This past week has been a challenging one- in a good way. It was also very busy. Last Friday, Feb. 8th, late in the afternoon, we set off for Sky Harbor Airport in Phoenix, AZ. Our plane landed around 8pm Mountain Time. Our plans that weekend were to reconnect with a couple missionaries there at the Southwest Indian Ministries Center, see the progress that had been made on the new dorms and multi-purpose building, visit a couple different churches, meet Lindsay's Great Aunt and Uncle, and also to interview with their church's Mission Board on Monday.
The construction had progressed quite a bit from when we visited back in May of last year. When we were there at that time, the foundation for the dorm was just being poured. Now, most of the outside of the dorm is finished, most of the framework inside is done, insulation has been sprayed inside, and most of the plumbing is done as well. It is really coming together fast! Also, last time we visited, the multi-purpose building's floor was still being cleaned and mopped and bathrooms were almost finished putting in. Last week, Jon and I were able to enjoy playing basketball (Thanks Steve!), the bathrooms were functional, and the equipment room was stocked. It is so very exciting to see everything coming together!
On Saturday, we were blessed with the opportunity to re-visit the Heard Museum of American Indian Art and History. We were also able attend a Hoop Dance Contest in Phoenix. Click the following link for more information. http://www.heard.org/hoop/abouthoop.html The hoop dancing was phenomenal. We enjoyed watching dancers from many places including Arizona, Canada, Hawaii, Utah, New Mexico, Tennessee, and California. For pictures, please go to our Facebook page, Jon & Lindsay Birkey.
Saturday evening, we met with Lindsay's Great Aunt and Uncle. We had a wonderful time getting to know them and hearing their stories. They were a great connection for us as we interviewed at their church before the Mission's Board for support on Monday. More on that in a bit. We thank Jim and Esther deeply for their faith in us and their generosity as well as their hospitality.
Sunday morning we visited Grace Bible Church in Sun City (Jim and Esther's Church), early in the morning. We enjoyed our time there. We then visited Trinity Mennonite Church in Glendale, where we met with the senior pastor, youth pastor, and worship leaders. We hope to return and meet with both churches again soon.
Monday afternoon, we interviewed at Grace Bible Church before their Mission's Board. We were challenged as we were reminded that we only have a few short months to raise the rest of our support by the end of May. We needed this reminder in order for us to refocus and recharge our hearts and minds with the mission that the Lord had laid before us. This trip to Arizona was exactly what we had needed to jump-start our support raising efforts. We have new goals in place and feel very refreshed and renewed in the Lord and His plans for the SIMC.
We returned to Indiana Monday evening and arrived at WGM Headquarters in Marion on Tuesday morning to begin our week-long training. We enjoyed meeting two new Missionary Disciple couples as well as reconnecting with another MD couple that we had met previously. We also enjoyed connecting with other missionary couples who were on HMA and meeting with some new and familiar faces of WGM staff. That time was spent attending teaching sessions, cooking and eating meals with one another, doing a work project together, and getting to know one another. We completed the training week on Friday and picked up one very excited dog from Jon's parent's house on Friday evening. We were finally ready for some rest.
Do you need recharged? What is draining you of your energy? Do you need time to refocus? How has the Lord used times in the past to help you rest in Him? We pray that God would reveal to you ways that you are being drained of your energy and focus in the Lord. May He come alongside you and help you find ways to refocus your heart and mind on Him and what He has for you as a part of The Body. May you find rest and fulfillment in the One who created you and may you bring Him glory all the days of your life.
-Jon and Lindsay