This Saturday, 1/4 @ 8AM
Raising money for our Mexico Mission
If anyone has anything to donate, folding tables we could borrow, or if you can help us on Friday to sort through our entire house; we will make our first attempt to sell a lot of our personal things in preparations to moving to Mexico. We also could use help with someone watching the boys here on Friday or Saturday... please text or facebook me and let me know. We pray for great weather and a great sale to help raise funds to put towards our plane tickets.
Sunday the 15th we announced to our youth discipleship groups that we will be leaving to go on the mission field. It was a bitter-sweet announcement. How we love the kids the Lord has entrusted us to minister to here; some of them we have been serving with for almost 10 years.
But how exciting it will be to see how the Lord will use us in the next chapter of our lives in Mexico!
We are starting to go through all of our stuff to separate for the garage sale we will be having in January. If you have any donations, we will humbly accept them to help us raise money to purchase our airline tickets. When we know which day it will be we will post it here in case you would like to come out and shop around.
We hope to have the team in June take some extra bags for us of our personal things. If you have any suitcases or duffel bags that you would like to give us, please let us know.
This is the month we write and send out those letters letting our loved ones know the financial need we have to raise $2,300 monthly to live on the mission field in Mexico. We also would like to raise $5,000 with one-time gifts to help cover the beginning costs like airfare, extra baggage fees, a car, home appliances and furniture.
Len just returned from a 10-day mission trip with the Junior Student CCA trip. He was able to see how to host such a large group (160 people) that is broken up into 6 teams all at once. Next year we will be on the other side of things and will be responsible for hosting them. Praise God for the opportunity Len had this month to experience it this year before us going! He also got to connect with the other missionaries and the pastor there to further plan our coming. It was a good trip.
This has truly been a month of testing and trusting. After sending out about 100 support cards and about 50 personal letters, we have received no response. Our faith is being tested as we know that God is calling us to move to Mexico, but yet no provision has been given, until yesterday. How our hearts rejoiced over one person making the point to connect with us to let us know that they will support the mission God has called us to. We hope that many will support us, especially through prayer, with this leap of faith we are taking into moving on the mission field.
Another area of testing has been the love for our dogs. Through a lot of research we have found out that it is not as easy or as cheap as we had thought to bring 2 little 8lb dogs over on a plane. We might as well have two 60lb dogs because unless they are teacup size, that’s the only other category the airlines have; and that category gets expensive and is very limited. So Noah and I (Natalie), because we love our dogs so much, have been praying every night for God’s best in this situation. We are surrendering our desires to have our dogs go with us if this is His best plan for us. We don’t know if God will ask us to do this, but we have told Him we will be willing to give them up if He leads us to do so. Not easy for Noah, our 5-year old; some nights he has tears in his eyes talking about it, and maybe just a little in mine as well! But he prays for God’s best and wants to obey Him.
To learn how to better pray for us, please visit our page and see what requests we
have shared. We truly covet your prayers as we know that only through God all things are possible.
We started this month by participating in the GO! Missions Class that Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale offered. Almost 400 people attended and we were able to share a couple minutes on stage about our mission. We also were able to host a table in the back to meet others before and after the class.
Through research, our current plan for our dogs is to find someone to take care of them here throughout the summer and then have them flown over on Delta. No airline takes them over as cargo during the summer months due to the heat, therefore they can't leave the same time as we do. We are praying for someone that would be willing to take care of our furry family members for a few months until we re-unite in Mexico!
After looking at flight options, the most economical option is to fly a couple weeks earlier than originally planned, which would give us a little time to try to settle in before Len hosts the Boca Youth Calvary Team that comes over on June 20. It's not definite yet, but we are looking at departing on June 4.
