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We have so much to be thankful for this season and just wanted to share some of it with you. =]
Jesus was born – God became man!! – to save us from our sins! There is no greater blessing than that! A chance at restored relationship and fellowship with the Creator!
We have been receiving a host of Christmas cards and it has just warmed our hearts and our home to see them hanging around our stockings. It is so wonderful to know that even though we are far away, people are still thinking of and praying for us!
Our landlord sent us a Christmas card, which totally knocked our socks off. (Did anyone else get Christmas cards from their landlords this year, too?) To top that off, he included a GROCERY GIFT CARD. The man we give money to every month…. gave us money… for food. Wow. So thankful.
And – we are thankful to be anticipating the welcoming of a child into our arms this coming year. God has blessed us with a healthy pregnancy with no complications whatsoever. What a God we serve!
How is God blessing you this season? We would love to rejoice with you! What blessings do you need this season? We would love to pray for you!
We’ve been in Bend for about a month now, and I was thinking it’d be a good idea to reflect on some things that have happened in our journey to this city that God has called us to. Remembrance is such a key Biblical concept; it is a tool of endurance, encouragement, unity, and gratitude. There were events that took place in the Bible where individuals like, Jacob, and Joshua, set up pillars or piles of stone to mark where God had done a work in an effort to help everyone remember. Human beings, we can be so forgetful- Israel’s problem was always that they forgot the greatness of God, and all that He had done. That’s still our problem to this day, we simply lose sight of great testaments in our own lives, lose heart, and grow cold. This applies to our relationship with Jesus, but it also applies to other relationships as well; marriage, family and friends are some good examples. All this being said, here is our pillar- here is us marking the land to remember the great ways that God spoke to us, showed us Himself, and opened up the way to follow His calling to Bend, Oregon. We write this that we may be encouraged and that we would give everything we have in what God has called us to.
1. I (David) had a vision, eyes open, while driving down the freeway with Danike. I saw “OREGON” and then an outline of what we later learned was the city of Bend.
2. God spoke to Danike after healing her ankle, “Feed my sheep.” After asking where, He replied, “Oregon.”
3. After praying for God’s continued guidance and confirmation, we searched over Google maps to see the region where God seemed to be calling us. God had used the number 3 prominently in our relationship as a symbol of our union with Him, and not simply each other. Danike began pointing out “three’s” on the map and as I was saying in my mind, “God, if there is another “Three” something I’m taking that as final confirmation that you really want us to go here,” Danike says, “look, Three Creeks Lake! And there aren’t even three creeks going into it!”
4. Speaking on the phone with my brother in-law, he had been wanting to share something with him that God had spoken concerning Danike and I- “Yeah, God told me you guys were going to move out west, where the waters meet.” We were already confirmed in what God was telling us we just hadn’t mentioned it to anyone yet.This was icing on the cake. By the way, this is the brother-in-law that God told I was going to be meeting Danike and that I would marry her before I even met her.
5. Danike and I got married and we knew that this whole moving to Oregon thing would happen sometime after we got married, we just didn’t know when. God opened up my mind January 2013 to understand that He already told us to go, and that we weren’t supposed to wait on a time. The parable He spoke to me was, “If a parent tells their child to go wash the dishes, should they ask, ‘when?’ ” We began to gather our “dishes” and set out to be moved by the end of the year.
6. I will summarize God providing for us in this point. At my work, the company went through major restructuring etc. The subcontractor job that I started in April 2010 after dropping out of College at the direction of Jesus, was supposed to end October 2010, and that group was supposed to be dismantled. Instead, I was hired on full-time with benefits. Then the restructuring began as I mentioned, and it looked like I was very well going to be losing my job. Instead, God opened up the door for me to still have my job even while working from Bend. Not only that, but I am now the only one in the running for an open position that would suit me better. This summer, Danike was able to work part time at a church in Dearborn which was a huge blessing. It was no coincidence that I received the general bulletin email twice since I did not read in the first time. It was also no coincidence that Danike and I leaving in October actually worked out really well for the church as they had someone coming in who they wanted to work that position in November. I was also able to work a second job mowing lawns- through this God showed His awesome provision when I emptied grass clippings into a garden and out came a 20 dollar bill. He really showed us that He was going to take care of us, and we had no idea how unending the possibilities were. That time was a blessed time of hard work, and God providing customers. It was also eye opening how ministry should really be in everything we do. Through this, I also built a relationship with one of my neighbors, who decided he wanted to buy Danike’s car (the same day that I had been stressing about when to sell the car, and if we’d even be able to get any money out of it). Lastly, but definitely not least, God placed it on peoples hearts to help us get to Bend. What an absolute blessing it is when people support what your doing- with prayer, finances, etc. It’s a really big encouragement to know your friends and family are behind you.
