Tag Archives: journeytoBrazil

Long Goodbye

These weeks feel like somewhere in the background, there is a song being played called the Long Goodbye. The tune is lively and full of emotion, and has been steadily crescendoing with a mixture of reluctant sadness and excited anticipation for the page to turn.

When we started down this road a year ago, one of my biggest fears was that it would take us away from those so dear to us. That we would be on our own. I thought we would tell people we were moving, and they would walk away. But instead, we have been carried to where we are today, backed with care and support for what’s ahead. I don’t even know how to describe the outpouring of love we have received. But I’ll try…

We have friends who are like family. And family who are our friends.
(I’m not distinguishing between the two here and just calling all yall friends.)
There’s the friends whose eyes have filled with tears during these days together. Who have committed to not let the miles create distance. Who embrace through the tears when it would hurt less to turn their backs. There’s the friends who just moved into a house with a basement, and out of all they could do with that space, they offered it to us to store some stuff. There’s the friend who knew my son was turning 5 and we were busy packing, so she turned her daughter’s birthday party into a bash for the both of them. There’s the friends who threw us the most meaningful, elegant, fun going-away party, so that we could approach goodbyes with laughs and cheers. There’s the friends who have made us meals and made sure they were gluten-free. There’s the friends who get a gleam in their eyes when they ask if we can receive packages, and for our address. There’s the friends who have been eager to help…even if it means unpacking our kitchen, packing it up, unpacking it, packing it up again (all while they were in the middle of their own major kitchen renovation). There’s the friends who have always just been there – for advice, prayer, laughs, walks. There are the friends who no matter how long it’s been, we’ll always be able to pick up where we left off.

The glory of friendship is not the outstretched hand, not the kindly smile, nor the joy of companionship; it is the spiritual inspiration that comes to one when you discover that someone else believes in you and is willing to trust you with a friendship.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

untitled shoot-9073
untitled shoot-9250 untitled shoot-9157untitled shoot-9169untitled shoot-9156

We have something truly amazing here.
Sometimes I think we’re cray-cray for leaving it.
And I long for that Day when this doesn’t seem crazy.

But for now, I am forever grateful for the One goodbye we will never have to say.

The LORD Himself goes before you and will be with you;
He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.
Deuteronomy 31.8

Forever Roots

When you are a tree hanging over the edge of the cliff, your roots become very important to you. And when you are a family on the edge of all the unknowns of making your home in another country, your roots are very important to you.
1418048_10849215

Hello. We are that family.
We have put down some serious roots here. Over the past 15 years that we have lived in this beloved lake town, we have enjoyed stretching out and learning how to bloom. Thanks to friendships that encourage us, family that strengthens us, the church that revives us, comforts (homes, stores, foods, schools) that enrich us. Our little family tree has been nurtured because of so many who have poured into us and cared for us deeply.
We are forever grateful for these years here.

Our God is the Giver of good gifts.
Sometimes these blessings can become our root system. We can start to lean upon what is meant as a gift rather than the Giver. These things are not bad, in fact support systems are very necessary and good. But if something has become so important to us that it keeps us from letting the Lord replant us where He wants, it has become an idol.
A superficial support structure.

So, how can we remain rooted in these times of transition?
When we’re living in someone else’s home… When we are saying goodbyes to dear friends who have become a part of us… When we are leaving family that means the world to us… When our belongings are reduced down to 12 suitcases and we are living out of them until December… When the future is so very unknown to us…

Let your roots grow down into Him (Jesus) and draw up nourishment from Him,
so you will grow in faith, strong and vigorous in the truth you were taught.
Let your lives overflow with thanksgiving for all He has done.
Colossians 3.7

This is the beauty of being rooted in Jesus Christ.
It doesn’t matter where you are. He is always there!
It doesn’t even matter where you are going. He is there too!
And His love for you runs deep.
His love is something you can sink your forever roots into.
Because it never fails. It never runs out. It never gives up.

