Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Blessings of Encouragement

Lots of discussions in our home have centered around how big our God is and how he is moving in our lives. We keep asking ourselves why are we surprised when God moves in big ways.  Over the last few weeks God has used his church to encourage us in mighty ways and we can't keep them to ourselves any longer! 

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

November Newsletter

Our newsletter has been sent! Click here to read it

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Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Prayer Concern from the Lees

We wanted to take a minute to update our blog readers with what's been happening in our world.  Many of you already know this information from church or from our newsletter.  

Towards the end of September, Jeff was diagnosed with an AVM (arteriovenous malformation).   An AVM is an abnormal connection between the arteries and veins in the brain. This a rare condition and it is rare that the AVM was discovered before Jeff suffered a hemorrhage.  This is a reason for rejoicing!  

We have spent the last several weeks discussing treatment options with various doctors in Dallas and have spent even more time in fervent prayer. Many of you and many others have joined us in prayer as we asked our Lord to grant us clarity and peace to make a decision. He has granted both and lavished them upon us.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

What is Peace?

Today is International Day of Peace and I asked Jeff several weeks ago to begin thinking about writing something for the blog related to peace. Jeff is passionate about peace-making/peace-building so I knew he wouldn't mind! Here is what he wrote:

What is peace?  What does it look like?  What does it feel like?  Some would say that peace is the opposite of conflict.  That is a normal response.  Some would say that peace is about calmness or stillness.  Some would call peace, tolerance.  All these and many more are appropriate responses to the questions of, what is peace.  We all bring our own presuppositions to the table when we describe peace, and I bring my own and I would like to share them here. 

I would like to start out by quoting a line from a song in a movie.  My wife will laugh but, I feel strongly that this movie has so many wonderful lessons of life.  That movie is “A Muppet’s Christmas Carol”, the Lee kids know what I am talking about.  There is a line in that movie that is from a couple of Muppets, Jerry Statler and Conrad Waldorf, who play Jacob and Robert Marley the partners of Ebenezer Scrooge.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Prayer for Our Ministry

The days before our commissioning service at the CBF General Assembly were busy. We had several meetings and trainings before the conference really started and we were given tons of information (that we are still processing). We had been warned that there would be a lot going on but not miss the special blessings that we would receive that week.

We were blessed to meet other field personnel that encouraged us with reassuring words, practical advice, and warm hugs. We were blessed by the CBF staff that made General Assembly a-maze-ing! We were blessed by our church that was represented by our pastor and mission's minister. We were blessed by our families that shared this special time in our lives with us.
A special blessing came through a St. Francis of Assisi prayer offered by Karen Gilbert over us and our ministry.  Jeff assures me that I have heard the prayer before but in that moment there was a new application or meaning that was a poignant moment for me.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Update to Monthly Giving Options

The CBF staff worked long and hard to make the process for online giving more accessible. You can now make your monthly gift through an automatic withdrawal.  You can give directly to our ministry by going here or clicking on the image below.

Online Giving
As we have shared, we will go to the field fully partner-funded which means we will need raise 100% of our funding before we go to Macedonia.

Thank you for your willingness to participate in our ministry through your prayers and financial support!

If you want to learn more about joining our prayer or financial support teams, visit our "get involved" page or contact us for more info! We would be more than happy to talk with you!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Language Learning

One of the biggest, most wonderful responsibilities God gave me is being Ethan's mommy. We pray for our little guy every day and hard on our hearts right now is Ethan's transition to a new country, culture, and language.  We know that God has called all three of us to Skopje and he will not forsake us!  We are excited that Ethan will have a global experience and that he will be multi-lingual. We are fully expecting that Ethan will have a handle on the language(s) long before we will.

We've been working on the {very few} Albanian words that I know with Ethan over the last few weeks. Every morning we greet him by saying "Mirëmëngjes, good morning!"  to which he will now say back to us with a BIG smile!   We also practice single words like apple (mollë) and ice cream (akullore) and he is picking them up really quickly.  Oddly enough, there are some word that he says that sound more like Albanian than they do English...hopefully this is a good sign!

I left work early today and picked Ethan up from "school" (aka daycare) and as we were driving home here's how our conversation went...

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Faces of Future of the Family Kindergarten

I could spend hours sharing about my 10 short days in Macedonia. It was a wonderful time and another affirmation of our call to live and serve among the Albanian people of Skopje.

We had the best time taking the children of Future of the Family Kindergarten to the Skopje Zoo for the first time! Surprisingly, I think they loved the goats the most and we spent a good deal of time waiting for the hippos to come up from under the water! They played on the playground and practiced their animal sounds while they wore their animal masks!

Thanks to Smilebox I've created a little slideshow to share pictures of the sweet faces we saw at the Kindergarten. Please take a sec to view the slideshow...

Sunday, June 26, 2011

CBF Commissioning

I know, I know....I haven't done a Macedonia Trip report yet. I will do that, next. We wanted to share the experience of commissioning with you and not rush past all of the wonderful things I (Alicia) saw and learned while I was in Macedonia.

