Announcing… Our Farewell Tour

By Friday, September 2, 2016 0 0

This is as close to musician fame as we’ll ever get, so we’re dubbing the next few ministry trips “the first dates on our Farewell Tour.”

After Labor Day, we will have wrapped up leading our Chinese friends through The Story of Hope. We hope to continue with The Way to Joy with a few of them, but it is the first in a list of at-home ministries we have to wrap up before heading to language school.

After the long weekend we plan to start homeschool Kindergarten and visit one of our local supporting churches. Then we head to Indiana to participate in a missions conference at Liberty Baptist Church. In addition to kindergarten and church visits, I am going to do Bible Study Fellowship’s John study through December, and we will be packing for our moves and dealing with a lot of logistics. In October we visit two more local supporting churches. We also hope to do some ministry visits in those months. If you would like to introduce us to your small group or someone who might be interested in learning more about missions in Spain, please contact us!

We are looking forward to sharing what God is doing in Spain with so many new people over the next months, and we are praying and trusting God for a few things through that.

  1. We pray that God will supply the last $600 in needed support.
  2. We pray that God would teach our children that He will be there for them when they are missing activities and loved ones at home. They are used to seeing the other Duryees at church on Sundays. We will miss out on homecoming Sunday and a farewell luncheon for a special family as well.
  3. We pray that God would use us to call others to the mission field. Our stories are not typical Bible college to seminary to mission field, and we pray that God would use the unique path He’s given us to call other people to do His work around the world. If we can do it, anyone can.

Remembering Our Commissioning Service

By Wednesday, August 10, 2016 0 0

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.

Our coworkers, Rich ad Cindy, with us on Sunday after church.

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.

A photo posted by Rosalie (@mrsduryee) on

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.

A photo posted by Rosalie (@mrsduryee) on

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.

A photo posted by Rosalie (@mrsduryee) on

Last Night I Dreamed About Orlando

By Tuesday, June 14, 2016 0 0

Last night Chris and I prayed before falling asleep, like we always do. We held hands and thanked God for our many blessings, prayed for our children and our support raising and our marriage. And then we prayed for Orlando. Chris’s voice broke a little when he thought of the parents. Parents whose babies won’t be coming home. Parents who had horrifying text conversations just moments before a monster took their baby’s life. And this is the picture that haunted my dreams last night: silent phones, still bodies, distressed parents.

We are heartbroken for this tremendous loss of lives. So many young lives; not that value decreases with age but that potential increases! I think of all the amazing things that have happened to me since I was 25 and I mourn the lost future of all these precious humans.

Which brings us to the age old question. What was God’s role is this tragedy? He is sovereign. He literally holds the world in His hands and not one hair on your head is lost without God knowing about it, ordaining its fall. I have studied the answer to this question, heard messages on it and read the many Bible verses that demonstrate that God’s purposes prevail over the purposes of man. I never know how to answer it exactly. It is not comforting to hear that He allowed it, willed it, caused it, or will use it. It’s too horrible! It’s not comforting to hear that He didn’t have a part in it but it is all because of the decisions of that horrible man, because then what is the point? If man is that powerful, then God must be weak. Indeed, this is a prevailing belief today.

This is my only comfort: Jesus, who redeems ALL things, will redeem this tragedy. I know that God was not surprised, though He is brokenhearted. God was not detached, though He does not control us like marionettes. We cannot yet see how, and perhaps we may never see this side of eternity, but this tragedy is part of the bigger picture, the bigger plan for all of humanity, and it fits perfectly into the puzzle, which God sees in completion.

God’s plan for every human is that we dwell with Him forever in eternity. This is the single best thing that will ever happen – no more tears, no more pain, no more suffering. Just perfect fellowship together with God, the creator and author of everything beautiful and good in the world. It comes at the price though. To ensure this possibility, God endured the very same tragedy that those brokenhearted parents in Orlando suffer now: His only son, Jesus, was slaughtered. God sent His son to be slaughtered.

Why did He do it? Because the horrific death of His son paid a ransom placed on mankind. He allowed His son to die in order to purchase us because He loves us. In order to purchase you. Because He loves you.

You see, the enemy of our souls tricks us into believing that God has withheld something good, and we chase after that something until we die.

What is causing the quarrels and fights among you? Don’t they come from the evil desires at war within you? You want what you don’t have, so you scheme and kill to get it. You are jealous of what others have, but you can’t get it, so you fight and wage war to take it away from them. Yet you don’t have what you want because you don’t ask God for it. And even when you ask, you don’t get it because your motives are all wrong—you want only what will give you pleasure. (James 4:1-3)

Lest you think only Sunday’s killer is represented in this passage, remember that Jesus said that if you hate someone, you’ll be judged like a murderer, and John said it too, a little more pointedly.

No one loves perfectly, and the imperfections void our love when we face God. That’s what sin is. It’s a black mark on our hearts, which are designed in love, for love. Marred. Broken. Imperfections void our love in every relationship, really. It’s just that we (can – we don’t always) forgive and have grace and treat others the way we want to be treated – all things Jesus taught us.  He was aiding our survival in this broken world, and He was pointing to eternity, which will be full of perfect love!

