Life in a Nutshell
Friends, food, and fun
Hands down, our biggest prayer request before we left California was that God would prepare deep community here at the training center in Missouri. The enemy works tirelessly to make us feel isolated and alone, yet our hearts have been so encouraged as we have been surrounded by people from all over the world who share the same dream to plant a church amongst an unreached people group. From sports to coffee to BBQ’s (pictured below), it seems like there are always different social events going on around campus with opportunities to connect.
WE DON't HAVE THESE IN CALIFORNIA
Hailstorms! We experienced our first storm a couple weeks ago, with ice chunks larger than golf balls raining from the sky. The locals said it was one of the worst hailstorms that they had had in years, and I think my car would agree as we got hit with some major hail damage.
WORLD CLASS TRAINING
Ethnos360 is well known and highly regarded for their extensive missionary training program here in Missouri. We are so grateful to spend two years under the leadership of seasoned missionaries and learn from their experiences on the field. We have the opportunity to take classes on a wide array of different topics such as worldview, linguistics, suffering, sustainable integrity, phonetics, and mature church principles, to name a few! Over the next two years we will be soaking in a lot of information, and while at times it feels like drinking from a firehose, we are so appreciative of the molding process we are stepping into.
The Great American Eclipse was pretty much all that was talked about here in Missouri for weeks leading up to the day. Some people even stood in line for 3+ hours to purchase a pair of NASA-certified eclipse glasses! Our training campus in Roach, MO was slotted to receive about 99.2% totality, so we drove an hour up to Jefferson City to watch the eclipse (Chick-fil-A was the main motivation for driving an hour, the eclipse was just a bonus). It was one of the most incredible things that we have ever seen! We received almost 3 minutes of totality with the sun fully covered and wisps of light flowing off from behind the moon. I have yet to see a picture that does it justice.
LIFE ON LIFE
One of the biggest blessings here at the training center is the opportunity to do life with people. Every student is placed in a community group (called E-LINC) with a group of about 12 other people, and we meet twice a week to fellowship, encourage, challenge, and pray for one another. In addition, all of the staff here on campus - whether they are teachers, maintenance, or administration - have significant experience in church planting and are great resources here for students.
THE BRIDE OF CHRIST
There are numerous churches in the surrounding area, and we have prayerfully chosen Calvary Lake Ozark as our new home church while we are in Missouri. There is no perfect church, but we have felt so welcomed in our short time here, and are really excited about the various opportunities to get involved.
IN OUR FREE TIME
Outside of our normal load of courses, campus-work, ministry requirements, and church involvement, we have been enjoying the free moments in our week to take advantage of the fun opportunities around us. We can be out the door and in a canoe in under five minutes! And our drought-filled, noisy California souls have been loving the calm, relaxing nature of the water with a good sunset in view. We also have weekends free, so we have made a couple trips into Springfield, exploring the largest Bass Pro Shops in the world as well as some great Thai food and coffee shops.
There are several important family and ministry decisions on the horizon that will have a significant impact on the next 2 years here as well as our ministry on the field. We would also appreciate prayers for wisdom as we look for an area of ministry to serve in at our new church. Last, we are seeking vision for some upcoming ministry developments that we hope to be announcing soon!