Sunday, February 24, 2008

A Journal Entry From Jennifer: God is not Safe!

Dear Journal, Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2008 On the way from Denver to Detroit in the airplane...

I do not know where to begin...My heart is reeling between a myriad of emotions; happy, sad, upset, at peace, and did I mention sad? Oddly I do not sense depression coming over me, just a deep sadness and loss like never before, even with after my miscarriage. Now, after this tragic car accident and my grandfather's death, I feel as though no one could shock me, nothing would be a complete surprise because of the things I've witnessed. Nothing is a shock now! I know deeper than ever before, more than I ever wanted to know that God is not safe! It doesn't matter how close you feel to him, where you serve him, or anything else...The devil and sin are at work in the world, (the world is not perfect in it's current state), and though God can, he doesn't usually intervene. If he did then the world would look much different and we would not have free will nor experience the natural consequence of sin. Instead, we'd be exempt from any harm or pain merely because we're God's children...But we aren't, no we are subject to everything.. So was Christ! Even he felt death, sorrow, and horrible pain. A pastor we met in Denver said that when we suffer, when God's creation dies, he too is in pain, he too experiences loss and sadness. Josh and I agree...And if God didn't, I'd be likely to distrust Him. I must trust Him because he is the only hope I have--There is nothing else in this world to cling to, not even myself, nor my husband, neither one can save! The week after the wreck, in the center of immense grief and turmoil I sensed God's presence in a powerful way. I knew he was with us in the MTI building. It didn't make sense at times, but oh I knew and maybe that's why I didn't want to leave that place. It was my refuge and home for 4 and a half weeks, and in the middle of loss and incredible pain, God was there. He met me there. And as I think of Scott and Andrea who I saw last night at the hospital, I'm humbled and stilled by what Scott said during SPLICE only a few days before the accident...In Cambodia my biggest fear is having something happen to Isaac or Andrea. I'm haunted by the fact that something did happen to them, but not in Cambodia, but here in the states. And I know just as well that something could happen to me or my family too...GOD IS NOT SAFE!

Jennifer Rebecca

We know and believe that God is good, but we know too that he does not guarantee our safety in this life!
This journal article articulates a lot of what both of us are thinking right now. Thanks for reading it!

Josh and Jennifer

Oh, How Far We've Come!

A birth, 4 deaths, and a wedding...We've witnessed all of these stages of life over the past five weeks in addition to engaging in intense training. In January as we drove out to Colorado we could not have possibly foreseen or expected everything that would take place over the next several weeks in our lives...From being at the birth our close friends' daughter, to grieving the loss of three in the car accident, to the death of Jennifer's grandfather. We celebrated too as we made it back to Kentucky yesterday for the wedding of our dear friends and supporters Zach and Heather. Sadly, Heather's mom is extremely ill with cancer and was unable to attend the wedding and therefore, we were especially thankful we could be there to celebrate with them.
And in the middle of these events surrounding us while we were in Colorado, we were part of a Christian community, one like we've never experienced before, a community that challenged us to love, to love even if we lose, even if we never see the person again. In this community we learned nothing is guaranteed in life, and we discovered we will never be the same people we once were. When we go to Mexico we will be better people, transformed people, because God met us at our time in Colorado at Mission Training International. This year has not been an easy one free of trials, but oh how far we've come!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Rev. Martin G. Seitz

On Wednesday Jennifer flew to Michigan to be with her family for her grandfather Seitz's funeral. Josh had to stay in Colorado to finish PILAT and drive our car back to Kentucky. While Jennifer had a difficult time transitioning by leaving MTI and the program early, she was thankful she could be with her family during the celebration of her grandfather's life. Her time in Michigan, though short, was a blessing and the entire family was able to be there except Josh. Jennifer was thankful to meet some people who are on our prayer team that we had never met.

Another crazy thing took place as Em, one of the survivors from the MTI car accident in Colorado, is staying with her parents during her recovery in Michigan only 1 hour away from the Seitz farm. So miles away from MTI, a week after visiting Em in the hospital in Colorado, Jennifer was able to see Em for a few hours at her parents house in Michigan. Em is doing pretty well, but still needs many prayers and encouragement as she has several months of recovery and rehabilitation ahead of her.

Here is something Jennifer wrote for her grandfather's funeral and was read during the service by her Uncle.

