Friday, December 18, 2009

20% by Christmas - Goal Marker Number 1

The last two months has seen some great surprises in the support-raising endeavor. We've had some new people come on board, and some people who are making decisions to do so. This means that we are getting closer to reaching our 1st Stage goal of 20% by Christmas. With money regularly coming in and money foreseen we are just above 15%. To make our goal will by Christmas will be tight, but we've been so encouraged by the developments.

We have been very encouraged by future support from a couple of churches, and while monthly pledges may not come in by Christmas it is very encouraging nonetheless.

This is a difficult time for many of our supporters financially, and while we have this quantitative financial goal, we also are working to drum up prayer support. A number of faithful friends and family have committed to praying for us on a regular basis, and having that support is crucial.

We are very excited to be in this process, which can be faith strengthening to say the least. We've seen God's provision both for our needs now and for our mission.

We'd love to have 3 more people/families commit to praying for us weekly, and we'd love to see the remaining 5% of our support goal by Christmas come in.

Please email us and let us know how we might be able to pray for you as well.

Lastly if you are willing, please download our BenefitBar application. For every sponsored click from a search, we get 10 cents absolutely free to our supporters. All it costs is time, and is a good way to support us financially when times are tight and an excellent way to supplement support as well. The BeniBar can be downloaded here: http://www.benefitbar.com/benefitbar/subscribe/toolbar.php?toolbarId=2715

Come Join the Book-Satterlee Clicker’s Club, and click 20 times a week. $2.00 in supplemental support goes a long way!

Blessings and Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Holidays, Family and Friends...

Over the past month Eliana has begun to meet some of our friends and also some of her family that lives further away, here are some of the pics....


Aunt Katie

Leah's College Roommates, the "P" Girls
                                          

Hanging with Grandma JoyCousin JackYouth Group
Great Grandpa RayCousins!

Protesting being dressed in a stocking!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Being Thankful

We have so much to be thankful for as we close out this year.  While not everything has been joyous or easy, the blessings have outweighed the not-so-blessings.

Things We Are Thankful For:
ELIANA ANAI BOOK-SATTERLEE - our incredibly beautiful little girl.  We are thankful that she is healthy and growing.  Her smile brights up a room.  She is evidence of God's incredible gifts and grace.

Place to Stay - thanks to Lillian, Dan and Lawrence.  We are thankful for family who has taken us in and the many family and friends who would also be willing to do so if there had been a need.  We're blessed to be able to pursue our calling as intensly as we are able thanks to this blessing.

Spiritual Growth - lifegroup, new friends, connections with old friends.  We have been blessed this year to keep up with friends and family across the world, each of you has helped us to grow spiritually and fortify our continued running towards our call.  We are blessed by our Marrieds lifegroup and those who help pour into our marriage and family on a weekly basis.

Support - we're moving on up.  We have a goal to be at 20% of needed funds by Christmas.  While this goal seemed a bit tough, we've been moving closer and closer and it isn't even Thanksgiving yet.  We're so blessed by the generosity.  Aside from committed support many churches and individuals have agreed to meet with us to consider partnering in our ministry.

Freedom - country and religion.  We can only be truly freed to minister internationally because we've been given the gift of freedom.  We can prepare and pray openly without fear of persecution.  We are thankful for this blessings (and remember those who are not so fortunate).  We are prepared well due to education in which we've been granted the economic freedoms to pursue.  We do not take these liberties lightly, and want to thank all that provide for these freedoms as we strive harder and harder to become servants of the Lord's Kingdom.

Good News - Gospel and calling.  We remember this Thanksgiving that we are to live in worshipful thanks.  Give thanks to the Lord! must be our cry.  As we live trying to be thankful for all we have, we are freed to serve the Kingdom proclaiming the Good News with our lives.

Let us know how you are thankful this year, that we might pray for these things and celebrate with you.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Little miracles: learning to live in God's gracious provision....

When Kevin and I made the decision to become full-time missionaries we knew that we were going to learn how to rely on God's provision in ways we never had before.  The transition to raising support full-time was a bit of a challenge.  We were just coming off a year of serving in Mexico City where we had seen God move and felt his guidance quite clearly.  Now we had a direction, a destination (Spain), but really no idea how we were to arrive there.  It really felt like living in limbo.  We were unsure of where to live, how to provide for ourselves, and how to communicate the vision that we felt God had given us for our future.  We had to plant some kind of roots here as we were at the same time moving towards being on the field.  Little by little we felt ourselves inching forward with our exploratory trip to Spain and our acceptance as long-term missionary candidates.  God graciously gave us a place to live through my aunt and uncle (huge blessing) which relieved the burden of providing for ourselves in a significant way.  We made plans that we thought would make for a smooth path towards Spain, but God has given us many surprises along the way.

One of the best surprises was the birth of our daughter, Eliana, and one of the ways we have seen God's gracious provision most clearly.  We thought it made the most sense to wait till we moved to Spain to start our family, but God gave Eliana to us on his timing rather than ours!  With the advent of living and providing not only for ourselves but for a child as well we knew that some things would have to change, we just weren't sure how to continue going full force todwards our goal of moving to Spain, while also finding a job to support our expanding family.  After a wonderful summer in Mexico City, Kevin was offered a temporary paid position with our mission, LAM, working in mobilization.  We felt overwhelmingly thankful for this opportunity, it fit with our overall goal of moving to Spain perfectly, plus it was something Kevin really enjoyed doing.  During our summer in Mexico we were able to save for Eliana's hospital bill, which we knew would be significant.  After her birth we realized we would need to expand our health insurance to include her as well, but felt a little overwhelmed by the added monthly cost.  We knew we had one month to figure it out as Eliana was covered on my (Leah's) policy for 30 days.  We decided to seek aid through applying for MediCal, a state funded health insurance program.  When we went they informed us that the money we had saved up for Eliana's hospital bill would probably disqualify us for any aid.  We tried to explain our situation and they cautiously advised us that perhaps there might be an opportunity for Eliana to be covered even if we were not.  We walked away feeling discouraged, but slightly hopeful.  On Monday we realized that our 30 days were almost up, and we had no idea how long it would be till we heard from MediCal to find out if Eliana would be covered or not.  We made plans to go ahead and purchase private insurance, even if we weren't sure where the money would come from, especially knowing that soon Eli would be receiving her first round of vaccinations.  Then today, Eliana's one month birthday we got a letter telling us that our claims were denied, but that Eliana would be covered!! 

Eliana's name means "God has answered," and her middle name, Anai, means gracious.  I feel like with our precious daughter God has answered our needs in an incredibly graciously every step of the way.  He first gave us the blessing of her birth, he blessed me with great health during my birth including our time in Mexico, he provided a way for us to financially provide for her, and now, in exactly the right timing he has answered our need for health insurance.  How amazing is that?!  As we continue on our journey towards Spain as a family I am constantly learning how great our God is.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Fun Daddy-Daughter Moment

One of my favorite parts about being a father is watching Eliana take in the world.  The times when she is awake without gas discomfort, alert but without needing to eat; they are an inredible time to just stare around and take in the world.  The best moment is when she's looking at me.  Most of the time she's not looking at me, it seems, but through me, but then for a moment her eyes will lock on mine and we have an incredible moment of Daddy-Daughter connection.

Last night we had one of those moments.  At 3:45 am, while having finished eating, I was laying with Eliana, drifting in and out of sleep.  She on the other hand was alert, content and quietly taking in the world.  I happened to pop my eyes open and she was looking at me!  She is sooo beautiful.  Snuggling in close, nose-to-nose for eskimo kisses, I began to tell her what I hope to tell her every moment I get the chance, three simple words:  "I lo..."

