Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Busy Busy Fall! (at least in the USA its Fall)

Hello Dear Friends.....I am sorry it has taken so long to post! end of the summer was a bit crazy getting things back on track after traveling all of July, plus we had a few other short trips in there. Rob did do a post at the end of august to get a slide show up on our site with pictures from NZ, but I don't think I sent out a notice to all of you? We are also in the midst of changing the format for out site, but that is taking longer then I thought it would so I have decided to get a post out there even though we are not in our final format. Next we knew we were into fall which brought some much needed routine and busy schedules. The Reynolds are doing very well! Caleb is loving our schooling this year, and Aedan is right on his heals. The "routine" of things has allowed for more structured days of schooling till early afternoon and then the afternoon hours left for fund raising efforts. It has been a beautiful Fall here in New England, which has welcomed some great family time for us as well. This is my absolute favorite time of the year in this part of the world. It has also been a time of reflecting for us as well. It was one year ago that Rob and I on our knees before the Lord made the decision to start this journey to New Zealand, although team building efforts didn't get underway until the spring, the decision was in the early Fall. It was also this time 2 years ago that I was fighting my way through Chemotheropy, and with Oct. being Breast Cancer awarness month, I am so very very thankful for my healing and health. Matter of fact my family and I have formed a team to walk in the fight against breast cancer which takes place this coming weekend.
So what are we up to with New Zealand efforts......Sept. was a great "re-grouping" time for us, evaluating ground work laid down in the summer, setting goals and participating in a local church missions weekend. That was a great weekend for us. South Baptist is the church that I grew up in and that Rob and I were married in. They have just brought in a new Pastor and they held their first missions conference in a long long time. Rob and I were 1 of 4 missionaries asked to participate. I had the awesome opportunity to share my story with 25 ladies at a luncheon on Sat. and then Rob and I gave a 20 minute presentation on Sunday morning. It was great to reconnect with this church, and good for Rob and I to have the experience. They were very generous that weekend, and are looking into the possibility of supporting us. We continue to follow up on many connections in the mid west and are really beginning to dive into connections and church possibilities here in the north east. My "to do" list always seems about a mile long, but every day I just keep laying it before God, there are days that I keep trying to control this, and that usually leads to frustration. As many of you may be aware, our original goal was to depart in the fall. We began to realize late august that 6 months was a bit ambitious to complete all of our funding. We have been encouraged by many other missionaries that usually takes a year at the very least, and to keep plugging away. So we have set new sights, setting our hopes and prayers on early 2009. It took some time but we have had great peace in this and many loved ones continue to remind us of God's timing, not ours. Lately Jeremiah 17:7-8 has really been a pillar for me. "But blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. it has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit." So we continue to move forward in confidence, trusting in the Lord.
We have designed a newsletter, and many of you have expressed interest in being on that mailing list, so that will be coming soon as well. We will get a recent update form our friends in NZ and I will post happenings going on there as well. Continue to pray for that congregation. We hope this finds all of you well and enjoying this amazing time of year also. When you look at this post scroll down and look at the one before, it has a slide show from cession|community.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Home!!

Hi All, we are home safe and sound. Sorry it has taken me a while to update you on that. It has been good to get home, always takes time to settle back in though, and we have had sickness going through the kids! thank you for praying us through the last 3 weeks, and for those we spent time with.....it was priceless, thank you! Our last week went great. The three days in MI were just what they needed to be, it was tough to leave, but our hearts are full. Our travel to NY was a bit rough, we basically followed a heavy duty storm all the way there (it ended up being the storm that cause tornado's in NH if you can believe that, but our area was ok). we stopped at Niagra Falls for the first time with the boys during the one break of rain and that was fun. we then had a few days at Never the Same camp in Houghton NY. This is a Youth Camp that Rob and I were involved in for many years as it got started and all. The Camp and the people involved from many different churches are very dear to our hearts. We had a wonderful two days there and truly felt and experienced Gods hand moving among the students there and even in our own hearts. It was a bit of a time of renewal for Rob and I. it was also a bit bittersweet because we miss the ministry so much, and we were so touched by it as well. On Friday morning KCC (our sending church) met as a group (the students there and their pastors) and during that time they prayed over our family before we got on the road.......one of those moments you hold close in your heart. From there we got back on the road for our final leg home to NH. We pulled in on Friday night. Aedan started to not feel well thursday of camp and all day friday he had a high fever, even with that he traveled well tough. He started to get over during the weekend, but then Caleb started on Monday, and he had it really bad! but thank god he is on the other side of it now, and we just keep praying protection over the rest of us in the household. So.....home.....man so hard to believe the three weeks is done. We are still processing all that took place and there is a ton of follow up now for a lot of ground work that has been laid for NZ. This trip has helped us to feel like we have the wind at our backs now. There was time for us as a family to reconnect, brainstorm, and dream a bit and now we need to continue to put feet to all that. There are many thoughts swimming around in my head, but I'll save that for another post. For now, we are home and so thankful for all of your support and prayers. I'll post again soon............

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

1 week to go!

