come walk with us…

This week, our house church gathered in our apartment to fika (enjoy coffee and sweets), get to know each other better, pray for each other and discuss God’s grace found in Paul’s letter to the Galatians. We were blessed that 6 people came to learn about God and share life. This is the reason we are here and the heart of our ministry – to make followers of Jesus!

We’re in the midst of our concentrated week of Martin birthdays in November – Tony (17th), Gwen (19th) and Jiana (23rd). And oh yea…we woke up to a lovely snowfall that’s just incredibly beautiful.

2015-11-20 First Snow

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What a blessing to be able to attend United World Mission’s Euro Conference!!! It was a week of wonderful renewal!! For Tony and I, it was a great time of meeting our colleagues in other mission fields and hearing their stories; some old friends, others meeting for the first time face to face (vs Skype), and meeting many new ones!! My best highlight was the worship time each morning! We were blessed with a great worship team from Texas. It’s amazing how much deeper your worship is when you can worship in your mother tongue!! Tony loved being in the majestic Julian Alps in Slovenia. He’s seen them in almost every country they are in and they always take his breath away!! Jensina and Jiana totally enjoyed meeting the other Third Culture Teens, all the different activities they did each day, and the times to process about being a Third Culture Teen. We’re so thankful for those who traveled over from Texas to bless our girls! They are in school right now, but if I could ask them what their favorite thing was, I’m totally sure I would get different answers!! I think Jiana would say all of the activities they did and Jensina would say hanging out with the other teens and making new friends!! (But don’t hold me to that!!! LOL)

It would take a really loooong blog to share everything, so instead I’ll share through these pictures! I hope you enjoy them and don’t get too bored!!!

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It’s spring break for the girls and they’re wallpapering our home. So to get out of their way, we went to see the Ice Hotel – always wanted to do that but never did. They are celebrating their 25th year as the original Ice Hotel. It’s about 10 degrees colder inside than outside so it gave some of the pictures a misty effect.It was amazing and we all had a great time!!!!! Check out our slide show!!

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This has been an unusual week! They have started putting up wallpaper in our apartment and have now finished the kitchen, living room, and hall. Next week will be the bedrooms and then we’ll have a beautiful place to live!!! So tiring, but so excited!! So we couldn’t eat in our kitchen this week. Thank goodness for McDonald’s McMuffins!!! We ate breakfast at the most northern McDonald’s in Sweden every day!!

The northernmost McDonalds in Sweden!

The northernmost McDonald’s in Sweden!

Recycling, even at McDonalds! Before the 1st slot, they have a place to dump garbage. Then each slot is for a different type of trash and the last one is for the tray. We honestly haven't figured them all out!! Still trying to learn to be good Swedes!! LOL

Recycling, even at McDonald’s! We honestly haven’t figured all the slots out!! Still trying to learn to be good Swedes!! LOL

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Easter vacation started with a half day yesterday and goes till April 12 – a nice long time!!! So today, we’re trying a new mountain, Storklinten. This winter-spring weather has the snow very mushy while the mountain is like ice.

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Transition!

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Nice view out our living room to the balcony and then the grill place (brown structure)

Transition is the name of the game right now. After 8 months of being transients, we moved into our apartment on Feb. 28!! Woohoo!!!! It’s great to have so much help from friends!!! We’re not quite settled yet. The apartment needed a lot of fixing and we’re now in the final phase of wallpapering. Fortunately, the landlords arrange all of this. So hopefully, we’ll be all settled in by the end of April. It’s about 1/2 hour drive to take the kids to school, so we’re getting used to that also.

Our church is also going through a significant change of location right now. Please keep Kroskyrkan in prayer – change is never easy  for a church! And for us as it impacts our ministry as well.

The Swedes have a 5th season they call spring-winter!! It’s now, while we still have quite a bit of snow and ice, but the days are getting quite long, sunny, and warm!! And so, we are all about transition, leaving the cold, dark, insecurities behind and looking forward to a season of warmth, sunshine, and growth!! It reminds me (Gwen) of my life verse, Philippians 3:13 & 14 – “Brothers and sisters, I don’t consider that I have taken hold of it yet. But here is the one thing I do. I forget what is behind me. I push hard toward what is ahead of me. I push myself forward toward the goal to win the prize. God has appointed me to win it. The heavenly prize is Christ Jesus himself.”

And it continues to come!!! Enjoy your day!!!

 

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FINALLY…

after almost a year of looking, we have an apartment!!!! YAY!!!!! We can move in on March 1!!! It’s in Sävast, about 20 – 25 min drive from Luleå. So while it’s not exactly where we want it, it is exactly what we have been asking God for!!! It’s 3 bedrooms, so the girls can have their own rooms!!! It’s on the ground floor, rather large (95 m2/~1,000 ft2), good storage, 2 big walk in closets, and a car garage!!! Dear Jesus, thank you for opening up this door for us. Thank you for this perfect place for us to settle in. It’s not exactly where we want it, but we trust You that You are placing us where You want us to be. We trust that when you want us in Luleå, You will open the door for us to live there. In Jesus’ Name, Amen 🙂