Thursday, January 17, 2013

Hey There!

So I'm pretty sure that a good 1/3 of my posts consists of apologies and explanations as to why I have been such a terrible blogger. I don't have any excuses this time except that life happens. That should pretty much cover it, right?

Well anyways, this post won't be anything lengthy, profound, or revealing. It's more of a drop by to say I'm here and hoping to get back to writing.

Over the last few months, I have been writing for a local magazine and it has been a sweet and sometimes convicting reminder that I really do enjoy writing...and it might just be a gift.

So with that, I bid you adieu...for now.

Our Latest Family Pic

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Quick Post

Just a quick update since it has been so long since I've posted.

Since I last posted, we visited the states which was awesome! It was great seeing family and friends but very different as well. We have changed a lot since we left for Saipan a year ago and being in the states we saw things from a different perspective.

Church 360 is on the grow but more important people are really seeking to go deeper with God. Our Bible Study started a few weeks ago and has been a wonderfully challenging time. Our Movie Nights are still going strong and we have some great ministries and outreach event coming up in the near future. In addition we recently added a Cafe and Library and people are really utilizing them both. We are really excited about what God is doing through Church 360.

Caleb is 10 months and I CANNOT believe it. I have started doing little things here and there for his Birthday Party and I am just so excited to see my baby boy turn 1. It's hard to believe that 10 months ago he was a little 7 pound something baby and now he's a big boy.

Aaron and I are doing well...planning a vacation in the next month or so and super excited because we need a break!

So that is a very quick summary of our life. More to come soon!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Poof! I just disappeared [again], I know. But life these last few weeks has been eventful. In short, Caleb's bottom two teeth are coming in something serious, he now sounds like a pterodactyl with his random noises, and by the end of this post...he will probably be crawling or walking; whichever he chooses to do first. The church has had some incredible breakthrough. We have seen our first family respond to the altar call, witnessed our largest attendance Sunday ever, and seen consistency in attendance. We have real members! It is so beautiful to see God work. We have done a lot of things in our life and marriage that required faith, but church planting is at the very top and it has taken us to a new level of love and dependency on Christ. I've also witnessed a new love for His people. Leading a church [internationally particularly], people open up to us in a way that is very raw and authentic and it has just shown us that no matter where you are on the world people at their core need love, encouragement, community, and above It has been an honor to hear such beautiful compliments and testimonies following service about Church 360; the physical building but more importantly the spiritual aspects of Church and what it means for the island. We are knocked to our knees each week at the goodness of God and His constant provisions. God feels so close to us at times, it makes my heart rattle beneath my chest in awe. Church 360 has a long road ahead but it is so beautifully promising; I am just grateful that God would choose to use little, unworthy me.

Here on Saipan and within Church 360, I have met some people I just love. This dynamic, godly, divine love that stirs up something deep within. Living internationally, particularly but not exclusively on an island, so much of the demographic has come from just about everywhere else and by various different means. There are just so many stories; some that include adventure and excitement, others filled with desperation and pain. In many ways, it creates this unique community of a million cultures and nationalities that tend to be more receptive to friendships and conversations with people they would have never known or associated with elsewhere. It's really refreshing.

So this is short and doesn't really tackle anything in great detail but I just sit here typing very grateful and truly happy, in a giddy child like kinda way at the thought of what God has done...and is doing.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Life this week!

Yay! Another post! 

Unfortunately since I am not accustomed to actually cranking these out back to back, I have nothing to talk about. 

Oh! Caleb is 6 months today! 

Bittersweet. He is an absolute wild man (I have nicknamed him Tarzan) and I wouldn't have it any other way. He is such a joy. He makes our heart sing. And he is just too stinkin' cute! Here's a video from him cruisin' in his Kolcraft earlier today.

Other than that, things are going. Our cousin, Donya sent us the most beautiful offering baskets that she made...see!

She's pretty much the queen of basket making which makes her famous and us cool by default. 
Church is going well. We are grateful for how smooth things have been going. Our most immediate goal, which I assume is the goal of most new church planters is getting people in the doors! We hoped for and anticipated a larger attendance but are grateful for those who are coming and for all of the positive feedback we are getting. Island life is different from anywhere else so you can't really anticipate things...even when you have spent your life on one. People are random and unpredictable, which is cool but a challenge nonetheless. The people that are coming to Church 360 are sincerely being impacted just to get more people IMPACTED! We are looking into doing a College Movie Night soon as our main target audience are people 18-35. Prayers for that please!

