Wednesday, December 21, 2011
Monday, December 12, 2011
Friday, December 9, 2011
Monday, November 28, 2011
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Saturday, November 12, 2011
Wednesday, October 5, 2011
Just to remind myself that things aren't always as perfect as you remember, I saw a friend's fb page and was quickly reminded of some things I don't miss about living in Nigeria....
Tuesday, October 4, 2011
Monday, October 3, 2011
Family and Friends,
Hello to our family and friends! We regret how long it has been since we have given you an update. Especially since I have paused on the blog which was such a great way to communicate what God was doing with us and B2B. Please know that we have been praying for you all as we are ever reminded of our partnership with each of you. During these past four months being in the USA, we have enjoyed taking the time to connect with some of you in person. Thanks for taking the time to have lunch, dinner, or just visit on a not so
long distance phone call.
As you all know, John has been working in the home office for the last four months, on “home assignment”. During this time, we have been in prayer seeking an answer to where we might serve next with Back2Back and continue the ministry we’ve felt so passionate about for the last seven years.
As the conclusion of our home assignment time has drawn closer, we have been sensing that God is leading us in a different direction and so we have decided to leave B2B staff.
Before moving to Mexico with Back2Back, John fulfilled a construction manager role. In the next few months, he will begin to pursue employment again in this fi
eld. His passion that he has been educated in, that the Lord has blessed him with, and that he continues to enjoy so much is with construction and all its varying roles. He and I are very much on the same page with this change and couldn’t be more excited to see what God has next.
Where specifically God is leading we are not sure. We just know we need to make the necessary room for Him to show us where that next step is to serve Him elsewhere.
We have been blessed ten fold by God through the ministry of Back2Back. We have not only had the opportunity to serve in the role of orphan care, but we have been served by so many of you who have locked arms and partnered, cared, prayed, financially supported and loved on our family for the past seven years. It has been a gift given to us that is not taken for granted. We are now leaving the ministry as different people than when w
e began. For this, we are thankful!
Here is the plan:
John will be looking for new employment while continuing with B2B in the home office. There is much to do and this will allow John to bring closure and transition to a number of projects for which he is currently responsible.
Our desire is to transition out of B2B by the end of October, but much of this timing is based on John finding a new job. Until that time, John will continue
to serve the ministry. In order to help make this transition, we ask that you remain in financial partnership with us through the end of November.
We want to continue to be open with each of you so if there are any questions in regards to what we are communicating, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We would love to hear from each of you. We will continue to keep you up to date with our changes as they occur and let you know the final date that we are leaving B2B. We are blessed by each of you and grateful for your prayers.
Thank you and God Bless,
John and Corrie Guckenberger
Please know that the ministry is continuing to invest in the lives of orphans by God’s provisions through the generosity of supporters like you. Our desire is that you would look at this opportunity to partner with Back2Back in a new way.
By shifting your financial support to another staff member (all staff raise their support), a program, or to assist any of the children’s homes or communities in which we have served, you’ll be continuing your important partnership with the ministry.
Of course, you can also give generally which allows B2B to meet specific needs at any of our ministry sites as they arise. If you don’t feel led to continue to support the ministry, that’s perfectly fine too! We welcome any questions you might have in regards to this.
Monday, June 20, 2011
Lots of family time, siblings, grandparents, past friendships along with some new friendships and visiting varying churches that have been a part of our lives while overseas for the last few years.
We are so grateful for each one of these times and relationships.
Tuesday, June 7, 2011
Friday, June 3, 2011
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
Thursday, May 12, 2011
Friday, May 6, 2011
Saturday, April 30, 2011
I am beginning on Monday to finish with the kids school year in our Cincinnati home. I was starting to notice that Sami was pronouncing her “H’s” like “Haychis” (phonetically, of course) because of living in Jos. Cute, but I am excited for her to pronounce them the way I was raised to pronounce them. That is a minor example of what we are constantly working through raising them to be "third culture kids".
We JUST don’t like change, do we? (I am sure by now, you all are tired of me talking about transition… I cannot help it, it is the reality of where I am… and what if we stay this way FOREVER!!! Okay, I am getting ahead of myself… Where was I?) We tend to resist anything that pushes, prods or pulls us from a place of the comfortable recognized to the uncomfortable unknown. My mind was drawn to the present struggles of our present state of transition. We are used to being the foreigners (that is the majority of my kids life), not the stay at home Americans.
One of the reasons this transition has been more challenging is that we are being allowed to stay in friend’s home’s for a bit… someone else’s home, someone else’s furniture, someone else’s circle of life. I’m not trying to complain, for we are so thankful for both of these provisions, yet this is our reality. So it feels like home, but it isn’t quite… Without a doubt, it is emotionally harder to move back and forth with secondary school children ~ tweens. They’d just found where they belonged and we uproot them to return to a place that isn’t what they left before. So, they are back to figuring out where they belong once again when they’d anticipated coming "home." But people leave; others grow, looking and sounding different; still others change and have new priorities or a different direction – nothing remains static and so it just isn’t the same.
