Not your typical ministry post.

“A mans steps are directed by the Lord. How then can anyone understand his own way?” 

Proverbs 20:24

I read this verse this past wednesday evening after a long day trying to manipulate sheet metal to do my bidding. I was rebuilding a trim tab assembly (yes I am pretending everyone knows what that is and what it does) and was ready to let the line service guys use it as their soccer ball when lunch time came. Coming across this verse made me throw my arms up in the air and almost yell out loud “well that would have been nice to know before I started training for 5 years to fix airplanes!” I went to bed in frustration.

But as I started thinking about this verse over the past couple of days my heart has changed. I am truly awestruck by the Lord and how his plans and ideas are so outside of my understanding.

Let me back up a bit. I have realized that I have not really shared at all what Dan and my days are like here in Kenya. Well here it is. Hopefully my theme verse and thoughts later on will make sense after I share a typical day with you. 

6:00 am- Dan gets up and tells me its 6 and time to get up.

6:10 am- Dan goes down stairs to make breakfast and tells me its 6:10

6:20 am- Dan tells me its 6:20.

6:30 am- I finally roll out of bed straight to a pot to boiling water on our stove for coffee.

7:10 am- Dan and I get in the car and ride in mario kart traffic to wilson airport for 30- 50 min. The airport is only 5 miles away. 

8am-12:30pm – I work on airplanes. Dan does odd jobs.

12:30-1:30- I eat lunch. Dan plays soccer

1:30- 5- I work on airplanes. Dan does odd jobs.

5-6:30- we ride home in mario kart traffic

6:30-8:30- Make dinner, eat dinner and maybe watch an episode of Murder, She Wrote or the Cosby Show.

8:30 bed

REPEAT

This is basically what I do at home in Washington. This past four weeks have been a struggle for me because I am still not seeing how what I am doing is ministry. I feel as though I have more of a ministry in spokane than here. While I enjoy being at the hanger something is very much missing. While at home I am still at a hanger, I am outside of it long enough to “make disciples”, to have friendships, to be a wife and for gosh sakes sit down and knit. Here, I am at the hanger. 

One may ask well what about your weekends? Weekends are for everything your talking about right? No. This is Africa. I had to ask for a day off to just have time to do all the things that need to be done living in Kenya. Fridays and Saturdays consist of cooking for the week, cleaning, laundry, grocery shopping, women’s prayer group and hopefully a 2 hour date outing to java house so Dan and I can remember that we are married and still attracted to each other. And on sundays we go to church. Which takes most of the day. I look at this list and it does not appear to be alot but everything takes longer here and Dan and I walk everywhere we need to go.

I don’t want to come off negative sounding. I have been learning a lot and I have been slowly making friendships. But this is not what I was expecting for a ministry internship. To be honest I was expecting an emotionally high experience of being a servant in a very apparent-to-me way and discovering exactly what God’s plans were for Dan and I. After 4 weeks I am definitely not high on the Holy Spirit and I do not understand my way.

Ok back to my verse. My steps are directed by the Lord. As I have been reflecting on this verse I know that this is the place God has for me right now and for the next 4 weeks. Despite my feelings about it which I described above. I am confused right now and a little frustrated because I feel that I am not living up to what a missionary should be. But my Savior knows that. He knew that is what I would go through and he still moved heaven and earth to get me here to Kenya. He kept me in school for 5 years when I wanted to quit so bad and he passed me through when there where areas that I should have failed if not for him. All of these things have reminded me that I have a way and my steps are directed. But not by me. By the man that died for me and rose again. Instead of being frustrated by not knowing my steps like I was wednesday night, I need to be comforted that God is directing my steps. 

I can not express how much I wish God had flown me halfway around the world to be his servant and a light. I’m thinking he flew me around the world to show me that I don’t trust him and I am selfish. Its a pity I couldn’t have learned that before I came but God knows best. I am still learning that He knows best. 

I wish I could post wonderful stories and experiences for you all to read. I wish I could be showing you how the Lord is using Dan and I. But what I have to share is what he is teaching me. And He is teaching me to trust him fully no matter what is going on around me that I don’t understand. And I, true to form, am being stubborn and slow learning but I think I am getting it. More here than i would have at home in my little apt in Spokane. Maybe that is why He moved heaven and earth to get me out here. He knew I needed to be outside my comfort zone to learn to trust him fully. He knew that in order to direct my steps, I needed to be convinced that I don’t know my own way. He truly blows my mind. And for that I am so thankful and grateful.

