Saturday, June 3, 2017

21 days to go!

In exactly 3 weeks we will be on a plane to the Philippines!

Visa applications are done, outreach meetings have begun, and we are learning to juggle and face paint :) It seems like a trivial thing, but if you have small children you know the giggles and joy that come from small acts of fun and sillyness.

We currently have $14000 of the $19000 needed for outreach, which means we are $5000 from our goal.

We would love it if you would consider financially supporting our family on this adventure in any way possible. Every dollar really does count.

Your contribution will help us and our children be able to spend 8 weeks serving and loving the people of Cagayan De Oro and Butuan and uplifting the local church in the Philippines. We will be doing one on one ministry to families in both communities as well as serving in the local churches as needed, helping out in orphanages, and doing whatever is needed by the people we meet. We are so excited to be able to share God's love through soccer games, piggy back rides, and sharing a cup of tea.

If you would like to contribute to our outreach:

Our PayPal address is
Mrthefishdude@yahoo.com

Or you can mail cash/check to:
Smith Family #208
75-5851 Kuakini Hwy
Kailua Kona, HI
96740


We love you all!
Be blessed and be a blessing!

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Outreach!!!

This is real life :)
We are so excited to announce that as the second part of our Family DTS we will be travelling to Mindanao Island in the Philippines for an 8 week missions/outreach trip! We leave at the end of June and will be there until Mid August. It is going to be a great time of love, service and adventure for our family. We are looking forward to our kids being able to play with the children in the Philippines and hug all the aunties and uncles and show them love (cultural lesson of the day: auntie and uncle is a sign of respect to elders, much like how we say "Miss" or "Mister" in America.) I am excited to be able to say "God loves you so much that he sent me here to show that love, no strings attached. Just because you are valuable to him."


Our team is 6 families: 12 adults and 17 children. Our kiddos are aged infant to 17, and we have families with 0, 2, 5, 4, and 5 kids. We represent America, Korea, Singapore, Burkina Faso, and Puerto Rico. We love our team members and are thrilled to be on this amazing adventure with them!

By the grace of God our Hawaii portion of our training has been paid in full. Through lots of prayer, selling things, generosity of my parents to allow us to live with them and save our mortgage money, and "doing everything possible", we had a beautiful zero balance by the time we arrived. Our outreach portion, however, is not.

As you can imagine, it is not cheap for a family of 7 to travel overseas for 2 months. I was hesitant to share the full amount (I don't really know why...), but we estimate that the cost is going to be around $20,000. As with ALL of YWAM (yep, even the doctors and lawyers), we are self-funded missionaries, which means we are responsible for raising the funds for our trip.
We would be honored if you, our friends and family, near or far, would consider financially supporting our journey in any way you can. Every dollar really does help, as does sharing our story with your friends, church, co-workers, etc.

If you would like to contribute financially, you can send money via PayPal to mrthefishdude@yahoo.com (It should come up as Nicholas Smith).

As always, even more than dollars, your prayers are coveted! We look forward to sharing the amazing things that are going to happen on this journey! Whether you are able to support us financially or not, we feel that we are bringing a part of each of you with us to the Philippines and are thankful for your love, support and prayers :)

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Who are you?

Hello from the tail end of Week 2 of Family DTS!

It... has been a week. A HARD week. A challenging, questioning, ugly crying, beautiful kind of week.

This week our theme was "Identity, Destiny, and Legacy." In foundation school, our big three learned all about how special they are because God created them and loves them. Jordan is memorizing Psalm 139:14: I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works, my soul knows it well." She made a little book all about herself and said she wants to be a Mommy when  she grows up, and wants to visit Venus and Star Wars.

To the hard stuff: What I really want to share with everyone is that we believe a lot of lies about ourselves. And about God. And about other people. Maybe they come from how we are raised, or something someone said about us once and we internalized it, or a way we were treated for years. Maybe we were being taught by people that just didn't know any better.

You are not who others say you are.

You are not the faults that other people put on you, the rejection others send your way, or the crappy things their actions imply.

You are valuable.
Your words have power and they need to be heard.
Your love is healing and it needs to be shared.
God speaks to you and it is enough.
You are HIS masterpiece.
The way you relate to others is unique and important.
The way you hear from the Lord is sufficient in the most complete and perfect way possible.
You have not been forgotten.
You are likeable.
You have not missed your boat.
You are not beyond repair.
You are able.
You are not the sum of your mistakes.
You are not a burden to God or to others.
You are the evidence of His grace, mercy, and love.
You are a VITAL piece of His creation.

YOU are loved. You ARE loved. You are LOVED.





Sunday, April 9, 2017

First Impressions

Hello from beautiful Kona, Hawaii!

I can't believe we are actually HERE. It seemed like it would never happen... I actually had myself convinced the plane was going to crash in the Pacific and I'd be evading smoke monsters and hiding from The Others for the next 3 years...

