June 30, 2012

Remembering Bear

Hopefully y'all have been able to keep up with our recent travels on Geoff and I's combined blog at www.carrollcrossroads.com. We will keep up our independent blogs for personal reflection and individual stories though - and that's what I'm doing today!

One of the most important commitments we have made after this move to Ecuador is to honor the Sabbath. Every Friday evening to Saturday evening we are striving to explore what honoring the Sabbath means and keep it scheduled as a day of resting in the Lord and seeking His perspective. We decided that blogging counted as a good Sabbath activity because community and fellowship were something we wanted to make important on this day. Until we are more settled this is one of the best ways we have to fellowship and connect with those we love!

I am very thankful that today of all days was a Sabbath day as we remember our beloved Poncha Bear who we lost this day last year. If you want to read about the best dog that ever lived, you can catch up on that HERE. What makes it worse is that we are very much missing Reyah but we are beyond thankful to know she is being very well taken care of in Texas. We hope to get her here if we are able to stay here long term but for this first trip to the end of the year it's not looking like we'll be able to get her down here.

It is special though to remember our Bear while being here in Ecuador. The realistic possibility of doing something like moving to Ecuador was put into motion on this day last year. Poncha was our kid and was too anxious a dog to have handled a move to somewhere like this and wouldn't have re-homed well, even temporarily, so though we dreamed of this kind of possibility we also knew it wasn't realistic while we had him. When we lost Ponch, though it is still an incredible grief to us, we felt more compelled than ever to pursue this opportunity.  We didn't know exactly which country we would end up in, what we would do, or how we would afford it, but we knew we had to explore the options.

One year later we thank God for his provision, for the pain that He has given us strength to endure, and for the opportunities that have led us to a place where we feel completely blessed at at peace to be. It's hard to know how God will use situations and we are so thankful that we can see His hand working for good in this.

June 16, 2012

What, Where, When, Why, WEBSITE

What: Our long term goal of moving overseas to live and serve in a culture not our own. Our first priority is to study Spanish so that we can be of greater value in whatever opportunities for ministries open up in the Spanish speaking world. We have many hopes and dreams for specific ministry and are praying for God's blessing as we learn the language so that we can be of the most use in pursuing these opportunities as HE leads.

Where: Ecuador! We do not know exactly where we will be living in Ecuador but have researched and made contacts in a few specific regions. We are looking forward to getting there and will travel throughout these regions getting a feel for the land and praying for God's guidance as we decide which Spanish school to attend, and hopefully, where to settle and minister for the next several months.

When: Our flight is scheduled to leave tomorrow, June 16, and we will arrive in Guayaquil late that night. We have applied for an extended tourist visa that will allow us up to 6 months in the country, but we will be coming back mid-November for Geoff's brother's wedding. Our hope is that things go well and we are able to apply for another visa at that time to return, but for now we feel God's blessing that this is what we need to be doing and we'll take one day at a time and leave the details up to HIM!

Why: We have had a nagging desire to move to another culture to seek God and serve Him since before we were married, as individuals, and that has grown as we have been together. We are finally able to pursue this dream and have felt incredible peace and affirmation along this journey so far. We decided on Ecuador for several reasons, primarily because of the lower cost of living that will allow us to live off of our limited savings for a longer period of time than other countries, making this hopefully a more sustainable mission. We hope to be able to teach English to provide alternative sources of income, especially if God blesses us to return for a longer period of time.

We have published a website that will hopefully grow as we have time to work on it, but for now we will post to a shared blog on this site keeping you up to date with our experiences. Please keep us in prayer as we begin this leap of faith, that God will guide our steps, placing people and opportunities in our path that will allow us to serve and love Him and others with everything we have! In keeping with our Jeremiah 6:16 theme, "Stand at the Crossroads...." that was used in our wedding, our website is: 


You can also follow us on twitter @carrollxroads, or email us at Jamie@CarrollCrossroads.com or Geoff@CarrollCrossroads.com - catch the theme? :)

Thank you all for your love and support - we are so very blessed and humbled. We love you.

June 13, 2012

Year of Travels

This is officially being declared the year of travels for Geoff and I. We have just returned from another venture up north with my parents and enjoyed a great trip with them. We are in the midst of a fast few day turn around to catch the plane to Ecuador!

Life has been a whirlwind and we have been so thankful for all the amazing places and people we have seen over the past two months. During these recent travels internet has not been a common luxury, so blogging has been rare. I haven't had a chance to get on long enough to edit and upload any more photos of the rest of our journey through Europe, and don't know when that will happen, so I apologize now!

We are hurrying to get everything done, trying our best to discern what limited provisions to take with us on this venture into the unknown! We are excited!