On a much lighter note, WE ARE GOING CAMPING THIS WEEKEND!!! :D

I don’t know where we are going or what we will do when we get there but we are leaving the city and that is all I care about! A missionary couple that works at the hanger asked us to come along with them and we are so grateful for a chance to have a little mini vacation at our halfway point.

Prayer request:

-Obviously prayer that Dan and I will continue to trust the Lord in everything here and at home. 

- That we will not be discouraged if expectations are not met

- For our safety as we are doing a lot of walking just the two of us and that we are now living in a house by our selves now that our team is gone.

-For our friendships here that they will continue to grow

- That the Lord will still use us as his servants and that we will be able to impact his kingdom even if we can’t see it

Kate <3

Click me for pictures!

Story of a missionary nurse with AIM & Flickr!

We are in the second day of our third week and have a lot on our plates, a lot in our minds, and thankfully with adequate sleep, but not a lot of processing time.

In time I’ll write some thoughts, other times I’ll link my Flickr account here. Kate and I share sentiments, she’s shared them in a previous blog she wrote titled God’s family around the world about wanting to share as much as we can, but not having the time to. I’m finding no other easier way to share our photos of our time in Kenya than this way. I hope you enjoy.

Story time!

On Mondays the maintenance staff and pilots (when they are here in Nairobi and not out flying and ministering) get together at 10:00 AM for chai time to debrief of things that need to get done in the week, prayer requests, sharing of blessings and testimonies.

It is at this time when, in particular, the pilots are back from trips to places where if I knew how to pronounce them I would defer from mentioning because many are to or near closed access areas and/or remote places. They come back with incredible stories of how God himself and God through his faithful people in Christ have been at work.

The latest yesterday was of an American nurse who lives in a remote location of Africa, where there is a strong witchcraft presence near where she lives and a Muslim presence as well. Great combination don’t you think?

She’s been integrating herself well in the community though, she’s adopted and let herself be adopted by an elder of a tribe in a “daughter and father” relationship, learning their unwritten language (which is quite the task), and of course providing her nursing skills to the people, whether from: her tribe, another, and to the Muslim community.

In our meeting the pilot told us that one day she was invited to help a man who was having seizures that lived deep within a community that practiced witchcraft. AIM (Africa Inland Mission) advises it’s missionaries not to go to dangerous places like that, but she told the pilots that the Lord called her to go and help this man.

What’s interesting about her going is that, although she is a nurse, she did not know how to professionally treat seizures. Although she didn’t know how to treat seizures she went because the Lord told her to go. So how was she going to help this man? What was going to happen to her if he didn’t get better?

The man had a seizure when she saw him. The local witch doctor had already tried to heal him before. She came and prayed to God for him. Once she was done praying he at once stopped having his seizures.

That’s it

The Lord called this nurse to go to a dangerous place to help this man, who she did not know personally or know professionally how to help. By faith in Christ she went. By the power of the Holy Spirit in Christ, God healed this man through her prayer. Glory to God.

I don’t know what’s happened since then, the pilot didn’t share more, but they come every Monday with incredible stories like this one. About what God is doing through missionaries who have: limited resources, limited communication, limited protection, physically & materially speaking. But as a Christian this nurse knew AND believed that she had unlimited resources, unlimited communication, & unlimited protection in Christ. Same goes for all the other missionaries with AIM.

Thanks for reading.

Dan P

P.S.
Flickr is a photo sharing website. If you click on the blue Flickr word you will be sent to my flickr account where you will be able to see & comment on our pictures of Kenya. Again, I hope you enjoy them.

Also, for future reference, if you click on my blogs menu box you will see a drop down list with a link for my Flickr and other social websites of mine not necessarily related with our mission trip.

Gods family around the world

Wow… what a week!

I have been wanting to write all week about everything Dan and I have been experiencing but practically there is no way I can share everything. And many more stories will come over the next few weeks so I will have to pick my favorites!

First off, I know you all want to know some major differences here compared to the states. Well let me tell you I have them!

1. Nairobi is a city. A BIG city. Its the size of Philadelphia with about 3.5 million people in it. Its very diverse with skyscrapers down town, slums scattered through out and housing developments around the outside and within. Not exactly what I was expecting.

2. I grew up in Washington D.C. and traffic here is far worse. There are no road sign, people drive on the left side, people are constantly walking out in front of cars and around them, everyone has the right of way and traffic light are scarce. When there is a traffic light it is optional….

3. Africa is NOT hot. It is july. It is winter. I wish I had brought a jacket. We are at about 6,000 ft above sea level here so when winter comes it gets pretty cool. And by cool I mean upper 40’s low 50’s in the mornings. No tan happening here.