May YOUR roots go down deep into the soil of God’s marvelous love.
Ephesians 3.17

My Shelter

We closed on our house this week.
It took awhile to talk about it. Or really, to talk at all 🙂
It hit me harder than anticipated. Not so much the selling our house. Probably more the signing a 4-page lease to rent it for another week. That just felt weird. An all-of-a-sudden feeling of being home-less. We’re still living in this house, it’s just not “ours” anymore.
I know, this is all very much a first-world problem.

I guess sometimes it takes awhile for my heart to catch up with what I believe in my head.
I want to rejoice in all the ways the Lord has lavished His kindness upon us. But instead there was a little bit of panic and a whole lot of pity goin’ on. Then, these verses “happened” to appear in my Bible reading:

Whom have I in heaven but You?
I desire You more than anything on earth.
My health may fail and my spirit may grow weak (and we may sell our beloved home),
but God remains the strength of my heart;
He is mine forever…
I have made the Sovereign Lord my shelter,
and I will tell everyone about the wonderful things You do.
Psalm 73. 26, 28

Once again, my heart found the strength it needs.
I have made the Sovereign Lord my shelter. We may be house-less, but we certainly are not home-less. Home is wherever I am with You. And, the good news is that He is mine. My shelter.
Here. There. Forever!

Sorry, no pics this time. We’re in crazy stages of sorting, ridding, packing, salsa-making, moving.
One more step in the journey, and we are so blessed to have you joining along.
Enjoy your weekend, friends 🙂

Letting Goods Go

Wonder how many times in my life I have sung these words in A Mighty Fortress:
Let goods and kindred go…
without truly understanding the implications.
These days they seem to come to mind more often than not. As we watch our belongings leave to find their place in another home, or pack them up in totes to be seen again in 3-5 years, or throw them in the garbage (though in my mind, my kindergarten yearbook or college scrapbooks hardly seem like “trash.”) Much more comfortable singing them on a plush church chair than truly “letting go.”

The thing is, I never thought stuff mattered to us. And whenever it started to feel like it did, I would go a year without buying clothes. To help loosen the grip. But when you’re figuring out what to do with the rocking chair you rocked all three of your babies in… Or, the Twister game that entertained precious little friends on many a life group gathering here… Or, the oil painting of our sunrise engagement that got started and never finished… All the while, spending your final days in this house you have worked so hard to call home…and trying to figure out how to squeeze the necessities (and 3 years of gluten-free pasta) into 12 suitcases…
it matters.

The more we sort and sell and store and give and pack, the less it becomes about the stuff.
It really is the memories that have been made. The people we have made them with.
But, the stuff? It comes and goes.
A dear friend told me this week “a coffin has no pockets.” And when she said that, it clicked.
The only thing that lasts is what we have given away.

Sometimes only in the letting go are we able to fully embrace what matters.
I may not carry our rocking chair with me in Brazil, but will my boys still have a momma who takes the time to sit with them in their hurt?
We may not have a Twister game anymore, but we will always gather with precious little friends. I mean, there’s still bugs for them to find! 🙂
That sunrise oil painting may never find its place so perfectly on our bedroom wall, but every morning the sun rises and I am next to my love should be enough.
And this home we have enjoyed? We always knew it was a gift for now. But we never wanted it to overshadow the longing for our heavenly Home.

Not that it’s really necessary for you all to get rid of things.
This is probably less helpful for you to read than it is therapeutic for me to write.
It’s just where we’re at. Because when the Lord calls you to another country and you only have 2 suitcases a person to fill…
Well, you learn to
Let goods and kindred go…
But hey, guess what’s next?
His kingdom.
And it is FOREVER!

I wish this were a lesson that would just stick. But learning to let go can be an ongoing process. Our Lord is gracious. His Spirit continues to convict and counsel.
Below are some resources that have been helpful to
Fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen,
since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
2 Corinthians 4.18

LINK LOVE
Something to read. 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess by Jen Hatmaker
True story of a mom who identified seven areas of excess, and made seven simple choices to fight back against modern-day greed, materialism, and overindulgence. In living a deeply reduced life, she discovered a greatly increased God.

