My God Provides

•May 18, 2017 • Leave a Comment

This morning we were having a prayer time with our family, and we were singing a song by Housefires called “Build My Life”. There are a couple lines in that song that really struck me and confirmed what God has been speaking to me lately. In the chorus it says, “open up my eyes in wonder, show me who You are, and fill me with Your heart and lead me in Your love to those around me.” It goes on to the bridge where it says,” I will build my life upon your love, it is a firm foundation. I will put my trust in you alone and I will not be shaken.”

A couple of weeks ago we were leading a short term mission group here in Abbeville. It was a High School youth group from New York of about 30 people. We were responsible for finding the work projects and home visits, as well as leading this group spiritually throughout the week. As we were visiting potential work projects, I was led to this gentleman named Mr. Wayne. He was partially blind, barely seeing out of one eye, and soon the doctors said he would have to be placed in a wheelchair. He was living and taking care of his brother, Mr. Terry, who looked like he possibly had a stroke, all the while still taking care of his two daughters and their children.IMG_20170420_125607

The first time I met Mr. Wayne he was sitting outside of his house, sunglasses on, with some of his friends gathered around . I could tell this was a little bit of a rough crowd in a rough neighborhood. When I shared with Mr. Wayne why we were there, that we wanted to help him build a wheelchair ramp, he turned to his friends and emphatically continued to repeat with confidence, “My God provides, I told you my God provides.”

IMG_20170420_172939The Joy in this man’s face, and the confidence in His voice is still etched in my mind. I can only imagine the conversations they had prior to our arrival. “I’m going to be placed in a wheelchair soon.” “How you going to get into your house?” “I don’t know, but I know my God provides.” “Yeah, yeah, right, let me know how that turns out.” Blessed are the persecuted for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven.

IMG_20170421_115729As I reflect on that mission week, and specifically Mr. Wayne, my eyes are opened to His wonder, His providence. That week I encountered Mr. Wayne’s unshakeable trust and faith in a God who is Love. In our current season of life, in the waiting and watching to see how God will heal us of our Lyme disease, I’m reminded that when we hope in the Lord and we build our life upon a foundation of His love and His trust, then our eyes too, shall be opened to His wonder. Our hearts will be filled with His, and we will be lead in love to those around us who need it, to the Mr. Wayne’s of this world who are tucked away in every town watching and waiting to say, “I told you my God provides!”IMG_20170421_115911

Summer Adventures

•September 26, 2016 • Leave a Comment

img_20160802_155721Since coming back to the States in April, God has had us on an unexpected adventure.  We came back for this season because the Lord was inviting us to return for healing, restoration and rest.  While it hasn’t exactly looked restful, we have experienced the rest of retreats, family time and deeper prayer in this season of grace.

We started this summer finding out that we were expecting number 4, and 10 weeks later learned that Jesus had decided to take our Faustina Rose to be with Him in heaven.  While our hearts are sad, they are also filled with joy knowing that we have our own little saint interceding for us.

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We feel spoiled to have attended healing retreats and spiritual direction courses for our own personal formation this summer.  We also took the opportunity while we are in the States for awhile to visit some family and friends.  This summer we drove over 7,700 miles through 19 states, spent the night in 14 different places, and visited with countless friends and family!!  What a gift and a blessing!  The kids had so much fun seeing cousins and grandparents and making new friends along the way, but we are grateful to be back in Louisiana again, helping out wherever we can with the missionaries in Intake and in the field.

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During our time with Erik’s parents we were able to be seen by a doctor who specializes in Lyme for an evaluation.  He has a 6 month waiting list, so we have an appointment in February for Erik, Joseph and I to begin our treatment, which should last only a few months.  Please keep us in your prayers!

Family Retreat in May

Visiting a farm and the Zoo while Mommy was at the School of Spiritual Direction in GA

Surprising the Ohio family for Father’s Day and Celebrating Lena’s Birthday

Visiting Family and Friends in Oklahoma, Idaho, Colorado and New Mexico, and driving through Yellowstone National Park

 

 

The Lord gives, the Lord takes away – Blessed be the Name of the Lord

•August 25, 2016 • 1 Comment

Dear friends and family – we wanted to share with you our sad news that we lost our sweet baby. On July 20th, at 15 weeks, we went in for our first check up and ultrasound and found that the baby had stopped growing at 8 weeks. We are sad, but trusting in God’s perfect plan for us as we rejoice that we have a little saint, Faustina Rose, in Heaven to intercede for us and our mission. Please keep us, and especially our kids, in your prayers.

Divine Mercy

•May 10, 2016 • Leave a Comment

Two years ago our Mexico team started a project building a little chapel in General Cepeda for the people that live too far to walk to Mass.  Someone had donated a plot of land to the Church, and Father wanted to see a chapel built there, but there were no funds.  So, when some friends came to visit and heard about the chapel, they asked their men’s group to fund the project.  In a weekend they were able to raise all the money that was needed, with the request that the chapel would be dedicated to the Divine Mercy.  We later found out that the woman who had donated the land had a great devotion to the Divine Mercy!

flagsThe bell was finally purchased the week before the Feast and was loud enough you could hear it from our house!