4. Avocados are 50 cents

5. There is security everywhere. I walked through a metal detector to go into the grocery store.

6. Kenyan coffee is by far superior to anything coffee like in the states.

Where all these things are fun and interesting to talk about, it is not my purpose in this post. My purpose in writing is the title. Gods family around the world.

Dan and I have been so blessed by the other members of our team. Even though they are not from around the world, we met for the first time on the other side of the world and are all from different places in the states. I felt an immediate bond with our team members and we have enjoyed such sweet fellowship of the past week. I am sad that most of them will be leaving in 2 weeks while Dan and I still will have 5 weeks to go. However I am blessed to be enjoying the time that we have had and will have.

Today Dan and I had the privilege to attend Africa Inland Church in Runda. Runda is a slum just outside of the city. I was heartbroken to see large mansions and estates surrounding this little slum community. I couldn’t settle in my mind how people with such wealth could live above such need with out the need improving. We entered the slum with all the little tin roof houses and dirt roads. Laundry was strung between the little homes and stray cats were darting in and out of the alley ways. Dan and I and 3 of our team members were met by the pastor of the church who was so excited to see us. After he greeted us we were immediately surrounded by several children all shouting “muzungu” (which means white person) and running up to hold our hands. We went inside the church building which had no door to the front and had metal walls and a roof. The whole building was probably the size of Dan and my studio apartment. The bathroom was a hole in the ground outside in the back of the church (that I did have to use).

I say all these things to make what I am about to say come across as strongly as possible. Those men, women and children in that church were my brothers and sisters in Christ. Their love shown through so brightly that I completely forgot about my cultural comforts and selfishness. I was blessed by the worship service that lasted for over 2 hours (no including the sermon). I teared up several times as the choir danced and sang in swahili as I thought about how I was getting a taste of heaven in that tiny little church.

Dan was asked to preach to the congregation and he did a fantastic job. He talked about the great commission and the whole church told him how blessed they were by him bringing Gods word to them. Little did they know that Dan and I were just as blessed if not more by there love, hospitality and openness to us. After the service every one shook our hand and invited us to come back. They taught us how to dance to their worship songs and then took us home and fed us lunch! There was a bond between us that could only be explained by the Holy Spirit. We are one in Christ and it was such a beautiful thing to see and be a part of on the other side of the world.

There will be so much more to share and talk about over the next several weeks but for now I want to leave you with this word picture of our Saviors loving family around the world.

I know that everyone wants pictures! However I have been trying to upload some but it has been very difficult due to internet capability. We will try to get pictures up soon. For the time being face book has been the best avenue for pictures so that is where we have been putting them up.

Some prayer requests:

-I am still adjusting to life here in Africa. We are only with our team for another week and a half and then Dan and I are on our own for 5 weeks. Please pray that I will not be fearful and that I will be somewhat comfortable by the time our team leaves.

-Dan and I have not had alot of time to ourselves since we have arrived. This is not necessarily bad but I am definitely not used to it. Pray that we will continue to stay close and cherish our time together even though it is different then what we are used to.

-Pray that God will continue to teach us and show us where we best can serve him.

-Pray that we wont forget our purpose in being here is to share Jesus in what ever way we can.

Pictures soon! 

 

Kate <3

 

 

5 days in Nairobi

I’m doing a short update, because i want to do a great update with few words and more pictures!

I’ll just mention that i’ve been having quite a difficult time trying to find something to help me show lot’s of pictures with little work long term. So right now, the short term, i’ve just been looking and looking for the perfect “thing” (in wordpress it’s called a “widget” or “plug in”) to help me do just that in the midst of fun, work, spotty wifi, and more.

For now, the skinny:

June 29th. we arrived sunday night, which is sunday morning in Spokane :( and tried to go to sleep. It’s taken us about 3 days to fully adjust and get over our jet lag.

July 30th. We stayed at a missionary type of lodging called Mayfield, it was very lovely hospitality and great food service. They had breakfast, lunch, and dinner. We ate with other missionaries and local Kenyan, or otherwise, African ministers. Most not affiliated with AIM, but serving through other programs. We got multiple crash courses; basic Swahili, withdrawing money, on-field orientation, and moving to our permanent location for the next 8 weeks.

July 1st & 2nd. ON SAFARI!!! (this is why i want to put pictures) there is a gentleman and his son that is a part of the short term team leaving tomorrow 7/5/14. As a goodbye gift the team thought we can all go on safari for half a day.

