Saturday, April 30, 2016

Great Times Together

We are so grateful Ike and Carolyn Koetje came to visit us.
They have been faithful partners and share our love for Hudsonville and Mc Bain MI.
We spent a very special week together and were able to share our home, lives, ministry and friends with them.
May God continue to bless you, lead you, and use you Koetjes.
You were an encouragement to us and the church here.  May you share all God showed you with the church in MI.

Josh's Freedom in Christ training in Pingere.
There were 11 churches and 5 denominations present.
 The testimonies of these leaders encouraged and empowered us to keep teaching God's truth.

Luka loved having a grandpa around.  He pretended to be an oxen for Ike to plow with.

We did a lot of visiting neighbors and friends.

Obulle Center

Pastor Joseph

They were very good sports about all the local food they were fed as honored guests.
At the end of their trip we all went on safari!
How fun for the two hunters and outdoors men, Josh and Ike, to be on satari.

Just beautiful!

My African tree

Monitor Lizard

Baby elephant and her mommy

We drove for HOURS on safari and no lions.
We really thought we wouldn't see any.
 Then on our way out of the game park the last night we drove up to a female lion right alongside the road!
It was awesome!  We were so close Josh told us to shut our windows.
What a blessing God gave us to see a lion so close.


Then God painted the sky with an amazing sunset!
(I have more pictures of the sunset than the lion!)

Picture perfect end to our time together.

And out the other side of the van was a full moon.
What a creative God we worship!

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Special Guests

We are thankful to have our friends and supporters, Ike and Carolyn Koetje, here in Obulle with us!  It is a blessing when a supporter comes and is able to see the work they partner with firsthand.  We are excited to show them the ministries , meet the people we love, experience the culture, and be a part of our family and home.  Pray for a safe, healthy and God glorifying time together.

PS - The Koetje's celebrated their 49th anniversary with us here today!

Monday, April 11, 2016


Forgiveness.  God continues to teach me that this act of faith and love is His signature.  I marvel at forgiveness.  It makes no sense yet as I have experienced it, seen it and read testimonies I know this is a gift from God.  I have been reading missionary stories and written all over them are forgiveness.  It is the difference maker.  I just finished the story of Corrie ten Boom in the Then & Now series by YWAM.  I felt like I didn't know what to do with the reality of such evil that people actually lived.  What people can do to other people makes me feel ill.  It is hard for me to imagine yet I know it continues today.  It causes me to hurt and grieve.  Yet, in the mist of horrors God's people choose to trust Him and forgive.  Forgiveness becomes the testimony.  Only God could cause a person to forgive.  Only God could cause a person to love like this.  It is crazy.  And it is the only answer to heal and be free.  To know God and all His love.

I am blown away by it.

I don't know where you are today and what is in your heart, but I do know what God wants for you.  Through Him you can do what seems impossible - forgive.  Because you can trust in Him you can be free and forgive.  Because God is who He says He is forgiveness is possible.  Because God loves you you can love others and forgive.  His Word is full of these truths.  The truth is we do not know God if we choose not to forgive.  May the Lord speak to you today and may you choose to forgive.

This song by Matthew West sums it up beautifully.  It is my prayer for you.

"Forgiveness" by Matthew West

It’s the hardest thing to give away
And the last thing on your mind today
It always goes to those that don’t deserve

It’s the opposite of how you feel
When the pain they caused is just too real
It takes everything you have just to say the word…


It flies in the face of all your pride
It moves away the mad inside
It’s always anger’s own worst enemy
Even when the jury and the judge
Say you gotta right to hold a grudge
It’s the whisper in your ear saying ‘Set It Free’

Forgiveness, Forgiveness
Forgiveness, Forgiveness

Show me how to love the unlovable
Show me how to reach the unreachable
Help me now to do the impossible

Forgiveness, Forgiveness

Help me now to do the impossible

It’ll clear the bitterness away
It can even set a prisoner free
There is no end to what it’s power can do
So, let it go and be amazed
By what you see through eyes of grace
The prisoner that it really frees is you

Forgiveness, Forgiveness
Forgiveness, Forgiveness

Show me how to love the unlovable
Show me how to reach the unreachable
Help me now to do the impossible

I want to finally set it free
So show me how to see what Your mercy sees
Help me now to give what You gave to me
Forgiveness, Forgiveness

Friday, April 8, 2016

Admired - Then & Now

For devotions in school we talked about people who are admires, even idolized, in the world today.  Too often the people who are talked about and looked up to are super stars.  However, the real heroes are those who give us Godly examples.  We talked about admiring people who sacrifice, give, teach, love, serve, the name of Jesus.  So we decided to make "baseball style cards" of our heroes.  On the front we drew a person or people we admire and on the back we wrote why.  I am thankful we have people to admire who point us to Christ!

Luka drew: Mrs. Bosch his teacher at HCS for teaching him, Pastor Jack from G-town CRC for sharing the Bible with him, and his family for loving him.
Grace drew: Karlie her teacher last year who forgave her many times, Jesus for dying for us, and Lottie Moon a missionary who gave her all.
Lydia drew: David Livingstone, Mary Slessor, and Brian Hogan all missionaries.
Teacher Mom drew: missionaries Sundar Singh, Jacob DeSharzer, and Amy Carmichael. 

I wrote about 3 missionaries I read about in the Christian Heroes, Then & Now series.  I have to tell you how awesome these books are.  I am not much of a reader and I am not a very good reader (dyslexic), but these books captivate me!  They are written at about a middle school reading level but are very well written and inspiring.  Two of my very favorites, and Josh and Lydia's, are Sundar Singh and Jacob DeShazer.  I cannot tell you how humbled I was by these two men.  They suffered greatly, knew the Lord, and sacrificed to share Him.  I didn't want to put the books down (I ignored Josh every night for about a week!) and I was sad when the books were done.  I have learned so much from their testimonies.  Evil is shocking and was awful then and now and God's amazing grace and unthinkable love in forgiveness is His signature.  God can, has, and is doing the impossible all around the world!  I really encourage you to read these inspiring books of faith.  Read them for yourself, with your kids and share them.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Happy 38th Birthday!

We are celebrating Josh today on his 38th birthday!
We are so blessed by Josh.  He is a selfless, loving husband and father.
He seeks the Lord, follows Him and serves Him.
His gifts of teaching and preaching are helping to advance God's kingdom.
Josh is a man of integrity.  He is a Christlike example to all of us.
I love my husband deeply.  His love for the Lord is evident in the way he loves me.
Thank you God for Josh! 
2016 - My best friend, the two have become one.

2000 - So thankful God gave me Josh!
2003 - Missionary but always father first.

Always makes time to be with his kids.

Made to teach and preach.