Selling it all. Pioneering to learn. Risking to restore families.
Here's what's been going on lately
Living open-handed… This is what The Lord has been speaking to me lately. Daily I find myself living the lifelong process of growing out of flesh… And pressing in towards the spirit. The selfish tendencies in me appear to run deep. A counselor by mind… I’m found processing the roots of my many issues… Most of which can be linked back to a lie I have embraced somewhere along the way. Two simple questions reveal almost everything about the faith I claim to stand upon… Do I really believe He loves me perfectly? Do I trust Him wildly with each step of the journey? Anyone could look back over my story and see His hand of faithfulness. But for me… deep ache always accompanies such recounting. The last few weeks I have been weepily looking back through old photos… Photos that feel like they are of a different woman in a different lifetime. I deeply cherish ALL that has been given and all that I have been blessed with. But truth be told… the earnest reflection makes my soul ache. It feels as if life is slipping through my hands like grains of sand. I hear the taunting lies of the enemy… “The best has already passed you by… one only gets so many blessings. “Seeing with Kingdom eyes affords a different view… Each and every sacred memory can also serve as a testimony of the greater things that await… Of the beauty that lies ahead. “When I think upon my ways, I turn my feet to your testimonies.” Ps 119:59 My experiences and memories are testimonies revealing His...Learn More
In the last couple days I was looking over our website… I came across the page that communicated our purpose and role. It was extremely encouraging to see that we were staying the course. Our cups are full… and we are so incredibly grateful for what God continues to do. An incredible team of ladies from the Vineyard in Ohio just left a few days ago.. They were a sheer delight and a gift to all of us here in Samara. Truly, they excelled at love. Being together brought sweet refreshment. Kelly and I continue to discuss our vision and future. We are diligently trying to make sure that the lenses through which we see are the lenses of Christ’s love and desires. It’s a constant re-calibration process. But, I do believe we are seeing more clearly. We continue to remain resourceful and creative as we learn, serve and direct what we can. (This is me doing my version of “plumbing.”) I am practically a plumber now! We continue to have an extremely high value for family… Remembering that shepherding their hearts must remain our highest priority. Still pursuing people for the sake of sharing hope and love… At times offering relief, other times development and rehabilitation and at other times… Simply a hand to hold. The amount of fruit that we see is abundant… both spiritual and physical! Refining seems like a daily process these day… It’s not a comfortable, but it sure is good. We have so many plans for this year. We were excited to host a training on how to minister to precious people with...Learn More
Remember us? Much has happened over these last months and in the midst of it all we didn’t seem to have steam to write it all out. I think I speak for Adam and I both when I say we’ve been pressing on and feeling the weight of everyday living. Having resided in our Costa Rican homeland for almost 2 1/2 years, I have come to realize it takes seasons to rebound from the shock of moving to a different world and learning new everything’s. The fatigue of such an experience has revealed certain ruts in my life and, ultimately, ruts in my heart. Thankfully, I am learning first hand that ruts do NOT disqualify us from Kingdom work. They are simply part of the journey. As I think about the ways I feel stuck and am tempted to rehearse inadequacies… I remember others who were once stuck… Friends like Zacchaeus, the woman at the well, Jonah, Elijah, David, and Job. These… just a few stories of where God didn’t wait for His people to get out of their ruts in order to draw near. This brings me great hope. As I wrestle… He is working. Here in the middle of now. In the middle of floods… Causing life to feel blurry and weary. In the middle of treacherous traveling… When taking new paths and the way feels unsure. In the middle of teaching and creating…And life feels like it is getting lost in translation. In the middle of pursuing that which really matters…And receiving the unexpected offering of a hand… Providing much desired togetherness. In the middle of...Learn More
Life keeps moving… Yet, the new normal still seems strange at times. From transportation (Charli loves it) to the food we eat… the new normal still seems unusual. But life doesn’t seem to slow down or pause. We still have traffic jams and busyness… it just looks so much different than it did in the US. These were two different “traffic jams” within about a week or two. As I sit down to write this, I realize two things. First, my body is deeply tired. Second, we are blown away by the way we have been so encouraged and by the way we have been able to encourage others. Too much time has passed since my last post to try to even summarize what’s been going on… to be completely honest, I (Adam) had a rough few months. My heart was just so incredibly heavy. I manage to be a high-functioning person (very productive) even when I’m deeply sad or discouraged. Ministry is hard, but what an honor it is to get to do it. When you love deeply, you often seem to hurt deeply. Currently, I am extremely encouraged. My precious wife continued to encourage me. Thanks to the generosity of a friend, I was able to make a long weekend trip to the US. What a gift that was! It was a truly encouraging and brought much needed refreshment to my soul. Maybe more than anything, I was so deeply encouraged by the time with our friends from Two Rivers Chattanooga Church. Kelly’s brother, Chris Jessen, planted a church outside of Chattanooga a little over 2 years...Learn More
Today is a special day. Today marks 19 years of marriage. Crazy to think Adam has loved me for more of my life than he hasn’t. I am a blessed woman! One thing I have learned most in these 19 years… Is that LOVE changes a person. I can honestly say that I have a husband that loves like Jesus… And he married quite a mess… I mean that humbly and sincerely. I can also openly share that Jesus knew… This insecurity-prone, little girl would need the powerful, consistent love, Of a husband like Adam to do what we have been called to do. Loving me is not always easy… I should know… it’s taking ME a lifetime to figure out how to do it. When we married that rainy Saturday, 19 years ago… I didn’t even know who I was. As strange as it may sound… I don’t even feel like it was the “real me.” It was more like a made up version of about 100 different peoples perspective of who I thought I should be. I was lost girl in a fancy gown. Who I would be become… Was and continues to be secretly sketched out. The first 2 decades of my life were spent trying to earn love. Though I had loving parents, most of those 20 years I felt largely below average… Non special. The eyes I had for myself were critical, cold and shallow. Almost 20 years have come and gone in my marriage… At times I can be be just as hard to love, but I can honestly say… I am learning...Learn More
Wow… life is full. It’s wonderful, but it’s full. (I don’t like the word, “busy.”) For me, when I’m “busy,” I’m distracted, consumed and controlled by my “get to’s,” as we call them. We have continued doing much of what we love to do… delivering groceries to those in need, offering encouragement and care, training, building relationships / investing in people, dreaming of more ways to make a difference here. Here is a picture from one of the recent Pastoral Training meetings. I’m the one with the shiny spot on top of his head at the end of the table. Kelly continues to serve in ways that truly change the atmosphere. Sometimes this involves her guitar. Often it involves a heart-broken friend simply asking to spend a few hours with her. This week I was so taken back by Kelly’s love. One particular lady in our community struggles with drugs, and it appears that she has major emotional health issues. Her anger is dangerous. We’re not sure if she has multiple personalities or simply polar extremes that she can’t control. Either way, almost on a daily basis her actions negatively impact our family on a personal level. Just a few days ago, I saw Kelly face to face with this woman, calling out the beauty within her in such a loving, tender, gentle way. I was absolutely speechless. I didn’t know what to do… or even how to respond to seeing such illogical love. I believe a softening took place in this woman’s heart. Something was beginning to be knit together in her heart. I believe a desire for...Learn More