Saturday, April 28, 2012

Our First Itineration Service

We are excited and privileged to have been granted the opportunity to share at Cornerstone Assembly of God in Oxford, CT tomorrow. This will mark our first service we've taken as approved Missionary Associates. We were initially expecting the first to be in our own backyard, Oxford, MA (heading there next month). But it seems that God had other plans as Cornerstone invited us to come this week. It was one of those God-incidences we love so dearly. As such, we look forward to discovering what God has in store for us and for the people of the church.

We also look forward to seeing our friends Joseph (associate pastor) & Holly Lear. Actually, to be completely honest, one of the things that has us feeling incredibly blessed as we've set up some services already is that we have connections with many of the pastors and churches in the Southern New England Ministry Network. We will have many services where we will be happy to see friends. I've been known to be a social person so this is also a plus. As part of my love for connecting with people though, I also look forward to meeting many new people tomorrow. We feel humbled and honored that we get the privilege of meeting so many amazing people on our journey.

Well, I need to work on preparation for tomorrow's sermon and such. Please join us in prayer that we will be usable vessels tomorrow and that God's presence would be so apparent during the service. Please pray that the church will be blessed!


Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The "Table"

As I mentioned in our last blog post, we were kept quite busy for a couple of weeks in anticipation of our first official promotional event this past Saturday. I gave a little insight into the formation of our promotional packets, but now I want to give a little insight into the other main component: the table display.

If you say "table" to a missionary, they immediately know what you mean. For those of you who aren't missionaries and don't get the reference, I'll explain it a little. It is quite similar to a booth at a convention. It is standard practice for missionaries to create a table display to showcase/promote the mission they will be partaking in. Like many other things in life, there is no blueprint or right way/wrong way to do it. In some ways that's nice, but in some ways that makes it harder.

As I mentioned in the last post, Polly took the lead on the table. She is better than I am at things which are cosmetic or visual so it made since for her to take control of it. I helped her in figuring out what types of things we wanted to have for our table and the general layout, but she did the laborious work of getting the items and putting it all together. To be honest, I think that putting together a table the first time has got to be the hardest. I mean, missionaries who have already been on the field to a particular country/region have the advantage of having pictures and items that are unique to that area. Polly and I had nothing Costa Rican prior to this so we were literally starting from scratch. This meant that we had some shopping to do.

Polly went to Christmas Tree Shop and picked up a coffee mug, some candy dishes, a place mat to go under the dishes and a basket for our promotional packets. She went to Target and got a brown tablecloth. At Walmart, she picked up a couple of foam boards and a small foam tri-fold board. Then, I did what I do best. I went online to Amazon and bought a bag of Costa Rican coffee, a small globe, a map of Central America and a Costa Rican flag. I couldn't help but think about missionaries who served before the era of the internet. I wonder how they got stuff for their table. I'm sure they did okay for themselves, but it must have been more difficult then.

Quick side note: The cool thing about buying stuff on Amazon is that I'm an Amazon Prime member. Here's a hint for any online shoppers out there. I never paid for that membership. While we were still pregnant with Genevieve, I signed up for Amazon Mom (anyone can sign up for it, not only parents). Amazon Mom is (or at least it was) free and comes with a free year of Prime. But many purchases we make on Amazon extend that free Prime membership a set amount of time each time. What's the advantage of Prime? Free two-day shipping. In fact, we typically receive our orders the day after we make the purchase. And all this from the comfort of my sofa.

Anyway, we printed out a few things and put the whole thing together last Friday night (Polly did most of the work on this then too). While at the event on Saturday, we took notice of other missionaries' tables to look for possible ideas. It quickly became evident to us that each table display  took on the personality of its creator. Polly and I are similar in our personalities when it comes to these things. We both like things to be clean, neat, uncluttered, organized, coordinated, etc. Our table reflected our personalities. Maybe that's why we decided that we like our table just as it is. It was definitely worth the effort.

If you have any questions/comments, please feel free to leave them here, email us at or hit us up on Facebook. If you would like to find out more about supporting us, please click on the "Partner" tab at the top of the page.

