Selling it all. Pioneering to learn. Risking to restore families.
Here's what's been going on lately
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
Blessings to you, and thank you for reading. When I first purchased my motorcycle, a good friend told me, “There are only two types of motorcycle drivers. Those who have had wrecks and those who will.” (If you look closely, yes, that is a butterfly sticker on my motorcycle. It was there when I bought it. I didn’t feel like the motorcycle was manly enough for me to actually remove it.) Unfortunately, I moved from the category of “those who will have a wreck to those who have had a wreck.” Yes, I had a motorcycle accident. That wasn’t the main problem… I tried to self-medicate afterwards. Not sure why, but I often seem to struggle when it comes to asking for (or receiving) help. It pains me to do this. I will spare you pictures of the wound. When I’m in town, those with weaker stomachs quickly look away after making eye contact with the burn on my leg. It’s quite gross-looking and so excruciatingly painful. Unfortunately, I ended up in the hospital. It’s a pretty ugly burn from the muffler… both in size and intensity, but I’m making wonderful progress now. What I’ve been asking myself is… “Why is it so hard to ask for and receive help? Why is it so hard to rest?” (strict adherence to taking antibiotics and resting have been the doctor’s emphatic demands) I’m wrestling with those questions. I’m learning. But it’s not easy. My biggest takeaway is that I’m so incredibly blessed. The Lord has given me such precious friends. They have blown me with their service and kindness. I’m...Learn More
Why??? One of the most popular questions to ever be asked. I know… I myself have asked this very question more times than can be counted. This tiny, three little word seems to pop up a lot in my brain. It also seems to carry a lot of power. “Why” has come to mind so much these past few weeks as my heart has ached for many. Loved ones battling illness. Friends and family dealing with heavy hearts. Tragedies… poverty… addictions… abandonment… injustices… Untimely deaths. Good or bad… I wonder why? I’ve also been doing a lot of questioning regarding the Christmas story… Like… WHY did God, Creator of the universe, CHOOSE to become smaller than small… Be born of young, teenage girl… A girl no doubt not much older than our Amelia? This girl… accepting the most impossible, intimate invitation a human will ever receive… Literally, carried the SON of GOD in her very womb. The acceptance of that invitation lead her to journey an insane distance while… VERY pregnant, VERY uncomfortable and VERY exhausted, Only to begin contractions and have no place to stay… Painfully, she would labor and give birth. Her only surroundings… Stinky animal poop, filth, strangers and a husband who just so happens to NOT be the father of the baby she is birthing. And her reward???? Walking out one of the hardest and most excruciating paths known to man… Ridiculed her entire life… Rearing a child that was hated and scorned… Only to have her miracle-God son murdered before her very eyes. Talk about favor? And Jesus Himself… The God-man… lived a life...Learn More
Even as a very young girl, I can remember being chased by fear. The kind of fear that lurks in the dark… laughing and longing to steal joy and peace. I’m not particularly certain why I have always been so prone to fear… It’s just been an unfortunate constant in my life. Let’s just say, I know what it’s like to live afraid. For most of my life I just thought fear was a “normal” part of life… Something to get used to. I know now… I was wrong. Honestly, I have had plenty of reasons to be afraid. While not as hard as many… I would not say my life has been easy. My heart has been broken more times than I can count, and Deep fear has been wearing. As I type this… It is Eli’s 9th birthday today. My 40th is tomorrow. 40. I’m not sad about being forty. I am, however, sad about being 40 and afraid. It’s not that I let fear win all the time… I push through… I don’t let it determine the course of my life. Since marriage we have had 4 different jobs… Lived in 3 different states… I’ve had 7 different babies in my womb… I have held my precious, stillborn son in my arms only to lose his brother just a few days later… I’ve watched my one pound daughter be miraculously healed of a near-deadly stomach infection only for her to have major heart surgery just days later. I’ve endured over 5 exhaustingly grueling months of NICU visits… waiting to bring a baby home. By choice, my...Learn More