The first week of this month has been such a trying time. At the first mission class the Lord put on Natalie’s heart to pray more and so she told the Lord that any day He woke her up as early as 5:30am, she would get up and pray before everyone’s day started. So Sunday, God woke her up and she prayed. That same night, Caleb came down with a stomach bug that kept him throwing up all night. Not only did he get sick that night, but the next night again, and then Natalie came down with it the day after. She was not able to attend the 2nd mission class with Len due to her being very sick, so Len took Noah to help him host our table. During the class, Noah threw up so they had to leave to come home and he has been sick ever since. Today he has had a high temp of 103.6 several times along with throwing up and no appetite. Len is the only one that did not get sick. We believe that this sickness has been an attack because of the decision of prayer. We see the power and importance in prayer and we appreciate your intercession to the Lord for our family. We’ll keep you updated here on how we recover.
Our house is now officially up for sale. We are excited to see the Lord work as our house will now be open to people coming to look and hopefully buy! Please pray that the Lord would send the right buyer for the right price.
2/11 UPDATE: Natalie & Noah are completely back to health, Caleb has strep but is on strong antibiotics. Thank you for your prayers!
Staring at the computer screen, I was looking at the option of adding a pet for $100. We were about to buy our plane tickets online when that option seemed to stop me from completing our purchase. I knew the regulations – 8½” was the max height of a dog cage that could be allowed in the cabin to fly a dog on the plane. Our dogs are at least 11” tall and they are supposed to be able to stand up and turn around in the cage. The option of bringing them with us when we go instead of the other plan seemed impossible. But right then we decided to take Roxy to the pet store and see just how impossible it was. Yes, the small cage that met the requirements was not possible. So we tried the medium size and it seemed like it could work. But at 10½” tall, we knew it didn’t meet the regulations. So Len decided to take a family trip down to the Ft. Lauderdale airport. We walked right up to the ticket counter and showed them the cage. We asked if this size would be allowed on the plane and they said – YES! We were all excited and so blessed by the Lord that He would allow us to bring them with us. Noah was especially thrilled! So we came back home and purchased our tickets online with two of the ‘add a pet’ options selected. Our flight is booked for June 3.
All of our sickness finally came to an end just a couple days ago. What a time of trial. We are grateful for all of your prayers and are blessed to say that now we are all happy and healthy.
Last week we showed our house for the first time and an offer was made the same day. The next day that same family made another offer and met our asking price; we now have a contract. The inspector comes this Wednesday, 2/26, and we pray that we pass everything and the buyers will buy the house. They have expressed interest in buying all of the furniture and household things to have the house ‘move in ready.’ If that goes through it would be such a great blessing as we would not have to sell everything individually and could use it up until the day we had to move out.
This Thursday is the last GO! Missions class. It has been a blessing not only to attend and learn, but to meet new people and share about our journey as well as hear about their own. We hope to be sharing at a few churches in the next couple months to share our story. We pray for those opportunities.
This morning Len counted the days until out departure and to his surprise, we only have 73 more days! As we prepare for this mission many things are changing for us. We are selling our house, cars, and Len is closing down his business. We are excited and confident of the call God has placed on our lives. Thank you for reading our posts, giving us encouragement and praying for us. With continuing our normal work/ministry responsibilities and now preparing for this life-changing move at the same time - we ask for prayer for the Lord to open doors, provide, and give us the wisdom we need.
Where God guides, God provides. But as our family makes this transition of life and ministry in the states to life and ministry in Mexico our finances will be changing a great deal. Sometimes we can take God’s provision for granted and just sit back and expect God to do everything. It says in Luke 14:28, “For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it?” So now is our time that we are sitting down, and counting the cost and making it known to our friends and family to see God provide for this mission God has called our family to. If God has put it on your heart to monthly support our family financially, we wanted to let you know that now is the time that we need monthly supporters let us know and to commit and sign up through our GIVE/SUPPORT link provided on our website. As a supporter you are helping to further the reach of the Gospel, you are investing in the discipleship of youth and others in Mexico, you are investing in the life of a family that loves and serves Jesus and will be busy serving, helping and loving the people in Mexico. We have $150 raised currently through monthly supporters and our budget goal is $2,000 monthly. We can’t do this w/out faith, without Jesus, and now we are praying that He will provide those who will commit to this call with us by supporting us through prayer and/or monthly support.
