Friday, November 19, 2010

October/November Update

Well, I have done it again…I have been very neglectful of you faithful blog followers. Mia Culpa.
Thanksgiving is nearing and boy do the Larson’s have much to be thankful for! As was mentioned in our previous entry, we had an auction right before we left for onsite training in Orlando. It was amazingly successful. We raised the remainder of what we need to cover our training costs with $10 to spare!

Then we rushed off to Orlando. It was Liam’s first time on a plane, and there was some concern on our part about his painful ear popping and endless sitting our poor toddler would have to endure. ;) However, as he is apt to do, Liam handled the situation with great aplomb. Quickly learning how to open and close the window shade, turn the little tv on and off, and charm everyone around him. His ears didn’t even seem to bother him.

We had a few days of downtime, enjoyed the bliss of having others clean and cook for us (Well, it was bliss for me. Haha!) and had fun at the theme park Adventure Island.

Then we began the true adventure of training at Wycliffe headquarters. We were in class from about 7:30 AM to 4 PM with breaks for meals. Liam quite enjoyed his play time with the other kids and we were blessed and inspired by the classes and our new friends who were learning with us. Though, at times it felt like we were drinking from a fire hose.

On a side-note we got to spend a weekend with Evan’s Uncle Richard and Aunt Cindy. It was fun and we got to eat gator tail, yum! While we were there we learned about a group that is connected to their church called Love Haiti Missions Project. Check them out on facebook! One of the cool things they are trying to do is set up water filtration systems.

Since our return, we have been going non-stop. We went to four Wycliffe Associates banquets, and have started the process of setting up speaking engagements in several places. By the way, we will be in McMinnville, OR speaking at Calvary Chapel’s 7PM service on November 21st. If you are in the area come by and say hi! More engagements to come in the future! We have also been blessed by financial support coming from unexpected places. Thank to those who have chosen to give financially and those who are supporting us in prayer. Both have been an enormous boost to us during this time of starting out.

Evan was laid-off from work the first week of November. While we will be financially tight for a while, it has been a real blessing having him home and able to work full-time on building our partnership team. He has also been a big help with Liam as I have begun to slow down and be more tired by little things as baby continues to grow. We are very excited to be able to go in for our ultrasound the day before Thanksgiving and find out the gender.

We just sent in the draft for our next newsletter which hopefully will be printed soon and then sent out to you all. If you would like a copy (digital or physical) please send us the appropriate address and we will add you to the list. We are also now on Skype. Send us a message if you want to link up with us that way. I feel a bit nervous about putting it out for the whole world to access.
During our training in Orlando the theme of grace kept returning. We must, as people, whether missionaries or not, practice in extending grace to one another. This is a trait that Jesus exhibited most frequently alongside that of love. They do go hand in hand if you really think about it. Since we have returned home I began to understand why it was emphasized so heavily. Grace is what allows us to understand why some people who we think will be the most accepting and supportive are not. Grace is what allows others to accept when we say no to them. Grace is what allows for imperfection in life.

As we continue to make our way through this new path in our life journey we hope that grace will be extended to us as we may make mistakes, have to say no to dinner invites, are late in blogging…We ask that you come alongside us in prayer support. We love you all and hope this holiday season is a safe and joyous one!-The Larsons

Thursday, September 23, 2010

August/September Update

I can’t believe we are already almost through September and I have not posted an August update. My apologies for such a late post. I hope this will suffice for an August and September.

Evan’s 30th birthday came and went with lots of joking about being old, and not being able to trust himself anymore.

We had a great time camping, lots of great memories…even though Liam decided to have a head-on meeting with a large rock. He quite enjoyed wandering around the campground collecting sticks and playing in the dirt. He also like feeding the chipmunks and climbing in and out of the tent.

The biggest news is that we are expecting our second child due on March 29th! So far the pregnancy has been MUCH better than when I was pregnant with Liam. I am grateful I am not very sick because we have had lots to do these last two months.

