Let’s Meet For Coffee!

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I am very much looking forward to “meeting you for coffee” this week! Here are some things that I thought would be fun to talk about. Feel free to answer any or all of the questions listed, as well as to ask other questions of one another. You are welcome to share as much or as little as you’d like! The format of this time is as free as if we were sitting face to face at a nice cozy coffee shop with our favorite drink in hand.

Here are the questions:

-Please introduce us a little bit to your family! How many kids do you have? How old are they? How long have you been married?, etc.

-How did God call your family into ministry?  Where are you serving and what is your ministry about? Is ministry something that you’ve always felt God leading you toward, or do you find it surprising that God has you where he does? (And even if you’re not in vocational ministry, if you’re a Christian, you are a missionary, so please share what that looks like in your life!)

-What are some of the greatest joys and blessings in your life and calling right now?

-What are some of the greatest challenges?

-If you are serving overseas, what has it been like to learn to live and serve in another culture? Has it been easier or harder than you expected? What has been an unexpected joy? Has there been anything in particular that has been harder than you would have thought?

-Do you have a funny kid story or cross-cultural/language mishap story to share?

-What is one verse that God has used to encourage you recently and why?

-How can we pray for you today?

-Leave your blog address or email if you’d like! (If you do this, there is a chance that it might not post right away but will await moderation. I will approve it as soon as I am at my computer next.)

Again, don’t get overwhelmed by all of the questions! Just choose the ones you like and enjoy the opportunity to relate with other moms! Be as brief or as long as you’d like!  I hope you enjoy this time and that God blesses each of you through it. DON’T READ ANYONE’S COMMENTS UNTIL AFTER WEDNESDAY!

~Ashley

*(If you are confused as to how we’re going to “meet for coffee,” please check out the previous post!)

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22 Responses to “Let’s Meet For Coffee!”


  1. 1 Ashley L September 20, 2009 at 12:57 pm

    Hello!

    My name is Ashley, and I have a 4 year old daughter and a 2 year old son that I love and enjoy so much. My wonderful husband and I have been married for almost 6 years, and it was through him that God blessed me with the opportunity to be in Russia. I had originally planned to serve in East Asia, but when I fell in love with my now husband, God showed me that the things that I felt led to do in East Asia were things that I could also serve doing in Russia, so we started dating and got married within a year!

    We work in college ministry, which I love, although I also see much of my personal mission field as being at home with my children and also to my neighbors and the community that we live in. It’s hard though, because we just moved to a new city and I am having the hardest time getting to know any of my neighbors! They are NEVER around! It’s so hard!

    Some of the greatest joys for me recently are just that I have grown to truly love where we are at in life and ministry. My first year in Russia was very hard and I definitely had many days that I just wanted to go “home,” but God has since changed my heart and helped me to truly love Russian people, Russian culture, and Russia in general. That is probably one of my greatest joys right now since I had a hard start here. I still have hard days, of course, but generally I am thankful for and enjoying where God has us. I am so thankful that God has brought so much joy in the calling He has given us. Like I mentioned before, my family is also a great joy to me. I feel like especially now, with our kids being the ages that they are, we’re in a period of time where things are pretty smooth and a bit easier than the baby years (we had TWO colicky babies!!!), and we’re just having fun. I also love coffee! =) Coffee and friends, coffee and my Bible, coffee and then a nap… all of these things bring me great joy.

    One of the greatest challenges for me right now is just the fact that our lifestyle comes with so many transitions. I hate instability. It is SO hard for me, yet transition is a pretty regular concept in our life. We just did a major move from southern Russia to northern Russia, and had our furlough in Seattle in the middle of the move, so I am pretty transitioned out. It went well, but I’d love to just stay put for awhile now.

    Adjusting to life overseas for me has been an “all over the map” experience. Like I said, the first year and all of the initial transitions were very hard, and harder than I anticipated. I didn’t realize how draining it was going to be to constantly be out of my element. Things in the years since have gotten much easier, to the point that I am surprised at how normal life feels, and how much I enjoy living here most days. Language is still a challenge for me, but it is coming along and I feel generally encouraged. I just wish so much that I could communicate freely without it being work and without having any hindrances in what I am able to communicate.

    Actually, that would be one of my biggest prayer requests! Would you please pray that I’d learn Russian well and that I won’t give into the temptation to compare myself to others in this area and feel bad about myself? Thank you!

