Archive for the Category ◊ missions ◊

25 Mar 2011 God called Ezekiel
 |  Category: family, marriage, ministry, missions, Zeke  | One Comment

I have no doubt that God is going to do amazing things through Ezekiel. Right now he just has to survive the parenting that Tim and I put him through. We pray every day for wisdom in raising Hannah and Zeke to grow up as believers in Jesus Christ, living out a personal faith.

When we were pregnant with Hannah we had Ezekiel picked out for a boy name, and when we got pregnant with Zeke and found out he was a boy, there was no doubt what his name would be. We knew that picking a name as strong as Ezekiel was bold in our expectations for our son and how God will use him. If you haven’t read the book of Ezekiel, I highly recommend it. It was the middle name that took us until the lady who needed his name for the birth certificate came in asking. And luckily he got a good one .

I can look back through my life and see God working in special ways to touch my heart. My first memory of this was when I was five. And God continues to do little things to keep me in awe of his wonder and love. So how do I know he is going to use Ezekiel? …

Before we got pregnant with Zeke I was struggling with God, wanting to control how many kids we will have an when. As if I knew the best timing, more so than God. So I had to give that control issue over to God. And what do you know, it didn’t take any time at all to be carrying my second child.

While in my first trimester Tim went to Haiti and came back knowing that he needed to return. I saw an incredible change in Tim from his time in Haiti. God really worked in him. I couldn’t put my finger on it at the time, but now I know that Tim grew in his understanding of God, being able to discern God’s voice and listen and be obedient. I have loved watching Tim grow over the last year, and leading others to do the same.

So Tim decided to go back to Haiti, and take whoever wanted to go along. I joined a team of adults and youth, some from our church, and some friends and family of ours from out of town. I was just in my second trimester while in Haiti and had no problems at all.

Later that summer, we went to Mexico with another team of adults and youth from our church for a missions trip. I was 30 weeks along in my pregnancy then, but again did well throughout our trip.

Soon after we got back from Mexico things started changing at our church and it soon became clear that our time there was coming to an end. I had my most difficult week of my pregnancy with how stressful things got. Luckily my doctor assured me that my level of stress wouldn’t effect Zeke, it just made me incredibly uncomfortable being pregnant. Then after Zeke was born I was blessed to have my mom around since Tim didn’t have time off.

In the midst of everything I thought that my pregnancy with Zeke was the worst timing ever. At one point close to delivery not only were we dealing with things at church, but also the question of Tim’s grandfather surviving some difficult health issues. (He’s still around and doing great!) I was so stressed, but gave it all over to God, because there was nothing I could do but trust.

I have come to find that Zeke and Hannah both have been a source of great joy during this season of life. We have been so blessed by our two adorable children, and I wouldn’t trade them for the world. Zeke has a special place in my heart with everything he has gone through with me before he was even born. And now we look forward to what God is going to do with what he is teaching us and taking us through. I’m not surprised to see this time of trial after how much Tim’s faith has grown last year, and us together as a married couple by sharing in the amazing experiences that drew us closer to God at the same time. I’m not exactly thrilled to be going through this time, but I do look forward to the fruit that will come from it.

28 Jul 2010 We’re home from Mexico
 |  Category: missions  | Comments off

We had a wonderful trip and got home at 2:30 this morning. Hannah is still at my parent’s in Texas and will be flying home with my mom on Friday. I miss my little girl, but it’s nice to have some recovery time before jumping right back in to being a mom. Baby boy is keeping me in my mom phase enough for now. Traveling to Mexico was fine, but I feel like Baby Boy grew a ton over the week, and traveling home was not comfortable at all. I’m glad we don’t have any big plans until the holidays, ’cause I’m planning on staying put for a little while. My ankles and legs were so swollen by the time we got home this morning that my socks had cut in to them. Ouch! After getting a few hours of sleep they were still a little swollen, but my afternoon nap helped a ton!

Tim and I stayed in an amazing house while in Mexico, with our friend Zoe from Texas. Our hostess Diana was amazing, I really enjoyed getting to know and spend time with her. You can find Diana in the picture to the left of me in the pink striped shirt. She came to the church every day to help out with VBS, and was at almost every event we had. The Pastor of the church was wonderful. You can see his heart for his congregation and community, and it shines through his wife too.

I’m thankful that during the trip I didn’t compare what we were doing in Mexico to what we did in Haiti. On our first full day in Mexico we had a women’s tea and had a time of worship through music which brought me back to my love of Mexico, the culture, and how God has used Mexico in my life. I love the discipleship training we got in Haiti and our debriefing every day. And both of those things make it hard for me to compare the two trips. I’m curious about what a trip to Mexico with AIM would be like. Today though I have been comparing our time in Haiti and our time in Mexico and how everything went, especially the attitudes of the people on the trip. I probably wont end up blogging about it, but picking some people’s brains instead.

