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

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!

Giving Tuesday {a request}

By Tuesday, December 1, 2015 0 0

I love the week after Thanksgiving. I know it’s all commercialism and buy buy buy, but I enjoy it. I don’t go crazy, but I do spend a little money over the weekend and on Cyber Monday because sometimes the deals on gifts and things we were looking at anyway are just too good. I always buy our Christmas cards and family photo gifts with these fantastic deals, for example.

Perhaps you got some good deals this weekend too! I love how each day has it’s own name – Black Friday, Small Biz Saturday and Cyber Monday. It helps me plan! I hope you’ll forgive me for jumping on the bandwagon with this request, which is a little different. We’ve had our shopping days, but today is Giving Tuesday, a day that celebrates generosity and doing something more, something to give back.

And I have been a constant example of how you can help those in need by working hard. You should remember the words of the Lord Jesus: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” Acts 20:25

Here’s what they say on givingtuesday.org: “It’s a simple idea. Just find a way for your family, your community, your company or your organization to come together to give something more. Then tell everyone you can about how you are giving. Join us and be a part of a global celebration of a new tradition of generosity.”

There’s no shortage of options. I often share my Angel Tree story and recommend a Global Gift Catalog (today World Vision has a matching gift!). Those are just two special ways my family gives back each year around the holidays.

Would you consider partnering with us as part of your Giving Tuesday plan? We are less than $1500 away from full support, plane tickets, language school, and feet down in the field, where less than 1 percent of people know Jesus.

The statistics say that 77% claim to be Christian, but less than 1% of that group claim Evangelical beliefs. Just to be clear, some of the beliefs up in the air for Spanish “Christians” include the deity of Christ, the personal love of God, Jesus’ death and resurrection, and salvation by faith alone. By our calculations, that means that of 46.5 million people, only 400,000 are evangelical believers.

He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” Luke 10:2

Your monthly gift (of any amount!) will enable us  to put our feet on the ground at a growing church plant in Alcalá, where the population grows each year. New apartment complexes mean that young families just like ours are moving to Alcalá, where there is not a church on every corner. In Alcalá it really seems like nobody has a neighbor who can share the love of Christ with them. We’ve been called to be that neighbor, and we are so eager to go! We long for the friendships we’ll build trading English for Spanish, meeting children in the courtyard of our complex, and doing life shoulder to shoulder with Spaniards.

You can be part of the amazing joy it will be to see a small Spanish church plant grow, raise up a Spanish pastor, and plant its own church elsewhere.

possible

By Wednesday, October 7, 2015 0 0

It’s still possible that we will make our 85% goal by October 26. I still have great hope and God has done it for us like that before. I’m sorry I’m not writing every day. This is the busiest season I’ve ever had.

In the midst of the busyness, I got really stressed out and it started to show itself in my health, which I had been caring for quite well. I did a Whole 30, I’ve been a teeeeeensy bit more active, and I am seeing a holistic chiropractor for ear/jaw/neck pain I’ve experienced since early this year. But I was so mad at God that it seems impossible we will reach our goal, so anxious about the deadline, the tasks, and what it looks like to other people that we appear to be failing our mission {hello honesty}.

God is so faithful, though. I didn’t want to, but I had to spend time in the word and in prayer because of my BSF responsibilities. In the middle of that, God answered prayers for spiritual maturity that I’ve prayed for many years. You know, the ongoing kind where I ask God to grow my faithfulness to him and help me to seek him even when I don’t want to. So even though I would have liked to just hang up the phone, I prayed that God would speak to me through my study of Revelation. I didn’t really want him to, but I asked him to, knowing that he could.

And maybe even that he would.

He did. He sustained me. He drew me close and He is so good. So many blessings. My feelings about the circumstances are mostly the same, but my feelings toward my good Heavenly Father are different.

And then He gave us a tangible reminder of His control and His good plan.

There was a time, years ago, that we presented our ministry to a church we imagined was a shoe-in. It wasn’t, and we didn’t understand why. We thought a relationship with this church would be so valuable, reliable, and mutually beneficial. They went a different direction and that was that and we were very disappointed.

Recently the church went through some hard things and it looks very different now. We realized that we probably would not have made the cut in a variety of changes they’ll undergo over the next few months. It was neat to remember that God knew about these forthcoming hard circumstances even when we were meeting with the church. He knows why we didn’t make the 12 to 18 month time frame missionaries aim for these days. He knows, and He controls.

For now, we will continue to raise ebenezers when we see how God uses our time on prefield to equip us for foreign missions, prepare us for ministry in Spain, make us more like Jesus.

Will you join us in prayer (or in person!) on Saturday evening? We are hosting a Night in Spain (Facebook invite) – Spanish appetizers, our new video, a time of sharing and an invitation to participate in what God is doing in Spain.

What Does 75 percent Mean, Anyway?

By Thursday, July 30, 2015 0 0

75After the last prayer letter we sent, it was brought to my attention that the numbers we share are sometimes a bit confusing. Our prayer warriors and financial partners are happy we’re moving along, but perhaps don’t totally know what we’re lacking in support for which deadline, and whether that’s a monthly or a one time amount we lack.

So, thanks for your grace! I hope this explanation will clear things up.

The most important number for us is 100 percent of our monthly support. When we are fully supported, we can register for language school, pack our bags and plan our shipping container. 100 percent comprises what we need to live and do ministry in Spain. Currently, we have 75 percent of that total in committed gifts, and most people are fulfilling their commitments. We really appreciate that! We currently draw on this support for prefield ministry expenses, including travel.

Our monthly support “shortage” is just over $1500.

In the meantime, we need to reach 85 percent to attend Field Prep Seminar. That’s just another $600.

What we don’t currently draw from our support account builds up, and can be used to fund our Outfit & Passage, a one-time amount we have to raise to get to the field and set up. It covers some language school expenses, travel, housing set up, a new car, visa fees, etc. We’ll share more about that need as we get closer.

If this helped you understand our financial needs a bit more, perhaps you will pray about how you can help? We would love to see you be a part of our team in Spain through financial partnership. Take a look at the following graphic – when we fill in all the orange bunches, we’ll receive financial clearance!

Last 25 percent