We are now scheduling to go speak at churches and home groups to share with others about our mission to Mexico. We hope that God would stir in the hearts of the listeners to support us through prayer, encouragement, and finances as well as us having the opportunity to encourage them with the heart of missions. If you lead a home group or have somewhere we could come and share, please contact us (through our CONTACT link up top) and let us know. We'd love to come.
Len had the privelege of being asked to become an elder at Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale. On Tuesday nights he has been attending an elder training and is excited as he sees God continue to train and prepare him for the road ahead.
This month we have shown the house numerous times and had an open house just last week. We have had another offer on the house, lower than we hoped for, but we are waiting for the potential buyers to reply to our counter-offer. Please continue to pray that if God wants us to sell, that the right buyer would come and close in a timely manner. We will be waiting until the end of March to see if we will sell; if not, we will be looking for a renter.
Earlier this month, Noah had a Mexico week in his kindergarten class at school. He learned a Mexican dance and was very proud to show everyone how he could do it. He is excited about going in June, he has been willing to sell a lot more of his toys that we can't take, and keeping his room clean for when we need to get the house ready for someone to look at the house.
We are starting to sell our furniture and things we won't be taking. We also are trying to think about how much we will be taking over. If any of you have any check-in size suitcases or duffle bags you would like to sell to us that we could use to help get our things over there, please let us know.
WHAT WE HAVE LEFT:
54 days in Florida
52 days of owning our house
38 days living in our home
30 days of school
18 services at church
5 Thursdays for Natalie at work
4 days for Len at work at Calvary
2 family celebrations (our 10th anniversary & Noah’s birthday)
These last couple weeks have been so busy. Let’s start by catching you up on the last week in March. We were invited to speak at my brother’s home group. What a great handful of people who love the Lord. We shared about our journey and how the Lord has brought us to this point of leaving everything we know to follow His plan for our family in Mexico. We received a financial gift from those that gave that night. It was a night of encouragement for us.
Later in that week Len had the opportunity to teach at the Mount Horeb Baptist church up near Gainesville area where his family attends. Teaching out of the King James Bible was challenging, but it was a blessing to be there and to also share about Mexico.
Then that next weekend we drove down to the Florida Keys Sunday morning to share in front of the congregation of the Calvary Chapel satellite church. It was a privilege to speak and share our story during their service and meet the different people there.
Len just recently finished his elder classes at church. We are looking forward to him shortly becoming ordained as an elder. Throughout these last days, we have seen how much we have been attacked with us trying to prepare both physically and spiritually for our departure. With that, the Lord continues to bring us to our knees in prayer. It was just the other night that the Lord woke Natalie up at 2 in the morning with a downpour of rain. Realizing that all of our suitcases that we have been collecting were outside, she rushed to bring them all inside to dry them off. The Lord probably knew that at that point she would be wide-awake. He brought her to her knees to have a time of prayer led by passion.
The next morning she checked her e-mail and there it was – a contract was e-mailed to us for the house. And the closing date is set for May 31, just 3 days before we leave. This can only be God, we know. As you remember from before, we did have a contract about 5 weeks ago and after inspection, the buyers walked away. So we ask for prayer for these next 7 weeks that the buyers would honor the contract, that the house inspection would pass, and the closing would be successful, and maybe even earlier than May 31 if all the paperwork goes smoothly. About a week ago, Natalie was reading a Bible devotion story with Noah about Mary and Joseph. The story explained how it might have seemed last minute to Joseph and Mary for God to provide a place to stay and give birth to baby Jesus, it was all set in His plan all along. And as much as it seems last minute with our provision of our house selling, God has His plan already in place. It might not be what we expect, but He is in control.
