Monday, January 28, 2013

I Know Who Holds Tomorrow

Today is a day of mixed emotions. As much as we are relieved this day, and the hope it brings, has finally arrived, we are also keenly aware of the trials that await us. I have to admit that my stomach churns a little bit at the thought of what lies ahead. But this is the road God has given us to travel and He has not sent us down some dark and dangerous path alone. No, He is leading us and walking beside us to a place he has prepared. HE has laid the foundations for this path and will never leave us or forsake us! He has asked us to trust him with all of our hearts and not to lean on our own understanding. So we are feeling as prepared as we can be. I am sure there will be times that we question if we did the right thing, days where we will wonder if it is worth it and moments where we struggle to find peace. I pray in those moments we can feel your prayers and that God’s Words will speak to us. I pray that we will remember that “anything that makes us need God, is a blessing.”

Friday, January 18, 2013

January Newsletter

Happy New Year! We hope your Christmas celebrations were blessed and that you are ready for all God has in store for you in 2013. Our family said goodbye to 2012 and welcomed the new year with anticipation. We have no idea what the rest of this year is going to look like for us and that is a little scary. But God knows and we trust him.

January 29th, John will undergo a two level fusion in his spine. We have prayed about this for some time now and feel that there really is no other option. John’s mobility and ability to do daily tasks, even as simple as putting on shoes, has decreased and his pain has increased. At this point all of his energy and strength is expended at work and by the time he gets home, all he can do is recover for the next day. As much as this has caused us to grow as a family and in our relationships with the Lord, it has also been difficult on our family, probably in more ways than we even realize. Ethan is 10 and needs his dad to keep up with him, wrestle with him and do the things that dads do.  This is so heavy on our hearts as parents especially when we think where John will be at next year if something is not done.  It is exciting to see God open the doors for this surgery and we are confident he is leading us down this road whatever that entails. Over and over, we hear wonderful things about John’s Neurosurgeon and feel that is another confirmation of God’s leading. The recovery is what we are most apprehensive about but again, we trust in the Lord. John will be at home recovering for two to three months and then hopefully fully “recovered” by six months. Obviously he will not regain everything he has lost, but he should have more mobility than he does now and a lot less pain.

Before John ‘s surgery, he and the crew at Expeditions have been working hard to get the new cabins up and going. Boilers are heating, water is running and bunks are built in half of the cabins and the rest should be ready by the end of next week. A few warm days here are likely to throw a hiccup in our winter activities but you can be praying for more winter weather. It is a big part of our winter ministry.

Expeditions is already compiling a list of light-duty jobs for John to do as he eases back into work. We hope this will happen sooner than later so that Expeditions will not be shorthanded for too long. We just aren’t sure what it will look like as John resumes working but we desire to serve Expeditions in any way possible. Your continued giving and prayers are greatly appreciated and vital to us, especially through this difficult time.

PRAY for the Doctors and Nurses that will attend to John. Pray for steady hands and clear thinking. And pray for peace for our family as we approach John’s surgery and long recovery.

PRAY for Expeditions as they finish the winter season short-handed and for much needed winter weather!

THANK YOU  for your continued support through your prayer and financial gifts. Checks can be written out to Expeditions Unlimited with our ministry number “02103” in the memo and mailed to E11844 County Road D L Baraboo WI 53913.

October's Newsletter

Whew! What a summer! This summer flew by so fast and here we are halfway through our fall season already. The number of campers Expeditions Unlimited has served has grown from 1000 campers in 2004 to 2,050 this summer alone! This season's campers came from over 50 churches and organizations located throughout the Midwest. With the growing number of campers and the need to demolish some very old cabins, we had asked for your continued prayer in our last newsletter. Now, after six long years of prayer, God provided - in His perfect timing - twelve cabins and a three-bedroom house that have been successfully moved, from the old Pine Beach Resort in Lake Delton, fourteen miles to Expeditions Unlimited.  John and many other volunteers put in 8 foundations and 3 basements. In addition to the work on the cabins, John guided 12 trips. All of this happened during Camp’s peak season with record numbers of campers. So again, I say, “Whew!” Praise be to God that $136,000 of the $150,000 it costs to move and renovate the cabins, has been raised. That leaves ONLY $14,000 to raise! God is so good!

This fall we have kicked off our Outdoor Education Program. So far the response has been amazing and the winter and spring months are filling up. We are so thankful for all the hard work Bri has been investing in this program and are anxious to see what God does with it.

John continues to be in pain as a result of his degenerative discs in his back, so we have been seeing a specialist in Madison regularly to try to narrow down the source of the pain. Through many different tests and procedures it seems as though a two-level fusion of his vertebrae is in the near future. In the next two weeks we will hopefully know for sure but at this point there is no other option besides living with the pain the rest of his life. This is a difficult decision but it also offers hope. Hope of some relief and the possibility of being able to do thing things he used to do. Please lift up the doctors and our family through this decision. Pray for wisdom and God’s timing.

PRAY that we would serve well and be an encouragement to every camper that steps through our doors. 
PRAY for our family as we face the possibility of John’s surgery and long recovery.
PRAY and CONSIDER if you might be able to partner with us financially. We are in great need of monthly supporters. If this is something God is leading you to do, please give us a call or send us an email.