Saturday, October 30, 2010

Leavin'...On a Jet Plane!

We're leavin' on a jet plane! Today is the day! All the packing, praying, planning comes to fruition. We step out into the unknown. We don't know what the next week looks like. Actually we're not even sure about the next 36 hrs. We will update you as soon as we can. If you're lucky you might even get travel updates! Oh, airport WIFI!

Can we ask for one more thing? Again? Pray?! Please pray for our hearts, minds and bodies to be sustained through this time of traveling and the days ahead!

We're doing it! Finally! Next week the blog will be coming from Liberia! WAHOO!

Friday, October 29, 2010

The Journey Thus Far

You would think that today's post would be a blur of what we are doing to get ready to leave tomorrow. Yes, we are busily tying up loose ends, but I (Jessica) wanted to steal away from the craziness for a moment. Today is our 5th wedding anniversary. It's unlike any other to date! I wanted to write a little post about my husband. No worries, I'm not the ooey gooey type, but I am the "love my husband like a crazy woman type".

Kyle's a geologist. I tease him about this- kind of a lot, but don't let my teasing fool you. I think he's awesome. We've been transient for about 3 months and it hasn't been easy. No home, no job, having to depend on others, but I have seen my husband rise to the challenge because he sees the bigger picture. He sees the work of his hands as a path way for the Gospel. He's determined to walk that path in faith.

When I agreed to marry him about 6 years ago (it's a long story- but a good one) I knew it would mean walking in the direction of the unknown. 5 years into it the unknown is about all that we have known for sure thus far. He's my rock (ironic considering the geologist thing!) and I've watched our marriage grow as he has stepped forward in faith. I know I am stepping into the unknown with a faithful God and the bonus of a husband whose eyes are fixed on Christ.

So tomorrow we leave for Liberia. This journey doesn't begin tomorrow. It began long ago with seeds that God has planted,watered and is only now bringing to fruition in our lives. I'm grateful for a God who gives good gifts. I am overwhelmed with love for a husband whose faith encourages my own to put aside fear and anxiety and take up the cross of Christ.

Pray for our marriage through this next year. Pray that we would love each other well. Kyle, by God's grace, has done a great job so far.

What a great love that has been given to all that would receive it in Christ Jesus!

It's All Grace,

"How deep the Father's Love for us, how vast beyond all measure. That He would give His only Son to make a wretch His treasure."

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Just Checking In

No wordless wednesday
Just checking in...

party- check
time with family- in process
packing- in process
car- sold, awaiting delivery
to do list- slowly but surely

The devil's in the details. Sometimes I think that this is a literal statement. We need your prayers to finish this leg of the race strong.

Monday, October 25, 2010


The countdown is on! We're counting the days and nearly the hours until we leave for Liberia! Please keep us lifted up to the Lord this week! We will be leaving on Saturday morning...

Pray for...
time with family
last minute details
dealing with anxiety
loving each other well
protection from the evil one
traveling safety

Like I said on Friday, don't count on a whole lot out of the blog this week. It's gonna be a crazy one!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Packing It All In: 7 Days and Counting!

So we're packing. Really this time. Really packing. Packing for a the third world. What do you take? What do you not take? HOW WILL IT ALL FIT?!

We're taking everything plus...

You read it right...the kitchen sink...
(yes, Jenn. I do wear that shirt all.the.time.)

Next week begins the real countdown. We are almost Liberia Bound for real! We fly out of Raleigh/Durham on Saturday the 30th. This next week will involve a lot of family time, more packing, last minute errands, and a lot of hugs and prayers. Blogging isn't our top priority in this next week, but we will try to keep you apprised on everything all the way up to the big leaving day!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Wordless Wednesday on a Thursday

This isn't even the half of it. Packing for a's harder than it looks.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Lots of Questions on a Tuesday

The last few weeks we've been answering all kinds of questions about Liberia and the work ahead. Today, well...I just can't do it. Why might you ask? Truth is I'm tired of answering questions when I have so many of my own. Kyle and I are ready to go, see, and do everything that we've been talking about for months on this blog. Don't get me wrong. I love blogging and sharing with all of our readers about what God is preparing us's just...well...we're ready to go. Won't you pray for us and with us for these answers to come!

We leave in 10 days and we need your prayers. We are going to a country that war has ravaged. We are going to live amidst people that look and act very different from us. The reality is that the answers may be hard to swallow. The answers may change us more than we are able to change anything that we see and experience. This isn't a request for pity. It is a call to get on your knees and plead for God to guide, teach and protect us as we go. Scratch that- you don't have to get on your knees. Sit right where you are in front of your blinking computer screen and lift our names up to the Heavenly Father.

