Trip to Green Pastures and Still Waters


Chris has had this hat since before we started dating (ask us sometime for some good stories about it when we first started dating) but this is probably the best use of the hat ever!

Chris’ birthday was a few weeks ago. I love buying gifts but without malls, Amazon and easy ways to take things home in a few months, a regular gift didn’t seem like the best idea. And after all, Chris isn’t really a “gift” guy and would prefer an experience to a new “thing” (unless, of course, that “thing” is a  Logos lexicon or commentary… he doesn’t seem to dislike those at all!). So I decided to plan for a vacation for his birthday (ok… and our Christmas presents to each other, it was a splurge trip!)! After planning and researching a different trip, another missionary wife let me know about a special offer available at a place called Chelinda Lodge in Nyika National Park and we decided to go!

The drive to Nyika is about 10 hours, 3-4 of them over poorly maintained dirt roads. We split the drive there into two days and stayed in Mzuzu (which, interestingly, is named after a white person’s mispronunciation of the Chichewa word for mosquito). It was still a long drive but, oh my, the drive was so worth it.

After entering the park (2-3 hours from the lodge), we saw an elephant from a distance! It was so cool! And then about 30 minute from the lodge, this herd was in the road.


Interspersed with the zebra were roan antelope which are almost cooler than the zebra, I think. We found one on a later drive… I love their black & white faces!


We stayed at Chelinda Lodge for three nights. We went on three game drives and saw more roan, bushbuck, eland, reedbuck, duiker (all different species of antelope – and so beautiful), zebra, warthog, hyena, an owl, other cool birds, wildflowers (like orchids, lupine, gladiolas and iris all growing in the wild) and such breathtaking scenery and sunsets! We went on a few walks as well but really enjoyed the amazing quite and solitude (we were the only ones staying at the lodge) and getting to rest and read by the fire in the evenings and spend time together.

We really needed that time. The semester (4 modules) finished on November 30 and we were both really tired, disconnected and distracted. We needed to see a beautiful side of Malawi and get away from the noise and interruptions of the city. We needed time to spend together and be refreshed.


This was our view when we arrived at the lodge for the first time. It reminded us of Psalm 23 (Chris’ translation):

A Psalm of David

Yahweh is my shepherd

I shall never become needful

In pastures of green grass, He causes me to lie down

Beside waters of resting places, He escorts me

My soul He restores.

He leads me in firm paths of correctness for the sake of His name

Even when I should walk in a valley of impenetrable gloom,

I shall never be fearing harm because You are with me

Your rod and Your staff, they are comforting me.

You set and order before me a table prominently before my attackers

You refresh with the oil my head, superabundance is my cup.

Surely good and steadfast love shall pursue me all the days of my life

And I shall return into the house of Yahweh for length of days.

God is so faithful to give us what we need and we are really grateful to have been allowed the resources to be able to take this trip. He used it to refresh us in so many ways, mostly in Him!

Here are a few more pictures from our trip!

Our chalet and the “donkey boiler” they use to heat water
Sunset on the first night


Shadows and the Land Cruiser we took out on our game drives
There is a pine tree forest behind the lodge. The British planted it for a paper mill before they realized the roads are impassable in rainy season!
The dam that is visible from the lodge (you can also see the lodge and a handsome man here)
Roan and sunshine and green grass and artsy lens flare
Bushbuck. They are smaller and have spots and stripes on the legs. Such cool animals!
The view from the Northern Loop! From here you can see into Zambia!
Another view from the Northern Loop
Roan and hills. Can you tell we’re a little obsessed?
If you don’t take a selfie on vacation, you probably didn’t go on vacation…

Last one, I promise! A normal sight in Malawi…

A busy village market on the roadside as we drove up to Mzuzu

Thank you for taking time to read about our trip and keep up with us!



Lake Adventure Day!

