All posts by Amber

  • The “M” Word

    I hardly ever use the “M” word when I describe myself and what I “do”.  Pretty much the only time you will me hear say it is when I am at the Mexico/US border, and am asked “What are you doing in Mexico?”  and I quickly reply “I’m a missionary”.  It gets me through with out any hassle.

    It’s not that I am embarressed to be a M…. you know.  I’m not.  I love that my “job” is serving Jesus in another country “full time”.  It’s just that I know I do not live up to the “Holy” status that comes along with that word.   Missionary’s are not saints.  Nope.  But some people think we are, and its hard living up to that unrealistic standard.

    The truth is, I am pretty normal.

    I don’t get up at 4 every day to pray.

    I’ve never seen anyone risen from the dead.

    Occasionally you may hear me say a bad word when I’m angry (gasp).

    I like Starbucks, shopping and Grey’s Anatomy (I can’t believe I just admitted that here).

    I have never done a 40 day fast or even been to bible school.

    I’m incredably unqualified for any type of holy title, and I am fully aware that I am not worthy to be up on any type of pedistle that other people try to put me on.

    I’m just like you.

    Fears, doubts, issues, unsure of myself, selfish and so much more.

    But here is the thing, what makes my life all the more beautiful.  You don’t have to be a special type of person to do good things.

    When Jesus showed up, He changed everything.  He came to a culture that was all about trying to be Holy, where those trying to live a godly  life were willing to do everything and anything possible to receive a righteous title…  Jesus came and put it all to a royal hault.

    “2 things,” he said.  Thats all that is required.

    Love me.

    Love people.

    That’s it.

    Sounds so simple and easy doesn’t it?

    Not so much.  He meant all people.  Not just the ones you like.

    He meant the rude ones, the smelly, the poor, the down right crazy ones, the judgemental ones that make you feel like crap,  the “friends” who talk behind your back, those family members you just can’t get along with, the ones that hurt you more than you ever thought imaginable, the ones you can’t understand and just don’t like being around.

    We are all in the same boat, titles and labels aside, learning to love like Jesus asks us to, because we believe in Him enough that we can’t ignore what He says.

    The good news is, we don’t have to do it alone.  Thank goodness.  He holds our hands and walks us through it.

    Love.

    Thats the mission.

    If you believe in Him, His message and mission… technically you are a missionary too.

    Welcome to the team.

    Now go and do something, because you were not made to stand on the side lines watching others do good.

     

    P.S.  I wear skinny jeans (not flowered patterned skirts or dresses).  I thought you should know.

  • Up Close – A New Thing

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    So how do you follow a post about dreaming when everything you thought was good falls apart shortly after?

    I didn’t know how or where to start a post like that, so I decided to stop writing for awhile.

    Sometimes things don’t go as you hoped or planned.  Even if you try your best, serve whole heartedly, and do things the best you know how, it is not enough.  I am not sure how to explain what ended our time serving at Welcome Home Outreach Ministries, because it is something I still don’t understand entirely.  We continue to have a great relationship with those that we worked and served along side with, and join with them every Monday night for a service in a local village.  We love Welcome Home and are thankful we had the opportunity to serve there while we could, but leaving was hard.  The situation was messy and hurtful, and not the way we wanted to leave serving with people we really loved and worked well with.  We trust God and His plans.  Nothing about following Jesus is particularly easy or comfortable, but some times I forget that.  We are willing to be broken, if it means we learn and can become more effective in loving and serving others.

    Part of that change involved us moving… again.  It was hard to leave the sweet little community that we lived in at Welcome Home, but we know it was the best for our family.  It was hard living in a place that needed to be available to people at all times.  It was hard to rest there.  We now live in a fairly large apartment over a cafe in the centre of town.  We are thankful that we found a comfortable place to live, that our big family can fit in.

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    We had a nice summer here in Mexico.  Saul worked for two different organizations helping with building houses for those in need.  He also recently started a new job with Live Diffrerent, a Canadian organization he has worked on and off with for the last few years.  He is looking forward to his position as community adviser and hopes to able to be an influence toward making a positive impact in community development.

    The kids are all doing good.

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    Gloria works full time in a nearby Sushi restaurant.  She is very hard working and responsible.   Her boss loves her, which is no surprise to us, as she is truly a gem.

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    Moy is continuing school at home. we are hoping he can finish the year so he can go into a public high school next year.  He is growing into a compassionate, hard working young man who has a heart to serve others.

