5 days until we leave for the summer. 5 days!
(Gulp) This means, of course that we are in a mad race to the finish as we prepare to leave. So much to do, so little time left. Come next Tuesday, we will fly to Minneapolis, and then Wednesday rendezvous with the rest of the Reign Ministry staffers and head to training camp in Wisconsin. We will spend a month at training camp, and then on July 1st, once again board a plane and head to Israel with our team. Speaking of our team, we have 22 young people (ages 15-21) who will be joining us at training camp from all over the country on June 8th. Because we are leading the Nehemiah (alumni) team this summer, we will have 2 more weeks of training with our students than the other teams. This gives us more time learn and grow together before we head overseas to spread the love of Christ.
You are very important to us, your support means the world to us as we take on the challenge of picking up and leaving each summer. To know that you are thinking and praying for us is very important to us and gives us strength. Below are some suggestions we how you can help us and stay up to date with us this summer:
HOW TO HELP US:
1) Pray For Us–Although it can sound cliche, it is very important and meaningful to us.
2) Points of Contact— Sometimes, believe it or not, we can get a bit lonely at training camp and miss home. We love, I repeat love to get mail, emails and texts while at training camp. It is like an instant shot to the arm for us! Here is the link to send us an email (we call them Hilltop Express messages). http://reignministries.org/?s=HAYFIELD+EXPRESS Mailing Address: Carr Family, C/O ROyal Servants Training Camp, W4797 St Rd 33, Pardeeville, WI 53954
3) Financial Support— We have amazing financial support from our team that we have always been so grateful for. However, getting ready to leave each year always puts a strain on us financially as their are always many expenses and purchases we have to make in our transition (supplemental snacks and vitamins for girls and prego mama, camping gear, etc). If you would like to donate and help us out, here is the link to our donation page with the ministry. https://www.egsnetwork.com/gift/gift.php Once there, you can find our name in the drop down menu.
HOW TO STAY UP TO DATE WITH US:
1) Check this blog. I will be regurlarly updating this blog with pics and video.
2) Check the website–Each team from Royal Servants posts updates twice a week throughout the summer. You can also sign up to recieve these updates via email. When this is availible, I will send out an email with a linke
3) Follow me on Twitter: I know, I know, I have gone to the darkside. I love me some twitter. Throughout the summer and each I will be tweeting updates and pictues of all that is going on with us and our team. If you have a twitter account, you can follow me at @carrtc If you do not have a twitter account, I highly recommend downloading the app to your phone as it can be a great tool (and it is free of course) for communication for us throughout the summer.
Every year is so different, but no one year has been as starkly different from the rest as this year. Here are some contrasts:
-Because we are leading the alumni team with Royal Servants this year, we are currently locked and loaded when it comes to team members where as in years past at this time of year we were still having students add and drop at a high clip. Here is the make up of our team (23 students, 3 leaders, our family, and 2 nannies).
-Yes you read that right, we are so excited to have 2 nannies on board this summer, and they are amazing nannies to boot-Emily Fowler and Claire Talley! This should allow Stephenie to up her involvement with the team and should be great for our girls to spend quality time with 2 amazing young women.
-Every other year we have scrambled to find someone to sub-let our house while we are gone. This year-no way! We already have one and the process to find him (Joel Lane) could not have been easier. God really orchestrated this, and it is a perfect fit for us and Joel!
I am now done with my speaking for this recruiting year and have now turned my full attention to prep for this summer. I traveled more and spoke at more churches/youth groups this year than ever before — it was a lot of fun, but made for a busy year!
-In case you haven’t heard yet, we found out a few months ago that we are pregnant again — a huge shock to us all, but we are getting excited about the idea and trust God with the details of how it will all work. Due date is Sept 11.
Here is a link that to a presummer letter I wrote for Royal Servants participants this summer if you are interested in reading: http://reignministries.org/mythical-waterfalls-machetes-and-missions/
Okay, so I am writing this from home right now, and boy is it good to be back in sunny Nor-Cal. The last three days of my trip on the East Coast were spent with fellow team leaders Job and Bethany Hammond and we stayed in Baltimore, Md while traveling to Philadelphia and NJ. Here were the highlights:
1)Philadelphia is a really cool old town. I loved the architecture and the feel. I spoke at a Christian school in the older part of the city and had a blast. Afterwards, we split up into three different classrooms and fielded questions about Royal Servants. I took the 6th grade class and it was nuts. The best question, “what do toilets look like overseas?” Afterwards, the school went out and got us legit Philly cheesesteak sammies. They were really, really good.
2)Visited Independence Hall in Philly and loved it.(pics below) The room in which they signed the Declaration of Independence was so small but so awesome in signifigance.
3)Had my first crab cake in Baltimore. It was good, but not on the upper tier of the pizza and sammies I have had on this trip.
4)My last speaking gig was on Wednesday night in Magnolia, NJ outside of Philly. Had a great time and even got to play a little indoor floor hockey with the youth group (scored 2 goals!)
Now I am back home and loving being with me girls!!!!
Okay, so for the last 4 days Hank and I have been all over the East Coast.
But I want to focus on the last three days of our trip, to New Jersey (Hank’s homeland). Now I have heard a lot about Jersey over the years and what I have heard has cemented an idea in my brain of what that state is like. And I must say that after spending three days there everything that I have heard (people are crazy, food is great and greasy, fast pace) is absolutely true and more. But here is what I did not expect–the people are incredibly friendly. In fact, dare I say that of all the places I have been in the world, New Jersey just might be the friendliest!?!?!
