Tuesday, December 21, 2010

More on our list!

Be sure to visit our list again, as we are progressing more and more!!!  To learn more about what we've recently discovered, click here to see it!



Monday, December 20, 2010

Adventures with The Peach House...

Did I mention there's a lot to do on The Peach House? Here are some of the projects ahead:
- Install a water heater
- Get plumbing to work
- Tear off all the paneling
- rewire the house
- insulate the walls
- build kitchen cabinets
- open up the doorway between the dining room and living room.
- move the bedroom doorway (the room is so small, that it's in an awkward spot...)
- Put flooring down
- Put up sheet rock and complete mudding
- Paint the walls

Well... Thursday, Jessica, my sister, and my dad worked together to get the boxes that we stored is Jessica's basement into her family room. Matt's folks were going to come and pick up the boxes and some other things that night. Dan, Char, my dad and Jessica loaded their van with TONS of our kitchen/bathroom boxes and other great things, including our dining room table and 4 chairs!

Matt's parents arrived late Friday night for a visit and a big work week! :) They were willing to do anything, and we've taken them up on it. (On both sides, we have such a great family--- man! That goes on our Thankful List!) As we've been working we discovered some MORE things we have to do. Looks like...

- level the bedroom floors with the kitchen.
- redo the ceiling in the bedroom
- support the space we were planning to tear out between the kitchen and living room.
- replace all of the front windows and the bedroom window.
- take care of the big hole I found while pulling paneling off the bedroom studs... we can currently see outside.
- take out the bathtub and redo the floor
- insulate under the tub

As you can see... there's a lot to do. We'll post pictures. Soon. When I pulled the walls down in our bedroom, I was overwhelmed suddenly about how much work there was to do. However, when Matt saw how quickly I did the bedroom, he was greatly encouraged! He's sure it will go well. I, on the other hand... well... I'll try to hop on the same hand as Matt...

To keep updated on the progress, see our "P.H. Checklist" or click HERE.
 
Me looking through the bathroom window--- Matt and Dan replaced this yesterday!

The current kitchen cabinets... the doors are different sizes and hung crookedly.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Introducing.....


We would like to introduce you to a new friend of our family's:

 THE PEACH HOUSE!
 
We are now proud owners of this 704 ft2 house in Longview!  It is 4 miles from Missionary TECH Team, though we had hoped originally to move closer to TECH. 

Why did we buy a house?--- you might ask.  Great question!  God made it clear to us that we had a lot more to do here in Longview, so we knew that we could either 1) continue to pay rent, or 2) accept a loan our family arranged for us, and purchase a house where the five-year mortgage payments are comparable to the rent we’re paying. 

This house was a foreclosure, and it was originally being sold for $25,000.  We, of course, could never pay for that… and we would not want to have a very long-ranged loan, so we were fortunate to get the house under 15,000!  There is a LOT of work to do on the house, and we’re hoping to be living in it by February 1st! 

There will be more pictures to come, but we just wanted to show you our new sweet friend!



Thursday, November 11, 2010

Fun Projects.


Here are a couple fun projects I got to do this week! 


Westside Christian Academy Deluxe Retractable.  It's so cool to see it in print.  I had about 15 proofs in all for Westside to look over and adjust.  It was a neat experience and made me reminisce the life of a teacher.  (It still catches me off-guard to NOT have work to do at home after work each night.  I feel very uncomfortable going home with only a purse and returning to work the same way!)
 Note:  You observant folk out there may have noticed my new glasses.  Can I put in a quick ad for America's Best?  Thanks!  Two pairs of glasses for $50.00!!!  AND a free eye exam.  Can't beat it!  When I realized I couldn't read street signs anymore, I knew it was time to go in.  Hooray for computer jobs!
This is a game board I made for deputation trips.  It gives TECH missionaries an opportunity to play a game with the church/kids/families and tell them more about TECH at the same time.  This is my first project that I did the preliminary work in Adobe Illustrator.  Er... that's not entirely true.  This is the first project that I designed my own line structures in Adobe Illustrator.  How does that song go?  "Movin' on up!"  


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The Back Table

At Northwood Church, our "Front Room"--aka sanctuary-- is set up with rows of chairs in the middle, and tables surrounding those chairs for those who would like to sit at a table with their Bible and coffee. It's different, but it works really well. The table in the back corner by the sound room, affectionately referred to as The Back Table, is always packed with high school/college-aged people who have become very special to Matt and me. We first had them over in September, and I think we've developed a routine of having them over every other Monday night.