    Lastly, a verse. “I will most gladly spend and be spent for your souls.” 2 Corinthians 12:15a This verse is one that has been on my heart for a long time now. I desire that God would take shape me into the kind of person who is always glad to spend what I have (time, energy, money, etc.) for the sake of the souls of others.

    Thank you for taking the time to read my long note! I am so excited to read yours!

    ~Ashley

  2. 2 Janna September 20, 2009 at 7:47 pm

    Love this coffee idea! My name is Janna and I live in Portland, Oregon. I’m 32, married for 6 years (together for 12). We have identical twin boys (18 mos). I get to stay home with them and my main ministry at this time is the playgroup leadership team at our church. We run a community playgroup on Thursday mornings. Most of my job is to serve by showing up early and setting up, greeting new moms and making sure they feel welcome and staying late to clean up. I also meet monthly with the other five moms on the team. We spend a few hours finding solutions to problems that come up, praying for the moms and kids who come and chatting about everything. I also help the church organize meals for families who attend our church and need help but aren’t yet involved in a life group or ministry. I grew up in a Christian home. My mom stayed home with us (four kids) and she was a great example of serving the Lord wherever you live. She was a tireless volunteer both at the church and in our neighborhood. She was a real friend to those in our community who didn’t believe like us. I always hoped my own experience as a mom would be similar.

    The greatest blessing right now (other than the obvious – my husband and babies:) is our home. I love our neighborhood. We moved to Portland from a small, slow-paced, sunny, recreational mountain town because of my husband’s job. This was not at all where we chose to live, which is in part why, when I first found this blog, I felt such a connection. Even though we’re only an hour away from where we grew up and three hours away from where we moved when we got married, we still felt very uncomfortable and uneasy moving here. It was a huge change and not something we had really wanted. (Just to be clear, that does NOT mean I truly understand what it’s like for those of you who have been called to live in a different country with a different language than your own). So it was a wonderful surprise, to fall in love with Portland, especially our tiny cottage, our eclectic neighborhood, our church and our opportunities here.

    Thank you to Ashley – I’ve been very encouraged by this blog and I have always appreciated your inclusion of “non-traditional” missionaries!

    So nice to “meet” all of you!

  3. 3 Laura Anderson September 21, 2009 at 7:23 am

    Hi!
    My name is Laura and I’m not a traditional Missionary Mom – I’m not married and I have no children of my own! BUT, I’m living in a dorm at a large Children’s Center (approximately 300!) in Mozambique. My dorm currently has 29 darling boys, ages 5-9. I have been working at our center for 6 1/2 years and have now been living in the dorm for five years! I’ve had up to 50 boys at a time!

    It was my heart since I was a teenager to work at an orphanage and be a mom to the kids who don’t have one and I’m living my dream. Of course I have help with the boys, national staff. But I LOOSELY describe it that they are managing the boys and I am trying to raise them!

    Although I was open to being a missionary, or whatever else God had for me, I wouldn’t say I had felt a passion or calling for it. So it has taken me by surprise to be here these last six-plus years. But I’m so thrilled and count it a real joy and privilege!

    One of my greatest joys serving here is looking into the faces of my little darlings and seeing their faces light up when someone really sees them individually. The flip side of that coin is the worst part which I just posted a blog about today entitled “I am always shutting the door in someone’s face.” There is not enough of me to go around for 29 boys!

    I do have a prayer request – I have three developmentally delayed boys with various degrees of severity. One, Feliciano, is nearly eight and I am set to seriously tackle potty training this next week. He doesn’t speak, nor grasp concepts, but he does understand directives and I’m hoping that with some focus, we can get him out of diapers so we’re not still changing him at 18!!! Any prayers, or advice, would be appreciated!

    I look forward to “meeting” other readers! I am new to your blog and find it quite interesting and helpful so thanks!!
    Blessings, Laura

  4. 4 Vicky @ thecitycradle September 21, 2009 at 4:33 pm

    Hello wonderful women. I love coffee and am thrilled to be sitting down and having it with you. I figured I would chime in even though I am not overseas or a paid missionary or anything of the sort at the moment, I assume you will all forgive me of that:)

    I am mom to 9 month old twins, one a boy and one a girl. My husband and I live in Las Vegas. After leaving beautiful Seattle and Crusade Staff 3 years ago we have been seeking to encourage and build the church amongst the very unreached 20 somethings of this city. We will be transitioning this winter into full-time seminary and then onto whatever God would have for us.

