August 3, 2013

We Serve a Mighty God

I just want to start off by saying, God is seriously AWESOME.  I mean really, REALLY awesome (in case you forgot or didn't know ;) ).  Before leaving for our trip out to Ft. Collins, CO we saw Him provide in so many ways!  And He continued to throughout our time there.  He always provides....but these were unexpected provisions that blessed us beyond words.  The couple days before leaving for our trip, I was holding back the tears as we were approached by a handful of people who wanted to give us gas money, money to help with the maintenance on our car and or let us borrow one of their cars for our drive out there.  We definitely did not expect that! We are SO thankful for these people, their generosity, and for them allowing God to use them!  A sweet family in our church ended up having a car they offered to us to borrow for our drive which was such a huge blessing.  It was SUCH a money saver not having to rent a car for that long.  When planning our trip to the conference we never expected our car would be in the shop and it was crazy to see how quickly God provided!!  We are beyond words grateful for those He used to help us!

The drive.  So driving.....some of you might be wondering - wow, driving 20+ hours with a 10 month old....crazy.  Yes, well, if you haven't caught on - we like to be a bit adventurous ;).  But luckily, we are fortunate to have been blessed with a baby that seems to like to travel as well.  I mean, we weren't so sure how such a long road trip would go with her (the longest one yet) since she's on the move so much these days.  But we were VERY pleasantly surprised!  She definitely had her moments, but nothing terrible and her short lived crankiness I believe was mostly because she got bored every now and then, haha. The longest stretch we had on the road was 13 hours the first day and she did wonderful!  She was such a trooper!!  We feel so blessed to have had such a pleasant family road trip there AND back!!

Our sweet little traveler!
she loves hugging her bunny
Happy girl!
The conference.  Well, we made it safely to Colorado and what a time!  Such a great conference!  We arrived a couple days early so that we could get settled and visit a little bit with some family that live in the area.  It was nice to see them after so long!!  It was only the second time all of them there had got to see Brinley.  So it just felt extra special that they all got to spend a little more time with her.

Brinley with cousin, Betsy

With her Great Aunt Nancy

With one of my brothers, Ben
The first two days of the conference for us were specifically for all of Lifelines.  It was great to be surrounded by all Lifelines staff!  Hearing stories of how God has been working in each region and stories from summer projects (short summer mission trips) they took students on!  Also getting more updates and training on future plans for the ministry.  In addition, we got to meet 2 new couples who have joined staff with Lifelines more recently and are also raising support.  It's exciting to see and hear how the ministry is growing!  The rest of the conference was with about 5,000 other Cru staff.  We got to hear from some inspiring speakers like Alistair Begg, Lisa Harper, and Cru leadership.  Not to mention, worshiping with over 5,000 people in one room was pretty incredible! In the afternoons there were also different workshops we could attend.  It was a time of rejuvenation, encouragement, and learning.  To top our experience off we also got to be roommates with 3 other amazing staff couples (2 of whom we will be working with in the Northeast with Lifelines).  It was such a great time getting to spend even more time with them getting to know them a bit more and just feeling connected.

With the team we will be working with in New Hampshire
She was pretty wiped after a long day at the conference, haha!

Hearing from Alistair Begg

Worshiping the Lord with 5,000 others!
We left the conference with a mixture of feelings.  We left feeling revived, more motivated and excited!  But it was also a bit bittersweet as we were honestly sad to not be leaving there to go straight to New Hampshire with the rest of the Lifelines team we will be with.  We SO BADLY want to be able to report soon!!  It's exciting hearing how God is working in each area and using the ministry to reach so many students at so many schools throughout the Northeast!  But it makes us want to be there EVEN MORE!!  We know that for right now, support raising is what we need to do to get there and THAT is our ministry at the moment and that GOD KNOWS and has us where He wants us - but we sure can't wait to be fully supported and live in New Hampshire with the rest of our team!!  We also know they need more staff and more help and we cannot wait to be there to help!  We just get so excited when we think about all that God is doing through the ministry!!  We are SO thankful to those of you that lift us up in your prayers and who also partner with us on a financial basis (as we cannot report until we have 100% of our monthly support raised)!!  It means so much to have so many of you behind us and - more importantly- so many of you who the Lord has laid it on your hearts to be partners with us and Lifelines!  Cause that's what it's about.....not US.  But being able to reach these students, love on these students, build relationships with these students all for Christ...Lord willing drawing them to and pointing them to Him.  We just want to be used by Him however He needs to use us to help reach these students.  We feel so humbled that Christ has called us to such a ministry!  It can be intimidating some times and there are times where we definitely don't feel worthy or good enough....but we are constantly reminded that we don't have to be.  That it's truly NOT about us...and that Christ is and will use us if we only let Him!  We have seen Christ's hand in the stories of our lives SO much.....and continue to....and it is through our imperfections, our weaknesses, our low points that He has made us stronger...and better than we were before.  It's these things that are part of our testimonies and these times and things in our lives that God seems to use the most.  We both have such a heart and passion for reaching the unreached....the outcasts....the ones that don't feel as though there is hope and the ones that just don't feel they belong.....students that are just trying to find out who they are and their place in this world!  Just one reason we desire to do this is because during those times in both OUR lives (and oh there were those times) there were people that stepped into our lives -despite what we were doing with our lives or how messy they were- and allowed God to use them to build relationship with us, to love us, to teach us and mentor us.  We have both experienced first hand the difference that makes.  And through different things in each our lives, He has given us a passion to do the same for others.  We only hope to be some glimmer of hope, love, and example of Christ to these students....and anyone we encounter!
With her Aunt Jen (one of my best friends!) - who we got to see at the conference!  It was her first time meeting Brinley!  Brinley just loved her!
The car.  Since returning we have been able to get our car back (it was finished while we were gone).  It should now be good to go for, Lord willing, another 100,000 miles!! haha.  We plan to drive that baby into the ground ;).  But it is now working and running great, yay - so thankful!

The end ;). As we get back into the busy swing of things here in California.  We would like to ask that you would pray for us - that God would continue to teach us through this time, that we would continue to feel encouraged and that we would continue to see His provision.  We pray that we would be open to where is He is leading us and that we would allow Him to continually refine us into more of who HE wants us to be.  We are constantly so thankful....and speechless....for how He continues to provide - physically, emotionally, and spiritually.  Our God is such a MIGHTY, great.....AWESOME God! :)

We finally got to enjoy a hike our last day in Colorado.  It was a nice way to spend our last afternoon there!

She loves hangin' on her Daddy's back!

Brinley really enjoys helping out ;) she is "helping" her Dad load the cooler!
The cooler was pretty heavy so she figured she'd help move it too.

Passed out after 10 hours on the road
One of the only things to see off the highway on our drive through Utah ;) .....the Bonneville Salt Flats.  All that white......that's SALT.
Stopped in Tahoe to do a little hike on our way home (on the trail where Kaleb proposed to me over 3 years ago :) ).  Brinley decided to take a little nap.
That's all for now!  Until next time!!! :)


  1. Great update, Kristin and Kaleb! We are encouraged by how God continues to sustain you in the midst of your desire to "get to where you are going!" Just keep relying on Him and remain faithful to what He calls you to in the moment! We love you three!

  2. God is definitely using you to grow his kingdom. Keep up the good work AND keep us informed of His works. Love and prayers, Aunt Sonja