The May News
As May comes to a close, here’s the latest from Clan Stellhorn, and our journey toward Scotland! It was a month full of ups and downs, and we hope to properly relay it all to you this month, our awesome supporters!
For starters, this month was our 16th wedding anniversary! If you want to hear the story of how we met, you can find it here.
An Update From Shannon
It sure felt like May flew by quickly! I am now down to my last two months of practice as a midwife. Since our last update, I have caught two babies, as well as taught for the last time for the Association of Texas Midwives Midwifery Training Program. I have taught for the school since 2015, so it was bittersweet to officially pass the baton to the new instructors!
As June is here, I am down to my last four clients due, and anticipate them all to be holding their babies by early July. July will be full of selling 90% of my remaining office supplies and postpartum check ups. If you know of anyone looking for midwifery related equipment or a practically brand new desk and shelving set, connect them with us!
Our Visit to McKinney!
This month, we were graciously invited to come share at Cross Road Christian Church in McKinney, TX. Cross Road has an awesome building that sits just outside of town that is part newer church building and part old farmhouse. In early May, Silas and I (Chris) drove up .
Shannon and the rest could not make it for this trip, as Cephas had his final “Naval Sea Cadet” meeting that weekend. At the end, Cephas received his certificates and awards at senior graduation for his time and commitment in Sea Cadets.
Silas and I drove from Waller to North Dallas after his soccer game that Saturday, and stayed the night at a hotel using credit card points. It was quite the adventure, but it was a good stay.
Sunday morning, after a bit of breakfast at Whataburger, we made our way to the church. During breakfast, we shared about our mission work and plans with a former New York City police officer who now lives in the area. You never know when an opportunity will present itself!
Upon arriving we met my former and first youth minister, Mark Berrier Jr, who had invited us to come and share. Though I had not seen him recently, we have crossed paths multiple times in the past couple decades. We ran into each other at the National Youth Workers Convention, and I stayed with him while attending a church leadership conference at Dallas Christian College many years ago.
It was good to see him again and visit, even though it was brief.
I always enjoy looking around and seeing different church buildings, taking note of interesting differences, formats and as well the history. The picture here is of their auditorium.
That morning, we were given the opportunity to share about Scotland, our plans and to extend the invite for others to be involved! I can’t say I don’t get nervous, because I still do. I even forgot one of my slides! But if you want to watch it, you can see it here! You can begin around the 37 minutes mark.
We had our table setup, were able to have a few conversations with folks, and even sold a few shirts! If you are in the McKinney area and see a Clan Stellhorn shirt, make sure to say “Hi”!
Silas was a great assistant as he helped pass out contact cards after church service. Going to a bunch of new places is not his forte’ of course, but he was a good traveling companion and a big help.
After lunch and visiting, we headed back to Houston. We did have an offer to stay a bit and wait out the rain, but decided we should probably head back if possible. It wasn’t too long, and the rain became very bad and soon found ourselves not just in torrential rain fall, but a tornado warning!
We figured to be safe we better pull over and find a place to take a little shelter, and we are glad we did! In about the span of ten minutes, the parking lot and intersection we came through was under water! We came outside once the rain let up a little, and found we were just about stuck. We were able to make it two parking lots over, but from there the feeder road was flooded out and so were the back roads leading to the feeder roads!
I spoke to a police officer when I went to walk and see if it was possible to get on the freeway, and at that point he advised us to wait it out. The freeway entrance was no more than a 1/4 mile from us but mostly underwater. By the time I got back in the van I was well and thoroughly soaked. I changed my socks and sat a while (luckily my pants are quick dry, like on Man vs. Wild), but my shirt was soaking wet. In short time, we made it on the freeway and on our way home. I also, found that I really enjoyed NPR. (Maybe I’m getting old?) It was a great weekend, and we really appreciated the opportunity to share! Cross Road made a one time gift toward our upfront costs!
Please take time to pray for them this month!
In May, I was given the opportunity to serve a young couple who desired to be married. The bride was the granddaughter of a couple I’ve known for several years, who I would easily consider “grandparents in the faith”. It was my honor and privilege to perform their ceremony out by a neighborhood lake early one Sunday morning.
If you’re wanting to get married, but don’t know who to reach out to for help, please contact me. I am always excited to help those desiring to stand before their God and make the commitment to one another.
It’s an amazing experience that each month we get to benefit from the wisdom of those who have served in the UK. This month, we had our normal meeting with some of the guys in the UK. These folks have been doing the work of the gospel for many decades. I remember not too long ago the first meeting we had, and I didn’t say too much, but sat mostly humbled that these people were surrounding us, and helping prepare the path for us. I’m very appreciative of Martin and Lynda with the Fellowship of Churches of Christ of Great Britain and Ireland, of Mark and Andrea our directors at New International and as well from Sam Burton, a veteran missionary to Scotland who has been lending his invaluable wisdom. It’s a dream come true to have such a wonderful team.
New this month, we also were able to visit and receive wisdom specifically about church planting in Scotland. Continue to pray for us as we not only make support connections, but also the right connections we need in country once we move. We have much to learn, and are excited to begin! We were recommended multiple resources this month that will also help us prepare!