No, we didn't drive off a road some where in MN!! Sorry you have not heard from us for a week! Its really hard to believe that we are in our last week of this trip. Our family time in the Dells was awesome, just a delight to play with the kids. They have kept up so well. Our week at Bethel seminary was a really great week. It was so good for me to see where Rob has been going to school for the last few years. It is a great campus which screams nature, so my boys felt right at home! We had great accommodations right on campus and we loved meeting many of the people we have heard Rob talk about over the years. Rob had a good class, its always a bit intense for the on campus classes so he was worn out by the end of the week. The boys and I filled our days with a more "normal" schedule then we had carried in MI, lots of out door walks and I was able to begin some of our follow up on things that took place during week one in MI. So it was good to regroup. Many of the staff/fellow students were given our prayer cards through out the week as we went in and out of conversations and there are a few that I know we will follow up on as well. We did the truly touristy "american" thing and went to the mall of america one night. I was so proud of our boys, they had one agenda and one agenda only and that was the Lego World store. Thats all we did and they had a great time and came home with a few coveted lego sets that money had been saved up for! We have made our way back to Grand Rapids MI, we will be here until Wednesday morning. WE just took a couple of days to take the pressure off of week one to have some over flow time for those we couldn't fit in on the first stop. WE will leave early Wed morning for Houghton NY. There is a youth camp held there that Rob was involved in for many years, we have many loved ones and staff members there that it will be great to touch base with plus the worship experience is always a huge shot in the arm for us. So pray for us in these last few days here in MI, there is always that feeling of "should there have been more we should have done", "should we have stayed longer" many of those feelings. Also this is like coming home for us, and we likely will not be back prior to leaving for New Zealand, so there are many emotions mixed in with this as well. Thank you for those who prayed for my brother, he and the team returned safe and sound to their families last monday night. I'm looking forward to hearing about his experience there in Haiti. Thank you for checking in and I will update again in the next few days. Many of you have sent us encouraging notes, thank you so much, it helps "carry" us!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Priceless

6 days, non-stop schedule= exhaustion
Pushing kids hard and staying up late every night= whiny children
All day conference and putting best foot forward for 8 hours= falling asleep while sitting up

A full week of being with friends and loved ones, plus many opportunities to share our heart for New Zealand=......PRICELESS.

It is so hard to believe that we left NH a week ago today! This past week has been like a whirl wind! We heard from many of you, and felt your prayers as we went through our day at the district conference yesterday! Thank you, thank you from the bottom of our hearts! It was a very full and great day for us yesterday. Rob and I did not expect to come away from the conference as encouraged and inspired as we did. First of all this day was a far bigger deal then I had in my mind. There were close to 350 people there and a lot of buzz and busy vibrancy in the building by the time we arrived. We were given a table that we set up in back of the sanctuary and during the second session we were recognized as guests at the conference and officially introduced and then Rob was given just a couple of minutes to introduce ourselves and explain a bit of what we were doing. Rob did a great job and took the opportunity to thank KCC (our "home" church while in MI) and the district for all they have invested in us over the years. It was also announced that if anyone wanted to spend some time with us they could have lunch with us in a pre assigned room. The rest of the day was filled with reconnecting with many familiar faces and catching them up to speed, getting to know a handful of pastors and other individuals we did not know prior to that day, and being encouraged and gleaning some "team building" info from some fellow missionaries who have been in the business much longer then us. We were encouraged by seeing Gods work through the Wesleyan Church and inspired by a speech delivered by the new General Superintendent. The ground work and "face" time that was laid out and has set us up so very well for much follow up over the next few weeks was .....again....priceless. So thank you for your prayers over the past week and especially yesterday....priceless.

So Rob and I packed up all our stuff and loaded up the kids this morning and headed out of Grand Rapids. We are on our way to ST. Paul MN, for Rob to do a week of seminary. We decided to spend some much needed down time and family play time. So after years of saying we wanted to go to Great Wolf Lodge, we are here for one night in the Wisconsin Dells. This is an amazing place that is all built around an indoor/outdoor water park. The whole place is totally designed for family time. So we are just focusing on us today and tomorrow, and will arrive at school Sunday evening. So...we are well, we are blessed, and we are grateful for what week one has been on our 3 week trip. I will update again once settled at school. Grace and Peace.......