We (by “we” I mean Chris and all the professors at CAPA) are gearing up for Module 3 that starts next Tuesday. It’s been a very busy few months for everyone here and the Kopp’s decided to take a “day off” and go to the lake (Lake Malawi) to celebrate Malawian Mother’s Day that happened last Sunday. Since Chris and I have been talking about going to the lake for months, we thought it would be fun to join them. So early yesterday the Kopp family, Ayres family, Jana, Rachael (Jana & Rachael are here to assist the Kopp’s and Ayres with homeschooling this year) and Chris and I packed up in three cars and headed to the lake.

It was a fun day with a lot of unforeseen lessons.

Lesson 1:

Always say yes to the lake. If someone invites us, we’re going. Even if they don’t invite us, we may try to join them anyways… It’s beautiful there! Absolutely beautiful. Soft sand, waves, sun, tropical flowers, palm trees. It’s getting hot here (in the 90s – with some humidity and no AC in any of our homes) so it was amazing to escape the heat and get into the water.


Lesson 2:

Everything is negotiable. We’re learning this more and more about Malawi but it was fun to see it in action as Matt Kopp and Jim Ayres negotiated prices for our lunch at the resort (whose beach we were using). We ended up with a discount for adults by just having the main course buffet without soup and dessert.

Lesson 3:

Always rub in spray on sunscreen. (Poor Chris! But don’t worry too much, it was just his shoulders and it’s already fading)

Lesson 4:

Always travel with friends with a bigger car than yours.

And tow ropes.


And positive attitudes.

Matt practicing his water skiing moves

We’re so glad we didn’t go the lake by ourselves all those times we talked about going!

(Matt Kopp towed our car home, Jim Ayres drove behind and helped us when the rope broke three times and helped us merge into long crazy spots of traffic)

Lesson 5:

A group of mzungu (white people) with car trouble is real entertainment.


Lesson 6:

Nissan Tiida’s (our car, basically a Nissan Versa) has a special tow hook that you can screw into the front of the car. After unsuccessfully searching for a place to loop the tow rope, Chris found the hook in the trunk (or “boot” as they call it here). Phew!

Lesson 7:

God is good even in hard things! We made it home safely and before dark, we have a car we can borrow and there is a car mechanic that is coming to our house today to look at the car and help us get it fixed. Things could have been a lot worse!


Please continue to pray for us! Pray that our car trouble would be able to fixed simply and quickly. Pray that the upcoming module would go well – that the professors would teach well and that the students would learn well. Pray that we would be able to endure the heat well. Pray for our hearts and attitudes to remain focused on the gospel in all we do here! And pray that we would know Christ more and more.

Thank you for continuing to read our blog! We appreciate you all!


Hebrew Intensive Week & Life in Malawi

Thank you for praying for us this week! Chris worked long hours to prepare for class each day this week and finished well! I (Ashley) got to sit in on class for a few hours and was encouraged to hear the men say things like “The dust is shaking off!” (from their last Hebrew class about three months ago). Chris is an excellent teacher, able to laugh with the men, ask good questions and bring focus back. Hebrew is a notoriously difficult subject but Chris is teaching it with passion and vision that will, by God’s grace, continue to help the men here develop skills to be able to grasp the text and preach it well.


We have a two week break before classes officially begin again. Module One starts on August 29th. Not only are there going to be classes for the 18 MDiv men going into their last year at CAPA but CAPA will also be taking a new class of MDiv students and a Diploma class. We will have close to ninety students going into the new school year! We came for Chris to teach Hebrew Exegesis to the third year MDIv students but he will also be teaching others as well like Hermeneutics, Exegesis, Writing and some beginning Greek. He is also helping with some Admin and IT tasks as well. Of course, he’s not the only one who will be busy. Every professor at CAPA will be running at full steam ahead. Pray for them! It’s a very busy time for everyone!

Personally we are still adjusting to life here. Power cuts are becoming more frequent and most days it seems that we lose power for six to eight hours. Most expats here have Inverters that store power on batteries to power lights, the refrigerator, the wifi router, etc. We also have one but it is not working and needs new batteries. So when we lose power for a long time, we usually run a noisy generator (so thankful for that!) to cool the fridge and run the stove for a bit. Evenings without power involve candles, lanterns and an early bed time J! Last year there were also water shortages that we anticipate happening again this year. Living in a very poor third world country isn’t easy, especially with an American “just fix it” mindset. Malawians don’t think like that. Things get done through relationships and negotiation. It’s not bad, it’s just different. We’re learning how to manage our expectations!

