Saturday, June 30, 2012

It's Saturday!!

Psalms 5:3 - In the morning, O LORD, You hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before You and wait in expectation.

It’s early Saturday morning and we are excited that meetings start at 8:30am instead of 8:00am.  O the gift of 30 more minutes of sleep!!  The picture above is just outside our dorm flat yesterday morning.  The surroundings are quiet and peaceful.  Our days have been full of meetings to prepare us for transition to another culture, understanding the students we will encounter, understanding ourselves, learning to leave, learning to adapt, and more.  It has been compared to “drinking from a fire hose”.  So much information to take in at one time, yet we are eager to return to learn more.  Between meetings, during meals, and the free time, we interact with those going all over the world, some for the first time and staff with over 100 years combined experience.  We try to soak in all we can!!

Behind the scenes of all this, Billy and I are negotiating an offer on our home!  We are cautiously excited.  The stress levels start to rise and we have to continually remind ourselves that our God is sovereign and in control of every detail of our lives. We must put our trust in Him alone.  And so as we wait, we continue to prepare to go.

As we have been learning to transition to other cultures, the chipmunk above reminds me that we are strangers to our surroundings even here.  Lydia was so excited to see the live chipmunks all around campus noting that at home we would only see them at the zoo.  Yes this is not Florida, we have no air-conditioning in our dorm flat which is even more apparent when we get home each evening and the temperature is over 80 degrees.  As I navigated the small grocery store last night, it was definitely not Publix.   And so I begin to think about how I will transition to our new home in Vienna.  The information and experiences from PFO will be invaluable as we move across the ocean. 

Ever grateful,
Ada (aka “Miss” Clair) 

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Caring enough to Learn...Learning enough to Care

Psalms 23 - The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.  H makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters.  He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name's sake.

It’s hard to believe it is already day 4 of PFO.  Yesterday we had our 1st full day of orientation.  There are missionaries here going to all continents of the world except Antarctica!  We explored what it would be like to visit a different culture through a role-play type game.   The teens joined us for this exercise and we got to experience visiting another culture as well as having someone from another culture visit us.  We are learning not to judge other cultures for their differences, but to take the time to care enough to learn about the culture.   The overall theme for PFO is “Caring enough to learn….Learning enough to care”.

The afternoon sessions were focused on our Myers-Briggs personality profiles.  We completed the questionnaire prior to coming to PFO and received our results yesterday.  Billy and I were surprised by our results and how they better help us understand ourselves and others.  We were able to have dinner with the session speaker and explore our results in a more personal way.

Mitchell and Lydia seem to be enjoying their classes.  They are in the 12-18 year old group with 15 other children.  They are making friends and enjoying the freedom of running around the college campus.  Mitchell has enjoyed playing soccer several evenings already!

While we are thankful to be away and have this time for God to allow us to rest and restore us, our hearts are heavy for family and friends who continue to face difficulties.  We found out yesterday several of our friends’ homes are flooded from tropical storm Debbie.  Also Billy’s cousins in Colorado are now back in their home, but the threat of fire is not over.  And then there are those facing cancer and other medical or life difficulties.  And so we pray knowing that our God is sovereign and in control!

Grateful to Him,
Ada (aka "Miss" Clair)

Sunday, June 24, 2012

We are at PFO!!!

Deuteronomy 31:6 - "Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because the LORD your God goes with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you"

I thought I would catch you up on where we are and what we have been up to this past week.  Father’s Day, we spent the morning sharing with Sunday school classes at Billy’s parent’s church, Hibernia Baptist.  How special it was to have Billy’s Dad, Erik, introduce us to all the classes!  We were so encouraged and humbled by the prayers of support.  We are so thankful for Billy’s parents and for their love and support as we follow God’s leading.

Early Monday morning, Lydia headed out to camp with our church to Cohutta Springs, Georgia and Mitchell went to hang out in Atlanta with his close friend Danny.  It was my official last day at Kindred.  Billy continues to work along with preparing to move to Vienna.
Thursday we loaded up the van and headed to Georgia to pick up Mitchell.  We were blessed to get a reservation at the camp where Lydia was staying for the night.  Friday morning we headed north for PFO.  We stayed in Columbus, Ohio that evening and drove the rest of the way to Houghton College, NY on Saturday. Needless to say we were a little tired of riding and were grateful for a little down time before our meetings started Sunday afternoon. 