    3 years ago we felt a specific call from God to come back to Las Vegas (our hometown) and labor for the gospel. We saw, and still do see a major gap in the church’s influence here among the young adult population. A huge percentage of this city’s population is under 30, recently moved here (most of which work in the service industry) and are living life decidedly apart from God. The last three years has broken our hearts in ways we could not have imagined. We have sought, prayed and worked to bring forth the gospel in this city only to be meet by physical and spiritual resistance around every bend.

    The joys of this work have come through the slivers of life change we have seen happen. We have had an awesome chance to un-traditionally disciple many young christian couples and young families who will be staying in the city for years to come. We are hopeful that they understand now the great picture of what God could do in the city. How lives, communities and the city itself could be turned around as Christ is exulted and sin is forgiven.

    As we transition out of this field for the coming years to receive the training and education needed to be effective I rejoice to see a remnant left behind of God’s work in the hearts of his church and I ask that you would pray with me for that work to effect change in the hearts of the unbelievers living here.

    Thanks for “meeting” me. I look forward to hearing your stories as well.

    Vicky

  5. 5 Shilo September 21, 2009 at 10:32 pm

    Hi! I’m Shilo, 31 year old wife of 7 years and mother to two gorgeous redheaded boys, ages 4 and 1. We currently live in Paraguay, South America, having arrived just 3 months ago. We love it here. Honey is a math/science teacher at a school for missionary kids and loves what he does. My ministry is more home focused at this time, which I love! Beyond my family, my loves are encouraging other women, decorating, volleyball and reading. Oh yes, and blogging! 🙂 I love having people into my home for meals and feel so blessed to be living the life that I am.
    We have been with our organization for 7 years, 4 in Venezuela and three years stateside. We hope to be in Paraguay for a long time!
    We are seeking God’s wisdom about how we can get involved in the local community and are currently looking for a church to fellowship in.
    My son goes to a German play group (there is a large contingent of mennonites here in our community) and when he first started going, I asked him if he had learned any german. “No” So I asked him if he knew what “Nein” (german for no) meant and he said, “Yes, that’s when you are about to turn 10”. 🙂
    Well, my children are needing to get out of their bath so I will have to cut this short! 🙂 I know…you all know how that is! 🙂
    My blog is myplaceofpeace.blogspot.com. Come on over and say hi! 🙂

  6. 6 Addie September 22, 2009 at 1:17 am

    -Please introduce us a little bit to your family! How many kids do you have? How old are they? How long have you been married?, etc.
    I’m Addie, 27, and I’ve been married for about 7 years to Bill and we have 2 kids, Caley and Amelia who are 4 and 2. We have a son due in February. We haven’t named him yet. 😉

    -How did God call your family into ministry? Where are you serving and what is your ministry about? Is ministry something that you’ve always felt God leading you toward, or do you find it surprising that God has you where he does? (And even if you’re not in vocational ministry, if you’re a Christian, you are a missionary, so please share what that looks like in your life!)
    We live in Washington, my husband works full time and I stay home with my kids and homeschool them, as well as serve in our church, so this life is our primary ministry. Ministering and sharing Jesus with our neighbors and co-workers is important to us and for me I am sometimes convicted that I don’t know very many non-Christians, so I’m working on getting out of my comfort zone and meeting other women I can relate to who might not be Christians. So far it’s mostly been people I’ve met in the community, like the library lady and the grocery store ladies, who right now I’m praying for an opportunity to see outside of our weekly grocery trip.

    -What are some of the greatest joys and blessings in your life and calling right now?
    Getting to stay home and focus on running my home and educating my children is a huge blessing, one that I didn’t think would be a primary part of my life when I was a child.

    -What are some of the greatest challenges?
    Getting out of my comfort zone, and out of my “bubble” of Christian friends, specifically those in my church. I love my church friends, but wish my life were a bit more missional in that way.

    -What is one verse that God has used to encourage you recently and why?
    One passage rather that God explained lately through a bible study, Matthew 18:21-35, the parable of the unmerciful servant. The servant owed his master $6 billion and was owed about $12k, in current money. I owe God so much ($6 billion) yet he doesn’t make me pay that debt, Jesus did!!