Things I love about Malawi (in no particular order):

  • Grocery Shopping! Produce selection at the grocery store is inconsistent (actually, all of their selection is inconsistent, they don’t have the same things from week to week or sometimes day to day!) but so far they have always had something available and it’s almost always very cheap! Like giant avocados for about $.25! But you don’t just shop at the store… there are men everywhere (usually on the side of the road) selling bunches of bananas, papayas, watermelon, and more for reasonable prices. It’s so fun to buy from them and negotiate! (Side note: there are men on the streets selling EVERYTHING: mops & brooms, shoes, puppies, live chickens, mice on sticks, globes, doughnuts… it’s amazing!)
  • Cooking! All that cheap produce needs to be cooked! I love having the time to be able to prepare healthy meals for Chris and I and others, too, even if it means running the generator.
  • The CAPA team! We LOVE the other missionary families here we get to serve with. They are seasoned, wise and so helpful! I’m learning about living in Malawi, being a good wife, being hospitable, supporting a hardworking husband and balancing life and ministry. It’s such a valuable time for us both! God is good to allow us this year adventure to teach us these lessons in such a unique way!
  • Malawi! Malawi is called the “warm heart of Africa” we genuinely love it here. We appreciate how relational and interconnected the communities are here. We love how beautiful it is. We love being able to serve and help CAPA make an impact on the lives and congregations of pastors here!


Thank you for reading and staying connected to us! We are starting to miss home and family and friends (and tacos and Starbucks, too, if I’m being honest) but we feel so loved and supported by you all and are glad to be here.

Have a wonderful weekend! Enjoy some tacos and Starbucks (or if you’re REALLY lucky, Dutch Bros) for us!

Updated Prayer Requests!

Life in Malawi is very different from what we were used to and even, I think, what we expected. It’s hard, sweet, good and sometimes overwhelming. But we love it.

More than ever, we need prayer!

Please see our Prayer Requests page for how to pray for us specifically. I’ll give a few here that are immediate needs.

  • Chris starts teaching on Monday! He is teaching a Hebrew Readings Intensive – and it will be intense, 7:30-3:30 all week with the current MDiv students. Please pray for him and for the students!
  • Ashley is not feeling well, she probably has a cold or sinus infection. Pray for relief from headaches and healing.
  • Chris is helping with tasks for the start of the school year, pray that they would be completed well and that he would also have time to rest through the busyness.
  • Pray that Ashley would also be able to assist with tasks for CAPA to take work off of others who are overloaded.

Thank you for praying and for keeping up with us!

Our First Week in Malawi!

Hello again from Malawi, Africa! I am writing this from the couch in our apartment. Our counter-parts, Sam & Amanda left earlier this week so we have officially taken over their car, home and some responsibilities at CAPA. It was wonderful to be able to have a week for Chris to get the official DL about the responsibilities he is taking over for Sam. Chris is eager to get started!

Although we are glad to be getting settled into our own space, we were sad to leave Matt & Brianne Kopp’s house. They have been more than hospitable to us, they have really taken us under their wing and have been so helpful with helping us adjust to the time zone, learn to drive on the ‘wrong’ side of the road, how to navigate the town, buy produce from street vendors and even how to communicate a little in the local language, Chichewa (very helpful on so many occasions, especially for police stops!). Zikomo kwambili (thank you very much) Matt & Brianne!

We are enjoying our new home! It is bigger than our place in LA (especially the kitchen!) and we are thankful to have most everything we need already provided for us. The compound we are living in is fenced in with guards and gardeners who have already been very kind to us (Sam and Amanda really paved the way for us to have good relationships with the folks here!). I brought some sourdough starter with me from home (dried, of course) and I have sourdough bread in the oven now! Brianne and I made a loaf last week at her house and I’m glad to be able to share and continue my sourdough baking here!


