July 2021 Update: A Time of Transition!

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An Adventure Like No Other!

If you haven’t had a chance to read our June blog update, I want to encourage you to stop a moment and first go catch up. This is important to better feel the impact of the story I want to relay this month. 

Now that you are updated and on board, let’s continue! 

The story starts at the end of May when, as you have already read, we had a set back. Through God’s guidance, His power and lots of hard work we had hit 62% of being fully funded in May and then found ourselves at 36% overnight. Life events due to Covid had hit one of our supporting churches suddenly.  So what to do next? Anytime you’re faced with a big shift in life, you are faced with some decisions in front of you. One of those choices is to give up, throw in the towel, and walk away. God has made it abundantly clear to us that this is His call that He has placed upon us, so throwing in the towel isn’t on the board for us. For us, unless He just shuts it all down, there’s no going back. 

That doesn’t mean that it’s not hard, and it doesn’t mean when plans changed dramatically on you that you don’t have real emotions you must confront and deal with. When you have made plans and worked hard toward something and suddenly it all shifts, sometimes it means pausing and taking time to grieve over your plans, and so that is what we did. We took a breath, prayed, and sought answers. When it all shifted on us, it means that our launch date of September wasn’t going to take place. God knew this, but we didn’t, and we were praying and working toward the goal with the information we had on hand. We knew that God can take even the worst of situations and bring good out of them for our benefit. As a reminder, because it’s important to what we want to relay, our secondary vehicle, (our Suburban) also died that same weekend. 

Little did we know what would happen next. 

As May crossed into June, it felt a bit like we were lost for a week or two, until the middle of June that is. In the middle of June, I had spent a few days speaking with a friend who had been struggling with the idea of God and religion, and felt as if he had just come to a point where he was going to step away from the whole subject. We had spent considerable time going through questions he had and exploring different ideas, but we were at an impasse, it seemed. I had agreed that what I would do next is pray for him everyday and then take a day per month and fast on his behalf. 

On June 17th, I (Chris) awoke after a very rough night of sleep, very tired and prepared for the day ahead. I had decided on that day I was going to fast and pray. The day didn’t start easy, and it would have been easy just to roll over and go back to bed. Because we were down to only one vehicle it meant first I needed to drive Shannon to her office so she could see patients that day. We left the house and drove to her office, its about a 20 minute drive from our apartment, and from there I went to Seasons Harvest nearby for their monthly men’s breakfast and Bible study. It started at 8am, but I had arrived early (by about 30 minutes) and decided to sit in the vehicle for a bit and pray. That seems like a good and beneficial thing to do, but in doing so I fell asleep for a few minutes, and awoke myself and sat and continued to pray…until it happened again. I prayed that day that God, even though He had made it abundantly clear that this was His doing and His plans, would show me again, because I was having a hard time seeing where to go next. I was also praying that God showed my friend in a profound way that he was loved by Him. The second time I woke a few minutes before the Bible study was to begin, so jumped out of the van and headed inside. I was pretty drowsy, but I ordered my cup of decaf coffee anyway and found a seat. (I can’t handle the caffeine in coffee, unfortunately.)

I was asked to share briefly about our mission and plans that morning as we waited a few minutes to start study. Seasons Harvest has graciously been getting the word out about us through their website. After Bible study, and with only one vehicle, I went back to the apartment to do some studying, finish an audio book that’s part of our training, and then prepare to pick up Shannon. After I finished the audio book, I went to check my phone and  there was a text that included a picture from Shannon.  The picture she sent is below: 

Upon receiving the picture, my face looked something like this: 

I was astounded, Shannon was astounded, we were both…shocked and surprised. It was a big encouragement, because looking over planning in our gut we didn’t know quite where to go from where we were at the end of May. We were trusting that God knew all of this and it was all part of His plans, but He had not revealed them to us yet. 

That day, I continued to pray over those two items, focusing on my friend now, since God had clearly answered the first!  We were both a bit without words that day. 

Friday, we had a zoom meeting with some old friends, and Silas came back home from church camp. That afternoon, I decided to post on Facebook about our need for a vehicle. Having one vehicle, plus plans changing was not working out. I made a request via Facebook that if anyone had a cheap vehicle for sale or one sitting around the might want to donate to please let us know. Within about 2-3 hours my friend, whom I had been praying for, sends me a text and calls me saying he had his van available for us to use. It was suppose to be sold already, but the guy backed out. He didn’t need it and insisted that he wanted us to use it, so we agreed to come pick it up the next morning. 