July 3rd & 4th Kate and i have both been at the hangar working and i’m glad i have been able to help. There’s so much that i would like to share that we have seen and been a part of in these past 2 days at the hangar that has been really cool, but i’ll do it some other time.

Prayer requests:

I’ve come to learn there are a good number of opportunities for me to do something, but i ask your prayers to find the “thing” or “things” the Lord can use me best in.

We are a part of a mission team that started about a month ago. The father and son leaving tomorrow is a part of that team and in a few weeks more team members will be leaving until finally the last 2 weeks we will be alone in Nairobi. Not completely alone, but as far as our immediate team goes, everyone will be gone except Kate and i for our last 2 weeks. Pray about that :)

Pray for good rest every night.

Again as i said in my last post, pray that Kate and i remember to ask ourselves and ask others “what can i learn & how can i serve?”

Time alone is precious and public displays of affection are a no no and i mean the conservative type. Pray for our unity.

Honorable mentions:

I’m having fun attempting to learn Swahili! :)

I’m having fun helping at the hangar and seeing it’s sights

I’m having fun eating Kenyan & indian food. Today i ate a plate full during lunch time for .50 cents!

Kate and i have been thoroughly blessed to stay a few weeks with Jim & Becky Levander and their kids. Four words. What a Godly family!

Thanks for reading

Dan

The Mission Trip/ La Mision

Quick update before we head out.

Tomorrow morning we will be leaving from Spokane, to Seattle, to London and Finally to Nairobi. Throughout the months many have asked me how i feel. The most often assuming question is, “are you excited?”

Logically i can’t answer that question, i’ve never been to Kenya. The only part out of the country i’ve been to is Venezuela, but that’s been to visit family. This time for one i’m not going to Venezuela, i’m going to Kenya and two i’m not going for vacation, friends, to visit family, etc. My wife and i are going to Kenya for two main reasons: one is for her internship in order to graduate from Moody Bible Institute, and the other is a visionary trip for us.

By visionary trip we mean to ask God and explore in Kenya how much of ministry as mission abroad will be a part of our lives. My wife and i understand this is within a 2 month window, not a lot of time. At the same time, it can be more than enough, guess who’s it all up to? the Lord :) There are not better hands that i’d rather be than in His. Ever. 

So “are you excited?” I wouldn’t say i’m not, i am. We are. Though i would definitely answer by saying, “i’m thoughtful.” My minds been thinking about a couple of things, here’s a few:

〉There is no way i can take enough pictures in quantity or quality of what Kate and i will be living through. Same can be said about words.

〉I am thankful with where i am in life. I am not perfect, but the Lord calls me to be Holy as he is Holy and live for his glory, no ifs ands or buts about it. If this was impossible he wouldn’t have said so in 1st Peter 1:16

〉It’s hard to imagine the change that will be. I’m at a friend’s parent’s gorgeous farm as i’m typing this. The beauty, the comfort, the peaceful silence and in about 54 hours i will be in another country experiencing different things, feeling different things, but with 2 constants, my wife and my God. 

〉It takes me a couple of hours to think, write, and translate these blogs so after this one i will stop translating them in spanish to cut my work a bit. Sorry, for those that read in spanish there are things like google translate which can help translate to spanish what we write.

I can keep on writing, but i’ll stop

Thanks for reading.

Dan P

Prayer Requests:

I’d rather face whatever difficulties in Kenya if i can trade it for safe and stress free travels to and from Kenya.

I always want to ask myself and ask the people i will be working with/under, “what can i learn & how can i serve?”

That Kate and i draw closer to the Lord

Not be a tourist

EN ESPAÑOL

Antes que nos vamos

Mañana por la mañana estaremos volando afuera de Spokane, a Seattle, a Londres y finalmente a Nairobi. A lo largo de los meses, muchos me han preguntado cómo me siento. La pregunta más a menudo es, “¿estás emocionado?”

Lógicamente no puedo responder esa pregunta, yo nunca he estado en Kenia. El único país que he estado es Venezuela, para visitar a la familia. Esta vez no voy a Venezuela, voy a Kenia y no voy para vacacional, visitar amigos, o familia, etc. Mi esposa y yo vamos a Kenia por dos razones principales: una es para poder graduarse de Moody Bible Institute, y el otro es que esto es un viaje visionario para nosotros.

Cuando decimos viaje visionario nos referimos a pedirle a Dios y explorar en Kenia cuánto ministerio como misión en el extranjero va a ser parte de nuestras vidas. Mi esposa y yo  entendemos que esta pregunta esta dentro de una ventana de 2 meses, no un montón de tiempo. Al mismo tiempo, puede ser más que suficiente, el Señor proveerá :) No quisiera estar en otras manos que en las del Señor.

