Friday, December 31, 2010

Bye Bye 2010

Christmas has passed, but the tree is still up.  We are going to have to get used to the 13 days of Christmas when we go to Spain, letting Christmas ring in the New Year.  In Spain, they celebrate King's Day.  King's Day is a Spanish holiday and is often the day that children open their presents.  It is kind of nice to be able to let Christmas trail into the new year.

2010 was a good year for us, but in terms of getting to Spain, our preparation will be trailing into 2011, and even past King's Day.  While we won't be opening up our King's Day presents in Spain this year, we are confident that next King's Day Eliana will be speaking 2-year old Spanish and be opening King's Day presents with her little friends.

We have seen an incredible increase in support in the latter half of 2010, we have been given a city of placement by our organization - Granada, and in two weeks we'll have the paperwork in hand to apply for our residency visas.  Eliana has been blessed to spend time at the Book Farm with lots of family, has made numerous trips to Cupertino to spend time with family there too.  We've grown deeper with our friendships in Chico, making it harder to leave, but their support launches us well into the new phase of our life.

2010 has seen some big events and the economy still seems to weigh on peoples' minds.  Everyday NPR asks some economic analyst whether or not they expect the economy to bounce back or drag.  Some people will claim it to be one of the best years of their lives and others, sadly, one of the worst.  We have had a good year, but we look expectantly to 2011.

Today is December 31, 2010, and we fight the temptation to be anxious to get to Spain.  The Lord tells us not to worry about tomorrow.  So today we reflect on the year, let the twinkle of Christmas lights and ornaments gleam on our faces and watch as friends with new babies ponder Christ as a 6-day-old.

Goodbye 2010...

Monday, December 20, 2010

Rain, Advent and Preparation

It is a dreary day in Northern California with an onslaught of rain to come.  The weather for Granada, Spain is almost identical today.  That is one little similarity in where we are and where we are going that reminds us that God's plan is congruent.

Advent has gone by quick this year, as it seems to every year.  The advent festivities almost always overthrow advent contemplation of Christ's birth.  For us, this advent is a time for celebration, contemplation and preparation.  We are able to celebrate God's hand in getting us closer to Spain.  Our support has gone up consistently in November and early December.  It is time for us to contemplate the effects of the move in a few short months.  And it is time for preparation.

Preparation:  Kevin is headed to Granada in the middle of January to meet with ministry mentors there and finalize paperwork for the long-term residency visa.  There he will be doing some leg and camera work, exploring Granada for areas to live, and understanding practical things like transportation.  In that time, he is going to go schedule a prayer walk, that God would guide us, prepare us and begin preparing our ministry there.

Contemplation:  Just over fourteen months ago on a day much like today, the rain came down hard, the wind blew and we missed it as we stared at our new little baby girl.  The effect of seeing an infant in our arms has not worn off, and this Christmas we think again of Mary and Joseph as they held their little baby boy.  God did so much with so little.  We look to see how He will use us in his ministry continuing from that day and before.  Even more, we look forward to seeing how God will use Eliana in ministry.

Celebrations:  We thank God for Christmas, for Jesus, for family.  We have been severely blessed over these last two and a half years.  We celebrate those who have been around to support us with physical needs, emotional needs and spiritual needs.  Each person, whether they believe it or not, has a little bit of Emmanuel, God within them.  Christ walks in the hearts and actions of others, and ministers through those who do an do not know him.  We've felt Emmanuel - Christ with us and we celebrate.

Merry Christmas from the Book-Satterlees.  Celebrate.  Contemplate.  Prepare.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Still here...

So it has been more than a month since we posted on our blog -- oops! In the last month we have:

-- Almost collected all of the necessary documents for our visas (yea!)

-- Shared about our journey at two churches

-- Taken Eliana for her one year check up and shots as well as her first eye exam - because her right eye turns out. (She's doing well overall though we will need to visit a pediatric opthamologist in January -- but she also has developed a strong dislike for strange men in lab coats even though both her doctors were very nice!)

-- Taken on about 10 hours/week of recruiting for LAM (Kevin)

-- Met up with several different ministry partners

-- Traveled to Santa Barbara for a wedding

-- Celebrated Thanksgiving on the farm with family (Katie, Brian, Jack and Emma joined us from FL!)

Eliana has changed a lot in the past month.  At the end of October she was walking, but she would choose to crawl if she ever wanted to reach something in a hurry.  Now she never chooses to crawl -- even though it only takes a small breeze to cause her to fall over when walking!  Her walk reminds me of a mixture of someone who is in the late stages of pregnancy, and someone who has been riding a horse all day long!  Nonetheless, she perseveres and is quite quick!  We are slowly transitioning to a one nap vs. two nap day (which I have mixed feelings about!) and her vocabulary is growing.  Besides "mama" her best word is probably "shoes".  This is fitting because she is constantly on the go.  She enjoyed the visit from her cousins, holding baby Emma and playing (and fighting with) Jack. 

Time seems to be going quite quickly and slowly all at the same time.  Looking at our visa process it seems as if we will have a visa in hand by the end of March (at the latest).  That gives us around 4 months to complete our partnership team -- we have about 25% of our monthly need left to raise.  We are encouraged and challenged by this.  The next step in this journey is becoming more and more clear, yet at the same time there are a lot of little things that need to fall into place.

In November I (Leah) attended a Women of Faith event.  One of the keynote speakers spoke about trust.  She shared that she felt for years that our greatest call in life was to love God -- but now she feels that even beyond that is learning to trust God completely, and from trust comes unfettered love for and obedience to our father.  I was really impacted by what she shared.  Little by little God has been teaching us to trust him, but when we feel as if we might have "arrived" life happens and we realize what areas we have been holding back for our own control.  When confusion and panic are swooping down, threatening to overwhelm us, God is beside us, holding out his hand, simply asking us to trust him yet again.  In my quiet time I have been reading  through Proverbs and Romans.  Romans 12 is one of my favorite passages.  I want my life to look like the challenge Paul is laying before the believers in this chapter, and I feel like the more I trust God, the more he can give me his strength to be the person he created me to be.