Nearly two months ago… I am so behind. This is a missionary’s blog and many of you come here to find out how to pray for us, to catch up on our ministry, and to get a peek on our lives. Well, life is overwhelming. Between parenting, swim lessons, homeschool planning, sorting and selling our home items, ministry activities we just want to keep doing, and the long list of tasks related to prefield… doing this blog the way I want just falls off the priority list.
But something is better than nothing. So, the photos are not all here, but the words are and they matter. We had to blog this because we never want to forget it!
On June 18, 2016, we gathered with our church family, many friends, family members and financial partners to officially commission our family to the mission field. We chose to have our commissioning this day because our teammates and coworkers, Rich and Cindy, were in town and scheduled to speak at Eastgate the next morning. We turned the whole weekend in a focus on Spain! Our prefield director, Brad Winkler, was also able to come to Bellevue to participate. Brad has been such an encouragement to us in this long journey – never judgmental, critical or disappointed, but always encouraging and pointing us to God and what He can do.
We have video of the service but I have some editing to do, so here is a written summary. I’ll update this post with video when it is finally done.
After gathering in the foyer by our display board and having guests “sign” the fingerprint tree, we sang, worshiped, prayed and were encouraged by our speakers.
Rather than record the names of all the people who came to our service, we created this fingerprint tree as an Ebenezer to represent the day. The truth is, there were a lot of people not in attendance whom we know to give, pray and follow our mission work closely. It would be sad not to have their names in the guestbook meant to represent the day were were “sent.” Furthermore, it was just a day. Our real commissioning came the day we each surrendered our lives to Jesus, and our sending is done – we are missionaries, though we have yet to leave for the field. The fingerprint tree reminds us that many, many people are behind us; we are not sent alone and we do not labor alone. In the years to come, when we doubt our calling, I know this Ebenezer will encourage us.
Our friends Robin and Joy Porter and both their boys led us in worshiping with Mighty to Save by Hillsong, Our God Reigns (How Lovely On the Mountains) (an oldie but SUCH a goody), and Follow You by Leeland.
Then Chris and I shared our testimonies and some of the ways God has changed us over the last six years. He is so faithful!
Our Pastor, Brad Kolbo, gave a charge to the church, and Brad Winkler gave the charge to us, the missionaries. My notes are disjointed from caring for children, but the main message was “Three Cs” that we can remember when we face difficulty: our commission, our calling, and our comfort.
We decorated Clark Hall for a reception but I forgot to take pictures of the beautiful centerpieces complete with Spanish fans. Here’s the festive vases being reused.
We’re so thankful. God used our commissioning service to bring new partners, caused committed partners to begin their support, and honored God by rejoicing in the work He has done and is doing in Spain.
Please continue to pray for our support raising, language school plans, and transition to the mission field.