The three simple words never came out of my mouth, for at that moment, our non-spit-up baby, decided to project her first spit-up directlly into her daddy's mouth.  Yummy.

"I'll just take that as an 'I love you' Eliana," I mumbled, mouth still full of baby spit-up.

Friday, October 16, 2009

She's Here!! - Welcome Eliana Anai Book-Satterlee

Eliana Anai Book-Satterlee
 October 12, 2009, 9:18 am
6 lbs 6 oz, 18.5 in





We are incredibly proud to welcome Eliana into our home.  She is soooo adorable.  Mom and baby are doing fine, having come home from the hospital on the 14th.  Our little girl has a full head of hair and long little feet attached to here skinny little legs.  She's got a good set of lungs and likes to show them off whenever she's being changed.


Mama can't help but laugh at the crazy tongue.



Proud Daddy (she didn't like the beard so it had to go shortly after this was taken)

Monday, October 5, 2009

Almost a month!

So I am just realizing that it has almost been a month since our last blog...I am definitely falling a little behind!  Life has continued to surprise us with its fast pace, but we have been enjoying it immensely.  Mid-September friends and family started arriving for my sister Stacy, and her (now) husband Nick's wedding.  Below is a picture of all the "Book" cousins that have kids so far.  Of course mine is still in utero, but we decided she still counts! 

My dad is quite excited about all of the boys he has since all of his daughters are now officially married.  For the first time ever the guys actually outnumber the girls in our family.  Below all of the guys (minus my brother-in-law Brian who was still in Florida at this point) are going out early in the morning to pick up bales of hay.  The weather has finally transitioned to cool, comfortable fall temps, but at this point it was still in the 100s!

Here is a pic of beautiful Stacy, the last of the Book brides, on her wedding day.  Katie, Stacy and I all have September anniversaries which are each three years apart accordingly.  Stacy and Nick's wedding was lovely, we all had a great time.

After all of the excitement time has seemed to come to a screeching halt, well maybe not halt but at least is moving at a very slow pace, as we await the arrival of our dauther and continue to raise support for Spain.  Right now we are only a week away from our due date, October 11.  However, first babies are often late, so there is no telling when this little one is going to make her grand entrance.

One of the greatest blessings for us has been that Kevin has been contracted to work for our mission, LAM, as a recruiter while we are raising support.  This provides us with a small income to help with the added baby expenses.  He has been contracted through the end of March, so April has become our new goal leave date for Spain.  It has also been amazing to watch little by little our financial support grow.  God continues to encourage us almost daily with your generosity, thank you so much!

We still have a good chunk of support to raise, however, so if you are interested in supporting us and haven't done so yet, now would be a great time!  Also, if you know of a church or small group who would be interested in hearing about our mission in Spain we would love to come visit you, so just drop us an e-mail: booksatterlee@gmail.com.  Thanks for everything!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Still Here

Sorry for the long absence, life has actually been surprisingly busy since being back in the States. I wanted to post a link for those who are interested to a short video that our friend/co-worker Andrew made of this summer. It is a fun glimpse into Spearhead Mexico and our summer Spearheaders, who, by the way, were great! If you are interested in seeing the video just paste or click on this link: http://vimeo.com5875731.

I am now 35 weeks along and still on target for delivering a baby girl sometime on or around October 11th. It has been fun to focus on and anticipate the fact that in a very short amount of time Kevin and I will have a daughter!

In other encouraging news...Kevin has a job! One of our biggest prayer requests/concerns was to be able to find a flexible job while we are in the States to support ourselves until our full support for Spain is pledged. Kevin will be working from home, doing something he loves, and on a 4-6 month contract, perfect! God is so faithful.

The pictures below are from our trip back from Colorado when we stopped briefly at the Arches National Park in Utah (on the bottom), and Kevin's Pop-Pop's 90th birthday. We were glad to be back for this occasion (which we celebrated at the end of August). Pop-Pop is an amazing man and we feel blessed to have him. He celebrated 60 years of being in the ministry on his birthday as well.




Saturday, August 22, 2009

We're Back!

Last Saturday my baby sister Amy got married.
This is a picture of all four sisters, in a month, Stacy (far right) will also be getting married.

The next day our nephew, Jack, was dedicated.
We were both excited that we could be a part of these events, we flew straight from Mexico City to Colorado. After the wedding and dedication Kevin and I drove back to California with my uncle and cousin with whom we live. We split the trip into two days, which was much more endurable rather than 20 hours straight of driving! We stopped for a quick hike in the Arches National Park, which was a welcome diversion from all of the driving!
Now we are back in Northern California and diving back into life, preparing for the baby, debriefing from Mexico, focusing more intensely on support raising, and job hunting in the mean time. I, Leah, am going to be teaching junior high Spanish two hours a week for the next 10 weeks, which I am really looking forward to. My parents are also moving back to the farm in a week from Florida. It will be fun to have them near. Please continue praying for us as we have a busy couple of months ahead and we continue to readjust to a life in constant change as we continue on the road to Spain.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Baby Shower

Last night our family threw us our first baby shower. It was really fun, they put a lot of time and thought into everything and it was very special and meaningful. I am posting some of my favorite pics from the party – as you can see there was a lot of laughter!


Everything was super decorated, on the top of the cake is a picture of Kevin and I, and there was even jello in the form of a baby's bottle and a sleeping baby!


A close up of some of the decorations they made for us. :)
This was the "How fast can you dress your baby" game. All of the clothes were passed to us relay style by our teams -- you can't start passing the next item of clothing till the last one is correctly placed on the baby. I won since Kevin couldn't quite figure out the snaps!



This is the "How well can the blind-folded partner feed you baby food" game. We won, though I almost threw up. The flavor was not bad, (fruit dessert or something like that) but eating at that speed something which is all mashed up for you can definitey trigger the gag reflex!




Kevin had to practice being pregnant and complete a number of tasks like this. I have to say though, his baby looks a little like a torpedo! The game ended when the watermelon started to leak onto his stomach, yuck!







Our teams dressed us as babies, I think the girls won again, although we couldn't quite get my diaper to fit correctly!







Mirna (my Mexican sister) and I, she is 14 weeks pregnant, I am 30 weeks.







Most of the group all crowded together to take a photo. I love these guys!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Prayer

Please be praying as our Mexican brother-in-law, Jose's, mother just passed away. She had been having back pain since December, but it was not until just over a month ago that they diagnosed her with breast cancer. Unfortunately, by the time they diagnosed it it had already spread to her bones. In just over a month she suffered several ribs broken, as well as a femur, and her arm. They were operating on her ribs this afternoon when she passed away. Please be praying for Jose's family as he is the only one who knows the Lord, and this has been a very difficult summer for him. Tonight we will be going to her velada, which is like a viewing, but all the family will be there and they will have a little service, it will probably be an all night affair. We are also in the midst of debriefing the summer Spearheaders, so please pray we will be able to support the family while also fulfilling all of our responsibilities.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Last Week

In the last blog I asked for prayer for three things, Steve Johnson's (president of LAM) visit to Spearhead, the Mission Conference Spearhead sponsored on Saturday and for Kevin's preaching on Sunday.

I am glad to report that everything went really well. Steve Johnson's visit was good, Kevin and I had a chance to sit down with him and talk a little more about our plans for Spain, and he also was able to share with the Spearheaders during our large group time. All in all everything went smoothly.