Friday, July 11, 2008

Camp Caleb and Aedan

hello family and loved ones!! I know Pastor Brett from NZ is saying "finally she updated the blog"! I promised I would keep everyone up to date on our trip, and honestly this is the first chance I have had since we left on Sat the 5th!! Sorry Brett :-) Well as most of you know we are on our three week tour (I keep saying that reminds me of a song "three hour tour, a three hour tour...anyone know what that is from?) We had a great 4th of July week spending time with family and friends and getting ready for our trip. We left in the pre dawn hours on Sat the 5th and drove 18 hours straight through to Grand Rapids MI. It was a great trip. Even though it was a holiday weekend, we had no traffic and weather was amazing. We have a dear family we stay with that is truly our home away from home. This family has plenty of room for us and has an open door policy when it come to us! My kids love it here as well. We walked into the basement to find a tent set up with two beds in it, flashlights, battery lantern and plants all around with a wooden sign that said "CAMP C & A" on it. It was very cool!! We laid our heads down and hit the ground running on Sunday morning, and haven't stopped since. Its been a really great week, and our hearts and spirits are so full with dear dear friends and all that God is doing through our efforts with New Zealand as well. it was Great to be back at Kentwood Community Church, which is our home church and connect with so many great people, not to mention awesome worship service. The week has been filled with catching up with close friends and dinners with others and sharing our story. The kids have been awesome and have loved the social side of all of this. So that is pretty much the nutshell of the last 5 days. We always feel like we wish there were 48 hours in 1 day, but we do what we can and enjoy the ones we are with in any given moment. We leave from here on Sat the 12th, for Rob to go to school in MN, but we will have about 3 days back here in Grand Rapids after school as well. So I have a couple of assignments for you :-) Tomorrow (friday) Rob and I have the opportunity to attend the General Conference of the Wesleyan Church for this area. It will be an all day event (thank you tammie for taking our boys) There will be over 50 churches there, all of which got our packets over a week ago. We will have a few minutes in front of them for introduction, have a table and display set up throughout the day and be able to share our story face to face with those interested during the lunch break. This is an amazing opportunity to connect with several churches at one time to share with them our heart for NZ. If you could pray for our preparation today (writing out what we will say, designing display board etc) and then cover tomorrow in prayer, that Rob and I can be ourselves, but present ourselves well and that God is already working on the hearts of the churches and individuals who need to be part of our team. My other request is to help us cover my brother in prayer. Kevin is a pastor at a church in NH and he is currently in the heart of Haiti with a team, the reports have been good so far and he returns on Monday. Would you join us in covering him and his team (and wife and kids back at home) in prayers of protection both physically and spiritually. Thank you. I will update you all after the conference tomorrow. We love you all, thanks for checking in. We would love to hear from you so feel free to post a comment or two.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Amazing Technology


It is 10:00pm our time and we just hung up the phone with Brett Jones and his wife Kristen, the Pastor of the church we are preparing to serve. (the picture on the left is Brett baptizing a couple)We are sitting here in our little living room, with Robs cell phone on speaker phone, talking with Brett on the other side of the world (and a day ahead of us) and the whole thing coast maybe 5 bucks!! That is amazing to me. Several times in the last few months we have "met" with Jeff Fusner (I even met his wife Beth) by using skype on our computers with web cams and we saw each other while we talked. Jeff is the Area Director for Global Partners in New Zealand. Just amazing, God is really showing me just how small our world can be now, or at least how connected. That helps as I anticipate tearful good byes to friends and family. Our talk with Brett tonight was a good boost for us, just hearing their voices reminds us there are real people with real ministry needs behind all of this. Our conversation encourages us to keep moving forward. Our conversations help Rob and I to know how to pray for Brett and Kristen and their congregation specifically. Take a look at our prayer list on the side of the blog and for the link to the church as well.
Our little family is doing well. We are in the throws of team building and although its tons of work I love every minute of it. We have been blown away and truly blessed by how so many of you have responded to what God is doing in our lives and in New Zealand. Rob and I were also blessed beyond measure last week when team members gave us their beach house for a week. It was truly amazing! God knew exactly what we needed and when we would need it. Rob's current job was right around the corner from it, so no commuting (right now he commutes over an hour each way), I was able to accomplish a lot because my boys were constantly entertained with the sand and ocean, and my spirit was renewed and revived by His mighty creation of the ocean. Now we are preparing for a nearly 3 week trip. We Leave for the mid west July 5th for team building, connecting with precious friends, and seminary. I recently sent out over 50 letters to local churches in West MI and we will be meeting many of these pastors at a conference in MI while we are there. That is something you could pray for as their eyes and hearts receive these letters. So, thats a quick up date on us, we are enjoying the early summer in the midst of all this and the biggest news of all......most of you know that I am a breast cancer survivor, I had test done last week including a mammogram, and the news continues to be awesome, and all clear. God just keeps affirming that He has healed this body. Check out our prayer list and we also added "our story" on the links to catch you up with why and how we landed on New Zealand. Grace and Peace to you all. PS also check out the "comments" on my entry before this one. Pastor Brett updated some info for us.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Lobsters, mailings,travel and answered prayer!

