Most people don’t know that most of last year was a struggle for me (Lindsay). I did a good job of smiling in public and sharing the good things that were happening in our life and ministry while hiding the frustration and pain I felt. Some of my frustration stemmed from the abrupt change in lifestyle that I experienced once we moved into our cozy, but small apartment in Dollar Bay. I went from easily jumping on public transportation at a moment’s notice to rearranging schedules to share the car with Hans while working around nap time. I also spent less time with people that I did in Bolivia and winter was pretty rough for me, too.
But Hans and I didn’t realize that the disconnected feeling I felt was partially due to the fact that we didn’t talk much about Hans’ ministry life and that I wasn’t a part of it at all. My life changed from one of actively partnering with Hans in ministry to being at home and away from the action – and I was unsatisfied.
Slowly we started to realize that things weren’t working out and we began making changes. Hans started sharing more about work. We moved the short term Bolivia team meetings to our apartment so I could take part. I discipled a female student. But still I wasn’t satisfied.
Then we went to InterVarsity’s Orientation for New Staff (ONS). We got to attend as a family and were in a small group with other married couples. On the first night at ONS, I told Hans that I didn’t belong and shouldn’t have come. By the second night, God had shown me how much I longed to work alongside Hans – as an active partner – and all of the pain and frustration from the past year was let out.
I went to ONS feeling like I didn’t belong and I left ONS believing I am a staff worker like my husband and that God can use me on Michigan Tech’s campus.
And so this fall I am going back to work. I am volunteering part time with MTU’s undergraduate chapter focusing on discipleship of the female leaders and women’s ministry. Plus, we have been more involved in international ministry as a family, occasionally hosting them at our house.
I am excited to be more actively involved with what God is doing on campus this year and am thankful for the healing that God has been doing in my heart.
I (Lindsay) can’t believe it’s been months since we shared anything with you! Since buying our house we’ve had a lot of activity, even with the slower pace of summer. We’ve been enjoying all of the sunshine and the warmer weather, especially since we’ve been doing so much yard work lately!
Here’s a brief summary of our summer so far:
We spent a week at InterVarsity’s camp on the other side of the UP in early May. I volunteered in the kitchen while Hans spent time with the leaders from MTU. It was a great time of fellowship with the chapter and of vulnerability and openness. Caleb spent the week with Hans’ parents and had a blast with them, too!
Orientation for New Staff
Every new staff with InterVarsity is expected to attend an orientation conference in Madison, WI. We couldn’t make it last year, so we attended this year as a family. It was an incredible time of Bible study and other talks and discussions that helped us to view our role on campus in a new light.
If you’ve seen us in the past few days, you’ve probably heard our news (we aren’t exactly keeping quiet about it!). We are buying a house! It has (almost) all of the things we were hoping for in a house, and some of the things we weren’t expecting, so we’re pretty excited.
It’s close to Michigan Tech (closer than either of us lived as students when we were off campus) and is on a street that is mostly long term residents, so our neighbors won’t be changing seasonally. From what we know of the neighborhood, we think we’re going to like living there a lot!
The cool thing about the whole process is that we’ve been able to see God’s hand in all of it. We hadn’t noticed the house earlier (and it’s been on the market 1 1/2 years) because it is a two bedroom, and we wanted three. But when we decided to look at the listing just to see if it might work, we were surprised to see it was bigger than some of the three bedroom houses we had looked at and had a rather giant bedroom. We went to see it just over a week ago and fell in love in 20 minutes. It is close to campus, has a big living room/dining room space to host groups, has a nice yard, and has a garage – plus is a cool old house in good condition. All of these things were what we were looking for.
Later the same day, we found out there were two other potential buyers for the house, so we planned to visit again and make an offer later the following week. But on Monday we found out that there was another offer, so on Tuesday we visited the bank and the relator’s office and put in an offer, which was accepted on Wednesday afternoon. (Crazy, right?!?) God has blessed us through all of the process – having paperwork ready for the bank previously, visiting the house when we did… it all worked so intricately together and we are stunned by his provision and blessing in our lives.
It’s not officially ours yet, but we’re excited. I hope you like it as much as we do!
And no, we aren’t quite in love with the bedrooms, but they have potential… if we can get all of that wall paper down!
It’s been awhile since my last post. Even with an active one-year-old, there haven’t been too many blog-worthy activities happening in our apartment.
At least, that’s what I’ve been telling myself. But in the past few weeks I have come to the realization that I haven’t adjusted to life in the U.S. as well as I thought I had – and all of the frustrations, disappointments, and unmet expectations have been clouding my vision and hardening my heart. I wrote in my journal the other day that, “I guess that I thought I would be settled into life by now…” and while we have routine in our lives, I don’t feel very settled in my heart. I know that part of being settled in a new place comes with time (it took us years to really be settled in Cochabamba), and that as we form deeper friendships with those around us we will be more settled, but I still have been longing for more now. More relationships, more depth, more meaning, more purpose.
And in the last few days I’ve been finding it. God has been revealing himself to my heart and is softening the shell that formed around it. He’s been opening my eyes to faults I have been blind to and is meeting me where I am. It seems like every time I have been reading books or in Bible study in the past week the idea that faith requires effort has come up. The idea challenged me to start putting forth an effort, but I have found that it is not nearly as difficult of an effort as I expected. Jesus wasn’t lying when he said that his “yoke is easy and his burden is light” (Matthew 11:30).
This song has been speaking to my heart lately. I found it through a friend.
And we have had “blog-worthy” activities happening in our apartment, the most exciting being the small group we have started with college student couples who are in serious relationships. We were a part of a similar group as students and when we heard that it had ended, knew that we wanted to mentor couples in that way. So far, we’ve met a few times and the group is still small, but there are a few more couples we hope will join in the near future. It has been fun to get to know them and to challenge them in their relationships with each other and with God.
We also had the opportunity to host the InterVarsity student leadership team for Pique Macho, and are excited that they have decided to send a group of MTU students to Cochabamba this summer. The details are still being worked out, but there may be 10-15 MTU students set loose in Bolivia for over a month! (Unfortunately, Hans and I aren’t going to make it… but maybe we can live vicariously through the students!)
Plus we’ve had a lot of family-related activities happening. Caleb and I have hosted friends in our apartment when Hans is working, and have become involved in a few different activities. My mom came to visit for a weekend when Hans was away, and I’ve been able to volunteer with the children’s Wednesday night ministry at Bethany. So while I am still settling into life in the States, there is a lot of life here for me to enjoy already. I’m thankful that God has been showing this to me.