We've got so many questions. Luckily we know the One with the answers.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Monday Update

Well, today Kyle is on to the last of the water technologies courses here at EQUIP U.S.A. The filters and the well drilling courses were a big success with many missionaries being trained to take technology that will improve people's lives drastically all over the world! The pumps course is already in progress!

The following video is of Kyle's well drilling team trying out there newly finished well. Well dug, pump installed, now let's take it for a spin! Watch this video and more on our new youtube channel!

Kyle trying out the new well! He thinks he looks like Patton with the boots rolled up and the hard hat...I think, well...nevermind what I think...

Here is a picture of Kyle's entire team + Kieth the head instructor (in the middle)!

It's been beautiful weather here in Marion,NC. Kyle has really made the most of it. 75% of class time is spent outdoors working! I (Jessica) on the other hand have been opening all the windows in the knock-off Airstream, staring dreamily out the window and tip-typing away on the laptop. I've had a lot of last minute projects to finish up before we leave for Liberia. I've emailed, blogged, added to my to-do list and written newsletters until I swear I have tiny bruises on my fingertips! Check your mailbox soon for our October newsletter!

We can hardly believe that we are less than two weeks away from leaving for Liberia! Then on the other hand we are so ready to go!

Weekly Prayer Need: Pray for our relationships with those we will be working with in Liberia. What I mean is pray for the other workers that we will be working alongside. Pray that our relationships would be God honoring and pray that we would be a gracious light of the Gospel to those we might work alongside of that don't yet know the saving power of Christ. Pray that we would find Christian community and that we would be intentional in living out the Gospel to anyone we have opportunity to minister too.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Friday Video! Please Watch!

A video on this Friday. Watch this video and 43 cents is automatically donated to the Liberian Widows Initiative! All for watching a wedding video of a precious couple!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Wordless Wednesday...afternoon

SWO folks note the t-shirt. Alaskan's note the Xtra Tuffs.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Question and Answer on a Tuesday

Quick question and answer:

When do you leave? October 30th, 2010

How long will you be there?
Our commitment is currently for a year, but we will have to see how God leads! Read this passage of Scripture if you have any other questions.

What will your living accommodations be like?
We don't have a lot of info on this subject. We will have a water pump by our living quarters. Rumor has it our water pump has hot water. That is almost unheard of! We will also have access to a gas stove. On the other hand we won't have a refrigerator. We will have electricity only when the generator is turned on which is just a couple of hours a day.

Are you going to continue blogging?
Yes, but the blog schedule may be a bit altered. Electricity will be in short supply so we will have to learn to work around it. No electricity means no internet.

What is the time difference?
Liberia is 4 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time.

Can we send packages?
Yes, but it is a bit complicated. If you are interested in doing this please contact us directly and we can get you the appropriate information to send us mail.

These are questions we get asked a ton. If there is any other burning questions shoot us an email or leave it in the comments.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Monday Update

Strange to be writing without Kyle near by! Yesterday Kyle headed back to Marion,NC (just down the mountain from AVL) for the well drilling class. Upon the encouragement of my (Jessica here!) friend Cecilia I am spending a couple more days in Asheville. This is the first time in over three months that Kyle and I have been apart for more than a couple of hours! No worries, I'll head back to Marion on Tuesday! A big thanks to the Goodrum family for their gracious hospitality.

FYI: We leave exactly 3 weeks from this past Saturday! Gulp.

Yeah, you read that right. Three weeks from this past Saturday we will be on a plane headed to Europe and then from there it will be on to Liberia! God has prepared us for this journey. We've seen God's hand from the beginning to the end (which is still yet to be seen) and every bump of the road in between.

Weekly Prayer Need: This might sound like a small request, but I promise it comes from a genuine heart and out of a place of real need. Please pray for our travels, but it's more than that, specifically pray that God would protect and keep me (Jessica) in the midst of anxiety. I HATE TO FLY! I do. Truly. It makes me anxious, nauseous and difficult to be around. Pray that Kyle will be able to love and comfort me through the 20+ hours of flying that we will endure to get to Liberia.

Friday, October 8, 2010

3 Months as Nomads

We're enjoying the Airstream knock-off tremendously. We feel so blessed by God's provision for us over the last 3 months. 3 months ago today, can you believe it? That is how long we have been without a residence of our own and traveling here and there like nomads. Not once have we had to wonder where we would lay our heads at night. Not once have we been without a meal. Every cent of the money we've needed to get by has been there when we needed it.

God is trustworthy. His Word is true. We've only touched the tip of the iceberg these last 3 months.

Psalm 37:25
I was young and now I am old,
yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken
or their children begging bread.

I hope this weekend finds you with your own stones of remembrance. Remembrance of all that God has done in your life and all that God is doing. Thanks for reading this blog. We can't wait to share with you more of God's faithfulness as this journey unfolds.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Believe it or not this is a water filtration system, a bio-sand filter to be exact. Imagine if our friends nose was running...that's where the water comes out! If you'd like to learn how to make this filtration system check out Equip International's website for details and a course schedule.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

How's the Weather?