Chris spent most of last week at CAPA. He isn’t teaching yet but he has been sitting in on the week’s intensive Holy Spirit classes. He is so thankful to be observing the class dynamics and see how the CAPA leaders here present material, handle problems and present new material to the men. Next year they will be not only working through the final year of the first MDiv class (where Chris will be teaching Hebrew) but they will also have a new MDiv class starting AND a diploma class! It will be a very busy and exciting year at CAPA! We are so glad to be here and excited to help as we can – it seems that we should have a lot of opportunities! The CAPA team that is here is amazing. We have felt incredibly supported by them all and are so thankful for the opportunity that we have this year to learn from them.

Our anniversary was last Thursday! We celebrated by going to the Wildlife Center in the afternoon, shopping for some home items and out to a fancy dinner. It was a very fun and special day! We have a tradition of picking out a piece of art wherever we are on our anniversary trips and this year we decided to get a carved wood piece at the farmer’s market today! It has the “big five” animals (buffalo, lion, elephant, rhinoceros , and cheetah) on it and is very hefty and African. 🙂

Thank you for your continued prayers for us! These are things that we would like pray for in the upcoming weeks:

  • We are still waiting to receive Chris’ TEP. They will be following up in the next few weeks. Pray it would be approved and not need to be resubmitted!
  • Help as we adjust to life in Malawi. That we wouldn’t get homesick, anxious or irritable as we face inconveniences and difficulties here.
  • That we would be a blessing to the other missionaries here.
  • Preparations for the Hebrew Classes coming up.
  • Patience and wisdom as we learn the things we’re doing here and step into them.
  • We have both been convicted about wanting to grow in prayer. Pray that we would grow in this!

Thoughts about Home in the Midst of Life Transitions


Last year we made an enormous move from Spokane to the LA area. In the weeks leading up to moving out of our apartment, staying with family in between and actually getting into our place in Santa Clarita, I didn’t think the transition would be particularly difficult. I was very wrong.

Transition is hard.

I’ve been thinking of that more as we, less than a year later, are in another time of transition. We are the middle of our week in Spokane, enjoying our time with friends and family and excitedly looking forward to our departure without a clear idea of what life will really look like on the other side of our plane ride.

One topic of conversation Chris and I have had recently is about HOME. We love Spokane. Chris grew up here, I became an adult here (you know, that growing up period in your twenties where you mature and become a functioning member of society) and so much of coming back here felt like coming home. Especially on Sunday when we were able to go to Faith Bible Church and hear Dan preach and worship with our church family (not that we dislike Grace but there is something special about being in your home church). But as we’ve wandered around, comparing how things are different from LA (traffic, distance/time to get to places, culture) we’ve both felt that it’s not the same. It’s not home. The realization made both of us ache. If this isn’t home and LA isn’t home, where IS home?

For me, being married to Chris, it’s sweet that our home is wherever we’re together. But even that is not completely satisfactory. As Christians, this world is not our home. We’re experiencing some of the bittersweet longing for home that Hebrews 11 describes that Abraham had:

“and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. For people who speak thus make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. If they had been thinking of that land from which they had gone out, they would have had opportunity to return. But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city.”

We are exiles in Spokane, we are exiles in Los Angeles and we will be exiles in Malawi. We are seeking a homeland, our heavenly homeland! This knowledge doesn’t make the transition time easier but it gives us hope to persevere through them.

Another transition was not in our plans. In fact, when Malawi came up, facing another transition was a detractor in the decision making process. I don’t like it. But stepping out into discomfort and the potential for pain, we had a tiny bit of faith. “Yes, Lord, we’ll go to Malawi if you send us financially, with the local church behind us and if certain difficulties are removed in the process.” He answered that bit of faith swiftly and powerfully. I mean, who raises $30,000 in two months? How were obstacles removed so easily? It certainly wasn’t because of our magnificent effort. God is at work in this! He is growing our faith and confidence in Him – not just for Malawi but for our entire lives. And the transition, hard as it is, is keeping our eyes set on our heavenly home as our earthly home shifts yet again.

