Saturday, July 9, 2011

July Update

Praise God we are on our way over the next mountain in our journey!  We have been cleared to attend our final set of training at the JAARS Center! After its completion we will have done everything we can to prepare ourselves for our assignment.

What our training consists of:
·        * Children’s Safety course – A requirement for all members to keep our kids safe in a foreign country.

·         *ICC (Inter-Cultural Communications) training –This course is designed to aid us in living and working among other Christians from many different countries who may not hold the same views as us.

·         *Management training – Evan will be taking this course to prepare him for the job at the auto shop in Ukarumpa. While he is not currently assigned the specific job of manager, he will find the skills useful in his trainer’s position, as well as equipping him should he be asked to fill the job of shop manager at some point (as often happens when folks need to go on furlough and positions must be shifted around to make sure all jobs are covered).

·       * Machine Shop Training – This course will aid Evan in honing his many skills in this department as well as acquiring new ones.

Evan will be driving cross-country with our belongings we are shipping to PNG. He will be connecting with friends in Minnesota. If you, or someone you know, are along the route and would be interested in a visit from Evan, do let us know. He will be leaving on the 20th of July.

Evan's Route
I (Liz) will be follow with the kids by plane on August 1st.

We are hoping to be able to take advantage of this rare trip to the East Coast and, after our training, to do some sight-seeing and visit relatives and friends.

Once we have completed our training we will continue our fundraising efforts.  We still have the goal of going to our assignment in Papua New Guinea in January 2012. However, in order to accomplish this goal we must have 100% of our regular monthly support acquired; this is the last piece of the puzzle, which we will need help of all our supporters to complete. We are currently over 1/3 of the way there. Thanks to everyone who has supported us in prayer and through financial gifts.

In the meantime between now and when Evan leaves we will be a whirlwind of activities:
*Mailing out/e-mailing our next newsletter
* Packing up our the rest of our house (once we leave for North Carolina we will be shutting off utilities in the anticipation of handing the keys back to the bank) and moving what we are not shipping into storage.
* Having a garage sale (hopefully) the weekend of the 15th-17th to liquidate the remainder of our household goods (We have some great furniture at rock-bottom prices come on by and check it out, or just come say hi!)
* Liam has evaluations at the Artz Center for Children’s Development for a speech delay (the folks there have been so kind in working with our schedule and squeezing us in so we can get a handle on things before we leave).
* Establishing a new mailing address (don’t worry our phone numbers will stay the same)
Plans for the fall:
·         *We will be visiting Shores Community Church in Ocean Shores, WA on the 16th of October. If you are in the area come on over on Sunday morning to hear Evan preach! We will also be making a presentation in the evening.
·         *We will be making another visit to our friends in Mt Vernon, WA at Bethany Covenant.
·         *We would love to continue setting up more individual meetings and speaking engagements for when we return. Please do let us know if you would like to schedule a time with us.
·         *We had a wonderful time at McMinnville Covenant, gained some new partners and enjoyed reconnecting with friends.

·         *We were cleared for training, thanks to our supervisors for joining us in faith that the funds will continue to come through and by taking this next step we will continue to excite others and they will be encouraged to join us in our mission to help bring the Word to the people of Papua New Guinea.

·         *We continue to have relatively good health, despite having lots of late nights and traveling a great deal.
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Prayer Requests:
·         *A productive time between now and when we arrive at JAARS

·         *Safe and easy travel as we go to training

·         *Successful and enjoyable time at JAARS

·         *Good visits with friends and family

·         *A solid housing solution for when we return

·         *Continued positive connections to new partners so we cans stay on schedule to leave for PNG in January

·         *Continued health (especially for our little ones) as we will still have a pretty jumbled existence for several more months

Thank you again to all our friends and family who have such a blessing and support to us during this season in our lives.
-The Larson Family

PS Keep watching this blog as we will try and keep you all up to date while we are Waxhaw!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

May/June Update

When you have to live by faith, it is a great encouragement when you get some confirmation every once and a while that you are doing the right thing. Lately we have been struggling to keep making decisions that will hopefully get us closer to PNG. We want to do what God wants us to do, but we hesitate when we have to step out into what seems like empty space. Not knowing whether the money will be there, where we will live after our house goes back to the bank, whether we will even be able to leave as planned in January to name just a few of our questions, has been hard on our family.
However, in the last few weeks we have experienced God’s provision in unexpected ways. We are once again buoyed with hope and faith.
We have benefited from:

·          A wonderful story of following God’s lead in a friend’s up-coming trip to Kenya. This story of how God was opening doors for her, showing the right way to go, made me realize God has been doing the same thing when we need it most.
·         New Financial and prayer partners
·         Unexpected very generous one-time financial gifts
·         A trailer found by chance on craigslist to transport our things we are shipping to North Carolina. We were also blessed that we spent $1,000 less on it than expected, so those funds can toward other needed items.
·         God has brought to mind some people who we are contacting and praying will be a positive connection point for more partners
·         Through an inquiry about an ice cream maker on craigslist we are meeting with a man in Washington this week to tell him more about our mission and he’s giving the ice cream maker to us for free!

