Have you heard the big news!?! Nathan started a podcast called MissionLife. The first episode is already up. Give it a listen and share your thoughts in the comments!
Wednesday, August 16, 2017
Friday, June 23, 2017
It's amazing how frequently this missionary life leaves me speechless! I'm a writer and a preacher. Words are my thing. Yet, time after time, I fall silent, speechless, awed by the story we live.
Our family has been on a challenging journey over the last year. Jade and I have struggled to find answers for our children and any sort of a plan in the midst of Ezra's medical needs. As the pressure increased, so did the generous support of our friends and family. The incredible core team at Resonance Church shocked us with a trip to Colorado to spend time with a group of Uganda missionaries that we served with. For five sunny days we hiked, swam, played, ate, laughed and cried with 55 friends and peers. Our group travelled from all across the States, Australia, Uganda and Iraq. We prayed and worshiped and we were filled. Speechless.
On our last day, Ezra and I decided to climb a nearby mountain (actually, it was a hill, but to a 9 year old it's a mountain). When we reached the top we took a picture together with the beautiful view in the background. Moments later, Ezra had a seizure. As I held my son, shaking and disoriented, I wondered what kind of mountain this was. Once he regained is awareness and balance we turned and began our descent. As I followed him down, he said, "thanks dad" and I cried quietly behind him. After a week of filling, prayer and time in the word I felt I had the freedom to call this place in our life a mountain. God does things with pain that can only be done with pain. He wastes nothing. Everything works together for good. In that way, this is a good mountain, even if painful. I trust my Lord.
Friday, June 9, 2017
Many of you have heard Jade and I discussing the health of our son Ezra over the past couple of years related to his epilepsy. During our time here in the States we have been consulting with Riley Children’s Hospital to assess the problem and identify a plan. We have been working with a neurologist at Riley to find a medication that would reduce Ezra's seizures as much as possible. We’ve recently been told that after trying four medications, our chance of success in this route is below 5%. As a result, Riley has recommended brain surgery. The word “brain surgery” has been a difficult concept for our family to deal with. Although we don’t have all the answers, Jade and I felt the time has come to share what we know so far.
Ezra’s left temporal lobe is the area causing his seizures. This week we have been at Riley for a 3-day EEG to help them further identify the area causing his seizures. We found out that Ezra is constantly having seizures that we cannot see. He has them all day long and even in his sleep. We only see the outward manifestation of his seizures 1-2 times a week. The results of that EEG show that Ezra will have a 85% chance of being seizure free with brain surgery. On August 2nd, after a few more tests, Ezra will undergo a procedure called a ‘temporal lobectomy’. During this procedure Dr. Smith will remove about 5cm of his temporal lobe. Ezra will be in the hospital for a couple days after the surgery but should then be allowed to return home. Following the surgery, Ezra will need 4-6 weeks to completely heal before the neurosurgeon will clear him to travel. Both Ezra’s neurologists and his surgeon are incredibly supportive of us moving back to Uganda. We are thankful for such a quality experience with these doctors so far.
As you may have noticed, the scheduling of these procedures and recovery time will impact our previous schedule in returning to Uganda. We were planning to leave July 19th but the plan must change. We are moving our departure date to the end of September.
Right now our lives feel chaotic but even in the shifting and fluctuating we recognize that there are important truths that remain. First, God isn’t nervous about any of this. Please pray that our family will lean in together to the faithful love of God as He cares for us in this time. Second, we’re still called to Uganda. When the plan gets changed our whole family, including Ezra, felt that nothing had changed in our call to Uganda. The calendar might look different but the call does not. Third, we aren’t alone. So many have expressed love and support in ways that we truly appreciate. Your friendships and prayer are a huge boost to us all. Thank you for your encouragement and support!
Wednesday, April 19, 2017
Thank you, Church! Because of your generosity, we purchased our plane tickets to Uganda! We leave 3 months from today on July 19th. 🇺🇬
When asked the question, "How do you feel about leaving?", this is what each of our responses are....
Tuesday, April 18, 2017
Monday, March 20, 2017
WOW! My two favorite events on this earth are births and rebirths. Last night, Jade and I met with Jeremy and his wife. The conversation began with curiosity about Christianity and moved toward inner peace, new life, ears to hear and the love of Christ dwelling within us. When we began to speak of these things, Jeremy visibly changed. The more we talked the more we realized how God had been pursuing him and softening his heart. After I had spoken on things like sin, repentance, forgiveness, the gift of salvation and a new relationship with God, I listened as Jeremy began to pray. He said things like, "God I know I've done stuff against you" and "there's nothing I want more than to just love you" and "God you are my king now". Jade and I huddled next to he and his wife as we all prayed. Today there's a new brother in the family, a soldier joining the ranks. Join us in welcoming him to the family and praising God for his unceasing love!
Thursday, March 16, 2017
This morning was one of the most important events in our family history. If you would have told us five years ago that on this day we would be commissioned to full-time missionary service by World Gospel Mission we probably would have
laughed. God has truly rewritten our story. The commissioning signifies an agreement between God, WGM and our family regarding the calling on our lives. We are incredibly blessed and encouraged to have such a wonderful organization supporting and sending us!