The entire week was spent in preparations for the Mission Conference, and all in all the conference seemed to be a great success. Two fun stories from the conference: 1) On Sunday at the church where Kevin preached the Pastor and his wife shared about their renewed call to go as missionaries to Africa, and their commitment to work towards that goal.

2) In the children's program we learned about what it is to be a missionary, and then focused in on three countries that missionaries from the conference represented: Pakistan, India and Morocco. The Spearheaders prepared a little lesson about the needs of each country and the Mexican missionary serving there. Afterward we made flags of each country and put the prayer requests on the back. One little boy came home telling his parents how he needed to be praying for the missionaries and then sat down and drew the flag of India as a gift for one of his friends.



The conference focused not only on illustrating the need for missionaries, but also on equipping those who feel a call to actually go.
At the end of the conference there was a concert based on a CD that our Assistant Director Wendy Der helped to sponsor called Llevame a las Naciones, or "Bring me to the Nations." The CD is a compilation of Latin artists who sing and share about missions. Proceeds fromt the disc go toward supporting Mexican missionaries who are serving overseas. If you are interested in hearing more about the disc, or possibly buying one, check out their website: http://www.dreamakerrecords.com/.



On Sunday we headed out to Ecatepec, which is north of Mexico City in the State of Mexico. Kevin did a really great job preaching. It was especially fun for me to see how much he has grown since last time he preached in Spanish. He shared about the paralytic who was lowered through the roof to Jesus, and how critical the community of faith is in bringing others to a saving knowledge of our Lord.
After he preached the pastor shared about our call to Spain, and then had all of the young people of the church come and lay hands on us and pray for us. It was a special experience that I will treasure.

So thanks for your prayers, they were a part of everything that happened here this past week and helped carry us through all the craziness. :)




Monday, July 13, 2009

Crazy Week Ahead

We had a great time while my cousin Lawrence was here, he left early this morning. Some of the days we had to work, but we also had some time to sight see around the city. Because this was Lawrence's second visit we spent some time seeing sites that he hadn't visited before, but also spent time just hanging out and eating delicious Mexican food! This is a picture of us all hanging out in one of the city's fun neighhborhoods, Coyocan.

Sorry for the intermitent blogging, not having our computer definitely is putting a cramp in our style, but we are surviving. I think the two most difficult things for us are 1) Kevin likes to write every morning and all of his stories etc. are on the computer, and 2) Skype. But, like the title of the blog says, this week, and pretty much each of the f0llowing are pretty much jam-packed till the Spearheaders pack up and head back home on July 31.

In fact, if you could be praying especially for us this week there are a few big things happening that we wanted to share with you.
1. Tuesday and Wednesday the president of Latin America Mission, the mission we are
associated with, will be here to meet with Spearhead leaders as well as speak to and meet
with the Spearheaders. We are looking forward to seeing Steve, and also continuing to look
forward to when we will be on the field in Spain.
2. On Saturday Spearhead is sponsoring a missions conference for Mexicans. The Mexican
church is growing, and one of the fields that is continuing to develop is that of sending out
Mexican missionaries to the nations. I am in charge of planning the kids program, which is fun
but also a lot to think about. Please pray for a good turn out Saturday, and that more
Mexicans will be raised up and further equipped to serve God in another country.
3. On Sunday Kevin will be preaching (in Spanish) at one of the churches where we have
Spearheaders. Please pray for his preparation, especially during this crazy week, and for his
message on Sunday that God will speak through him.

Thanks for thinking of us and keeping us in your prayers, we value each one of you!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Good News and Bad

So... on the fun side, my cousin Lawrence is here for a week to visit. He arrived yesterday and will be staying through Monday morning.

On the not so fun side it seems that our computer has decided to not work at all. It looks as if it is a hardware issue so we won't have a computer the rest of the time we are here in Mexico. So it may be that blog posts come a little more infrequently for the next month. It is especially a bummer for Kevin who uses our computer every day for his writing, but for both of us in regards to e-mail and general keeping in touch.

Oh well...

In other news, this week marks the first of full-time ministry for the summer Spearheaders. They graduated from their Spanish classes last Friday, which was fun. Everyone did an excellent job.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Rules for a Personal MIssion Statement and the Kingdom of God

The following is the introduction to the workshop that I (Kevin) gave on clarifying personal mission.

- Everyone is called to love God and love their neighbor as themselves. There is not an exception to this. (Matthew 22:37-38)
- Throughout scripture God shows preferential treatment for the “least of these” and the poor. Every disciple, therefore must look to Christ in this example and be living a life continually that serves the poor. (Matthew 25:31-46)
- Every disciple is part of the church, and therefore each person’s personal mission must not go against that of the Bride of Christ, but be used to help the mission of the Church grow. (Romans 12:5)
- Context determines mission. One cannot abandon the rules of context for the sake of their mission, but rather, the mission must correspond to the context in which you’ve been given. (1 Corinthians 9:20)
o For instance, a married person cannot abandon his/her family physically, spiritually or emotionally and effectively carry out mission.While there are many times that creativity is needed, one must exercise that creativity with a full and good knowledge of context.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

San Judas Tadeo - Saint Judas

Today is the day that many celebrate Saint Judas Tadeo.

Wikipedia says: "Hoy en día, la tradición católica reconoce a San Judas Tadeo como el santo de los casos difíciles y desesperados." (Literally: Lately, the Catholic tradition has recognized Saint Judas as the saint of difficult and desperate things.)

Today we left the house and a swarm of people were carrying their figure of San Judas Tadeo, the very apostle who betrayed Jesus. This is a very strange thing for me, and quite disheartening as well. We just came off of going to the Bascilica of Guadalupe, an astounding site of religious devotion. And today millions of people went to pay honor the the saint of difficult and desperate times.

It shows very much of the need here for spiritual longing and acceptance. There is a deep need in Mexico and people turn to Saint Judas or the Santa Muerte (Saint Death) to fill those needs. God is too holy to bother it seems. Or people are happy with being the status quo sinner who need a little cosmic riches now and then.

Here is a prayer to Saint Judas:

¡Santo Apóstol San Judas, fiel siervo y amigo de Jesús!, la Iglesia te honra e
invoca universalmente, como el patrón de los casos difíciles y desesperados.
Ruega por mi, estoy solo y sin ayuda.

(My paraphrase translation)
Holy Apostle Saint Judas, faithful servant and friend of Jesus. The Church honors and invokes you universally as the patron of difficult and desperate cases. Cry out for me; I am alone and without help.

Te imploro hagas uso del privilegio especial que se te ha concedido, de socorrer
pronto y visiblemente cuando casi se ha perdido toda esperanza. Ven en mi ayuda
en esta gran necesidad, para que pueda recibir consuelo y socorro del cielo en
todas mis necesidades, tribulaciones y sufrimientos, particularmente (haga aquí
su petición), y para que pueda alabar a Dios contigo y con todos los elegidos
por siempre.


I impolore the use of your special priveledge that you conceded - the priveledge of helping (helping to pay what is due) rapidly and visibly when you had almost lost hope. Come to my aid and my great need that I might receive consolation and help from heaven in all my needs, trials and sufferings particularly (insert specific need), and that I might worship God with you and all the elect forever.

Te doy las gracias glorioso San Judas, y prometo nunca olvidarme de este gran
favor, honrarte siempre como mi patrono especial y poderoso y, con
agradecimiento hacer todo lo que pueda para fomentar tu devoción. Amén.