Oh, and can I just share how AWESOME God is?! Through this entire Saipan process (not to mention the church planting) we have had to trust on God more than we ever have. It has at times been a relentless, challenging test of faith but glorious nonetheless. When we made the decision to come to Saipan, we both felt a peace, knowing this was where we were supposed to be for this season of our lives but we couldn't have imagined all that God had in store. He has molded us, changed us. I can't help but think of Psalm 66:10 "You have tested us, O God; you have purified us like silver."

God's word is true and He is faithful.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

God is good...

It's been a while. Last time I wrote (Nov. 2011...sigh), Caleb was less than a month old, about 10lbs or so and Aaron and I were getting ready to embark on the adventure of a lifetime: church planting. Well now it is March 2012, Caleb is creeping up on 6 months, 20lbs, and the launch of Church 360 took place this past Sunday (March 18th). Amazing how things can change so quickly. To be brief, God is good and we are blessed more than I can comprehend. Let's break this up in chunks:

Aaron is wonderful. As he has prepared for his role as pastor at Church 360, I have seen him humbled as a husband, father, and overall man of God. I have seen him tackle difficult issues, kick down obstacles, and offer encouragement and grace in the midst of a desert. He is a good good, growing, Godly man (that's a lot of "G's)!

Caleb is hilarious. I cry at the thought is he is growing up way too fast but laugh of the thought of his toothless smile and radiant eyes. He's my own personal, real, life sized Disney Pixar character and I just love him to pieces. He got a walker at about 3 1/2 months and as he nears 6 months, he is officially a speed racer. No foot is safe! He has just about outgrown 6 month clothes and though he doesn't have any teeth yet, you can see a good 8 of them peeking through his gums. He loves music, rarely sleeps, and lights up the whole island with just one smile. He is truly our "local celebrity".

Church 360...our beautiful church. I could live there. I love it. There is such a peace when I enter through it's doors. For more reasons than I can count...but I will name a few.

  1. The island needs it. On an island where most people cannot articulate what they believe and why they believe it; where false teachings dominate, and where Jesus Christ seems so impersonal and dated in his relevance, a church that offers the truth of our Lord and Savior is like a fresh wind for Saipan. I know that God has called us to this mission of sharing Christ and his relevance to these people. 
  2. It represents obedience. We prayed about this church endlessly it seemed. "Is this right?" "Are we the right ones?""Is this the right time?" We feel God was faithful to answer these questions and this church represents our response and we are humbled by this experience and decision.
  3. The people reached. Our launch was Sunday and it was lovely. I got to pray with a launch member who couldn't fight back tears, I saw a lady close her eyes and truly experience worship. I heard the testimony of one visitor that this was the first time in a looooooong time that she hadn't fallen asleep during a sermon. That's progress; that's HOLY! But even before the launch we got to do a community outreach at the community college where we gave out 150 hot dogs and 50 Christian rap CDs...for free. You should have seen their heads whip at the sound of "Free". And it was a blessing to be able to talk to them about the church and about Christ. And they were so receptive, truly hungry (both for hot dogs and the gospel). 
So lives are being changed...already. And this is truly just the beginning. I have no clue what God has in store for us...for Church 360, and honestly I don't want to ruin the surprise. Because I believe in His perfection, His divinity. And whatever He gives us is absolutely beautiful. God is good.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Our New Life


So obviously, I had the baby. Lol! Actually, today is his one month "birthday". Caleb Wesley Wood was born Wednesday, September 27th at 4:40pm. He is absolutely precious and now we can't picture life without him. See?

I don't really know where to begin with the updates but life is wild and wonderful. We are still in Saipan enjoying our time here. We have been so blessed by this experience. We have grown in ways we couldn't have imagined. If we could, we would probably sell our house and everything in it back in the states. We just aren't in the same place mentally and spiritually...and we have way too much stuff.

I will keep this short and sweet since Caleb will be waking up any second now.

Peace and Blessings!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Just a waitin'

I am sitting here...literally waiting on our sweet baby to get here. Why literally? Because I can't do much else. Sleeping is a thing of the past, eating usually leads to a stomach ache, and walking just increases the size of my elephant feet! Still, it is so worth it. Aaron and I are so excited to meet our baby we could just scream. Thinking back to just a few weeks ago, I wondered if and how everything would come together. There were so many things that needed to fall together. But God is so good and now I have the privilege to simply relax (kinda) and wait for our baby instead of running around like a chicken with my head cut off. Having our baby in Saipan has probably saved us thousands for the pure fact that we are doing with only the necessities. There is no elaborate nursery, gadgets, or gizmos...just me, Aaron, and our soon to be munkin. And it couldn't be any better.

Here are a few pics from our maternity shoot last Tuesday.