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    Kayden started grade 3, he does very well in school and has just started drum lessons again, which is is really excited about. He is funny and learning to be more responsible at home and school.

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    Brielle started kindgarten, she has made lots of new friends, loves her teacher, and  is doing really well. This girl is natural leader who is very compassionate and sensitive to others.

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    I am thankful to be focusing the majority of my time on my home and family, without an extra outside work load to deal with.  I continue to dream of ways to serve women and children in more practical ways in the future, and look forward to when those dreams get to become a reality.  For now I am content to focus on my husband and the kids I have been entrusted with.

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    Thanks to all of you who have supported our family with encouragement, prayers, and gifts.  We know we could not continue to serve full time with out your continual support.

    Isaiah 43:18-19 (NLT)

    But forget all that –

    it is nothing compared to what I am going to do.

    For I am about to do something new

    See, I have already begun!  Do you not see it?

    I will make a pathway through the wilderness

    I will create rivers in the wasteland.

     

     

  • 2015 and choosing to DREAM

    IMG_7103There is something wonderful about starting the new year.  When you think about it, anything new is almost always loved.  New clothes, new gadgets, new cars, new houses.  We love to start over with something fresh and different.  The new year is no different.  The beginning of January always feels so hopeful to me.  So much unknown lies ahead, and it feels good to start over,  make some changes and expect better.

    I have never been one to make resolutions.  They always seemed a bit silly to me.  As if the new year suddenly gave one magical powers to overcome things they never have been able to before.  I avoid them.  But I don’t avoid self reflection and being intentional with with my goals and the beginning of the year is great time to do that.

    For the past few years I have chosen a single word to focus on.  Just one area of my life that I wanted to make improvements on or make a theme in my life.  It’s not something I take lightly.  It’s not something I chose on a whim, but prayerfully consider.  It’s not necesarily a spiritual word.   Then again everything is in a sense spiritual when Christ is the centre of our  lives, and we invite Him to clean up our mess.  Last year I chose the word “GROW”.  I wanted to be stretched, challenged and motivated to learn and change.  I forgot one thing though.  It’s kind of funny to me now.

    Growth is painful.

    It just is.  Being stretched and challenegd is anything but comfortable.

    Thankfully I forgot that when I chose the word, because grow I did and to be honest it was a very hard year.  I wouldn’t change it for anything, because I learned so much in the process.  I grew as a person, in my relationship in Christ and as a leader.  It was so hard, but so good.  I have changed so much for the better.  But honestly, I am so glad it’s over, ha ha.  Of course I will never settle to stay the same, I will strive for growth and improvement always, but it’s a new year with a new focus and I am excited about that.

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    This year, the word I chose is DREAM.

    I have had so many dreams stored in my heart for so long.  I have been stuffing them aside for longer than I want to admit, and God is telling me it’s time to take them out.  They are His dreams after all, and they have been put in my heart for a reason.  I am so excited and hopeful, for big and beautiful dreams.  It’s going to be great year!

    What do you do to start a new year? I would love to hear about it!

     

    “You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.” – C. S. Lewis

  • An Invitation

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    Consider this your official invitation, if you are from Edmonton area (or willing to travel) we would love to see you in person!  We are so thankful to be here for my brothers wedding, and to have a much needed rest.  Unfortunately we had to leave the older kids behind again, as we have not been able to even get their passports, let alone the visas, which are much more difficult to obtain.  It was a disappointment to us for sure, but we are trusting God to work out things in his timing.  We will keep on trying.  They were left with well trusted family members and friends.

    We will be here until the 8th of December, and are so grateful to have been given a van to drive home in.  We are so excited about having a vehicle our whole family can fit in.  Such a blessing.

    The time here always goes so fast, and as hard as we try we never get to see all the people we want to.  We decided to make a plan to change this a bit.

    So this is your invitation to come and see us at our church, North Edmonton Christian Fellowship.

    On Saturday November 29 we will be there from 2pm – to 7:30pm

    From 2:00 to 6:00pm we will be there just hanging out, so please feel free to stop by for a visit.

    At  6:00pm we will have a presentation, sharing our hearts, and giving an update about what we are doing.

    Please come!  If you can’t make it for 6:00pm , please stop by in the afternoon, we really want to see as many people as possible.  The church address is

    9004 153 Av. Edmonton, AB. T5Z 3L6

    We hope to see you there!