I give you thanks glorious Saint Judas and promise never to forget this great favor or honor you forever as my special and powerful patron and with thanksgiving will do everything I am able to foster your devotion. Amen


Forgive my poor translation skills as I'm still learning this, but that is the gist of the prayer. This is a good example of the sorrow and lonliness that people feel here, and yet believe in a God unattainable.

This prayer is also used more as a sway to get many things that people want, and it brings the heavens down to their level for their direct needs.

Yet we had a Savior who was incarnated to our level who gives us peace and good news. He helps the poor, was betrayed (by somebody mentioned above) and died, and was resurrected that we might have life and have life abundantly.

We pray for those who feel the need to pray to somebody other than God. As the fireworks of celebration occur during the night we hope that God will be recognized for the good news he brings.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Baby News

So far pregnancy stuff has gone pretty smoothly here in Mexico. Everyone told me that my second trimester would be the time I felt the best, and so far that has held true. Sometimes one of the mildly frustrating parts about pregnancy here is that everyone seems to consider me to be an invalid on some level. However, there are times when that condition has its perks, on public transportation for example. People, in general, offer to give their seats to me, and I gladly accept! I find it interesting to note, however, that often it is the women who first offer me their seats, rather than men. Perhaps it is because they too have been pregnant and know it is nice to sit down rather than be jostled by the crowds -- who knows?

Because this is my first pregnancy, most of what is happening as my "panza" (belly) and my baby grow is unexpected and new. One thing that surprised me was how fun it was to feel the baby moving. I first started feeling movement a few weeks ago, but now it is much more often, and a lot stronger. It was really neat when Kevin first felt the baby move. I am sure as the baby gets bigger and has less room the movements might be more on the painful side, but for now I am enjoying it.

On Monday morning we went in for our ultrasound. Both Kevin and I were a little bit nervous, so it was good to hear the doctor say that everything is developing well and that "todo está completo." Watching the ultrasound made me think of a little fish because the baby kept going in circles. We also found out that we are expecting a little girl! I honestly had no idea what sex the baby might be, nor, to my surprise, did I really have a strong desire for either a little boy or girl. Still, when we found out it was a little girl I found my excitement mounting, not necessarily because it is a little girl, but more because this revelation made the little person growing inside of me feel even more real. Next week we will have our doctor's appointment for the month and she will look over our ultrasound and other tests I have had, so you can be praying that goes well. God has truy been answering our prayers for health for all three of us and continued development for our daughter.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Prayer For Street Youth

Arriving this year in the center of town where we hold our weekly meetings and daily Spanish classes, we found also a large encampment of street children on the block right outside the doors where we meet. This is obviously something we need to be careful about, not that there has been any trouble.

One thing my friend and co-worker Andrew were talking about is an in to talking with thes guys. Yesterday we had our chance and we talked to Mario, one of the group.

It is said that if youth don't get off the street within the first week, it is likely that they won't ever get off the street. Mario has been on the street for four years. He was a curious guy, curious about the United States and for the most part pretty respectful. Residual effects from drugs, glue-sniffing and alcohol were prevalent, but he wasn't high or drunk when we talked to him.

Mario also worships the Sante Muerte otherwise knows as Saint Death. Sante Muerte is a growing trend here in Mexico. She is the patron saint of death, and since death is inescapable in the minds of many, she blesses them in the present. In effect worshipers of Sante Muerte are selling their souls.

Some people worship Sante Muerte because it is a new trend and cool to be evil. In Mario's case, it is likely that he doesn't feel he is worthy to have any other celestial being be his patron saint, let alone God or Jesus. So he settles for the best he thinks he can get.

We asked Mario how the Sante Muerte has "blessed" him as he put it. He said with drugs, cigarettes and alcohol. When pressed, he admited that she only blessed him, "mas o menos" (more or less). Andrew suggested that God loves him, whereas the Sante Muerte wants only to consume him. He nodded a very non-commital nod.

I am very grateful for the blessings that I have been given in life, but they have not really prepared me to empathize or to understand Mario. That doesn't mean I'm counted out of the ministry of reconciliation that Paul writes in II Corinthians 5. What it does mean is that I need to turn more then towards God.

I'm studying a spirituality of mission - i.e. how spirituality effects the action of Christian mission. In this case, I'm totally dependent upon God to become at the very least empathetic. Spirituality is a connection with God, but also as he has commanded his followers, is to love others as well. Relationships, in effect then are spiritual, not in a pantheistic, relativistic way, but rather driven by the original loving God. Mario and I shook hands upon saying goodbye. That was a spiritual act as I am overcoming my own insecurities by taking the dirty hands. I'm overcoming my own fear by having at the very least somebody I pray for and am beginning to care about.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Birthday in Mexico


Feliz Cumpleaños a mí.


Yesterday was a fun and relaxing day of celebration. Woke up to one of my favorite Mexican breakfasts, chilequiles and a cup of coffee. I chatted with Mom and Jen, which was good. Leah and I went to the Zocalo where we walked around for a while and then she beat me (ON MY BIRTHDAY) at a game of cards at one of my favorite coffee shops here in D.F. After that the family shared some great food and we went off to our church from last year. It was a blessing to be able to connect with people then. We came home to find our family still all at the house and the boys played some video games, until I finally went to bed.


All in all it was a great birthday. And in good Spanish grammar, I now have 28 years.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Spearhead Orientation

This week has been a busy week, full of excitement, and a lot of work. Wednesday (almost) all of our summer Spearheaders arrived, one girl's flight ended up being cancelled then rescheduled -- she finally arrived around 5:30 am on Thursday morning. But by Thursday breakfast we had everyone together, 14 in total. Thursday and Friday are spent giving the students a whirlwind introduction to Mexican culture and life as well as giving them seminars which will hopefully be helpful for their summer ministries. In the picture below Kevin is giving a talk on "What to do if you don't speak Spanish". The Spearheaders come with varying language abilities from none to quite a lot...and since Kevin remembers what it was to come with none, he has given this talk for the past couple summers.

I am really excited about the families and churches the students will be working with this summer, as well as the group of Spearheaders who have come. Below you can see us (almost all, a couple people are being blocked) taking our "funny" picture before the Mexican families came to pickup their students. Paul, the director, is the one hanging upside down. :)
Before the families came each team prayed for the roommate pairs. Two people, one a boy and one a girl will be living on their own with their Mexican family.




So the summer has "officially" begun. It is hard for me to believe that Kevin and I are already approaching the one month mark back here in Mexico City. I have a feeling the next couple of months will just whiz by. I hope to treasure each moment and live it to the fullest, but I am also excited to come to the end of the summer and to be able to look back on what God has done. Please be praying for each of the Spearheaders in their first weekend with their Mexican families. We will keep you posted on further events.



Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Tomorrow the Students Come

It is 11:02 the night before the students come. We've had a long day of preparations and the culmination of our prep work these past few weeks begins tomorrow as the first flights arrive at 12:30. We're very excited to have the students here this summer and we know how much they will learn.

Please be praying for safe travels tomorrow and for a packed orientation time that will afford us little sleep, but hopefully a lot of fun.

The summer just begins.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Compelled

Our summer theme is based on 2 Corinthians 5:14-15 this year, and it is "Compelled". We're compelled by the love of God.

What is it that we are to be compelled to? Living out the Kingdom of God. Sharing the good news, relieving suffering by being willing to take on suffering, and by making human those who are discarded.

We get to be ambassadors, who then are charged to act in the interest of the Kingdom that the master would model. (See Jesus for President for some ideas).

We are very excited to be, while growing in our position as international ambassadors for the Kingdom of God, to be able to help train up and grow others.