Being at PFO makes our move to Vienna so much more of a reality.  We have met several of the other families that will be serving at our school and have instantly bonded with them.  It’s been fun sharing stories of how God has called each of our families to serve in Vienna.  We are looking forward to all God has planned for us the next 2 weeks.

Ada   (aka “Miss” Clair)

Saturday, June 16, 2012

46 Days to Vienna

Psalms 130:5 - I wait for the LORD, my soul does wait, and in His word do I hope.

School is out and summer has begun!!  We spent last weekend in Quincy at Nonnie's house (aka Peggy Mason, Ada's Mom).  Billy had the privilege of speaking at First Baptist Church in Quincy, the church I grew up in.  I was so proud of him and blessed we could share with so many people who had positively influenced my Christian walk.  

We returned to Middleburg for Lydia's final dance recital.  She had a wonderful year on the competition team!  The children and I traveled back to Quincy to visit with our Colorado cousins.  We enjoyed lots of swimming and a beautiful day at Wakulla Springs! We were so excited that our newest cousin arrived during our visit!!

Our time with family and friends is precious as the hard "good byes" begin.  As we prepare to leave for PFO (pre-field orientation) next week we move closer to the time to leave for Vienna.  We are excited for where the Lord has called us, but leaving the ones we love will be difficult.  We continue to pray for a smooth transition to Vienna as we wait on God's timing for the sell of our home.   We are grateful to the many financial supporters that He has provided for our ministry.  Our faith continues to grow as we trust God for His perfect plan and precise timing.

Ada (aka "Miss" Clair)

ps - If you are new to this blog and want to know more about us, check out "our story", button upper left.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Quick trip to Quincy

Jeremiah 29:11 - For I know the plans that I have for you, declares the LORD, give you a future and a hope.

Monday we celebrated Lydia's 6th grade promotion from Tynes elementary school.  Jamie (aka Billy's Mom, Judy Wiisanen) was able to be there with us.  Following the ceremony Lydia enjoyed lunch out with her sweet friends Hannah and Allison.

Later that evening I had the honor of speaking at the Women on Missions meeting at Antioch Baptist Church in Quincy, Florida.   This was my grandparents church for more than sixty year.  Several aunts and cousin were at the meeting. After a luau themed dinner, I shared about our calling to Vienna.  It was such a blessing to be with these women who have a heart for missions and faithfully pray for missionaries.

I was grateful God arranged this little trip to Quincy so I could be with Mom as we remembered Daddy's birthday on Monday and their anniversary on Tuesday.  His timing and plans are perfect to meet our needs!

Thankful for a safe trip home and very glad tomorrow is the last day of school!!!

Ada (aka "Miss" Clair)

Saturday, June 2, 2012


2 Corinthians 5:7 - for we walk by faith, not by sight.

As the countdown to Vienna begins, I thought it was a perfect time to start our family blog!  I know me and blogging in the same sentence is a little scary for some of you!!  But I'm going to give it a try, so be patient as this is a work in progress!!

We are scheduled to leave for Vienna on August 1st!   That's just 60 days away!!  Our future apartment building is pictured above.

School gets out next week!!  Woohoo!!!  We are looking forward to no homework or tests, sleeping late, and swimming! We hope to spend  time with friends and family before we leave.  Billy and I are scheduled to speak at several churches over the next few weeks.  Lydia will enjoy a week at camp while Mitchell spends time with a close friend.  We are thankful for the opportunities they will have to be with their friends and cousins before we leave.  Later in June, we will head to Pre-Field Orientation (PFO) at Houghton College in New York.

Our house in still on the market and we continue to pray for God's will and timing regarding the sell of our home. We are grateful our dogs have homes when we leave which is an answer to prayer and comfort especially to Lydia.   We continue to pack and try to figure out what to take and what to leave.  When we arrive in Vienna, we will have 16 bags with us on the plane!

I hope you will join us on this journey.  There is a lot that will happen over the next 2 months and we are looking forward to seeing how God takes care of all the details!!  So buckle up and enjoy the ride!

Ada (aka "Miss" Clair)