Catching Up

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I have to admit, I thought after our first week here and finding a comfortable living situation I’d be blogging all the time.  Part of that is just making time, of course, but part of it is learning how to live differently and figuring out the best ways to keep up with friends and family from 5000 miles away.  Between Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram, we do try to offer almost daily updates, but those avenues can be so limiting when I look back at all that God has been doing here on Kauai and all that is in our hearts.  I hope that you’ll forgive us if it seems that we haven’t stayed in touch as much as we should and that you’ll pray for us to find the best ways to convey our story to you and the people around us.

I want to continue where I left off last time, which seems like a million years ago but was just a few weeks.  We arrived here on a Tuesday afternoon.  Our first week was a whirlwind of decision making and it really felt like God had put us in a place where we had to make choices on the spot.  By that Thursday I had received two job offers. By Friday we moved, not just to a different house, but a completely different part of the island. And by the next Thursday we had already purchased a car. We’ve never really had to do anything like that, especially when it comes to really important life choices, so we learned that week to trust that He was with us no matter where we went or what we did.  Sometimes exercising our faith doesn’t mean praying something to death and waiting for the nudge of the Holy Spirit…sometimes it means acting on a moment’s notice, acknowledging that what you’re doing could only have come from God, and trusting Him to work through your choices.

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Thankfully, He has blessed us in all those areas in ways we could never have expected.  Right now we are living in a house that is rented by YWAM Kauai.  If you’ve never heard of YWAM (Youth With A Mission), you should definitely check them out, but our stay here has turned out to be a blessing for them and for us. They do not own a base on this island, so every year they rent spaces for their staff and students to stay in.  They had recently switched locations to our current residence, when God changed their plans and moved them to the complete opposite side of the island. However, they still had a lease here and no one to fill the space.  So we met them our second day on the island at a Bible study (thanks to our friend and contact here, Raquel) and they offered us a room in this three bedroom house, with the “catch” that no one else would be renting it.  Translation: we rent a room but get the benefit of a whole house.  How amazing is that?!  And the director and his wife also have a house on the property so we’ve got some pretty awesome neighbors 🙂

Then there were these job offers coming left and right .  People knew places hiring or I would walk in a building and they’d happen to need someone just like me.  In the end I chose a bank to start at, but during the lengthy process of background checks and prepping for my first days there, we opened an account at a credit union that was also hiring. I turned in my app one day, the next day they interviewed me, and the day after I was hired.  Unfortunately, the day I got hired was my first day at the bank so I had the difficult experience of quitting a job after one day (if you know me at all you know that is NOT something I could ever be comfortable with), but I’m on my second week of training and so thankful to be working for a business designed to serve rather than profit, to have the exact amount of work days I was hoping for, to work five minutes from home, and to use the very same computer system I used in Michigan!

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Throughout the moving and job hunting we were also car hunting.  We ended up renting a car for five days because, although people graciously gave us rides, it is very hard to be dependent upon others to help you get around to go look at cars, buy groceries, and explore the island when they have their own jobs and lives too.  We knew we wanted a car with good gas mileage since things are much more expensive here, so our target car was a Toyota Prius. We looked at a couple and each car we looked at brought about the coolest encounters for Christ. The first one we looked at the man responsible for selling it (the owner was on the mainland) turned out to be another missionary here, called with his family from North Carolina.  They are all wonderful people who love Jesus and care deeply about the spiritual warfare going on here on Kauai.  We hope to maintain and develop our relationships with them as time goes on. The second car we looked at belonged to a guy who had it “all” by the standards of the world and was not a Christian, but was so inspired by us that he offered to rent us his million dollar home for whatever cost we could afford once DJ and Rebecca came to join us. Simon has had several additional conversations with him and we’d love for you to pray for him and his family, that they would know Jesus and we could continue to be a light in their lives.

We didn’t buy either of those cars and the one we did buy seemed just right for us. It was within our budget with a little wiggle room, it functioned great on our test drive, and the gas mileage was phenomenal so we handed over the cash and turned in the title.  Two days later all kinds of lights came on a we found out we needed to make a repair.  The nature of the repair meant we shouldn’t drive it, so as we walked home from the store the next day (a couple miles away) a random woman picked us up.  It turns out she lives just down the road and has a extra truck.  So for a few days while we found the parts, she gave us her truck and tools to use to take care of our car.  Another total stranger that has now become a friend.  Our car has another repair that needs to be made and we both think that it could easily be another opportunity for God to move rather than some sort of hindrance on our lives.  He definitely works in mysterious ways.

Simon has also been out in the job field these past few weeks and has had several offers, worked for a few days, and is continuing to prayerfully seek out where God wants him.  Knowing where I’m working and what my income is, his job seems to hold a little more weight than we originally thought.  How is it reaching the Kingdom? Is it in a location that allows us to continue to have just one car? What is the pay?  We want his job to be the most effective in all these areas, and since we already had a source of income for the time being, we feel led to give it a little more thought and prayer.  Plus, if we’ve learned one thing, time runs differently on an island.  People are not always prompt but sometimes they move at lightning speed.  So he’s waiting on several phone calls from interested employers and that might help us determine where God wants him to go.  We’d definitely appreciate your prayers in that area.

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In the meantime, we continue to discover this beautiful place we now call home.  Every day there are hikes to take, beaches to find, foods to try, and people to meet.  We absolutely love how every time we drive down the hill from our house we have to drive next to the ocean to get anywhere we need to go.  We’ve really enjoyed getting to know different locals and how they do things and also all the tourists.  Everyone, so far, has been approachable and eager to talk with us, and a lot of doors have opened to share why we’re here and what God is doing.  We’ve even had the chance to share this amazing place with some people from Michigan already!  There are so many little stories and moments that we’d love to tell you about, and hopefully we can do that in this space as time goes on, but please feel free to ask us about our adventures.  We want to share with anyone who is interested (we actually make a list every day of what happened because so much is going on!) and we know that even this update is nothing compared to all that continues to happen in our lives. Perhaps now that my schedule is, for the most part, set in stone, I can utilize this blog the way I had intended.  Thank you for taking the time to read this and keep an eye out for more on our continuing journey with Christ. Aloha!

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