Already this time in Mexico City has been a confirmation on our career calling to begin this program Spearhead in Spain.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Less than a week!

Next Wednesday the summer Spearheaders arrive! There is a lot to get done before everyone gets here, but we are very excited for them to come. On Wednesday when they arrive we will be with everyone for three days at the Casa de los Amigos, a hostel where we have had our orientation the last few years. After the students are oriented on Saturday we will send them off with their families for their first venture into Mexico City, fun!

On a side note it has been quite hot here, which is actually unusual for this time of year, because this is the rainy season. Plus Mexico City is located at about 7000 ft. above sea level, so the weather is usually quite temperate year round. Still, I have to admit I am thankful to be enduring this heat rather than the heat in Chico, (where there is no rain and it is a lot hotter!). One of the things I really like about the heat here is that it helps our clothes to dry out faster and since we usually only have about one day a week for laundry, this is critical. :)

Please be praying for us as we continue our last push of preparing everything before the Spearheaders arrive, and for the Spearheaders as they prepare for the summer. Thanks!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Compassion

On Sunday morning we went to hear our friend Michelle (pictured below -- she's the face in the middle) preach.
We first met Michelle in 2007 when we came to Mexico for the first time, she was part of our year team. During a retreat we had over the course of the year when we had to describe ourselves through a picture, Michelle drew herself as a bleeding heart. She is someone who truly has a heart for those who are lost, for the forgotten and ignored. While in Mexico, Michelle, who is a teacher, worked at a Compassion International project on the outside of Mexico city. When our first year drew to a close, Michelle decided that God was calling her to a second year in Mexico instead of going home. As a friend it is so amazing to see how much God has worked in and through Michelle the past couple of years. I feel like one of the greatest lessons he has taught her was expressed through her sermon on Sunday, and that is compassion. It was so good in fact, that I wanted to share some of the highlights here on our blog. I feel like the lesson God has been teaching her is one we all need to hear.

Michelle reminded us that as children of God we are to reflect our father, just like when people look at us here they are often reminded of how we look like our earthly parents. One of our Father God's most astounding attributes is his compassion. Michelle reminded us that to truly be compassionate as our Father is compassionate we must first SEE, then FEEL, and last but certainly not least, ACT. We cannot be compassionate if we do not incorporate each of these elements, we must see the world as God sees it, allow our hearts to be moved by the things that move the heart of our Father, and then act as our Lord did when he was here on earth.

I want to leave you with the verses from Isaiah which intially brought Michelle to Mexico, and which were the theme for last year's Spearhead program: Isaiah 58:6-12. I encourage you to read and reflect on the whole chapter, it offers quite a challenge.

6 "Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:
to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords
of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break
every yoke? 7 Is it not to share your food with the
hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with
shelter—when you see the naked, to clothe him,
and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?
8 Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and
your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness
will go before you, and the glory of the LORD will be
your rear guard. 9 Then you will call, and the LORD
will answer; you will cry for help, and he will say:
Here am I. "If you do away with the yoke of oppression,
with the pointing finger and malicious talk, 10 and if
you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy
the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in
the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday.
11 The LORD will guide you always; he will satisfy your
needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen
your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a
spring whose waters never fail. 12 Your people will
rebuild the ancient ruins and will raise up the age-old
foundations; you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls,
Restorer of Streets with Dwellings.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Visita a la Doctora and Earthquakes

So, as an update to my previous post, everything went well at the doctor's office. There is a small system to learn, you go in, hand one of the receptionist people your insurance card, then sit down to wait. Later a nurse calls you in to a little stall where they weigh you and take your pressure. My nurse asked me how tall I was, but I realized I had no idea how tall I was in centimeters, so she had to measure me, which was a bit challenging because she was at least a foot shorter than me! When all the vitals are done you go back into the waiting room and wait for the doctor to call. Nydia came with Kevin and I in case we had any problems understanding her.

Everything went smoothly, the doctor basically asked me a lot of questions, and then she listened to the baby's heartbeat. For some reason every time we have gone to the midwife it takes her a couple tries to find the heartbeat, and it was no different with this doctor. It always makes me feel a little nervous till they find it, but it is always strong once we can hear it. I won't go again until a month from now, and so our ultrasound will have to wait for another few weeks since she wants us to have it closer to our next visit. I think we both were hoping for sooner, but I think it is especially hard for Kevin to wait to find out what we are having. Overall the doctor said everything looks well and that I seem to be having a normal, healthy pregnancy.

In other news, there was an earthquake today. They say it was around 5.9. We definitely felt it, although it only lasted a short time. Nothing fell off the walls or anything, and pretty much life continued on as normal, some people didn't even know there was an earthquake. However, when we read the news reports it was a good lesson in how the media tends to sensationalize everything, it was as if some major disaster had happened and everyone was extremely shaken up, which really wasn't the case at all. Oh well....

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

First Doctor's Appointment in Mexico

Tomorrow, Thursday, I have my first doctor's appointment. Please pray that all will go well. Hopefully sometime soon we will be having our midterm ultra sound where we will be able to find out whether we are expecting a little boy or a little girl. We appreciate your prayers so much!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Back in Mexico


Nereyda, Maki and Mama
(Our Mexican & part Japanese family!)

Enjoying Mexican treats...


Kevin and Mimi

Mexican brother Saul on his motorcycle


Kevin making Agua de Jamaica
(In Mexico if you ask for water, they
ask you what kind you want -- you
have to specify if you want plain water.)






Saturday, May 16, 2009

Ending Week 1 in Mexico

One of the most striking things about coming back to Mexico City is that I (Kevin) feel that very little time has passed, perhaps maybe a week. The smells, sights, tastes and sounds have been so happily burned into my memory that they were not soon forgotten. The life in the city is much different than life in country, but it is a blessed life nonetheless.

We just returned from leadership training, where we learned how to be facilitators for the comming students. I am going to be a facilitator while Leah is going to assist the directors. We will be in positions encompassing the entirety of the program that we might be able to plant this program in Spain.

It has been very good so far, though it hasn't even been a week yet. Time up at a camp where we did the training was beautiful. My Spanish was not lost, and in some ways I think it actually improved. Though some vocabulary has diminished, I finally have some grammatical rules stuck in my head, that somehow between leaving and coming back, just seemed to lock into place.

I will be visiting a church where we will be placing students and as with almost any church visitation there is the possibility that I will be asked to give a sermon. In only two days! And in Spanish! Well, fortunately I had the priveledge to preach on Deuteronomy 6 when we were here last, and I've been looking that sermon over in preparation. Needless to say, I hope that I'm not put on the spot to preach come Sunday.

The food has been wonderful and I've pretty much had everything that I've missed. Chorrizo has come back to my senses for which I'm very grateful. My favorite torta (like a sandwhich) restaurant is as good as I remember it, and one of my favorite things - liquado de mamey - has blessed my lips and tastebuds as of this afternoon.

It is good to be preparing in ministry, watching the ways I might grow and stretch and be again in an intercultural context.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Ya llegamos! We made it!


Sunday morning we woke up around 3:45 to begin our trek to Mexico City. We had spent the night at Leah's grandparents because we flew our of the San Francisco airport. I have to say, this was one of the easiest flying experiences I've ever had. When we arrived there was no line to check in (and we got to check two bags each for free -- something to celebrate these days!). Both of our planes were on time leaving, and both even arrived a smidge early.


Paul (the Spearhead Director here in Mexico City) picked us up from the airport and brought us to our family's house where we will be staying until August. It was so fun to see everyone again, it felt in some ways like we had never left. I think one of the hallmarks of a good friend is someone who you can pick up with easily, even if time has elapsed.