Some photos from our going away party:
Honestly, we could go on and on, but I think this is good. It’s great remember these things- to be truthful I was already encouraged just writing these out. What things have you forgotten about in your own life journey? Remember some encouraging things, write them down, reflect on them, and be refreshed.
Danike and I are currently figuring out exactly what God wants us as far as ministries go. We’re taking the rest of this year to build habits and such that will create an atmosphere in our lives that would be able to touch others. We will be kicking off Throw, Gather, Gaze in the beginning of next year and so we need to be closer to the Lord than we have ever been (the truth is everyday should feel this way). It has not been easy working on these habits- we are in a new place, our own home (we had been staying with my parents prior to moving), I’m working 5am-2pm. The excuses go on and on, but ultimately that’s all they are; excuses that we can give glory to the devil with by submitting to, or glory to God with by overcoming. We had a good time of praying together tonight, and I feel us breaking through a wall. We want to be so close to Jesus that we are so very in-tune with His heart to know exactly who we’re supposed to reach out to and how. We want to be able to pray deaf ears opened with no effort and want to feed the poor without ever running out. There is no purpose outside of Him, and this is what we need to realize more and more.
We will leave you with this; our posts for the remainder of this year are not going to be very exciting on the side of ministry, simply because we’re not there yet. As God speaks to us things to share, we will definitely do that. Please let us know how we can be praying for you. If you have any questions for us or wish we would give updates a certain way or on specific things, just let us know and we will try our best to meet your desires!
“God, I need you like a furnace needs wood to burn, and I need you like a river needs water to run.”
Hello! It was brought to my attention by my lovely mother that we haven’t updated our blog! (Thanks, mama!)
Just a quick note, then, because I am making this from my phone which is about to go the way of all the phones before it…
We are here! We have our own house! My piano is in it! It is a nice place. David says Bend reminds him of Lansing or Grand Rapids but it a more mountainy spread out way. We got here Monday afternoon and a group of people helped us unload. It took maybe half an hour! Such a blessing! Since then we have been unpacking, getting lost driving around Bend, and getting to know Pastor Mike and his wife Tami better.
We are holding off on pictures until we have everything in its proper place. Hopefully by friday we can introduce you to the Parvu Pad. 🙂
We love you!
Thanks to the help of Marcus, Paul, and some of my family, we were able to have almost everything done Wednesday night. However, there was still enough to do that when all was said and done and we had said all our many goodbyes (Europeans say goodbye several times before one actually leaves, I have learned over my few years.), it was nearly 3pm when we left Dearborn. We drove across the state on I-94 and then transferred onto I-80 somewhere either in Indiana or Illinois. (I wasn’t really paying attention.)
We drove farther than planned and ended up on the Iowa border last night. We will see where we end up tonight! Here are a few pictures!
It has been six hundred and twenty long days since God told us we would be going to Oregon. We have been waiting and finally it is upon us. Tomorrow we will strap that faithful blue Corolla to the back of a Penske truck and say “adieu to you, Michigan.” We will wave goodbye to our homeland, our familiar place, and head out west like the great pioneers; though, our steed will be metal and much bigger.
While it has only been 37,200 minutes, give or take, since God spoke this into motion, we have been waiting our whole lives for this chance to be a part of something greater than ourselves. I remember when I was 7 years old reading Esther and Ruth with my best friends Emily, Cecilia, and Kathleen and longing for the chance to say “where you go I’ll go” and “Here I am, send me” (I know that is Isaiah, not Esther or Ruth, but you know what I mean). I dreamt of distant shores, far off peoples, and dark places. I didn’t know that meant Oregon at the time, but now I have this itch that won’t go away.
Don’t get me wrong, I am scared. But, I am more scared of letting fear control me than of the move and all things involved. People keep telling us that God showed them that there will be people who hate us, that they’ll want us in prison. Or people shared visions they’ve seen of our house in Oregon:
The path leading to our house goes through a forest, all dark and unearthly-angular-and-misty… unbearably dark, but at the end of the path there is a house that is full of light pouring forth. A house that the darkness cannot touch.
Two people have described this to us two separate times.
You don’t have to go down a forest path to get to our house. However, Oregon is a very, very dark place spiritually. There is a lot of new-age mysticism and witchcraft. But our prayer is that we and our house would, as described, pour forth with unquenchable light.
