More prayer!

We just received this email from our friend Rhonda, the one who has the children's home on Honduras that we have visited. Please pray!!

Please everyone, pray for Destino del Reino. We are here in the USA and we just found out that the men who robbed the school before have been back Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday nights and they have guns and there are a lot of them. The police came last night 30 minutes after they left but could not catch anyone. They burned a cross in the floor and stole a lot of things but we are mostly afraid they will move on to the children's home. PLEASE PRAY -- for safety for our kids and for peace for us in this because we cannot return until Monday morning. They usually are worse on the weekends and we are on Halloween weekend of all things. Thanks for praying and we will stand against the demonic attacks of these men with the ALL POWERFUL SPIRIT OF GOD. Thanks for your prayers.
In His grace,


Please pray

My heart is aching for the people of Goma in the D.R. Congo. Please be in prayer for these people who have been displaced due to rebel violence, and also for the rebels themselves. Jesus is the only answer.


Birthdays are Grand!

Have I mentioned how much I love my birthday? It seems almost shameful, being 25 and all, but I secretly am obsessed with my special day. Saturday started out great. Mom sent a bday box filled with goodies. Notice the backwards words? Clay took this with my computer and he said we could reverse the words, but I like it this way :)

Mom wrapped my presents in leftover wallpaper from our house- it made me so happy!! Some of that wallpaper is not even on the walls anymore. Ah, nostalgia...

Then we headed over to the Sandozes campsite and had birthday breakfast burritos a la Phil Sandoz. Here is Clay playing with the magnet hair face guy his mom got him. It is funny to me that there is still so much to learn about Clay. It makes me happy- who would have thought he had a deep love for this hairy little toy? I am glad to know it!

We headed to Asheville for the day, and we had a great time! Clay even posed with me for some fun shots, I think just because it was my birthday :) Here is my favorite.

The birthday crew!

An end to a perfect day!

Sigh, I love my birthday. If only it would come again sooner!! :)


Something exciting to me

I have always had a hard time memorizing Scripture. It just doesn't work well for me. Small group time at Awanas was usually a dreaded time because I had the hardest time remembering my verses, and the homeschool kids always owned me anyways. We'd go to the share table and they were able to buy dolls when all I could afford was a tootsie pop. Bitterness I need to deal with...

Anyways, FINALLY I have found a way that I can do it!! When I put verses to music they stick like glue in my head. I am serious. It is the most amazing and awesome thing and I am so glad the Lord clued me in. For some reason my brain can remember song lyrics really well but the spoken word is a challenge. Clay and I are now memorizing Romans 8 and it is working!! Do not be fooled, the songs are pretty dorky. The words are all God's word, but the melodies I make up are not 20 Countdown Magazine nominees by an stretch. But who cares! The Bible can stick in me now!

I am just so excited and wanted to share! If any of you struggle with Scripture memory, give this a try! All you need is a door you can close so know one can hear you sing :)

Love to you all!


Last weekend

We had the best weekend! The Sandozes came in for the week and we met them in Cherokee on Saturday afternoon. The drive up there proved that fall is indeed upon us ( I am stifling the urge to write "It's fall ya'll." You understand...). Check out these beautiful colors.

Soon after arriving at their campsite, we headed out for a short hike. The leaves are just amazing. When we were looking for their camper at the campsite, there were leaves everywhere! Some campers even had tarps covering them so keep the falling leaves off. It was so funny because the organized gene inside of me was kicking in big time wondering if there was a broom strong and long enough to whip that campsite in to shape. I guess maybe a rake would have been more appropriate :) Point is, it was a sight for this pine tree Texas girl to see knee high piles of leaves. Beautiful leaves at that.

This waterfall was the destination of our hike.

That night Phil did one of the things I love him for- grilled pork chops and sausage (as only he knows how) on his tee-niney grill. They were the best. One of my favorite meals ever.

The next day, we drove on up to the Smokies to check out some lookout over the mountains. I can't remember the name. It was labeled as a "Moderate" hike, but the lady at the campsite told Tracy it was indeed more than just moderate. So we were all geared up and ready to climb a mountain. We got there and.... get this... the trail was PAVED. As in, it was a road. With all kinds of people walking up it. Clay even pointed out the motorized wheel chair guy flying up it. So, moral is, advice from the campsite lady often requires a 2nd opinion.

The view all day was just incredible. We had such a good time! This sign we found for the Appalachian Trail made Clay's mouth water. In my head I was considering telling him that I would do the entire Trail with him sometime. You know, a "Hey, Baby, we can totally do that Trail sometime," and just completely make his day (perhaps his lifetime), and THEN I heard them say that it takes anywhere from 4-6 months!!! So, more of a "Hey, Baby, I will drive from nice hotel to nice hotel while you hike that trail. I'll toss some food out to you every once in awhile." Why do I think I like being outside? I digress... Here is Clay on the Appalachian Trail.

