Thursday, October 10, 2013

Answers to Prayer!

A couple of weeks ago, Ryan preached on persistence in prayer.  It got me thinking about how many recent answers to persistent prayer our family has seen lately :)  So, I went to my prayer journal and found the following:
We began praying for an affordable home in Bellevue on March 28 - this prayer was answered on April 15, less than three weeks!  We began praying for a bi-lingual school for the boys on March 28 also - this prayer was answered on August 30, 5 months of persistent prayer!  We began praying for a car on April 16 - this prayer was answered on May 28, just one month!

There are also other prayers for friends for the kids, peace and adjustment for our family, and financial concerns noted in my book.  God is answering ALL of them!  Sometimes He answers quickly, and sometimes we have to wait, but the important thing is that we continue to persevere in our prayers and WAIT on the Lord.  Don't try to "fix" things ourselves or get ahead of His plan!

One of the major prayers that we have had, and many of you with us, is for me to get a job.  We began praying for this on March 28 and, SIX months later - on September 30, that prayer was ANSWERED!!!!!!
Praise the LORD!!!!  I will begin working as a Family Resource Coordinator for Kindering next week :)

Thank you for your prayers and thank you for sharing in our lives.

"Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus" Philippians 4:6 & 7 

Monday, September 9, 2013


Is summer really almost over?!?  Where did the time go :)  The last weeks of August, we had family in town to visit and, of course, had to go see Seattle's famous gum wall......
The "tourist" picture

How they really feel about this "attraction":)
 With the nice weather, we also spent lots of time outside in our yard and at local parks.
Isaiah, Rubi, and Landon hanging out in the backyard
 So, summer has been wonderful, but we're ready for school!!  I have shared many, many, many times how God continues to amaze us with His provision and I  have yet another story of His goodness towards us!
When I enrolled the kids in our neighborhood school I was told that, due to their ages, they would be in 2nd and 4th grade.  In South America, they had just completed Kindergarten and 2nd grade so I was concerned about them not only beginning school in full English for the first time but now skipping a grade.  I talked to school administrators but didn't feel like I was getting anywhere so I decided to just give it to God and let Him deal with it :)  In addition to registering the kids for our neighborhood school, I also put them on the waiting list for a full Spanish immersion school but was pretty sure we wouldn't get in.
The week before school started, we were surprised and thrilled to find out that the boys had been accepted to the Spanish school and, after testing was done, were placed in 1st and 3rd grade - no skipping!!!  God is so good!!!!!!
All summer long, I kept hearing His still, small voice saying "Wait on Me, wait on the Lord".  Well, wait we did and He provided - not in my human time frame, but in His perfect timing.
The boys are one week in now and are loving everything about their US school experience :)
First day of school 2013!
"Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him" Psalm 37:7a

Saturday, July 13, 2013


Where do I start?  I have had "Write Blog" on my To Do list for so long, it's probably permanently etched there!  First of all, we moved - YAY!!!!!  We have been in our new home for a little over 6 weeks and we love it :)  Although we never saw inside of it before the day we moved, it is exactly what we have been longing for in a family home.  It has 5 bedrooms so the boys have their OWN rooms and we also have an office for Ryan and a guest room (we would LOVE to use it often so let us know if you'll be in town!)  It has a basement family room for the boys and a HUGE backyard with a covered patio - important in this rainy climate :)  And, best of all, it was in our price range!  Have I said that God is good!?!?  He is :)
The church is also doing really well.  It's summer and sunny so many people are away on the weekends but we have at least two new couples that have been attending fairly regularly.  This church likes "events" and we have had plenty of them these last few weeks.  We had the first baptism in the church (Praise the Lord!), potluck for the the Father's and Graduates, Rootbeer Floats for Memorial Day, and a children's Fourth of July parade (with decorated bikes and trikes).  It's been fun getting to know the church family better.  We are hoping to start small groups and adult Sunday School soon and are praying for more families with children :)

Now that we are finally "settled in", we are all feeling the effects of cultural shock pretty strongly.  It's something we knew we would experience, but it doesn't make it any less difficult.  Ryan and I are struggling with fitting back into a culture that should be our "home" culture - but we have changed.  The boys are struggling to fit into something they have never known for an extended period of time - and it's hard.  It's bringing us closer together as a family and closer to Christ as we fight together the feelings of sadness, anger, frustration, and lack of control.  We are all learning more about trusting in the only One we can as we navigate school differences, language differences, and feelings of "homesickness" for our other countries.