Instead of casting aside our broken hearts and the messed up world that rules our hearts, God made a way for His perfect love to rule our hearts once again. He sent His son Jesus to earth, humbly, to grow up in this broken world, and Jesus grew up in it but was not blemished by it. He was perfect in every way – always loving, always gracious, always righteous, and always hanging out with the worst of the broken ones at that – the adulterers, the liars, the drunkards, the sexually immoral. He loved all those people. Indeed, he said they would be first in line to Heaven. He didn’t say it to condone their sins, indeed they turned from their sinful lifestyles time after time when they met Jesus, He said it because they would run to Him with abandon. When you have nothing to lose but your brokenness, it’s easy to come to Jesus. It’s when you’re holding on to something else – your past, your money, your rebel lifestyle, your pain, your reputation, your power – that it becomes hard. It’s like Jesus was saying, “you’re broken. If you know you’re broken, come with me. I will take care of it.”

It’s the knowing that is hard.

Tragedy reminds us.

Empowering Women Out of Poverty

By Saturday, May 14, 2016 0 0

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If I made a list of the top 100 things I love, fair-trade jewelry would be in the top 10. I love jewelry and accessories, and I desire to empower women out of poverty (globally, women are statistically more likely to fall into poverty), so fair-trade jewelry is win-win. And, it’s gorgeous and global and unique. Every single time I wear a piece of jewelry made by a woman in India, Nepal, Guatemala or Ecuador (that’s just a selection of the places represented by my jewelry!), I get compliments. The best part of those compliments is that I get to tell people about the organization I bought it from and how my purchase had purpose.

Trades of Hope is one of the best of these organizations. Right now I’m hosting a party on Facebook (lots of photos and stories there, as well as opportunities to win some pieces!) and I would be honored to have you join me in supporting women around the world. Trades of Hope pieces make amazing gifts for Christmas or birthdays. I am considering some things to give to my kids’ teachers and influencers before we leave for the field.

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Kenya is a country filled with starvation and poverty, yet through their employment making these beautiful pieces of art, these artisans’ lives are being transformed! The group that makes the new Miriam Earrings and Golden Luna Necklace (there is also a silver and black Luna too!) is dedicated to helping these artisans overcome their physical limitations by empowering them to create and become important parts of their community. The artisans receive housing and social benefits such as a clinic and nursery school. As they create these products, they find their identity and are important and of so much value to the world!

At Field Prep Seminar last month, a couple heading to Tanzania told me more about Sifa Threads, an artisan group there making scarves. Trades of Hope has sold Sifa Threads goods! I was so excited to hear that.

Over on the party, this was the group favorite “look.” We’ve had beautiful, airy spring weather in Seattle so I can see why. Hop on over and choose YOUR favorite! You could win something in the drawing!

My favorite was the Weekend Chic look!

I have no idea how God will use my passion for rescuing women from the sex trade in Spain. I know of some opportunities to be part of ministries working against trafficking, and I look forward to how we can be part of them. In the meantime, I can continue to empower women out of poverty with my purchases!

What is Field Prep Seminar Anyway?

By Wednesday, April 20, 2016 0 0

I really wanted to post our full orange tree, which I’ve been using to show our progress towards 85% support, but we recently replaced, scrubbed to factory settings and gave away our old laptop, and apparently the files, which were on the desktop, didn’t make it through our minimalistic backup process. So, like I posted in our Facebook group, here’s a full bowl of oranges.

fruit+vintage+oranges--graphicsfairy003bgOn Sunday, we head to Harrisburg, PA  for a two week training called Field Prep Seminar (FPS) at our mission agency’s headquarters. It’s for prefield missionaries who have raised 85% or more of their monthly support requirement and who plan to leave for the field within the year.

Obviously we don’t know much abut it, but according to ABWE.org, it will focus on at least three things:

  • Transition to the mission field
  • Major adjustments to living in another culture
  • Adapting to the existing ABWE field team

To prepare for FPS, we read a number of books, including Tim Keller’s The Reason for God, John Piper’s Let the Nations Be Glad, and Cross-Cultural Connections by Duane Elmer. We also completed a Missional Biblical Theology course, which was essentially Systematic Theology for missionaries. Once we received our invitation to FPS, we did a few hours of homework on spiritual warfare, cultural issues, leadership, and child safety training.

Our schedule is going to be kind of grueling – some days are 12 hours long. But our leaders will make sure we have lots of snacks, breaks, fellowship and even some fun. They will allow us to include our kids when appropriate and, most certainly, the whole training will be engaging and life-changing. Between a missionary’s application for service and departure to the field, ABWE gets 3 opportunities to ensure excellence in missions – candidate seminar, Essential Missions Components, and Field Prep. So they take advantage of our presence.

We would appreciate prayers for us while we are attending this valuable training:

  • Safety and favor regarding travel logistics
  • Energy for us and for Chris’s parents, who will be taking care of the kids
  • Spiritual, mental and physical strength for our long days of training, and the ability to take it all in
  • Provision for the ministries we leave behind – our small group friends who will lead our Chinese friends through The Story of Hope, and our youth pastor who will lead our middle schoolers through The Way to Joy solo

We are so excited to reach this prefield milestone! Glory to God!