    -How can we pray for you today?
    I would appreciate prayer for my pregnancy, I’m about 20 weeks. So far things are going well and I hope they stay that way. Also for the health of our baby, whom I can’t wait to meet! Also that God would open avenues for me to be missional and kicking me out of my “bubble” and for time/project management.

    I’m looking forward to getting to know you beautiful ladies over coffee soon!

  7. 7 Kimmy G. September 22, 2009 at 5:05 am

    Hi, I am Kimberly/Kailey depending on when you met me. I am not married nor do I have kids, but I am dating the Prince Charming a.k.a McDreamy of my life for almost 9 months now! 🙂 I realize to most that this is not that long, but we definitely feel like we’ve known each other for all our lives and both wonder why it took us so long to find each other. We both see a wedding in the future :-). I do want kids one day, but I think my career will come first. Possibly 4 kids are in the future. Since I adore children I babysit while I finish my masters degree at the University of Washington in Marine Science. I am and have been like an Aunt or big sister to many kids since I began watching them over a decade ago.

    I am not in ministry or a “Christian” but I do like discussing god and god like issues and I feel that I am a rather spiritual and intuitive person. I definitely believe in angels and guardian angels, and that it can’t hurt to believe in something bigger than you at times. I also highly enjoy discussing life and all it brings over coffee 🙂

    The greatest joys and blessings in my life right now, are that I am healthy, in love, able to dance and perform, and am almost done with my masters. I also am blessed by the friends, children and families that surround me. I also love spending time with mu pets (cat, dog and parrot) and enjoy seeing their happiness from the little things in life.I believe what is calling me at the moment is a struggle between balancing school, a possible professional dance career, a serious relationship, and work.

    Some of the greatest challenges in my life at the moment are balancing everything (see above), achieving all my life’s goals, and there always seems to be more daily challenges, but I think it is best to take life a day or at least a week at a time.

    I live in the states, but have traveled a lot including Russia, Australia, Germany, and England

    You can pray for me today by:
    That this last year of grad school will work out and I will be able to afford it and hopefully get TA-ships so that next summer I can get married and that my best friend since 12 years of age can be there!

    I have a blog 🙂 myself that I try my best with school and everything else I do to keep updated as much as possible. Enjoy if you take a look. http://www.kaileyrenee.blogspot.com

    It was nice to meet you all 🙂 I went for the pumpkin spice chai latte (homemade) as my coffee drink. SMILE 🙂

  8. 8 Kelly September 22, 2009 at 12:42 pm

    Hey Ladies, I am so glad to be here! We are traveling in Kentucky this week as we raise support. So it is a perfect opportunity to keep meeting new friends, but also chat with some who already feel like old pals.

    My husband and I will celebrate our 5th anniversary this December, and we have two little boys: Caleb will be 3 in November, and Seth just turned 1 in June. This is our first official term as a family- I spent a year in Uganda right out of college before we were married. We’ve officially been on homeland ministry assignment since February- but only really since June (since my husband stepped down from his job as youth pastor and we were actually able to travel and share in other churches). We hope to leave for Uganda in June!

    -We will be serving as Campus Pastor at a christian international school in Kampala Uganda. Heritage International School is a k-12 school and Josh’s main job is hanging out with the kids and pouring Christ’s love into their lives! We are looking forward to be a stable force in these MK and expat kids lives that always seem to be in flux. And we will also get the privilege to disciple and mentor african young people at Kampala International University. Only 1% of africans reach university- so the caliber of students and the potential to influence business and government arenas for this next generation are staggering! We are overwhelmed by the task- but know He has called us for such a time as this!

    -It has been such a blessing to meet so many brothers and sisters around the country who are passionate about God’s global purposes! It humbles and blesses us to know that so many feel called to pray for us and join our support team!

    -My challenge right now is faithfully mothering our two young boys- there is so much that would pull me from being an attentive mother- Josh is still working full time until we reach our first financial goal of 35%, when we can get salary and health ins from our mission. So I’m doing a lot and we’re living with his parents- and the boys need me so much at this tender season. I want to pour into their lives, and enjoy this sweet age, and yet so many other tasks pull for my attention.

    -So I need prayer for balance and joy and being fully present no matter what the task- but especially with my two little guys, and my dear husband. Thanks!

    I can’t wait to meet everyone else! Looking forward to coffee tomorrow!

