Saturday, June 17, 2017

Of Age... Kaleb's 18 and

Kaleb turned 18 on Thursday! We had a little sundae party with a few of his friends. The group who showed up was diverse and interesting, each with a unique place in Kaleb's life. This was a much smaller group than helped him celebrate his graduation, but a sort of cross-section: Kaleb's youth pastor who has been a great mentor to him, a guy he works with, a kid he disciples, a new friend, a couple others. It struck me again how God has blessed Kaleb with community-- just the community he needs to grow, learn, and reach out. People who care about him and people he cares about. And my mother's heart was full with the knowledge that God does all things well, and sometimes He allows us to see the good things He is doing!

Garry has been working on developing training lately, which is a stretch when you are developing it for others to teach. It's a unique challenge to inspire others to teach what you'd naturally teach, in an environment that is both busy and structured. Yet God has provided great resources and wisdom, and we are excited about how God is going to use this as He continues to unfold it.

Much of what we do has to do with context, and this week Garry felt that when he had lunch with one of the students. This young man will be in town for a while, but not in training with Moody next year. He wants to be sure that he can continue to interact with Garry, to ask questions and gain perspective, even if he moves out of the circle where they normally interact. Of course! While we are thankful for the unique context Moody provides, we love investing with people who want to learn.

Kevin has just finished his first 2 weeks in China, and God has been so good to him. He is learning a ton, having crazy experiences, and living in a very foreign world. Yet we see whispers of God at work around him. We know God is at work in him, preparing him for whatever the next steps may be for him. He also mentioned that he has never been anywhere that there was so little sign of religion at any level-- in decorations, church buildings, or any other advertising. But he was invited to join another team member tomorrow as he live-streams a service. Wow, God.

These days we are also preparing for our trip to Manitoba this summer. We will be gone about a month, and look forward to seeing many of you. This will feel like a very quick trip as our month includes driving back and forth, a week at camp, and a week in Ohio doing an aviation audit.

We are excited about what God is doing and what He is preparing to do. So thankful to be on the journey and see it unfold!

Saturday, June 03, 2017

May Madness 2017

They call it "May Madness" for a reason-- the events of graduation, end of budget year, and normal life pile up to create what feels like a mostly happy insanity. Celebrating with graduates is so much fun, and also a bit sad as we realize friends are moving on to other places. Because of our schedule at Moody Aviation, graduation happens about a month before classes are actually finished for the year, so normal life continues and even intensifies as we try to complete all the things that need accomplished.

We have 9 graduates from the aviation program this year, and each of them are moving into something different. Graduates are often hired to work at Moody after graduation so they can gain more experience and pay of student debt while continuing in an environment that is invested in their success, but it doesn't sound like there will be a lot of that this year. This is also the time that alumni who have worked at Moody for a time move on, and two couples from Moody will be joining mission organizations this summer.

This year two couples who are friends from Biblical Studies graduated, so they are actually moving in the next weeks. One couple is headed overseas for a year doesn't know if they will return to Spokane after this missions trip. The other couple has taken a youth pastor position a couple hours from here, so we hope to see them at least occasionally over the next year.

Thrown into the mix for us as a family was the fact that Kevin left for the summer in China the end of May. He was gifted an opportunity to train at one of the top badminton clubs in the world for 3 months, and he was super excited to go. He was also given am amazing job offer that he worked through over the past couple of weeks he was here as well as finishing his school semester and week of exams.  Going to China required a lot of prep and  was somewhat overwhelming as realized he would be living with people he'd never met. People told him there wouldn't really be much English there, and that has proven to be very true. And Chinese food has proven quite different than the Filipino food he enjoyed growing up.

Kevin is now in China and graduation events are mostly finished, so now we are celebrating Kaleb's high school graduation! We are having a little party for him this afternoon and looking forward to what God has in store for him in the future. He will finish school in a couple of weeks then plans to counsel at summer camps for most of the summer. He plans to begin studying for youth ministry at Moody Bible in the fall, another exciting big step for him.

And now I suppose I better go get cooking for this afternoon!