Some pretty views of the Smokies.

And here you see a very happy man. Clay Sandoz was born for this kind of view :)

So there was our weekend. It was a very fun time with Clay's folks- we miss home people. Exciting news- tomorrow is my birthday and I am so excited (I really love my birthday :)!! We are going to Asheville to spend the day with Clay's parents. Also, tonight they are cooking gumbo for the whole group!! I cannot wait to see everyone eating gumbo- so many of them have never even heard of it before- is that not funny? It should be a fun night- I can't wait!!


Good Afternoon

Any time it's 63 degrees at 4:15pm, it's hard not to be outside. Absolutely perfect. I took advantage of the ideal weather by going for a nice run.

About a third of the way into my run, I saw a big black dog running up beside me. The dogs around here have been less than hospitable, so I assumed this would be another one I'd have to yell at and scare off. Instead, Sirus (which I later learned was his name) ran all around, jumping up and down like a puppy wanting to play.

I assumed he would stay near his house, but Sirus ended up following me for the next 6 miles! This is the first time I've run with a dog, and it was great. He would run up ahead, sniff around and chase deer and squirrels , and when he got too far he'd stop and wait for me to catch up. At one point his ears perked up as if he heard something, then he plopped down in the ditch. A few seconds later a car came around the corner. When it had passed, he hopped up and kept running. This happened almost every time a car passed, and each time he did, I couldn't help but laugh. The run turned out to be a lot more fun than I'd anticipated. At one point I was running down this beautiful winding road under a canopy of orange, yellow, and red leaves, temperature perfect, dog at my side, and, no lie, horses galloping in the pasture to my left. Unbelievable.

Sirus ended up following me back to CIT, which was fun, but then we had to figure out what to do with him. It took forever to catch him, and when I did, the number listed on his tag was no longer in service. Great. Our only option now was to take him back. We fought to get him in the back of the 4Runner and before we were 2 minutes down the road, he had climbed into the back seat. I rolled the window down so he could hang his head out, but he soon lost interest in that. He moved to the middle to stand with his head between the front seats, then the next thing we knew the only thing in the back were his two back legs. Everything else was in the front with us, mostly on Megan's lap. This 50 lb. dog was sitting on Megan's lab, legs crossed, looking out the window as if this was completely normal.

When we got to the house where he joined me, he jumped out of the car to one of his owners who was outside. The guy was really happy to see him and so thankful we'd brought him back. We were glad to see he lived with nice folks who seemed to take good care of him.

I don't know that I've ever laughed so much while running. It was a blast.


Destino Video

Back in July, Megan and I got to spend a few weeks in Honduras with Rhonda Jackson at Destino del Reino (check out our previous posts to read all about it). While we were there, Rhonda asked me to make a video to help share about the ministry that’s going on there. Check out the video and see all the great stuff God is doing there in Honduras:


I got sleep and am better today.

One of the best things about going to Candidate Orientation is that we finally got to meet Daniel Liberek, our Regional Director and team leader while in Belgium!! It was so great to get to talk to him face to face. His story is really neat. He was born in England to his English father and Belgian mother. He moved to Belgium when he was 5 as a missionary kid, went to college in the U.S., and then returned to Belgium as a missionary in 1980. He is the pastor of the church we will be a part of, and we are so looking forward to being a part of his church and getting to know his family. 

It was really exciting to hear some of his ideas for us in Belgium. He is pumped about Clay's video abilities, and already has some projects in mind. Clay would also love to get enough French under his belt to be able to train some church members in video. For me, Daniel is hoping a Spanish ministry can emerge to reach the somewhat large Spanish-speaking population in Huy. There is a group of Spanish-speakers in the church that are ready to start reaching out into the community, and I would LOVE to get to know them and join them in that. Does that get you fired up?! It does me. And even more than the excitement of being a part of something so cool is the hand of God that is all over this. I was a Spanish major, ya'll, and I signed on for a French speaking country. I figured I had hung up my espanol cleats, you know? And then, "oh and by the way, there are a whole lot of Spanish speakers in Huy..." What?! How could this be any more perfect? Now I just need to brush up on my Spanish, it's been awhile. 

On the subject of language, we just ordered Rosetta Stone for French so we should be chomping away at French soon. And language acquisition starts tomorrow so we should be all set. I am really excited. 

Today a group from Candidate Orientation came in from Charlotte to get a look at CIT. It is so exciting to see God working in so many lives. How does he manage all of us?! He is huge.

Enjoy your Columbus Day tomorrow!


Well Cripes.