Here are some highlights:
-On the way into town, Hank took me to a restaurant called Harolds that has been featured on Man vs. Food. We ordered the largest pastrami on the menu and to say that it was large is to say that the Pacific ocean is a pond. There is a picture of it below and what you see, believe it or not, is only half.
-We visited Dunkin donuts before speaking at a church our first night in town. Also there were two huge guys with thick Jersey accents. They were so loud so we heard every word of their conversation. The first thing I heard them speak about was the logistics of knocking someone out with two punches to the jaw. It was such a stereotypical Jersey thing to encounter, but hysterical! We ended up getting into a great conversation with them and they were the friendliest guys. One was Jewish and one was Native American and they were, as they say, uge!!!!
-Hank drove me around his hometown of Point Pleasant on the Jersey Shore and we toured the devastation wrought by Hurricane Sandy. Being from California and so far away from the damage caused, I guess I just didn’t realize how bad it was. There are entire neighborhoods destroyed, houses leveled, debris everywhere. The entire boardwalk is gone and it will take years for this area to fully recover. Reminded me a lot of what I saw in New Orleans.
-Hank and I spoke his cousin’s church, Jersey Shore Calvary Chapel on Sunday and it was great. Hank gave the message and it was fantastic. He also got a the great surprise of running into his cousin Mike, who is a missionary from Albania who he hadn’t seen in 15 years!
Overall, I have been very encouraged by the amount of interest that young people have shown in Royal Servants everywhere we have spoken on this trip. I am definitively road weary at the moment and missing my family big time. Jovie is sick back home with a fever so my my mind is not here at the moment. Please pray for her and Steph. I will be returning home Thursday night.
Next stop: Philadelphia!
So I arrived into Baltimore on Tuesday evening and was hosted by an awesome family called the Hartmen’s who have had a daughter travel with Royal Servants. Wednesday morning, we got up early and got on the road to Annapolis. I had the opportunity of speaking at Annapolis Area Christian School to a few hundred high school students. Their chapel was amazingly nice and it had a balcony! I can safely say I have never spoken anywhere with a balcony. Despite the huge crowd, I felt really relaxed and really enjoyed challenging the students to engage risk in their relationship with Christ. Unfortunately I didn’t take any pictures, but this school was extremely nice and exactly what I pictured an East Coast private christian school to look like.
We then hit the road and traveled 4 1/2 hours into Northern Pennsylvania to speak at a youth group in New Milford. Hank Dahl, my partner in crime this week, spoke and rocked it and we had several students seemingly interested in joining one of our teams this summer. Today, we had the morning open and decided to visit Gettysburg. Anyone who knows me knows how much I love anything history so this was like crack to me. But it was also quite sobering to stand in a spot where such fierce fighting took place and where so many thousands were either injured or killed. Overall, Gettysburg exceeded my high expectations and I would love to one day come back here and spend an extended time looking and learning. Tonight (Thurs) we visited a youth group in Mt. Joy Pa where I spoke. I challenged them through the ideas presented in the movie “The Hobbit.” We are crashing in York, Pa as we speak and will be visiting a school early in the morning for chapel.
For the record, I haven’t been cold yet! So far, so good.
To the East!
Tomorrow morning I board a plane in San Francisco to travel to Baltimore. Once in Baltimore, fellow Reign staff member Hank Dahl will pick me up and we, along with other staffers Job and Bethany Hammond will spend the next 9 days traveling up and down the East Coast speaking to students at churches and schools about Christ’s call to mission and the opportunities that we provide for that in Royal Servants.
Ok, now first off, I have never been to East Coast and don’t know what to expect. Second, I am a warm blooded Californian who is not used to functioning in cold weather. In fact, I was suppose to have flown into Boston yesterday morning but the wicked snow storm caused my flight among many others to be cancelled. All this to say—I can’t wait to go and get this adventure started!
Now, I plan on updating about my trip while I am there with video and pics so make sure to check the blog this week and next!
Nanny Search 2013!
WE NEED A NANNY FOR THIS UPCOMING SUMMER! DO YOU KNOW OF A TEENAGER WHO IS ADVENTUROUS, LOVES KIDS, AND WOULD LOVE TO TRAVEL TO ISRAEL AND SLOVAKIA THIS SUMMER? LET US KNOW!
The last month and a half has found me driving all over the bay and sacramento areas speaking to students in youth groups. While I have had a blast doing it, I am already a bit road weary. But this last weekend I met the type of fellow missionary that put all of my whining in perspective. We spent the weekend participating in the global impact conference at First United Methodist Church in Yuba City. We love this church and have developed a great relationship with them over the last few years as they have been a great support to us. One of the other featured missionaries was a man named Dr. Hormoz Shariat. Dr. Hormoz is an Iranian American who heads up a ministry TV station based in Texas that broadcasts via satelite to Iran the message of the gospel. Obviously the Iranian goverment does not want this to happen, but can’t stop the message from coming in. Dr. Hormoz and his family have seen much persecution but in spite of this they press on to spread the gospel in Iran, which is the fastest growing evangelical people group in the world at the moment. His stories were incredible about how the people of Iran are hungry for the gospel and God is doing great things there as we speak. Below is a video of one of the great stories he told this weekend. Enjoy.
Please pray for:
My trip to the East, that it would go smoothly and be fruitful. My family back home while I’m gone!
Our nanny search.