Friday, August 28, 2009

Quick Update

Whew, it's been a crazy week! And we have received so much encouragement and confirmation along the way that we are just in awe of the way God works!


Our 2010 schedule is already filling up rapidly! As it stands now we will be in Europe from mid-January through the end of April with at least two two-week service projects with Tim Cole and YFC/MCYM Belgium.

Thank you all for your continued prayers as we move forward with this incredible adventure!

Please do not hesitate to pass our contact information to anyone you know who may be interested in our services!

hossandkatylin {at} gmail {dot} com


Friday, August 21, 2009

Our Story . . .

Throughout our lives, while I was growing up in Colorado, and Austin was living in Iowa, both of our families were heavily involved in the church and lots of different forms of ministry. We were both very involved in our church youth groups, Austin was a member of his church's youth leadership team, I spent my summers volunteering at a church camp, and we were both blessed to be able to serve on more than a dozen short-term missions teams. Before we ever knew that the other person existed on the planet we both had the strong desire to be involved in ministry as our career.

We both ended up attending Emmaus Bible College and graduating with a One-Year Bible Certificate. During the time that we were dating, and since we have been married, we have had many opportunities to serve together as a couple. We were both on a team of students from our college that spent a month in France and Switzerland learning about how to reach out to people in a culture that is very different from that which we were used to - basically experiencing what missionaries would during their first few weeks in the field. Austin and I and our friend Doug travelled to Honduras and spent a week teaching English at a Christian school there. We were also part of a team from our church that traveled to New Orleans to help re-build a homeless shelter in one of the areas that was the hardest hit by Hurricane Katrina, and Austin received valuable training in the form of Youth For Christ's Summer Institute.


It has been very exciting to see how God has used and is using the seemingly insignificant details of our lives to move us into a place where this dream can become a reality. Everything from working together to re-construct our house, to the incredible experience and training Austin has received through his current job in assessing and restoring homes that have experienced catastrophic loss has shown us that we are uniquely equipped to minister to others in some very down-to-earth and practical ways.

Our vision is that we will be able to respond quickly to other ministries and organizations that need assistance with things that are outside of their immediate capabilities. It seems that the church as a whole is very good about recognizing the needs of those who minister to them directly, but we sometimes forget that there are hundreds of thousands of individuals who have dedicated their lives to serving the Lord in places we don't often think about. If the pastor of the local church has a leaky faucet, there are probably 8-10 plumbers in the congregation who can have him squared away in no time. It is far more difficult to just run to Kenya real quick to help the missionary family repair their leaky roof. Similarly, when a river overflows its banks in Iowa, there are hundreds of organizations set up to come rushing to assistance; however, a similarly devastating situation for a village in India doesn't always get the same amount of attention.

Another big part of what we want to be able to provide is the face-to-face relationships and encouragement that so many missionaries miss. Whether that be just spending time with the family and sharing in all their nitty-gritty, day-to-day "stuff," babysitting the kids so that mom and dad can have a special date night, repainting the living room, or cleaning the house. We want them to experience love and refreshment.

Just yesterday morning, Austin was talking to one of our good friends about the plethora of opportunities that just he and his immediate contacts can come up with for us! His name is Tim Cole, and he and his wife Angella serve with Youth for Christ's MCYM on a military base in Brussels, Belgium. He is in close communication with many of the Youth for Christ workers and other ministers throughout Europe. Yesterday he was specifically requesting that we come to Belguim to assist with some building projects next spring for which they need Austin's construction/contracting skills. Another need in that area is when they have a change of leadership or families go on furlough, unless they have someone to come in and run the youth ministries, all of the children of the military families there have no ministry activities. This is a huge need as these kids already feel isolated by the language and culture barriers they encounter - not to mention just the normal growing up stuff that all teens deal with. Since he was 13 years old, Austin has had a passion for youth ministry, his emphasis at Emmaus was in Youth Ministry, and as I mentioned before he has graduated from the Youth for Christ Summer Institute, so this is another area where we would love to serve. Austin and Tim have been talking and planning and dreaming about these possibilities for over two years, and it is thrilling to see it all coming to fruition! Between the people we know who are involved in ministry and the plethora of contacts our families have, these are just a couple of the many opportunities that we are excited to pursue. And we are confident that as more people find out about us, there will be many more who are interested in our services :)

Our earnest desire is to begin ministering as soon as possible in a full-time capacity. Participating in projects such as those suggested by Tim and other missionaries we are close to will give us a good deal of legitimacy once we begin the process of requesting a 501C3 from the IRS to become a not-for-profit organization. This documentation is crucial if we are to have any kind of long-term ministry ability as it will give us all of the benefits - to both us and our supporters - of being a recognized non-profit organization.

In the immediate future, we are hoping to be able to start heading out and building relationships with missionaries and organizations who are in need of what we have to offer. To that end we are preparing ourselves and our lives to be as mobile as possible. We are going to finish the house and put it on the market, sell off all of our extraneous "toys," etc.

We very much covet your prayers as we move forward in this incredible adventure! We would also welcome any suggestions of places/projects in which we may be involved. You can also donate to Burden Bearers International via PayPal by clicking on the button in the sidebar.

Our long-term needs will include a lot of legal/accounting assistance with the incorporation and not-for-profit procedures and paperwork. That process alone can cost several thousand dollars.

Of course, we'll keep you posted as the story progresses :)

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Prayer Requests

(10/18/09) Just listed the pop-up on Craigs List! Please pray that it sells quickly! ~*~ (10/25/09) Our buyer picked up the pop-up today! It was listed for less than a week! God is so good!

(10/16/09) That God would continue to present opportunities for service and direct us to where we will be most effective.

(10/16/09) Preparation for us physically, emotionally, and spiritually for hard but very rewarding work.

(10/16/09) Wrapping up the details of our lives here in Iowa so that we will be ready to leave in January!

(10/16/09) Pray that we would find a good home for our dog, Diddy ~*~ (10/19/09) Praise the Lord, our sweet friends Michael and Lora have offered to give Diddy a new home, with lots of "brothers and sisters" :)

(10/16/09) That our house will be DONE by the first week of November!