  9. 9 Junglewife September 22, 2009 at 10:29 pm

    My hubby (Dan) and I have been married for 9 years. We have two beautiful girls, ages 3 (AKA “I will be 4 on November 14!”) and 1 1/2. We both grew up overseas (I was an MK, he was an oil kid and later an MK) and met in high school in Ecuador.

    He has always wanted to be a missionary pilot. I could never see myself doing anything but living and serving overseas. So, when we got married, we were definitely on the missions track. With mission aviation, there’s not that many organizations to consider, and we looked at almost all of them. Living in Ecuador, we both knew the most about MAF, and Dan really got interested in mission aviation through the mentorship (is that a word?!) of several MAF pilots in Ecuador. So they were at the top of our list, and that’s who we ultimately ended up joining.

    We were originally assigned back to Ecuador, which was very exciting to me as my parents are still living there as missionaries! But then things became clearer to us and to mission leadership that the Ecuador program really didn’t need us, and Dan would not do much flying if we moved there. So we agreed to take an assignment to Indonesia. We are glad to be here and know that this is where we are supposed to be.

    I do enjoy living here, knowing that we are where God wants us to be right now. I think it’s always hard to be a missionary wife and mother, struggling with outside ministry vs. ministry in the home. I want to get defensive when people ask me what kind of “real” ministry I’m doing. Right now my ministry is to my children and my husband. I really hope to get more involved in other outside-the-home ministries when the kids get a little older but right now they’re my main focus.

    I think one of the hardest things about living here is just the isolation. It’s not that we’re out in the middle of the jungle. We live in a small town where there are little shops, etc. But I just feel SO far away from my home country. Even to get to the nearest “fast food” is an hour flight from here. And to get out of Indonesia, it’s a cross-country, multiple stop trip. Flying back to the States is a several-day ordeal. Living in Ecuador, it was expensive to fly back to the States, but if we had to get back quickly, we could be back the next day. Here, even if everything went right, it would still be at least 4-5 days before we could get back. And that makes you feel isolated! Also not having hardly any of the “conveniences” of home. Don’t get me wrong, I love our house, and we have electricity, running water, and all the major appliances. It’s the “extra” things that are outside of the home that it takes a while to get used to being without. Things like being able to order out for pizza or even to be able to buy ready-made things rather than having to make EVERYTHING from scratch all the time. What’s for dinner? Well, I don’t know, but I DO know that I will be making it! There’s only a couple restaurants here in town that we eat at, and when it costs well over $20 to feed our family of 4 (two of whom are small and don’t eat much!) you better believe we don’t eat out very often! Sometimes it’s just those little things that get to you!

    I have really appreciated this community. We’re nearing the end of our first term here and I feel that it really has gone well. I haven’t had any major cultural issues, and I look forward to coming back for another term. Thank you for your prayers: Safety as my husband flies every day, wisdom as we parent our two girls, opportunities to show God to the people that live around us. God bless you all!

  10. 10 RebeccaC September 22, 2009 at 10:36 pm

    Hola! I’m Rebecca and I’m a missionary mom of six kiddos. We live in Sinaloa, Mexico, which is on mainland Mexico about 600 miles south of the border. Our kids are Sarah (16), Caleb (15), Jessee (13), Seth (13 — they’re twins), Andrew (almost 12), and Evie (10). We’ve homeschooled since the beginning of time and see no end in sight. That’s ok, though, since I absolutely love teaching and feel both blessed and priveleged to be able to educate my kiddos at home. Life is quite busy, but happily so and I love it (usually, unless everyone is having a bad day at once, and then it’s just better to call it a movie day and go back to bed).

    My husband, Doug, and I started our missionary journey about 8 years ago when we found ourselves attending a church full of youth, but with no youth leaders. We invited the kids to just come over and hang at our house. Within a year, we were receiving all mail sent to the church addressed “Youth Pastor”. We were hooked. We served as youth leaders for about 4 years and then felt God calling us to a more radical ministry. We stepped down as youth leaders, sold our house, had a gigantic yard sale, and moved to Mexico. (That’s the super-simplified version.)