Así que “¿estás emocionado?” Yo no diría que no lo soy, si estoy. Lo estamos. Aunque, sin duda yo respondería diciendo: “Estoy en pensamiento.” Mi mente a estado pensando en varias cosas, aquí comparto algunas de ellas:

〉 No va aver manera que pueda tomar fotos suficientes en cantidad y calidad de lo que Kate y yo estaremos viviendo. Lo mismo puedo decir acerca de escribir en palabras nuestra experiencia.

〉 Estoy agradecido donde estoy en la vida. Yo no soy perfecto, pero el Señor me llama a ser santo como Él es santo y vivir para su gloria, no hay “si pero” en el principio, medio, o al final del camino Cristiano. Si fuera imposible el no lo uvera dicho en 1a de Pedro 1:16.

〉 Es difícil imaginarme del cambio que voi a experienciar. Estoy en una magnífica finca de los padres de una amiga con Kate al tiempo que estoy escribiendo esto. La belleza, la comodidad, el silencio de paz y mas o menos en 54 horas estaré en otro país en medio de nuevas experiencias y cosas diferentes, pero con 2 constantes, mi esposa y mi Dios.

〉 Me toma un par de horas para pensar, escribir y traducir estos blogs así que después de éste, dejare de traducirlos en español para cortar mi trabajo un poco. Lo siento, pero para aquellos que leen en español hay cosas como el traductor de google, que puede ayudar a traducir al español lo que escribimos.

Puedo seguir escribiendo, pero voy a dejarlo así 

Gracias por leer.

Peticiones de oración:

Prefiero enfrentarme a cualquier dificultad en Kenia si puedo cambiarlo para que tengamos viajes seguros y libres de estrés hacia y desde Kenya.

Siempre quiero preguntarme y preguntar a la gente que voy a trabajar con /de bajo, “¿Qué puedo aprender y cómo puedo servir?”

Que Kate y yo nos acercemos mas al Señor

No ser un turista

Kenya Bound/Hacia Kenia

We have reached our financial goal! We have 100% of our funds which comes to a total of about $9,500

We have our visas too.

Praise The Lord!

If you are interested in reading a little longer version of how we’ve come to 100% in the past 3 weeks or so read our previous blog post from last Monday.

Thank you, family, friends, and passerby’s. Keep in mind this is only the beginning of our journey. Kate and I have the continent of Africa before us as we are Kenya bound!

Some prayer requests:

Pray that my left hand heals quickly, i got a second degree burn last week at work. In short it was an accident & it is healing.

Pray that there are no complications with our luggage and plane rides to and from Nairobi… And if there are to have patience and to ultimately get to where we, and our things, need to get too.

Dan & Kate Paredes

P.S. As stated in some of our previous blogs we will be updating this cite, our WordPress, once a week (as we are able too) with stories & pictures of our adventure. You are invited too! all of you, and we wish you join us via our blog!

EN ESPAÑOL

Hemos alcanzado nuestro objetivo financiero! Tenemos 100% de nuestros fondos. Un total de $9,500.

Tenemos nuestras visas también.

¡Alabado sea el Señor!

Si está interesado tenemos una versión un poco más larga como llegamos a 100% en las últimas 3 semanas, en nuestro post anterior del lunes pasado.

Gracias, familia, amigos, y visitantes. Lo increíble es esto sólo es el principio de nuestra misión. Kate y yo tenemos el continente africano antes de nosotros ya que estamos listo ir hacia Kenia!

Peticiones

Oren que mi mano izquierda se curé rápido, tengo una quemada de segundo grado, ocurrió la semana pasada en el trabajo. En resumen, fue un accidente y se está sanando.

Oren que no haya complicaciones con nuestro equipaje, paseos en el aire, y en los aeropuertos hacia Nairobi y devuelta … Y si hay complicaciones, que tengamos paciencia en medio de todo y finalmente llegar a donde nosotros, y nuestras cosas debemos estar.

Daniel y Katerina Paredes

P.S. Como e dicho en algunos de nuestros blogs anterior menté, vamos a usar este blog, nuestro WordPress, una vez a la semana para escribir de nuestra misión y mostrar fotos de nuestra aventuras. Los invitamos a todos que embarquen con nosotros a nuestra expedición misional por nuestro blog!

We hit a wall, but God was like “what wall?”/Llegamos a una pared, pero Dios dijo “¿qué pared?”