This past Sunday we had our last leadership dinner with our sound leaders. It was such a bittersweet moment. We will miss this group very much as they are so very dear to our heart.
Yet we are excited that this ministry will continue being led by one of our leaders who has been a part for 8 years. Next Sunday will be our last Bible study with this group.
With less than 2 months, we will admit that it is a bit scary to see our financial support so low. But faith is only faith if we do not see, right? But if you did send a check to the church, or gave us a donation and we did not contact you afterward to acknowledge our thanks that could mean that we never received it. So please, if you have donated, and you didn’t hear back from us, please let us know so we can let those know who handle our donations to find it and resolve it.
Our departure drawing near has only become more of a reality. Many of our belongings have sold, final dates are being set, and last preparations are underway. The boys no longer have their beds and are sleeping on mattresses on the floor together in the same room. So far this has been a good transition in preparation to them sharing a room in Mexico. Len is using his last 6 Tuesday nights to take a Spanish class held at a nearby school. May 7th we will be prayed for on stage at the Wednesday night service at Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale. We will be hosting a table in the East Corridor after service and many weekends following. Please come by and connect with us as we would love to see as many of you one last time before we go. Also, if you would like to be added to our e-mail list, please e-mail us and let us know. We will send you notices every time we update our website and personal prayer requests. You can find our e-mail link on our CONTACT page.
MAY 3 we will be selling the rest of our stuff before we move out of our house. Please come by to see if you might buy something to help support our mission, or just come by to say hello.
We could use help the day before with sorting and watching the kids as well as the day of. Please contact us if you can help out.
For those of you who have been following us with our updates, we know the big question is, “What is happening with your house?” God surely gets the credit for this one for sure. As we said last month, we had a buyer enter into a contract with us for the house. Since then we have passed all inspections and now are just waiting for the buyer to sort out all of the stuff they need to do on their end. The closing is projected for May 22. That comes pretty close to our departure date, Lord, but You are in control! Thank you all for praying, but please don’t stop, cause it’s not over until we close!
The last opportunity we had to open up our house for ministry was Sunday, April 13. This was the last sound booth Bible study with the Middle School discipleship group. Natalie lead worship and Len taught the study. This group is certainly one of the top three things we will miss.
We both had our last times serving in SIX78. Len taught his last teaching at the weekend services and Natalie performed with the drama team the following weekend. We have served in this ministry for 9 full years. We pray that the kids we’ve had the privilege to disciple will continue to follow Jesus. We also attended the last Calvary staff meeting that we will have the chance to be a part of. They called us up on stage and prayed for us.
Len has been preparing by taking Spanish lessons that started last month at a local school. He seems to be excelling well. We look forward to learning the language even faster by necessity when we get over there! Natalie has been sorting and selling every little item. A few days ago she did a trial pack. It took her all day, but she was able to calculate how many suitcases needed for everything. We are estimating 17!
Except for our dining chairs, we officially have no more furniture. We are all sleeping on blow up mattresses on the floor. The Lord has really blessed us with being able to sell almost everything. We had another garage sale last weekend (thanks for your help, Gus & Carrie!) and were able to sell a good amount of stuff; the rest we have posted online on our facebooks. Many have asked what the boys think about moving and we have been saying that Noah is excited, but Caleb is too young to know. Through sale after sale of our furniture, the swingset, and toys Caleb has broken down in tears watching our things being carried out the door. Poor little guy, he has been so sensitive to change. And on Mother’s Day weekend, we will having another big change – we will be leaving our house. For the last 3 weeks we are here we will be living with Natalie’s mom.
This whole month we plan to be hosting a table in the east corridor before and after services. We did this past weekend and were able to catch up with some old friends and meet some new ones. This Wednesday, May 7, we will be brought on stage during the church service to be prayed for. We hope to meet more people that God will call to join us in this mission by supporting through prayer and even finance.
