Thursday, February 28, 2013

Sunday at our place!

This past Sunday we enjoyed hosting another dinner at our place.  We had about 15 students at our place including many of our new international friends.  We spent the night sampling many great ethnic dishes.  We made apple pie!!

We enjoyed great food and conversation.  One topic providing fun discussion was concerning how many continents there are.  One Armenian friend said they believe there are only 5 continents (Europe and Asia are combined, as well as North and South America).  We also had debate as to whether or not Australia is a continent.  Of course there was more discussion with the Brasilians as to why Central America is considered part of North America instead of South America!

Of course I had to look up the definition of "continent" on Wikipedia to prove that of course there are seven continents and of course Australia is one of them! :)

Some of our int'l friends enjoying dinner!

Matt & Joel, a student leader with Bridges,
served up some American apple pie.

Kelsey, another Bridges leader, did
dish-washing duty after the cooking was done.

Ali, our Pakistani friend cooked up some delicious chicken curry!
Maggie also enjoyed sampling fare from
Pakistan, Korea, Japan, Sweden, and the U.S.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day (a little late)

We had a special relationship panel at our Cru meeting last week in honor of Valentine's day.  Matt and I were part of it, along with Katie Keisler, who recently joined staff with Cru High School and wrote a book in the past year called "22 & Single". We answered a few questions each to get things rolling and then took questions from the audience. It was fun to be able to share a bit of what Matt and I have learned through our relationship and to encourage students to seek godly relationships for themselves - or to trust God in the midst of not being in a relationship.  Students asked questions like:

How do I know this is the right person to date?
What if I'm in a relationship with someone who's in a different place than me spiritually?
How can I be content as a single person?
Is it idolatry to long to be in a relationship?
We keep failing in the area of purity, what can we do?
I'm a shy guy, how can I pursue a girl well?

and one of the last questions, I'm pretty sure was directed at Matt and I:
Any tips for long distance dating?

We had a few thoughts since most of our dating relationship was between Brazil and the U.S.!  Thanks for praying for us! Based off the responses we had from students afterward, I think it went well!

Thursday, February 7, 2013


As a native Minnesotan, Maggie has been trying to learn the language of the land lately. Her new word of this past week was 'uff-da'. I could also use that word to describe how I felt when I realized we hadn't updated our blog for two months!  Apparently the holidays and the beginning of a new semester through us into a bit of a tailspin.

I'll try to give a run down of what we've been up to and what's been going on in the ministry...and maybe I can find a new picture or two of Maggie to throw in too!

The week before Christmas, we found out that this August, Maggie will be a big sister! We're expecting baby #2 to make its grand appearance around August 17th. We're excited!  We'll find out the gender in about two far Maggie seems open either way as to having a baby brother vs a baby sister. ;)

I think Maggie helped equally with decorating and undecorating our Christmas tree on a daily basis...she had fun though! Before classes ended for the fall semester, we also had the chance to host a Christmas dinner for about 15 international students from at least 7 different countries! We shared the Christmas story and introduced them to the great American tradition of a 'white elephant' gift exchange.  It was a fun night!
Int'l students gathered for a Christmas dinner

After spending Christmas in Iowa, we headed to the Twin Cities for TCX, our annual Cru winter conference. We had around 35 students from the Mankato area attend, many of them for the first time!  As an 11 year TCX veteran, it was SO much fun to experience the conference anew through their experiences. I got to go along on the day of outreach where we go into the community and partner with local churches to give out 'boxes of love' filled with food and a New Testament. The students LOVED getting to engage with people in spiritual conversation as they delivered boxes. It was fun to see them step out of their comfort zones to start those conversations!
Heading to dinner with students on New Year's Eve

Shortly after unpacking and catching up on laundry from TCX, we repacked for a weekend leadership retreat just outside of Mankato. This was the first time we've had a solid team of student leaders, which allowed us to plan a retreat. It was a great time of prayer, worship, vision, and planning together. We feel so blessed by the students we get to work alongside!

Training for big sisterhood
Classes are now in full swing, and if you've noticed the pink and red all over the stores lately, then you know that Valentine's day is coming up next week. Matt and I are slated to be on a relationship panel at our weekly Cru meeting to share a bit about what a Christ-centered relationship can look like and to answer questions from students. Pray for us!

Guess that's us in a nutshell.  We'll try to be more consistent!