    Now we work with a Calvary Chapel church in the small fishing village of Boca del Rio. Our ministry focus is “the family” and our organization is “FLOWinternational” which stands for Families Living in Obedience to the Word. Doug is the youth director, I help wherever needed (which means I do a lot of impromptu stuff and spend a lot of time in the kitchen) and together we teach Biblical parenting to the couples in our church. We hope that some day, Lord willing, we will be able to share our parenting classes with other churches and that the Church would be blessed by them. That’s where our heart is, anyway! As a family, we lead worship. We’re working on getting everyone up front with an instrument or a microphone. Lord willing, it’ll happen! ;^)

    Our oldest is graduating this year and on Friday she will be leaving us for two months to help at a deaf school in a city a couple of hours away. While I’m excited about this opportunity for her, I can’t help being a little anxious. She’s my first and this is her first “solo flight”. I’m very proud of the godly young lady she is becoming; I just wish she could stay “little” a little longer. Imagine how I’ll be when Evie starts to spread her wings!!!

    We’ve been in Mexico almost 4 years and it has been a ride! When we arrived, we knew almost no Spanish and we dedicated our first year to learning the language and culture of Mexico. We were quite the gringos!!!

    After we had been in Mexico 6 months, we enrolled the 3 older boys in the local school to help them learn Spanish. If we had hoped for any academic advancement from them during that time, we would have been sorely disappointed. They were above grade level in math and reading, though, so taking six months off of school didn’t do any real harm. What this little adventure did, though, was to #1 eliminate any desire the boys had previously had to attend public school and #2 (more importantly) change my status among the ladies of the village from “American visiting here” to “one of the moms”. The change was dramatic and basically overnight. Even though I still struggled with the language, the ladies were more helpful and willing to put forth the effort to help me understand. I also was able to better understand their struggles and frustrations as mothers.

    Alright, enough about me! Can’t wait to read everyone else’s introductions. This was a great idea, Ashley! Thanks for the invite!!!

    Que Dios les bendiga!
    — Rebecca

  11. 11 Jami Gustafson September 23, 2009 at 12:44 pm

    Hi! I’m Jami Gustafson and I live in Ulan-Ude, Russia (Siberia) with my husband and little daughter (almost 2). We’ve been here for three years now. I’m holding my friend Katia’s newborn baby on my lap right now as I type and I want another one!! You can pray that God will bless us with a second child. We’re scheduled to be in the States next summer for home service and would love it if the timing worked out to have another baby then.

    I like our life. Of course, I don’t like seeing vomit and beer bottles in our stairwell. And I don’t like that it’s already snowed this week and it’s 56 degrees in our apartment because they haven’t turned the heat on yet. But I am really content with our life and am excited to see what God will continue to do all around us.

    My husband, Leif, is the best! We really enjoy each other and I really respect him. He has a lot on his plate right now and is learning a third language (Buryat), but he always makes time for Anneka and me, and we guard a date night together each week. Anneka is at a really fun age and I really like having her with me wherever I go. She’s a happy little girl and I love watching the joy that others have when they interact with her.

    Today has been a little sad, as we said goodbye to our teammate/friend/next door neighbor. She accepted a job as a women’s dean of a Bible College in Germany. She’s been a daily part of our lives and Anneka just loves her. A little over a month ago, another close friend and teammate of ours died. So we’ve had a lot of loss in our lives and on our team. The sadness comes in waves, I think.

    Well, Katia just came back and took her baby away and my husband got home after a Bible study, so I’ll say goodbye for now. It’s SUCH a bad habit, but Leif and I always get hungry at about 10:00pm and we chow down. It’s about chow down time. Haha.

    I look forward to getting to know you all!!

