Why Norway? I have no idea except to say it's a God thing. I can remember my dad taking a business trip to Norway back when I was a kid. He didn't say too much about it other than it was cold, he liked the food, the people were nice and it was a beautiful country.
About 2 weeks after he got home from his trip, my mom took the film to be developed (kids, google film developing). She brought back a photo he had taken of a fjord with some colorful wooden houses on the shore and some awesome wooden boats. In the background there were snow capped mountains and a rainbow. Even on 110 film (again, google this), this could have won a photo contest any day of the week. I was captivated by this photo and showed it to all of my friends at one time or another. It is still hanging around my parents house to this day. I may try to find it with all of my spare time (sense sarcasm) and post it online one day soon. God put Norway and the beauty of the land in my heart.
In 2009, a good friend told me he was leading a vision trip to Norway and wanted to know if I'd be interested. Sure! I'll go to Norway. I went and fell in love with the country. The people were amazing, the land was beautiful, and although it was awesome, I felt sad. I wanted to share what I was experiencing with Jennifer. I couldn't wait to get home and share photos and videos and story after story of God ordained meetings with person after person.
I got home and we went right back into adoption paperwork and preparation mode. July of 2010, we came home with Daniel. As soon as we got home, God began really speaking to me about full time ministry. I had thought about it earlier in life, but didn't know exactly where I fit. Turns out, I didn't really fit anywhere around home. On a Saturday morning in October (I think) I went to Rexall grille in Duluth for breakfast with some guys for accountability. While I was there, I felt like someone was squeezing my insides. The guys encouraged me to listen and obey. I went home and told Jennifer that I was feeling like God was calling us to missions overseas. Her only response was "I know".
We began looking into different organizations and after weeks of interviews etc, we decided on one. We have been in process since October of 2010 and it was been an intense time of interviews, doctrinal statements, background checks, references, medical exams and having the boys tested for everything under the sun.
We went to a "ministry fair" for lack of a better term in Memphis in July of 2011 in Memphis. We had times when we could meet with the different groups that work with people around the world according to the areas and people groups they were affiliated with. We chose to separate on the first meeting and then hooked back up for Europe since that is where we really felt God leading us. We were given a list of positions around the world. We looked and saw several that looked interesting, but none were exactly where God was leading us. We went and sat down on a couch to pray and spend some time talking together. I opened the job list back up and noticed that we had missed one section of the European jobs. The first one was in Oslo. We knew that this one was for us.
Fast forward then until now, we are job matched with this position, have been appointed as missionary apprentices and will begin training on July 23rd. We have roughly 5-6 months of training and then should be in Oslo by January.
We are scared. We don't know where we will live. We don't know what to take with us. We don't know how we'll handle the cold. We don't know where the boys will go to school. We only know a little Norwegian. BUT- we know God has chosen this position for us at this particular point in time and regardless of our disobedience in the past, He has called and we are now being obedient. We (mostly all Jennifer) will post our thoughts, fears and adventures on here when we have time.
Please stay tuned as we share what God is doing and what we are learning from the people in Norway. Please pray for our adventure and for our kids. They have known lots of transition in their young lives, but what better way to spend your childhood years than serving the Living God and working to make a difference in His kingdom.
to be continued. . . . .