The girls asked us to host a Halloween party for them. I told them that we don't really do Halloween, but that they are welcome to come over. We did a devotion about being a new creature in Christ, not just taking bits and pieces and applying those to our lives, but actually CHANGING. It went well.

We wanted to share some pictures with you of our friends. Some nights it's only a few that come over, some nights it's about 15. Always different. I think on average it's about 8. Anyway, enjoy the pics... and please pray for those you see in them. Each person has a different story & challenge in life. And not all of them are Believers.





Karla, Dani and Krissy
Karla

Jacey
Elizabeth, Dani, Karla, Krissy and Jacey


Jacey, Crystal and Bret... decorating their apples at the party
Dani and her scary apple. :)
A new creation???
Dani, Elizabeth, Poodle and Matt (with a scary face)
Okay, they're all weird except Crystal....  L-R: Dusty, Crystal, Karla, Savanna, Dani, Elizabeth, Poodle and Matt

Okay, you already know us, but here we are again!  Thanks for praying!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Recently in Graphics...

In graphics I've been working on a few new designs, and I thought I'd share some. Several of these are designs that the missionary had already, basically, decided what it should look like, and my job was to try to make it work. :) Those jobs are probably the most difficult, because I have to try to think like the other person and also apply what I know about a good design... some of these are better than others, but I think the design I really like is the header for a medium display. Here, let me show you!

(A ShowStyle display that folds up like a brief case)

(A Business card-sized prayer card-- Front on top, Back below)


(Panels for a ShowStyle Display)

(A Prayer card--- postcard sized)

(Panels and Header for a Showstyle Display)

(Header for a Medium Tabletop Display)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Welcome Elizabeth!


Elizabeth is Missionary TECH Team's new intern. She is a recent college graduate, and a student we met last year when we went to Cedarville, OH to represent TECH. We are so excited to finally have her here!!!

She will be living with us until May, 2011.

Elizabeth is originally from North Carolina where she grew up with four siblings. Her father is an engineer, which may have influenced her choice to major in mechanical engineering.

MTT is thrilled to have her on the Team serving Christ!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Don't Forget the Pages!

There are some pages in the horizontal navigator bar where you can peek at newsletters, view prayer requests and look at photos from our fun events.
"Fun Days in Longview" is new, and if you're interested in getting to meet the people we're close to here, you're welcome to view it. Sometimes we'll try to post bits about the people we have relationships with. Please check it out!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Last Week for Austin

We have been able to have an intern living with us this month! His name is Austin Finney, from Memphis, TN, and he has worked with Matt in Facilities Planning this month.




Not only has Austin become part of the Team at TECH, but he has also become part of the family at Northwood Church. He has become a friend and brother to both Matt and me, and we'll miss him!

Something New in Graphics

Over the past few weeks I've had the pleasure of being able to design the brochure for the graphics department. Honestly, I thought this was a challenging, but exciting assignment! I didn't have anything to work off of, really, so I got to imagine the whole thing up. With a bit of help from the department, we came up with this:







The design looks like this before print:





So... I suppose that's part of what I've been up to! Oh! Do you see our new prayer card hidden inside of this brochure?

:)

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Why We Left the Mainstream Workforce: Our Side of the Story

(From Matt)

I spent two months interning at Missionary TECH Team before marrying Molly in 2007. I hoped that one day we would return to TECH; in fact, I brought Molly there on a scorching Texas camping trip in late July 2008 because I wanted her to meet the Team and see the office that we might one day serve in, but neither of us knew that God would have us return the following summer until that coming winter when God began changing our hearts radically.

At the beginning of 2009, God made it clear to us that, although we were living very Christian-ized lives, we were lukewarm. We were like the church of Laodicea in Revelation that became very comfortable and self-serving. The Lord shook us up by bringing us to an on-line sermon by Francis Chan of Cornerstone Church called “Lukewarm and Lovin’ It.” God wanted to wake us up and tell us that we needed to be 100% His representative. He was not just an addition to our talents, gifts and personalities... we were supposed to be functioning as an addition to His purposes.

Molly and I began shifting our views of money: no longer was it because of our own accord that we saw our earnings, but because God provided greatly for us. We also began realizing that it is only because of God’s mercy that we have any talents at all. We are nothing on our own.
We did not know that Molly would serve at Missionary TECH Team until a month and a half before we moved. We thought God would provide for us through her teaching in Longview, TX.

