Monday, February 21, 2011

Some good news and some bad news

It has been neat to see the way the Lord has provided in the last few week! Right now we are $500 short of being completely funded. All the means is that 1 person needs to give $21 dollars a month for our term. We are blown away by the faithfulness of our Lord and the love and support of our family and friends. Thank you so much for your support and prayers over the past 6 months. We have been learning so much. We have 2 more church visits scheduled then we are done with our home ministries. That is pretty exciting :) We are heading to Stephens City, Va next weekend and Indianapolis the weekend of March 6. This is the good news :)

The not so good news...We called the Australian Embassy the other day to see if we could check on the status of our visa. Agatha, our Embassy friend that Sean has talked to a few times, said that once our sponsorship and nomination are approved it's an average of 2-3 months longer. Unfortunately, we do not have word that our sponsorship is approved. Let me explain a little more about our visa in case you are confused. We are applying for a 2-year religious workers visa. In order to get this, the National Superintendent of the Wesleyan Methodist Church in Australia has to send in an application saying that we are going to be working for them and that they will "sponsor" us during our 2 years there. Also, our church in Yeppoon has nominate us for a position in the church. This is the paperwork that we are waiting on in order for our visa to then be processed.

So it seems like we will be around a bit longer. As anxious are we are to get to Australia, we are excited about spending more time with friends and family. We have 3 family weddings in the next few months so we're hoping to be able to attend some of those now, as well as see some new babies :) Congrats to Courtney and Darren Chilson with their baby boy yesterday :) We're sad that we are going to arrive in the middle of the ministry year in Australia but we know that we will be getting there exactly when the Lord wants us to. So until then....we wait and enjoy where the Lord has us now.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

In the mean time...

As we wait on our visas to come back we have been trying to think through everything that we need to pack/store for the next 2 years. This is very overwhelming but we figured, if we start slowly it won't be as crazy once the visa comes and we're trying to pack/move in the matter of a few weeks.

I started packing a few boxes the other night while Sean was working and I stopped after about 3. I started in the office because it needs to get cleaned so I thought, well why not pack instead of clean! Then, I started asking myself tons of questions-Do I pack this in a box or a bin because there's always the mice factor. Do I need this in 2 years? Do I throw it away, do I store it, do I bring it to Australia? Then we started thinking through what we want to bring to Australia and how much we actually can bring. Oh boy. Sean is doing worship ministry, as you all know, so he want to bring 3 guitars-1 acoustic, 1 bass, and 1 electric. That way he can cover all of his bases once we get there. He can fill in wherever needed and such. Well, as we were looking at the airlines, we discovered most airlines, when flying internationally, allow you 1 carry-on and 1 checked bag. So this would mean that we have 1 bag to pack everything else in after all of Sean's guitars. Yea....that won't work. This was a very sad realization for Sean. Now we are trying to look into the most cost efficient ways to get what we need to Australia on a limited budget. If anyone has any suggestions, please let us know!!

Here is how you can help us:
As we were thinking through what to bring, we decided to contact our Area Director to ask for some advice. One of the things that he suggested was to ask our family and friends to write us notes of encouragement for days that we are feeling homesick or discouraged. Sean and I love getting notes! One way that you can support us is by writing us notes of encouragement! You can begin right now by writing us letters that we can take with us to Australia and open on days that we are feeling down. You can write a little note on the outside of the envelope that tells us not to open it until we are in Australia. If you would like to do this, please email us at and we can give you our address. But, you don't have to stop after this one, you can continue to write us notes of encouragement while we are in Australia. Emails are always appreciated, but if you want to send us a hand written note that would be warmly welcomed as well. As we get closer to leaving, we will send you our new address in Australia!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Have to pay attention to the details..

I don't know if we wrote it on our blog yet, but our visa was official turned in as of Friday, February 4th. Exciting, right?! We mailed it out Wednesday and got the confirmation from UPS that it was at the Australian Embassy on Friday. Very exciting.

Well...We got an email yesterday saying that we didn't send enough money in with our application. Sean went back to the website and checked the amount again and it said $265, which was exactly what we sent. He emailed back our credit card info because she said we needed to pay $10 more, but he was very confused and asked her why it was more. Well...turns out if you read the website more carefully it's $265 Australian dollars. Who knew? Clearly not us. Oh well, the good thing was in less than a day they were looking at our application. Maybe that means it will come back quickly. Let's keep praying!!

Side note-Sean's grandma is going in for surgery tomorrow. Please keep her in your prayers.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Let Down...

We were so excited for this weekend! We were scheduled to visit a church in Fennimore, Wisconsin where our wonderful friends Josh and Elsa Stanton live. The plan was to leave this morning at 10:00am and arrive in Wisconsin around 4:00pm their time. Tonight we were going to hang out with Elsa and Josh, go to church in the morning to speak then watch the Superbowl with some Packer fans. We could not wait for the weekend! We made sure to pack green and yellow. Yesterday, I even made some desserts that were Packer colors to get ready for the big event.

I've been discovering lately that I really am not a detail oriented-person and I randomly assume things without really looking into them. This morning I woke up at 8:30 and looked out the window like I do every morning....but to my dismay it was snowing! I was completely surprised. Now, maybe if I was more detail-oriented I would've checked the weather forecast for the weekend...but I did not. I heard we were supposed to have snow Monday and I just assumed that we wouldn't have any today. I really should have checked on that though. After we talked to my mother-in-law, we found out we were supposed to get 1-2 inches (they were wrong by the way-it's way more!). Anyways, Sean and I decided that we would go anyways. We spent the next hour or so getting ready and packed the car. At about 10:00am we were on the road headed to Wisconsin!

Well...about 30 minutes down the road we were very concerned when we realized that we could no longer see any trees along the side of the road...we could only see white. The roads had yet to be plowed and we were starting to get a little nervous, but decided to keep going. As we kept driving, things continued to get worse. Finally, we pulled over in good ole Peru, Indiana to take a look at the radar. It wasn't looking pretty. It looked like as soon as we got out of Indiana we would be okay, but the roads were so bad! We were going 30mph in a 60. Never good. We figured our 7 1/2 hour trip would be much, much longer. After talking to Elsa, we decided it would be best to turn around because Wisconsin was getting snow on Monday which would make the trip back not so fun as well. We are very disappointed that we did not get to spend the weekend with the Stantons and visit their church, but feel we are much safer here.

Here are some fun winter pictures for our Florida family!
**The view out the car window**
**Once we got home we were stuck in the driveway for bit. This is a picture
in front of our house**
**Our house**