With Reckless Abandon

We had another visitor.

Bob Beilke from our home church, Chapel Hill Presbyterian in Gig Harbor, came to visit New Life Homes.  He has been working with the kids over quite some time and came to follow up and continue his work with them.IMG_1535

What you may not know about Bob is that he is a professional.  In his day-job he works with kids…specifically, he is a pediatric psychologist.  What an amazing gift he brings to this ministry!  Not only is Bob professionally trained to speak into the lives of these children, addressing their hurts, but he also offers us adults a great service, to continue our training as the staff at New Life in working with children such as these… helping us to be an encouragement and a help to hurting kids as they grow and develop.  Now, I don’t want to leave you with the impression that the children at New Life Homes are suffering, far from it!  They are thriving!  But as you probably already know, recovery from trauma can often be a life-long process and Bob’s contribution to New Life, the staff, and the children is one of healing and hope.  Thank you Bob, for your service.

While he was here Rob and I “took advantage” of his services.  We “snuck” in some personal time with him, probing him for answers to the very BIG question in our minds…. “How are our own kids doing?”

Moving cross-culturally is no small deal for kids, and I have wondered, “Are they OK?”  and even if I can see with my eyes that they are doing well, I have still secretly wondered about their adjustment.  Rob and I often joke about how our parenting style offers our children “opportunity” for seeking professional help later in life, and just so you know, we ARE joking when we say that!  But seriously, we are concerned for the well-being of our children just as any parent is, and being a missionary doesn’t offer any promises for a good outcome for missionary kids.  We enter this new Taylor reality in fervent prayer!

Sometimes you just need to hear from someone else that you are doing OK, and we are.  We are doing OK.

Thanks Bob, for the encouragement.  Thank you.

Sounds crazy, I know, but May is the end of summer.  As you (in the Northern Hemisphere) are warming up, we are cooling down and as a last hurrah for the season, we walked down to the river with the kids.  Bob went with us.IMG_1523

It was the first time I had taken the walk down to the river, and I was totally amazed at the beauty.  It was a stunning playground for the kids.  I really need to get out more!  It was one of those days where you get out, and are taken back by the beauty of God’s creation.  Children at play have a way of doing that.  They play with reckless abandon, enjoying every aspect of the “playground.”

We could probably do a lot to take lessons.IMG_1554

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Switching gears…

We have had to make a few adjustments.

School for our own kids is one of those adjustments.  With Luke getting older and preparing to enter high school, we have been considering where to send him.  Matthew took the last bed at the Derr household (though I am sure the Derr family would have found a way to squeeze Luke in!).  We were considering schools in Swaziland and quickly came to the conclusion that the boys would be on different school schedules, not to mention as a teacher, I have my own schedule.  Getting this all figured out was starting to become a big puzzle.

We started looking at a boarding school in Kenya, Rift Valley Academy, for Luke, and wouldn’t you know it…. we found out the Derr family would be headed back to the U.S. soon which meant Matt would need a new school too.  Truth be told, it was a bit like fresh air had blown into my mind- to have both boys together at the same school and on the same schedule was a relief.

We are thrilled that they have both been accepted and will begin school September 1.  You can see what they will be doing at rva.org.

In my last post I alluded to the fact that we would need to raise additional support, and adding Luke’s schooling expenses to the budget confirms it.  We are asking for help specifically for Luke’s education, but also to make up some of our regular budget expenses.  We fell a little short with monthly contributions, and some expenses have been a bit higher than anticipated, but the real kicker is the increase in the vehicle expenses.  In the last year we have replaced 10 tires (6 new, 4 used) on the car!  Thank goodness Rob can do the work on the car himself because we have also replaced almost the entire front suspension not to mention a whole host of other parts.  Turns out, commuting back and forth 70 kilometers a day on a rough dirt road does a little damage….

We have already received gifts from supporters who knew these expenses were coming,  and wow… we cannot even begin to explain how in awe we are of the generosity of ordinary people who want to participate in what God is doing!

We are seeking to raise $20,000 for the second year of Taylor service in Swaziland.  We have already received $10,000 in committed support for the upcoming year.  Now we are asking you.

Will you consider how God might be asking you to participate financially?

Please visit our sending agency’s website… they make it so easy!  (P.S. check out the “Partner Stories” page and see what they are doing with EPC!)

 The Antioch Partners

We appreciate your generosity and your prayers.  We are honored to be in partnership with you all doing God’s work in His kingdom.

Seeking to serve Him with reckless abandon….

Jennifer

P.S.  You are always invited to check out our photos at Picasa….

March/April/May 2013             June 2013

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