Having said all that, we are content in our lives here and excited about what God has in store for us!  Please pray for schooling for the boys (we are in discussions with the school about getting them into the appropriate grades), a job for me (I have several applications in), and Ryan's work at the church (he will also start his college classes again next month).

The boys have birthdays next week and will be 9 and 7!  Hard to believe how much has been packed into their short lives so far :)  Please pray for their adjustment, for God to provide special friends for them, and for Him to surround them with His protection as they enter a new phase of their lives.  We love and appreciate each of you!!


Thursday, May 16, 2013

Settling In

Less than four months ago, I wrote that we had returned to the States and felt a call to ministry in our own country.  We had no idea where we would live or what, exactly, we would be doing, but God is faithful :)  In April, we accepted a call to New Hope Church of the Nazarene in Bellevue Washington.  It is a wonderful church with loving people and we are excited to see what God has in store for this congregation. 
New Hope Church of the Nazarene
 We moved to Bellevue the last weekend in April and are currently living in a transitional basement apartment until our house is available in June.  Although farther from the church than we would like to be this first month, we feel blessed to be in a beautiful neighborhood with amazing views :)
Isaiah and Landon with their new puppy, Rubi
 Ryan has been working Sunday through Thursday so he can have Fridays and Saturdays available for fun time.  We feel it is important to the boys' adaptation for them to be able to experience their new city and culture as a family these first few months.  Last week we went to the aquarium!
 We know we are exactly where God wants us to be right now.  While there are still things on our prayer request list (a car as we are currently borrowing from my parents and a social worker position with good hours for me), I have been overwhelmed at how God has provided for ALL of our needs - in His perfect time.  He is always faithful!
These next few weeks are full as we have a Ministerial Retreat to attend, will be moving into our new home, and Ryan will be officially installed as the Pastor of New Hope.  Thank you so much for your prayers and support!  God is good!!!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013


The last two weeks of January were filled with good-bye's and more packing and selling.  Although we were only in Paraguay for 13 months, we made such wonderful friends and it was an emotional departure for all of us.  Below are some of the "lasts" we captured on camera:
Last day of swim class - with all 4 teachers!  
Isaiah and Landon with one of their best buddies, Paul (they swam until after 10PM this last night together!)

Our last dinner with Paul's family - mom Achu was a great support for me
Last birthday party with other best buddies, Elias and Thiago (special church friends)
Last day in their room!
 Our final days were filled with fun (in the SUN and HEAT!) and special surprises from our church family.  The night that we left, a group of church members stayed until 10:30 to help us carry our luggage out then sang us a song about friendship in the Lord never ending.  We were so blessed to be able to spend this last year with such a special group of people!

After nearly 24 hours of travel, we finally made it back to the Northwest and are enjoying time with family (although we're not too keen on the COLD!)  Isaiah and Landon are excited to be near grandparents again and have had fun doing Christmas things in February :)
The yearly gingerbread house at Mimi's
We have been overwhelmed by the love and support shown to our family as we begin this transition from ministry in South America to ministry in the States.  Although we are back, we are far from "settled" :)  We plan to make visits to Oregon, Washington, and Idaho through mid-March then perhaps settle in the Portland area until we find a church to pastor.  God is so faithful and we are continuing to learn to trust Him for our DAILY needs (not necessarily always looking ahead to the FUTURE).  I have no doubt that He has a perfect place for us, my challenge is just waiting for His timing :)  One day at a time!

So, as we close one chapter of our lives, we are excited about the new chapter and learning to live in the "in-between".  Much, much love and many thanks to each of you who has partnered with us on this journey.  May the Lord bless you and keep you always!!

