OK, so I am officially the worst blogger ever. I always have great intentions, but for one reason or another time seems to get away from me. I looked back at the last post I wrote and was shocked to see that it was from nearly four months ago! No excuses for that.
So you might be wondering what we’ve been up to the past four months. Well, after our truck blew up in early May, we were able to get it fixed up well enough to sell it, which was great because we originally thought it was going to be good for nothing but scrap metal. With the help of missionary friends and an extra motorcycle we got by without it for a couple months until we left Togo on July 3.
From Seeds to Fruit
During our last two months in Togo we began to see God work and move in people’s lives like never before in our ministry, and that is continuing to this day while we are back in the States. Andrew and Julia Stoff, our teammates, call us regularly to update us on all the exciting things going on. I don’t want to make this blog post too long, so I’ll have to catch you up on all the details with later posts. But needless to say, that made it very difficult to leave and come back to the States! It seems that all our seed planting is finally starting to pay off; the Lord is growing people into his kingdom and multiplying their faith in the lives of others! On that note, I’ll be sharing some of these exciting stories on September 28 at Living Water Community Church (2901 NE 65th Avenue Vancouver, WA) at 9:00 and 11:15am. We’d love to see you there!
A Month of Transition
Because our tickets back to the States were frequent flyer award tickets, we were able to build in a free stopover anywhere we wanted along the way, so after leaving Togo we went to Somerset, England for five days to be with Ben and Catherine Taylor, some friends of ours who have a ministry similar to ours all over the UK. It was a real encouragement to be with them, share stories of what the Lord is doing, and pray for one another. Following our time there we rented a car and drove up to Scotland for another five days, which was a dream come true for me. I have always been fascinated with Scotland and its history, but after discovering a decade ago that our ancestry comes from there I had been itching to go. It was beyond what we had imagined, but most importantly it provided an opportunity for us to bond as a family and “decompress” from Togo.
Once we got back to the States, we felt like we entered into a whirlwind of nonstop family outings, church activities, social events, and catching up with friends. Don’t get us wrong, we enjoyed every minute of it, but it did take an obvious toll on us and especially the kids. Not a day went by without Owen having a major meltdown, and Joshua looked like he needed to sleep for a few days straight! This was a huge change compared to the slower pace of life we are used to in Togo. We did finally get settled in to our apartment, though, and we’ve been maintaining a more sane pace of life since.
We have been so overwhelmed by people’s generosity as we have made this transition. A free apartment, a borrowed car to drive, a freezer full of beef, and a stack of gift cards were just some of the things that awaited our arrival. We thank God for his provision through his people!
The biggest piece of news for our family since arriving back to the States is that we recently found out that Tiffany is around four weeks pregnant! This was completely unexpected, and to be perfectly honest, a little unnerving for our family. You see, Tiffany was pregnant just a few months before leaving Togo but after she was about eight weeks along we lost the baby. This was a major challenge for our family, as you can imagine being a continent away from good health care and being an ocean away from friends and family. We mention this because we want to ask you to be praying for us during this pregnancy. We naturally are hesitant to get too excited about this pregnancy with the still-fresh memories of the miscarriage hanging around, yet we understand that God has a purpose and plan for us (but no, that plan doesn’t always mean we get what we want), so we are joyful and expectant at the news of having a third child.
Change of Plans
What this means is that our initial plan of being in the States for six months is completely messed up. The Lord seems to like messing up our plans, doesn’t he? Probably so that we don’t start thinking that we are in control of things. Anyway, we were intending to go back in early January, but while we don’t yet have an exact due date, it looks like it should be sometime in early May. We are considering the idea of me (Jesse) going back to Togo right after Christmas, then coming back to the States in late April for the birth. Then we would all fly back to Togo together sometime in June or July when the baby is old enough to handle a big trip. Please be in prayer about this also, as this is a pretty major decision. It would mean me being away from Tiffany and the boys for 3-4 months while she is pregnant and homeschooling Joshua. Before you go thinking that I’m the worst husband in the world for even considering such a thing, I’ll have you know that Tiffany suggested it first. 🙂
Oh yes, and we did one other thing over the past four months. We completely redesigned and updated our website. Hope you like the new look!