We have started and are nearing completion of the online portion of our online training course (Equip). It has been quite difficult to keep up, but the information is good and we are learning a lot. Evan is still working full-time and I am working part-time sitting for friends’ children. Also, we have been working hard at some other things, as you will read about below. We will be leaving to go to Orlando for the onsite portion on October 6th. We are flying in early and having a bit of a (much needed) family vacation. We will be there until October 22nd.

We are also part of a team leading a class at church called ALPHA. It is class for those who are enquiring into Christianity, those who are Christians who wish to ask questions or deepen their faith. It consists of getting together once a week, having dinner together, watching a DVD and then having discussion time in small groups. Any question can be asked. Ours is being conducted at Sunset Covenant on Monday nights from 6:30-8:30PM. Other area churches are also hosting classes currently or in the near future. If you live in the Portland Metro area you may have seen bus signs or billboards advertising the class.

Finally, right before we leave for Orlando, on October 2nd from 6:30-9 we are having our “Things, Stuff and Whatnot” Auction at our church. It is adults only and we are having Posh Sweets provide a decadent dessert bar. We will be speaking a little on our mission. So, in preparation for that we have been gathering items (over 40!) and getting them ready for sale (i.e. putting tags, getting a list ready for our auctioneer, arranging for set-up and the crew to manage it all).

I am looking forward to the coolness of fall, and hopefully some calmness will come with it. I am excited (as ever) for Thanksgiving and especially Christmas. I will sign off now and hoping this finds you all well.

Prayer requests this month:
1. That our auction goes well.
2. That we have a safe trip to, during and coming home from Equip.
3. That opportunities continue to open to us for speaking and PD (partnership development).

Thursday, August 5, 2010

July Update

Reflecting back on the month of July I am amazed by what has been accomplished. We had our first successful fundraiser (Our Pie Auction, hosted by Sunset Covenant Church (our home church)) on July 17th. We raised a whopping $1,285! Thank you so much to everyone who baked pies, helped set-up, take-down, cooked, and of course bought pies! A special thank you to our pastor, Paul Burdick, for serving as auctioneer. You did a wonderful job!

However, I feel some trepidation about what is to come. I sort of feel like we, Evan, me and Liam are on a roller coaster. We have just been locked in and now we are going up, and up…clicking away to the top. The top I think being our trip to Orlando in October for our first round of training with Wycliffe (AKA “Equip”). However, I can’t focus too much on the future, even if it is looming on the horizon. We have lots of things upcoming to celebrate and plan…

Evan turns 30 today We will also be joining family for the annual Larson get-together at the end of the month. In the meantime we will be spending the next two months participating in the online portion of Equip. Lots and lots of reading.

Additionally we will be putting together the final arrangements for our next fundraiser. We are shooting for October 2nd. It will be a “Things, Stuff and Whatnot” Auction. It is shaping up to be a spectacular event (thanks to help from mother-in-law Debbie and Aunts Dondi and Diane)! If you are interested in donating time, items, want to attend, or just want more info…. Please do drop us a line:

As the summer nears its end (I can hardly believe it) we are finally going camping. I am looking forward to a relaxing time and recharge the batteries and enjoy the lovely Pacific Northwest.

In closing things to keep in prayer for us:
Continued success in our support fundraising.Continued wisdom on our house issue…it seems to be getting resolved but it is early days yet.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

June Update

Hello all,

June is now turned to July and we are ramping up for our first fundraiser. A Pie Auction (YUM!) at our home church Sunset Covenant July 17th 5-8PM. Please contact us (503-593-4162) if you would like to help and/or attend!

Additionally we are finally sending out prayer cards (You can stick them to your fridge!) and paper newsletters. If you would like to receive one please contact us!

Also, we are beginning our rounds for speaking engagements at churches or small groups. If we haven't contacted you yet, and you think we should come speak for you, please let us know!

Sorry it's so short this time, promise next month will be awesome!