The WALL!

Have you ever ran? silly question, what i mean to ask is have you ever ran to the point where you have wanted to stop? Your body and your mind have had it. They want you to stop because you are reaching that point that you are out of their physical and mental COMFORT zone? Quick side-note,  i don’t mean the type of wall or “bonking” out that causes you to collapse out of a genuine depletion of stored energy from your body, don’t do that.

I have reached that point many times. In my middle school and high school years, I was a bit of a “jack of all trades.” I had participated in cross-country, gymnastics, baseball, soccer, and tennis. As a young adult i’ve swam laps, run on treadmills, and played indoor soccer on a regular basis. In all these physical activities I’ve come across this “wall.” Being a little older and wiser I know this means I want to stop because I’m reaching the point where I’m really working out, and it hurts a little. My breaths are more precious, my muscles are getting tired, i’m getting tense, my heart rate is up, “oh no!… i’m sweating!” (sarcasm intended).

If you have done physical exercise, you know, when you put your mind to it over the long haul; going over that wall means a true and real workout. Where your body is burning calories and your muscles are really working. And at the end of it? (after stretching, which is very important) that muscle ache feels good doesnt it? You know that you put your body to the test, to it’s limits for all it’s worth, to get the long term benefit of having a real workout instead of teasing your body with a workout where you stop when you just begin to sweat.

Us and the WALL!

About two months and a half ago, maybe three, Kate and I had that time to raise $12,000 for our mission trip with AIM (Africa Inland Mission) to Nairobi, Kenya. About a week ago Kate and I were at a point in our support raising where we hit this “wall.” We thought “what more can we do?” We had done a bake-sale, updated our church family several times to help us financially and prayerfully, sent out personal and emailed letters to a few dozen friends, family, and friends of family in our network, and used social media as much as we knew how. We also thought, God had been plenty good being faithful through joyful givers and through reducing the total price of our mission trip TWICE to a total of $9,500!… you get the picture. We were working out, we were trying.  We were seeking the Lord in prayer too, we were trusting Him, but at 77% in our support raising we hit a wall of worry and anxiety. Kate and I thought to ourselves “what more can we do? we had 2 weeks left to raise about 2,200 (the other 23%). “Oh no!” i thought. We were sweating.

The transition from us and God to more of God.

Here’s where our workout and trying met God’s goodness to us. Thursday of this week Kate was with her best friend Rachel and had brought up her worries about the 23% left. “what are we going to do if it doesn’t come in?” and Rachel said, “don’t worry, have faith in the Lord that it will?” again Kate would say, “but what if it doesn’t?” and so on. Then you had me at work even before thursday thinking, “what more can we do? we’ve exhausted all our resources and connections? Lord we need you to provide the rest for our mission trip. Help!” So with plenty of worry and preoccupied minds, praying, but worrying and subtly doubting, I came home from work and I shared with Kate what I had been thinking and she did the same. We didn’t want to think or talk about our worries, so we pushed them aside and agreed not to talk about it that night (like I believe most people do when there’s something heavy and important in one’s life that, instead of pushing it away, it is to our best interest to go through it and work them out).

That night we hadn’t checked our mailbox yet, so Kate went to check and in there was a piece of mail from one of Kate’s aunt. Inside was a letter and a check, the letter said that aunt had talked to Carol, my mother-in-law, and she had told aunt that we where a few thousand short. She sent a check for $1,500 and in her letter said “hope this helps a little.” Yes aunt, yes it does. Thank you, and we thank God too.

Not only that, but as i’m sitting here before church service typing this blog as fast, and grammatically correct as i can, i received two envelopes from 2 church family members with a note in each saying, in short, “we’ll be praying for you”. Between the 2 was a total of $215. Thank you guys, and we thank God too.

AND over a phone conversation with my dad a few days back, he told me that my grandma, 2 cousins, and 2 uncles had pitched in to support us for our mission trip. I have a cousin flying in to spend some time with my parents and she’s bringing with them their contribution of $100 dollars, which is a lot generally speaking, and a lot coming from Venezuela where there is a lot of cicvil unrest, oppression from the government, and poor economics all around. Thank you to my family in Venezuela, and we thank God too.

GOD and the WALL

This is what’s happened, this is a big nutshell, but nevertheless a nutshell. A condensed version of how our faithful God, faithful prayer warriors on our behalf to God, and joyful givers in our church family, biological family, and beyond have come through and provided for our financial needs for this mission trip. Yesterday i was going to write that after our aunts check we were at 93%, but after today i think i can say we are most likely at 96%. Thank you everyone, and we thank God too.