No, not crepes, cripes. We got robbed, people! Our little rent house in Tomball was violated last night! Can you believe it?! Rob (my brother) called us today in Charlotte with the news. So far the only thing we can see that was stolen was my guitar. That's not too bad. They left Clay's monitor and some other computer stuff, which we are thankful for. I am just so thankful no one was hurt! I don't like the thought of creepy people on our property where my entire family is. Sick.

Anyways, the funny part is that the crooks totally chose the WRONG house to pilfer from. Ok, we have absolutely nothing. Nothing. And the stuff we did have we already sold in a garage sale. We are told they looked under our mattress, I guess to see if we had any cash stashes. (maybe looking for a diary or two as well? I mean, please, who keeps money under their mattress anymore?*) They also overturned the air mattress in the guest room. This makes me laugh really hard as I am picturing the thief hurriedly assessing the situation and realizing his mistake in choosing this dud of a house- "They have blow up furniture, for pete's sake" he might say. Also, imagine their surprise when they saw our TV! Have you seen it? Here is a picture from a slumber party in Austin with my girls, and you can see our TV in the background. There is no easy escape after you steal something like that. It weighs about 100lbs, though it does have wheels which could speed things along. Maybe they didn't notice...

So, other than that news, the weekend in Charlotte was great. We joined Keith and Rachel for the Lyle Lovett concert on Thursday night, and then hung out until Candidate Orientation started. We enjoyed meeting some new folks that God has cool stuff in store for. I also dragged Clay to Anthropologie TWICE, which shows what an incredibly patient man he is.

Time for bed, it has been a busy day. I am thankful that all that is missing from my life at the end of this day is a guitar. Thank you Lord!

Love, Megan

*Please accept my apologies if you do indeed keep money under your mattress. It is a brilliant idea.**

**Please accept my apologies for the sarcasm. I got robbed today.


Phase One Complete

Equipping is officially over! Here is Clay turning in our final paper (Ours was stapled, and did not have an awesome plastic cover like everyone else's. Not sure how we missed that memo...), and it felt great!

In our History Giving group, Clay and I shared our stories yesterday. After we talked, the group prayed for us- this group is such a blessing. It is amazing how things work after you know someone's story. It has only been 4 weeks, but I truly love these people. God is all over them.

And here's a quick video of the pictures we used to tell our story:

As it was the last day of the session, several families are heading out, some to the field THIS month!! We will miss them. Here is our Equipping family. Sniff sniff.

On Monday, Language Acquisition begins and will last 2 weeks. We will not be learning French, but we will be learning how to learn a language. Techniques and stuff for learning a language while in the culture that speaks it. I am very intrigued and have no idea what to expect. We shall see!

Currently, we are in Charlotte at UWM's Candidate Orientation and Vision Day. Keith asked us to lead worship and we are going to be interviewed by a couple of people to share some of the journey we have been on to get here. It is funny that a little over a year ago, we were here to officially begin our relationship with UWM. We had not raised any support, and still weren't even sure where we would be going. God has done so much in this last year!! He provided clarity (not TOO much, of course :) on Belgium and what our time there might look like, we got to meet our team there, and we have been blessed with supporting friends and churches to carry us on their shoulders as we live out this journey. In just the last few weeks we have been blasted with learning about his immense grace and LOVE for us that is not dependent on anything that we do. I think we both would have claimed this before we came here, but I know now that we had no idea what that is all about. God's love. I still don't get it. But the glimmer of it that I see shining through the religion I had created in my mind is breathtaking. Shine on, Jesus! We are looking forward to seeing what he will do in the next year of our lives.

I hope your weekends are stellar and that Jesus fills your hearts and minds.
Love, Megan


Kick Ball and Jesus Cookies

Have we told you about the Mayor yet? Each week a new family is assigned the mayorship, and one of the responsibilities is a CIT community event. On Saturday, the current mayors organized a kickball game and a cookout. Super fun. We love these guys so much!! It is weird to think that 4 weeks ago we were strangers. Sadly, 3 families are leaving on Friday as it marks the end of our Equipping session. We will meet the new guys that come in for Language Acquisition on Monday.

Big Paper update: We finished on Saturday!! It is a relief to be done. Reading our paper should be entertaining as it is easy to know who wrote what part. Clay's is filled with careful documentation of every fact, a formal research paper at its best. My portion is filled with lines like "So the break down of demographics in Belgium is as follows..." Yeah, for as many ways that we are exactly alike, there are some really funny differences.