Today we will be unpacking and preparing for the Spearhead leader's training retreat which begins tomorrow at a camp outside of the city. It will be a bit of a whirlwind start, but we look forward to it.


Thanks for all of your prayers that have helped to carry us this far!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Going to Mexico

Quick Update:

Today it was decided that the Spearhead Mexico program would be a go this summer, so Sunday morning Kevin and I are heading down there.

We are excited, please keep us in your prayers.

Thanks!

Leah

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

"I wonder if..."

The song lyric by one of my favorite groups, the Five O'clock People, goes like this, "I wonder if doubt is the way to faith somehow."

"I wonder if..." is a phrase that connotes doubt without a complete lack of faith. I (Kevin) have had a lot of "I wonder if..." moments in the past month, which while not easy, seems to be a healthy place to be. Very few people enter their journey of being faithful people without this "doubt". I wonder if doubt is the way of faith somehow.
In the midst of now having to have postponed our leave-date for Mexico twice, I wonder if... seems to come up a lot in my mind. But we've seen nothing but God's provision, and it is my wondering if... that allows me to reflect on God's bounty that we've been given.
It is not fun to be in a holding pattern. It is not fun to be in the grieving process. But God has provided. It is VERY fun to be expecting a child. It is VERY fun to study with my classmates and learn all the more who God is. It is VERY fun to know that Leah and I have been called to faithfulness, and while sometimes that might be fraught with "I wonder if..." thoughts and the necessity for flexibility, doubt has almost always been my way of faith, and somehow I have seen growth.
Tomorrow is a decision day for LAM and our program Spearhead whether or not to have the program in Mexico City in light of the swine flu. After a few I wonder if... questions, we've seen God curb the problem and begin to quell the fears of people and governments around the world. Hopefully this means that the program can continue this summer in Mexico City. We await in expectation with only a little I wonder if... and we await in faith to see how God will continue to grow us in faith somehow.
Thank you for joining us in prayer for Mexico and this summer's Spearhead program.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Living in Limbo

Life is continually unpredictable, however these last few weeks have been especially so. On Easter Sunday Kevin's father passed away suddenly, only a week before we were to leave for Mexico City for the summer. We were very thankful that it happened before we left so that we were able to quickly join Kevin's mother and sister. We postponed our flight, but still went forward with our plans for the summer when we saw how well Kevin's mom's community was coming around and supporting her. However, now with the swine flu epidemic going around, with Mexico City as its epicenter, life once again is up in the air. We returned to Chico for four short days last week, and are back in Cupertino. Our plan is/was (?) to fly to Mexico this next week, but we are now in limbo again trying to figure out what our next step should be. Please pray for us as all of life's events, combined with these big decisions, and the fact that Kevin has finals for his MA progarm this week, is leading to a lot of weight on our shoulders. Thanks for thinking about us.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Rich's Memorial

Saturday was a difficult and special time for our family as Rich's memorial was held. The church was packed out, with many people we did not know. Many people reminded us of the legacy of generosity Rich left especially with his Harley crew and AA crew. It was great to be with friends and family and see the continued support all around. Candy's sorority and church friends have been an amazing help, providing great meals. People traveled from all over to come and celebrate Rich's life. His ashes were buried in the memorial garden at St. Jude's Episcopal Church in Cupertino, Kevin's church growing up and where Candy still attends. It is a special, simple place, fit for the quiet, non-ostentacious legacy that Rich left. We will miss him very much.


Thanks to everyone for their condolences. The supportive community around the globe is very encouraging in these times.


We could use prayer for wisdom as we make plans for Mexico and when we should go.


Thursday, April 16, 2009

People as Sacrament

I've (Kevin) been thinking of researching the concept of People as Sacrament for some time. After passing into this time of incredible grief alongside my family, I have seen how people really manifest Jesus. Sacrament is the celebration of a real presence of the grace of Jesus Christ. As a Methodist, I typically only see the sacraments in Baptism and the Eucharist. Having been heavily influenced by the Anabaptist tradition, I also would like to include in my own sacramentology, the foot-washing as the grace of service.

But I've seen the sacrament of people - real examples of the presence of Jesus Christ - all around us since we've been here. Some people would not call themselves Christian, but they too have been means of grace for us in these difficult times.

Grief is not over, nor should it be. But the pains of grief are tempered by the great support system of people stopping by or sending flowers, or what not. We are truly blessed, and it is this communal sacrament that will sustain our family through the trials, that we can move from the pain of grief to remembering my father and processing through grief.

Thanks to everyone who has come alongside with condolences and prayers. We appreciate it greatly.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Prayer Request

Please pray for us b/c we just found out this afternoon Kevin's father passed away from a sudden heart attack. We are going to Cupertino tonight, and we would really appreciate your prayers for the next few days, for Kevin's mom and his sister, as well as for us. This is really hard and unexpected. Thank you.

Reconciliation At-one-ment - Reason why we go

There is no other reason for missions or ministry than for reconcliation. Practitioners of the Gospel are agents of reconciliation, be they spiritual, emotional or physical. Likely practitioners address not one of these pieces individually, but at least two if not all three.

Today is the day we celebrate Easter, the day where reconciliation is made known. The Kingdom of God came at the Incarnation. Christ walked among people bringing physical, spiritual and emotional reconciliation, and he even called others to do the same during his lifetime. Good Friday we celebrate a portion of the atonement of God in his suffering servant sacrifice - the character of God's son highlighted in so many prophetic books.

Death would not be a reconciling even without the previous life and model of Jesus. Death is uneffective without the Resurrection, which we celebrate today. Atonement (at-one-ment) is then a composite of the person of Christ in His entirety.

Resurrection is not the culmination of who Jesus is either, and this is why we go to Spain or do ministry wherever we are. On this day, we celebrate the power over sin and even death, but we celebrate knowing that we've been sent out to be fishers of men and women. We are charged to be like Christ in the restoration and reconciliation process, carrying the Good News of spiritual, emotional and physical reconcliation.

We are very excited to be ministers to Spain where the spiritual needs for reconciliation are great. We look forward to working with immigrants and Spaniards of the failing economy there to live out a reconciled physical and emotional state thanks to Christ who says, do not worry about tomorrow, for the Lord clothes the fields and feeds the birds and loves us all the more. He so loved us that he became incarnate, lived a human life as a reconciler, died a death as a sacrificial lamb, rose to a bodily state and sent us out. We minister because of this reconciliation and we minister because of the hope of the final reconciliation at the eschaton.

As we celebrate Easter today, please celebrate that reconcilation - at-one-ment - as we prepare to be at-one-ment agents in Spain.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Expecting

For those of you who read our blog, but might not have yet heard, Kevin and I are expecting our first child in October. Last week we received a bit of a jolt when we went to our first midwife's appointment and she told me that I felt a little larger than normal for 12 weeks, so I either A) had an earlier due date than we thought, or B) might have twins. I think that both options took me by surprise, but the second one kind of blew me out of the water. She ordered an ultrasound, which we went to yesterday. The ultrasound doctor right away said, "nope, only one!" I have to admit, that was a bit of a relief. While we would have gladly welcomed two, one seems a little more manageable with all of the change we have going on in our lives right now!

