The MyAdventures Blogs are part of the Adventures in Missions Network
We moved into a new house in July. There are still boxes to be unpacked and Christmas decorations to be hung. But we have a home. Our dog Lyric has a yard in which to play, and we have a place to live out the life God has blessed us with.
Transitions & Trips Abroad
This past year has been a year of unimaginable blessings. In a lot of ways, we are living out our dreams.
Last November, Ashley got to move out of accounting and started working directly with a record label. I started pursuing my writing more seriously, thanks to some friends and personal coaching I was receiving.
Our old church disbanded, but we were fortunate enough to land in a new community just a couple miles down the road from our new home.
(By the way, we are living across the street from our good friends Chuck and Sue. They have already given us way too much stuff. We're not complaining, though.)
Over the summer, I was able to travel out of the country twice.
Once was with my friend Dustin, when we both led an mission trip to Puerto Rico.
The other was with Ashley and her family to Ireland for vacation. Both were incredibly refreshing and rejuvenating.
Then, this fall, I signed my first book contract. I'll share more on that soon, but the book should be coming out next September/October if all goes according to plan. I'll be sharing stories from my time working in missions, as well as those of others who have been wrecked for the ordinary.
Yes, it seems we are living our dreams — at least the ones God has given us for this season.
New at AIM
Even my job at AIM has changed and moved more in the direction of dreaming. Currently, I am the interim leader of a new program called Kingdom Dreams (which you can find out more about at kingdom-dreams.org).
The goal of our new startup department is to help people coming home from a short-term missions experience transition into the rest of life. Also, we help people discover their passions and step into their ministry dreams.
For example, one such person who has gone through our program is Ryan Bodine. Ryan was being discipled by my coworker Neil when he brought up the fact that he felt called to start an orphanage in Africa.
The problem was Ryan didn't have any experience working in an orphanage. So how could he start one? Neil told him to serve someone else's dream for a season, which is something our ministry believes strongly in. Before God will trust you with your own dream, he wants to see you prove yourself a faithful steward.
Neil told Ryan to go to the Philippines for the summer and work with a ministry partner of ours. And he did just that.
Recently, Ryan returned from his overseas adventure, more fully alive and excited about the experience he had received from his apprenticeship. He is now working with the Kenya Initiative team at the AIM office, once again learning and serving his way into his destiny.
Stories like Ryan's excite me, because they tells me there is hope for a generation of Christ-followers that goes beyond mere entertainment and narcissism. That they long to be filled with purpose and challenged to pursue God.
In January, my team and I will be hosting over a hundred young missionaries who have recently come off the field for a week-long conference. We will be helping them process what they’ve experienced and how to prepare for the next season in life.
God continues to grow our influence and my passion for helping my generation to understand what it means to step into their calling.
This next year will be full of new adventures and exciting opportunities, and I’m excited to have you partner with me once again. Thank you for your friendship, prayers, and generosity. If you’d like to give a year-end gift, you can do so by clicking here. (The link will take you to a page where you can mail a check or give online via credit or debit card.)
Jeff & Ashley
P.S. If you give before the end of the year (I know there's notmuch time) and email me your receipt (at [email protected]), I'll email you a free copy my new eBook of stories. You can make a year-end, tax-deductible donation here.
P.PS. For more updates on us, read our Christmas letter.