Prayer requests for this month:
* God's guidence on what to do with our house.
* That our fundraiser goes well
* God brings us the speaking opportunities we are to have

Thursday, May 27, 2010

May update

Sorry everyone for the late update. It has been a rather roller-coaster month and it's not looking like it's going to calm down soon.

We celebrated our son's 1st birthday. We had a wonderful time eating and visiting with family. Liam got some awesome toys too. We were especially grateful for the beautiful toybox his Grandad Rodman made for him. Now we will have a proper place to put his toys!

Evan and I had our 3rd wedding anniversary on the 12th. We are planning on going away just the two of us, sometime this summer to really celebrate.

Unfortunately this month there was sorrow as well as joy. Tragically, on the 14th we both welcomed and said goodbye to our sweet niece Charlotte Ava. She was born to Liz's brother and sister-in-law. Liz had the privledge of being able to hold her and kiss her goodbye. We know we will see her again in Heaven, but it is something still incomprehensible that she should be there before us. Your prayers for our family in this time of grief would be appreciated.

There is no easy way to transition from something like that into Wycliffe business, but as this is a blog primarily about our journey to Papua New Guinea, it should be done, so here goes...

We hoping to do a presentation in June at our church, Sunset Covenant during a Sunday morning service. When we get a date we will post on facebook. We are going to start putting together a list of churches that we are going to be speaking at in the next few months. If you have a church or small group you would like us to speak at, please contact us:

July 17th 5-8PM at Sunset Covenant we are having a Pie Auction. There will be a spaghetti dinner provided. Also, we will be "selling" tickets (the tickets are free but it's an easy way to get a head-count for the dinner). There will be a drawing at the auction for a gift basket, so be sure to either RSVP on facebook (we have a link to the event on our page) or get tickets from me in June...
If you RSVP online there will be tickets available at the event.

We are shooting for September as the month for our regular Aucti0n fundraiser. We are collecting items for auction between now and the end of August. If you have a service (ie Photography sessions, yard-work labor, etc.), art, hand-crafts, gently-used items you wish to donate....please let us know!

Remember, anything you donate is tax-deductable for the value of the item!

Other prayer requests:

Please pray for a solution to our house issue. We are not going to be able to keep it once Evan quits work at Gunderson. We are looking at trying to short-sell it, but we are not sure if it will work.

Prayer our fundraising efforts continue to go smoothly.

Prayer for opportunities to open up for us to speak about our mission and make new contacts.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

PNG progress

Well, things are moving on our journey towards PNG but it somewhat feels as though we are driving on a road in the highlands to get there.
Last week we received our bank account from Wycliffe, which means we will be able to start officially fundraising. Thanks to those who have already been supporting us!
This week we have been working on finalizing our budget. This must be done before we can attend the Wycliffe training session (Equip) in Orlando, Fl. We are scheduled to attend Equip in October. It will cost approximately $3,000 for airfare and training costs (tuition, room and board). We will be there for two weeks. We are hoping to suppliment this cost by hosting at least one fundraising event.
We are also finishing our first support letter that will be sent out in May. The first one will be in physical format. We would like to send it to as many people as possible. We are currently collecting addresses, please send us yours if you would like to receive our letters so we can be sure you are on the list!
From now on we hope to be updating everyone at least once a month on our progress. Primarily these will be in e-mail format, or on this blog. Anyone who wants to be on our newsletter e-mail list, please send us your e-mail address. Here is the e-mail we will be sending it from so you can be sure to put it on your "safe" list:
We are also working on printing photo magnets and business cards for handing out to friends and family.
Finally we are putting together presentations for talks we will be giving at churches around the area. If you attend, or are a pastor of a church you think we should speak at, please let us know! We are compiling a list and will be contacting these bodies in the next month or so to set up times to come. We will also have a shorter presentation that will not need explaination from us, available for those congregations that wish to feature us in a "moment for missions" spot where we cannot physically attend.
As we continue to strive towards the ultimate goal of arriving in Papua New Guinea, we hope you will join us in prayer (and financial support if you can (we must raise 100% of our support before we can go into the field)). Every bit helps!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Papua New Guinea HO!