Oh, I have owed you all this for a long time. I apologize for being a-wall for a while on blogging! I am trying to figure out settling into a new life moving in with my parents, looking at the end of the school year with my children, and entering the world of team building. The end of this week will mark 3 months that we have been here at my parents house, which is amazing to me. I feel that just now we are finding our stride, and that is refreshing. I am blown away almost daily at my parents generosity and openness to letting us live life here. So much has happened in the last few months (and yet I struggle with feeling its not happening fast enough) So in a nut shell, we have had a few great birthday celebrations, mine was late April and I had a wonderful night with family complete with my favorite meal, Lobster! It was a feast for queens. The first weekend in May also brought celebration of our oldest Caleb who is now in the double digits, 10 years old!!!! We had a great weekend of the ultimate nerf/finger dart war and family time. A bit of travel also took place for Rob over the last several weeks. As many of you may know Rob is in Seminary at Bethel in St. Paul MN. He traveled out there for classes the end of April and had a great time connecting with fellow students. Once he returned he traveled out to Grand Rapids MI for a long weekend to connect with friends and attend a meeting for minister licensing. It was good to have him home after all his travels. During these weeks I held down the home front, continued to learn the data base we are using for all of our team building and after much ground laying got out our first mailing out for team building. We were so excited and this task oriented person was thrilled to see the first batch go out. We feel all our tools are now in place and we continue to lay it at God's feet to with it what He will. Our hearts are so full of Praise to Him as we have already received such a positive response on many fronts. We are very close to batch two going out and we are preparing mailings to several churches in West MI. We have also been making travel plans to the mid west this summer, beginning to make appointments with other folks who want to know our story, and getting this blog to a spot that it has all the info that we want on it. God also continues to show us He is so obviously at work. We are getting close to my 2 year mark of a breast cancer survivor, last month I had an exam and blood work, and my body continues to be strong and Healed! We have been trying to figure out Robs employment, both for finances and also for health insurance, the latter being a huge concern. God has yet again provided in His timing for these areas of concern and causes us yet again to say "ok, God your way, in Your time". Finally it has been so cool to see how God has been at work on the other side of the Globe in NZ. cession community has kicked off a Sunday morning service (prior to easter they had been running a Sunday evening program and now have added the morning) It has been exciting for us to hear how God has been expanding their impact in their community over just the last few months, and it makes us long to be a part a part of it. So, thats our little corner of the world at this moment in time, thank you for choosing to be a part of it. I will update this more faithfully from here on out, and we love to see your comments as well. Take a look at the prayer list on the side window. Peace and Grace..............

Saturday, March 22, 2008

No, not sealed up in a box somewhere......................

You may be wondering....did she go nuts during the move? Did they get lost along the way? did they change their minds?.....No, we are here, we are moved and we are very very well!! I'm sorry that it has taken me this long to write to you all again! This Sunday (Easter Sunday) marks 3 weeks since we moved in with my Parents. wow, I can't believe how fast time goes. It was a very intense final weekend at the house. Our plans were thwarted by a snow storm on that Sat, so we had to move the "move" to Sunday. Even after all the selling of stuff, giving away of stuff, throwing stuff out, we still seemed to have so much "stuff"! I realized the toughest move, is the one that you must down size for. I don't know where we would have been that weekend without two families that are so very very dear to us, they were God sends. So with much sweat and hard work and more trips back and forth to Gilford then I care to count we finally got out of the house and left it in better condition then we found it in. The adjustment has gone so smooth. Smoother then I expected, there was that little part of me that asked "OK when is the honeymoon over", but I just really think this is where we are supposed to be and God is protecting it. Some how we have managed to fit our "life" into 2 bedrooms, a bath and this sweet little closet office (which used to be my moms but she gave up for us for schooling and fundraising). It is comfortable, and we seem to be settling in. The kids have responded amazingly. There were tears when we left the house (reality is we love the seacoast) matter of a fact it was our 3 year old that threw me off, he stood on the porch crying "I don't want to leave my house, I don't want to leave my house", I had assumed he wouldn't really get it and it would be fine, shame on me. Aedan loves being here at Grammy and papa's but I still get the questions every once in a while "are we going back to my house now", hard to help their little hearts understand. In some ways we have had more quality time with things we are involved in and our friends since we left, we have to use our time well when we are down there, and its been more focused time. So we have taken a deep breath, settled in, Rob made up for all of his lost times in his studies for seminary and finished a semester, found our rhythm a bit and now are getting ready to execute the next phase in our team building. I feel God is right there, just carrying us (as always) sometimes I feel that pit of dread, but then I hear His soft whisper and he says "its ok, I got this one....." and He does, He's got it, I don't need to take it from Him. As we go into this Easter weekend, I have desired to just stop, stop and reflect on all God is, has done, will do.........its mind boggling. I almost have to stop and remind myself "He loves me that much....". This week, one year ago, marks the end of my Radiation treatments (7 weeks, everyday), one year ago we found this precious church that we are now involved in that God used for emotional healing, and one year ago we really began to ask the question...."could there be something to this whole NZ thing?". WoW, what a mighty God we serve. I hope you know that God this Easter, that you have experienced Him so closely that it takes your Breath away.

Thank you for checking in and for your prayers through this little transition. Pray for our work and preparation to get us to NZ, pray that Rob will find a job that will fit our needs yet allow freedom for team building, Pray for cession|community as they are offering a variety of Easter services to their community and stations of the cross in NZ. Have a blessed Easter as we Celebrate all that the risen savior has done for us!!

Monday, February 25, 2008

One Week In counting............................


