Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Past Time for Some Updates?

We trust your summer is going well.  There have a few changes for our family since our last blog post, and we have outlined these below.  Thanks for your continued support of our family and interest in our ministries and adoption process.

Ministry Updates:
Joey has wrapped up his first school year at Cairn University.  He continues to enjoy his ministry to college students and the opportunity to teach future teachers.  This summer has been fairly light, as he is only teaching one course, which happens to be taught online.  He is also preparing for his courses that he will teach this fall.  He will have a heavy teaching schedule and will continue to supervise student teachers. 
Would you pray for his continued ministry to students and that God would continue to provide for the needs of Cairn University?

Sarah continues to teach for NorthStar Academy, the online school of the Network of International Christian Schools (NICS).  She teaches middle school and high school physical education and health.  The school continues to have around 700 students from over 70 countries.  It continues to be amazing that we are able to have such global impact on students through the avenue of online education.  The school did struggle with enrollment in the 12-13 school year, and Joey was forced to take a significant pay cut and some teachers had to be laid off.  Thankfully Sarah was not affected by these cuts and layoffs, and she will continue to teach the same courses in the 13-14 school year. 
Would you pray that NorthStar’s enrollment would increase?

Joey’s role has recently changed at NorthStar.  He has been serving as the school’s academic principal and teaching some courses for the past few years, and because NorthStar is online, he could fulfill this role anywhere.  However, because of the enrollment challenges and financial cuts that were made, a difficult decision was made to transition Joey's role back to strictly teaching with NorthStar.  The positive impact through all of this is that Joey will have direct contact and ministry opportunities with a much broader base of students.  While this involves a financial setback, the direct ministry impact with the students is exciting and reminds us of the initial draw God put on Joey's heart when he first started with NICS over twelve years ago.  We are trusting God to provide for the school and for our family.  This change has placed further strain on our finances, as the salary difference of being a principal to being a part-time teacher is decrease of around 70%.  An increase in enrollment at NorthStar will help this situation.  He will teach some high school world history courses in 13-14.    
Would you pray for Joey as he makes this role adjustment?

God continues to allow us to get to know others better and be involved in our church, Bible Fellowship in Yardley.  It appears that we will be co-leading a small group with another family this fall, Sarah may have opportunity to increase her role with some ministries, and we will be involved with Awana.  We are so grateful to be a part of a great church.

Adoption Updates:
We are now in month #18 of our adoption process with The Good Shepherd’s Fold.  All of our required paperwork has been completed, though depending on the timing of things in the future, it may need revised again.  We continue to prefer a girl under age 5 (Zoe continues to tell us, “I want a sister.”), but for the past few months there have not been many girls in the orphanage who are eligible for adoption.  Back in April/May it appeared that we might receive a referral soon and head to Uganda sometime during the summer.  However, all doors abruptly shut on child possibilities back in May, leaving us discouraged, but we continue to trust that God will bring the right child(ren) for our family. 

We are at 78% of our estimated $15,000- needed to adopt one child.  As a friend from Mississippi who is also in the adoption process said earlier this week, with more delays and waiting, this allows for more opportunity and time to see God meet our financial needs.  Most likely it will be another month (mid-August) until we know anything further on the adoption front.

Family Updates:
Zoe, Micah, and Caleb are enjoying their summer break.  We created a “summer bucket list” together, and we are making good progress working through the items on it – such as our first camping trip, going swimming at a pool in our neighborhood, play dates with friends, vacation Bible schools, and a day trip to the beach (which is only an hour from our house).  Joey’s parents were able to be with us from Korea in July, and we had a great time with them.  We were able to go to NYC for a couple days with them.  The boys continue to love riding bikes and building legos, and Zoe continues to read a lot and play with her rainbow loom.  Of course it cannot be all fun and games for summer break, as our kids’ parents and grandparents on both sides are involved in education and know the value of not taking a total break from learning over the summer. :)  
School starts up again around the last week of August.  Zoe will be in second grade at the local public school (only two blocks from our house).  Micah will be starting Kindergarten (he will go to a Christian school in the AM, and the same public school as Zoe in the PM).  He continues to receive speech therapy, and we ask that you pray that he continues to make good progress toward his IEP goals when he starts school.  Caleb will be in preschool at the same Christian school as Micah in the AM.  Sarah will be busy for sure with school drop-offs and pick-ups. 

Prayer Requests:
  • Would you pray that God will meet our needs, not only for our adoption process, but also for our regular living expenses?  As mentioned above, the past few months have been difficult, and the upcoming months appear to be tough too.  If you are interested in contributing to our family and ministries, see the information on the right hand side of our blog page.  Any one-time and/or monthly gifts would be greatly appreciated.
  • Would you pray that we would receive a referral for a child or sibling group in the near future?
  • Would you pray that God would continue to lead us to His choice of ministry opportunities for our family to be involved?
  • Would you pray that our children would have a great start to the 13-14 school year?  Pray especially for Micah that he will have a great year in Kindergarten.

Thanks again for reading this post and for your prayers/support for our family!

Joey, Sarah, Zoe, Micah, & Caleb