In less than a week we will be in Malawi. On this side of it, it seems impossible and surreal. But it is happening! We can’t wait to update you all with news of our long airplane ride and our first impressions of Africa – our next temporary home on our way to heaven.

Please continue to pray for us – see our Current Prayer Requests for ways to pray this week.

So. How are we?

So. How are we?

We’ve been getting that question a lot. It’s a loaded question, of course, how are we doing physically, how are we doing emotionally, how are we doing spiritually, how are we doing with our transitions, how are we doing with packing, how are we doing with raising support?

Well, let me tell you!

Today, for the first time in a week, I left the house. We went to a brunch in the park with a group of seminary families. It was a sweet time and a good chance to get out from our plain walls and our engulfing couch where I’ve reclined for the most of the last week.

Last Thursday Chris finished up all of his work for the semester and I had laparoscopy surgery on Friday. He transitioned directly from working hard for school to working hard to care for me and to pack and move. He has been amazing! I’m healing and generally feeling pretty well but it is still a process and I have to remember to not push myself to do more than I can. It’s difficult with so much to do but God has been gracious to give me the energy that I need to do some things and has provided help to do things that would be too much. For example, seminary and church friends have been bringing us meals for the last week and are signed up to bring us meals this next week! It’s a huge blessing to us that we don’t have to worry about what to eat!

We are currently packing for Malawi (and Boise & Spokane!) AND packing all of our other belongings to store for a year. We are SO thankful that we have a free, clean, dry, safe place to store our belongings while we are away. Here’s a little glimpse of our packing process…

Stuff for Malawi!
 We plan to move the remainder of our belongings that we’re going to store next Thursday so we have less than a week to get everything packed and ready. It’s overwhelming but there is progress! (Pssst: if you’re in Santa Clarita and happen to have a free evening on Thursday, we’d love to have your help!)

Each Monday we are emailed a financial update. Each Monday we’re continuously humbled and thankful for people’s generosity and support! We are over 2/3 of the way to fully supported including both what has been pledged and what has been given for our year in Malawi (almost 50% given and almost 20% pledged). We will continue to fund raise while we are there and will have a visiting team or professor bring the remaining funds to us during the year. If you would like to give before we leave, you can do so on the Grace Church website here. If you would like to give during the time we’re away, please let us know by filling out this form so we know what to expect! Thank you for giving and thank you for praying! Again, it is so humbling to need help and to ask for help. And oddly, even more humbling to see our needs being met. The body of Christ is absolutely incredible! Willing to cook, work, give, serve, pray and love us in ways that we never could have expected (see our current prayer requests for ways you can be praying)! You all seem to ENJOY helping us! It is a blessing and encouragement to us. May we serve CAPA as well as we have been served on our way!

Thank you, also, for continuing to read our posts! We appreciate you keeping up on our journey and look forward to continuing to share our life in this way.

More Than We Can Handle


Can I be really real with you all right now? The past few months have been really hard. I don’t want to exaggerate the difficulties or even bring attention to them per se but I do want to share some of the things that have been happening. My purpose for sharing is so that you will know how to pray, so that God may be glorified in our endurance with faith and so that others facing trials may be encouraged as well.

To give you some context: I have been struggling with health issues – the drug I’m on for RA makes me prone to sinus infections and I just can’t shake one! I’ve had months of cycles of RA flares and migraines, antibiotics and Excedrin, doctor’s visits and copays, fatigue and pain. Additionally, I was also recently diagnosed with another issue that is going to be surgically treated next Friday.

These things would challenging enough on their own but to also be preparing for Malawi, raising support (about $20,000 left to raise!), figuring out logistics, working full-time, training my replacement at work and planning to move… life is just very challenging right now to say the least! Others, I know, have it far worse. But right now, for me, it’s all actually more than I can handle. I’m struggling, I’m overwhelmed with everything. If you’ve known me very long, you probably know that I do not like admitting that, but it’s true.


