We had a wild last few weeks in the States, and now we are able to catch our breath a bit before officially launching our new mission. Jon’s job at the university ended July 18th, and we drove away from Rolla with all (okay, most) of our earthly belongings early in the morning on the 19th. Our first stop was a family reunion camp out in Tennessee where we were able to reconnect with much of Jon’s extended family.
After that we volunteered at a church youth camp in Illinois for a week, which was such a blessing to take part in. Jon got to help them build a new website and taught classes, and I worked in the kitchen. At the end of that week we were able to speak at a church close to the camp that has agreed to partner with us and provide guidance and resources for our organization, so that was hugely encouraging! That church has several community development projects going on that have been very successful, and they have lots to offer our fledgling venture. Following that week we spent some time in St. Louis with Jon’s family, playing games as Reinagels do, and finishing off the last of the packing before flying out on August 11. The journey went well, and we and all of our bags made it safely to Malta.
So here we are in Malta, specifically on the island of Gozo. My (Carla’s) parents and two youngest sisters live and work here with Youth With A Mission’s ministry called Marine Reach, which operates multiple ships that host schools and perform outreaches. It has been wonderful to visit with them while we settle some administrative work for Equip Mozambique. We're almost done putting together our application to officially register as a non-profit organization, we're updating our website, and unfortunately we're also still working on getting our visas to enter Mozambique. We were hoping to have that done before we left the States, but the paperwork in Moz has been progressing at a snail's pace, so we're having to seek alternate options.
In addition to a chance to get work done, this has also been a great opportunity for rest, prayer, worship, and listening to God. I was able to take a full day off as a retreat and really had a good time connecting with my Abba Father and letting Him teach me new things. One of these little lessons was found in Matthew 8 where Jesus calmed the storm. He was impressing on me that we must absolutely trust him no matter what storms come our way, knowing that we can rest in the knowledge that He is in control of everything. Our current visa difficulties are nothing for the One who commands the wind and waves!
While on my extended prayer retreat, I explored until I found this little abandoned stone hut to sit in while I listened to God. This was my view.
Onward From Here
We still have a couple of weeks here in Malta to finish up our tasks, and we leave for Mozambique on September 17th. Our plan on arrival is to stay with some members of our new home church, Peniel Worship Center, while we look for a house or apartment. Once we get settled, the real work will begin in earnest! We're getting excited to see what God has in store for this new chapter of our lives, and we'll do our best to keep you up to date on the adventures and lessons He takes us through. Thank you for your prayers!
That all of our church visits and travels State-side went well
That we were able to figure out what to do with all of our stuff (:-P)
We asked for prayer for more connections before we left--and God answered those prayers in abundance!
That we and all of our luggage arrived in Malta safely
That all the paperwork for our visas would be processed soon
For wisdom and guidance on how to apply for our visas
That our application for non-profit status would be accepted
That the rest of our time here in Malta will be fruitful
That we would be able to find affordable housing in Mozambique
The kids crammed into the car surrounded by all of our stuff!
Kyran and Jariel sharing a treat at camp.
Janie, doing what Janies do best. See her blog for more great photos of our joint adventures.
We got to visit Ggantija, an ancient temple that was 5,500 years old! Supposedly the second-oldest religious structure in the world.
We are not a tax-exempt organization yet, but we are working on it and we should be by the end of the year. If that is important to you we can accept donations through a local church. Checks can be made to "Church Without Walls" with "Equip Mozambique" in the memo line and sent to:
Church Without Walls 10501 County Road 3010 Rolla, MO 65401
We've put together another video explaining our vision for helping to start a college once we get to Mozambique, click the picture below if you want to see it!