This is my final post to Finding Joy in Marriage. To continue following us please find us at Finding Joy in Transition. We would love for you to continue to follow our crazy, wonderful, transition filled life.
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It started with a random afternoon free in Sacramento. Ryan said, “Let’s go see the capitol building.”
And now we’ve toured a few capitols on the west coast and visited a few more on this trip. We have another couple capitol buildings on the list during this road trip because if we’re in the area, we will at least stop for a capitol selfie. Can you name these capitols?
It’s the last day of April and I drove today through the snow. Maybe I’ve done a little snow driving before in California but nothing that I can really remember and definitely not in April. I can now say that I’ve driven through the Rockies in falling, blowing snow. The coldest it got was 25 degrees according to the temperature gauge on our car. But it was a beautiful drive (at least what I could see when I wasn’t needing to focus solely on seeing out the front windshield) and the light flocking of snow made everything look lovely.We’re hoping that this is the coldest it will be on our road trip so it can only warm up from here. There is snow on the ground in front of Ryan’s brother’s home but it didn’t stop us from having a great evening with some of Ryan’s old friends here in Colorado. It was a night for Rook and catching up. We’re thankful to have arrived safely and are looking forward to a lot of work this week mixed with good family time.
Today we embark on our cross-country road trip. There are a few different reasons for this trip but the main two reasons are connecting with current, potential and future supporters and also attending a week long training in North Carolina. The training is a spiritual emphasis week which should prove both challenging and refreshing. We will be traveling as far north as the Twin Cities in Minnesota, as far east as Ridge Haven in North Carolina and as far south as Gulfport, Mississippi. I know that our drive up to the Twin Cities isn’t pictured on the map but this isn’t our exact route. I just wanted to give you all an idea of how much driving we’re going to be doing in the next 50 days. If you’re somewhere close to our route and we haven’t touched base, give us a shout out. We’d love to try and get together with you!
Tonight we are staying in Las Vegas and this is especially exciting because we get to try out the Beerhaus which is a new restaurant on the strip and my cousin is the chef! We get to enjoy his food at family gatherings and he’s the one that is credited with cooking the perfect brussels sprouts that got Ryan hooked:-) The Beerhaus (which had a great write-up on usatoday.com) is a bar that serves food so no brussels sprouts tonight but we’re looking forward to the beer and brats! This is a great way to start a road trip.
Here is our update with our latest numbers and we are happy to report that we are within reach of surpassing our April goal! Thank you to everyone who has become a part of our ministry in this way. Another one of my April goals was to update our website. You can check it out here: ryanwithjoy.com. Thank you to everyone who has been advocating for us, your words and invitations make an impact on our ministry. This month we have become particularly aware of this as we see our support team continue to grow and how God is gathering people who we have known for a long time as well as those who have more recently connected with us. What is advocating? Advocating is as easy as talking about Australia and encouraging others to get involved and learn about our ministry (Why Australia?).
Last support update we reported that we were at 57.3% of our goal but now we are at 59.2%! This means that another $83 a month in pledges will help us reach our April goal of 60%. Just one individual or couple giving $100 a month could help us surpass this goal. Or just 4 individuals or couples giving $25 a month. It’s easy to give by contacting MTW (Mission to the World) or using their online giving site: donations.mtw.org. This will help keep us on track to be at 75% by the end of June when we head to Europe for training.
Please keep praying for our support and God’s timing. Thursday we begin our cross country road trip for support and training. It will be a wonderful, exhausting trip but we keep focusing on God’s presence and all we have to be thankful for. We appreciate your prayers and financial gifts that will keep us serving. Thank you for helping us get to Australia!
I was first exposed to overseas missions in elementary school. My world grew multiple times over as I listened to stories from all over our globe, read books and absorbed whatever information I could find. At that age I knew nothing about what it took to send and keep these people overseas, working towards the great commission in the way God had specifically, uniquely and wonderfully called them. I now know and can see that God was using their lives and stories to impact, influence and change me.These pictures are from a couple of the opportunities we’ve had to share with groups other than adults. With younger kids I like to do hands on projects and Aboriginal art is a great way to not only let kids play with colors but also to talk about how different cultures tell stories and how God shares his story with us. For the youth Ryan used technology (reading his Bible from his phone) and asked a lot of questions to keep the students engaged. As Ryan and I prepare for Australia, we are not forgetting the multiple generations that will come after us. The Great Commission, “Go and make disciples of all nations.” This is still happening and not yet fulfilled. Maybe it will happen in our lifetime, maybe not. But I do know that until it will be fulfilled, that there will be opportunities for others to follow and do their part in responding and acting on this beautiful charge from scripture. Of course, the nations are in many ways coming to us and missions looks very different now but that’s even more of a reason to get involved. We are thankful to be able to share our story and hopefully encourage and inspire multiple generations.
My previous post highlighted men’s mental health and suicide rates. And shortly after I posted, an Aussie friend shared this video via Facebook. This is an ad recently posted by Marie Claire Australia with the explanation, “One woman is killed every week in Australia because of domestic violence. Will this tv ad – launched around the country this weekend – make a difference? We hope so.” While this statistic is for Australia in general, Ryan and I recognize that domestic violence is also very high in the Wheatbelt outside of Perth.
Please continue to pray. Pray for us as we continue to work towards moving to Western Australia. Pray for the women who are victims of domestic violence. Pray for the men who are the aggressors. And please pray for the families that are dealing with the effects of domestic violence in their own homes and communities.