A dear friend, Nancy, visited me at work yesterday and when I shared that imagery with her, she told me that she has been thinking a lot about the “God Who Dwells in Unapproachable Light.” Wow. What an encouragement – just that thought. God Who Dwells in Unapproachable Light. I don’t know how that is speaking to her, but to me – we might be planting ourselves in the middle of a war zone so pockmarked and blinded they don’t even know they are fighting or what against, but we are not going alone. We will never go anywhere alone. I mean, if God is for us, nothing can stand against us, after all (Romans 8:31)! We are bringing the God Who Dwells in Unapproachable Light and the darkness will not settle, because where Light is darkness cannot be.
And I will dwell on Him as we drive down I-80, supposedly the most boring drive in the nation (I’ve never seen an Iowan cornfield so I am still pretty excited). I will look out at the harvest and gaze upon the horizon towards which we will drive. And I will relish in this grand adventure, holding the hand of my love and feeling him hold mine right back.
Our move is just around the corner! There’s a combination of excitement, stress, amazement, etc. that is happening as we near a giant step in our lives of living for Jesus.
I’m going to keep this one short- it’s pretty late. Just know that we’re still on track and you will be seeing posts from Bend Oregon in no time.
In leaving, I ask you Christians out there….be bold in your faith, don’t live this life for yourself. God revealed to me a while ago that He shortened the years of man because we grow tired of living for Him and so took away some years of excuses. He’s looking for persevering passionate people who will love Him because He first loved us. People who will light the fire and not let it be smothered by inaction and disobedience. Jesus fills us with passion and grace, but to be stagnant and unwilling to listen is to willingly give that up. Don’t sacrifice His grace…life is difficult enough without it.
Not as short as I thought, but I pray Jesus encourages you with those words. Good night!
When we tell people that we’re moving to Oregon, there is usually a series of questions/answers that take place:
“God called us there!”
“What are you going to do?”
“We’re going to do what ever God tells us to do!”
“So you don’t have anything specific?”
There is absolutely nothing wrong with that- there needs to be a rise of people willing to just go and take the step that God is telling them to take. The doors will open up as you go in faith and I hope our journey is a testimony to that! That being said though, I am excited to say that I believe God has given us a strategy- it’s something He has been showing me over the course of a few years now, but I’ve just recently understood it more fully.
So ever since I started working for the company I work for now, whenever the clock struck 10:35, my eyes caught it, and it left a feeling of urgency inside of me. After over a year of this happening and asking for some insight from Jesus on what this meant, if anything, I figured I’d look in the Bible to see where “chapter 10 verse 35” occurred. The verse that hit my eyes with a rush of life was Hebrews 10:35-
35 Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward.
You can look at the context to see greater detail, but it speaks of Jesus coming back and how we need to be people who live by faith, and that those who aren’t living by faith have not had/will have no relationship with God. To me, this speaks to two things- the confidence I have in my faith of Jesus, and the confidence I have in what faith in Jesus does for others. Moving on…
The clock thing still continued to happen, and so I decided to see if there was more to it by looking into ancient Hebrew text and such, as numbers and letters often held significance and often related to each other. I looked into the ancient Hebrew alphabet and found the 10th, 3rd, and 5th letters and looked into their own individual characteristics. You can see in the pictures below of what I’m referring to specifically, and if you desire, you can click on the images to get a more in depth detail to each letter.
The 10th letter is “Yod”; As you can see, the earliest symbols of Yod were represented by an arm and hand. After doing some research I found that this can be interpreted to symbolize throwing, etc. It is also the smallest of the letters as you can see directly in the description below. Keep these things in mind.
The 3rd letter is “Gimmel”; The earliest symbol of Gimmel was a foot. After doing some research I found that this can be interpreted to symbolize walking, gathering, giving, etc.
Last but not least, the 5th letter is “Hey”; Earliest symbols were represented by a person with raised hands. I found that this can be taken as worship, gazing, beholding- essentially standing in awe of God.
Let’s summarize- 10-3-5, Yod-Gimmel-Hey, Throw-Gather-Gaze.
