Halfway Point!

Happy Father’s Day!

I’ve been trying to post an update for days, and now it’s Father’s Day, so let me start by bragging on my husband.

This guy…

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No only is he my favorite human, he’s also an amazing incredible father.

This guy loves deeply, cares immensely, and is faithfully, steadfastly committed to this family.  At the end of the day, win or lose, I know he’s going to get up the next day and do it all again, with the same passion and resolve as the day before.

Also, he’s a sexy musician, the smartest person I’ve ever met, a brilliant strategist, and he’s never gone a single day in my presence without making me feel beautiful and treasured. He loves Jesus with all of His heart and lives a life of integrity and conviction. And he’s nuts enough to follow the Lord’s call with me, no matter what that looks like.

Love you babe.

Speaking of nuts-crazy adventures…

We’re almost to the halfway point in our trip! This front half went really quickly, and I know the back half will feel even faster, especially when the team comes in 10-ish days.

On the day we left for Macedonia, my littlest Vienna turned TWO! Two. Two….. We had a little celebration before we left, and she somehow managed to be spoiled, even halfway around the world. 😉 I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Vienna is the absolute most precious gift I never knew I wanted. ❤

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As I mentioned my last post, Macedonia was an anointed, amazing time.

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We continue to meet amazing people with stories like, “After finishing our Master’s Degrees in Amsterdam, we felt called to leave Holland and pastor a church in Cyprus… so we did.”  They say these things all matter-of-factly. “We felt led to pray for each of these cities, so we did, and now they each have Evangelical churches in them…” and “Rather than stay in Oxford, we felt led to return to Macedonia and serve the church here, so we did.”

Oh, you just “did” real quick? Cool. Cool. haha

We had the opportunity to play a Lifegate Acoustic Night at Ajnfort, where we met some great people. Darijo is an amazing, talented songwriter, and it was wonderful to hear his heart in music.

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God keeps connecting the dots for me.

The first time we did Lifegate Open Days, I did not fully understand how playing a pop music concert was going to introduce people to Jesus. The stereotypes in my mind about what qualified as “missions,” “missionaries,” and “evangelism” blocked me from seeing the truth about how the Lord has called our family.

I asked one of the pastors in Skopje what he felt the city needed most in terms of “help” from the church. He didn’t speak of social programs, relief efforts, or cleanup projects. He spoke of the need for relationships and purpose. He said he has learned that until we have eaten a “bag of salt” with another person, we haven’t earned the right to “preach the Gospel” to them. He spoke of God reaching the hearts of the unreachable through long term, committed, face-to-face relationships.

I’m realizing that the work of “evangelism” happens through interpersonal connections. (Duh, right?) It’s about identifying the people God has specifically equipped you to reach, and then placing yourself in a position to meet them. 

Kurt and I are musicians, and music has an uncanny ability to break down walls and cross cultural and language boundaries. We’re also Americans, which is unique in this part of the world. So, when we show up and play music, the Lord gives us favor with our listeners, and this opens their hearts towards us and will give us opportunities to love them into the Kingdom.

You mean I get to do what I love and have it still “count” toward “ministry?”

Um… that’s probably why you love the things you do.

*mic drop*

 

Anywhoo…

We’re making more preparations for the Rock and Roll camp, including a youth event last Friday where we talked about camp, played games, sang karaoke and hung out with the kids.

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We’re helping lead worship on the weekends and we have another gig this coming Thursday.  Meanwhile, God is giving us opportunities to have important conversations right here in our own home. He’s stretching us and challenging us and loving us through this process of growth and change. It’s a lot. But it’s so great. Also, it’s summer! WooHooo!

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Thanks for sticking with us! Join our Facebook Group for even more updates!
And, if you’re just joining us, start here!

Love you all!

Emily

 

 

 

 

 

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