On Sunday we attended Rutherfordton Presbyterian for the third time. We are really enjoying our time there. This was the first Sunday that they served communion since we've been going, and I wanted to share some of my musings on it. As I took a cracker from the passing tray (which was extremely heavy and I almost dropped it- how embarrassing would that be?), I noticed the peculiar shape of them. Little half inch by half inch squares that I was expecting to be made of tasteless dough, since I am used to the Lord's Table being somewhat flavorless. When Dr. Scofield said we could eat, I could not believe what I was tasting. Could it be that the object of the sacred ceremony was.... shortbread??? Yes. The smallest homemade shortbread square on the planet. At first I was a little concerned- could we truly stand in reverence towards communion while eating a tea snack? Could I focus on Jesus' sacrifice well when distracted by its tastiness? And then I was overwhelmed by how perfect it all was. That as we remember and celebrate what Jesus has done for us, why should it not taste sweet? It is, afterall, the sweetest story I ever heard. A LORD that would sacrifice himself to save wretched sinners who wouldn't even be drawn to him except by his grace. Whew. Bring on the shortbread. Let's celebrate the Lord's goodness in the land of the living! And know that something even better than buttery cookies awaits us on the other side.


For Those Who Like Charts

For those of you who, like me (Clay), like charts, here's a great chart they gave us to understand culture shock (the processing of newness and change) and culture stress (the processing and adaptation over time).

This was really helpful for us to see. We've talked about printing it out and putting it on our refrigerator to track where we are (and validate how we're feeling). This all really makes sense - the first drop is after the new wears off, the second is around the 1-year mark.

This would be a great way to pray for us! They said most mission organizations tell the missionaries that the goal of their first term (usually 2-4 years) is to just survive and not want to quit. Pray that we adjust well, don't get discouraged when things get tough, that the lows would be great times of learning, and that the highs would be exciting and effective.

Mallow Roast and a Tea Party

Another week gone at CIT. Time is going by so FAST here! We are working hard, but one of the best parts of this whole thing is the fun group of people that are here with us. We have really enjoyed spending time with them. Last weekend we made s'mores together, which was very "fall" of us. It feels more like fall here than I have ever felt. Like in my mind, THIS is what fall should feel like. Add some campfire smoke and you've got yourself something there.

I have to show you how cute this was. The family in charge of the s'mores stuff put all of it individually in bags so all you had to do was grab a bag and head to the fire. A really cute idea.

This week, one of the things we talked about was Culture Shock. It was a very emotional week because I KNOW I will experience this, possibly in large measures. I am so glad we talked about it, though. It calmed some fears. We also spent a lot of time going through 1 Peter, talking about suffering, and how that fits into the believer's life. Wow. That is tough stuff. On one hand, you are like, "Yeah, bring it on. Afterall, Jesus suffered, and this life is short." On the other hand, you are like, "Ummmm, I would really rather NOT suffer, if that's ok. Not at all." This gets hard when you are thinking about the kind of suffering you could face on the field, especially for those going to closed countries. Especially when you start thinking of kids being in the picture. Sheesh. I find myself having to focus on the incredible promises that go along with suffering. Read 1 Peter to check it out. Jesus is truly my favorite. So, yes, it was a hard week. But a good week.

Yesterday, one of the girls threw an Autumn Tea, which was very fun and special. It was good to relax together after the busy week.

It was delightful. I even wore my yellow shoes to celebrate :)

These women are incredible, all with stories that would entertain you for hours. God has moved so obviously in each one's life. These stories are each a true testimony to his creativity, his perfect timing, and his love. Needless to say, I cry in almost every conversation.

Last night Clay and I went to Chili's on a date :) What a good time to catch up and discuss some stuff from this week. It is nice to get off campus and debrief after so much information has flown around all week.

Off to work on our "big paper." We are hoping to finish it off today. We'll see.

Happy weekend!!


If I had a boat, I'd go out on the ocean

Alright, brainstormers. Here's one for you.

Since the beginning of all this planning to go to Belgium, it has always been assumed that we would travel there by plane. Seems like a good plan, right? Well shortly upon our arrival at CIT, one of the other students shared with us the story of another couple who had just left for France

... on a BOAT!

1800s style! Well, not quite. Technically it was a 5 day Transatlantic cruise that took them from New York to London.

Think about how wonderful that would be? Our first thought was, of course, how expensive would that be? But after checking we saw that it was priced at close to the exact same price as the flights.

Advantages to this mode of transportation?
- Having time to process all the goodbyes and grief from leaving family, and then transition into excitement for our time in Belgium
- Having time to adjust to the new time zone without the crazy jetlag phase upon arrival
- Not having to pay for excess baggage
- It would be really fun :)

Sounds great. Unfortunately, upon researching such cruises, we have discovered that no cruiseline (that we can find) offers transatlantic cruises in January.

Here is where you come in. Help up brainstorm if there is any other way to make this happen. Are there ways to charter (that would be ridiculously expensive, but it is a starting point) boats? Or are there private cruise lines out there? Any other ideas?

Help us think, if you have time to. We are totally happy with flying, but this idea seems too fun to just pass up without thinking through every option.

Thanks, friends!