I’m still way behind on blogging, not blogging about specific events that took place in Haiti yet. I need to do that and now blog about Mexico. It’ll take time, but I’ll get some done.

19 Jul 2010 Leaving for Mexico
 |  Category: missions  | One Comment

I didn’t have time to do a real post, so here’s some quick thoughts on my iPod touch before I go to bed for a couple hours, and then head out for Mexico.

We’re meeting at the church at 1:30am to leave by 2am to get to the airport with everyone in plenty of time. We have a one hour layover in Houston where my parents will hopefully be through security and at our gate to pick up Hannah, then off to the gate for our flight to Mexico where we’ll meet Zoe and take off!

Prayer requests:
safe travel to the airport, flying and driving to Morelos, Mexico.
Tim’s health, that his throat will heal quickly from the antibiotics and his cough will go away so he can sleep well.
Healing for me. Today I started getting a sharp pain in my tailbone with every step I take, which kept getting worst and worst as the day went on. I think I figured out why the pain started, because Thursday I sliced my heal pretty good, which hurt to walk on, so I haven’t put much pressure on my right foot since then, and the pain I have in my tail bone now is on the left side probably from all the pressure I’ve been putting on it.
For Hannah to travel well and do well leaving with my parents.
For Tim and I not to miss Hannah too much, and be able to focus on what God wants us to do in Mexico.
That our hearts and those we come in contact will be open to the love and work of Christ.
That my parents will get through security in the morning to get Hannah.
That Zoe will jump right in and become a natural part of our group.
That we all keep God’s plans first and remember that we are going to Mexico to share Christ, and put our personal agendas aside.

Here’s a list of everyone going to pray for:
Zoe, our friend from Texas
Steve
Jennie
Libby
Dave
Brook
Kristi
Tayler
Tony
Lee
Colin
Nathan
Mickey
Liz
Patti
Tim
Dana

Oh, and keep my mom and dad in your prayers, that they will have the energy to keep up with their very active granddaughter.

14 Jul 2010 Getting Ready for Mexico
 |  Category: missions  | Comments off

We have 5 more full days until we leave for Mexico, and I still haven’t given an update on our vacation time in Texas with the Waymans and Wisconsin with the Schmoyers. That’s still probably going to have to wait, especially now that I’m realizing we leave in only 5 days, that doesn’t seem long at all to get everything in place!

We sent our support letters for financial help and prayers. Please start praying now if you haven’t already! Last night we had our last meeting before heading out to Mexico. I left feeling better, but feeling like there are some loose ends that still need to be tied up. I started working on some of them last night after Hannah and Tim had gone to bed. I can’t remember when the last time was that I was the last one up, but only ’til 11, Tim hasn’t been feeling well, so that’s how he beat me to bed. Pray for his health, he’s functional, but still not feeling well, and we need him well for the trip.

Specific prayers…

I need to call my health insurance and see if I am covered in Mexico, if not then I need to get some traveler’s health insurance. Anyone have any recommendations you’ve used? Our travel agent said he would get some info to me yesterday about it, but I’m still empty handed and thinking I’ll do something on my own. I’ve never gotten health insurance for a missions trip before, but I’m thinking since I’ll be 10 weeks out from Baby Boy’s due date, this might be the time to look in to it.

Tim’s health. He’s had a sore throat, and yesterday had the chills when our house was hot. He’s just not himself.

Organization for everyone leading different areas of ministry we are doing in Mexico, that everything will come together and we will all trust God to do that, and not depend on our own strength, ’cause that just wont work.

Communication. We have some more questions that need to be answered by our contact person for the missions trip. Pray that we get those answers tomorrow (Thursday) so that will ease our minds and we can better plan what money we will need while in Mexico. Also that transportation from the airport in Mexico City to where we are staying will get organized and figured out if it’s not already… we’re not sure.

Relaxation and joy. Pray that we will all be at ease with what God has planned before, during and after this trip. God knows all that is going to happen, and has everything under control. We just need to relax and enjoy God’s amazing plans.

Rest for me. I’ve already been totally exhausted in this 3rd trimester. I think it’s been a mix between staying home with Hannah all day, nesting getting ready for Baby Boy and getting things prepared for Mexico. Luckily I’ve been able to take a good nap every day in the morning when Hannah goes down for hers. I do need to start making myself go to sleep earlier at night. Like, I should be in bed right now.

Praises!!!…

I heard back from the doctor’s office and I do not have gestational diabetes, and don’t have to go in for the 3 hour glucose test to figure that out! That is such a huge sigh of relief. I had to go though the 3 hour test with Hannah, and didn’t have gestational diabetes with her either, but luckily this time they were able to tell from the 1 hour test I took. Yay!