This was the “equation” or “format” that the Creator gave to me for telling people the Good News (or the Gospel; some might say, “for evangelism”). Throw+Gather=Gaze. To throw seed and spread the Good News, and to gather the ripe harvest and disciple tender plants, is to witness God at work- resulting in utter amazement, gazing upon the truth of Jesus and His Word. This isn’t calculus people! Doing the work of the Lord was ALWAYS meant to be easy! Jesus said, “My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.” -Matthew 11:30. He’s spoken parables thousands of years ago that have been recorded for us to learn from, speaking of seeds hitting different ground. He has told us of how the harvest is ripe and ready to be harvested. Should we not expect God to do great and wonderful things when we obey His commands, things that exceed our expectations? Well, that is what Danike and I are going to do. We are going to throw seed, gather the harvest, and gaze on what the Lord has done. In fact, He’s already done it; every good thing that is to come, has already been done.
Some weeks ago now, there was an individual at the house of prayer that Danike and I have been part of- he was speaking about how population has been growing exponentially, but eternally this population is not following suit. Our tactic to bring others to Jesus has been to be slow and gentle and not thought provoking, lest you be tested with tough questions. This doesn’t really work any more though, because people are dying all around us. It was some time after hearing this gentleman speak about this that Jesus spoke a directive to my heart. Danike and I are to go with Take Gather Gaze and bring it to the streets of Bend, Oregon- He spoke to me that we need to pray for 1,035 people within a 12 month period, planting seed and gathering the harvest in this manner. We will gaze upon what the Lord has done during this time, but we will especially look back after the 12 months and reflect on what has taken place. This will be a habit forming journey of reaching out to strangers in love and compassion. It will be a testimony to Christians all over who feel like they don’t know what to do or how to go reach people for Jesus. This will take place in 2014, as the first 3 months in our new place will be a time of establishing habits of prayer and worship, and simply spending time with God.
Some quick numbers:
1,035 people prayed for.. if 10% began living wholeheartedly for Jesus and took on their own Take Gather Grow, and prayed for 1,035 people each…107,122 people will have been prayed for. That is more than the population of Bend, Oregon people.
..if 25%…..267,806 people prayed for.
..if 50%…..535,612 people prayed for.
..if 75%…..803,418 people prayed for.
..if 100%…1,071,225 people prayed for. That’s more than a quarter of the population of Oregon.
yet, if 1% of the people we pray for gave their lives to Jesus, and live for Him…. that is 10 more people living lives to the fullest- no longer bound by chains of this life.
I debated whether we should share this with people openly, as I do not want people to think that we are trying to show off what we’re doing: in the end, if we have pride within us, the Holy Spirit will deal with us- but this is not something that is to be kept secret. People need to see how amazing obedience is- people need to understand that this life is for one thing and one thing only….and that is to worship the Lord in spirit and in truth; in faith and in works; in speech and in action. There are going to be trying times ahead for Danike and I, but oh how good it is to be tested and tried, that we might be found true in Jesus’ eyes. I hope that as we walk out this directive from God, that others would be encouraged to listen for God’s directives to them- to step out in faith and obedience.
The Lord bless you.
We encourage you to ask us any questions you might have, or let us know how we can be praying for you, or anything else!
-Rest and peace as we near our move date.
-Full obedience to do God’s work and not get lost in ourselves when we are in a new place etc.
-That packing would happen now and be done (for the most part) before our party on the 28th.
I noticed something yesterday. Three weeks and three days ago, David and I lost our precious baby. This breaks and bruises so many women (and men). My own mother is broken because of losing four children (three to miscarriage and one to severely premature birth). Even yesterday, I met a woman while working at Old Navy who lost a child two months ago. She was 12 weeks along, just like I was. We shared experiences, a kind of touching of hearts. Yet it was interesting – she told me that they had gotten past the grieving stage and are now feeling quite bitter. I… well, I don’t feel bitter. I feel set free from my pain and suffering. Just like the song by Rend Collective Experiment says:
You open horizons in my life
And cloudless hope
You defy the gravity in me
And give wings to
Christ has set me free
Christ has set me free
All hope has been released
O Christ has set me free
You have taught my future how to shine
All the colours of
You’ve given my soul the space to breathe
And discover what
It is to simply be
Look at that again – “You have taught my future how to shine / All the colours of / Eternity” That sums up how I feel.
As sad as I am that my attempts to console the hurting mother at my register last night were brushed off in pain, I am in awe of how blessed I am to have been given this amazing grace, to have the strength I need. Christ has set me free. Yes, I wish Peter were still coming in February but I am so thankful for the chance to try again and to grow in the meantime. I am so thankful for the hands that I hold – my Abba Father Daddy God and my Beloved David – and for the air that I breathe. I feel like I have learned to see colors much more vividly now and they are so beautiful. Even the colors of pain and suffering. It is all part of a grander picture.
And I am ever so deeply thankful.