09 January 2011

a thankful heart prepares the way

Wow. I can't believe we are really here at Pioneers' Candidate Orientation Program in Orlando, Florida! The past month has been a whirlwind of activity, but by God's grace and the generosity of our friends and family, we made it here!

Thanks to Matthew's saved up vacation time and amazing parents purchasing incredibly over-priced plane tickets, we were able to spend the past few days visiting with Matthew's brother and sister in law in Georgia while trying to adjust to Eastern Standard Time... I think the Indonesia time adjustment was easier! (but I was younger then and it wasn't right after a crazy new years' party!) We had a wonderful time visiting with them and seeing our nephew and niece. We were so blessed by their love and generosity and are so thankful to be a part of such a wonderful family!

Our flight to Florida from Georgia was... interesting... Because people were trying to fly ahead of a huge snow and ice storm that was coming into Georgia later this evening, the flight was overbooked and of course it was our seats that got bumped... There was supposably only one other flight to Orlando today and that would get us in to Orlando half an hour after the program started! One person volunteered to change their flight, so we decided that I should go on ahead so at least one of us could be there in time for the program. I went ahead to Atlanta leaving Matthew to try and get on one of the other connecting flights via standby. When I got to Atlanta, my plane to Orlando was delayed and Matthew was able to get on the standby flights so we actually arrived in Orlando at the same time, more than an hour before the program started! But since Matthew got bumped from his original flight, the airline gave him a compensation check! So God had a plan all along: 1) to teach me to TRUST HIM and not too worry so much and 2) to give us a little more money to cover our travel expenses for this week! He is so good!

So, our first night in Florida... we have already met some amazing missionaries and hopefully life-long friends and co-laborers! There is another couple in the program that have an interest in Indonesia, and we hope to connect more with them as the week progresses.

Our first interview is tomorrow afternoon, so we hope we can get enough rest this evening to wake up refreshed and clear-headed. The decision making team meets on Wednesday to prayerfully decide whether or not to offer us appointment as missionaries with Pioneers. So, if you feel a strong call to pray on Wednesday, that is why!

We are so excited to talk with other missionaries and to hear of all that God is doing around the world through His Church! I have been so blessed by the heart of Pioneers and their servant leadership! If you haven't checked out their website and read through their core values, I HIGHLY recommend it. You can find a link to their website on the left under the PARTNERS section.

Thank you dear friends for your prayers, encouragement, and financial gifts.

I will continue to update you as time allows, but please be patient, as our week is very full and my stamina has been very limited. Please pray for strength for both of us as our over-worked immune systems are adjusting to the new surroundings and our lack of sleep catches up with us.


  1. Hey friend, thanks for keeping us posted. I was resending my reference form and wanted to share this part with you. Get rest, stay encouraged and enjoy this part of the process. Love you.

    I have had the joy of knowing Erica for the past four years. I have grown to know her as a true servant, a powerful woman of God, a prayer warrior, and an individual that will simply sit and listen to the needs and dreams of those that are willing to share with her. She sees the passions that God has placed on the hearts of those around her and she shares in that burden, dreaming, crying, pursuing with us. Truly a servant, she seeks tangible ways to help others overcome the obstacles in their path. Still through all this, her heart is clear, she burns for the people of Indonesia, just as a homesick child yearning to go home, she waits, learning to be content in each moment and scene in which God places her, never ceasing to serve the world around her. I am so blessed to call her friend and I am so excited to see what God does through her when she finally gets home to Indonesia!

  2. Tristen:

    you have no idea how much it meant to me to get that from you today. THANK YOU!

    it's been a challenging day and my heart is in pieces as i am more homesick than ever for my beloved country. yearning to go be with my people, yet realizing daily how broken and frail I really am and how desperately i need God's work in my own life. how can i expect to be sent to preach the good news when i myself am not well emotionally, spiritually, physically and cannot manage my own affairs here in the states. yet God's grace abounds and is displayed through every person here.

    there is much work to do, but i believe we will be given opportunity to go on the field if we can persevere in prayer and continue to move forward despite the multitude of obstacles in our way. today i saw a small picture of how large and numerous those obstacles, and truthfully i was near the edge of giving up. thank you for reminding me why i am here and for your kind and encouraging words.

    please do not stop praying for us through this process. we are seeking God. i am learning to trust that He will answer us and provide us with a lamp for the next step in our path.

    "Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God." Hebrews 12:1-2

    Looking to Him,