Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Babies Everywhere

They're multiplying. Oh my gosh. Seriously? Everyone is having babies. And second babies now! For the past twelve months I can't turn around without someone revealing new baby bumps and baby showers and babies. Don't get me wrong, I love babies and flock to 'oo' and 'ah' over infants. But seriously, I can't go a week without hearing someone's 'news'. Its quite annoying at this point. (In a weird way.)

I am thankful for Emily and Rebecca, my single teammates. Thank God for you! Because at least you won't get pregnant anytime soon. I can only spend so much time in the Baby section at Target buying cute clothes.

Note to self: you forgot to deliver the 4 month past due baby gift for Jada. Second note: you have three baby gifts yet to buy for Brogan, Riley, and Bella.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Eternally Priceless

My friends Justin & Amy are currently raising support to serve in Valladolid, Spain. They're part of a Short Cycle Church Planting team, as we are. The Rabys attended Candidate Orientation with Josh and I in January 2010; they have huge hearts for the lost and are incredible people. Would you consider challenging yourself to give to their Dollar Project for one month to help them with start up costs (visas, plane tickets, language school, and setup). Check it out here.

If you can't go, send someone.

Josh and I are also currently raising support for our own ministry to Italy. If you have questions about our ministry or would like to get involved, please feel free to email me!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

the team

I find it utterly amazing how connected I feel with my teammates after just two weeks. July 10th we didn't even know each other. Well, we knew Grayson and Eryn, and were so excited to see them, but we didn't know the others. I'd FaceBook stalked Rebecca. I'd have several short phone conversations with Emily. But we didn't know them. And we knew Michael and Renee were interested in Italy, but Josh and I both really thought they'd be assigned somewhere different because of their leadership potential and we knew their were teams that needed leaders sooner than we did. (Those teams are scheduled to leave before Italy IV.) Well, too bad for them because the Johnsons are ours! Ha.

How can you feel so close to people you just meant? Does it have something to do with our lives are all changed completely from now forward, entwined with each others for the next seven years. We're embarking on a journey together, faithfully following the path the Lord has laid before us. He's brought us together and given us a team that is truly special. (We all really like each other!) What am I going to do this week? Drive to Lincoln, NE where the closest team members live. Perhaps.

After spending so many months struggling to build relationships with those around me, I am finally making progress. Still though, in the back of my head I know that I'll only get this life for a couple of years before everything changes again. In meeting my team though, I am building relationships that will transcend my impending life change. They will go with me. I know my friends here will support me in the transition into full time ministry, they'll encourage me, pray for me, and tell me to just calm down. But I won't be able to sit with them and laugh on Wednesday nights or worship with them on Sunday mornings, eat at Chilis or play mafia. Life will change. I'm thankful to have relationships that won't be different two years from now. To have people in my life that I'll still be hugging when we're overseas. They're going with me.

Josh and I have been thanking the Lord all week for these wonderful people who have now formed our team. Its been amazing to be drawn together in the way that we have, describable only as magnetism; we've gelled so quickly, effortlessly, as skillfully made puzzle pieces. Each person brings unique qualities, gifts, strengths and personality; when one person is missing the void is felt. We're still learning about one another, and we know there will be conflict along the way, but I'm so thankful for the amazing blessing we've been given in our team. We bonded so quickly; I know I have been blessed so greatly to have these people join Josh and I on our path to Rome.

And so it begins.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Big Event

Tomorrow night will be awesome! 20 individuals will be appointed as missionaries serving with Avant! They are all such remarkable people, with stories and lives to share with the world. I'm so thankful just to be a small part of it.

Twenty people going to Bolivia, Spain, Central Asia, France, Senegal, Portugal, and.....ITALY! I can't help but be a bit more excited about the Italy appointees. Its not that I don't love them all, they are amazing people. But I am biased for my Italy team.

I don't know what I'll do after we say good bye tomorrow night. My home will feel as if something's missing.

Note: I'll cry and spend a decent amount of time stalking them on FaceBook.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Prayer Request

Friends, I have a personal prayer request for you all. Many of you know that Josh and I had listed our property in WI for sale, and that it went under contact earlier this summer. You may also know the property was hit by a tornado in late June. God has been working through the entire situation and has given us so much peace about all the decisions placed before us. We are scheduled to close July 31st!!!! If you think of it, would you be praying over this situation, that the next ten days go smoothly and are uneventful. Josh and I would greatly appreciate it. Also, the 31st will be the six year anniversary of my dad's visitation. While its not the actual day he died, its still sort of significant, and kind of a weird day to be selling the farm I inherited from him. I'd just appreciate any prayers. Thank you all.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

I Dream of My Team

And I have very specific dreams.