Something to listen to. Experiencing the Presence of God’s Spirit by Francis Chan
Francis shares both the dangers of staying in the “shallow end,” and the joys of jumping in the “deep end” of our faith, to truly live out what we say we believe.
He says “What are we afraid of? I’m afraid of holding on to too much stuff.”

Something to watch. Living on One Dollar a Day
1.1 billion people live on less than $1 a day. This statistic moved 4 college students to live on less than a dollar a day for eight weeks in rural Guatemala. A dollar a day. How richly blessed we truly are. Blessed to bless.

Something to put on repeat. Oceans by Hillsong
You call me out upon the waters
The great unknown where feet may fail
And there I find You in the mystery
In oceans deep
My faith will stand…

P.S. Learning to let the goods go is enough to tackle for right now.
I’m trying to ignore the second part of that phrase for as long as possible. 🙂

Lettuce Walk by Faith

We have really grown to enjoy gardening. One of my favorite things this time of year is to step outside and see what additions are ripe to add to our meal. This summer, it seems our garden has been bountiful…lettuce, strawberries, peas, carrots, beets, tomatoes, broccoli, peppers…

It seems crazy I ever doubted. But when it’s May and I’m spacing those seeds into the ground, the temptation is to wonder whether or not it’s worth it. Will this ever grow into anything? Did the seeds go bad? Is the soil ready? Will the critters ruin this?
But we planted. And we waited. And hoped.

Then there’s that glorious moment when you spot a brilliant greenish hue springing up from the brown. As the ground bursts forth with new life, it’s almost as if you can hear a Hallelujah! It really all is miraculous. How this tiny seed turns into a juicy strawberry. Or a plump tomato. Or a pod of peas.
DSC_0559

For as the soil makes the sprout come up and a garden causes seeds to grow,
so the Sovereign Lord will make righteousness and praise spring up before ALL nations.
Isaiah 61.11

The Lord has given us a burden for the people left to themselves to figure out how to live. We cannot imagine trying to make sense of this world without the Way, the Truth, and the Life. And so, we are in process of leaving it all behind and heading to Brazil, where there are still 120 different languages (nations!) that have never heard of Jesus. The seed has never been planted.

Part of me is tempted to wonder how is this going to happen? are we ready for what’s ahead? will we raise the partners needed for us to leave in November? This is where we look to the Lord of the harvest to do what only He can do. Because we wholeheartedly believe our Sovereign Lord will make Hallelujahs! spring up before ALL nations. So, we plant. And we wait. And hope.
And play this song on repeat.

SOLD.

It all just got real.

It was only a week ago that we were going back and forth about whether to rent or sell. Sell or rent. We hoped to keep this house we poured blood, sweat and tears into.
DSC_0496But we knew it could be difficult to rent a house from a continent away. And so, last Tuesday Andy listed our house on Craigslist. I had no idea how we were going to add house showings (and cleanings!) to everything else. But we prayed the Lord would make it very clear. And decided that if a buyer offered that price, we would accept. The next day, someone came to look at the house. [I thought to rent it.] But they liked it so much, they offered us that price. And we accepted.

In God’s providence, we were having a garage sale the next day. We had been waiting until the end for the big purge. But when our house sold the night before our garage sale, we realized this is near the end.
And it all became very real.
Suddenly, there is no plan B… We are moving!
Andy started emptying our house onto our lawn.
IMG_20130620_224400
Now..
It’s one thing to make a New Year’s resolution to have “open hands.” It’s another thing to let people carry away belongings we never would sell if we were staying.
It’s one thing to say you’re gonna go. It’s another thing to know your husband’s job here ends in November.
It’s one thing to want to walk by faith not by sight. It’s another thing to blindly take the next step. And the next…
But there is One who continues to give the peace and courage to keep walking.