In the meantime we have been filling the rest of our days with packing up our house (one way or another we will be out by August), helping our sons grow and learn, and enjoying the remaining time we have here in the states. A couple of weekends ago, we were able to go spend time with my (Liz’s) parents and Aunt in Ocean Shores. From there we drove to Seattle to see Evan’s brother Richard and also his brother Jon (whom we haven’t seen in several years) and his partner Laura (whom I was meeting for the first time) who were visiting from Chicago.
We have a few events planned, hoping to add more…

·         June 26th we will be at McMinnville Covenant
·         Sometime in July we will be giving an update presentation to our home church, Sunset Covenant
·         Also in July (hopefully) we want to host a BBQ for partners and anyone else who would like to come and visit with us, here more about our mission and just have a good time (details to come if we manage it before we have to leave for JAARS)
·         October 16th we will be speaking at Shores Community Church in Ocean Shores, WA

Prayer updates:
First praises:
·         We had a delightful birthday party for Liam in May, with lots of laughter and fun. Even though the iffy weather forced us to make last minute changes to location, it all worked out as it should have, because the changes allowed Liam’s  granddad (who was on call and could not leave McMinnville) to be there and we had a wonderful time afterwards at the Children’s Museum in Salem (which normally did not take such a large group on short notice (less than 24 hrs) but they did not have as many parties scheduled as they usually did and so we were allowed to come).
·         We said our goodbyes to our niece Charlotte during a beautiful ceremony where her mom and dad spread some of her ashes, planted a rose in her honor and several people shared some thoughts and memories. The weather was as lovely as we had prayed for.
·         We had a great time traveling up and visiting with my former roommate Amanda and sharing with her church in Port Townsend, WA.
·         We have part of our travel plans resolved with the gift of the funds we needed to cover all our costs, and we have the dates we need to be there as well as a trailer to haul everything…now we need continued prayer for our fundraising as we need 50% pledged monthly support to be cleared by our supervisor to attend the training. We have approximately a month to raise that support.

So on to the prayers:
·         Continued positive connections with partners and advocates
·         Wisdom to continue to make the right decisions regarding our next steps
·         Health for the whole family as we continue to have erratic and busy schedules
·         Positive outcome from our upcoming speaking engagement at McMinnville Covenant

Blessings to you all as the summer heats up and we all can get out and enjoy God’s world!
-The Larson family

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

March/April Update

I feel like a broken record, apologizing for very late posts. Again I must beg you dear readers’ indulgence. March has past us by, but I would like to share the most wonderful news from that month.

We welcomed our second son, Julien Mitchell, on March 25th at 12:44 AM. He was 6 lbs. and 19 inches long. We are grateful to God for a very quick, relatively easy delivery and a healthy boy. I am also indebted to my midwife and the two nurses who were there to help. I don’t know if I could have done it without them.
                                          Trying to sleep in the bright new world
                                              Hello mom and dad
                                          Beautiful dark hair and eyes
                                         Liam meets baby brother for the first time
So far my recovery has been good and Julien is a jewel of a child, just like his brother. He is contented, growing like gangbusters. He also sleeps for 3-4 hours at a time. Which may not seem like much, but it is…Liam is being a great big brother. We are already having to make adjustments and know there will be more when Julien becomes more active, but for now we are doing pretty well going from 3 to 4.

As far was our Wycliffe work is concerned, we have been blessed with more support coming in from some unexpected places, slowly but surely we are making our way toward 100%. At this point we are hovering at around 17%. We are working on our “advocate” base.

Advocates are swiftly becoming the best way for us to get in touch with individuals who may be interested in supporting us. We are finding the old method of churches being the bulk of a missionaries support is not true anymore. Where we are having the most success is one-on-one encounters and smaller groups where we are “vouched for” by those who know us. Folks like you! If you have friends or a small group (even a church if you feel that is a good way of introducing us) you would like us to meet and speak with, PLEASE contact us and we will work out the details, send any literature you would like your way and drive anywhere!

In a related development, we have received word that Evan will not be taking the CAM (Construction and Maintainence) course at JAARS as we thought, but we will still be required to be there for the Intercultural Communication training in August. Only about 3 months away! Our current plan is to purchase an enclosed trailer, which we will load with everything we are going to ship to PNG. Evan will drive the trailer cross-country to JAARS and I will fly there with the kids. Ideally someone would drive with Evan (most likely his brother) and someone would fly with me. However, we cannot pay airfare for anyone other than ourselves, so this is a bit of an issue. This also means we will be finishing packing up the house in the next couple of months. Not always an easy task with a toddler who loves to “help”.

I will close with what is coming up in the month of May for us and a few things to keep in prayer…

We will celebrating Liam’s second birthday. Also, we will be having a day of rememberance for our niece Charlotte.

On the 15th we will be traveling up to Port Townsend, WA to speak at a dear friend’s church. If you are in that area and would like to get together, or know somewhere we should speak, please let us know.

Finally, we will be taking a break mid-month and going to Cascades camp with our church family.

Prayer requests:

For continued opportunities to meet with potential partners

For resolution for our travel plans to JAARS

For clear weather and a good time for Liam’s party and Charlotte’s day

For traveling mercies to Port Townsend and back, also that the speaking engagement goes well

For traveling mercies for our church up to Cascades and back, also for a time of relaxation and fellowship while we are there

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Our latest Newsletter

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click on images to enlarge