I dream that we'll be a Real team.
That we will love each other the way Christ has called us to.
That we will support each other fully through the hard times we know are coming.
That we would handle conflicts as we have been trained to.
That we can raise support as a team and share this burden.
That we can maintain the unity we have now, both in deployment and team dynamics.
That we will be vulnerable when we're struggling.
That we provide an environment conducive to vulnerability.
That we carry each others burdens.
That the people around us can see we have something special and desire it for themselves.
That we encourage each other in our various gifts and grow alongside each other.
That we celebrate each others victories.
That the way we live, communicate, and work together is a testament of our faith visible to the Italians.

I want a Real, genuine team. I cannot think of a better atmosphere in which to set out to plant an Italian church. I know there will be struggles, but if we can be Real with each other than I have no doubt we'll thrive throughout the hard times - And be better for them. If we can't be a real team, we are not going to succeed in our purpose.

I just want realness. Its so vital. I've seen the product of the opposite so many times. People who were once on fire and passionate about sharing the Gospel overseas are broken and defeated, hurt so deeply. So many times the people who are supposed to be your friends are those that cause the deepest scars on a person's heart. I believe if you can be real, open, honest, transparent, so much pain could be avoided. I pray that our team has the courage to always be Real with one another.

We need to be real. For each other and for the Italians.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Nothing Worse Than Regret

So many times in my life, I've felt the nudge to share Christ and I just...haven't. Something, be it fear, anxiety, lack of confidence, has prevented me from sharing my faith. That being said, there is nothing worse than not sharing and have it be too late. So many times we wait, maybe tomorrow. But do you forget, there may not be tomorrow. People are dying everyday without knowing the redeeming love of Christ. Dying without relationship with Him. People are dying and going to Hell. Every day. All around us. Dying. Did I do all I could?

My dad died when I was sixteen. I was a Christian and had been for over five years. He wasn't. I walked with Christ and did everything I could to show my life as a testimony of Christ's love. But I could have done SO much more. I could have been more vocal. I should have been on my knees every night. I wasn't. And now its too late.

Tomorrow may not be an option. We're in this comfortable American rut, forgetting about the death and hopelessness that is everywhere around us. Its not okay. You might not get a tomorrow. Don't let it be too late.

People are dying.


I cannot wait until its official. When we can officially say we are Team Italy IV. I am so shocked with myself, how quickly I've bonded with these people. It's very out of my norm. But they feel like family. There are four other women on the team, and I love each one of them. And I love the kids, Caleb and Faith. Seriously.

Friday, July 16, 2010

This Is the Life

Lately, so much of my life is spent going here or there. I'm always on the move - I very much enjoy this part of life most of the time, however I'm getting to the point where I don't know how to go home and 'be home' for the evening. I'm relishing time with our teammates, and want to spend every possible minute with them. Once they leave though, and go their various ways, I am looking forward to spending an evening at home. Maybe I'll even cook dinner. I think its been about three weeks since I actually cooked a meal. Yuck. My body is craving vegetables. Strange I know. I'd like to go several days without meat. For now, while the team is in town training, life will remain full and exciting. I wouldn't have it any other way.

Buca de Beppo tonight! I am So very excited for this!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Jigsaw Puzzle

Only God could orchestrate something this amazing. Only He could bring together people from different backgrounds, ages, life stages, and areas - and from this form a complete team which displays a balanced variety of gifts and abilities needed to minister and plant a church overseas. This is God's hand. We can be confident in that, because there is no other explanation. You can almost see His hand its so obvious. Seeing all this come together, watching it unfold before my very eyes, gives me complete confidence that we have followed His plan and not just our own desires. It is a puzzle and we're all these random pieces, but with God's direction, the beautiful painting is complete.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010



Aren't personality tests fun!? I think mine are hilarious, because they're dead on. I'm an Assertive, Expressive Introvert! HA! So So true, absolutely. I love it. I thought I'd just list some words that have recently been used to describe me - by myself and those I work with.

:) Caffeine Dependent

A coworker said about me "I don't think I've ever once thought, I wonder what Meghan thinks about that? Nope, never." I share my thoughts and opinions. I process a lot through words, through either talking about something, even if I'm talking in circles, or writing about it. In a lot of situations I wear my heart on my sleeve. (Though, there are parts of me you won't ever see unless we're VERY close.) The heart on the sleeve personality only applies to certain parts of my life. But in so many areas I don't desire to keep my thoughts to myself. I express my opinion. I don't even necesarrily need you to agree or listen or whatever, I just make my thoughts known. Expressive. Shocker.