I was able to get through to Continental Airlines and put Hannah on my ticket flying from MSP to IAH as a lap child so my parents will have an easier time getting through security to pick her up to spend the week with them while we’re gone.

Ooookay, that’s it for now.

Thanks for the prayers.

06 May 2010 Some of my raw thoughts after returning from Haiti
 |  Category: ministry, missions  |  Tags:  | 5 Comments

Tim wrote a great blog last night about the 200 year pact that Haiti made with the devil if he would free them from the French. Instead of restating what he has already clearly written, I’ll let you go over and read it.

Also, a little disclaimer before you read my words… I’m still struggling with what God is teaching me through Haiti. And I started studying the book of Matthew since coming back from Haiti, which was written to the Jews, the “righteous people” of their day who should know better than those who had not heard the Word of God. These are some of my raw thoughts.

Experiencing Haiti was life changing. We learned a lot from our translators about the history of Haiti and what God is doing since the earthquake. One of our translators even told us his personal testimony and how his own family paid a Voodoo priest to cast an evil spirit on him to stop him from preaching the gospel. Fortunately, if the Holy Spirit is living in you, then an evil spirit cannot live in you.

It is so clear to see how God has taken Haiti into his own hands now that the 200 year pact with the devil is broken. People are turning to Christ, even lots of the Voodoo priests. During our last day of ministry our translator asked me to pray with a lady who was holding her 7 month old daughter in the main tent city we visited. Before praying with her I asked if she knew who Christ is and she said no. I asked her if she would like to learn about him and she said yes. And after I shared with her about who Christ is she wanted to accept Him as her personal Savior. I couldn’t believe how open she was to accepting Christ. That night back at the compound I was thinking about how many people back home need to be convinced that they need Christ. I have come across so many people that want a reason why they should believe and want to know what they can get out of it before committing their life to Christ. But those that we came across in Haiti hear the name of Jesus and know that they need Him as their personal Savior.

This past Sunday night at youth group most of our team shared our God stories with the Sr. High students. Afterwards me and two of our youth girls that went to Haiti decided to get together Monday afternoon and go talk to people in our town about Christ and pray for people like we did in Haiti. We met at the church on Monday and prayed about where to go. We ended up walking around the mall and pretty much got shot down. The biggest disappointment was talking to someone who said they believe in Christ but believe that people should not go around talking to others about Him. Are you kidding me? Yes we live in a small “Christian” community, but what Christ follower ignores Christ’s words, “Go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.” (Matthew 28:19) That isn’t a suggestion that Christ gives us, that’s a command for Christ followers. One of the girls asked this lady how people are supposed to know God if no one tells them, and her response was, “If God wants them to know, He will let them know.” What good are we if we don’t live out our faith in Christ and just sit around not living a life reflecting the ministry that Christ modeled for us? Thank God that Christ didn’t sit around saying, “Well, if God wants to save people from hell, he can do it without me.”

After this disappointing encounter we met a sweet elderly man and lady to talk to. The conversations didn’t go too deep, but it was nice to converse with someone who didn’t shoot us down for wanting to talk to people, and they were open to talk a little about faith, even if their short term memory was short. We found out that the man we talked to goes to a local ELCA church and he brought up the struggles the church is going through since approving homosexuality, saying that he just kind of looks the other way and ignores whats going on, saying that whether it’s right or wrong, homosexuals shouldn’t be teaching in the church. I went a little deeper saying, it is a sin, but we all sin, but what makes the situation really sad is that a church is willing to say that a certain sin is okay.

The people of Haiti know what is of the devil and what is of Christ. I think part of the reason I really want to go back to Haiti is because the people know this. Coming back home I am brought to tears seeing how blinded people are by Satan. Just looking at public television and how movie ratings allow more and more garbage in saying things are okay, people start to assume that is normal, and we should accept it. “People just struggle with sin, it’s okay, we need to accept it.” But who are these ideas coming from? Coarse language, sexual immorality, idolatry, loving money, and so many more things to add to that list do not glorify Christ. If it does not glorify Christ who do you think is cheering when we fall into those traps? It’s not Christ, it breaks Christ’s heart. People, Satan is real. And if we can’t stand up for Christ and preach the truth, Satan will continue to rule and trick people. No, we don’t see people practicing Voodooism regularly like some are still doing in Haiti, but if you’re not worshiping Christ with every part of your life, then Satan has still accomplished in you what he desires.

03 May 2010 I needed Haiti
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Haiti didn’t need me.

We’re all back. The moment I stepped on to the walk way in to the Miami airport I wanted to turn around and get back on the plane. Walking up to customs I wanted to stick with the Haitians that were going to the States instead of having to split and go with the locals.