We both found confirmation from the Lord and others that He wanted Molly at TECH, so we began trying to raise support, which is usually a year-long process or more for most missionaries. We lived off of our savings for 6 months as we built up financial support. When we reached 50% of our goal in January 2010, we stopped trying to raise support, and we’ve seen God provide for bills that our support would not cover through people sending us special gifts or through the private music lessons Molly has been able to pick up. He is always proving himself generous and faithful.

We are thrilled that God has changed our hearts in regards to wanting to be completely His servants. We do not know how long He wants us to remain faith-supported missionaries. We DO know, however, that we will continue to follow the command to “go into all the world and preach the gospel,” and if the Lord asks us to return to the mainstream workforce, we will do so, knowing it is to serve and bring honor to Him.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

What Does it Mean to be Faith-Supported

Recently several people have asked us about our income. I thought I'd explain a little bit for you about how we are paid at Missionary TECH Team and why. I wrote this in our up-coming brochure! If you have anything to add or take out, let me know, because we haven't printed the brochure, yet, but HURRY! :)

We are faith-supported missionaries, which is a confusing concept to many. There are basically two reasons why it is called faith-support.

1) The missionary receiving the support must have faith. The missionary does not receive a set salary by a company as a mainstream worker would, but instead he relies on the Lord, through faith, to provide for his needs. Throughout history, God has often verified His calling to missionaries by prompting others to share what He’s given them with the missionary.

2) The person supporting the missionary financially must have faith. The supporter gives to the missionary for several reasons, but the underlying theme found in supporters is that they have realized their money is fully God’s, and they feel prompted by Him to give to that missionary, above and beyond their typical tithing. This act of giving takes a lot of faith for the giver because he responds due to a prompting in spirit, and because he trusts that the Lord will continue to take care of his needs after the gift has been given.

A Couple Examples of Faith-Support in Scripture

The apostle Paul, though he worked as a tent-maker for part of his ministry, reported in 2 Corinthians 11:8-10 that there were several churches supporting his ministry, one being Macedonia. Mary Magdalene, Susanna and Joanna were three women who were among those that financially supported our Savior’s ministry during His final 3 years on earth. (Luke 8:1-3)

*There is a bit more to being faith-supported, but I wanted to make the concept understandable. Please let me know if I diminished any of the aspect of the subject.


(Thought I'd include the photo from
our literature while I was at it!!!)

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Congratulations Matt!!!!

Early this week Matt finished his first "Journey through the Bible," as Lynella calls them. I was so excited for him---- he was excited, but I was ECSTATIC. I decided that this meant he would get a surprise date. (We haven't been on a date in awhile.) I asked around at TECH what kinds of things might be fun to do, and people had neat ideas, but they were the kinds of things Matt already does with me, like taking me to the beach on a hot evening, or a camping overnight... I thought that we should do something COMPLETELY different.

Then I got an e-mail from my friend Mark, the pianist at Fellowship Bible Church. He asked if Matt and I were still interested in seeing him in the East Texas Opera, and that he had FREE TICKETS if we were interested. The tickets were for Friday, the night I was planning to take Matt out! I remembered how excited he was when he found out Mark was in this opera, but he (I had hoped, like me) had forgotten which weekend it would be in Longview.

Mark and I e-mailed back and forth about when/where to pick up tickets and how we should dress, etc, and so I got the tickets Thursday during our lunch break while Matt was showering (read the previous blog entry).

I told him to wear a tie, and I took him out to the Tyler St. Bistro beforehand. I told him there that I would be taking him to the opera. He was really excited, but I think he over did it because I always get nervous when he doesn't seem excited about my ideas.

The opera was a comedy, and it cracked us up numerous times! I asked Matt afterward if we could go again sometime, and he responded, "Not anytime soon."

I'm pretty sure he had a good time, but I think he's hoping the next time I see an opera that he'll be the starring tenor. Within the family/friends circle, he's pretty famous for his opera singing. Hopefully he'll audition soon!