The Cooperative Baptist Fellowship celebrated it's 20th year! What a milestone in the life of the fellowship. CBF's General Assembly marked a special milestone in our faith journey as well.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Crazy June

Well, May flew by in a hurry. We aren't sure if it flew by so fast because we had so much to look forward to in June or because we weren't home a single weekend in May. Either way, we have been highly anticipating the arrival of June since March and back then if felt so far away.

We've deemed the month of June as "Crazy June" in our house, mostly because of how much traveling we will be doing. We had high hopes for getting things done before June. I lost count of how many times I said to Jeff "can we get that done BEFORE June?" so as I look around my house and see none of those things really accomplished it adds to the craziness.

So, you may be thinking..."what have they been anticipating, where are they traveling to?"

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

It's Official!!

We are thrilled to share with you that we have been approved for service to Skopje, Macedonia through the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship!
In the summer of 2012 we will move to Skopje, Macedonia to live, work and minister among Albanian population. We look forward to joining and continuing the work of Shelia and Arville Earl.  Alicia will focus on serving women, children and families through social services and advocacy. There are opportunities for working with "Future of the Family" Kindergarten that serves Albanian families, advocating for children with special needs that are currently not able to attend school, and empowerment efforts for women.  Jeff will focus on ethnic reconciliation among Albanians, Macedonians, Turks and the Romany Gypsies. He will also have the opportunity to work in environmental and agricultural endeavors that will help provide for basic needs.

We look forward to sharing more about the work we will be doing and how you can partner with us on this journey!
To see how you can "get involved" click here 

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Birthday fun at The Jump Around!

We went to a friends' 3 year old birthday party at The Jump Around over the weekend!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Beauty and the Beast

Late last month the off-Broadway show Beauty and the Beast came to Abilene and we decided to take Ethan as his Valentine's gift. "Beast" is his favorite movie right now. He trys to sing the songs and knows all the characters.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Haircut Time

Time for a haircut. Ethan loves to watch sports so we take him to SportClips for haircuts (this is only his third haircut)

The wait time was 40 minutes, which is a crazy long time for a 2 year old to wait for something he didn't even want! So, we walked around Payless located next door and found "CARS!!!" house shoes. These were cleverly placed on the row at eye level for a 2 year old so he couldn't miss them! The lollipop was the last ditch effort to keep him from crying while we waited. (Haircut day is the only day he gets a lollipop)

Friday, February 4, 2011

Birthday Party with Madeline!

We have the most wonderful friends and we celebrated Ethan's birthday when we returned from the cruise. Here are a few snapshots from the night!

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Tuesday, February 1, 2011

snow, Snow, SNOW!!

We were snowed in today!! Sears closed so Jeff stayed home, e's school closed, and I got to work from home (our office was closed but we update information related to available resources in all types of disasters/situations- bright and early and all day/night long).

This was the scene outside our house.
The good 'ol postal service "in sleet, snow..."
We stayed in nearly all day and watched SEVERAL movies: "beast'" aka Beauty and the Beast, Alice and Wonderland (a new one for e), Dora (as in the explorer), Veggies (as in Veggie Tales), another Veggies, Aladdin, followed by The Proposal (while e napped), Cinderella (new to e), Dora, Veggies, and Clue (jeff finally got to pick).
After E's nap we bundled up and went outside.

E only went outside because he got to wear his favorite boots. Once outside he refused to leave the porch. He wasn't interested in playing in the snow. So back inside we went, gladly.

Monday night I spent 2 hours at United on Judge Ely, I refused to go to Walmart. United always has great "meal deals" (buy one item get the rest of the items for the meal free). The meal deal was: buy 2lbs of stew meat, get bag of carrots, bag of potatos, and stew mix for free- $6= yummy dinner!

{first attempt}

Not bad for my first try.
All in all, today was a wonderful snow day!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking

Anti-Human Trafficking in all forms is a huge passion for me. I've spent some time learning about the efforts of Traffick911 related to the selling of America's children for sex trade.

Join Traffick911 in the fight against Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking! Get educated then do something about it!! Home » Traffick911

Sign the petition at Change.org-- demand that the Super Bowl Host Committee protect the hundreds of children forced in to sex trafficking and moved into DFW for the Super Bowl!
Petitions by Change.org|Start a Petition »

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Celebration Cruise

To celebrate our graduations and Ethan's 2nd birthday we took a cruise with my family! We had a great time- Ethan was the only one that didn't get sick at some point. Here are just a few shots from the week.

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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Christmas 2010

Is it too late to post about Christmas? O well- we had a great Christmas season, busy, but wonderful!
We celebrated Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with the Lee side of the family. Gran and Pops with the boys: Landon, Ethan, and Crosby

Then went on to San Antonio to visit with my side of the family. Ethan was never more excited then to get a "Buzz car" from his YaYa!!

Ethan had an exciting Christmas. He is such a wonderful blessing and brightens up our day with this precious smile!

We are looking forward to what is in store for our family in 2011!