Tag Archives: recap

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!

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Getting started; a quick recap.

It has probably occurred to you that we struggle a bit in the area of communication.  Keeping in touch with people is not really our forte.  Just ask my (Jeremy’s) family.  But we are not ok with this.  Never mind that this blog was actually created months ago and we’re just now getting around to adding anything to it: this blog is for you.  For anyone and everyone who cares to stay up on Martin-Weber news – yes, as long as we keep up our end of the deal and update it!  It’s truly been a long, long, very long time for some of you since you’ve heard from us.  So a little recap is probably in order:

We currently have 5 kids:

Ophélia, 12

Lavinia, 10

Helena, 8

Evangeline, 3

Cosette, 17 months

We are still called by God to serve in Paris, France.

We took a 3 week online course on fundraising around the turn of the calendar year and it was wonderfully encouraging and motivating.  We have weekly check-ins with a marvelous coach and we’ve raised more since that class than in the 3 preceding years.  We are now close to 60% of what we need to get us going!

In the meantime, Jeremy is still teaching private piano, guitar and French lessons.  He also enjoys playing for St. Andrew’s Presbyterian church’s contemporary worship service, and plays piano for a nearby Ballet studio in exchange for ballet classes for Ophélia, Lavinia and Helena (Evangeline is going to try it out for a week this summer.  So excited!).

Jeremy and Jessica are still relentlessly and somewhat reluctantly homeschooling and have been very grateful for the 2 homeschooling programs the big kids have been going to on Mondays and Wednesdays, which are now over.  : (  and : )

We still live in Houston and have begun that 6 month or so stint where we have to force ourselves to go outside and try not to complain too much about the two-punch combination of heat and humidity.

While we are continuing on with our fundraising efforts, Jessica is also busy with an online community she started as a hobby last year in support of breastfeeding moms.  Little did she know how needed an encouraging community would be for concerned mothers.  Now a little over a year old, theleakyboob.com has outgrown its humble hobby state into a healthy and thriving support system that includes a website, blog, discussion forum and a hyper-active Facebook page with over 22,000 adherents.  It has not been easy, but the ministry opportunities that have come out of it have made the effort worth it time and time again.  We were recently asked if we would start something like it for France, because we’ve been told that young mothers tend to be very alone in France; they don’t have an adequate support system and breastfeeding is not widely encouraged.  We’ll have to see!  At this point we hope to turn it into something that will help support our family as well, at least until we can go on ministry support.

This summer we hope to wrap up the rest of our fundraising and move as soon as we can!  We also hope to take a trip to Florida (where Jessica grew up), and another to Chicago (where Martin and Weber were forever joined) to reconnect with old friends and continue seeking out those people God will lead to become ministry partners with us.  We have to work around a heavy ballet class load, but with God’s guidance, we trust that we will work it out.

As this blog is for you, feel free to comment below.  Let us know your thoughts, your stories, and what you’d like to see posted here in the future.  We’ll do our best to keep you on the up and up.  The first step should be the hardest, right?

Thank you for your support, love and encouragement for our family and the ministries that God has called us to.  May we all remain faithful to Him, sensitive to His leading, and keep praying for each other.