Monday, June 29, 2015

Surrounded

"You hem me in--behind and before; you have laid your hand upon me."
Psalm 139:5

This is one of my favorite pictures from Joshua's home school graduation in Tianjin three weeks ago. As Charly and my Dad prayed for Joshua, fellow graduates Josiah and Jonathan reached out to lay their hands on him as well.


At two group gatherings in Tianjin, friends surrounded our family and laid their hands on us as they prayed for our transition back to the US. What a blessing to be supported and uplifted by friends who know us and love us.

God has surrounded us in every way, hemming us in behind and before. These past two weeks in the US, Charly, David, Daniel and I have been staying with my parents, which has been the perfect safety net for us to fall into. I can't imagine a better situation. The boys have really been motivated to work on their English, and my parents have done an amazing job of connecting with them over Go Fish card games, walks with the dog, trips to the pool, park and zoo...

God helped us set up a house to rent in Colorado Springs (starting the end of July), we stayed the night with friends from China who live near the house, and we got the boys enrolled in school. We felt overwhelmed by the incredibly supportive special education staff of District 20 and how positive they were about David and Daniel during our meeting. A wonderful team, on our side, to help meet the boys' special needs.

Joshua and Jordan just finished up their TCK camp in southern China and are on their way back to join us in Colorado. CJ is back in Jerusalem for his summer project both there and in Jordan again. We are so grateful for the ways that God has surrounded and sustained our family as we've been in different parts of the world.

"Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? 
If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. 
If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, 
even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast."
Psalm 139:7-10

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Great is His Faithfulness

You care for the land and water it, you enrich it abundantly.
The streams of God are filled with water to provide the people with grain,
for so you have ordained it.
You drench its furrows and level its ridges;
you soften it with showers and bless its crops.
You crown the year with your bounty, and your carts overflow with abundance.
The grasslands of the desert overflow; the hills are clothed with gladness.
The meadows are covered with flocks and the valleys are mantled with grain;
they shout for joy and sing.”
(Psalm 65:9-13)

God has been so faithful. Providing just what we have needed every step of the way. Grace as we packed up all of our belongings.
Helping us find new homes for those things we no longer needed. 


Strength to carry heavy boxes and suitcases (comparatively easier this time than when we carried our stuff up nine flights of stairs!)


Help in maneuvering through two train stations.


The blessing of my parents' visit last week as we left Lanzhou and then had a special graduation for Joshua with our Tianjin friends.
His provision of a spacious place for our family to stay while we are here in Tianjin. 


God has graciously provided us with a home to rent for this upcoming year in Colorado Springs from a family who will be on sabbatical. And the generous gift of a used van from a family who is buying a new one.

In Psalm 62:1b the psalmist says, “Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.” As I allow God to lead me there, I can see my life from His perspective, where there is light above the clouds of darkness, where there is hope instead of despair, where His promises are sure and there is safety from the storm, where I can see that our roots can be replanted and we can thrive.

He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul.” (Psalm 23:2-3a) So much of my desire is expressed in this verse: God leading us to a place of natural beauty, so we can breathe deeply and sit beside quiet waters. For real rest and restoration of our souls.

All I have needed Thy hand hath provided. Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me.

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