What’s crazy is that this is only the beginning, if you think about it. We have our mission trip before us. This fund raising, trusting in God’s faithfulness to provide for us financially has been a first for me. I live ridiculously and over-flowingly blessed with: family, friends, church, full-time job, a God-fearing wife, disciplined budgeting, and much more. I have not been in financial need, but this was a “test of faith” in that area if you will, and i just shake my head looking back through these 2 months and a half wondering “how did we make it?” and ironically knowing the answer and smiling about it. It’s because of our good God. We hit a wall, but God was like “What wall?”

-The Paredes

P.S. obviously we still have a few hundred left to raise, maybe around $300. If you would like to give $1, $5, $10, $50 (truly, anything helps), there is a link on our blog. If you look right below the sunset picture on our blog you will see a box that says “financial support.” Click there and follow the prompts. Search under our last name “Paredes” to be able to give securely. You will receive an email to confirm your offering and also a receipt for tax purposes. Again, thank you prayer warriors, and thank you joyful givers, this has all been made possible because your physical and spiritual contributions. And of course our Mighty God.

abajo EN ESPAÑOL 

La PARED!

(Disculpa la traducción a español. My construcción de oraciones no es buena.) ¿Alguna ves as corrido? Es una pregunta tonta, le que quiero decir es ¿as corrido asta el punto que no quieres correr más? Eso es la pared. Tu cuerpo y tu mente te dice “basta ya!” Llegan al punto donde te encuentras sintiéndote que vas a pasar afuera de la zona de comodidad físicamente y mentalmente. Un pensamiento rápido; no me refiero al tipo de pared que causa un genuino agotamiento que pasa por acabar con la energía natural dentro del cuerpo humano. No hagas eso. He llegado a ese punto muchas veces. En mi tiempo en la secundaria y preparatoria, yo hacia un poco de todo. Yo participe en cross-country, gimnasia, béisbol, fútbol y tenis. En los último 5 años e nadado, corrido en el gimnasio, y e jugado fútbol de salón consistentemente. En todas estas actividades físicas me he encontrado contra la “pared”. Siendo un poco más sabio, ya yo entiendo que esto significa que quiero parar porque estoy llegando al punto en que realmente estoy trabajando, y me duele un poco. Mis respiraciones son más preciosas, mis músculos están cansando, me estoy poniendo tenso, mi ritmo cardíaco esta acelerando, “oh no! … Estoy sudando!” (Sarcasmo apropósito). Si usted ha hecho ejercicio tu sabes cuando usted pone su mente fijo para el beneficio al fin de completarlo; pasando sobre la pared significa un entrenamiento real. Cuando tu cuerpo está quemando calorías y tus músculos están funcionando realmente al 100%. Y al final? (Después de los estiramientos, que es muy importante) ese dolor de músculo se siente bueno ¿no? Usted sabe que puso su cuerpo a la prueba, a su límite, para obtener el beneficio de largo plazo a tener un entrenamiento real en ves de mentirle a tu cuerpo con un ejercicio en el apenas cuando empiezas a sudar, paras de hacer tu ejercicio.

Nosotros y la PARED

Dos meses y medio atrás, tal vez tres, Kate y yo tuvimos ese tiempo para recaudar $12,000 para nuestro viaje de misión a Nairobi, Kenia. Hace una semana Kate y yo estábamos en un punto en nuestra recaudación de apoyo, donde nos confrontamos con esta “pared”. Pensamos “¿qué más podemos hacer?” Habíamos hecho una venta de pasteles, compartimos nuestra noticias con nuestra familia de la iglesia varias veces para que nos ayuden financieramente y en oración, enviamos cartas personales y enviamos a algunas decenas para amigos, familiares y amigos de la familia en nuestra cadena, y utilizamos las páginas de web sociales tanto como sabíamos manejarlas. También sabíamos que Dios había ayudado un montón atravesó de los que nos dieron ofrenda alegremente, y a través de la reducción del precio total de nuestra campaña misionero DOS VECES para un total de $ 9,500! … Estábamos trabajando fuertemente, estábamos tratando. Estábamos orando al Señor también, estábamos confiando, pero al 77% en nuestra campaña de apoyo llegamos a una pared de preocupación y ansiedad. Kate y yo pensamos, “¿qué más podemos hacer? Teníamos 2 semanas para recaudar alrededor de 2,200 (el otro 23%).” ¡Oh, no! “, Pensé. Estábamos sudando.