Okay, so it is still a long way off...but we are a lot closer now that we have been officially approved for membership to Wycliffe!

Now the long process begins of going through all sorts of things...

1. Medical exams

2. decide on a budget - Evan and I have already done this basically but will have to discuss it with our Wycliffe rep.

3. Do online Equip course

4. Go to Orlando for the onsite part of Equip

5. Fundraising - We have started working on ideas and putting things in place for this (we are anticipating this going very quickly)

6. Passports renewed (or get one in Liam's case), visas and tickets

8. Rent house (this may be the hardest thing to do) and pack. Also, ship anything we want to go to PNG ahead of us to JAARS.

9. Cross-cultural training/job training (this will be for 3 months in Waxhaw, North Carolina.)

10.With our departure schedule for January of 2012.

We are hoping to get there sooner but it will be okay if not. We are still working on having our second kid before we leave, but we may need to adjust that if we get things done sooner...

We will see! God is in everything and he has a plan, even if we don't always know why. I am really happy to finally be getting to the point where we aren't just waiting around. I enjoy having a job...AKA organizing our fundraising efforts and working on support letters and powerpoints.

As I sign off, I leave you with some pictures of what we are working towards.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

changes are good...and bad...and indifferent....

So, life has gone on and I have been stumbling along trying to keep up. I have succeeded most days but some days I fall way behind. Lots of things have happened but at the same time it feels like life has been at a standstill. Which confuses me because I totally feel like I am rushing all the time and rarely measuring up.

We have been moving forward and then falling back and moving forward again on the process of getting to Papua New Guinea. I keep going back and forth with how much I want to go and how much I want to stay. We are going to be hearing on the 9th or 10th whether we have been accepted to Wycliffe or not. After that we can start fundraising like crazy. We want to get $10,000 in the bank before we go to the training. We will hopefully get close to half from our tax return. I am working on ideas for generating revenue. We are thinking of having pie and slient auctions, maybe a PNG themed BBQ (aka a moo-moo* sorry for the spelling, it's phonetic), printing up mugs with our picture, or a rendering of a bird of paradise (or both!) to sell. These of course are just one-time money-getting things. For all the expenses that will entail getting there.

Liam is growing...he weighed in at 20lbs and was 28 inches at his 9 month checkup. That means he has grown 9 inches and has gained 15lbs. since he was born. He has learned to crawl and his super fast! He is working on pulling himself up on things but has yet to learn how to sit back down. He is very vocal.

We had an overnight away from him to test how everyone would do...and he was wonderful. I only called my parents twice to check on him! Haha! We are planning on going away for the whole weekend for our anniversary. I am very excited.

This week we are starting his "sleep training". Which means we go into his room and I put him in his crib, and sit there with him until he goes to sleep. You slowly move out of the room over a period of several days, until you can just walk in, put him in the crib, tell him it's time to sleep and walk out. So far (two naps) it has gone well. We will see what happens when it comes to going down for the night.

We are trying to a second baby, we thought we were quickly on our way again, when I discovered was pregnant last month. But it was not meant to be, as I lost the baby the week after we found out. So, we are still waiting for God to decide when we will have our second...

In continuing on our rough couple of weeks. Evan's grandmother, Elsie, passed away on the 18th of February. We are both grieved, but are comforted in that she is in Heaven and is out of pain. We will miss her though. It is hard to acknowledge she is gone, since not that long ago she was so full of life. We do have quite the legacy though to remember her by as she was very creative. She wrote books, poetry, took photos, and painted.

But in happier news, we heard some great news from friends and family that cheered us. We also go to celebrate Evan passing his exam at work (on which he got a 96.6%, the second highest anyone has ever gotten) and watch the largest barge Gunderson has built since the reopening of the marine department being lauched. It was quite a sight! And I am very proud of Evan.
We are now looking forward to pushing ahead with our plans to get to PNG, Liam's 1st birthday, the arrival of his new cousin (also a second cousin, or cousin twice removed or something like that...but it's thrilling nonetheless), our 3rd anniversary, and the promise of warm summer weather!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

2010...What's up so far.

