Thursday, January 31, 2008

Who We Are Under Stress

What do you look like under stress? This is the question we were forced to consider this week during SPLICE. We've been learning about our conflict management styles and how we react in difficult circumstances. Over the past several days all of us were challenged to examine ourselves , each other, and our spouse in the face of conflict. Wednesday we took part in a simulation hostage situation. Yes, that's right we experienced what it would be like to be forced into a small space with many people under dyer conditions. We were surprised that even though we knew the scenario was not real, we experienced real emotional responses and discovered what it would be like to deal with others in the midst of unrelenting stress.

Though we love Mexico and sense God's calling there, adjusting to our new surroundings will not always be easy. SPLICE has been extremely helpful in preparing us for what we will face in our new culture and giving us tips on how to adapt and make Mexico our home!
Thanks for your prayers as we have sensed God's presence here!

Our Schedule this coming week..

Monday: Moral Purity, Facing Cultural Differences, Language
Tuesday: Grief and Loss, Singles and Couples Issues
Wednesday: Small Groups, Children Issues, Personal Coaching
Thursday: Praying Around the World, Goodbye's and Hello's
Friday: Hopes and Fears, Evaluations, End of SPLICE

This is our last week of SPLICE and PILAT starts the following week.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Growing, Growing, Growing

Wow! The title of this post doesn't even begin to describe what has been taking place in our hearts over the past week at training. We knew our time here would be full of self-reflection and realization, but we had no idea to what extent. This week our classes focused on many areas including; building community, cultural differences, values awareness, lifestyle choices, evangelism, and the big one...Conflict and how we handle it. The sessions required us to examine ourselves and ask tough questions, and beg God to grant us grace and strength to transform some rough areas in our lives. Never did we imagine this training would be as practical and hands on as it's been. We are incredibly appreciative of the opportunity to prepare and grow before going to Mexico. The week was packed full, but we had some free time this weekend to get out into our beautiful surroundings and experience God's creation! (Pictures are from Garden of the Gods and Pike's Peak.)

-If you are interested in our schedule for the next week so you know how to pray, below we've listed the topics for each day this week.

Monday: Conflict Provides Opportunities
Tuesday: Spiritual Vitality, Managing Stress
Wednesday: Who We Are Under Stress, Couple's Couching
Thursday: Keeping Rest, Soul Care
Friday: Transition, Culture Entry
Sunday: Attend Church Outside of Your Usual Preference
(We have some homework throughout the week and on weekends.)

-If you would like our mailing address here for the next four weeks please e-mail us at josh&

Tuesday, January 22, 2008


We have officially begun our 5 weeks of intense training that will prepare us to serve in Mexico. The program we just started is called SPLICE, ( Spiritual Resources, Personal Growth, Lifestyle Adaptation, Interpersonal Skills, Cultural Adjustments, Endure/Enjoy Paradox), and it will help us learn how to better adapt to new cultures. We love Mexico and her people, culture, and land, but we still need to equip ourselves for moving there permanently. During our time over the next five weeks we are looking forward to working hard in order gain new skills that will aid us in the huge transition of moving to a new land.
So far we already realize the great benefit of being in the MTI (Mission Training International) community. Here in the beautiful landscape of Colorado we are surrounded by 36 like-minded missionaries and are enjoying sharing with them because they are facing many of the same difficulties and struggles that we are. One thing that especially surprised us is how many of the students here are our age. We had no idea God was raising up so many young people to reach the world. God is still at work and he is still mighty to save, and we take great joy in those whom he has called to serve in missions not just for our own pleasure but also for the world's.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Hello, Daisy!

Late last night we made it to Colorado Springs and we were just in time to witness the birth of the daughter of one of Jennifer's best friends from college. We were filled with excitement to be in Colorado and to begin our training tomorrow and to share in the joy of bringing this new life into the world. Praise God for good friends, healthy babies, and such a beautiful state.

Friday, January 18, 2008

God and Friends

We set out for Kansas City, MO to complete the first leg of our trip to Colorado Springs. On our way we stopped in St. Louis to visit Josh's sister and then stayed in Kansas City for two days. We had a great time visiting our friends who are attending the Forerunner School of Ministry at the International House of Prayer. The time at IHOP was just what we needed to be rejuvenated spiritually, physically, and emotionally. We spent quality time in prayer and worship and with friends. IHOP has reminded us of our need to be in constant prayer for the ministry we've been given and interceding for the worldwide ministry of Jesus Christ. Sunday we are leaving for Colorado after church.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Saint Luke UMC and Headin' to the Rockies

After a full week, we spent some time at St. Luke United Methodist Church in Lexington, KY. We had the privilege of sharing with the mission's committee and giving a mission's moment during the church's three services on Sunday. Jennifer attended St. Luke when she was in middle school, and Jennifer's parents are still members there. During our time spent with the congregation we saw familiar faces and made new friends. This church has been incredibly supportive and for that we are tremendously grateful!

We can hardly believe the time has come for us to head to training in Colorado because we've been looking forward to it for months. This Thursday we leave for Kansas City and from there we are off to Colorado Springs. While we are in Colorado we will still be updating our blog.

We know your prayers make a difference, and we appreciate your prayers for our safety as we drive out to Kansas on Thursday, and Colorado on Sunday. Each leg of the trip is about 8-9 hours and we'll be driving our 9 year old car.

Thanks for joining our journey to Mexico!

Sunday, January 6, 2008

A Taste of Mexico in Wilmore

Ya Vienen Los Reyes Magos (The Wise Men are Coming)

Today is the the Day of the Kings, the day that the wise men visited little Jesus, and in many countries it is as big a holiday as Christmas. In Mexico it is the main day children receive gifts and families hold big celebrations. People buy or make a Rosca de Reyes, an oval shaped sweetbread with candied fruit. Inside the bread is a figurine of the baby Jesus. Whoever gets the baby hosts a party on Feb. 2nd for everyone present.
At our place this afternoon we celebrated el Dia de Los Reyes with the Reynolds and Roher families. We even had a Rosca de Reyes and of course we ate a lot of Mexican food. Josh's little cousins had a good time finding baby Jesus in their bread. We both enjoyed attempting to make a huge authentic Mexican meal.

A look ahead...

We leave for Kansas City January 17th and from there we will arrive in Colorado Springs on Jan. 20th. We'll be in Palmer Lake, near Colorado Springs, until February 22nd. Stay tuned for more information about our time in Colorado.

Next week we are speaking a United Methodist Church in Lexington, Ky.

Happy New Year and thanks for the e-mails and Christmas cards. They are very uplifting!