Hard NEws to Share
As we’ve shared, we have worked hard since last October meeting with people and raising monthly support. One of our first supporters, a church we are close to, had agreed to come in early and support largely. Though it was a large amount, they wanted to attempt to help us on this big journey we were embarking on. When they agreed to start support in November, it really was a big encouragement that provided us the jumpstart to get going. They agreed to take on a large chunk of our budget at $2500 a month.
Though they made it through Covid okay, post-covid has hit harder than expected, and at the end of May, they shared with us that due to a lack of finances at this time they were going to be unable to keep their original commitment of $2500, but will continue to support us at $500 a month.
As you can imagine, it hit us a bit hard and unexpected, and for a few days we didn’t really know how to fully understand what was happening. We of course knew that God knew of this in His plans, but we didn’t. We prayed and sought to trust that He knows and has this well within His plans, and entrust this in His hands. There’s so much in preparing for mission work that is out of our hands, and it can be unnerving unless we remember that this is HIS work, not ours, that it’s HIS plans, not ours. I continually remind myself to “Work like it’s up to me, but pray like it’s up to Him”.
Now that a week and a half has gone by, we have been able to take time to pray, and in a sense, to grieve of our plans as we refocus and seek His face. We knew when we received the news that it would change our timeline and plans, but of course that’s not unusual in preparing for the mission field. We knew that the preparation for mission work is fluidic, with a lot of moving parts, but it was a big change and very sudden that we didn’t see coming. We took that time this week to talk and make some plans about what comes next, and believe we have some great ideas which will refine themselves as we make it through the month of June.
We sought lots of advice and wisdom this week, both from here in the States and in the UK. That wisdom and advise was full of encouragement, and reminded us that this is all part of His plans, and that “he works all things out for the good of those who love Him.”
We were knocked back, but not knocked down, and we continue to press on. This week, I (Chris) called around 50 churches in the Texas area to make connections. As well as this week, we added a new monthly supporter, alongside a few others this past month! We are also excited, because we have a new church looking to start supporting us very soon!
So, “What’s next?” you might ask, due to this setback. When a change happens this big, it takes times to go over all the details, so we do have some thoughts we have laid before God, and we will wait His answer. We will post a mid-month update, if possible, as some of these new details have begun to shake themselves out. We will post our updated pie chart and more at that time as well.
How to Respond!
1.Pray for the Church! With this news, what I will ask is that you take time today to stop and pray for our church that had sought to support us, and has been hit by harder times. Pray that these financial hardships will pass quickly for them. As a Clan we stand “beside” each other in prayer, and now is a time to do just that!
2.Starting Support! This does leave us unexpectedly $2000 less monthly than where we were at our last update. My big ask is if you had planned to start monthly support, but haven’t pulled the trigger that you consider starting this month! It would be a gigantic encouragement to us, and help us navigate our new projected launch date.
3.On-going Support! Along that same line, if you have considered upping your support over time, please feel free to talk to us! We are going to work very hard to close the gap, and any help is greatly appreciated! There are no expectations in anyway, but we always like to be honest and make the ask!
4.Connections! If you are a part of a church and can help us make connections, this will help us immensely. To raise monthly support, we reach out and share about the need in Scotland and how we plan to serve. Bridging the gap for us, helps us make new paths to walk down! If you can help us meet new folks with a heart for missions or Scotland, or even perhaps attend a small group or function where we might share about our vision, we would be so grateful.
5. Spread the Word! If you are able, here are some helpful ways to spread the word!
- Consider using the “like” and/or “share” post functions on Facebook.
- Share our website, and giving portal on New International.
- Mention us in conversation, put our paper on a bulletin board (please ask us and we can give you some), etc. Here’s an awesome example from some friends of ours that own a restaurant in Cypress! (And if you haven’t been there…GO!)
6.Pray for us! Last, but not least, as we pray, please pray with us. This is no surprise to Him, and this in no way means defeat, but like the many stories in scripture, it is a chance to stand in faith, to run the race, and know He is growing us!
My Final Month at C4
This May brought my final weeks at Cypress Crossings Christian Church. I’ve shared in previous posts that I started serving at C4 back in 2012, so saying “goodbye” as such was hard. This month, I saw some of my students graduate, one in particular that I had known since she was in 3rd grade! I had some great students at C4, but over my last ten weeks I shared ten final lessons that I thought were essential to pass on before I left. The last lesson centered around the gospel itself.
My final week I spent time with the younger kids teaching children’s church. I spent that time teaching about the importance of the cross.
The weekend before my last I preached at C4 and shared a final word as Associate Minister. You can watch it in the video here.
We are excited for the month of June, as it officially begins a new chapter of our journey. Being the first month since I completed my journey at C4, I am now fully focused on the mission prep. This month is very busy for Shannon, as the last of her clients are due to have their babies, so this month is BIG!
We had planned to sell our Suburban next month after Shannon was done being on call, but on June 1st, it had several catastrophic failures out of no where and broke down when Shannon was on the way to a birth. Rather than pay for the expensive repairs, we were able to sell and cut our losses. We are figuring out this new “one vehicle situation” now a little sooner than expected.
Over the course of the next two months, we will be continuing to downsize more, especially of items from Shannon’s office. Please connect with us if interested in looking at what we have, or check out our Facebook marketplace!
A new chapter of our journey is here, and we are ready to take the next step. Will you come with us? Join us as monthly partners today!