To the tune of John Denver’s “Leaving on a Jet Plane”:
All my bags are packed, I’m ready to go…
I’m standing here, staring at the floor…
I hate to pick them up, they’re all so full…
This whole packing thing...it’s been a journey. Do I carry 2 or 3 pairs of jeans, you know we could use that extra 2 pounds in this bag. This coat takes up a lot of space, maybe Patrick should just wear it onto the plane. Would it be cheaper to just buy all this kitchen-ware when we get there than to pay for overweight luggage? Did the wheel on that large suitcase just break?...really? Just how many decks of Phase 10 cards are acceptable to pack? Oh, we might get approved to carry extra luggage for free?! Nevermind, summer baggage embargo. Take out 2 decks of Phase 10 cards and tell Patrick to wear that coat! I know it’s 97 degrees in Atlanta, but we’re headed to Quito and he’ll thank us later.
Boy, these last couple of weeks have been exciting. We finished our Pre-Field Orientation training in New York, and we’re so thankful to have had the opportunity to attend. We gained a lot of very useful insights into making a smooth transition for our family (as smooth as it can be when you’re relocating to an entirely new continent!). We met several families and individuals that are headed to teach at Alliance Academy International, which is the same school at which Scott will be teaching. We spent some quality time with other families moving to different countries throughout the world and were able to share common thoughts and feelings with all of them. It was a very encouraging time.
The last few days have been spent trying to finalize what goes to Quito and what stays in Atlanta. It’s hard to describe the thought process in making these decisions, but basically we’ve really had to distinguish between “wants” and “needs”. God has blessed us by allowing us to keep some of our “wants”, but of course, we are also trying to be good stewards of the space we have.
In this post, we wanted to publicly thank God and use this as a testimony for the work that He has done in our lives and our journey over the past few weeks. We always want to remember how God was working in our lives to lead us to begin this journey, but we don’t want to get stuck in those past moments... We also want to recognize how He continues to work in our lives and be active in leading us to serve Him in ways we could not orchestrate on our own. So here are a few things that have happened over the last few weeks!
· We have had a great place to stay after moving out of our house! Brandy’s dad and stepmom allowed us to bring all of our remaining stuff to their guest house and it has given us time to sort through what we will be taking now and what we will have to get at Christmas.
· While we were in New York, Brandy’s family was able to sell our washer, dryer, and freezer. Those were the last of the large items we wanted to sell before leaving and allowed us to raise more money!
· Brandy had been looking for a few months for a washer and dryer to purchase in Quito for our apartment, and was feeling frustrated because she passed on a set a few weeks back. But a few days ago, she found a set for 1/2 the cost! Praise God!
· While in New York, Scott received a phone call that a couple of financial support checks had been sent to us- both from families that know his parents better than they know him. One family, Scott has never actually met in person. It’s amazing to see how God is leading His people to reach out to us - and they are being obedient!
· Without us asking for financial support from them, our church reached out and committed to support us financially while we are serving in Ecuador. This was a major blessing to us, and we are so thankful for the hearts of the leaders at Life Bible Church.
· Scott is getting prepared to teach a self-defense seminar in Augusta as a fundraiser for our mission. This will be the second fundraising seminar (the first was in Gainesville and was absolutely amazing!). Both seminars have been hosted by great friends who we are blessed to know. They each reached out to us and offered a fun way to help support us!
For those of you who have committed to pray for us, we thank you so much for your support. We believe that with you praying along side of us, we will be stronger in our service for the Lord. We do have an updated prayer request - we need to be approved for our visas before we leave, and time is running short. We have applied, and we are waiting to hear back to know if we have been accepted or denied. The original application was filed 2 weeks ago, and we were finally able to have a follow-up conversation by phone yesterday. In short, the Ecuadorian consulate claims they are trying to determine whether Scott’s service at the international school will take away an employment opportunity from an Ecuadorian citizen. If so, they will be reluctant to issue a visa. This seems a little crazy, because Scott’s “salary” is actually being donated to the orphan-care ministry in Quito. So please pray that God will work through the consulate to approve our visas quickly and allow us to arrive in Quito without any delays. We are confident that God has opened too many doors for us along this journey to have a single government official determine that we cannot go. And if we are denied now, there are other options, but it will cost more money and much more time to go those routes.
A few days ago, we sent out a request for Prayer Supporters. We have received several responses, but we are still seeking a few more people who would commit to praying for us and our ministry for 15 minutes each day. Of course, we welcome and appreciate ALL of your prayers whether you feel that you can commit to 15 minutes each day or not! We simply know that we need prayer warriors to combat the spiritual battles we will likely face.
We also need prayers over financial provision. We know we are being obedient...and our faith is strong...
As I type this, I am hearing Scott tell some friends of ours about several books he has read by Mark Batterson and he is telling them that God wants us to pray for things that are completely out of our own reach. We know that without the Lord WE cannot accomplish the things we have a vision for. It is simply not possible. We must pray that HE provides what HE wants to provide in order for HIM to get all the glory! We have seen Him work and we look forward to seeing what He will continue to do!
May each of you be blessed with abundance and experience the overflowing joy of the Lord daily! Thank you from the bottom of our heart for all of your love and support!
Much Love and Many Blessings from the Murphy Family!
We believe we are called to Know Jesus Christ, Live His Word, and Declare God's Glory! So that's what we are going to do! Join us on our Journey!