Tag Archives: mission

Some outstanding values

As a part of the application process with ITeams, we were asked to get familiar with their list of values.  I’ve been wanting to share this list with you for months!  And now that we’re official with ITeams, we can!

Here they are, and if you feel inspired to comment on any or all of them, we’d love to hear your thoughts.  I’ve read a good number of ministry values in the past, and this set really inspires me.


ITeams Values:

We identify with the lostness of the world. We ourselves are utterly lost apart from the grace of Jesus.

Faith is more than a decision. The call to “follow me” means transformed people building transforming communities.

God values one person. We value one person. Without limit. We will go to extraordinary measures to bring the present and future hope of God’s kingdom to each one.

We believe the Church is God’s agent to reach the world. Really. Therefore, we are profoundly committed to the local church in its mission.

There are no marginalized people in God’s kingdom. Never is the gospel of reconciliation more clearly demonstrated than when hearts of hatred are turned to love.

We want to be there before and long after the big campaign rolls through town. We want to build deep and long-term.

We are relational and strategic, living among those we serve.

God is both dangerous and good. Following him is a risk-taking adventure, dependent on a miraculous God.

We believe in people coming from everywhere, going to everywhere. Missions belongs to the whole world.

We are an interdenominational Christian, evangelical ministry living out worship and service to God from our wide range of backgrounds and styles.

Expressive worship of the living God is humanity’s highest calling and ultimate end. We do it with joy, as often as we can.

Fail Forward! Continual improvement is better than postponed perfection.


Exciting new developments

We interrupt the stalled memoirs of a late summer trip that apparently couldn’t find an end to bring you an exciting announcement:

We have switched mission organizations and are now a part of International Teams (ITeams)!

The decision to look for another mission did not come lightly, though we recognize that it was a long time in coming.  It’s a challenging thing, discerning between the difficulties that arise within the center of God’s will, and those that occur when we’re not quite where God would have us.

Before going to our orientation with GEM, we were apprehensive, thinking we would probably not be a good fit with the same organization Jeremy’s parents went to France with.

During orientation, we were very surprised with how well we got along with the missionaries at GEM head-quarters.  We felt hopeful.

Then we spoke with the team in GEM France, and shared how we felt called to serve in Paris.  This is when things started getting a bit hairy.  GEM has no team in Paris, and until they did or until we were considered seasoned missionaries, being in Paris wasn’t an option they were willing to consider.  We were discouraged.

Then a team of missionaries from a couple different organizations, including a few other “green” missionaries with GEM, appeared to be converging on Paris, and the possibility gave us hope!

Then the seasoned leader of the would-be team had to drop out of the game, and we were once again discouraged.

Then there was talk of us working with missionaries from another organization, International Teams incidently, in Paris, and we were excited and energized again.

And then we had a conversation with GEM’s team in France again where they shared that we were about out of time getting to France and we would have to get to France in the next 9 months.  Fine with us!  We enjoy a good challenge!  But then they shared their feelings on how Jessica and I operate in ministry together and how this was at odds with how they like to do ministry with the couples they work with.  And so we felt we were being told that after 15 years of operating one way as a couple with beautiful results, we had to change to fit a mould that we rejected before we even got married – a mould that would tear us apart as a couple.

And that was when it became clear beyond a doubt that we could no longer consider going to France with GEM.  There were other issues as well, such as differences in approach to ministry and level of leadership management that were not a great fit either.

And so, at long last, we took the bold step to look for other mission organizations, still feeling that the call that God placed on our lives had not diminished in the least.

Summer of 2011 led to us narrowing the options down to one: ITeams.  We talked it over with the ITeams Paris leader thanks to the magic of Skype, he took some time to think and pray it over, and after confirming with us that we were on the same page with things like ministry approach and level of leadership management, he gave us the green light to apply to ITeams.

The application process took us the majority of the summer and a bit into the fall, and then we waited.

And we waited.

And the process that was supposed to take about 6 weeks lasted over twice as long.  For the record, we hate limbo.  And just as we were about to make plans for January and beyond, we got word that we were accepted with ITeams!

So here we are now, a day or so away from closing the door on 2011, and we are busy working on completing the required online course (4 books to read + articles, and 12 papers to write) before the January 16th deadline, and flying to Illinois two days later!  This in the midst of Christmas, Cosette’s birthday party (she’s 2), New Year’s, Epiphany, and Evangeline’s birthday (turning 4), all just days apart from each other!

Rejoice with us!  And please pray for us!

Trip to the Windy City

Today we had our minivan worked on to get it travel-ready.

It wasn’t our first choice, as it has proved to be rather unreliable for long trips in the past, but having looked into rental options, we were shocked at how expensive a two-week minivan rental would be and had to consider alternatives.  We even looked into train fares.  I admit that the idea of jumping on a train to Chicago seems very romantic and relaxing to me.  But it limits the possibility of us getting together with people we know on the way.

After all, this trip is not just a sight-seeing and trip-down-memory-lane-type excursion (Jessica and I met and were married in Chicago!), but an opportunity to catch up with friends we haven’t seen in a long, long time, and a chance to invite more people to join our prayer and financial support teams (I’m sure some sight-seeing on the side is in order as well).

So our minivan got a physical today, and one new CV-joint, some kind of bolt/hinge thing replacement, a transmission, radiator and power steering flush later (and some other details), and it has lost much squeakiness and seemed to purr happily when I took it out tonight.  It’s exciting to see that piece of our upcoming trip get ready.

Now we need to nail down our schedule, get meetings with friends and people whom God wants to have hear about our mission endeavors in France, plan where our overnight stays will be, make sure we have enough funds available for it all, and thank God He knows all the other details that need to fall into place as well.

Please pray that this will be an encouraging trip, one that knits our family closer together (that’s a lot of people in a small space for a long time!) and allows us to reach our goal to be at 80% or more of our funding by August 1st.  If you are along the path from Houston to Chicago and would like to meet with us, please let us know!  If you aren’t, but would like to hear more about our story, let’s talk about a skype call, or an old-fashioned phone call!

Thank you for your continued prayers, encouragement, and support.  We are excited to see what experiences God has in store for us in the next few weeks.