Financial Giving to Perth, Brookton and Beyond

Thanks to you Ryan and I are firmly on the road to Australia.  Through your prayers and financial giving so far, we have been able to attend assessments and training during 2015.  And we will be full time support raising at the beginning of February 2016.

P1020698We are also looking forward to Ryan’s 2 week trip to Australia in January.  Although I won’t be able to go with him, this trip is a great opportunity to work on relationships and build a strong foundation for our future in Australia.

Your continued support makes our ministry possible.  Thinking of making a tax deductible end of the year donation?

This month, we’re asking people to consider giving towards our one-time financial needs.  In addition to monthly support, we also have to raise about $30,000 in order to cover the cost of additional trainings, visa costs, moving costs, plane tickets along with other expenses.  Thanks to current giving, we’re already raised about $7,000 towards our goal.

The church we will be working with in Australia is also excited about us coming, so much so that they paid for Ryan’s plane ticket for his trip in January.  They are investing in us because of the value they see in our future work in the Wheat Belt, the rural area outside of Perth.  We would love for you to also invest in us and our kingdom vision.

Would you be willing to make a special year-end donation of $50, $100 or whatever you can afford to help us meet our goal and get us to Australia in 2016?

We can’t get to Australia without you.  Our financial and prayer supporters don’t just give to our ministry, they are a part of our ministry.

Please, click here to make your donation now.  Support our ministry in Perth, Brookton and beyond.

Thank you for your continued support and friendship.  We’re looking forward to time with many of you in the new year!

Tough Transitions, Faith and Hope

At the end of October this year, we decided to step out in faith and put things in motion to be out of our little home by the beginning of February in order to full-time support raise.  We know we want to be in Australia and this choice would, Lord willing, make it happen sooner.  However, the decision was certainly an act of faith because we didn’t (and still don’t) have the financial support we need to live on full-time support and the amount of decisions that needed to be made then seemed like an unscalable mountain.  Now over a month into the process, we’re still confident that we made the right decision but there are many things that are filling up the precious hours in the day.

20151209_083447First of all, our house is a disaster.  Maybe other people have more success but I find it’s impossible to keep things neat and tidy when organizing.  We have piles to sell, piles to keep, piles to store, piles to sort and all kinds of other piles in between the piles.  In this season of Christmas wish lists and holiday giving, Ryan and I are having hard but fruitful discussions about what to keep, what to get rid of and in the midst of it all, what really matters.

Second, support raising hasn’t stopped but it’s impossible to give it the attention it deserves.  We wish we could keep up the almost daily meetings and continue actively building the team that will support the work in Australia.  However, at this point we are doing more praying than actively asking.  It’s a good thing we believe in prayer.

Third, life doesn’t stop during transitions.  I am still teaching until the end of January, Ryan has one more week of work at the church, meals still need to be cooked, clothes still need to be cleaned and life continues.  We’re definitely learning to prioritize and make choices.

But as much as the holidays make this time even more full, the holidays give us space and hope.  In a little over a week, Ryan and I will be traveling and gone for the rest of December.  We’ll shut the door on our messy home, leave all the worries of work behind us and just get to rest, enjoy family, friends and celebrate Jesus.  The do-er in me is slightly frustrated that we won’t be getting things done during that time but I am abundantly thankful to be forced to step away and slow down in order to actually enjoy and focus on the sweet, special season of Christmas.  Rejuvenated faith and sweet hope will be wonderful gifts this year.

Prayers and Big Decisions

Ryan and I have set things in motion to be out of our place in Camarillo by February 8th.  Other tenants are making a final decision about moving in soon.  Ryan’s given notice at work and I am in the process of making an appointment to talk to my boss.  We also have plans to visit Sacramento over Thanksgiving and tickets to Wisconsin for Christmas.

In our last newsletter, we said that we were hoping to be full-time support raising by January, at 50% of our support by January, as well as able to pay for Ryan to visit Australia for a mission out to Brookton in January.  At this point we have verbal pledges for about 25% of our support.  And our account doesn’t show this amount yet, therefore we are truly stepping out in faith with this decision.

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So what does this mean? Ryan and I are praying, a lot.  Working our part-time jobs, gathering our support team, maintaining our current relationships, as well as paring down all our worldly possessions is a lot of work.  We have a lot of little decisions to make but we’re excited about this big decision and the step of faith it has required.

Please be praying with us.  Pray for our marriage because all this change is stressful.  We definitely feel spiritual warfare at work when it comes to our relationship.  Pray for our support team, please pray that God would raise up the right supporters.  Please also be praying about how you can be a part of our team.  And finally be praying for Australia, Perth, Brookton and beyond.  Ryan and I can’t be in Australia right now so our ministry to the people fully relies on prayer.  Thank you for prayerfully joining in our ministry.