But we are here! It has been a crazy 3 days (which started with a 4 hour delay in Seattle, which led to us. Sing the VERY last of 600+ people to arrive) and my brain is TIRED. We start classes tomorrow but we've already met a bunch of people- including someone from Rathdrum. What the what? INW is representing at DTS this quarter!!

Some highlights: Jordan and Zoe have already met their best friends, and leave it to my little socialites to find girls from two different countries- Zoes BFF is from Canada, and Jordan's is from South Korea.
We made it to the beach today... it was 1/2 a mile of highway hiking, but we made it!
Hawaiian culture- I'm obsessed. I had to stop myself from stalking the islanders in a Walmart (yes, made it there too--- 3 mile hike round trip) and asking them to adopt me.
Everyone being so welcoming and friendly to our family.
Currently hearing 3 different languages being spoken outside my window (Korean, Norwegian, and English).
Being able to learn in-person from Lauren and Darlene Cunningham (the founders of YWAM)
Not having to prepare, cook, or clean up after a single meal. And the food is GOOD.
The three bigs loving their school (they had a half day Friday.) They didn't even want a weekend, they wanted more foundation school!!
Spending time with our awesome cousin/nanny.
So. Much. Jesus. :D

Love from all, to all!!!
Xoxoxo
The Smiths

Thursday, March 16, 2017

FAQs

Aloha again our friends!

We are T-Minus 3 weeks to saying goodbye (for now) to the INW and Aloha to beautiful Kona, Hawaii. Jordan and I decided it would be a good time to sit down and answer some of our most frequently asked questions for everyone, so here goes.

Where will you be staying?
Jordan: At an apartment in Hawaii.
Beka: We will be staying at the YWAM campus in Kona. Think university dorms/suites, but without the shared bathroom.

How long will you be gone?
Jordan: 3 months. Then I have no idea, but we're going to different countries!
Beka: We will be in Kona for 12 weeks of "classroom" training, and then 8 weeks of international outreach.

Where will you be going on outreach?
Beka: The short answer is, we don't know. The long answer is, our leaders have been and will be praying about outreach locations and then will let us know the options a few weeks in, at which time our family will get together and pray about it and then submit our list in order of preference, and then the leaders get together and select the final teams for each location. Some areas we know they have gone in the past: The Philippines, Uganda, Norway and the U.K., Mexico.

What about your house?
Jordan: People are renting it.

What will the kids be doing?
Jordan: We will be going to missions school. We will be learning about Jesus and eating cake. (Now she's begging me "please just erase that! Don't write that! Moooommmm!")
Beka: Jordan, Zoe and Xander will be in Foundation school where they will be learning the same stuff we are. Silas and Rachael will be with our nanny, Nik's cousin Kym. We will be doing family outreach once a week in Hawaii, as well as family worship with our school, all-campus worship, and family days every week with Foundation school.

Are you excited?
Zoe (who just walked in): Yep. Well... I'm just excited. Hawaii. HAWAII! The beach!
Jordan: Yeah, very excited! But a little nervous. I'm excited to see all the trees and giant snails, I'm excited about learning and going to lava tunnels. I'm hoping to do lots of worship, I expect God to do lots of miracles, like heal people and make them feel Jesus.
Zoe: I'm also excited about going to the school and making new friends.
Beka: Yes. We are excited. And ready. And also aware that with growth comes growing pains, so I guess it's fair to say my excitement is a little tempered by knowing that ;)

Was it expensive?
Beka: Yes. Hahaha. Relatively, no. But yes, getting 8 people to Hawaii and paying for room and board is not cheap. It has emptied our pockets and cost us more than everything we have. God has been so good to providein ways we never thought possible, and it has helped build our faith to trust Him to continue to provide for the rest of the costs coming up.  Just last night I felt the Lord telling me "It cost me everything I have to love you, it's ok if it costs you everything you have to follow me." I feel a lot of peace about selling everything to buy the field, so to speak (see Matthew 13:44).

What will you miss the most?
Jordan: Nonnie and Papa. And Rachael and my brothers and sisters when I'm at school.
Zoe: Nonnie and Papa, ok?
Xander: Nonnie and Papa and my friends.
Silas: Volcanoes! (He's got a one track mind. He heard Hawaii and went straight to volcanoes).
Beka: My parents, my friends and my church. And Paul Bunyan burgers!

What are you going to do after?
Beka: Again, the short answer is: we have no idea. I believe the Lord has a vision and a plan for us and am trusting that during this time of slowing down and spending extended time with him, He will reveal those things to us in a clear, distinct way which will allow us to really focus in a way we haven't been able to. But I have no idea what that will look like or what steps that will lead is to once we are done.

How can we pray for you?
Jordan: I would like you to pray that we would have a safe trip and that our trip is fun. I would like prayer for when we meet people that don't know Jesus to meet Jesus and know him.
Silas: For Jesus!
Xander: That everyone will be ok.
Beka: That Nik and I and the kids adjust well. That we are able to be honest and genuine with ourselves and others. That we keep the Lord and who he is as our focus always, and that we are able to remember the gifts are tools but giving glory to the giver is our ultimate and only purpose. That everything here in Idaho runs smoothly while we are gone.

