Saturday, April 26, 2008

Add it to the list...

We have been hit with a heat wave here in sunny So Cal... it hit 90 degrees in our apartment this evening (something we do not anticipate missing in Germany!).

Adam and I have been thinking a lot about all that we have ahead of us before we land in Germany. We have A LOT of support to raise; a household full of stuff to sort, pack, donate, sell and store; curriculum to review; training to attend; and a very full schedule of life to live in the meantime. Whenever I think of another thing to be done, another supply to purchase, letter to mail, call to make, meeting to schedule, questions to ask, I think "add it to the list". And may I just say, the list is quite long.

It seems overwhelming- all that we have to do in the next 3 months (count them... May, June, July, just 3 months!). And yet, the Lord has been gracious to us. When I feel overwhelmed, Adam is calm; when Adam was overwhelmed, I was calm. I am looking forward to when the anxiety returns to Adam's nerves and I can go back to being calm, cool, and collected. But until then, I find myself driven to my knees in prayer at least every 10 minutes throughout the day. I hand my worries over to the Lord, and then 1o minutes later, I hand them over again since at some point I took them back. The load is a heavy burden to carry. We plead with the Lord daily to provide our support- 80% pledged before we will be allowed to purchase our plane tickets to be in Germany by August 1st. We pray that the Lord will be, even now, working out the millions of details and providing answers for our endless list of questions that stand between us and the mission field of students at Black Forest Academy.

Thank you to those of you who have offered support and are already lifting us up in prayer. I feel as if all I need is a little bit of progress to return the wind to my sails.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

A little lesson in prayer

Yesterday, Buena Park had its last league dual swim meet before finals. Varsity boys lost by 2. But it wasn't the end of the meet that brought me in prayer to God's throne, it was the swarm of bees encroaching on the pool deck before the meet started.

As many of our swimmers were standing around the deck, delaying the inevitable 'get-in,' a massive swarm of bees started buzzing over our heads. Many ran into the locker rooms, a few jumped into the pool, and some of us moved to the other side keeping a watchful eye. As some were suggesting that a bee keeper be called, I called a higher authority. I prayed a simple prayer, "God push these bees away. Have these bees fly away from the pool deck." Immediately, the swarm moved away.

On my drive home I connected a thought with the Bee Prayer that encouraged me. If God hears me and answers so promptly and graciously with something like the bees then I know he hears my prayers about support. Our prayers for support are constant, and deeply sincere. Yet, sometimes that thought of, "what if the support doesn't come?" creeps in and challenges my faith just a little. So, as I drove down Harbor, squinting into the golden setting sun, I felt a calmness and an assurance that God will answer, just like He did with the bees. And I thought that maybe my faith isn't being challenged like I thought, just stretched just a little.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

All that goes into this...

It's a little after 8:30 and I'm sitting here feeling pretty tired. I taught my classes all day and then went to the swim meet, (varsity boys lost by 2). I knew that I wanted to add another blog post but as I sat here all I could think about was how much work this whole missionary thing is taking.

Last night, Laura and I spent a few hours folding, stuffing, addressing, and stamping support letters. It seems like most of our free time is now being consumed with doing whatever we can to make teaching at BFA a reality, but there are so many things to consider. It is really exhausting. I never, ever would have guessed that there is so much that goes into planning to be a missionary. When I led the missions trip to Scotland in college there was a lot of work that went into that, but that was only for 3 weeks. This process of planning to be gone for a whole year is overwhelming.

Through this experience so far, I have learned to have a much, much greater respect for missionaries and all that they have to do. Everyday there seems to be new questions, new concerns and worries, but Laura and I keep praying. We pray every night together and we pray every day on our own. We thank the Lord for the energy He give us, and we lay all of our burdens and concerns down at His feet. We are really learning to walk in faith that He will provide for all of our needs, but it is a surprisingly difficult lesson to learn.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Oh, what a process!

Who knew setting up a blog would be such a process? For the last 30 minutes Laura and I have been agonizing (she says collaborating) over the name, email, and layout of this new endeavor. She wanted a "cute" name. I wanted Adam and Laura. She wanted a cute layout. I wanted the orange one. And the email is still a possible work in progress. Anyway, before we get too far into this messy world of cyberspace, allow me to explain our "cute" blog title. Once it is explained it really is oh, so cute! Our last name, DeClercq, is often mispronounced and always misspelled. The various spellings of our name have been really creative. My favorite misspelling is "Decelery". It makes me laugh every time I get that one. Second choice-Delarugs. I have no idea how these permutations come about but they make for some fun reading when tossing the junk mail. Frequently, however, we see our name spelling Declerq, Declercque, Declerck, or even Declerco. But really, it's just cq. And thus, the name of our blog.

Hey, honey, I think we just finished our first post. And I think it is pretty funny.

Hey Sweetheart... I think you are right. It might even be considered "cute".