Wednesday, December 25, 2013

merry Christmas

Dear friends and loved ones,

It has been quite a year for us! From getting settled into our new home in Chile, Isabella turned 5 in January, she started (and finished) kindergarten; Milan turned 3 in January and is growing into an amazing little person who lights up our lives each day; to the birth of Mateo in February, and dealing with several months of bronchitis and pneumonia, from which we are very thankful that God has healed him of and now he is very healthy! To celebrating 8 years of marriage, and to us searching the ways God wants to use us in ministry here in Chile. We had a rough start with dealing with the illness in my (Tracie's) eyes and the sadness of having to leave our home in Peru, but with happiness in our hearts we see the church in Cusco grow and see how God's hand has been present in our lives throughout. 

A new chapter begins as we have been selected by the elders of our local church to take over as the new pastors. What came as an unexpected turn of events, we accept this new role with utmost gratitude and humility, knowing that God has wonderful things in store for our church, "Libertad" (which is the name of the community where it is located and also means "freedom" in Spanish). We are blessed to serve among some of the most amazing people and followers of Jesus. This new role is not a paid position and will begin in January of 2014. It Ricky will continue serving with Ambassadors in Sport. We ask that you pray for us continually. We thank God for you each time we remember you in our conversations and prayers. We hope to see you face to face in 2014.  

With joy in celebrating the birth of our Savior and King, Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

midnight musings

I can't believe we've been in our new house for a year already! Yesterday I posted photos of our street and I'd like to get some better pics so you can see our home and where we are living here in Chile! This year has been crazy in so many ways.

I feel like questions for God keep getting raised and some answers seem to come slowly. But God is not slack and His timing is perfect. That said, I am still waiting diligently for answers. Why this, why that. I feel like a three year old, like Milan, who asks me why questions all day long. Since we left Cusco due to the corneal erosions, cornea hypoxy and the discomfort, the pain... it was such a relief physically to leave. But emotionally it's been hard. I do love Chile though and I'm getting used to being here. I still feel like I need to find my niche, my place, as a person, a believer, a missionary.

So the questions I have for God. If He allowed my illness to happen and we left Cusco, then why are we losing financial support left and right? Churches are dropping our support, individuals are going through financial hardships themselves, others drop without notifying. I feel like in our newsletters I dont have anything to say except, we need support!!! I really dislike fundraising. Ironically, we've been told that we're pretty darn good at it. I don't feel like that now. God prepared us and given us exactly what we needed during that last season in our lives, in Cusco. And now, I feel another chapter is opening. The pages are being written, but I don't know the end of the chapter, and I wish I did.

For me, it's hard to let go while at the same time I yearn for the future.  I trust God with our foster children, the church in Cusco. I know that He loves them and is caring for them spiritually. I can let go. And as for the future, I want to see our ministry flourish but I know it's not going to be the same ministry as in Peru. I also yearn for a simpler way of life. I love simplicity and the joy of family and the love that we share.

I want to be a peacemaker. To live my life humbly and simply. To enjoy what God has blessed us with. To support and minister to Ricky, my kids, and others who I call friends.

We don't need the support of others to continue doing God's will. Regardless of what monetary means we have, our life and calling are sure. Whether we are in a ministry spotlight or serving day by day in the quietness of our lives, I know we desire to be pleasing to the One who matters.

With open hands I hold our ministry, life, marriage, children, and all that we love. The beauty of life is that it is so fragile and the essence of ministry is that is is an outpouring of life. What a sweet fragrance God's creation is to the Creator when creation completes it purpose of being what it was created for, nothing more and nothing less. The tree glorifies God as it sways in the wind, the lizard as it warms itself on a rock, and mankind as it cares for all that it was given charge of, with humility, love and peace. If it is so simple as that, what is the ultimate purpose of man? And if it is to glorify God, then why does man's mind complicates things so much, to an intense web of lies, desires, goals, stress... and ultimately captivity. I do not want to be captive of anything other that the heart of my Maker and of my husband and children.

....the end

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

around our neighborhood

This is our street... 

On a walk with my boy

at the park!

Here's the park just down the street from our home

Saturday, September 07, 2013

weirdness with social media

I admit it. I've been neglecting my blog. First off, I doubt the number of people who actually read it, thus see it as futile and maybe a waste of my precious time. Secondly, I have been feeling strange about social media lately, and feeling myself wanting to withdraw from it. I still post on fb things about our daily life, family or other random things, but it's just a social tool, a way to keep in touch. I don't use it for ministry or ministry updates usually. It's maybe an outlet that is a way to have some sort of normalcy in my life, something that isn't ministry... for once.

There was a time, before I left for the "missions" field, when I read Christian living books day and night. I had everything from experiencing God devotionals to Dietrich Bonhoeffer and books from the mystics. But as I actually went out, left home and "became" a missionary, my life was inundated with the problems and struggles of this broken world, I'd meet with women who were abused physically, sexually, emotionally. I'd talk with people about real life problems and as a result, I would pray for them non-stop, think about them day and night. I started dreaming about them and their issues. As I poured out spiritually, I felt myself getting dry. I yearned for someone to pour into me. My relationship with God was so beautiful because as I hung on by a thread sometimes, I'd realize daily that He was lifting me up and who poured into me so that I had something to pour out. I stopped reading Christian living books. Books that were someone else's experience with God on paper and started living my own experience with Him. I started needing a place to go to get my mind off of things as my heart would get too heavy to hold. Books with a simple story, a drama, mystery or love-story were so much more fitting for that time in my life. I read through things like the chronicles of narnia, the lord of the rings and anything else I could get my hands on in English.

I also enjoyed using social media as an outlet to talk of the superficial things of life. Not that I think photos of my kids are superficial, on the contrary, they are the ones who light up my life with joy! They are the ones in this moment that God is using to teach me, mold me and make me into the person, mother, friend, sister I was always meant to be.

Now that we live in Chile, my ministry looks different. My family is my main ministry. They are the ones I need to pour into and honestly, its just as hard as the ministry I had in Cusco. But I started reading deeper books again. and I kindof miss dealing with super hard issues of life and poverty face to face like I did in Cusco. There is a different sort of spiritual poverty here. I'm still learning what that looks like. When we arrived to Chile a year ago ( I can't believe it's already been a year!) I started feeling a heavy burden. My heart feels heavy for the Christians or so-called believers. I think Chile has seen spiritual renewal over the years and is at a point of apathy. This is something I am praying about and discovering how we can be used in ministry. A new chapter has begun and I'm feeling renewed. I might start writing again.