We are so thankful to our family and friends (both old and new) for all your support and prayers. Our hearts have been lifted by all the comments from our new Friends in New Zealand (thank you) and we have enjoyed reading some of your blogs as well. What a cool thing that we can begin connecting in this way. I am sitting here, the last night that I will be sitting on my living room furniture. We sold it (along with just about everything else we have) and they are coming to get it monday night. I have felt like a furniture store out of my house the last few days. It actually has been really good for me to have it go, it gives me hope that all our "stuff" really is going to get out of here, and it gives me room to "stage" the other stuff. It has been intense and we are getting a bit weary, but God gives us enough strength for each day. The boys have been so patient, I feel I am ignoring them a bit, but they have been troupers. It has been a little strange to me that we are actually leaving this house in just a few days! this has been a good home to us with good land lords, I think more so its leaving the seacoast that is getting to me, and going through yet another transition. The fact that we are going to keep some of our "life" down here and knowing we will be this way at least once a week, does help though. There is a bit of that feeling that we are closing a chapter here, the chapter of the last 3 1/2 years of our life. I am more then ready to close that chapter and I am already in awe at the outline God has laid out for the next chapter. Where we are heading to is such a blessing as well. I feel like by doing this move to my parents, is like a stepping stone, both to transition us out of NH but also to prepare our hearts to be in New Zealand. A word on my parents, last weekend at church they did an original drama in which actors shared true stories that had happened through individuals at the church. The focus was on what does a true "church" look like, how does it serve, love, help etc. One of the stories was talking about how a young couple was really trying to follow what God was telling them to do so they both went into grad school. An older couple from the church said "we have plenty of room, come and share our home and live with us", the actor went on to share how blessed this young couple was, to be in a place where they felt loved and accepted, and "home". Where they didn't have to worry about rent or how they would stay warm..........I left that service thinking "that is what my parents are doing for us". We are so blessed. (the picture above is my mom (or mum in NZ) and our 3 yr old Aedan) So pray for us in these final days of the move, that we would get the help we need, that there would be enough hours in a day, that we would make wise decisions in what we keep and not keep. Praise God for my parents, and for this next Chapter that our faithful father is orchestrating!!

Monday, February 18, 2008

welcome new friends!!!

We know we have new friends visiting this site, and we wanted to say welcome, we are so thrilled you are coming along with us in our Journey. There may be "newbies" on two fronts, first, I closed out my carepage from my cancer journey and have invited all of you to come over to this blog instead. To those of you are new to the Reynolds and would like a better understanding of our last few years you are welcome to read my story at www.carepages.com and once you register your email and sign in, then search for a page called onthemat. The second group that is new here are our new friends in New Zealand. We sent a short video introducing ourselves and the pastor showed it in their service this weekend. Thank you for taking the time to visit us here, and the kind comments already sent our way. Rob and I were able to be with Pastor Brett (NZ) and his family for a day in early January, between that and starting to hear from people at cession|community (the church we will be serving) Rob and I have started to feel that this is very real. It has especially helped the boys and I (DaNae) to get a grasp on this because only Rob has been to NZ. Our excitement has continued to build and God continues to confirm the decisions we have made. So thank you "new friends" and know that we are praying for you as well.

Things have been a bit of a whirl wind, and I know will only get windier in the next two weeks. It is a bit overwhelming to close out a whole house, and doing it in light of knowing your heading over seas. But I am seeing progress, and that has been encouraging. Just this weekend, people started lining up to help, and God knew I needed that, so we have friends and family spread out over the next few weeks, to come help a day here and there. We are very touched by all the support we have, especially my parents willingness to alter a bit of their lifestyle and take in our little family. we are blessed. I am so eager to really dive in deep to team building and all that needs to be done to get us over to NZ, so I am ready to get this move done so we will be free to do that. The boys seem to be taking it all in stride, I think they are excited about moving in with grammy and papa. Aedan (3 yr old) thinks every time I make a comment like, "ok I'm going to go pack a box", that we are leaving right now and will start to grab things and get his coat and say "ok I'm ready to go to gamma and papa". His spirit is contagious! So that is whats happening in our little part of the world! We love hearing from you, and knowing your praying for us carries us. Visit us often.........until next time.........

Things to pray for:

I'll state the obvious........THE MOVE!!!!!!

Rob needs to find a job that hopefully is near my parents, is flexible and has health insurance

The list from the Feb 3 entry still stands the same as well

Monday, February 4, 2008

Off and Running

Hello dear family and friends, sorry its been a bit since I updated. I mentioned we were facing a lot when we returned home, and I wasn't kidding!! Our trip back from IN/MI went great and we took some much needed down time to just play with the boys on the way back. We came back to a full work schedule for Rob, still trying to sift through next steps in our team building process plus a few other biggies. One of which was I was facing an MRI when we returned. Most of you visiting this site know that I had a fight against breast cancer over the past few years(a fight my healing Father won for me) the MRI is part of my continued care, we got the results much sooner then expected and it was all clear, Praise the Lord!!! The other biggie is that our little family is facing a move in the next few weeks (yeah I know, we just had to make it a little more interesting didn't we). We have been praying and working through these next steps for several months, and were lead to decide to move in with my (DaNae's) parents. This will allow us to be in a better financial spot, be able to focus on raising our team to get us to NZ and free rob up to find a job that would give us more balance and allow him to help focus on the team building as well. Some of you may be cringing when you think of moving back in with parents, but Rob and I are very much at peace, we know that if there was any one we had to live well with it would be them. They are being so supportive there aren't words to express! We are really starting to look forward to this transition. I'll admit I wasn't expecting that we would have to do this, this soon so it is a lot of work and transition in a short time, but we are taking it one day at a time and I just keep laying it before the Lord. So thats a nut shell for now.....ways to pray?.....

