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



Tuesday, January 17, 2017

The Kiddos Say Hello

As promised...

A quick hello from the Smith kids, as they talk about their first impressions of Foundation School and what they hope to do/see during YWAM Family DTS.


If you have any questions for any of the kids, please post them in the comments! They will be answering questions via blog and video over the next few weeks :)





Aloha!




Saturday, January 14, 2017

Aloha!

Aloha!

We have a big announcement!
(Nope. No baby. Not this time.)

We are so excited to announce that we have been accepted into YWAM Family DTS (that's Youth with a Mission Family Discipleship Training School) for April 2017.

In a few short months we will be saying goodbye (temporarily) to chilly North Idaho and hello to a spring and summer (20+ weeks!) filled with knowing God and making God known. We are currently in the process of selling the field to obtain the treasure--- aka purging everything we own--- as well as doing what we can to prepare emotionally and spiritually to leap out into the unknown (leaping is the only way we roll, as you may know).

Our DTS will consist of 12 weeks of on-site training in Kona, Hawaii and then 8 weeks of international missions and outreach work in a yet unknown location.

While Nik and I are in class every day, Jordan, Zoe and Xander will be attending Foundation School- their own little mini DTS where they will be learning everything we are in kid-friendly formatting. Silas and Rachael-Ann will be terrorizing bonding with their older cousin who is coming with us as our nanny.

Once a week while in Hawaii we will have family outreach time, in addition to family worship time every Tuesday morning and all-campus worship during the week.

We are so excited about what God is going to do to us and through us during this crazy adventure. As always, your prayers are wanted and appreciated!


Goodbye snow suits, hello swim suits!


While Nik and I may be updating periodically, The Smith Kiddos have graciously agreed to be our go-to bloggers/vloggers and Instagrammers during our preparation phase and the DTS itself. Follow the blog and find us on Instagram (OutnumberedSmiths) to make sure you're updated on on their continental and island-bound antics.

Stay tuned from a special message from the kiddos, coming soon :)

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Meet the Smiths!

Hello all!

We would love to introduce ourselves.

We are the Smiths.

There are 7 of us.

This is us! Nik and Beka (the big people), Xander, Rachael-Ann, Silas, Jordan and Zoe (the little people).

We have our hands full, we are outnumbered, we are busy and chaotic, and we love *almost* every minute of it. Not so much the 3am minutes. Or the throw the bowl of spaghetti as a form of social protest against pasta night minutes. But other than THOSE...

Our home base is beautiful, breathtaking North Idaho. We were blessed to be called up here by the Lord in March of 2014. Our wonderful kids are ages almost 7 (Jordan), 5 1/2 (Zoe), almost 4 (Xander), 2 1/2 (Silas) and 1 1/2 (Rachael-Ann... our "Native" Idahoan). For those of you keeping track, that's 5 kids under 7. They are a grand total of 53 months apart from first to last.


We have been married for almost 10 years (!!! What???) Nik works as a roller coaster mechanic for a local theme park and Beka is a stay at home ninja-mom ;)

This last year our family "mission" verse was SEEK:

"Seek the kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and He will give you everything you need." 
-Matthew 6:33

My friends, ask and you shall receive. We have spent the last year on a crazy roller coaster of God revealing and pruning and revealing some more. We have started to learn what it means that God's ways are not our ways and God's plans are not our plans. Our eyes have been open to things we never knew existed. Our hearts have been touched (stabbed) by the hurt and injustice and need in the world and moved by the amazing gift that is God calling US (yes, US--- you, me, everyone) to be his hands and feet in loving the people His heart is after. 

It is fitting that the verse the Lord has put on our hearts the past few months is Micah 6:8


"He has told you, O man, what is good;

    and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
    and to walk humbly with your God?"

Come along with us on our latest step in this thousand mile walk... I promise, it will be an adventure :)