I’m still trying to process the whole trip. Sunday night was wonderful to tell stories, along with most of our team that went to Haiti, to our Sr. High students about how amazing God was during the week.

Tons of people were concerned about me going to Haiti ’cause I’m pregnant, and more than anything I’ve had people coming and asking how I’m doing. So to put that question to rest, I’m fine. I never got sick, neither did anyone on our trip. The heat was okay, I slept great. There was always plenty of food. I had no problem adjusting to the food in Haiti, and have actually had trouble adjusting back to American food. Tonight for dinner I made rice and beans, a staple we had, along with goat. Yumm!

I think I’m experiencing more of a culture shock coming back to the States than I did going in to Haiti. I love having my family back together. It’s wonderful to hug and laugh with Hannah. I really wish I was back in Haiti though. God did amazing things in me during the trip to Haiti. He stretched me and is still molding me from the week. I loved getting to know our translators personally and hear them tell us what all God is doing in Haiti. I’ll have to leave those stories for later. I really am frustrated with being back, and I have a feeling it’ll take me a while to adjust. My prayer right now is that God will break my heart for Americans. You can see God moving in Haiti. Haitians are open and ready to accept Christ. Of what I’ve seen even today while out at the mall, it’s not the same here.

I apologize for not jumping right in to what I’ve learned and experienced. I still need some time. But, I did want to let people know that we’re home.

22 Apr 2010 Stay updated while we’re in Haiti
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Tim will hopefully be able to update what we’re doing every once in a while. If he is able to there are a few places where you can stay in the loop. Including the Adventures in Missions website.

Adventures in Missions:

http://www.adventures.org/a/reports/r3re.asp?id=3493

Tim’s twitter:

http://twitter.com/timschmoyer

Tim’s facebook page:

http://www.facebook.com/studentministry

Alexandria Youth Webpage:

http://www.alexandriayouth.com/

Alexandria Youth twitter:

http://twitter.com/alexandriayouth

Alexandria Youth facebook page:

http://www.facebook.com/alexandriayouth

We also have a facebook group for our Haiti team:

http://www.facebook.com/alexandriayouth#!/group.php?gid=107843972577549&ref=ts

Please be praying for all of us. Hannah was picked up this afternoon by Cindy. She is in great hands for the week. I had a harder time yesterday than today with knowing we wont see her for over a week. Through prayer God helped me not to concentrate on my sadness of being away from Hannah. I need to have a clear head to focus on God’s will for this week.

We will get to Miami before noon on Friday. We’ll spend the day in several different training sessions then head to Haiti on Saturday morning. We’ll spend ┬áthe week in Haiti and head back to Miami on Friday April 30th. We’ll have a short evening and head home Saturday morning.

Pray pray pray for us!

21 Apr 2010 42 Hours until we leave for Haiti
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I am officially stressed and nervous about going to Haiti. I think mostly about leaving Hannah behind. She will be in great hands, it’s just the fact that we wont see her for over a week. I’ve been trying to hold strong about it. Tim has been telling her for a couple days now how much he is going to miss her. I’ve just tried to ignore those comments. Yesterday I started packing my bag of supplies to take to the Haitians. That’s when reality hit that we leave on Friday.

I was able to get 7 small cans of formula that someone donated. And yesterday I went to Target and got 7 bottles to give with the formula. I need to rummage through Hannah’s box and get 7 cloth diapers to go with it. I also found some small games of jax for kids we’ll see. And I grabbed a few bags of candy. I almost broke down in the store yesterday as I saw things I could take for kids. I already know I’m going to have a hard time seeing the conditions they live in. It’s going to be tough to see a little baby. And it’ll also be tough to see a pregnant lady. Although sleeping in a tent on a small air bed will be hard on me with being pregnant, it’ll still be way better than what most people in Haiti have. Oh, and I also picked up a couple bottles of prenatal vitamins to bless a couple ladies, and a couple things of infant tylenol.

I have such mixed emotions right now of excitement and nervousness. I know God will take care of me though. My plan for today is to get everything packed up for the trip and to get Hannah all packed up for the week too. I’ll still have some last minute items of Hannah’s to do on Thursday before she goes away for the week, but if I can get most of her things in order it’ll be much easier. I think my biggest fear with that is she’s not going to remember us. Luckily we’ll be getting back in the afternoon on May 1st. So we’ll get to spend time with her before we all go to bed for the night.

Please be praying for us. Pray for health, especially for me and Baby Schmoyer. But also for the rest of our team, that no one will become ill, so that God can use us all to the fullest potential. Pray for safety with traveling and while in Haiti. I am very excited that my sister Katelin, and Tim’s brother Dan are going with us. It’ll be a great time to get to minister along side each other. Pray that God will move in all of our team and not only teach us through this week, but that God will be able to bless many people through the work he has planned for us.