Pray for:

strength, clarity and time for the move (we are trying to be out by march 1st)

wisdom and balance in our next steps and all the work that goes with team building

cession|community - this is the church we will be serving in NZ (to learn more about them visit www.cession.org.nz)

Rob left for a week at seminary in St Paul MN today, so pray for him at school and the boys and I as we are here without him and dealing with the move.

PRAISE OUR EVER FAITHFUL LORD FOR HIS HEALING POWER IN MY LIFE!!
Blessings to all, and Rob and I will update again soon................

Monday, January 21, 2008

On The Road Again

......I can't just wait to get on the road again...............Oh sorry thats a song, but these past two weeks its also my life :-) What a week! Its hard to believe it is time to go home, yet we are starting to feel like we have been gone forever. Thank you for your prayers, God of course continued to go before us and we feel our week was very balanced and God opened some really wonderful Doors for us, He is so faithful, and we are so encouraged and affirmed in the decisions we have made for our little family. I am learning patience and to let go of "my way" and let God show us a way. I'm a "results" sort of person, and we have seen results but I am also being shown that building up a team around us is laying a lot of ground work as well. And there was a ton of ground work laid this week, and its been a tremendous blessing. We were able to be with 4 churches, each with its own wisdom and encouragement for us, many families, a small group and countless individuals. Our hearts are very full from connecting with so many people that we love so very dearly. Half way through the week I got a bit of a surprise and came down with the Flu, this was a discouraging few days, but God spared me form any long term flu, and has spared my family and anyone else I came in contact with from getting it. Truly praise! I should have written so you could pray, but I didn't even have energy for that. But even with that, this week was exactly what it needed to be. So now the last of the suitcases sit by the door as we get ready to depart tomorrow morning. We know we will need to come back to our "home away from home" in the next few months so that makes parting easier. Rob and I will take two days heading back, that will keep us rested and also give us some "just our little family" time, which we are very much looking forward too. The thing with a trip like this is that you are always with other people 24/7, and although we wouldn't have it any other way, this will be a good thing for us too. So pray for our safty these next two days, pray for our transition back home as we have been gone for so long and face much work on return, and finally pray for Rob and I as we really begin to debreif all that has taken place in the last few weeks between all we learned at training, and all we have experienced this week. I will write again once we are home. Thanks for checking in.....Blessings.......

Monday, January 14, 2008


So here is the "crew" that we spent last week with, that I wrote about in the last update. A very special group of missionaries and staff. Rob and I are settled into our second home on this trip. After leaving Shunem house on sat, had the great opportunity to see friends in IN that lived on the other side of the city. After a good shot in the arm from them we headed up to GR in MI. the 5 hours felt very long!! But we got in just fine last night. The family we are staying with had a little surprise for the boys, and set up a tent in their downstairs for our boys to sleep in. They LOVE it!!! Our hearts are very full from being at Kentwood Community Church this morning, it truly feels like coming home. So many wonderful people we began to reconnect with. We decided to just "stop" for our little family today. It is what we needed, no agenda, just relax and chill a bit. I think this sets us up well for the week, gets the boys a little more grounded and Rob a chance to catch up on school a bit. My heart is already so full just from the folks we have been able to be with today. We are anticipating a great week. So as we dive in would you pray for our schedule this week. That God will put in our path exactly who needs to be in our path. Its a bit daunting when we see all the work that needs to be done, and could be done, but in reality we only have a week. We could feel "ahhhhhh, where do we start", yet we want to be balanced in some time for us for planning, and balance that with time with friends that feed into our hearts. I do believe God will go before us this week, but that is how you can pray for us today and tomorrow. Thanks for checking in with us!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

End of MTI

Hi everyone, sorry I didn't get a chance to type last night, it was a full full day and evening. If you could see this picture up close you would see red eyes and drippy noses! (sorry I tried to attach it but it wont take, I'll try again later) This was taken right after communion and worship. What a beautiful time, as we heard from Gods word, we were lead by great leaders in communion and then a time of worship and prayer over each family and the country they were going to serve at. Then began an evening of goodbyes and exchanging information. What an amazing thing it was to be living in the same house with a group of people that were like minded.......mission minded............it has been humbling. As Pastor Jim said, we may never be in this exact group setting again, but we are etched in each others hearts and minds. We entered a full and great final day. We had sessions on resolving team conflict and then an afternoon full of cross cultural training, dealing with cultural shock, many more tools. We had much laughter and many stories shared. Rob and I feel very close to a couple that we met back at orientation and where here again this week. Tammy and Brian and their Baby Emma. We spent the full evening with them. They are heading to Swaziland in May. Tom and Karen are heading to Sierra Leone, Carrissa and Eric are heading to a place we can't speak of :-), Barry and Beth are heading to Haiti, and then Brent coming with us to NZ.
If you could pray for these people at least one time in the near future, it would mean a lot to us. We have had a relaxing moring enjoying fellowship with the family that runs this blessed house, and now are heading out. I will continue to update as we do week two of our travels. Please pray for safty in travel (about 5 hours) and that this would be an amazing week of fund raising and Rob and I laying out our plan. Thank you and blessings.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Day 4 of MTI