Friday, June 18, 2010

The Latest about Matt

Matt has been working most mornings these past couple weeks on the TECH landscaping. The crew of workers is headed by our in-house landscape architect (and friend) Bill Daniel. Bill's cubicle is right next to Matt's, and they get along very well. All that to say, Matt gets very sweaty in the morning, showers at lunch, then returns to work in a dress shirt and dress pants to be an architect in the afternoons. He loves it! ACTUALLY, one secret about Matt (shhhh) is that he has always wanted to be an outdoor maintenance man at a Christian camp or ministry. He loves gardening and mowing the lawn, pruning and laying mulch. Truly he loves hard work.

All that to say, I thought I'd include a couple pictures of HIS latest work... or him working lately, I suppose. It's hard to describe all that has gone on for the landscaping since the remodeling... but I'll show you a "then and now," to help give you the idea.

THEN:










NOW:






(Dan, from Computer Services, with Matt)


Everything seems to be moving right along!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

A Neat Experience

For about a week I had been working on a 7-foot retractable display for a missionary family going to Spain. Because of some communication issues (lack of internet accessibility), the father came in to TECH to help me finish the final changes. The following day he came in to pick up his display.

While he was working with me, he told me all about how God called his family to Spain and how they were feeling less equipped than he thought a missionary should, and his anxiety showed. He's a young man who is preparing to plant a Baptist church in a very Catholic city. A teammate of mine in graphics and I were able to take that opportunity to encourage him as we worked, and we now have a more specific direction to go while praying for his family (as we pray for the other missionaries on our docket).

Praise the Lord for that great opportunity! It is not every day that a client is able to come into the office and work next to us on the project we are doing for him/her!






(A Photo of the Deluxe Retractable in Joel's corner)

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Shiashie

In Shiashie (in Accra, Ghana), the Calvary Baptist Church is currently meeting in a large tent.  Matt has been working under Bob Schill on the designs (some designing, but mostly drafting and CAD drawings) for the church building that you have seen before, possibly, and he has even developed an animation.  We'll publish the animation for you eventually, but for now, here is the beautiful rendering he created (THIS BUILDING IS NOT YET BUILT):


 This rendering, his other drawings and the animation will be used to help the believers in Shiashie see what their building will look like.  This will help them get a better feel for what they are paying for instead of just showing them the floor plans.

Matt-imation

You may remember the drawings shown of Calvary Baptist Church in Shiashie/Accra, Ghana.  Matt put together an animation (you know about it if you've been reading our prayer requests), and we wanted to show it to you.  This is the animation that Bob Schill will be able to show the church who is planning to build this church.  This is the first time TECH has ever done anything like this.  Matt wanted y'all to know that this is the smallest file he could make of this video, so the quality is much poorer than the original.  But anyway, take a look: 

Monday, May 17, 2010

Graphics Projects from this Past Week

By Molly

Last week I worked on another project for Pastor Metz of Kilgore.  He is doing a sermon series about the Corinthian church and Paul's letters which were to help them rethink their actions.

He called me to ask me to design another photo... this one much more simple than the babies.  :)  In order to help me get a grasp on what I was going to do, I looked up images that might portray the same idea that Pastor Metz wanted.  This is what I found:


... and this is what I made:




My manager, James, actually posed for this.  There were a couple of great expressions, but this one was the winner.  :)   Oh!  And the mechanic was NOT originally working on an engine.  And that engine would NOT need to be worked on because it is very much a brand new Ford engine.  :)  This was a quick project... about two and a half hours total, including the changes after the first draft.


This week I also finished the mini x-pole displays that are for Ernest Ehabe of Bread for Life.  They are 14"x10", and they are used to be a quick form of information for whoever carries them.  They're called an "x-pole" because the back of the hardware holding them up forms an X.




There are 5 that we're shipping today.  We are also shipping a retractable display, which stands about 7 feet.  Ernest wanted it to be with the same information as the X-Poles PLUS more because it will stand alone in their guest hut and in one other location where guests will stay who are not completely familiar with the organization.  Here is what one of the retractables looks like:






I also worked on changing the coffee label you've seen earlier, though I'm not done with that.  Trees of Hope is putting out tiny bags with their newsletter attached, and they needed labels to match.  Here is what I've come up with so far (the bag is a forest green):



These projects have been the main ones over the last two weeks.  Each week we pray for the clients we are serving and their ministries, and we try to e-mail them with encouragement.  You can check out some of the clients listed at their websites:  www.treesofhopefund.org, www.breadforlife.org and http://www.kilgorebiblechurch.org/kbc/index.php.  

Maybe YOU can find a way to encourage them as well!






Matt's Project: Pixelated Version :)