Dave Quinn drew up the plans for the chapel, and he and our construction workers, Gonzalo and Pancho, built the chapel.  The bishop came and blessed the grounds, and there it sat. Over the next year and a half, nothing happened with it.  When we returned to General Cepeda in February, the newly assigned priest had a few things that he wanted us to focus on, and one of them was the Divine Mercy Chapel!  He asked us to go door to door inviting the people in the neighborhood, to start praying the Divine Mercy chaplet every day during Lent, and try to get a feel for what time they would like to have Sunday Mass there.

door to doorInviting door to door

inside ranchoA group from a rancho with a special devotion to the Devine Mercy came to visit and led the community in singing the chaplet and praying over the sick.

After meeting with of the Mexican missionaries and our team, each family committed to taking one day a week to lead the chaplet at 3pm in the chapel.  We started going door to door inviting, and ultimately helped plan the celebration and first Mass on Divine Mercy Sunday.

praying overPraying over someone who was sick after praying the chaplet.

It was such a blessing to get to be a part of the whole process of this chapel being built and filled with God’s people.  Divine Mercy Sunday was a beautiful day, with traditional Mexican dances, a pilgrimage through town, leading up to Mass and a meal after.  It was awesome to see the community come together, and God multiplied the food so there was exactly the right amount!

pilgrimagePilgrimage in town on the Feast of the Divine Mercy 

first MassFirst Mass in the chapel on the Feast of the Divine Mercy, April 3rd

Highlights From the Last 3 Months

•May 9, 2016 • 1 Comment

desert day

Desert Day

Work Project for a Center for the handicapped

Theresa’s 4th Birthday – She wanted the brown car pinata!

superbowl

Superbowl Party at a friend’s house

Ministry in our Ranchos

 

New Year, New Ministries

•April 19, 2016 • Leave a Comment

We made it back to General Cepeda for the beginning of February, in time to welcome home our mission team (the Schumanns and Hendersons) from language school.  The Henderson family had been planning on moving into their rent house in town as soon as they got back, but as things in mission rarely ever go as planned, the house was not ready, so they moved into the mission house while they waited for it to be finished.  So we were three families living in the mission house for 2 months, which had it’s challenges, but overall was extremely blessed.

With new missionaries came new ideas, talents and new life for the ministries.  As a community we decided to start a Wednesday night prayer meeting in the mission house.  For the past two years we have talked about starting something that would reach out to people who are not going to church.  God’s timing is perfect, and this year He is making it happen!  We all started inviting people that we had encountered through our daily activities or that had come to the door of the mission house.

salaThe first couple weeks we filled the living room of the mission house with people.  And by the 5th week we had to move it outside into the patio of the house with speakers and a microphone!

Throughout Lent we walked through the Kerygma (God’s Love, Sin, Jesus is the Answer, Repentance and Belief) and are now moving into how to live out the Christian life with practicals.  At least 75% of the people who have been coming are not regular church goers, but the Holy Spirit has been moving in power, and people have been returning to the Sacraments.  Several people had the opportunity to go to Confession for the first time in years during the Repentance and Belief talk, thanks to Father D, who came down with a mission group for the week.  And several of the people have gone to Mass with us. Jesus is calling His beloved children back to Himself in this Year of Mercy!

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Another ministry that we started this year is a Mom’s Group, to give us an opportunity to get to know some of the women who come by often and really start building friendships with them.  We started inviting all the young moms that we know to come hang out Friday mornings for an hour.  We decided to do some ice breaker/get to know you activities first, then share a little teaching or testimony that went along with an activity.  One week we talked about the creativity of our Creator, the dignity of women and how women bring something uniquely beautiful to their families.  We did water colors and visited while everyone painted.  Another week we shared about bringing all of our joys and struggles to the Lord and the blessing of journaling during personal prayer.  We then let each woman choose a fabric that they liked to put on a new journal for themselves.  The kids made their own little journals to draw pictures to Jesus.  It was so much fun!  It has been so cool to see these moms who are normally so busy with household tasks get a chance to sit down and do something creative.  They began to really open up and laugh and share life with us.  God has been moving and doing something new!

Christmas with Family

•April 18, 2016 • 1 Comment

We spent Christmas in Idaho this year with Erik’s parents and then flew to Ohio to spend the week after with my family.  The kids had a blast with their grandparents and aunts and uncles and cousins.  Here are a few highlights from the holidays…

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 Visiting Great Grandpa Martin

We got LOTS of snow in Idaho!  Theresa found a new love for sledding or “ice scoating” as she calls it!  …not real sure where that came from!  And Lena wasn’t so much into the ice scoating, so she just plopped herself down on the hill and ate”ice”.  She was sure not to eat any yellow ice, though!  Grandpa Gary stayed busy snow blowing, but also sneaked in a little ice scoating, too!

manger

Theresa and Magdalena put straw in their little popsicle stick mangers during Advent whenever they did anything kind.  It was nice and soft for baby Jesus by Christmas morning.  They were so excited to put their baby Jesus in their own little mangers!

stocking Lena trying to use her stocking as a shoe…

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Merry Christmas!

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Cousin Time in Ohio

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Joseph and his cousins – Jerome, Joseph, Frankie and Aden were all born within 2 months of each other!

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The Kohring Family – All 40 of us!

 
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