We are at Pre-Field Orientation at the New Tribes Mission headquarters in Florida.
14 years ago I sat in this very same room in tears, watching the Taliabo Story. I wanted my life to be about this. Reaching the unreached. Extending His fame.
And here we are today.
Sitting here with a lanyard around my neck and the words “East Brazil” below my name.
I sorta can’t believe it. This is happening!!
photo (1)

You answer us with awesome deeds of righteousness, O God our Savior,
the hope of all the ends of the earth and of the farthest seas. Psalm 65.5

We have endless “awesome deeds” to praise our God for. Here are just a few…
..Others’ prayers. This means the world to us. We want to encourage you in the ways we have seen God at work. He hears!
..Our house sold. Not only that, but we asked for clarity. And He made it so very clear!
..Our garage sale. Not just successful downsizing, but the amazing attitudes our kids had through it all. They willingly let go of their things. Not one complaint. [That’s not normal for a 4 year old!] It was truly God’s grace in them!
Plus, they were distracted running their 3 Amigos Lemonade Stand.
IMAG0755
..A “transition” house. We already have a place to stay between moving out of our house and moving to Brazil!
..Our unity and excitement for this journey He has us on.
..Our dear family and friends. We feel so very blessed to be loved enough for this to be hard. For all the ways these dear people continue to care, despite the tears and pain and all that comes with letting us go.

We continue to pray for…
..All of the paperwork to come through correctly and efficiently.
..God’s sustaining grace through the fury of the next few months of traveling and packing and moving.
..The monthly financial support needed for us to move in November.
..Open hands.

Can a God who sold our house without us putting it on the market take care of all this?
We believe He can. We pray He will.

May What-What

Not sure why I have been so stumped to think of the best word to call these monthly updates. It probably was the hardest part of writing this post. 
Update:
too predictable.
News: too bland.
Royer Review: what we would have called it 15 years ago.
Rundown: has some other connotations to it.
So, we decided to call it something different every time. This month, it’s the What What.

I guess the first What is that we are continuing to prepare for our move to Brazil. It’s a busy season for us as nothing has really stopped – we’re still working, raising kids, coaching soccer, gardening, cooking, cleaning (somewhat), hosting, living. Meanwhile, we added a whole other dimension that requires wading through paperwork, learning portuguese, figuring out homeschooling, sorting through what to store or sell, and gathering addresses for dear ones from different walks of life. (BTW, If you would like to receive our vision letter, we may need your address. Email andy_royer@ntm.org, and we will get one to you.)

Some big Whats!!
– We received our boys’ Brazilian passports in the mail.
– We booked our flights to Florida for NTM Orientation/Training in June.
– We are humbled and honored by the support of others.
– We already are receiving 30% of our monthly support needed for us to work in Brazil!
– We are so very thankful for our excitement for the future. As we think of the dangers and difficulties and adjustments ahead, I am reminded “She can laugh at the days to come.” (Proverbs 31.25b) Praise God! This is His work in my heart!

Some prayer Whats:
– Wisdom in ordering our days.
– God would build the team He has for us – pray-ers, supporters, co-laborers.
– Our boys – as all they are “leaving” becomes more real to them, that God would give them with an understanding of all we “gain” in following Jesus.
– Journeying through all of this with surrendered hearts and open hands.

How can we begin to thank you for your interest in our family? We so deeply appreciate your care, thankful we are not alone. But this is so much bigger than us! Since the very beginning, God has been all about shining His light into the dark corners of this world. He was the light and shared His light with His people. Then Jesus, the Light of the World came to us. And to those who follow Him, He has given the light that leads to life. We are thrilled to be a part of sharing His light with the people in Brazil who live in spiritual darkness, who have no access to the Good News of Jesus. Because we believe this is God’s heart.

Genesis 1.3: And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and He separated the light from the darkness.
2 Samuel 22.29: You, Lord, are my lamp; the Lord turns my darkness into light.
Psalm 27.1: The Lord is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear?
Psalm 104.2: The Lord wraps himself in light as with a garment.
Matthew 5.16: In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.
John 8.12: Jesus said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
2 Corinthians 4.6: For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.
1 Peter 2.9: But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.

I have made you a light..to bring salvation to the ends of the earth.
(Acts 13.47)
20130520-092007.jpg
(Image taken from The Dark, by Lemony Snicket)

Shine on, dear friends!