I'm passionate about missions and equally passionate about helping others get to the field. I love my job. I love the people I'm surrounded with, especially during this time of year. If there's one thing I will never be shy about, its that I think you have a role to play in worldwide missions. (In fact, I KNOW, because the Bible says so.) :)

So there's just a little of my personality. You probably all knew that anyway.

Thanks for reading.

Monday, July 12, 2010

My Candidates

I feel like all our COP candidates are my babies. Almost like I raised them. For a few of them Josh and I were there first contact with Avant. I've spent hours on the four and typed dozens of emails answering questions, encouraging, praying for, and nurturing - praying all the while that if God Avant was part of the plan for their lives, that I would have the right words to say. These 20 candidates have taken such huge steps of faith to be here for orientation. I have dedicated time and energy to each of them. Now, some candidates come from Joint Venture churches so Josh and I didn't recruit them. And a few people were planning on joining Avant before Josh started in Recruitment. But still, I've held their app. in my desk and knew of them for over a year. I feel like they're my little babies and their moving off to college. In a year or so they'll get a new job and move across the globe. (Literally, West Africa, Central Asia, France, Italy, Estonia, Spain, Bolivia.) I'm like a proud momma. I feel like I have a bond with each of them already. I've heard their stories. I probably know more about several of them than they'd prefer. Avant is like a family, and their part of it. It's so wonderful meeting people that are like minded, that share our passions, our hearts for the lost, and are actually willing to do something about it. They're stepping off the cliff into the unknown world of deputation.

If you have a moment in the next few weeks, please pray for our candidates: that they would have discernment in where the Lord would have them serve, that their future supporters would have open hearts, that they would be encouraged by their time in Kansas City.

Rick & Corrie (Blake, Abigayle, Emerie), Steve & Brenda (Isaac, Andrew), Chantelle, Tim & Joanna, Darren & Rachel (Evan), David, Emily, Michael & Renee (Caleb, Faith), Al & Michelle (Abigail, Owen), Grayson & Eryn, Lauren, Abbey, and Rebecca.

I love each and every one of them. And I'll miss them all.


Team Italy IV is headed to Rome in 2012. Projected departure is the third quarter. Hopefully. Prayerfully. When God spoke Italy in our hearts a little over six months ago, we knew it was His voice speaking. I had never in my life wanted to minister in Europe, much less Italy. Our teammates Grayson and Eryn had been planning on serving in Thailand until late December. The four of us have never been to Italy. In the time since meeting with Grayson and Eryn, Rebecca confirmed that she would join that team, barring approval from Avant staff. Emily followed suit a couple months later.

And now here we are. The six of us are together. Our team is not complete. We still need team a team leader. God still has a few pieces of the puzzle in His hand. Luckily, there are many gifted candidates who might fit the bill. God will direct the steps. He will bring to Italy IV the people He has called to that team. He will close doors and lead people in other directions if they could be powerful tools to others teams. He knows how these teams will come together: not only Italy, but also Estonia, France III, Azerbaijan, Tanzania, and Mali. We trust in Him. His plan is best. Though we may have our own hopes, dreams, opinions, and desires - He knows what's best, for us, and for the advancement of His gospel.

In His timing, we will see Team Italy IV. In His timing we will make it to a suburb of Rome.


I Love This Life

There are two reasons I love my job: encouraging people to pursue missions, and seeing them take that huge step of faith and actually do it. If I couldn't be a part of our Candidate Orientation Program I would not do this job. Seriously. But this, these two weeks when the candidates come together and share their life, stories, ministry, passion, and aspirations - this is it. I love it. Last night we went to dinner with ten of the candidates and LOVED it. The group ended up being divided into two tables; somehow it happened that team Italy IV was at one table with everyone else at the other. I sat surrounded by my future teammates for the first time. We talked easily, and laughed often. I am excited to grow with these people over the next two years. Our team has formed easily, as if God's putting the pieces of the puzzle together Himself. As a team, we're still waiting for the 'team leader couple' piece of the puzzle. But, we know that God will provide His chosen couple in His timing. For now, I'm just excited that they're here! And more than the Italy team, all the candidates have amazing stories to tell. their hearts for the lost are exploding with excitement to dive into this missionary life head first. I remember feeling that excitement for deputation six months ago. The excitement is contagious. Hopefully, Josh and I will be re-energized by having them all here.

I am a part of the puzzle that helps these people get to the field. God is using me, in this small way, to prepare them. I may not have a significant role, but the every piece of the puzzle is needed. I'm here to minister to them, to encourage them, to answer and question and dissuade doubt. I love having these new missionaries around. They're in Kansas City for two weeks, I'm going to soak in every minute.