Ryan, Sarah, Isaiah, and Landon

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

"Stuff" and Blessings

Two weeks from tonight, we will head to the airport and prepare for our flight to the States.  When we arrived in Paraguay, after 36 HOURS of travel, I joked that I never wanted to leave until we left for good!  It looks like my wish has been granted, although much sooner than I was expecting and much sadder in the reality of yet another round of good-bye's.  
As we work to get things ready for our return to the States, I have come across some "stuff" that we have carried with us over the last 5 1/2 years of moving - through Buenos Aires, Arequipa, Pucallpa, and now Asuncion.  Although not much to look at, these items have signified "home" to us during our travels.  Inspirational words on plaques, kitchen items, baby blankets (remember, the boys were not yet quite 1 and 3 when left), books, and toys.  
My "stuff"
Kids' "stuff"
 So often, I feel like we get caught up in counting our "stuff" as blessings.  Sometimes the blessings from God come in the absence of "things".  Sometimes we have to experience loss, to experience true gain in Christ.  Once again, I am reminded that this world is not our forever home.  We are only passing through and whatever we accumulate here will not transfer over when we finally reach our reward with God.  What WILL transfer over are the lives we touch and change, the people we teach about God and His love, and the way we choose to follow obediently wherever Christ leads us.  THOSE are the blessings we need to focus on :)

So, as we've been packing up and saying good-bye, we've also been making special lasting memories.  Below are some fun pics of the boys.
New Year's Eve with fireworks!!

Captain Isaiah - arg, matie!
Packing fun :)
We are excited to be returning but, as always, transition is difficult.  Please pray for Isaiah and Landon as they say good-bye to their friends, their puppy (THAT was a hard one - lots of tears!), their kittens, and their home.  These little guys are so precious and so resilient.  God has a plan for them and we can't wait to see what it is - but it's still  hard :)  Thank you so much for your prayers - we appreciate each of you!!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

End of School, More Pets and Big Decisions

School's out for summer vacation - woo-hoo!!!!  Isaiah and Landon successfully completed another year of school in South America.  This has by far been our best year and we are so grateful for the teachers who lovingly guided the boys through their first year of bi-lingual learning (first time to "do school" in English!)  Landon's class celebrated with a jungle theme and he sang a cute song about being an elephant.
18 kiddos in this class - and only 5 girls!!!  It was a wild, but fun year :)
Isaiah's class also performed a song and dance (unfortunately we only have video of that, no pictures).  Isaiah received an award for Best Student in the English program :) AND Most Obedient in his class!

About a week before school got out, some friends found a box of puppies on the side of the road.  Ryan LOVES puppies so we just had to adopt one :)  She looks like a little bear so her name is Osa ("bear" in Spanish)  She has already brought us so much joy!

She just wants to sit with her boy!
 THEN, on December 1, our cat gave birth to 3 kittens :)  Whew, do we have a full house now!  The boys named them Max, Messi, and Serena.  They already have owners eagerly awaiting them but it's fun to watch them change and grow during these long summer days.
 The boys started swimming lessons in December.  This has been a great way to help fill our days and they are enjoying learning to swim and dive!
Landon's first dive into the "deepness" (as he calls it!)
 We are fully enjoying our first month of summer, but with the blessings have also come some unexpected difficulties.  Shortly after my last blog post in November, we had to send home 4 of our 4040s.  That left our team with only 3 4040s to complete the project.  The original end date for the project was June 30, 2013.  After much prayer, the director of Extreme Nazarene Ministries together with the head of the South American region, decided to close the project early and send 2 of our 4040s to Peru to complete their contract there.  The 3rd 4040 is Paraguayan and will be staying in Fernando de la Mora and continuing to work with the church.
SO, with all the 4040s gone, there is no longer a need for two cluster support families.  The Williams (who have been working alongside us since May) will be returning to the States to raise more money as they plan to head to Ecuador in June and support another team of 4040s.
As for us, after 5 1/2 years of working with Extreme Nazarene Ministries in South America, God seems to be calling us back to our home country.  We have learned so much and been blessed beyond belief.  God has shown Himself to us in so many ways and each one of you, our supporters in prayer and finances, has faithfully followed His leading.  We are so grateful for you!!
We had previously made an agreement with the Vargas' to help pastor the church while they were on deputation so we will remain in Paraguay until January 30 at which point we will return to the States and begin the process of applying for a pastorate.
We have been so blessed by your prayers, support, and encouragement throughout the years and we would ask that you continue to join us in prayer as we transition yet again.  This may be the most difficult move for our dear little "South American" boys.
We will be sure to keep you posted as we have more details of where we'll be and what we'll be doing.  If you have any questions, please feel free to write me personally: Sarah Foster
Once again, thank you so much and may the blessings of Christ fill each of your lives this CHRISTmas!!!