I’m not actually here to talk about how hard everything is. I’m here to talk about how great God is.

And God is calling us to go to Malawi. He could have chosen the strongest couple with no health problems, no concerns, and no worries about what is going to happen. But He didn’t. He chose us. Why did He do that? What is He doing in all of this? Why is He allowing all of these things to happen right now? Can I trust Him?

I’m so glad that there are real answers to these questions found in the Word. These are the verses that I am clinging to right now (emphasis my own – all from the ESV):

1 Corinthians 1:26-31 For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”

2 Corinthians 12:8-10 Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

God intentionally called us in our weakness so that as we endure and overcome, HE is glorified!  The passage in 2 Corinthians 12 is often quoted and sounds nice in theory but in practice, none of us want to endure weakness, insults, hardships, persecutions, or calamities. Embracing these things is counter-cultural and even offensive to our American sensibilities that crave comfort and stability. I crave comfort and stability. Thank God that He is putting me through weakness and hardship right now! His power WILL be made perfect in my weakness. HE will be glorified in me!

2 Corinthians 2:8-11 For we do not want you to be unaware, brothers, of the affliction we experienced in Asia. For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead. He delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will deliver us again. You also must help us by prayer, so that many will give thanks on our behalf for the blessing granted us through the prayers of many.

I love that Paul is writing about his own experience. Life was really hard for them, it was actually too much for them to handle. But even in the midst of that trial, Paul saw God’s purpose – to make him dependent on Him alone. I am thankful that God is showing me the same thing – I cannot rely on my own strength but I MUST rely on God! Also, as Paul requested the Corinthians to do, we request you to do also: “You also must help us by prayer, so that many will give thanks on our behalf for the blessing granted us through the prayers of many.”

James 1:2-4 Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

Hebrews 12:1-3 Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted.

Hebrews 13:5-6 Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?”

1 Peter 5:10 And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen.

Isaiah 41:10 Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Psalm 86:5-7 For you, O Lord, are good and forgiving, abounding in steadfast love to all who call upon you. Give ear, O Lord, to my prayer; listen to my plea for grace. In the day of my trouble I call upon you, for you answer me.

I started writing this post for you – our supporters and prayer partners and friends – but searching the Word and seeing what God is doing has actually encouraged ME so much! I can’t wait to see what God is going to do. He will provide for our needs to go to Malawi, He will provide the strength and the grace to complete the task He has called us to. He will Himself be glorified in us as we go. I am thankful that He is intentionally at work even, or rather especially, in the struggles that we’re facing. He is sending us to Malawi IN our weakness so that His strength might be evident in our lives. So if you see strength in us, if you see endurance, power, grace or hope you can know that it comes from God alone! You are witnesses to this. I can’t wait to report how God works in our lives!

As I was processing all of these things, I wrote a poem. I don’t often write poems but at times I can express myself better in poetry than in prose. At the risk of oversharing, here it is:

This is more than I can handle

Why should my days be so fraught
With pain and pressure, loads uneasily
Born. Trials describe my lot.
I stand in the midst. Aware of the pain.
Aware of the remedy.
If it hurt less, I would laugh at the strain
The intentionality, the purposefulness
As trials from all sides arise
God does give more than we can handle.
His plot, His scheme, His grand enterprise
Include this pain, this pressure
That fills the path I foresee
Less terrible than other loads, I know
Yet impossibly thrust on me.
How clearly I see my lack. How clearly I see
My need for HELP.
Weakness is my name. He sees it all.
My needs He has felt.
He sits far above me, my struggle,
My need.  Yet His eyes sees it all.
He sits far above yet is so very near.
He does not, will not, cannot let me fall
Away from His mighty grasp,
More mighty than my trial,
The weight that wants to crush me
HE bears in full without a rile,
Helping me press on and press on.
It’s HIS power that is clearly shown
He is yet at work, He is yet sovereign
Though my future feels bleak, unknown.
He works for my good, He bears all my load
Asking nothing of me in return.
Oh this lesson I have heard before
But still I do not yet learn
Depend fully on Him, is all that I must
Do, not on myself – Myself I know
I am weak, I am nothing, I am made of dust.
He is the one, He made the world!
Full of Glory and Might
He holds me, He holds my future
He gave me spiritual sight
To see that in Him
All the promises are “Yes & Amen”
This pain is for my good.
He’s kept me so far, He’ll keep me again
I can trust Him, lean, depend and abide
He chose me and this life
He gave me to bring glory to God
Amidst all eminent strife.
He will never leave me,
Forsake me or change
In this life, there is trouble,
I should not think it strange.
God gave me more than I can handle
So I would learn to depend on Him alone
Not on myself or on lesser things
So my faith will never be overthrown.
I revel in my weakness, I marvel  that
The width, breadth and length
Of my struggle is no match for
His fantastic strength.
And even if the trial never goes away,
I know He will keep me every single day.