Rev. Martin Seitz was my grandfather, my Grampy, my Pa Pa. He made a positive impact in my life as he inspired me to love. My favorite memories are traveling with him and Grammy to visit his former parishioners in rural Kentucky. Every time he and my grandmother came to Kentucky to visit us he wanted to go see the people in his old churches. They were in his churches back when he was a student at Asbury College. Though he was their pastor years ago, he still kept up with them and cared deeply for them. I know of few pastors who try and stay in touch with many of their old parishioners from former churches, but Pa Pa did. He also deeply cared about making a difference in the world and would ask me as I grew up “Jennifer, what are you going to do to help people?” I hope that my life will glorify God the way my grandfather’s did, and that I will make a difference in the world! I’m thankful for the time I had with him, how he teased me and always wanted to make great family memories. I’m thankful my heritage is a Seitz heritage, and that my grandfather was Rev. Martin G. Seitz

Thursday, February 21, 2008


Language Acquisition Technique

Throughout the last two weeks in Colorado we were trained in a language learning technique called PILAT. Our days consisted of numerous practice drills including phonetic drills. We worked with language helpers who taught us another language using the PILAT method. We also discussed our action plan for language learning once we arrive in Mexico and what we will face in there studying Spanish. The directors of the program were wonderful and helpful in directing us on our language learning journey. Now, we feel more prepared for our endeavor of reaching fluency!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Another Loss

As I stare out the window here in Colorado and watch the snow fall I'm reminded that life is a cycle and even if someone lives a long life, it often seems too short.
Today, my grandfather Seitz passed away at the age of 86. While I would normally perceive this occasion as a very sad one, and in many ways I do, I think I'd be able to handle it much better if the past two weeks had not been so full of sadness. Two weeks ago today the van from MTI was in the freak roll over accident. My mind cannot fathom another funeral at the moment, but even in these moments I'm reminded of those in other countries who deal with death on a day to day basis whether it be from war, starvation, or disease. Some bury their family or friends with frequency and they rarely have time to mourn their loss.
I can be thankful that the reality of death does not come close on a daily basis, and that I have the opportunity to remember those lost and mourn their deaths. Also, I have great hope that the people I know whom have died in the last two weeks are in a better place, they will not ache again, they are with their Creator! I praise God for that hope because even in the midst of sorrow or tragedy I can be thankful for lives well lived and life after death!

Jennifer Rebecca

This week Jennifer will Fly to Michigan from Denver on Wednesday to be with her family for her grandfather's funeral. Josh will finish out the PILAT program here at MTI this week and then meet Jennifer in Kentucky for a wedding on Saturday. Thank you for your prayers during these weeks. We hope we will be able to make the most of our time here over the next few days! God is able to carry us!

Praise Be to God

Friday evening as soon as we gulped down our last morsel of dinner, we jumped into our car along with Mike and Lenie to go to see our friend Em in the hospital. We had seen her just two days earlier and were greatly pleased at the progress she had made in recovering from the wreck. When we entered the hospital room Friday we were astonished to see that she had marked improvement from the last time we had seen her. We had a wonderful time with her that evening talking about the SPLICE program we took together, the friends we made, and the great things God has and is doing in her life even in the midst of tragedy. One of the greatest blessings of the evening was when we walked to the ground floor with her so that she could play the piano for us. We really didn't know what to expect. She suffered some serious injuries in the crash, one of which was a broken neck and the doctors have placed her in a titanium "halo" to stabilize her vertebrae and she also has a severely bruised and beaten left arm. Nevertheless we sat down in the small hospital chapel to hear her play. We were blown away at the beauty of the music which she had composed and the presence of the Holy Spirit. We were marveling at how so much beauty could be present so shortly after disaster. She finished after playing several songs and we walked back up to her room where she shared her story from her heart about God calling her to himself and Africa. The hours flew by and we really enjoyed being with Em before she was released from the hospital and on her way home. That's right, just two weeks after being in ICU with life threatening injuries she is flying home today to recover. And if you're wondering if she's still committed to her calling her
response is, "[Africa] or bust!." Praise God for Em's recovery!

* The top picture is of Em playing the guitar for us.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Accident Update

Yesterday, we had the priviledge of seeing our friend Em in the hospital. We've been worried about her and praying for her for over a week. She is doing well all considered, and is no longer in the ICU. There is even the possibility she will be discharged shortly to fly home and go to a rehabilitation center there. Praise God that she is walking, talking, and regaining movement in her injured arm! She still has a long road of recovery as she has to wear a halo for about 3 months to stabilize her neck, and she is pretty bruised. Overall she is in good spirits and we are thankful we could spend time with her!
Andrea, who was also in the wreck, is still in ICU and has undergone many surgeries. As far as we know she is still sedated. Her husband, Scott has been by her side and has been released from the hospital. Please continue to pray for this family and for Em as they face very difficult circumstances.
Thanks for joining with us in prayer and concern for MTI and those involved in this tragic accident!