Saturday, July 10, 2010


I kind of want to move. Restless. I wouldn't even need to move far away...just down the street would be fine. Then I could deep clean my apartment. I could go through all our 'stuff' and purge. Organize. Declutter. Become a little more mobile.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Diet Coke

I'm home safe and sound. And drinking Diet Coke by the 32 oz glass. Josh says my eyes are a little crazy, which is due to the 1804 things I need to get done by 8 a.m. Monday. I have no expectations of the weekend, except for my date with an electric hole punch and a Grey's marathon. Yes, this is my life the week before COP. I secretly love it. The rush of things to accomplish. The pressure to do it all exceptionally well. The last minute details that I have no control over (which make them last minute!) but am still responsible for. I love it.

And new candidates arrive on Sunday. These people I've been communicating with for six months - we'll finally meet. Even though its crazy, I love it. Because its part of people taking the step of faith into overseas missions. Their excitement is contagious. They have new life and energy, excitement for all that is missions. Even support raising. They're overflowing and I do my best to soak it all in. That, and answer their million and one questions: some of which are off the wall, some very detailed, some broad with no real way to answer. This is why I love my job.

I'm off to QT for more Diet Coke. And when I say Diet Coke, I mean diet pepsi. But Diet Coke is way cooler to say.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Extended Vacay

I've already extended my trip once; was supposed to fly home this morning, but I sweet talked my hubby into changing my flight until tomorrow.

Any suggestions on how I can further delay my return to the Midwest are most welcome.


Just. Be. Real.

I will be the first to say that I've had walls around my heart at different points in my life. They were there for a reason. I built them high and strong, and it was not a feat to be undertaken by weak men. I maintained these walls. And even if someone managed to scale the walls, few were allowed to remain.

It was a lot of work. For a time I was okay with that.

But it is so freeing to just be real. Free from pressures, expectations, and being analyzed. To just be myself and not second guess everything. So much of my frustrations over the last month have stemmed from an inability to be real. At the time though, I didn't know that I was missing it.

That's what it feels like around these people. This is such freeing environment. I crave people that I can be real with.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Wanted: Quiet

I have so many thoughts running around in my head, but when I voice them, they sound all jumbled and don't make sense. My thoughts don't lead anywhere. I'm finally processing the past month, in this new place, but I haven't come to any conclusion. So, I can't really tell you what I'm thinking because I don't know.

I do know that God has a plan. I sort of think He has seven plans but hasn't decided yet, because it seems like everything is contradictory and doesn't make sense. In some ways I feel disconnected.

I do know that yesterday seemed perfect, but tonight I was uncomfortable. Maybe it was the processing. I have this weird emotion in my stomach that I can't describe. I'd rather have this emotion that none, but I don't really know what it is. And its weird.

Ash and I talked for hours today, mostly at lunch but then throughout the day. Lunch was so good. Just talking, catching up on her life. Sometimes I feel like when you go to visit someone they feel the need to constantly entertain you. Which is fine and fun and all, but part of me is like, I didn't really come here to see Phoenix. I came here to see Ash and Mike and Dez and their church.

My friends here are Real. And I love it. Everyone once in a while, I'll remember something I said earlier and I'll wonder if I'm really comfortable with as much as I said. (Like, Did I really want to share that much info? That was kind of personal.) But I can be transparent here. I can just tell the truth with these people and they'll do the same with me. Its so refreshing. The only reason I have those delayed thoughts is because I can't be transparent like that in Kansas City. I tried, but it everyone was just uncomfortable with that. No body wants to see that next level. How are we supposed to live life together if we can't even ask the questions were thinking in our head? If we can't voice our thoughts, concerns, questions. How can we truly know one another? If we don't have the freedom to ask (& respond) when we don't understand. Its like there's this line and going deeper is not permitted. We preach vulnerability, but we don't experience it.

I have no idea what God is up to, except that I can feel something coming. I feel like He's getting ready to do something, and maybe He's just been getting my attention. I can feel it in that deep pit of my stomach.

Last thought: I feel like I don't even know what to pray for right now. I don't know what God has in store. I don't know where this is all going. I mean, I always pray for His will to be accomplished in our life, but you know that really gets kind of boring to pray for. I guess maybe I just want some specifics.

Thursday, July 1, 2010


I'm finally here...after spending several months hoping I would come. (I know, that's not quite long enough to merit a 'finally.') Some of my favorite people in the world live here. My very favorite people aside from my family. Nights like this make me wish I was better at sustaining relationships. Communication is so easy in today's world. Texting. Skype. Email. Facebook.

These people are world changers. Having given their lives completely to fulfilling His mission, they're here.

Here's to Phoenix.