These past few months have been filled with many firsts for our family. We've been navigating the beginnings of missionary life and it has been filled with all sorts of new experiences! We've spent numerous hours designing our website, prayer cards, and our deputation video along with many other materials that help convey our call to Bolivia. We have called and emailed many churches looking for opportunities to share our burden. And finally, this past month, we have reached the really fun part where we can actually begin visiting and talking to others about what God is doing in our hearts!
We had our first meeting on September 27, and have hit the ground running. Since then, we have been in about 10 more meetings! It has been so exciting to have the opportunity to share with God's people about the country we have grown to love and have such a burden for. To watch God work in hearts and give other church families a vision for the lost has been so encouraging! The love and generosity of the churches we have visited has been overwhelming and we are so humbled to be the recipients of such kindness!
Our church's missions conference has been one highlight of this past month. We truly believe we have the best church family on the planet, but we are a little biased :) They encouraged us and spoiled us and our children with numerous gifts and kind words! They have continually uplifted us in prayer and helped with so many of our needs. We were thrilled that Jacob's ordination and commissioning service could take place at the same time as our missions conference. It was a wonderful way to begin deputation.
We have managed to stay pretty close to home for the majority of our meetings, but we did make our first road trip a few weeks ago. We left on a beautiful Monday morning to head to Spartanburg, SC which about a 6 hour drive from our home. The trip went very smoothly, until the last half hour, when we ran into a nasty patch of storms. The rain became so heavy, that we pulled off the interstate until the worst of the storm passed over. We began to hear emergency warnings on the radio about a tornado, but we weren't familiar with the area and if we were in the warning radius. After a bit, the storm cleared and we continued on our way. When we arrived at the church we were visiting that night, we found out the tornado had hit just a mile from the church building! Thankfully the church was not damaged, but the power was out so the services had to be canceled for the evening. We were so thankful for God's protection...if we had been running just 30 minutes earlier, we would have been arriving during the tornado! Praise the Lord for our little ones that required that extra potty break :)
The power returned the following day and we were able to have services which was a blessing! That night after service, we pulled out heading north to Dover, Delaware. We begin experiencing some car troubles, but needed to be in Delaware that next day, so we prayed that God would hold off any pending issues until we could have them addressed. We drove over 9 hours without another hint of an issue, and made it safely to Delaware. While at that conference, some men of the church graciously helped us find the problem with our car. They commented that they wouldn't have driven that car 15 minutes with the issue it was having, and if the belt that was loose would have come apart, our engine could have been ruined. We are still praising God for those faithful men and their willingness to serve Him by ministering to us in our time of need!
Overall, it has been a wonderful month, full of fellowship with the people of God and encouragement from His Word. We have several more meetings before the end of the year and are looking forward to being on full time deputation starting in January! Your prayers have been evident this past month as God has protected and sustained us throughout several of the "bumps" we have experienced! Keep them coming.....they are much appreciated :)