  12. 12 sarah September 24, 2009 at 4:01 am

    Hello, I am Sarah, I live in Louisiana with my husband and 2 children, Maddy – 6 and Coleman 4. My husband is teaching at a local christian school. I homeschool our children and I love it more than I ever thought I would.
    We are missionary appointees to Guatemala. We travel most weekends speaking at churches raising support. Our target date to be in Guatemala full-time is next summer. We are trying to patiently wait on the Lord to introduce us to our prayer and financial partners.
    God began burdening our hearts with missions before we knew each other. I graduated from bible college where I was a member of Student Missionary Fellowship. I attended Go Conference one year and wished I could be one of the ones God was calling to missions. I loved all the stories the missionaries told and I enjoyed learning about all the different cultures. I graduated and started working full-time as a Student Ministries Secretary/Assistant. I loved my job but after 2 years new God was leading me to something else. It had always been my dream to be like Anne of Green Gables and live in a school with girls so I thought God was finally asking me to do this on the mission field. Little did I know God was about to introduce me to my husband via a mutual friend who set us up on a blind date. Jerry was actually on a life-changing mission trip in Romania when Pam first told me about him. I wasnt sure about this whole thing but Pam assured me he was the “perfect guy for me”. After a few months of long distance dating Jerry moved to the town where I lived and we were engaged a few months later and married within the year.
    Jerry went thru a few part time youth pastor jobs, SEVERAL full-time youth ministry job interviews and we spent a year living in a girls home at BoysTown. We moved home to La and God started placing a restlessness in our hearts that there was something more. The Lord worked out the details in only the way he can and we began praying about moving to Guatemala as full time missionaries.
    One of the biggest blessing in our life right now is meeting new people and making new friends and getting reacquainted with old ones. It is so encouraging to visit so many different churches and see believers worshipping the same God at the same time all over the US and even the world. I enjoy stopping to check the time and seeing what my home church is doing at that same time.
    One of the biggest challenges right now is how to balance my husband still working a full time job, me homeschooling, family life, our church responsiblities, and making contacts for raising support. Also, being patient and waiting on God’s perfect timing not mine.
    This time of waiting and raising support has taught us so much about each other and about the Lord. I know it will all be priceless knowledge once we are acutally living in another culture trying to minister.
    I love the idea of this blog and am so excited to get to know all of you.
    Looking forward to my cup of coffee tomorrow, well actually probably not til Friday for me.
    my blog is http://www.lastrapeslegacy.blogspot.com this also has a link to our Guatemala blog.

  13. 13 Jen September 24, 2009 at 2:47 pm

    Hi Ladies,
    I had so wished I could join you for coffee this week but our lives are in a bit of upheaval right now so I had to miss! I am so excited that you are going to do more of these though Ashley! What an awesome idea!

    So, pretend I just popped my head in for coffee but had to run:
    I’m a pastor’s wife and homeschooling mom of 2. Jon is 10 and Emilee is 8. We’ve been married for 14 years and have spent all of them in full time ministry in American churches on U.S. soil up till 4 months ago when my husband recently resigned from his last position of 9 years. We are at the moment without income still, losing our house, and very unsure of what God has next for us…hence our upheaval.

    Very fun to meet you all!
    Jen
    http://www.thethingswesay2.blogspot.com

  14. 14 susanmarie September 24, 2009 at 6:41 pm

    Hi! I know I’m quite late, but I guess that is okay when it’s a “virtual” coffee date…. if I had shown up this late for a “real” coffee date, the shop would have been long empty. =)

    I’m Susan and live in Germany with my husband of 9 years, Chris, and our 3 girls: Savannah (4), Ashley (3), and Sierra (8 months.)

    We’ve lived in Germany for almost 7 years and are happy here. Chris does the financial side of our mission agency’s ministry work here.

    I taught 4th grade at Black Forest Academy our first year here before we started making mk’s of our own. =)

    My heart is really drawn to mk’s and their moms here. The things I enjoy doing in those areas are helping with Sunday School, nursery coordinating, AWANA, and leading a small group of sophomore girls.

    Chris and I have felt drawn to missions since attending Biola University together. We hooked up with our agency at Urbana and ended up here. =)

    Overall, our adjustment to Germany has been easier than I expected (because I expected terrible homesickness which didn’t end up happening.) The language was, is, and always will be (No! NOT “always will be” – though it feels like it!) a great challenge for me.

    My main prayer now is that I can find some avenues for language improvement and also get to know some more German moms.

    A recent encouraging verse for me: “He has shown thee, oh man, what is good and what the Lord requires of thee: but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God.” This came to me after hearing last week of one of our pastors at our home church who had fallen into sin for a period. This is the response God calls me to…. showing mercy and making sure that I am walking humbly…. in this situation as well as ALL others. I’ve always loved that verse and the song too. =)

    Great idea, Ashley! It was fun to get to read all of these. Thanks!
    Susan http://www.susanmarie.wordpress.com

  15. 15 Stonefox September 25, 2009 at 5:42 am

    Last one in is rotten egg, right? Well the shoe fits! Hi ladies, I’m Heidi, married to John for 15 years and the mom of 4 kids (three of them are 2 and under, good gracious!)

    We’ve been on the field (East Asia) going on 8 years and have really “forgotten” what life is like in the states anymore, which may be a good thing 🙂 One of the challenges I feel is being caught between two cultures- not quite fitting in anywhere, which is okay, it just gets tiring to always be aware of your…weirdness, maybe?

