As outlined in our last prayer letter, these are the Duryee Family Goals for Getting to Spain.
- Raise our support level to 30% by the end of December.
- Raise our support level to 50% by February. We’ve set this goal because until we are at 50% support, we will be drawing on our savings account to pay our bills. This is tough for us!
- Attend Essential Missions Components (EMC)* next July (50% requirement to attend).
- Take a Missions Theology course and Old Testament Survey course after EMC.
- Attend Field Prep Seminar (FPS)* next November (85% requirement to attend).
- Be fully supported by the beginning of December next year.
In the short term, this means we need to have about 3 individual meetings a week. We are scheduling a few churches here and there as well. We are also completing the New Testament course, reading some books required for service in Spain, and researching Spanish country and culture for a discussion that will take place at FPS.
Chris has a full-time job,we are caring for an infant, and we are still very involved in church, especially youth ministry.
Last week some very generous partners helped us attend a pastors and wives retreat in Cannon Beach, OR, with other ministry leaders from the Northwest. The speakers for the week were a couple from Iowa with a very successful, large church that has planted other churches in the area. As usual, what you see isn’t necessarily what you get: both husband and wife lost their first spouse when they still had little ones at home. We also met a pastor who works full time and preaches at a struggling church. Ten in the congregation on Sunday. And church planters who’s church is planted and thriving who now need a new assignment. And missionaries who live in Western Europe and travel to teach at Bible schools in Romania and Iraq. Also as usual, everyone’s testimony is amazing. It was an answer to prayer too, because I had just told Chris that I would like to attend a marriage conference before we leave for the field. I was envisioning the expensive kind that takes place in stadiums, but God had other plans. This little retreat was just what we needed. Considering I am tied to my baby for the next few months, a big conference is sort of out of the question. God always provides.
Susanna was a doll. She took her naps in the cafeteria and chapel, with bright lights, voices and clapping. She spent most of the time in her carseat in the stroller, and some of the time on me. Lots of people held her and she didn’t seem to care. One night, she slept in the moby through a bonfire on the beach.
On our way down, we were lucky enough to have lunch with the Browns who were visiting the states to take their daughter to college and see some family members. Spending an hour with them was just what we needed to get some motivation to make our phone calls, finish our classes, and get to Spain.
Susanna loves the changing table!
After going “to bed” at 7:30 last night, Susanna woke up hungry at 9:30 and acted as though it were the middle of the day: she ate, and then she wanted to play (her routine is eat, play, sleep, (play), eat, play, sleep). I wanted to keep her calm for going back to sleep, but engaged so she’d tire out quickly. I kept her on my lap, cradled in my knees, with just the dim light on, and I spoke to her. She loves the rhythm and repetition of the book Goodnight, Moon but this time I did something different. I repeated a Bible verse I’ve been wanting to memorize (this one’s from the new Living Translation). Each time I repeated the verse, I emphasized a different word.
The unchanging plan of God has always been to adopt us into His own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. Ephesians 1:5
I read a blog by a woman who often uses the phrase “I had to preach the Gospel to myself” when she is describing her need to refocus after not showing grace to a child or husband or friend. I really like this phrase because I want my life to be Gospel-centered, especially in correction and discipline. Yes, the most important command is to love God and love others, but if I’ve learned anything in my life as a Christian, it’s that neither can be done without the Gospel. Without the Gospel, even that command is just law, like everything else.
Now I have a really good verse that sums up the Gospel in my spiritual toolbox for when I need to “preach the Gospel to myself.” And, bonus!, I preached the Gospel to my little girl 25 times last night.
If only I had remembered to preach the Gospel to myself at 3:30 (and 4:30, and 5:30) am because she wouldn’t go back to sleep.
These are photos from Susanna’s newborn photoshoot.
You can also read our September prayer letter.