We are coming into the home stretch, which in some ways it feels like we have been staying here so much longer and in other ways is so hard to believe its almost done. Today has probably been the highlight of the week for us. We started off the morning with Tim from GP staff, he is a great communicator. We had lively discussion of what does "Kingdom" mean, and were truly encouraged and reminded that God reigns, that means he REIGNS over every thing, every area of our life, every event, everything!!! It was a great morning. The rest of our day into the evening was spent with Dr. Jim Lo, a professor from Indiana Wesleyan University. Truly an anointed day with him. We covered everything from purity as we go into cultural situations, loneliness, to how to deal with culture shock and language barriers. He was fun, engaging, sobering and transparent. A day that we all needed for our missionary tool box. I started out the day a bit discouraged, we did some assessments this morning, I felt the test showed I was so low in all areas that I was the fool for even thinking of going over seas, again a tired moment. This of course was not the intent of the evaluation, but it was to help you understand some areas of growth, and also how you and your spouse can complement each other in a missions situation. it was a moment of vulnerability, (and tiredness) which was a good thing. Today was one of those days of just being so sensitively aware of God being at work, of the Global picture..........my heart is stirred! Thank you for your prayers and reading our updates. The boys are well, they ended up staying here all day, which was a good thing, their Nanny had twins with her she takes care of and they all played and enjoyed the day here, they were still so tired from the zoo! So tomorrow will be the Bounce House!!! It will be hard to part ways with this "family", you can pray for that around 5ish tomorrow as the first half of us heads home (Rob and I will head back up to MI on Sat. morning) I know that we will forever be connected through this experience we have had together. Art O'dell is the pastor assigned to rob and i once we are on the field. He drove here from D.C. to meet us and be a part of this week, however he has fallen very ill and needed to return home, if you could pray for him that would be wonderful. Finally again, fresh ears and heart tomorrow for our final day. We have a full day of presenters and then we will end with a special time of prayer and communion, which will be from 4-5 if you would like to pray for that time. Please feel free to pass our blog address to anyone you feel would be interested in following our journey to NZ. Blessings

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Day 3 of MTI

"I had heard about you before but now, I have seen you with my own eyes" Job 42:5 This was the words Job said to his Lord after he had gone through an amazing transformation. That was what Rob and I shared this morning, the "transformation" the last two years has brought into out lives, and how God raised us above our circumstances when we never thought we could our selves. Through that transformation, God laid his next call on our lives to go to NZ. This verse we have claimed as our "theme" verse. What a blessing it was to share a small part of our testimony this morning. Thank you for your prayers, everyone did a wonderful job and Rob and I felt peace and confidence in ours. it was fun, and the prayer time that followed with the staff of the Wesleyan Headquarters and Global Partners staff was such a blessing!! Rob and I connected with many staff memebers we got to know from our last training in Nov, and we had a little down time to just "be" there at the offices. We are thrilled with our prayer cards, we did the final proofing of those today and those should be in our hands within about 2 weeks. After a great lunch with the staff we headed back to Shumen House for afternoon sessions. The first part of the day was final training for crisis situations. Granted our little family is going to a very safe country, but even though it was hard to put yourself in the shoes of the situations we were discussing, I also appreciate that they are "complete" in every area of thier training, and there were many gems we picked up that most people should be practicing especially with young kids. The rest of our afternoon was diving into cultural differences and barriers. I will have to say that I felt a bit.......driven today, I dare say on the edge of grumpy and needed to watch myself in the afternoon. The schedule has been very rigourous and I was working on little sleep. I think we are just on the mid week hump, and was just feeling the effects of that. We have had nothing but down time tonight, and already I feel like a very different person. I think along with a good night sleep I will be good to go. I can tell we are all getting more comfortable with eachother, and starting to "let our hair down" a bit. I will miss these people and the staff when the end of the week comes. One very cool thing going on this week, is that there is another young man Brent, who is being sent to the same church we are. He is very fun, and has such a passion for youth and young adult. What a blessing it has been to get to know eachother, and know that we are going to be serving at the same place. My boys love him and we are looking forward serving with him. The only thing I have against him is that he is going to beat us over there. He is due to leave in May. Our boys have not stopped talking since they arrived back at 5pm. They had a blast today at the zoo, Aedan told us word for word, step by step everything he saw today, and Calebs heart is very very full! Tomorrow they are off to an Indy favorite called the "bounce house" I think the name says it all, and if you know my boys at all, it will be right up their alley!! My only beef today is that our sitter took them to the new stadium being built for the Colts, and she tried to make them a colts fan, but faithful Caleb stayed tried and true..........go Pats!!! Ok, I need rest, thank you for checking in on us, pray for fresh eyes and ears tomorrow. That we would enter well rested, that relationships will continue to grow deep. Also I think there are a few with us that may be discouraged with fund raising, if you could pray for them that would be great. Aedan also seems to have the sniffles a bit and I was sick before we came, so I pray its not that. We love you all, thank you for checking in.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

