Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Day 7...the verdict.

WE'RE IN!!  WE'RE IN!!  WE'RE IN!!  WE ARE IN WITH MAF!!!!!!  We are shell-shocked, blown away, dreamy, ecstatic, and still not fully grasping the fact that after 9 years of our marital steps revolving around getting to the mission-field, we are now actually IN!

THANK YOU for praying for us.  This has been intense both mentally and emotionally and we are reveling in God's good gifts.  We love you each.  Spokane peeps, see you tomorrow.  Iowa peeps, see you soon :)

Monday, July 30, 2012

Day 6

Day 6 of 7.  Elaina and Sawyer did their Idaho unit in the morning.  Did you know that the Idaho state bird is the Mountain Bluebird?  Well, now you just joined our Idaho morning unit :)  We met Sam for lunch and heard about his morning.  It sounds like things are going ok.  The examiner is not allowed to give any feedback until tomorrow.  I'll join Sam at 10:15 tomorrow to hear how the technical evaluation has gone, then we'll meet with MAF's candidacy committee at 2:00 to hear if we are in or not!  Coveting your prayers tomorrow!
Idaho's state bird

The building where Sam is tested.

Out of the zone but in the zone...

Yesterday we attended the Hispanic church that Sam's MAF examiner pastors.  Thankfully, our French background was adequate enough to let us follow along, though we couldn't speak very well :)  We were energized and excited by being out of our comfort zone linguistically, but knowing that we were worshipping the same God with our brothers and sisters in Christ.  I am excited to love and know the Creator God who revels in the praises of His people in every language He has made.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Day 5 of Crockpot living...

Day 5 of crockpot living in a hotel = ground beef, potatoes and veggies.  Other nights have included crockpot pizza and taco soup (thanks for the idea Athena!).  Thankful for simplicity.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Day 4 technical evaluation

Getting ready to be tested, Day 4.  It is quite intense.

Learning about Idaho...

While Sam is taking his TE, the kids are doing a unit study on Idaho.  Yesterday morning they learned about Boise, so we spent the afternoon exploring Boise and happened upon a great zoo!

Idaho unity study in the morning, exploration in the afternoon!
Africa section of the zoo.  Of course :)

Butterfly section

Friday, July 20, 2012

The Broken Tea Cup Year

My eyes keep wandering back to that broken teacup.  There are plenty of other cute ones vying for my attention around my friend's windowsill, but I am drawn to this one.  You would think my favorite cup would be the French one splattered with fashionistas exclaiming, "Oh la la!" and "Très chic!".  Or the bold and sturdy tan one from Chihuahua.  But this broken one. Is. What. I. See and like.  

Though rendered useless, my friend has not moved it, packed it away, or hidden it from view.  It is a failed cup.  But it has a history and means something to her, so put it stays.

I eye it again.  What is it about that c...?  It is my year here.  Brokeness and failure led us here.  This year was supposed to be my broken one, the one we had to do because of a failed technical evaluation.  I was supposed to be ashamed of this year and pack it away, hidden from view, because it stemmed from failure to launch into Our Good Plan that we had for Cameroon.  But we weren't meant to do that.  Or be there.  We were meant to do this.  And be here.  And I've liked it.  I'm drawn to what we've learned here and to the people we've loved.  I'm awed by how God took what was supposed to be our Broken and our Failure and He has made it one of my Favorites.  I have experienced depth in the body of Christ among these people in a new way.  I've loved fast and fiercely and they've loved back.  The headlines of this year read, "Broken Morphs Into Beauty". 

I like that cup and I hope she leaves it there forever.

"All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us."
-J.R.R. Tolkien

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

True Masculinity...

"True masculinity expresses itself as a desire to serve women and children by leading them, protecting them, and providing for them.  True masculinity is about unselfish servanthood.  It has nothing to do with muscle size or athletic ability."  - William P. Farley, Gospel Powered Parenting Ch. 7

Sometimes I take for granted how far God has brought our family over the years.  A young man and a young woman get married and their ideals of what family devotions should look like clash.  Discouraged, the young man withdraws from leadership.  Desperate, the young woman takes on roles that, by God's design, should be his.  Prayer and supplication, trial and error, conviction and purging of sin from the Holy Spirit begin to work like yeast in this young family.  Day in, day out.  By God's grace alone, young husband begins to assume leadership in the family.  By the Holy Spirit's conviction alone, young wife begins to surrender roles back to their rightful owner.  She grows in deep respect of him and he grows fondly in love with her.  This cycle, God?  Is this what your good plan is...that Christ die for the church and that the young man learn to love his family sacrificially?  That Christ serve the church and that the young man would learn to serve his family by leading?  I like your plan, God.  I like your ways.  Thank you for how far you have brought us and for the transforming work you promise to continue doing in us.  Thank you for the Young Man I married long ago.  Shall I not praise you for your wonderful gifts?

