Thursday, July 21, 2011

Humbled by His the younger generation!

Last night, God once again, humbled our family beyond words.  This time it was by children.  It was apparently a well-kept secret in the Lifepoint children’s group!  Several weeks ago, while we were at PFO (Pre-Field Orientation) our church had their yearly VBS.  Kierra and Raegan were very disappointed that they didn’t get to go this year, but they had to be at our PFO.  Of course, God had HIS purpose and His plan in all of this!  Well, apparently during VBS, they collect change for a ministry.  They began collecting money and one of the 5th graders approached John Edmonds (the children’s pastor) and asked if they could give the change to the Isbell family.  John told the 5th grader that $1000 dollars had already been committed to Calvary Rescue Mission, BUT if they raised any extra, they could give it to the Isbell’s.

 Now, first of all, I want to say, Calvary Rescue Mission is one of our families FAVORITE local missions.  It is a men’s homeless shelter on Third Street in Memphis.  We have gone there several times to serve meals to the men and to simply love on the men.  Kierra and Raegan ask ALL the time WHEN we will go back…so when I heard their goal was to raise $1000 for the shelter…I already began to get tears in my eyes! If you every want to be Jesus’ hands and feet contact Calvary Rescue Mission!!!!  GREAT MINISTRY!!!!

Well, John told us last night (with several of the 5th graders) that they put the challenge out.  They had $700 in change. They had collected this amount over the week and they only had one more day to reach the goal of $1000.  If they bring in anything over $1000, it would go to the Isbell family.  Mr. John told these 5th graders they needed to pray that God would provide.  So these young ones, by faith, did just that!!!  They went home and prayed!!!!   The last day of VBS they collected PAST the goal….MORE than what they asked for!!!!

Last night a couple of the 5th graders gave us a check for $300 and some change!!!!!  Can you believe that!!!!  Not only did these VBS kids at Lifepoint raise $1000 dollars for Calvary Rescue Mission, but we also received $300 plus change!  GOD is AWESOME!!!  I set there in tears…OF COURSE!!! 

This morning, as a family we discussed how God would want us to use this money and WE ALL agreed that GOD has something special set aside in Brazil for this money!!!!  We can’t wait to see WHO we will be able to help!!!  Kierra and Raegan are SO excited and so are WE!  We are praying that God will show us HOW He wants us to use HIS money to bless someone else!  So, LIFEPOINT KIDS…..You are getting to impact someone in another country…thank you for digging in the couches…breaking the piggy banks…and begging for change from your parents!  We love you all!  Stay tuned for HOW GOD uses your sacrifice of LOTS, and LOTS, and LOTS of CHANGE!!!! 

Luke 1:50His mercy extends to those who fear him, from generation to generation.” 

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The "See You Later's"

So much has happened over the past few weeks it is hard to even describe everything.  We finished PFO (pre-field orientation) with NICS (Network of International Christian Schools) which is always an exciting time of year.  I love seeing ALL of the teachers preparing to go overseas some for the first time, some for the second or third time…ALL ready to leave everything and serve the LORD with the gift that HE has given them through teaching.  I have the honor of serving the children of the parents that are going and I absolutely LOVE it.  Love working with other teachers to prepare these young boys and girls for the adventure of a life time.  They will be change forever! 

(This is Kierra and I at PFO (Pre-Field Orientation) getting ready to go on one of their MANY field trips!)

It was a blessing to be able to meet several of the new teachers going to Rio and being able to bond with them BEFORE arriving in Rio.  Kierra got to meet her 6th grade teacher and as Kierra put it, “She is VERY NICE!”  What a blessing! 

This is our RIS (Rio International School) group!!!  We are So excited to be going with such GREAT TEACHERS and staff!!!!  :)  They are AWESOME!!!  :)  Of course this is just the new staff (well, two of them were already teachers in Rio, but came to PFO).  We can't wait to meet the other teachers and see the ones we already know! 

I also had the opportunity to meet with the local NICS staff so that they could brief me about a few things that I will be facing when I arrive as lead teacher/5th grade teacher.  This was a wonderful blessing.  Jon also had the opportunity to meet briefly with the director of our school and one other teacher that will be helping with chapel and they started bouncing ideas around about this years chapel.  Jon is so excited about what God is preparing. 

We have also started communicating with a couple of teachers in Rio and one teacher and her family, in particular, has really blessed us.  They have mentioned their heart for discipleship and that they came to Rio to plant a church but have had many obstacles along the way.  We can’t wait to see what God has in store for this family. 

As PFO ended we realized it was a bitter-sweet thing it was…now it meant that the “real” goodbyes began.  We leave on August the 4th, yes Kierra’s birthday, and arrive in Rio on the 5th.  We have already had to say one goodbye that completely devastated me.  It was to one of Jon’s dear friends.  WE know we will see him again, so we are learning to say….”See you later” instead of “goodbye”, because goodbye seems so permanent. 

Okay, so I know this picture is small, but I had to include these WILD ladies!!!  :)  I love them!  They have meant SO much to me over the past 3 years.  They have encouraged me to follow hard after the LORD and when I don't ...IT IS OKAY...they help me stand up and continue to encourage me!  :)  Praise YOU JESUS for the role model on TRUE discipleship...use imperfect people.  JON and I are BOTH blessed by our church investing in us.  May we continue to do the same!  :) 

I did have a wonderful lunch with my accountability group and once again…NOT “goodbye”, just “see you later”.  We ask that you continue to pray as we are preparing….for the “see you later’s”.

*****IMPORTANT UPDATE!!!!  As I was finishing this BLOG, our realtor called....
the lady that was going to lease/purchase on the 15th doesn't look like it is going to happen! :(  Pray for wisdom and discernment as we decided what to do....