Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Final Colorado Update

Sorry it's taken me a bit to finish telling the rest of the Colorado trip, but life's been hectic! Alisha and the boys are down in the Bay Area still so I am flying solo back home. I thought I would be relaxing some this week - ha! Between making dinner, cleaning up, taking care of the cat, laundry and the mail I can't seem to find time to sit! Ok, so perhaps I should mention that I went to the Newsboys concert last night and I'm going to the movie tonight with my friend Matt Sampson!

Well, Colorado turned out to be a great experience. Our take on our time there is that the eMi officers main concern is that anyone interested in coming on staff really feels called by God to do so - especially those considering an overseas position. They also want to be sure that personality-wise it's a good fit, but beyond that, they want to be convinced that God is authoring the move.

Overall, we've really appreciated their thoroughness in this process. It has forced Alisha and I to search deep to be sure that God is calling us to do this. Honestly, that is a process that will never be completed. Each and every day we ask God to show us His plan, and ask that He override any desire and motive that we bring to the table.

Our feeling was very positive coming away from our time there. We very much liked the people we met with, and we're equally impressed with the overall purpose and direction of the organization. I think more than anything, I felt that eMi was a very good fit for me and I could see potentially being involved with them for a long time. Neither of us feels as if our time in Africa will be indefinite, but we also realize that God will have the final say on this too. We both feel like we'll be in Africa for somewhere around 3 years +/-. At that point, I could definitely see myself coming back to work in the Colorado office if that opportunity were available to me (though raising support to work out of Colorado Springs seems even more daunting than our current fundraising project!).

When we left, Glen, the CEO of eMi, told us that they don't like any decisions to be made during our visit but instead they like to sit on it for a couple of weeks, allowing us and them to pray over the decision. He said if we came back with an answer that God was telling us no, that would be a good answer. But generally speaking, he said if someone comes to them and says that God is calling them to join eMi, as long as they think it's a good fit personality-wise, they are not in the business of getting in the way of God moving.

On the way there, we felt that we were either going to be sure of our decision or feeling like this was not for us. So as we flew out of Denver later that night, we both agreed that we felt a sense of confidence in our decision after having gone through "the fire".

We won't hear anything from them this week as one of them was to be out of the office all week. But they should be meeting sometime next week, and they'll contact us afterwards. If they approve us, they'll send us a signed letter of acceptance, and soonafter a written "appointment" outlining the job description. From there, we'll be working out details on our budget and fundraising letter. We're very excited to share our DVD with them at that point!

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Update from Colorado

(This is Alisha) Well, we just arrived back at our hotel after a long, but very informative day at eMi. The day started off with a short time of group devotions with their staff, and then a personality profile and cultural assessment which was helpful for understanding how our personalities might approach and deal with cultural and environmental changes in Africa. Everyone we met today was very friendly. We went to lunch with one couple and then walked back to the office for a tour (meeting the staff individually), and then a 3 hour group interview with Karen (HR), the two VPs and the CEO of eMi.

We both felt like they got an accurate picture (both the good and the bad) of us and what we were thinking about Africa. They asked a lot of questions about Brodie, what ministry looked like to us, how our family has influenced us in this process, how we grew up, why we feel God wants us in Africa, and the process we've gone through up to this point.

Tomorrow will start the day with praise/worship at the office, finance meetings, and a final one on one meeting with Glen, the CEO. We then have a lunch meeting with a couple of the staff and will head back to the airport for our flight home after that. It has seemed like a whirlwind of a trip but has been very helpfull. As far as what the staff thinks about us going to Africa, we may not know that for a couple of weeks but we'll keep you informed as we learn more. They seemed very supportive. Thank you so much for all of the prayers being sent our way. We love our family and friends!

Monday, March 19, 2007

Off to Colorado

Well, we're off to Colorado tomorrow after work. Actually, we're driving to the Bay Area after work (Tuesday) to leave the boys in the very capable hands of Mom & Dad Berry. Dad Berry will be playing Super-Grandpa as he will be charged with manning the fort during the day while mom is teaching. Please pray for the boys, and him!

We fly to Colorado Springs (COS) Weds. morning at 9:40am, arriving at 2:20pm in Denver. We're then renting a car and driving (about an hour) South to COS. We'll be staying at the Embassy Suites there in COS, both Weds. and Thurs. night, then fly back to Oakland Friday night - arriving at 10:25pm. A whirlwind trip - though not as bad as the one we took last November (to Africa for a whopping 4 days).

As for our time at eMi, here is the tentative schedule they gave us:

Tentative Interview Schedule:
Thursday, March 22nd
8:30 to 9:00 Morning Prayer
9:00 to 10:00 Personality Profile - Karen
10:15 to 11:30 Cross-Cultural aptitude assessment - Laura
11:45 to 1:00 Lunch – Erika & Henry
1:00 to 2:00 Office Tour - Henry
2:00 to 4:30 Group Interview - Glen, Gary, Craig, Karen

Friday, March 23rd
7:30 to 8:30 Friday Morning Worship
9:00 to 10:00 World Zone Presentation - Karen
10:30 to 11:30 Finance – Jason/Kelly
11:30 to 12:00 Wrap-up meeting – Gary/Glen
12:00 to 12:30 Next Steps - Karen

After all the questions we've answered, we can't imagine what we're going to have to talk about for 2 1/2 hours on Thursday afternoon! But on the serious side, we're very glad that they are as thorough as they are. With as big of a move as this is for us, it's comforting (and helpful) that they take it as seriously as they do.

We'll try to keep you updated as we have anything to share. ...Oh, we received the 'rough' draft of our DVD from Lindsay (& CJ) McPhail and it is awesome! We essentially made no changes of substance to it, and plan to take a copy with us to Colorado to share with the eMi people if it feels right/appropriate (not wanting to look presumptious by showing up with such a first-rate DVD for fundraising already produced before they've even hired us!).

Thanks for your prayers for our safe trip and effective meetings (and for the boys and Grandma & Grandpa!).

Monday, March 5, 2007

Brodie & Jonah on 2 wheels!!

Brodie & Jonah were all smiles today as they both learned to ride their bikes without training wheels! Brodie can start, go and stop all by himself, and Jonah can do everything but start on his own - though if he's headed downhill he can. We were so proud of them! We've been practicing for a few days, but today (while I was at work :( ) they finally got the hang of it! (note: Jonah loves Brodie's soccer socks! It's in his blood from sister Susie-Highsocks!)

Also note how in-tuned I am with them, as you can see me in the background paying total attention to their bikeriding and NOT to my conversation with the neighbor! (father-of-the-year right there!)
Posted by Picasa

Sunday, March 4, 2007

Great Illustration

I read this in an online devotional my sister Terri got me hooked on. I feel like it's a clear analogy of what it feels like we're doing! (hint: we're just now climbing into the wheelbarrow)

"When I was a new Christian I heard an illustration of what belief and faith looked like when combined. If you were a trapeze artist and were skilled at walking across tightropes over high places, you might even be willing to walk across Niagara Falls. In fact, I would have confidence that you could because I had seen your abilities as a trapeze artist. However, if you asked me if you could push me in a wheelbarrow across Niagara Falls, you would be challenging me to put my beliefs into action. This requires faith, participation, and risk, which, until now, was based only on mental assent."

Laying in wait

We're in a short waiting period at the moment, as we wait for our trip to COS (how people "in the know" abbreviate 'Colorado Springs'). At the moment, we're trying to work on getting our stuff ready to send to our friends CJ & Lindsay for the DVD. We're also talking about our various options for selling the house, and brainstorming on ideas about fundraising.