  • Up Close: Settling In

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    I have missed writing so much.  I keep on trying to get back into this, but I feel so overwhelmed with where to start.  I have lots to say, lots of things I want to share about my family, me,and our crazy lives, but struggle with how to to share.  Plus I know more people are listening, and that kind of scares me.   I decided to just jump in today.  Nothing too serious.  Just a quick update and some pics of our family.

    It’s been one year since we started working with Welcome Home.  It’s been an intense year of learning and adjusting.  Not easy.  We have grown and learned so much.  Thinking back over the year I mostly see good.  We work with a great team of staff, we have been able to make some positive changes, have made some wonderful new friends, and have finally settled into where God has placed us.

     

    The kids are good._MG_0905

    Brielle

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    Spunky, smart, a little dramatic (ha ha, ok more than a little), and a imgaination that surprises us a little more each day.

    _MG_0244_MG_0753  She fills our home with sweet songs, stories and giggles, and lights up every room  she walks into.  This is her last year at home, before kindergarten.  I plan to enjoy every minute of it.

    Kayden

    _MG_0996 Toothless, calm, inteligent, and funny.  Transitioning into elementry school was quite hard for him, but he seems to be doing great so far this year.  He got to go to kids camp this year as camper, and he LOVED it. _MG_0345_MG_1013This boy, is a delight.  He is always eager to learn new things, and is fun to be around… most of the time. He is learning how to be a friend and how to have self control and respect for others.  He has come a long way.  I think this will be a good year for him!

    Moises

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    Handsome, outgoing, talented, and loud.  These days this boy brings me a lot more smiles than ever before.  His heart is healing, he’s learning to trust, has confidence, and is maturing.  He took a break from school last year.

    Best.  Desicion.  Ever.

    He  starts a home school like program this year.  Keeping him close to us has been so good for him.

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    I am excited about this boy’s future.  He will do great things.

     

    Gloria

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    Gentle, sweet, fun, and beautiful.  She has persevered  through school, when she wanted nothing more than to give up. She graduated highschool, and we are so proud of her.  This year she has to do some upgrading, hopes to get a part time job, and will pursue some personal goals and hobbies.  This year was hard for her emotionally, as some family members became a part of her life again.  She had to make some tough choices, which she did with caution and maturity.

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    We are so proud of her!

    Us

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    _MG_0071We are growing as leaders.  Succeeding at some things and failing in others.  Trying our best to balance ministry and family.  We are thankful for where we are right now, even though we often feel overwhelmed and humbled to be doing what we do.   More than anything we are hopeful for new and good things and are trusting God in and for everything.

    It has been a hard year, but a good year!

    Other News

    We just had our very first summer here at Welcome Home, and it was busy!   We are thankful for the opportunity to serve with many people from all over the US and Canda, loving the people in our community.  We made many new friends in the process, and got to be a part of helping and blessing a lot of families and ministries in our community.

    The little kids and I got to go Canada for a few weeks this summer.  IMG_5834_MG_0496

    We enjoyed a very restful time at our favorite camp, which was exactly why we went.

    The kids had so much fun, and I was so thankful to enjoy quality time with them without any outside distractions.

    _MG_0296If you have been where I live, you know exactly what I am talking about it.  It can be incredibly busy and chaotic at times, so time away is really needed.  We also enjoyed some great time with family and a few friends.  Most the people we saw where at the camp, as we had very little time to visit many others while we are Edmonton, so sorry if we missed you!  We will be coming as a family in November though, and will be there a few weeks, so we will have more time to visit those that we missed.

     

    Prayer Requests

    For wisdom as we continue to balance our family life with ministry, it is soooooo hard!

    We are working on getting paper work to bring Gloria and Moi with us to Canada.  It’s not an easy process and the visas we need to bring them can be very difficult to obtain, especially since we have no legal documents proving that they are part of our family. Please pray for miracles.  We are hoping to bring them to Canada in November.

    For an increase in our financial support.  We struggle.  That’s all I am going to say.

    We NEED a new vehicle.  We have outgrown the one we have (a 5 seater SUV) and have recently had a lot of problems with the one that we have.

    For health and safety.  I have had a LOT of stomach/digestive problems this past year, partly due to parasites, food poisening and other fun stuff that are a part of living in a foreign country, and also due to stress.  Please pray for healing and for safety for our family where we live and where we go.

     

    Thanks for your interest, care and love for our family!

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