"...I found him whom my heart loves."  Song of Solomon 3:4

Friday, July 13, 2012

The joys of...

The joys of prepping to go overseas.  TB tests.  You get a shot and if you react in 48 hours, I'm guessing it means you're outta luck.  Who, oh, who in the Danforth family reacted?

I went in for them to "read" my arm today and I had reacted.  The nurses couldn't decide if it was actually a reaction or just sensitive skin on my part, so they had me sit down and wait for a doctor to check it out.  I texted my parents, who are THANKFULLY in America, and asked if they had any answers.

"U had a bcg shot when we went to africa.  That can cause a positive.", was my answer.  That satisfied the doctor!!!!  Thank you Jesus!  Physical exams down!  Now for the technical and psychological evaluations next week....

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Partners in crime

This year we have lived in a cul-de-sac with 4 little friends.  All girls.  Great friends for Elaina.  Consequently, Sawyer has become incredibly grateful for his buddy, Ezra.  We get to see Ezra at least once a week...twice if we're super lucky.  Sawyer and Ezra go on missions with light sabers in the woods behind Ezra's house and have saved the world from doom and despair more times than I can count.  Thanks, Ez, for your awesome friendship.  I don't know what will become of the world when we have to move, but after witnessing your passion and energy for a world free of crime, I am confident that you will be able to fight off doom single-handedly.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Hitting the books...

This is what Sam looks like for a couple of hours each evening and weekend afternoons as he fills his brain with the ins and outs of mechanics for his technical evaluation with MAF later this month.

A few of his favorite study tools.
Read this and rejoice that you aren't the one taking the TE :)

"Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men."
                                                                                                            -Colossians 3:23


Sunday, July 8, 2012

Starting to say goodbye to Spokane...

As we start to wind down here in Spokane and think about possibly moving back to Iowa in August, we know goodbyes are in order.  Today was our first goodbye as we saluted farewell to Riverfront Park.  Before moving here, we went online and checked out the city trying to find cool places to visit.  Sawyer saw a park with "running robots" and it became top of our priority list to visit.  Our second day here we visited the park (see more at First Visit to Riverfront ).  We later found out the running robots are actually running people to represent a huge annual race here in Spokane called Bloomsday.  Sawyer still loves these running people and he got his last shots with them.


Awesome splash pad!

You can press a button and feed this goat trash.  He inhales it into a dumpster behind him!
Huge Radio Flyer slide

Of course, we chose the hottest day to spend 3 hours outside!

GOODBYE RIVERFRONT PARK!!!!!!!  You were swell!!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

"He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose."

This is a journal entry in October of 1949 by Jim Elliot, a Mission Aviation Fellowship pilot, who later lost his life in service.  Though he words it more eloquently, we share this view with the Danforth family motto of "Until the last one has heard."  We had been planning to serve on the missionfield with JAARS in Cameroon, but God has closed those doors.  He opened our eyes to Mission Aviation Fellowship.  MAF spreads Christ's love around the world through disaster response, medical assistance, evangelism and church nurture, community development, and training and development.  In the 90's, MAF pilots are the ones who flew Sam's family and many other missionary families out of danger during an evacuation from war in Congo where he grew up.  They also flew him to and from home and boarding school and he grew to love their logo seen below.

MAF's innovative runway for disaster relief after Haiti's earthquake in 2010.
Medical Assistance

On Tuesday, we went to MAF's headquarters in Idaho to hear more about their work and how we may partner with them.  Sam is scheduled to take their technical evaluation later this summer.

Part of Sam's technical evaluation will be working on this!

Recruiting Sawyer was easy.  MAF strategically placed M&M dispensers in the hangar :)

Please pray with us about a possible future with MAF!