afraid...
~ Rest of the month in the greater Central North Carolina region!
~ By God's grace leaving for Liberia around the second week of September!
~ Liberia bound for at least one year!

Please pray for God's sustaining power and strength for our hearts, minds and bodies. If you have thought about supporting us but haven't acted yet I encourage you to do so. We will most certainly be blessed and I think you will too! Donate securely online at Equip International's website or make checks payable to Equip International with Kyle and Jessica Hoover-Support in the memo line and send to:

Equip USA
P.O. Box 1126
Marion, NC, USA

If you have any questions you can reach Equip by calling (828) 738-3891

If you would like to contribute on a monthly basis include a note and Equip International will send you envelopes to make donating easy peasy! We are closer to our goal than we have ever been, but we still have quite a ways to go. Wouldn't it be wonderful if God used you to change lives in Liberia, West Africa? We sure think so!

Peace folks,
Kyle and Jessica Hoover

Monday, June 7, 2010

Short Update and God of the Gaps

First, let us thank everyone from Trinity that came out for our yard sale! We were super successful! Thanks to the Riddles and the Zetterholms for their donations! An especially big thanks to the Riddles for dragging themselves out of bed to help us lug everything out into the yard! The money that we raised will help pay for our upcoming trip to Canada for training. Never underestimate the buying power of a van full of Moldovan college students. I (Jessica) haggled with an elderly neighbor to get $3 for a bundt pan. I am trying to hone my bargaining skills for the mission field. I probably should feel bad about haggling over a $1 with an elderly lady. Oh well, $600 for a good cause. I will post more on the yard sale tomorrow. I've even got pictures. We will be having another small sale next weekend to get rid of the remaining items.

Today I want to share a post from my own blog. I have altered it for this blog, but the content is largely the same. I hope wherever you are in your relationship with the Lord that you will be encouraged.

My God fills in the gaps...

There are days when I can literally feel my weaknesses dripping off of me. Yet I have come to see that these weaknesses don't amount to a hill of beans in God's eyes. Don't underestimate what God will call the ill-equipped to do. My mind's eye sees Moses, bedraggled wilderness dweller, encountering a bush aflame with the Glory of the "I AM". Eyes shaded from the intensity of the fire which is a holy God. Words stuttering up his throat and out his lips.

Not me. I'm not ready. I won't ever be ready.

The flaming bush saw it differently. Across the distance Aaron comes walking. A glad heart to greet his brother and an eloquent speaker by any standards. Aaron would be Moses mouthpiece. Moses would be God's tool to free His people. When God calls you can't bow out. It just doesn't work that way. He will capture your heart and attention one way or the other.

God sees the gaps in our ability. Our ability to heal relationships with family members. Our ability to raise the funds needed to spread the Gospel to the ends of the earth. Our failures in our marriages. Our scattered parenting methods. Our ability to live lives of Godliness in this present world. He will not call us to anything that he will not equip us for mind, body and spirit.

Not me. I'm not ready. I won't ever be ready.

God sees me. God sees you. He sees my weaknesses. He sees your weaknesses. He is filling in all our gaps moment by moment.

Kyle and Jessica Hoover

Friday, June 4, 2010

Lucky #13

#13: Mt. Mitchell

The Blue Ridge Parkway is in full bloom. You hop on somewhere between Brevard Rd. and Town Mountain Rd. and drive north. Then suddenly you are on top of the world...or at least at the top of the Eastern seaboard's world.

The great thing about living in Asheville is that you are incredibly close to this peak making day trips and picnics an easy activity. No wonder that on my (Jessica) Birthday this year I chose to take the family up to Mt. Mitchell for a educational tour and picnic. The weather went from sunny, to foggy, to rainy and then back to sunny on the descent down from the mountain. I know, I know, it's not a 14er or a Himalayan peak but it is a special mountain with a unique climate and history. It is another world that stands out among the regions ranges and is worth the hike, drive, cross country skiing, snow shoeing, running, snow plowing up to the summit.

Here are a couple of pictures from the Birthday adventure 6,684 ft. above sea-level!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Nimba County

Photo found on Wikimedia Commons
Liberia is broken up into counties similar to our states. The blue highlighted region is Nimba County. The majority of Equip Liberia's work is focused in this interior region that border's Guinea. We will be stationed in one of two villages in Nimba County.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

"TO DO" Tuesday: WATSAN Decoded

We told you that the WATSAN "TO DO" Tuesday was being postponed...well wait no longer!

Better late than never....

WATSAN - no it's not some sort of kung fu or obscure 90's rap group. Perhaps a little arithmetic would be handy:

WATer + SANitation = WATSAN

WATSAN is an abbreviation that describes water and sanitation work that is conducted in community development programs in developing countries.

Why put the two together? Because you cannot see real change in the physical well being of a group of people who are struggling with water related health issues until both clean water and proper sanitation are addressed.

Photo courtesy of Equip Liberia.

Typically WATSAN projects include providing a sustainable source of clean water (such as a well) and properly located and constructed sanitation facilities (latrines and hand washing stations). Community health education precedes and follows WATSAN projects to educate and train people to connect the importance of keeping clean things separate from well....not clean things. There you have it WATSAN decoded!
Related Posts with Thumbnails