God bless,


Monday, April 16, 2012

That Was Easy

As I mentioned in our last blog post, we have been quite busy lately. More specifically, we were very busy for about two weeks while we were working on getting our promotional materials and table setup ready for itineration. The initial prep work or leg work or whatever you prefer to call it is always the toughest in life. You start from nothing to produce something. That's where we're currently at. Considering we just received final approval last Friday and have not officially made a dent in our budget yet (though we do already have some generous friends and family in line to get the ball rolling for us very soon with regard to support), it should not come as a surprise that we're still doing the laborious work at the beginning of this process. Polly and I split up the tasks. I focused mainly on the promotional packet and she focused mainly on the table setup. Genevieve focused on looking ridiculously cute. She's very good at that.

After finally finishing our ministry logo (which I shared in our last blog post), I got to work on the promotional packet. This included my letter to pastors/churches/friends, a mini-biography on our family, some country facts and the ministries we will potentially be involved with. Counting the cover, this was a 6-page document. In and of itself, 6 pages (a couple of which were very simple) is not all that significant at all. Anyone who has ever received an email or Facebook message from me or has read more than one of my blogs knows that I can create 6 pages worth of material without batting an eyelash. What made this a more difficult task was the fact that I wanted everything to be just right. I mean, let's face it, this is the means by which many will first hear about our missionary journey so it's important for it to be done well. This meant rewording and rewriting and reorganizing thoughts multiple times.

I finally completed the promotional packet on Friday. This put us a little into rush mode because we wanted to have a number of them available for distribution at our table on Saturday and still had other things to get done on Friday night. Initially we were also supposed to hang out with some friends on Friday night but their son got sick and they had to cancel. As disappointed as we were not to get to see them, this freed-up time proved valuable to us. We had a lot to get done.

In order to eliminate some of our workload, I called Staples to quote a price for printing 100 of our promotional packets. I figured they'd be a bit pricey, but thought that it might benefit us to suck up the cost this one time to alleviate some of the pressure. Once they gave me the $280 estimate, their slogan had a whole new meaning to me. Left with the decision of keeping the extra workload or spending a ridiculous amount of money to have it done for us, all I could think was, "That was easy! There was no way I would spend that kind of money on printing!" We printed on our friend's printer until it ran out of ink. We didn't end up with 100 packets, but we had enough and saved a bunch of money. (This reminds me, we need to buy more ink for our friend's printer, haha). I have a strong gut feeling that we will not be utilizing Staples' services too often in this process.

In the next blog post, I will go into a little more detail on the table setup which will include a helpful tip for general shoppers as well.

If you are interested in supporting us, we have added a "Partner" page at the top which gives some instruction on how this can be accomplished. If you have any questions/comments or would like to be added to our newsletter mailing list (for when we begin utilizing that mode of communication), please feel free to email us at

God bless,


Friday, April 13, 2012


Polly and I received an incredibly exciting email today. It contained the two words we had been waiting for: final approval. That's right, Polly and I have finally received our final approval as Assemblies of God World Missions (AGWM) Missionary Associates. What does this mean? We're official. And since we're official, we can officially begin the process of raising the funds we will need to get to Costa Rica (Our AGWM Acct # is 2713097 for those of you who had already been asking).

This news couldn't have come at a more opportune time for us as we will be having a table at Catalyst Boston at Christ the Rock Church in Dorchester, MA tomorrow. While praying that God would help us trust His will and timing, we were also hoping and praying that this approval would come in time for this event. Based on the information we received this past Wednesday, we were not too confident that this would be the case. We simply prayed that God would give us favor and either bless us with the approval or with the patience we needed to wait. We had no doubt that God was going to answer our prayers either way because God is good! Please pray that God will give us favoring in networking and connecting with the right people at the event tomorrow.

Speaking of the event tomorrow, we've been working pretty much all out for nearly the past two weeks to get our table display and promotional materials ready, which is why we haven't blogged in a while and also why this blog is short and coming so late in the day. We will share more detail about our approval and what we've been busy working on for the last couple weeks soon. We will also share some more detail on some potential ministry opening up for us in Costa Rica in the near future.

Below is the logo that we have created for ourselves. It's the outline of Costa Rica and features the colors and design of its flag: