Wednesday, December 7, 2011

A quick note

Thank you to those of you praying for us! There were a couple things we asked you to pray for in our last post and I wanted to give you an update. First of all, John had a doctor appointment yesterday and I think he is encourage that we are finally being proactive again. He will be scheduled for another MRI soon to see if things have worsened. He is also back at the clinic today having some X-rays done and blood work. It is always possible that there is something completely different causing the pain, for example, Lymes Disease. We hadn't thought of anything like that and we would like to rule anything we can out before we resort to drastic measures.

One other exciting thing concerning John's back, we've had some money come in the mail to help us with the cost of a new mattress. PRAISE GOD! Please pray we can come up with the rest of the needed funds.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

A time of Thanks!

We have so much to be thankful for! I just got done reading the true story of Squanto to Ethan in preparation for this week’s celebration. We all know the story right? Well, while I was reading the story, I was brought to tears as I realized how God used this one man to change the course of our nation’s history. What seemed like unbearable circumstances as he was ripped from his home, sold into slavery only to gain freedom 10 years later and find his entire tribe was wiped out, due to disease... were really times of preparations for him
to fulfill God’s plan for our nation and for him. So as I look at my own life’s ups and downs, I am thankful because I know that God is using us for something so much bigger than what we see! So on that note, I want to share with you my “thankfulness” list.

We are thankful for you, our supporters! If it wasn’t for you, there would be no ministry and the message of salvation would not be proclaimed through Expeditions.

We are thankful for this last year of moving and upheaval because we are learning to be content, flexible and patient.

We are thankful for lots of time with family members who have passed away this last year. Those precious months will forever remain in our hearts.

We are thankful for a home to live in. After months of closed doors and frustration, God opened the doors to this home that we purchased in September.

We are thankful for John’s chronic back pain because it causes us to rely on God’s strength and grow in our walk with the Lord.

We are thankful that God is in control no matter how bad things may look at times.

We are thankful God continues to use us to minister through Expeditions.

We are thankful for how God is using Expeditions to reach the lost and build up our youth.

We are thankful for the many volunteers who have given of their time to Expeditions. They are always an encouragement to the staff and our family.

We are thankful for all the projects that were funded and completed this last year.

We are thankful that despite a struggling economy, the number of campers continues to rise.

We are thankful for your prayers. Actually we covet them because we can do nothing in our own strength.

Praises, Prayer Requests and Needs

Praise God, it looks as though Expeditions will be given 11 cabins from an old resort. We will be using them to replace some of our aging cabins. Please pray that all the details will fall into place and the actual moving of the buildings will go smoothly.

Praise God, the Ops (operations) Center is up and running thanks to many volunteers, generous donations and man hours. This has created so much more time in everyone’s day. Instead of supplies and tools being stored in several different locations, they are now all under one roof. We also have a place to work on Camp’s vehicles and machinery. What a huge blessing!

Praise God, a church has donated a second broomball rink... a favorite for our winter campers.

Please Pray for healing in John’s back. Every day is a struggle for him and very painful. Nights are no better and we are in desperate need of a new mattress. We are also in need of wisdom concerning treatment.. Every doctor we talk with says he shouldn’t be working in construction anymore. Please pray for God’s direction.

Please Pray that God will raise up new supporters for our family. With the purchase of our “new” home, finances are extremely tight.

May God bless you and draw you closer to himself this season of celebration,

Thursday, September 1, 2011

I didn't pray for patience!

I promise I didn't do something dumb and go praying for patience... but apparently I needed to learn to be more patient, ha-ha. We are still waiting and learning and trusting that God's timing is perfect. "Our" house is just sitting there, across the street, lonely and waiting for us. Yet I am finding contentment. We have a beautiful home to live in for the time being and we are so blessed. I just miss some of my stuff and having a place, other than a box, to put it. I will reluctantly post a picture of the house. I say reluctantly because I am not convinced that it will really happen. The challenge is not to get too possessive of the house but also enjoy the excitement of the purchase. We are just waiting for the final loan approval and then we set the closing date. Please continue to pray that God's will would be done!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

We have an accepted offer!

We finally have found a house and have an accepted offer! Praise God! We are excited about this house but are trying to keep our emotions in check. God may still close the door and we really are okay with that, if it doesn't fit His plan for our family. How we found this place is a neat story that I will share with you when I have some pictures to share. Thank you for praying.... keep praying!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Still searching

So, no we didn't hear back on Monday and sadly, we are still waiting. Four more offers came in over the weekend and on Monday they wanted all of our highest offers. We put in a second offer and they still have yet to decide. Last we heard, we were in second place but we have moved on, since we don't have the luxury of sitting around for 4 weeks waiting for rejection, haha. We are putting an offer in on a different property today. It is a very nice home and we would be getting it for a really good price. The owner's daughter and husband are somewhat interested, so we will again have to wait and see what they decide. I promise I will let you know when we get an accepted offer!
John has been out leading activities at camp quite a bit lately and really enjoying it. It does help that the temps. have been in the 60's and 70's the last few weeks. They have been climbing at Devil's Lake and using the high ropes course. The ropes course is still running well and a big hit with the groups.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

An Update

Thank you for praying for Ethan at the Dentist! He did great and we set up a future appointment to remove the stubborn baby tooth. Praise God, 4 days before his appointment, he knocked the tooth loose! So we were able to cancel the dreaded extraction.
On the "home" front, praise God, we got approved for a loan and started to search for the perfect home. That search has turned into the search for the house that will not fall down and we can get an offer in on before someone outbids us, haha! We have had many disappointments along the way, as anyone who ventures to ask, "how is it going?" can tell you. Sorry to those who have had to sit and listen to our housing saga! Also, a week and a half before Grandma Jean's house was supposed to close, we were mostly packed up and ready to move when the offer fell through. John was leaving a day later to Isreal and we had to decide what to do. We ended up staying here and trying to stay mostly packed, eating off of paper plates and plasticware. Grandma's stuff is all sold and gone for the most part and the house is once again on the market.
Yesterday, we put another offer in on a house that we are praying will go through. We should hopefully find out on Monday. Maybe we can avoid a move to my parents before we find a home to buy! One less move in our future would be nice.
At Expeditions, the ropes course is done. We had a group of guinea pigs .... ahem.. I mean, men... go through the course just today. No one died! Really though, John said it so cool to witness the very first group and see it run so smoothly after all the months of building it.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Please Pray

If you would, Pray for Ethan today. I take him to the dentist today and he DOES NOT do well with them. He had a pretty traumatic experience with a dentist about a year and a half ago and there is a lot of anxiety today. He had doctor pull a tooth without anything to numb it. I have never heard him scream like that before and that is saying a lot because Ethan can scream! They may need to pull another tooth today or in the near future so please pray!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Habitat Build

John and the other men from camp have taken a break from the ropes course build to help out a family from our church. The Holmes family of 9, is receiving a Habitat for Humanity home this spring and John gets to help. This week they are framing the house and I have a couple pictures to share with you. Hopefully I will have more in a few days.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Ropes Course

Work continues on the ropes course. This is not work for anyone who struggles with heights. I don't think the pictures capture how high up they really are. You will have to stop by and visit to feel the full effect and understand the magnitude of the project.

This shack is where the course starts. You would climb onto the roof and choose the easier course or the harder course.

The harder route

Off this platform there will be a zip line and a giant swing

John is on the pole in the center and Tbird is in the forefront.

View from above

They hoisted that big log up there on the left and John is on the right end of the log

John is still on the right side of the horizontal log

John working on securing the log


Wednesday, April 13, 2011


My Grandmother's house has an accepted offer and they are closing on May 27th! This is a huge praise. It helps us know we need to move on and it will help, all those involved, finish the huge task of dealing with the estate. This next month will be crazy for us! I hope to be moved out of here a month from now and a month from TODAY, John will be on his way to Israel! Amazing... So the plan is to move in with my parents until we figure out the next step. Last week I sent in our loan application and I am trying to wait patiently for an answer. They said it could take up to 30 days to get approved, but I am praying for a quicker answer, haha. Please pray for the details of this next month to fall into place and that, if it's the Lord's will, we will get approved for a loan.

The Op Center

The Op (Operations) Center has been the biggest project of this winter. Cold temperatures and cold steel led themselves to some exhusting days for these guys. Thankfully, it is mostly done for now. They still have a bit of work... electrical and setting up the shop part.... but the structure is up and useful for storage. If you are interested... this is a video that Erin from Expeditions posted on Expedition's Facebook page.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Marriage Seminar

John and I had the opportunity to attend a marriage seminar being held at Expeditions this last weekend. A church from the Sauk Praire area was holding a couples retreat with speaker Dr. Joe and Kathy Wasmond and they invited us to participate. We were one of 34 couples. Although John and I weren't able to attend all of the sessions, what we did attend was a blessing. Thank you to all the staff that served us!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Youth Leader Retreat

Last Monday and Tuesday, Expeditions hosted a first ever, retreat for youth leaders. Our goal at Expeditions is to create an atmosphere where youth leaders can minister to their students without having to worry about all the details. So we don't plan a camp or retreat and then invite people to come. We invite youth pastors to bring their students to Expeditions and allow us to work with them to custom design a retreat that will best serve the needs of the group. Expeditions believes every group is unique and the youth pastor knows what his students need. Also, after the retreat is over, the youth pastor can continue to build on what was covered at the retreat and continue to cutivate relationships. As a thank you to the youth pastors who have been faithful to bring their students to camp and as an invitations to some new youth pastors, Expeditions invited them all to camp for a time of retreat and encouragement... withouth their students. About 35 pastors attended and seemed to have a wonderful time of refreshment. John said watching these men sit around at their tables for an hour or 2 after every meal, talking away, was cool to see. And as usual, they were a blessing to our staff as well!

Monday, March 28, 2011

The Rock

This was a project John worked on this winter at Expeditions. Camp was needing a couple of guest rooms for speakers or band members who need a little more sleep or privacy than the student cabins can offer. They took an old laundry house that had served as a small meeting room, and turned it into 2 guest rooms and a bathroom. I think it turned out really nice.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Expeditions Christmas Party

The Girls in their new Expeditions jackets

Ethan with his goodies

My strange son
Higher Ground

Higher Ground again

A New Start

This is a new start in many ways. A new blog, a new ministry and hopefully a fresh start in the way we communicate with you. We primarily want to use this blog as a place to post pictures and little snippets of what is happening. In the past I have put too much pressure on myself to produce an interesting "read." That led to a lack of posting if I wasn't inspired or didn't have time to think straight. So, mostly you will find pictures, prayer requests or a quick update on what is happening either in our family or the ministry. In addition, when we publish a new newsletter, we will do our best to post it here. Praise God for fresh starts!