Do you know what your name means? Were you one who took a lot of time to choose just the right name for your children? Names are powerful and can reveal character! If I’m being honest, we chose one of our children’s names because “it didn’t rhyme with his siblings’ name”. We’ve been learning about some names of God during this Advent. I love that God’s character is so immense that it simply cannot be displayed in a single name! One of the character revealing names of God that we daily embrace is Immanuel: God with us.
This past year has been full of needing Immanuel. You may be aware that we changed our Zambia plan back in April. Instead of serving at an established music academy we were asked to help launch a new music academy in a different city. Among many other feelings, considerations, and ideas, we have fully embraced this calling as such an undeserved privilege. God’s plan is bigger and better and we do not want to miss it! With that in mind, we made the decision to go to Zambia for as long as God wants us there, instead of the original one-year commitment.
In June, Brad was able to travel to Livingstone, Zambia and meet with the Zambian staff that we will be serving with. He met with musicians from the community who are all very eager for the music academy to open next year. They enjoy playing together for special occasions, holiday church services and just for fun. Their heart for their own people shines through:
“THE ACADEMY WILL BE OPEN TO PEOPLE FROM DIFFERENT WALKS OF LIFE. OUR MISSION IS TO ALLEVIATE THE SUFFERINGS OF THE LESS PRIVILEGED.”
We decided homeschooling all four kids this year was something God was asking us to do. God was gracious to point out to us that having this year of adjusting to homeschooling will be a tremendous blessing to our children. Now homeschooling will be the familiar instead of one more new thing. Immanuel! He is WITH US in these details!
This is a challenging journey though. We are connecting with churches, school music programs, and other musical centers to collect new or used instruments and music supplies. With a new academy, the students rely on donated equipment to use as they learn these new skills. We have several fundraising ideas up in the air, many letters and emails to write, lots people to meet with and donors yet to discover. All this is in addition to Brad’s full time job and other family commitments. Will you pray for us regarding this?
We are planning on making our “big move” this summer (2016). Before this happens, we need to have secured our full missionary support. With an open-ended length of service, we need monthly supporters who believe in this work to commit to give “until they come home”. Our two “big ticket” items that need to be met are housing and a vehicle. Please prayerfully consider how you could partner with us. We need each and every one of you! Feel free to share our prayer cards or website with people in your circles. We need partnerships with people who believe that the gospel lived out alongside of people can indeed change lives.
Immanuel. Our God not only calls us into relationship with him but wants us to join him in whatever work he has in mind for you and me to do! How privileged we are!
Thank you for your investment of time, finances, and prayer for us. Please know we pray for you too; praying that we will each experience the deep character of our Immanuel each day.
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