Well, we are almost a month in to the new year...a new decade. Wow!

Christmas with the family was wonderful. We spent Christmas Eve with Evan's family and then Christmas Day with mine. It was Liam's first, which was fun, but he is kind of young yet, so he had more fun with the wrapping paper that with the actual presents he got. He got these awesome books from my brother and sister-in-law that he loves now. They are indestructables. Look them up if you have babies. They truely live up to their name. He also got a totally fantastic lamp from my parents to go with his jungle theme room. Also a bathrobe with sock monkeys on it. Mom is going to make him a sock monkey doll for his birthday in May. He also got a neat book/stuff bee that was written by his great-grandmother Elsie. All in all it was a great time with family and friends.

We then got to spend some time up in Seattle with Evan's brother which was lots of fun. We got to go to the body exhibit. That was totally fasinating and not at all scary like I thought it would be. It was totally scientific. The only part that kind of freaked me out was the part where they had the babies. They all died from "natural" causes but it was still sad and a little bit unnerving. Especially since I was walking around with Liam in my arms. I also kept thinking about my sister-in-law. There was a baby there that was 20 weeks. Which is the same as where she was at the time. The one I found especially heart-breaking was the baby that was like 35 weeks. In that case the mother had died, thus the baby died too. Needless to say I did not stay in that area of the exhibit long. They had it in a separate room from all the rest and had a sign warning people. The rest of it was really cool though.

Liam is working on crawling. I think he is going to end up prefering this army crawl (mostly backwards) and rolling method of getting around until he starts to cruise and walk. He gets where he wants to go, eventually and and has a great time doing it...picking up every little bit of stuff I have not managed to get off the floor and sticking it in his mouth. Building his immune system right? He is becoming more and more talkative as the day goes by. Each time he makes a new sound it is fun. We are expecting teeth soon, but then we have been expecting teeth since he was 4 months old.

We are in the final stages of being approved for membership with Wycliffe Bible Translators. We took the Bible Knowledge Assessment test last Sunday and we are told it has been graded. Now we have to wait for them to do an interview with our pastor and then...I am not sure. But I think that means we will be very close. Of course approval is only one more step in many to get up to PNG.

Before we can finish the process of becoming members (ie going to Orlando for the training course) we want to get at least $10,000 in savings for times when we can't rent the house or are between tenants. We have to do that before Orlando because once we become members we need to leave like within six months if at all possible. the meantime we are working hard and preparing in other ways. Like making a slideshow/video to show at churches when we start raising support money. Also, planning events for raising money to help with initial costs, like vaccines (we have to get a lot), airfare to and from Orlando, airfare to PNG, shipping costs for our stuff that is going over there....all getting visas, passports renewed, (Or in Liam's case his first!), deciding what goes, what stays, what we get rid of, in general thinning our household. It is huge and sometimes overwhelming...but I take comfort in the fact that we know without a shadow of a doubt, that (eventually) PNG is where we are supposed to be.

In other news, we are planning our first night away from Liam in late February or middle of March to prepare ourselves and see how it goes for a whole weekend away for our anniversary. We will be married 3 years on May 12th and Evan really wants to do something special. Since it will probably be the last time for a long time we can do that I am in whole-hearted agreement.

I am also looking forward to the birth of my new niece (also in May) and the moving and expanding of the company I work for, Perfecto Glass. It is thrilling to be part of such a monumental thing (My boss has built his company from the ground up for the last 6 years or so and so deserves this breakthrough). His wife will be able to quit her jon in June and join the company full-time and Brice will be hiring a new glass artist (hopefully). I am very excited!

So, in closing all I have to say I guess, things, new people, and all manner of venturing in the unknown for the Larsons in 2010 and we are stepping forward in boldness with God at our side and embracing the challenge...