A New Week, A New Program

This week we are starting PILAT. What is PILAT might you ask? PILAT teaches us how to learn a new language. We aren't taking Spanish classes for the next two weeks, but instead we are learning a method that will help us learn Spanish, or any language for that matter. We've used the method a little before in Paraguay when we were there for a summer several years ago. It is a wonderful tool for picking up a language and understanding how to speak it! PILAT stands for: Program In Language Acquisition Techniques. Already, we have discovered that PILAT requires intense concentration because we are doing a lot of phonetics drills and intense study of the method. These two weeks contrast the past three in almost every way. We look forward to using and applying this technique in Mexico as we know it will help us attain fluency. =) Tomorrow we are practicing the method with languages we do not know. Josh will be working with Russian and Jennifer will be working with Vietnamese. Can you say challenging?

Monday, February 11, 2008

Our Weekend

Friday we said good-bye to our new, but close friends who were with us during the SPLICE program. Only one other couple stayed for PILAT which will be for the next two weeks. Since our group during SPLICE had become extremely close, we had a difficult time parting with one another.
We spent the weekend doing a little bit of local sight seeing, and Sunday we had a relaxing day with a college friend and her family in Colorado Springs. Honestly, we are worn out and feel like we have little energy left for this program after the tragedy that happened Sunday, Feb. 3rd. Our weekend was nice, but not as restful as we had hoped for... Still God gives us enough strength.
Thank you for your continued prayers and encouraging e-mails! We love you all!

More Good-Byes


Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Memorial, One with Himself I Cannot Die

Today we held a private memorial and prayer service for the MTI community to honor those who were in the accident. It was a beautiful day and we were thankful for the opportunity to share with one another and to even meet the family of one of our friends who was in the accident. Jennifer was able to be a part of the service by dancing to the Untitled Hymn (or Come to Jesus) by Chris Rice. It was a way of sharing part of herself with our community here, honor those who were not with us, and dance from her heart. After the service everyone built a memorial outside near the building that will stand as a reminder of what took place here.
Thanks for continuing to lift us and the others here up in prayer! The three in the hospital are in need of a lot of healing still. The driver may be released tomorrow, but he is dealing with a lot of emotions as his son is dead and his wife still has a long way to go. Also, the both of us will be here for two more weeks, but everyone except one other couple is leaving Friday and we will be with a whole new group for our language learning classes. This will be difficult for us because the new group is coming into a situation that they know nothing about and we will be making new friends and saying good-bye to the old.
If you would like more updates on the accident please check out the websites we have listed on the previous blog.
Also, if you would like our address here we'd love to hear from you guys. Send us an e-mail and we'll give it to you.=)

We love you,

Josh and Jennifer

Monday, February 4, 2008

Updates about the crash...

If you would like to view articles or see more info about the crash you can google Denver car crash on Sunday Feb. 3rd. Or check out the below links!

Here are some links:

(Caution, this article is graphic)

Love, Better to Have Loved and Lost, Then to Never Have Loved at All!

Today is an extremely sad day. Words cannot fully express what we are going through or what those here at MTI are experiencing. Life is fragile...We know that and realized that, but in this moment our hearts grieve as we have loved and we have lost!
Yesterday morning, a van from our group headed north to the Denver area to hear author Philip Yancey speak at a church. Denver is about 1 hour away or less from here. On their way a Jeep clipped the back of the van and caused it to roll several times at a high speed. Apparently, the driver of the Jeep had a medical emergency and lost control of the vehicle causing it to hit the rental van that a young MTI couple had rented. Their 16 mo. old son was in the van as well as 3 single female missionaries. My heart aches as I write and tell you that two of the females were dead at the scene and the 16 month old died later. The toddler's father is in critical condition, but conscious, and the mother is in grave condition. Also, one of the young females is in critical but stable condition. As far as I know that is their current status and we are praying, praying, praying.

We are mourning the loss of our new friends and are hurting with those still in the hospital. We have grown extremely close to these people over the last two weeks...I am not able to stress that enough! Our community is in agony, but we cling to the fact that God is good and did not cause this. Accidents happen and they hurt deeply!

Our challenge remains...How shall we then live? Shall we love even though it hurts, even though people may part from us in a moment? We choose to love, to love as those who died, to love as those in the hospital, and to love each other and God in the middle of such a tragedy. Yes, we are convinced that though we live in an imperfect world, God is love and he loves us more than we can imagine. We have and continue to feel his presence and love even now!
Thanks for your prayers!