He text me a little after that with this message: 

“Probably what you would call a blessing for that guy not to want it right now.” and then shortly after that:  “It’s funny you know, that I have a hard time conceptualizing God providing, but even in that, hypothetically he uses me to provide for you. Something to consider on my end, for me. It really is strange you know…”

Saturday morning we made our way to meet him for breakfast, and with every intention to pay for his breakfast, but he insisted to pay for that as well. After picking up the van and heading back home, he called saying he could not find his wallet after breakfast. I arrived back at the apartment and did a thorough search of the van for the wallet, but with no luck.  I text him that I was unable to find it and asked the normal questions like: “Did you check here or there or call that place”. I didn’t hear back for hours, when I received this message:

“Well, got to eat some crow I guess, been cussing God out for a little over an hour”

Sent this picture with it: 

Remember what the prayer had been? Yeah! 

That week I also had the opportunity to track these guys down and share with them this story, too. We met up and had some Whataburger and connected. It was a great time, and also very encouraging on both sides! 

Current Status!

So you might be asking, “Where are y’all at now in your support raising?”

At the end of May we found ourselves unexpectedly down to 36%, but we are excited to announce that now at the beginning of July, we are almost back to 52%! Two weeks ago, I was just saying, “Our next step needs to be getting back to 50%” and then one morning we woke up…and there we were! So our next goal is getting back to 60%! If you are considering starting support, please reach out to us now!

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Helping out a Friend!

At the end of June, I was given the opportunity to fill in for a great friend of mine, the minister at Second Christian Church in Houston, who had just spent the week helping out at Tanglewood Christian Camp, High School week.  I, in fact, shared the story that I just shared with you. If you are interested in listening to the sermon from that week you may check it out on their Facebook page!  After church we went and had some Whataburger nearby. With a family of seven (six now, since Cephas is in basic  training) it’s good to know all the deals. We can order “a la carte” at Whataburger for very cheap, but still have quite the feast. 

June Church Camp!

In June, Silas went to church camp! He helped share about Clan Stellhorn and raise support! Tanglewood is an important part of my (Chris’) life, but also a big part of the lives of our children. They spend all year waiting to attend, and then spend days after saddened that it is already over! 

This summer at Tanglewood, Clan Stellhorn, is their mission focus. During High School camp week, I drove up and spoke briefly, sharing about our mission plans. Funds raised from the camps this year will be put toward purchasing necessary tech needed, like a laptop, software and video equipment. In June, Tanglewood raised about $350 toward those costs! Our goal to raise for this specific need is about $1500. The Boys will also attend Middle School camp in the month of July and I hope to go up and speak one day that week. 

Silas plans to do videography as his role in our mission work, while Gideon plans to do photography. 

New Training!

In the month of June, as we came to a new phase in our journey, we were encouraged to check out some new training that was available. We were able to knock out the main part of it pretty quick, and we are working to putting the new training into practice very soon! One of the new phases we are hoping to launch soon is a new leadership team called, “The Clan Stellhorn Chieftains” very soon. If this is something of interest to you, and you feel God calling you to take on a leadership role in the mission work (without having to go overseas), please feel free to reach out to us and we can share what we are looking for in our team. 

An Update From Shannon

It has been a very busy month, and an intense two weeks as I have helped welcome the last babies earthside in my home birth practice here in Texas.  It has been encouraging to me in supporting these last few clients to see God open up and show me areas of working with new moms and babies that I will be able to integrate into our community work, that is passionate on my heart to do in the community in which we land in Scotland.  July 5th, after a long but very textbook labor, I helped a first time mom welcome her baby into the world.  It definitely has all the feels, but mostly I am so excited that this is another transition almost checked off our list, getting us one step closer to landing in Scotland.

 

Now what remains is postpartum care and selling everything from my office.  Praying to get most things sold very soon!  If you or anyone you know is interested in any office, medical, or midwifery supplies, let me know!

Holding the last baby in my practice at A Sacred Journey Midwifery Services.

What's coming in July and beyond...

In the month of July, the boys will be attending Middle School Camp at Tanglewood Christian Camp.

I (Chris) will be speaking at two churches this month. First, at Christ Covenant Church in Beaumont to fill-in preach and then two weeks at Second Christian Church filling in as well.

In August, we will be taking family time to regroup and recharge through a road trip in the US. 

Our pre-field training has been pushed back at this moment till January, but we are on the waitlist for October. 

We are penciled in to go to Scotland on our research trip in September, but much depends on the Covid restrictions. 

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