It has been in the 70s here in Nebraska this past week. In February.
I felt like it was a personal encouragement from God.
Summer. Is. Coming. ❤
Needless to say, I have not been indoors sitting in front of my computer, so I missed posting last week. But I did want to take a minute as the weather returns to normal (for February in Nebraska) and share an update!
We are around 14 weeks away from our departure! On the one hand, it feels like forever away, but on the other hand, I know how fast these weeks will fly by.
(If you are just joining this blog, here is more information on our upcoming 6-week global journey!)
Our financial reality is sinking in – plane tickets need to be purchased and passports need to be acquired. We are looking at creative ways of raising support (Kurt and I are the WORST at this part), so I started making Bracelets for the Balkans and selling them on Facebook through my Blog Page.
I posted my first batch of bracelets a couple of weeks ago, and everyone was so very kind. They sold out in 24 hours and I grossed over $200! That’s almost 2 passports right there, friends! I’m so grateful for this amazing community that continues to come out of the woodwork to express their love and interest in our adventure. I’m making more as quickly as I can have all of the right supplies in the same place at the same time. Every little bit helps, right?
Kurt and I are also planning some worship nights! With the release of our new (amaaaaazing) Lifegate Worship album, Edges, Kurt and I have realized that we take for granted the fact that we have access to live worship experiences any time the mood strikes!
Our vision is to invite people to come (to some yet-to-be-determined venue) and worship with us, hear our heart for the Balkans and our trip this summer, and just soak in the presence of God a bit. I find those times to be so refreshing to my soul. We all need some set-aside God-encounter time. The events will be free, but there will be an opportunity to give if people feel so inclined. Who knows, maybe we can convince some of our fellow worship leaders to join us? 😉 *nudge nudge* I’ll post dates as soon as we get them ironed out!
Beyond this, we are looking for any and all opportunities to share our story and worship with whomever will have us! Our story is so much bigger than just this summer – it’s a message of unconditional love, redemption, and rescue. God brought us from the brink of destruction into a sweet and terrifying invitation to abandon all and follow Him. This summer will be a taste of what is to come, and our whole family is so very excited.
Speaking of this summer, we are SO excited to have our friend, Amber, join us to help out with the kids! We originally hoped to bring along a nanny to help us get 5 kids through international airports and watch the littles during camps and outreaches, and Amber is more than a dream-come-true. She sang with us when we first took over leading Youth Worship and, after graduation, stayed on as a leader. She’s been to Novi Sad and shares our passion for the people of the Balkans. In fact, after our family heads home, Amber will be staying in Novi Sad until the rest of her family joins her for an English Camp in August! Her presence will be a gift to all of us, and I can’t believe we get to bring her.
Right now, my to-do list looks something like this:
- Order copies of birth certificates for the littles
- Get passport photos and begin passport processing for all 5 kids
- Work on raising awareness and support for our trip
- Prep the house (read: PURGE) for our house-sitter
- Oh yeah, find a house/pet-sitter
- Prep the team joining us for the Rock and Roll Camp
- Prepare curriculum for the Rock and Roll Camp
- Do all of the regular meantime things
- Panic, breathe, pray, trust, pray some more
Ok, maybe “panic” isn’t on my to-do list, but it keeps happening in random, sudden waves.
I’m excited to be sharing this process with you all. If you’ve followed my blog for a while, you’re watching this whole thing play out in real-time… from the first twinkling inclinations, to our transition into a short-term trip, to who-knows-what’s-ahead?! Only God knows the plot twists and turns that await us, but I’d rather He be the one in control than anyone else. He’s a good Abba, and SO trustworthy.
That’s all for now! Thanks for your prayers and love. They mean more than I could ever say.