It's fall...and we're loving it. We realize that the coolness in the air won't be felt for a long while. The heat and humidity of Liberia will be our every day for the next year. We're drinking in the slight chill in the air. We're really enjoying living in the Airstream knock-off and feeling the full effect of this magnificent autumn that is upon us. That leads me to this weeks question...

What is Liberia's climate like?

Well, we've probably answered this a time or two, but I (Jessica) figure that the subject is worth looking at a little more closely. Liberia is located just north of the equator. I assume that most folks reading this blog know what that means, but just in case here's a little diagram:

Close to the equator = really stinkin' hot

Liberia is tropical. The wonderful part is that tropical means fruit! Pineapples, mangoes, other miscellaneous unidentifiable fruit! Tropical also means steamy. Humidity that just slaps you in the face and floods your lungs the second you walk out of your door. Imagine North Carolina at the height of the summer when the heat and the humidity are almost unbearable. It's that, but worse we are told. Good thing Kyle and I both grew up in central N.C.! Although we've been spoiled by our mild mountain weather! It will definitely be an adjustment! I'm of the opinion that God prepares us and gives us grace even to endure the weather/climate.

We will miss out on the changing of the four seasons. In its place we will have the rainy and the rainier season. David Waines said that the Liberian people call it the small, small rain and the lotta rain. That sounds better than the rainy and rainier seasons. Takes the edge off of it a bit.

We've been told that Liberia's climate is harsh by any standards. The result is lots of mosquitoes and "interesting" wildlife. We've discussed the mosquito issue. Mosquitoes (of the anophales kind) mean malaria. Malaria=boo.

What does all this mean? We adjust our packing list to account for the climate and all that it brings with it. Screen for the windows, a fan (to make sleeping possible), light weight and SPF clothing, hats, sunscreen, ultra healing lotion, etc.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Monday Update

In July we were at Equip Canada. October we are at Equip U.S.A. They are different, but the same. Today we officially start the bio-sand filters course. Yes, even I (Jessica) am taking this course. Kyle is taking/assisting with the course. It's gonna be awesome.

We wrapped up our time with friends in Andrews last week. A great big hug and kiss to the Mcsweens. They so graciously hosted us for almost 3 weeks while we were hanging our hats in Andrews. It was such a blessing to have encouragement from our SWO family for an extended period of time.

We've been transient for 3 months at this point. It's been a wild ride and we would be lying if we said that we're not itching for this ride to settle down. Keep in mind that up to this point we have stayed in creekside cabins, a storage shed, with a multitude of friends and families homes and now a beautiful Airstream knock-off. We are trying out our dream of living in an "Airstream" for the next 3 weeks. This too will be awesome.

Squinty faced in front of the Airstream knock-off

Our current abode...a dream come true.

We're blessed to be spending a few more weeks at Equip. Pray that God would teach us much and that Kyle would be able to help other missionaries grow and learn how to share the Water of Life through the gift of clean water.

Weekly Prayer Need: Pray that we would have focused time with the Lord. Pray that we would find time to be alone and quiet before the Lord as we make the final preparations before leaving in a couple of weeks.

Here is the promised picture of the car. Isn't it nice? Don't you want to buy it?

Friday, October 1, 2010

Plowing Away

We're back in High Point...briefly...we're headed to Marion, NC on Sunday for classes.

Yesterday marked the one month mark. We are now officially less than a month away from leaving for Liberia. So many details are still coming together and we anxiously await their completion. We've watched God do so much in the last couple of months to make it possible for us to go to Liberia for this next year. We're amazed and grateful. He truly goes before us.

This leads us back to what we said the other day about selling the car. We're selling the car. We've sold/given away the majority of our "stuff". We're leaving North Carolina with 4 large suitcases and our carry ons. These are the facts.

The less known things are what God is going to do in our lives in the next year. How will this year change us? How is God trying to grow us in through this calling to missions? What difficulties and joys we will encounter in the next year? What will we do when we come back? At this point we can't answer those questions. What we do know is that God asks us to follow Him in obedience.

Jesus said to them, "No one who puts His hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God." Luke 9:62

We're putting our hand to the plow. We've been putting our hand to the plow for the last couple of months actually. We know that God is faithful to complete the good work that He has started in our hearts and minds. That is why we can sell our car and everything else and move in the direction He has called us. We move towards Christ for our good and His glory.

We realize that makes some folks uncomfortable. Jesus made folks uncomfortable. We want to be like Jesus. Thanks for your love and support dear friends. We rest in God's sovereignty and find strength in your prayers.
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