Launch in Still Life

We’ve made it through two days and have three left to go.  Thank you for praying us through.  Here are a few pictures of this week so far:

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The circle of chairs where we have worship and devotions each morning.  Many families have kids with them through this process.  Although they aren’t with us all day, they do make an appearance in the evening for dinner and toys, like this truck get scattered about.  Children are a blessing.

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The walls are being slowly covered with the discussions and topics we are covering this week.  Although the content isn’t new to me, it is great to refresh and have new conversations from different perspectives.

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These notebooks are our lifeline for the week and Ryan is dutifully taking notes.  Snacks help keep us alert and this bag of crispy m&ms was a gift from our airplane seat mate.  Thanks Sparkle!

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And each evening we get to return home to our friend’s house and their two purring kitties.  Instead of a hotel, they graciously offered for us to stay with them since they are also attending Launch this week.

Please Pray

I’ve been feeling overwhelmed lately.  So many good things are happening but with the new comes greater responsibilities.  Ryan and I are both being pulled in multiple directions with many important opportunities but they all demand time.  And we all know that time doesn’t multiply itself, it simply keeps moving.  With this said, I ask for your specific prayers for Ryan and I as we are navigating this big transition from current jobs, to full-time support raising, to work and life in Australia.  This picture shows the open area outside of Brookton which is an hour and a half outside of Perth.  We long to call this place home.

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Here are some prayers and praises.  I’ve listed the praises along with the prayers so you can see how they are woven together for us.  Thank you for praying!

  • Praise God for technology that makes our lives more organized, helps us stay connected and simplifies some things.  Please pray because I’ve been having technology issues at the school where I work, Ryan’s kindle fire (basically what he used as a computer) stopped working, my computer has been acting strange and Ryan and I are trying to figure out what to re-invest in as well as finding the time to fix or diagnose the problems.
  • Praise God for us being approved to start support raising and getting closer to Australia.  Praise God for the tickets to Atlanta in two weeks for the next training.  Please pray for this process because many previous supporters can no longer give so Ryan and I are basically starting from the bottom again.  Please also pray because support raising is a full-time job and we both are trying to juggle this while working.
  • Praise God for extra hours at work for me.  This will help us financially while we transition to support.  Please pray for me as I struggle with how to balance my jobs, support raising and the relationships and responsibilities that come with working at a school.
  • Praise God that Ryan can now quit one of his jobs.  Please pray for the timing and the transition because Ryan has been working with this company for over 8 years and he wants to transition out well and maintain a good relationship with his co-workers and the company bosses.
  • Praise God for daily provision in our lives and for our community here in Camarillo.  Please pray for us as we make big decisions regarding when to give up our apartment and jobs here and being traveling to support raising.
  • Praise God for a wonderful husband and marriage.  Please pray for us during these stressful times that we would grow stronger together, support each other and find the time to continue to nurture our relationship.

Creative Support Raising #2: Rural $1 Rent

Ryan and I are gearing up for REV at the end of the month and we know that the next big step is starting the financial support raising process.  This is, of course, a daunting task in general but it’s made especially difficult because of the high cost of living in Australia.

Australian Countryside

While I was raising support back in 2013 I received a few creative suggestions to offset the high costs including Banana Smuggling.  At this point banana costs have gone back down so that strategy is now obsolete.  However, I found an article recently boasting $1 a week rent in Australia.

Rural Home 

Since a good portion of our monthly costs will go towards rent, this sounds like it could really help our budget.  Too bad the closest town offering $1 a week rents is about 4 hours away from our desired area.  But in all seriousness, I love this idea that some rural Australian towns have implemented.  They offer very reduced rents in exchange for people to come out, live in old houses, fix up the properties, send their kids to the local schools and contribute to the small town economies.

This has evidently been going on for a few years in Australia and small towns in the east and west have had various successes because of the new life being breathed into the countryside by the families.  Because 4 hours is a bit too much of a commute, Ryan and I won’t be able to take advantage of the $1 a week rents but I am looking forward to living in the Australian countryside a little closer to Perth.  And I know that Ryan and I are excited about contributing to the local town and being a part of country life.

A Newsletter- The Latest and Greatest

Did you get our Newsletter in your inbox yesterday?  If not, you’re in luck because you can read it here🙂  But if you want to be some of the first to receive our news, then email me from the email address you use the most and I’ll be happy to put you on the list.

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Ryan and I are excited about the big changes that are taking place and we love being able to share our lives with you.  Thank you for reading our updates (you can click on the picture to see the update) and thank you for praying for us.

*In this newsletter I refer to the February Newsletter.  You can always read past newsletters on our blog in the About section of ryanwithjoy.com.