day 2 of MTI

Hi everyone, sorry so late, this will be short because Rob and I have to be up and gone at some ungodly hour!!!! GP is cracking the whip again!!! We have had another very full and wonderful day. It is so awesome to be living in community with GP staff and fellow missionaries who are going all over the globe. We along with the boys are just drinking this all in. It is also so fun, to get out of a class and have our boys right there!! Very cool. Their nanny is a wonderful person and they have bonded!! To the point that when we say, ok its 5:00 that was our last class, I hear a chorus of "aaaawwwweeee". They are not happy to see it end! Tomorrow they are off to the Indy zoo, Caleb could hardly go to sleep tonight! For Rob and I our day was filled with study of biblical relevance in different cultures and then an afternoon filled with Emotional Inteligence, by the time we got out of there we were all making appointments with councelers :-) It has been a great day with great presenters. We also felt a little more rested today. You can pray for us tomorrow, we are all heading to Head Quarters for a quarterly chapel held there that we are all presenting at. Rob and I are the ones closing the chapel and then they will all be praying for us. We have 3 minutes to share our story (can you see me sharing any story in just three minutes).So if you could pray for us around 8:15 or 8:30am that would be awesome. This is a very cool opportunity for us. I will update again soon. sorry so short. I hope this finds you all well. We changed our settings so you should be able to leave comments if you would like without needing to sign in. We are doing great, besides the fact that it is pouring rain and 60 degrees in the middle of Jan. But we are well. Blessings, DaNae

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Our New Blog

Hi all,

Welcome to our new site. For those of you wondering why we switched blog locations, we had several people that were not able to access the site and we didn't want to have a site where you as the reader had to log on just to read. We wanted to make sure that we were easy to find and read. We apologize that we have not updated since the last time we were in the middle of a training back in Nov. A lot has taken place since then, and Rob and I are committed to keeping everyone up to date. So for now we will keep this blog up and running with hopes of also adding a family web site to our cyberspace world. We hope that you will visit "the little big island" site often to see what God is doing in our lives. Ok, the name??? We apologize to our Kiwi friends, we hope its no offense, but leave it up to our 3 year old Aedan to influence our blog name. Not long ago we were explaining to Aedan our move to NZ, a few days later we were talking about it with him and I said "Aedan where do you live right now", he said "New Zealand" I said, "no honey we live in NH, we will live in NZ" to which he dramatically replied "no no mommy, we live on that little big island right now!!!!". So we thought we would run with it! Its catchy!! (and seems to be the only name available on blogger.com)
So now for our up date.........what in the world is going on with the Reynolds!!! I need to back up a few months to our last training in Nov. Many of you know that we were accepted to Global Partners to send us to NZ. We went to our orientation in Nov in Indiana for a full week. That was an amazing week, for Rob and I. God showed up in big way! We learned so much about ourselves, about Global missions, about fund raising and connected with wonderful people there at Global Partners offices. During that week we were also challenged by the staff and the churches in NZ to consider 2 years in NZ instead of a 1 year apt. This was HUGE!! I thought I had made all my tough decisions!!! But God wasn't done yet. So we came home with another process to go through. So after 3 weeks of prayer, talking, crying, more prayer God made it very clear that this indeed was his plan, 2 years!!!!! Our family has been so supportive and the love and wisdom from them and friends that God has put in our lives has been overwhelming. So with that decision made, we jumped head first into the holidays!! We hope and trust that you had wonderful holidays and that this new year will be full of Gods blessings. Our holidays were wonderful, and now.................Rob and I find ourselves back in IN for more training with Global Partners!!! What a whirl wind.
So.........that brings us up to date a bit, Rob and I with boys in tow left NH on sat and drove to Grand Rapids MI (17 hours!!). The reason we pushed to go there first was that God gave us an amazing opportunity! Brett Jones is the Pastor of the church that we are serving in NZ. He and his family were in the Grand Rapids area for the holidays! Rob and I were able to spend the day with all of them, have our families get to know each other a bit and then share in being part of a church service to share what God is doing in NZ!! Wow, what an amazing day. It was such a thrill for me to get to know them, and have our kids meet. Being a part of the church service was a blessing and I think just made this whole journey very much a reality for this little Reynolds family. From there we drove till 2am this morning to arrive in IN. We are in a beautiful house called Shunem House. It is a lovely bed and breakfast type house that is just for missionaries. There are 11 of us going through training and we all live, eat and train at this house. It is just amazing!! Our children are with us and have been accommodated for and taken care of. Caleb is just thriving in this environment, he just loves being with all these people and being a part of what is going on. We have had a very full and exhausting day. The travel caught up to us plus a hard push day. Orientation in NOV focused on policies and fund raising, this training is called Missionary Training Institute (MTI), we will be hearing from many different presenters and trainers through out the week. Today was laying some foundations of why do we believe what we believe, and also sessions on spiritual warfare, and preparing our hearts and minds. There is a full apt as part of this house and they gave that to Rob and I and the boys, it has been a blessing to have room for them to run and play and for us to have a quiet respite tonight. So with that, we are off to rest. Pray that we feel refreshed tomorrow and alert to accept all the information that will be poured in. Pray for us as we need to finalize a short presentation that we will be doing on Wed as part of the chapel time at Head Quarters. Rob and I just want to be real and authentic in our testimony as we share our NZ story. Feel free to leave comments for us, we would love to hear from you. We will update more specifics tomorrow. Blessings, Good night.