Looking Back

Last year began with much anticipation and excitement as we looked forward to beginning the process of foster care and the hopes to get pregnant and have a baby. We were thrilled with how ministry was growing with NLGM and we had many new opportunities to train and disciple.

“Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.” Proverbs 19:21

The Lord quickly showed us 2018 would be nothing like we had thought and instead it would be full of many challenges, many tears, and many difficult days. But we wouldn’t trade this year for anything because we had the opportunity to grow—in our marriage, in parenthood, in trust of the Lord, in patience for His timing, and in even greater understanding of His character.

In March we got the call for our first foster placement of a little girl and about a week after that we got called to take her sister as well.  Life quickly changed as we went from one child to three! It became very chaotic and busy as we began to embrace the life of foster parents. Our hearts broke so many days as we further understood the trauma our girls had gone through and as our eyes were opened to the brokenness of the foster care system.

In the midst of fostering we also felt like it was time to try to get pregnant again. The Lord blessed us with two pregnancies in 2018, Gila and Athalie. Our hearts hurt even more as we lost both of these sweet babies at around 6 ½ weeks.  We grieved while also continuing with ministry and parenting three toddler girls.

As life just seemed to overwhelm us, things continued to stretch us even more.  Ministry continued with Ryan going to Bolivia in July. We also had the privilege to do several gospel conversations trainings locally. And in December we both went to the Dominican Republic. It was so busy that there were many nights that we stayed up until midnight just to get all of our work done.

And in the middle of all of that, God spoke so clearly to our hearts that He was in control and we could trust Him. Because of the chaos we were able to be even more intentional in our marriage which allowed us to grow even closer together. The opportunity to be foster parents allowed us to grow in how we parent and change our perspective of how we reacted to situations. Losing two babies showed us that God has an even greater plan for when and how we will expand our family.  And all of 2018 has revealed to us how much the Lord cares for our hearts and our ministry. He continues to provide exactly what we need!

We look forward to 2019, not because we of what we have planned, but because of what God has planned.

“The Lord’s plans stand firm forever; His intentions can never be shaken.”
-Psalms 33:11

And His ultimate plan is that all nations would hear the truth of the gospel! We are thrilled that our little family of three will be traveling to Dominican Republic in February for more training opportunities with the leaders that we met in December. Ryan has the privilege of going to Honduras in March with a team. And NLGM has many journeys on the horizon for summer and fall! We couldn’t be more excited for the growth that is coming in the next 12 months—growth in our ministry, our family, and our faith.

Thanks for taking this journey with us as you support us prayerfully and financially.

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Gila – Eternal Joy

A few short weeks ago Ryan and I were ecstatic to learn that we were expecting another baby! We had been praying and seeking the Lord about when to try to have another baby and felt like it was the “right time.”  We started telling our family the exciting news and began to imagine what life might look like in 9 months. We joked and dreamed about {finally} having a boy.  The anticipation was growing as we awaited our first doctor’s appointment.

And then everything changed.

We woke up on Father’s Day weekend to the realization that we were probably losing this baby. The day that we were planning to celebrate Dad and instead we shed tears of heartbreak thinking that our baby was gone. And in the days to come, we were told that it was definitely a miscarriage. How is it possible that a baby we never even met or saw can be missed so much? How do our hearts ache so terribly for a child we only knew for a few weeks? But what I have found as I grieve over this child is that God is still in control!

“The Lord has given me what I had, and the Lord has taken it away. Praise the name of the Lord!” Job 1:21

In the midst of this sadness and grief over our precious baby, the Lord is standing by our sides and is teaching us even more about His character and love for us. And daily He continues to teach us that He is faithful! We don’t have to understand why things happen the way they do, but we have the hope of knowing that our Father who loves us immeasurably more than we can imagine is in control! He is worthy of our trust, especially on the days that we hurt.

We believe that our joy comes from God alone and so we decided to name our baby in light of that truth. Gila, pronounced Hee-luh, means eternal joy.

“Don’t be dejected and sad, for the joy of the Lord is your strength!” -Neh. 8:10

As we seek God in the midst of heartache we also look forward to the opportunity Ryan has to return to the same location that we went as a family last November. He will be leaving for Cochabamba, Bolivia on June 28th. If you would like to receive specific prayer requests and updates through email while he is gone, click here. Ryan will also be updating the blog throughout the week so be sure to subscribe to our blog and you’ll receive emails when it is updated.IMG_5806

The thing we need most and even beg for your help, is supporting us in prayer. Here are some very specific ways that you can be praying for us:

 

  • Ryan and Abigail: Experiencing this loss on Father’s Day and with such a short period of time before a missionary journey has been challenging to say the least. There is a great temptation to hide from dealing with the hurt and make excuses. Pray that we would run head first into God’s grace.
  • Our Kids: The last few weeks of foster parenting have turned down a very rocky road. Our girls are struggling with some of the things happening in their case and we are struggling {with many tears} asking God what we can do/should do to help them.
  • A Week Without One Parent: As Ryan leaves for Bolivia, we can’t ignore the extra weight of parenting that will fall on Abigail. We are blessed with a great group of people that are already lined up to help, but nonetheless, there is a great need for prayer to guard our hearts and actions as we spend these days on different mission fields.
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Please pray for our Cochabamba Team!