17 days.  This starts the count down to our return to the United States.   Oh the emotions that are swarming around us: peace, anxiety, frustration, excitement, tears, joy, highs and lows.   But, despite all our emotions, we have hope.  We realize that we are not necessarily returning home, we are leaving it.

Michelle and I both have accepted that we never felt at “home” anywhere.  Mostly where our family lived we have associated with this word.  When we rented our first house we didn’t feel so much that we were leaving our home to live with my sister, but that we were just moving to our next residence.  “Home is where your heart is.”  I offer this Hallmark-esque expression to help you understand why we are returning for a 2 year commitment after the sufficient funds are raised.

After much prayer and petition, we feel at peace about our departure, and our return to and from Krakow.  It is hard to sort through all the emotions, but one thing is sure; God grants Peace.

Here are our prayer requests:

  • Traveling mercies – family of four on almost a coast to coast 5 month-ish adventure.
  • That we would be in the right city at the right time.
  • Arrangement of Churches, Small Groups, and Coffee Nights
  • Able to share our testimony to as many people as possible
  • God would grant us a team to send to Poland, to volunteer for 1-2 year commitments
  • For our friends, connections, the Coffee Shop in Poland while we are gone
  • The right resources would be made available as we are traveling for roughly 5 months:  Transportation, Food, Housing, Money, Networking
  • Peace, Patience, timing, when to say yes/no, guidance, and direction

We will be posting more about our needs, both short term in the States and long term for our 2 year return to Poland in the upcoming weeks and months.


Out on the water

OceansHillsong United

You call me out upon the waters
The great unknown where feet may fail
And there I find You in the mystery
In oceans deep
My faith will stand

I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise my soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine

Your grace abounds in deepest waters
Your sovereign hand
Will be my guide
Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me
You’ve never failed and You won’t start now

So I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine

Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior

I will call upon Your Name
Keep my eyes above the waves
My soul will rest in Your embrace
I am Yours and You are mine

This is my prayer.

This is my desire.

To trust my God with such conviction, that when He calls me out onto the waters I will step out.
We know that one of two things will happen:

1.  We will walk on water:  Matthew 14: 22-33

2.  We will walk on dry land: Joshua 3: 15-16

You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.
Jeremiah 29:13

Chapter 13: Our God is Our Savior

“Surely God is my salvation;

I will trust and not be afraid.

The Lord, the Lord himself, is my strength and my defense;
he has become my salvation.”
Isaiah 12:2
God is my savior!  This truth has lifted us up these intense few weeks since our last update.  We have many praises!  We were blessed with family coming into town.  We were blessed with some much needed funds coming in.  We were blessed with God’s words, when ours were not enough.  Did I mention that Jack is fully healed but some slight discoloration!?!  Praise the Lord!
It has been almost a month since fellow volunteer Erica B. returned home.  We were stressed, overwhelmed and running on empty.  Enter family.  It is amazing how a visit from family can be immensely refreshing.  Though it had only been 6 months, it felt like 6 years had passed.  We needed to be poured into, encouraged, and loved in only the way that family can.  God new we would need this right after Erica’s departure and in our solo adventure beginnings.  Praise the Lord!
God provided more refreshment as we have had some much needed financial support come in!  We are now able to stay till September 1st.    We still need to raise $8,000 to be fully funded for the remainder of our financial needs including living expenses and airfare to return in the beginning of December.  Please continue to pray for us as we rely on the provision of God for our financial needs.
When our words were not enough, which I don’t believe they ever are, God spoke.  Michelle was given multiple opportunities to share her faith and testimony with our staff!  One of our girls lost one of her grandparents this past month.  I was thankful that God allowed us to be present in her life during this tragic time.
Also, a review of our coffee shop recently took place by a local blogging community.  When they were visiting the shop they asked about our  history.  This allowed me to share about our church, Spencer Green, and why we are here.  This prompted them to share the song Sweet Surrender on their blog, a part of their review.  In Spencer Green’s song, he shares about the sweet surrender to God and shares his testimony about his faith and journey in life.  How amazing the movement of God is, when we are faithful to His call on our lives.  Spencer’s testimony still reaches countless people in the states and Poland today, many years after he has now gone to be in the sweet presence of our Lord.
Please keep our staff at Sweet Surrender in your prayers.  As we come to the end of this month, many of our girls are graduating college and transitioning towards jobs closer to their education pursuits.  We will be taking time to pray with each of the girls as they depart, please pray that God would speak through us for this last time we will be speaking with most of them for the foreseeable future.  It has been an incredible opportunity to minister to them, and I know that God has big plans in each of their lives.If there is one truth we hold to, it is this.  It’s not about us.  We are not here for ourselves, but for others.  God uses each of us where we are at for His will. No matter where you are in life, God is using you in ways that make sense to Him.  Give your lives fully to Him, allowing Him to be your focus.  It is humbling when you recognize that the creator of the universe has plans to use you and me for His will and work in this world.  Be encouraged, live your life with a purpose, trust your Savior!

Prayer Requests:
  • We need to raise an additional $8,000 to be fully funded(food, utilities, and return ticket home for a family of 4)
  • For our final talks with our staff, as we pray for them, and as we minister to them daily
  • For our staff as they are all going through final testing for the semester this week
  • For hiring of new staff; right people, right place, right timing
  • For our future plans: returning to the states, re-fundraising, next steps (whether we return to Poland, next volunteer trip, or something else!)  But that no matter where or what or how, that we would have a peace, patience, and confidence about following God’s will