Saying Goodbye to Say Hello

(Ashley’s necklace from PlanetJill)

From Ashley:

New beginnings are funny things. It’s never JUST a restart, it’s always accompanied by saying goodbye to things – often loved things – in order to move to the next thing. For our new beginning to start, the first goodbye is saying goodbye to my job! I told my boss that I was moving to Africa last week and they are already interviewing (awesome, well qualified) candidates.

Leaving a job may not seem like a big deal in the grand scheme of things but it’s a sad thing for me because I enjoy what I do and, because I work for small companies, I know there is so much room to grow! This job could have turned out to be my career. I am drawn to being successful and earning my own money and seeing the fruit of my labors. Which is not a bad desire! The virtuous woman of Proverbs 31 is a hard worker and earns an income from her labors. What set her apart, though, was NOT that she was a successful women but that she was a woman who feared the Lord.

It’s not easy saying goodbye to my job (probably forever), my comfortable apartment, my new friends (for a time) and the life in SoCal that we JUST seemed to adjust to. It’s not easy but the cost is worth it. It’s worth it all for Chris to be able to serve at CAPA training men to be able understand and preach the whole council of God. It’s worth it all for me to be able to use my administrative gifts for CAPA to help them connect with donors and help people get as excited as we are about what they are doing in Malawi for the gospel. It’s worth it all, it’s worth all of our lives, to obey God, to proclaim the Majesty of Christ and to share the treasure of His Word.

It’s a light, momentary affliction that is absolutely worth it (there are others trials happening, too, that I’ll share about later). The goodbyes are hard. But the next adventure that God has for us is breathtakingly worth it.

If you’d like to partner with us in this (financially and spiritually in prayer), check out our How to Give post or sign up here.

(And if you’re looking for a Mother’s day/Father’s Day/Birthday/Anytime gift, check out the companies I work for for the next few weeks: & 🙂

How to Give!

If you desire to partner with us financially we can now accept donations for our trip! All contributions are tax-deductible.* To contribute, make a check out to Grace Ministries International and in the memo line put “Malawi-Chris Mullins.” Mail the check to Grace Ministries International at 13248 Roscoe Boulevard, Sun Valley, CA 91352.

Electronic giving is now available as well! If you would like to make a one-time gift, you can do so at on their Short-Term Ministries page. Here is a direct link to our page as well. If you would like to give monthly or make a one-time gift at a later time, please let us know by filling out our form here. It will really help us to know if you are planning to give!

So far we have over $20,000 between what has been pledged ($5500) + given ($14500). That is over 2/3 of what we will need! It’s a race of faith that were are running and you all are helping us to run it! 

Thank you for your support and encouragement! It is so encouraging to learn of the people who have given and who plan to give in the future and we know that is the outworking of people praying for us (we need it! See our Current Prayer Requests for how you can pray for us right now!)! To God alone be the glory! We can’t at all do this on our own so we’re so grateful to have you all involved.

 *For the deduction to be allowed, contributions are to be made with the understanding that GMI (a ministry of Grace Community Church) has complete control and administration of the donated funds.