La transición entre nosotros y Dios para más de Dios

Aquí es donde nuestro “ejercicio” y tratando se reunió con Dios en su bondad a nosotros. Jueves de esta semana Kate estaba con su mejor amiga Rachel y estaba compartiendo con ella acerca de su preocupaciones sobre el 23% que faltaba. “¿Qué vamos a hacer si el dinero no llega?” Raquel le dijo: “no te preocupes, ten fe en el Señor que el lo ara?” de nuevo Kate le dijo, “pero que pasa si no viene?” y así sucesivamente. Y yo en el trabajo “, ¿qué más podemos hacer? Hemos agotado todos nuestros recursos y conexiones? Señor necesitamos que pongas el resto del dinero para nuestro viaje de misión. ¡Ayuda!” Así que con mucha preocupación y orando, honestamente con poco de duda, llegué a casa, Kate y yo compartimos lo que habíamos estado pensando. No queríamos pensar o hablar de nuestras preocupaciones esa noche, entonces lo echamos a un lado. (como creo que la mayoría de la gente cuando hay algo pesado e importante en la vida de uno que, en bes de olvidar o dejado a un lado, es en nuestro mejor interés de ir a través de lo duro y trabajar en medio de lo difícil). Esa noche no aviamos visto nuestro buzón de correo, así que Kate fue a ver y consiguió una pieza de correo de una tía de Kate. Dentro había una carta y un cheque, la carta decía que la tía había hablado con Carol, mi madre-en-ley, y le había contado a tía que todavía nos faltaba unos pocos miles. Ella envió un cheque por $ 1,500 y en su carta dijo: “Espero que esto ayude un poco.” Sí tía, sí lo ayuda un “poco”. Gracias tía, y damos gracias a Dios también. No sólo eso, mientras estoy sentado aquí antes del servicio de iglesia, estoy escribiendo este blog lo mas rápido, y gramaticalmente correcto que pueda. Recibí tres sobres de 3 miembros de la familia de la iglesia con una nota en cada uno diciendo, brevemente, “estoy orando por ustedes “. Entre los tres recibimos un total de $ 290. Gracias familia de fe, y damos gracias a Dios también. Y por conversación telefónica con mi papá hace unos días atrás, me dijo que mi abuela, 2 primos, y 2 tíos nos apoyaron poniendo junto lo que pudieron para nuestro viaje de misión. Tengo una prima que esta de viaje a mis padres de Venezuela y trae la ofrendo de ellos. $ 100 dólares en total, no piensen que es poco, es mucho en términos generales, y mucho mas si uno vive en Venezuela, donde hay gran disturbios civiles, opresión del gobierno , y la economía generalmente mala. ¡Gracias a mi familia en Venezuela, y damos gracias a Dios también.

DIOS y la PARED

Esto es lo que ha pasado en una gran suma, pero sin embargo pudiera decir mucha mas, en pocas palabras. Nuestro Dios ha sido fiel, hay gente que han sido y todavía son guerreros fieles de oración por nosotros a Dios, y también los dadores alegres en nuestra familia de la iglesia, nuestra familia biológica, y muchos mas que han dado a nuestra necesidad financiera para nuestro viaje misionero. Ayer iba a escribir que después que nuestras tía nos dio su ofrenda por correo estábamos en 93%, pero después de hoy creo que puedo decir que estamos probablemente en 96%! Gracias a todos, y damos gracias a Dios también. La locura  es que esto es sólo el principio. Tenemos nuestro viaje de la misión que tenemos ante nosotros. Esta recaudación de fondos nos ha probado a confiar en la fidelidad de Dios que el si puede proveer para nosotros, esta experiencia ha sido la primera para mí. Yo vivo excesivamente bendecido con: familia, amigos, iglesia, trabajo, una esposa que teme y ama a Dios, presupuesto disciplinado, y mucho más. No he estado financialmente en necesidad, pero esto era una “prueba de fe” en esa zona. De una manera no lo puedo creer, mirando hacia atrás a través de estos 2 meses y medio preguntando “¿cómo lo hicimos?” irónicamente sabemos la respuesta. Es debido a nuestro buen Dios. Llegamos a una pared, pero Dios dijo como “¿Qué pared?”

-Los Paredes

Quisiera decir denueva-mente, gracias guerreros de oración, y gracias dadores alegres, todo esto ha sido posible gracias a sus contribuciones físicas y espirituales. Y por supuesto a nuestro Dios Todopoderoso. Gracias. Todavía nos falta 4% es mas o menos $400 dólares. Sigan orando con nosotros para que Dios provea.