As I’ve pondered and prayed – then realized that I should first pray and then ponder: How are we to shepherd our children through this time, the Holy Spirit brought my thoughts to perhaps the most well known words in the Bible about what it looks like to be a good shepherd.
The LORD is my shepherd;
I have all that I need.
Psalm 23:1 (NLT)
When God blessed us with children, He gave us the privilege of becoming shepherds… one more way we can learn to imitate our God and our Savior. So I read these words, words first stamped onto my heart over 20 years ago, gentle words reminding me how the Good Shepherd cares for me and see a very practical example of how I can shepherd my children.
I came across another blog site that helped me put some of my “overwhelmed thoughts” into more practical steps to consider:
“· I can let them rest, making sure our home is a place of security, fun and respite from the stresses in their worlds all around them.
· I can lead – with my words, my actions, my attitudes, my life. Do I approach the challenges with a gentle spirit, accepting and welcoming God’s sovereignty and excited to see what He will do because I know He will work?
· I can renew: revamping harried schedules, repairing wrong attitudes and beliefs, restoring tired hearts, making good on promises and things I’ve said, renovating to salvage the bad and hard days.
· I can guide, showing them again and again that we run to Jesus with our celebrations, challenges and sorrows.
· I can protect through disciplining, both myself and my children as necessary.
· I can comfort, often just by caring about the hard, seemingly little things.
· I can prepare a feast… healthy, nutritious snacks and meals that I know will delight my family… and that time of preparation is a wonderful time to pray for them… or to encourage them to work alongside me and share about/pray through their days.
· I can honor them: respecting their feelings, attitudes and perceptions even when they need repair, admiring their accomplishments and the person God is growing them to be, giving credit where credit is due, protecting their reputations, remembering that they, too, are heirs of the King.
· I can pursue them with goodness and unfailing love, whose source is, of course, the Good Shepherd.”
Good stuff, huh? Sounds easy, right? Hah, I think that is why I like that first verse of Psalm 23. “The Lord is my shepherd, I have all that I need.”
I guess that is my take home. I might mess up and not do what I should be doing to care for them, but I can come back to the idea that Jesus is all that I need. I can trust that in following the example of my Shepherd, He will open the eyes of my children so that they see their cup, too, overflowing with blessings from heaven.
I know this one was long! Thanks for staying with me.
Thursday, April 28, 2011
Sunday, April 24, 2011
We are in NC, after visiting John's mom in FL, after having a family vacation in FL. It has been nice seeing some grandparents.... but sad enough our stay in NC is not long enough to do all that we would want. SO, we will return another time to visit more and get some things done.
Thursday, April 14, 2011
Everything from Putt-Putt, go karting, walks on the beach, playing volleyball in the pool and of course you have all the restaurants meeting whatever food desire you happen to be craving in the moment. So much to do, to eat, to partake in.....
YET, surprisingly enough, we can still experience children dealing with Boredom.... what do you really think that means anyway? I will look it up.... I will be back in a moment.
adjectivefeeling weary because one is unoccupied or lacks interest in one's current activity
Can this be the real definition? Hopefully, you all are seeing that I am not really questioning the definition as much as the use of it from kids mouths. Okay, look, now I am trying to be vague, as in ALL KIDS SAY THIS, when in reality I am trying to not hone in on the condition of my own children. UGH.... Maybe there are too many options offered. My sister-in-law, Beth, and I were talking about how she read an article that if you offer up two choices to someone you are bound to see more productivity than if you were to give them an unlimited amount of choices. Interesting, isn't it?
We are trained and think it is our right to have an unlimited amount of choices, as if this makes us more powerful to choose "Yes, I will go go karting today" when there are 100 things to do. Verses, "I guess I will go go karting since there is only one other option...." That doesn't even make sense in the practicality of it, but yet, here John and I are thinking and leading our kids to believe that if we offer them 100 choices while at the beach in FL, we are allowing them to feel that this vacation is SOOOO FUNNNNN. We are starting them off on the wrong foot.
Truth is, "kids this is such a treat and we are so blessed, let's enjoy the water and the sun and the gifts around us because we can now say with firsthand experience that there are kids in Africa right now, plowing a field or taking care of children that are not theirs to take care of...."
Wow, little soap box there, sorry. All in all, we are having a great time as a family and I am grateful for the gifts before us. As a matter of fact, we are off to see the tallest lighthouse in FL and the largest lighthouse museum in the USA. Hmmmm, interesting after all that I wrote.... I guess it is baby steps :)
Even though we are here, the last two pictures represent where my heart and mind keep wandering to when there is a moment to sit and think. Our Jos village and our Jos family. Keep praying for them as the elections are continuing this weekend, prayerfully with no crisis.