We still plan on going to Mexico this sumer to serve with Spearhead and further train for when we will be leading the Spearhead program in Spain. In fact, we leave in just a little over a week, crazy! We will be in Mexico City until the first week of August, when we will fly to Colorado for my sister Amy's wedding! Both of my youngest sisters are getting married this summer/fall, which is exciting and crazy all at once! After Colorado we will be flying back to California and preparing for the arrival of our child. We are still aiming to be able to move to Spain by January/February of 2010, providing all of our support is pledged.

I will leave you with one of the ultrasound photos, it was really amazing and fun to watch our baby moving around, kicking, and punching, although I still can't feel it considering he/she only weighs about 3 oz. right now!


Monday, April 6, 2009

Holy Week Reflection

Yesterday was the day our Lord rode the back of a donkey into Jerusalem. He allowed himself, finally, to be publically claimed as the Messiah and went straight to the face of the religious and political authorities with that open acceptance. It spelled trouble and he marched straight for it.

Yesterday we saw people out of the city waving palm branches and ushering their new king. Today we see that king turning over tables and calling out the religious opportunism going on in the temple.

The Kingdom of God is at hand - instituted upon the Incarnation, made an example in Christ's life and he prepares for himself is own sacrifice out of obedience. The stake of the Kingdom of God will gain ground as the nails pierce through the wood. The stake is planted with the vertical beam of the torturous instrument locking into place.

The stake is planted and the Kingdom of God is ushered in...not through triumph but through sacrifice; not through an incredible economic purse, but through sacrifice. Today marks day 2 of the traditional Holy Week in the West. Holy week is a time to reflect on the Kingdom of God. It is now, but not yet, and we have been asked, as disciples, to take up our own cross and plant a stake for the Kingdom of God - not through economic means, but sacrifice; not by grand-standing, but sacrifice.

Benefit Concert - A Very Fun Time

It was so great to be able to share with our friends and family in Chico, what God has laid on our hearts to do. Katie Drake (www.katiedrakesongs.com), Leah's sister, played two great sets of relaxing music, one friend of ours called, a lullabye. Katie's passion has been music for her entire life and she got share that with us yesterday and through it she helped to share Leah's and my passion for missions. It was a great time. Of course, the name I heard thrown around the most in the audience was not Katie's, not Leah's...not mine either, but Jack, our nephew. He's a show-stealer, but who could complain about the show being stolen by such a cute little guy.

Big thanks to Katie for playing, Jack for being cute and for all those who showed up. Much credit to the Kellers, Bethany, Larry and Katie for creating such a special time to share hearts and music for God's mission.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Benefit Bar - Inaugural Month Results

Thanks to the Book-Satterlee Clickers Club for raising $180 in 26 days! The Benefit Bar has been working swimmingly.

This has been a great tool for our supporters to support us for free as well as augment their gifts. We have been very encouraged by how it will help our support base monthly.

If you would like to sign up to be part of the Book-Satterlee Clickers Club and support us this way for free, please follow this link: http://www.benefitbar.com/benefitbar/subscribe/toolbar.php?toolbarId=2715

If you are a missionary or run a non-profit and you think this tool could be of use to you, let us know!

Thanks again!

COMING UP: Katie Drake (Leah's sister) holding a benefit concert for us at Matthew's Cafe in Chico, Sunday April 5th from 2:00-4:00pm. Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Doing Church in Economic Crisis

Howard Snyder suggests in his book Liberating the Church that 3 out of 4 churches should not own their own buildings. While I (Kevin) don't completely agree with this statement he bases the claim on some important aspects of being missional.

1. Inability to change with the community. Often churches that have a building, do so for a specific purpose, however the community changes and the resources that churches have tend not to change with it. A more flexible meeting place allows the church to mold itself to meet the needs of the community. To push back on this concept however, having rootedness in the community and shaping the community might damper the inability to change with the community.

2. Building plans and rennovations tend to divert funding. This is quite pertinent to churches now in the current economic crisis. Large building debts have hampered ministry effectiveness for the sake of being attractional rather than missional for some time. Now some churches are having to close down because their financial flexibility is ruined. This is the time when churches need to step in as the Acts church did and provide for those hurting around them, but instead they have to cut programs and govern with a tighter financial fist to keep afloat.

The church can see this time as a purging of the unnecessary and a refocus on really reaching out to the communities in which they reside. Families need help and hope. The church as Christ initiated is pitted to provide both and do so better than any politicking or policy might. It is a time to get our priorities more in line with the mission of God (missio dei) than with with the flexibility of doing church in our own power. While specific missions can vary from church to church, community to community, we all fall under the mission of God - to proclaim the Good News and to serve those whom the world rejectes.

The times are hard, especially for those in ministry, but it is a joyous time to be reframed and formatted for the mission of God. Trials and tribulations are opportunities says the Bible to mold our character. No doubt following God's mission requires greater reliance and trust on Jesus. As Christians, there is no greater time than now to cast off our fears, and join together as the Bride of Christ to follow after the call He has put on us.

Somewhere Inbetween


Last week Kevin and I made a whirlwind trip to Southern California. A good chunk of our time was spent representing LAM at a missions fair, but we were also able to connect with some of our friends as well as visit our church. Every time I visit I am reminded of how much I love our friends and how much I miss them. But even as I am missing our friends in Southern California, I love being with my family here in Northern California, and am excited about some of the new friendships we are developing here. To complicate things even further, Kevin and I are both really ready to be able to start our life in Spain, and if the support were in, we would be willing to move tomorrow.


As I feel tugged in every which way, I begin to question where it is exactly that we belong, and if we will ever feel truly settled. I am neither here, nor there. Still, despite the confusion that sometimes seems to reign supreme in my life, I feel blessed that there are so many places I would like to be, and that we have so many wonderful friends.


In less than a month, April 17th to be exact, we will fly to Mexico City for the summer to serve with Spearhead. We are excited to spend time with our Mexican family again, and to be working with students. We will be returning back to Northern California in mid-August. Please be praying that this summer will be a time where our vision is sharpened and our call is deepened.


Thank you so much for your friendship and support, it is invaluable to us!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Saint Patty's Day Reflection

Today is the day to celebrate Saint Patrick's Day. While many of us, including me will wake up tomorrow with welts for not wearing green, I am green with envy about this man's missionary life.

St. Patrick was a creative missionary and reconciler, two values to Leah and I, and we can learn a lot from him.

Patrick early on was captured and enslaved by pagans in Ireland and Scotland. He escaped and returned home (with another capture having faced him on the way). There he found God or rather God found him. And what did his escape and conversion mean? It meant God sent him on a mission to the very people that Patrick had been a slave for.

This is a reconciling act - God's mission. In The Confession of St. Patrick he about floats off the page with joy for the work he's been blessed to do among the pagans, the very pagans that captured him and their surrounding tribes. Patrick was a missional missionary. He went and learned from the local tribe. He imbedded himself in the local community and lived the Christian life around these tribes. This was not without danger, as there were many hostile to the Roman-perceived religion, but he rejoices constantly in his confession despite the dangers.

A great book recommendation, besides his confession, is The Celtic Way of Evangelism, in which the author describes the work of Patrick and others in their mission to the pagans in Ireland, Scotland, Britain and Wales. Identity and solidarity were crucial to the mission.

Leah and I prepare ourselves to move to Spain. Our ultimate goal is to be so imbedded in the culture that we can live in solidarity with the madrilenos. Patrick is a good model for us to follow as missionaries and a good model for all of us disciples.