If there is anything we didn't cover... feel free to ask!


Saturday, February 11, 2017

Fifty Five

Today marks 55 days until we leave for Hawaii.

I (We) want to take this time to ask you all for prayer. If you could write us down in your prayer journals, post a little post-it on your prayer walls, or just mentally scribble our names on your brain, we would so appreciate your prayers for the next 55 days. Specifically for finances (insert me singing "Money makes the world go round, the world go round, the world go round), the finances and travel arrangements for the other families enrolled in Family DTS, and for vision.

I could go on and on in a stream-of-consciousness rabbit hole about vision. I realized a few days ago when talking to my very dear friend that for the past 2 years the Lord has been revealing pieces of the puzzle. And I, in my impatience and eagerness and Peter-ness, have taken each piece and tried to run full-speed ahead of God to figure out exactly what it means and what he will have us doing.

If you didn't know, running ahead of God is not a good plan. Attempting to lead God is NOT A GOOD PLAN. There's a reason he wants us to stay behind the pillar of cloud and FOLLOW.

As is always the case, God has used even my need to plan (and scheme and imagine and PUSH) for my own good--- to learn humility, to learn patience, to learn discernment, to learn to control my tongue.

But more than that, I realized TODAY, is that each piece, each direction I wanted to run headlong towards, revealed a little bit more of the heart of the father that I hadn't seen or grasped before.

Social Justice. Homelessness. Reconciliation. Poverty. Racial Justice. Community. Reconciliation. Mercy. Sanctuary. Sabbath. Families. Reconciliation. International Missions. Urban Missions. Downward Mobility. Community Policing. Prison Ministry. Reconciliation. Orphan care. Church restructuring. Teenagers. Radical Hospitality. Reconciliation reconciliation reconciliation...

So over the past 2 years I have been so blessed (I see now) to see all these little pieces, all these BIG issues, that touch God's heart. And as I'm typing this I can see the common thread is RECONCILIATION. But now, in what I am hoping is our final few months of puzzle piece gathering, what we are really praying for and believing God for is clarity in OUR part of this grand vision of reconciliation that is Jesus and disciple making and being the hands and feet of Christ.

So all of that is a LONG way of saying--- please, when you think of us, pray for clarity of vision. My heart is strained in multiple directions each time the Lord opens up a small new peep hole into his heart to show me the places where people are hurting and in need of not just the love of, but the body of, their savior. I know we cannot be everywhere at once, and I do believe the time is coming quickly when we will get those last few pieces that make us say "Aha! That is the picture! That is where WE are needed!" I pray that we can recognize it when it comes to us and be content in the waiting and in the receiving.

It seems fitting to share with you on the start of this 55 day countdown a chapter from that life-transforming, brain-scrambling, priority-shifting, upside-down Kingdom building book we call the Bible. I hope it speaks to you the way it has spoken to me the past few weeks.

With love from all the crazy tribe,
Beka

Isaiah 55:
"Everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat. Yes, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Why do you spend money for what is not bread, and your wages for what does not satisfy? Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good. And let your soul delight itself in abundance. Incline your ear, and come to Me. Hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you-- the sure mercies of David.
Indeed I have given him as a witness to the people, a leader and commander for the people. Surely you shall call a nation you do not know, and nations who do not know you shall run to you, because of the LORD your GOD. And the Holy One of Israel; for He has glorified you."

Seek the LORD while He may be found, call upon Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the LORD, and He will have mercy on him; and to our GOD, for He will abundantly pardon.

"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways," says the LORD. "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.

For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, and do not return there, but water the earth, and make it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; it shall not return to Me void. But it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.

For you shall go out with joy, and be led out with peace; the mountains and the hills shall break for into singing before you, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. Instead of the thorn shall come up the cypress tree, and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree; and it shall be to the LORD for a name, for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off."

Friday, January 27, 2017

From the desk of Jordan...

Hi, my name is Jordan. I am nervous about moving. But also excited! We are moving to my grandpa and grandmas house. Today is moving day! We're packing up almost our whole house! And then, after a couple of months, we are going to Hawaii! I don't know how I'll feel about the weather-- I've always been in a place where it's really cold for a long time. The weather in Hawaii is super duper warm- warmer than Florida. And here its VERY snowy. But I can't wait to go to Hawaii and to go to my grandma and grandpa's house. I'll miss our old home.

I am nervous excited sad and happy all at the same time. But mostly I'm excited and sad. I'm sad because I'll miss this place a lot. I'll miss my friends, my neighborhood, the park and the house. And our dog. Kraut is going to stay with our house and the people who are renting it.

How would you feel if you were going to leave your home to move to Hawaii, or your grandma and grandpa's house?

Please pray for us for a good trip, and for self control.

I love you!

JoJo