Friday, March 14, 2014

Mid Month Update

Whew… Quite the life changing few weeks!

I just realized this morning that a little over two weeks ago, our family packed everything up and headed to a state and city we've never been, to work with people we didn't know, find a place *hopefully* to live,  find some part time jobs to pay for the unknown living quarters & food, and find a way to furnish it. Oh yeah, and impact the world for Christ even faster by diving head on into Mobilization!

No wonder we're still a little dazed ;-)

But what an amazing two weeks they have been!!

We have so many God stories we would never had the privilege to share if we hadn't taken this leap of faith we were called to.

We are really fitting in to McKinney. Thank you all for the prayers for the children and ourselves - They have made all the difference! I've already met a young lady who is on my heart to get to know locally, and we are known well enough by a local coffee shop - SNUG on the Square - that the owners wife recognized us and said Hello when we were at the Dallas Zoo the other day!

Here's a list of things we have experienced, learned, our needs, and some things you can pray:

Experienced


  • OK, we admit it. Texas is great! We are quite aware that it is not summer heat yet, but so far it's really growing on us.
  • This area is alive. I'm constantly amazed at the number of homes, apartments, shops and businesses there are here that are thriving. People are shopping, dining, and…. well, thriving! There is such an amazing opportunity to meet and work with people here.
  • Job hunting. It's been a while since I've been paid to work (Not since 2004!) and it's been interesting. I have a second interview scheduled for tomorrow and a few next week. Ruel was already offered a few and took one at Albertson's. He'll start either Wednesday or next Saturday.


Learned



  • We have jumped in head first to the Mobilization team here in McKinney. We were both in the office some the last two weeks hearing about all they are doing and working on. 
    • Ruel and I will both help with First Step: Talking to people who fill out the initial interest form with GEM for trips through long term missionaries. 
    • I have spent the last few days learning all that is involved with short term trips. (Let me tell you, the answer is ALOT!) We've decided I'm going to help and observe with the current trips already in progress and then take the lead on one that will be coming up late summer.
    • We have also been preparing for the trip to London the first week of April. We'll be in London most of the time, but will go to Manchester one day to meet with some local partners. 
    • It's going to be even busier around here! This year Mobilization is working with approximately 300 people for short term trips. Because of some things in the works, next year is projected to jump to over 1,000. We got here just in time!
  • It is expensive to live here! We have decided it is getting us prepared to live in Dublin. ;-) Because McKinney is growing so fast, there are very few 3 bedroom apartments available for rent, and those that are left are expensive! We were blessed to find a cheaper one in a great location that would come open March 24th and signed quickly. Yes, $1350 a month is good, believe it or not…


Needs



  • Furniture. I know most of you won't be able to bring a truck with some of your old furniture, but if you know anyone in this area who might be able to help provide, we could really use it. Message me for the list of things. (But pretty much…… everything from dressers to a vacuum cleaner to shower curtains.)
  • Provision. Yes, we will both be working jobs, but like we stated before, it's expensive here. 


Prayer

  • Provision goes here too. Pray for the Lord to provide for those who trust in Him.
  • The kids. With Ruel and I starting new jobs, working in the Mobilization office, and me going to London soon for a week, we are having to leave the kids a lot. I'm sure they will be fine and the apartment we got is really nice and has gates, but a momma will worry. Pray for their safety.
  • Partners. That is one of the major reasons we are here after all! Pray we find the people soon God has to partner with us in the ministry. 
If you have any questions about what we are doing, what we need, or would like our contact information and new apartment address, please email me!!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Ready...Set...GO! Will you help?

We announced in our recent newsletter God's call in our ministry to work with GEM's Mobilization HQ office in McKinney, TX. February is dedicated to packing up and saying our good-byes in TN as we plan to move to McKinney around March 1st. We have been amazed at God's perfect timing in our joining the team in TX: This year they are leading 2 PROJECTS (80+ in each) to Brazil World Cup & Scotland Commonwealth Games, over 12 separate Short-Term Trips (STT) across the UK alone, plus various other trips across Europe and the USA. This doesn't even account for all the interns! Needless to say, we will be busy.

In fact, we need your support and prayers for an upcoming trip already. In order to learn all that is involved with leading teams and to capture a little more of that passion to serve in Europe, I (Tiffany) have already been scheduled to go with a women's vision trip the first week in April. We will be taking 8 women to experience the breadth & depth of ministries that are doing 'outside-of-the-box' things for God in the UK (i.e. Cafe churches, Pub churches, Safe Houses for trafficked women, etc.) This is an amazing opportunity to jump right in and start serving both those in Europe and fostering a passion for ministry and need to those in America.

Because of how close this trip is, budgets have already been set, and we need to provide all the funding ourselves. The initial deposit is due Feb. 3rd, but we know God will provide!
Would you consider partnering with a special gift for this trip? You can send the money directly to our GEM account (though please send us a quick email to make sure we set it aside for this trip!), or email us to find several other personal options such as PayPal or mailing it to the London Vision Tour Fund.

Please pray for us over the next month:


  • Saying good-byes in TN
  • Finding a place to live in McKinney, TX (including either furnishings or some cheap/free stuff!)
  • Funds for the Vision Tour the first week of April
  • A part time job for Ruel as soon as we get to TX (this will allow us eating money until we are able to move permanently to Ireland)
  • Patience :-)

Sunday, December 29, 2013

I'm 40!!!


Guess what??
I (Tiffany) turn 40 today - And I'm really excited!

I have finished yet another decade and look forward to the next one. Really. I love the thought of these 10 year increments.

Childhood is what it is. And I distinctly remember turning the big "two digit", 10. My brother gave me a Tenderheart Bear candle between throwing up with one of the worst stomach bugs of his childhood.