God is a reconciling God and he will use our greatest pains to impact minisistry and mission. He causes us to be reconciled to our offender and through that reconciliation, he gives us the love that allows us to minister. God reveals himself through brokenness reconciled; through love of enemy; through going and living in solidarity.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

To Not Try

Today's sermon message was, "It is ok to fail, it is not ok to not try." This is an idea found all over scripture and it usually comes in the vein of trusting God. This is not an easy lifestyle. In our "Be Prepared" lifestyle often we deem preparation as the need to have all the ducks in a row before heading out.

I (Kevin) happen to like the Boy Scouts' motto "Be Prepared." I find it quite prudent.

That said, living this pre-missionary life teaches us a lot about Be Prepared AND Trust God philosophies of living. They need not be mutually exclusive ideas, but they need not be synonymous either.

How are we being prepared? I think for both of us, the opportunity to be spiritually ready is the number one. We have been able to devote so much to spiritual development and learning. We are preparing by learning the culture and language in which we are to minister to. We are preparing by building a support team around us as we go (we don't want our ministry to be an island). The majority of these things we can control.

But there are many things outside of our control that we've really learned to have to trust God for. We have had to trust God for a living situation - provided; we have had to trust God to continually confirm this calling - confirmed; we have had to trust God with incredible support and encouragement - provided; we have had to trust God to lead us to a ministering church - done.

And as we prepare and trust God we are set out to try. What happens if we fail? Thankfully we have the family, friends and church to support us. They are our safety net and our launchers into the grand sky of missions.

So often the amount of things that people have to trust God for is so difficult they don't try. We want to thank all of you for your encouragment and your safety net that allows us to both Be Prepared and Trust God.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Duty of Minister/Missionary

I (Kevin) am in a class called Personal Transformation. It has been an amazing class, full of learning. We are currently reading a book about the anatomy of the brain and how its design for relationships is what spurs transformation.

This has great implications for ministers and missionaries. We have three brains that process data, and though they are interconnected, they work autonomously as well. While our culture often praises the Neo-cortex for its cognitive ability, it is the limbic brain that actually forms long-lasting transformation through emotional understanding.

What does this mean? It means for ministers that we can preach doctrine (statements) until we are blue in the face, but without the positive emotional attachment (please do not read emotionalism) to faith, doctrine has very little impact. That means the minister and missionary must share life in relationship with the people they minister to. Our limbic brains formulate emotional bonds almost telepathically, and these emotional bonds, while influenced by doctrine (statements) are formed through relationship.

The book talks about the "therapist" as one who must enter into the sphere of the patient, that it is limbic restructuring that provides emotional healing. This model works for formal therapy or for ministry. The minister/missionary must be willing to enter into life with the one being ministered to. This in evitably means that the minister/missionary will be the one ministered to as well, because there will be a mutual limbic exchange.

We learned through an anthropological exercise while I was in Portland, that positive limbic resonance cannot happen where superiority is involved. An easy example is ministering to (read "with") a homeless person, while not as a homeless person. Superiority makes it easy to minister to a homeless person, but horrible to be ministered to BY a homeless person. However eliminating this dichotomy and entering into a learning relationship allows then for actual, mutual ministry to take place.

When we take a look over our scripture we find God who makes statements (10 Commandments) but really enters into a transformative process with the people. He walks with Adam and Eve; he speaks directly to the Patriarchs; he comes as a cloud and pillar of fire to the wandering Israelites; he is encapsulated in the arc of the covenant. God makes himself known through the prophets and the angels.

In the New Testament God appeals to the limbic brains he created in us by becoming human, actually walking with us, not in a method of superiority, but in service. While we like to think of Jesus as the suffering servant, he allowed himself to be ministered to also. There was a mutual exchange limbically. He then left us the Spirit, who has relationship with us not in such an imperical knowledge (5 senses), but we can recognize the Spirit by our trust and experience.

Christ also gave us the equipped disciples to be physical representations of him. They made disciples and so forth and so on. We are part of the limbic resonance that effects transformation within our Christian community and without.

If the Church is to be an effective body effecting transformation, and a superiority complex effects limbic resonance between people, how then must the church view itself?

Speaking at Church

Yesterday was such a blessing for our ministry and motivation. We had the opportunity to share at both services of our church in Oroville. Despite the change in time (which had us exhausted) there was a great turnout to the early service and a good one to the later service. It was great to be able to share with our home congregation who we are, what God has called us to and how they could partner. It was an honor to be able to share what God was doing with Free Methodists in Spain.

Most people seemed staggered by the statistics about faith in Spain. As is popularly believed, Spain is a Catholic nation, so very rooted in faith. What is staggering is that less than 20% of Catholics are faithful attenders. The Protestant church is about 0.4% of the entire population in the country, and atheism is on the rise. The fact that Spain is part of the 10/40 window is not common knowledge, nor the fact that it is one of the countries where the Gospel is shared the least in the world and the least in the Latin world.

Part of our heart for Spain is to see faith on the rise, this is the general hope for any missionary. We are excited that many from our home church will be praying for us and joining us on this mission to witness Jesus Christ.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Support us for FREE!

So maybe you have been thinking about supporting us, but for whatever reason just don't have the funds to do so. Well, now we have a new option for support which costs you nothing more than a second of your time. :)

Everyone uses Google to search the internet, right? Well now there is another option through Yahoo, called the BenefitBar, which every time you use 10 cents will be donated to LAM on our behalf.

This is how it works:

1. You think to yourself, "hmm, self, I need to look up how to make chocolate chip cookies."

2. You then type in "chocolate chip cookies" (or whatever else you might want to look up) into the BenefitBar search engine.

3. When the search results show up you then have to click on one of the sponsored links.
* How do you know which are the sponsored links? The sponsored links are usually the first
ones listed and are highlighted in blue.

4. Once you have clicked on the sponsored link ten cents is automatically deposited into our account.
* What if I don't want to go to any of the sponsored links? Often the sponsored links are not
the most helpful ones, however you don't have to stay on that link for us to receive our ten
cents. If you don't find it helpful, simply go back to the search engine after the page has
loaded and click on the link that actually is helpful for you.

5. Can I donate more than 10 cents per day? YES! Each time you use the BenefitBar and click on a sponsored link we receive money.

How does it all add up?

Our goal for the month of March is to reach $200. This means that, starting tomorrow (March 7th), if 20 people use the BenefitBar 4x a day, by April 1st we will have reached our March goal of $200.

Will you commit to support us through the BenefitBar? If you are interested in downloading this search engine, please follow the instructions below. If you have any questions please feel free to e-mail us: booksatterlee@gmail.com

Kevin & Leah Book-Satterlee and Fund-it BenefitBar Join Forces!

We are excited to announce that you can now financially support our organization without taking a dime out of your pocket…the dime comes from Yahoo! There is no cost to our organization and no cost to you. You can help us raise funds without writing a check or buying and selling products or spending any additional time. Thanks to our new relationship with Fund-it BenefitBar, we receive ten cents each time you click on a sponsored link when you search through our new customized toolbar. No purchases are necessary.

Fund-it has created a customized toolbar for our organization; you simply download it to your Internet browser and do all of your searches through the Yahoo! search engine. As an added benefit, our custom toolbar includes additional helpful links. There are no pop ups, spyware or adware; your privacy is protected and it will not replace your existing toolbars. The download process takes less then a minute and the toolbar is un-intrusive.

Please take a few minutes to go to http://www.funditbenefitbar.com/2715 and simply download our toolbar and help us meet our financial needs.

Thank you so much for your continued support.

* P.S. If you would like to make a financial contribution you can do so by directly donating through our LAM sponsorship page: https://www.lam.org/donate/missionary.php?misid=760616.

Thank you so much for all of your prayers and support. We would love to hear from you so please drop us a line!