Looking at our last 4 weeks here, we have a very busy month even more so than last month! Please keep us in your prayers by praying specifically for our needs – see our PRAYER page where we share our prayer requests.
One week to go. Time has flown by and now almost everything is crossed off of our “To Do” list. As we have been preparing over the last year for this day, we can’t believe it is almost here. We are grateful for the time we have been able to have spent with family and friends over these last few months. Now let us catch you up on what has happened with us just in these last couple weeks.
On Mother’s Day weekend, we moved in with Natalie’s mom. What timing for the perfect gift for her! The boys seem to have gained a little bit more of a normal life with now being able to sit on some furniture again and having more than just a couple air mattresses on the floor in their own room. It sure has been a blessing for us to stay in her home and for her to help out with watching the boys when we needed. We will all miss her.
Noah’s 6th birthday was a blast thanks to Auntie Amanda! With us no longer having our own house to host his party, a great friend of ours that is like family, opened up her home to have his all-day party with a huge bounce house in her backyard. Noah was worried that he might not get to celebrate his birthday here before we go to Mexico. He was still able to and have a great time and make more memories that he will not forget! We asked Noah what restaurant would be his choice to go for dinner since it was his birthday Chickfila, of course! And they blessed us with not charging us at all for the bill.
A week ago we got to attend Calvary Chapel Deerfield. The pastor, Rian, is an old friend of ours and we had caught up with him a while ago asking about stopping by to be prayed for. We were blessed. Natalie was asked to lead a couple worship songs during church service and our whole family was brought up and prayed for during the service. Afterward we got to set up a table and meet many and share about our mission. It was a great time of fellowship and we were glad we were able to stop by there.
On Thursday, May 22, we signed the papers for our house to close. It was a bittersweet moment walking through our house that morning one last time, remembering all of the memories we had in that house. We prayed and thanked the Lord for giving us that house for those 10 years of our life and are now excited for the next house and ministry that will take place in it. Praise God for Him selling our house and letting that now be behind us. We can say now that we are homeless, but are completely debt free!
Just this past weekend we had the privilege of sharing at all three services at the Boynton Calvary campus. Pastor Charlie invited our family on stage to share and be prayed for. We were able to meet so many after the services that visited our table. We are grateful for those that will pray for us faithfully through meeting them at these opportunities.
Right now we are up at Len’s family’s home up near Gainesville for one last visit. Len’s dad blessed us by taking a trip down to us last week to take up Len’s car on a trailer and a bunch of our containers of things we will be storing up here. This will be our last time seeing them before we leave.
This Wednesday Len and I were asked to take over the teaching time at the SIX78 at Calvary Chapel Boca. We are excited to share our story there. Afterward we will have a table for people to visit and find out more about our mission to Mexico. We are so blessed by the body there because not only do we have monthly supporters from this church, but the youth mission team that is coming to Mexico in mid June will be bringing half of our suitcases for us!
We have seen God provide for us again and again as we have only had to trust Him in all of this! Back in January, we wrote over 50 personal letters asking friends and family personally to pray about supporting us financially. We had the goal of raising $5,000 from one-time gifts to help with our start-up costs of buying things to set up our new house in Mexico, our plane tickets, and buying a car. We have now reached $4,820! And we also had set our goal of raising $2,000 from monthly supporters we are now at $765 total. We are still going out in faith, as you can see, we don’t have the numbers to show we can support our family financially living off of only a little over 1/3 of the income we need, but God knows and we will go no matter what! If you want to be a part of our mission with us and support us, just click the GIVE link above and that will go directly to us.
This will be the last update before we go. We want to let you know that if you would like to see us one more time before we go, we will be attending the Saturday 5pm service on May 31 and will be in SIX78 at Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale. If you haven’t had the chance to sign up on our e-mail list, just email us and we will add you to our sending list. We fly out on Tuesday, June 3. Please pray for our departure and travel with all of our luggage, our kids and dogs! Thank you for your prayers. Don’t stop ever!