Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Off to Ohio!

This past weekend was really good! We are so very blessed to have amazing friends who are willing to help us throughout this journey. Two of these wonderful friends are Courtney and Darren (among many others). Courtney and Darren have been very helpful by giving us churches to contact and hopefully speak at! This past weekend we had the privilege of speaking at the church that Courtney's dad pastors in Ohio. Well actually, he pastors 2 different churches, one of which has 2 services and then he so wonderfully set us up with another church. So we spoke at 4 services in 1 day! Oh goodness....I must say we were very tired. But it was so good! It's really neat to be able to share our hearts and passions with so many people :)

The morning went really well. Unfortunately, we couldn't stay too long at the first service because we had to scoot on over to the other church we spoke at. The second and third services were really nice as well. My favorite conversation after church was a little boy that came up to Sean. This is how the conversation went:

Boy: "Hey, um...excuse me."
Sean: "Hey! What's up?"
Boy: "So, I was wondering...have you every seen the show Scooby Doo?"
Sean: "Yeah, I used to love that show! I watched it all the time when I was little."
Boy: "Well, you look like Shaggy!"
Sean: Laughs, "Thank you, I think!"
Boy: "No, that's a good thing. He's really funny."

We got a good laugh out of that conversation :) We also got to meet a lot of other people and had a lot of encouraging conversations. Then, we headed back to Courtney's parents house for a delicious lunch and to relax for a bit. Then, we headed off to the last service!

To be honest, on the way there, I was started to get discouraged. We were just talking about how we were doing fundraising and wondering if we were doing everything right and just kinda being hard on ourselves. Well God definitely heard our prayers and answered immediately! The last church that we went to was out in the middle of no where...or at least it seemed. Just to give you a picture, as we were driving Sean said, "I don't think I've ever been this far in the middle of nowhere as I am right now!" But we got there and immediately we felt welcomed! It was a little country church and the people were so friendly! We truly enjoyed our time of worship with them. The people in the congregation shared a few special songs and they shared testimonies of what the Lord was doing in their lives. It was very encouraging. Sean and I were talking afterward and we feel like they really understood what it means to worship the Lord with their whole lives and what it means to be the body of Christ. They did this beautifully! We felt so uplifted when we left that night!

Anyways, it was a wonderful weekend in Ohio and now we are back in Indiana. We have this weekend off so we are excited to carve some pumpkins, help at the Halloween Outreach event at Converse Church of Christ and spend time with family!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Keeping Up With the Schwarzes!!

We thought we would share a little bit about what is going on in our lives outside of our missions adventure :) Sam has been subbing and really enjoying it!! Her favorite ages are kindergarten through 2nd grade. Today was a bit of an adventure in the 6th grade but she survived! She doesn't like it when the kids are bigger than her so you get any older than about 3rd grade and she's in trouble. Subbing has been good for her because it is pretty flexible which gives her time to work on missions stuff. I have been keeping pretty busy with working at Meshingomesia Country Club, planning the worship service at my church and finishing up my last semester of college! I sure am ready to be done :)

We are speaking at about 3 or so churches a month. All of the churches we have visited so far have been so welcoming and encouraging and we have no doubts the rest will be the same! We also enjoy the weeks off that we get to spend worshipping at our home church with our church family!!

When we get some free time, we always enjoy playing games and being outside! Last week, we went to the park because Sam really wanted to take some fall pictures. It was a lot of fun walking around the park, playing in the leaves :) Life has been pretty busy lately, but we try to make time to relax and get away from everything as well as make time for family and friends before we embark on this new adventure. Well...that's about it for now! We will keep you updated on what's going on with fundraising!

Oh! We have officially received 100% of our cash need and are at 30% of our faith promise need. This means that we have raised $18,000 in cash (which is what we need to go) and we still have to raise $40,000 a year (for a total of $80,000) in commitments. We've come a long way and still have a ways to go!! But He is faithful :) Thank you for all of your love and support. Please continue to pray :)

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Moving right along

So it is the beginning of October and we have raised 22% of our money. If you combine the cash gifts we have received and the faith promise's it is a total of about $45,000. So pretty much, in about 2 months $45,000 has come in. I must say, God is pretty good! And you all are pretty amazing for supporting and prayign for us! Also, right now we have 9 more churches lined up before January. Last weekend we went to a church in Rossville, Indiana where Sean's dad pastored at before he pastored the church he is at now. It was so nice for Sean to be able to see some old faces and for me to be able to meet new people as well as see a little bit of his childhood. I feel like each time we speak we're learning more and are figuring our how to present our hearts better. Again, this past weekend we left the church feeling incredibly encouraged and supported by the people. It was wonderful :)

It is amazing though, how while feeling so encouraged and supported you can also feel discouraged and overwhelmed. Right now we have a renewed confidence and trust in the Lord that we have never had before. At the same time though, we have faced a whole lot of rejection from churches and things that we think will work out and fall through. I don't know if I've ever felt both emotions so strongly before at the same time. Right now we are also at a standstill of what to do next about contacting more churches.

We open up our hearts and share this with you all so you can get a glimpse of what's going on in our hearts as well as so you know how you can pray for us. You can pray that the Lord would continue to teach us as we travel to different churches. Open the hearts of the people we meet and place a burden on their hearts for Australia the way he has touched our hearts. Also, pray that the Lord would give us continued guidance as we look for the next steps to take.

In Isaiah it says, "O Lord, you are my God; I will exalt you and praise your name, for in your perfect faithfulness you have done marvelous things, things planned long ago." Isaiah 25:1. This perfect faithfulness is what we are trusting in right now.