    As you can imagine, my life is quite full of diapers and toys. But then some unique opportunity pops up and God so breaks through the mundane that it keeps me anticipating more. He is good, and that is one of the greatest things I am experiencing overseas: His goodness. Mmmm, mmmm, mmmm.

    Got some diaper duty, so I have to run but it was great stopping by! Thanks Ashley!

  16. 16 Abbey September 30, 2009 at 9:26 am

    Hey everyone! Well, I am super late on responding to this, but I wanted to jump in because I have been following your blog since a friend told me about it a few months ago. I am 28 and have been married to my high school sweet heart for 7 1/2 years. We have 3 little ones all 2 and under. Bryce 2 1/2, Addison, 1 1/2, and Cayden 5 months. All born in April 3 years in a row. The Lord has a fabulous sense of humor!! 2 years ago after spending a few summers in Southern Italy on the college campus and in the city here, we felt the call and had the desire to move to Italy. It has been one year since living here, and the road has been one of trial, hardship, and growing in my awareness for Jesus.

    Most days, I love Salerno, I love the Italian people, I love the city, the way of life. Other days, it is hard to feel so misplaced, so misunderstood. This year has been a year of sanctification and an increasing measure of faith. For that I am grateful, but it also stinks when in the midst of it.

    Right now, I am in a place of needing Jesus and needing community. Which this blog is fabulous for! I never thought i could be so encouraged through the internet! So, for this i am thankful.

    In short, I am trying to find balance and seek the Lord how to function this year. As my husband is the team leader here, and we are the only family as of now, the days can be long and draining. My desire is to use our home as a haven, a place of ministry to Italians. To engage in the community around us. Everyone knows us because we are the “Americans” and the crazy ones with 3 small kids.

    I am excited about this, and grateful!
    abbey

  17. 17 Phyllis October 4, 2009 at 1:02 pm

    I’m late here, so I won’t say much. I recently found this blog, and I’m enjoying it! I was especially happy to “meet” Ashley L. above, since Russia is my love. (I already “know” Jami. That is, I read her blog.) It’s nice to read everyone else’s stories, too, of course!

    We have been married for 8 years, and we have three little ones, ages 2, 4 and 6. We lived in Russia for most of our married life, but they kicked us out in Feb. 2008. That broke my heart. Now we are in a Russian-speaking region of Ukraine. That’s enough for now. 🙂 My blog address is:
    http://fylliska.blogspot.com/

  18. 18 Joyce Riggs (Nana Joyce) November 3, 2009 at 4:31 pm

    Dear Special Friends,

    Many of you are friends I have worked with — some of you are friends who have moved away —thus it would be impossible for you to be here tomorrow to lift up our dear friend — but I KNOW each of you are P warriors, hence my request for we know our petitions will be heard from all over the world. I have also been told that you like to get yarp requests from us, as I have lifted up many of your requests — so I am taking the liberty of asking each of you to join us ladies tomorrow as we lift up Susanna to Dad beginning at 7:30 pm Nov. 3d all meeting together in a friend’s home. See the excerpt of e-mail below from my BF teacher, Dick Murbach — Susanna is his wife and has been battling ovarian and breast cancer for about 3 years. She is a firm believer in healing because it says so in the word. She has asked us to yarp “expectancy yarps” — these are her words. She has a small granddaughter and her other daughter is with child, and — the first daughter is in process of adopting baby Jane from Ethiopia — another yarp request as there have been many obstacles to overcome to bring Jane home so there has been many delays. Susanna so much wants to live to see her grandchildren; but she also wants Dad to be glorified in all she does and that His will be done in her life.

    So my dear friends, I know I can count on you and want to thank you personally in advance on behalf of Susanna for joining us in lifting her up. We did this about a year ago and Susanna bounced back at that time.

    Gratefully and with Blessings to All,

    Joyce Riggs (Nana Joyce)


  1. 1 Your Coffee Time Reminder! « Missionary Moms Trackback on September 22, 2009 at 6:00 pm
  2. 2 Praying For One Another « Missionary Moms Trackback on October 7, 2009 at 12:55 pm
  3. 3 1st Blogiversary! « Missionary Moms Trackback on February 8, 2010 at 5:05 am
  4. 4 Coming Soon! « Missionary Moms Trackback on June 5, 2010 at 3:19 am

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