Turning 20??? Well, it was basically a moment to thank God that I never had to be a teenager again...

Hitting 30 brought me to who I am now. The 20's were the worst decade I have ever face, but in a humbling way, the best too: They broke me till I had to rely on my Father. It was in my 20's that I truly died to self and decided to live fully for Christ - no matter the cost.

So here I am at 40!

The last few weeks I've thought about all God has taught me in my 30's:

  • 10 years ago I was just starting to really love His Word. I spent hours pouring over Scripture and totally geeked out when I was supplied with The Complete Word Study & Dictionary OT & NT. 
  • He taught me how to listen to His voice and obey, even when it seemed crazy. 
  • My Father proved how He is my provider.
  • He asked me to give up my dreams, and I eventually did. Then He blew me away with even better ones!
  • I grew to love. That's says a lot for a girl who use to live behind her safe brick wall.
  • He showed me I love to teach and encourage through His Word! ...something I never would have thought possible.
And in the last several months I have learned something else: God made me who I am - with the passions, talents, failures, dreams, and fraility - for a purpose. It's one more grand than I ever dreamed as a child, and filled with more purpose than any scholar ever hoped for me....

And that's why I'm so excited to turn 40.

Just think of what the next 10 years will bring in lessons, experiences, and refining for me, and glory, honour, and a harvest for my Saviour....

He told them: “The harvest is abundant, but the workers are few. Therefore, pray to the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest... 

Please join me in making the next 10 years...... abundant!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Christmas: The Great "Wait"

Christmas has unveiled a new meaning to me this year.

Child in the manger-
A Saviour born-
God became flesh and dwells among us-
The Light of the world has come-
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace....

These are wonderful truths we as Christians have come to cherish and dwell upon in the Christmas season. We rejoice with the angels, seek Him as the wise men, and treasure all these things in our hearts as Mary did. Yet I think we often overlook something very important...

The wait.

In one sense, the wait was over! Generations had looked to the coming Messiah to be born. They looked forward in faith for their salvation - The one who would be the perfect sacrifice and Israel's consolation. Simeon and Anna rejoiced that they had lived to see the LORD's Messiah. (Luke 2:25-38)

Yet there is a "wait" we forget. Something I have come to see as the greatest "wait" of all:

God - in flesh - had just begun His most difficult wait. 

I can't even begin to imagine the difficulty of choosing to lay aside "God-ness" to put on the flesh of humanity. Of living 30+ years with us in all our trials, frailty, pride, deceit, and selfishness. Jesus didn't just choose to be born and die for us - He chose to live with us. Knowing who He was. Forgoing the power and glory and majesty He deserved, He waited 30 years to even begin His ministry.

30 years.

Who am I to complain we are going on 3???

And now - after enduring this wait, dying a horrible death, defeating death, and being raised as the firstborn from the dead -He still waits.

He waits for us to come to Him.
"The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance." 2 Peter 3:9

This year, I am meditating on my Saviour this Christmas season, with such very deep respect for the wait that small child was just beginning.
I bow in awe....


Saturday, November 2, 2013

My Heart Song

Earlier this year I learned what my heart song is.

Back in April I was told of a book by Nik Ripken entitled "The Insanity of God: The True Story of Faith Resurrected". I challenge each and every one of you to read it. The book isn't long and is quite engrossing, but you can't read it quickly. It's just too powerful.

Towards the end, I learned of a man in prison for Christ in this last century who stood every morning in his cell and sang a worship song - no matter what. Through pelted with both insults and other unimaginable materials, he sang this Gospel song with no sign that any good would come from it. After much time (years, I believe) he was taken from his cell to be executed. That's when the entire prison stood to their feet and sang the song in it's entirety. It freaked the prison officials out so much with the power of the song that he was instead released. 

He called it his Heart Song.

That's when I started thinking about it. What one song should I memorize that would be my witness, hope, and strength to sing if I were ever placed in that situation? Have you ever thought about it? You might want to. Not that I believe we will all be going to prison for our faith any time soon (though the possibility seems more realistic than it did even 10 years ago), but because we need to understand just how important our faith is. We need to remind ourselves what we would endure for the sake of Christ. In a sense, Just how much do I really love Him? I wanted to find a song that summed up my life in Christ. And I didn't have to search long for it.

God has called my life and heart to Ireland. And that's where my song was penned. 

Soak the words in. Do you really believe them? No. They are not Scripture, but an amazing summation.

In Christ Alone
In Christ alone my hope is found;
He is my light, my strength, my song;
This cornerstone, this solid ground,
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm.
What heights of love, what depths of peace,
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease!
My comforter, my all in all—
Here in the love of Christ I stand.

In Christ alone, Who took on flesh,
Fullness of God in helpless babe!
This gift of love and righteousness,
Scorned by the ones He came to save.
Till on that cross as Jesus died,
The wrath of God was satisfied;
For ev'ry sin on Him was laid—
Here in the death of Christ I live.

There in the ground His body lay,
Light of the world by darkness slain;
Then bursting forth in glorious day,
Up from the grave He rose again!
And as He stands in victory,
Sin's curse has lost its grip on me;
For I am His and He is mine—
Bought with the precious blood of Christ.

No guilt in life, no fear in death—
This is the pow'r of Christ in me;
From life's first cry to final breath,
Jesus commands my destiny.
No pow'r of hell, no scheme of man,
Can ever pluck me from His hand;
Till He returns or calls me home—
Here in the pow'r of Christ I'll stand.

Ask God to search your heart today. Is He really your all in all. Your one hope and joy?

Now, go find your heart song. Memorize it. Worship Him. Rejoice! Weep. And love Him ALONE.

Please share your heart song in the comments below!