First Comes Love, Then Comes Marriage

…then comes 8 years of blood sweat and tears… Haha {but seriously}

As you’ve probably heard by now, we are pregnant! Well, to be more specific, I am pregnant; Justin is Justin.

Depending on how you know us, you might be quite surprised by this information. We haven’t exactly followed the “normal” trajectory of relationships. We fell in love in high school, got married just out of diapers, and immediately began wandering.

The simple explanation is that babies weren’t in our game plan (the longer and more accurate explanation begins with “babies were not in my game plan” – that conversation requires a sit-down with food and drink). But apparently babies were in God’s game plan because in 2015 He began wooing me into the idea until I eventually jumped on board and we took the dive (again, the simple explanation).

Currently we’re propelling through the air from the tallest high jump we’ve ever plunged from with various thrills and terrors coursing through us. I’m told that the pool waiting below contains a combination of all our current emotions plus an inexplicable love which buoys you through and makes the whole jump worthwhile (often even prompts another leap).

Something I know for sure is that life is about the seasons and the journeys even more than the endgame. I’m absolutely terrified of being a parent but at the same time I am eager for the edification of character and broadening of perspective that will come with it. The tiny items I’ve begun to gather are fairly bolstering as well 🙂

So for now, I am grateful for the 18ish weeks she has left to cook but I’m also intrigued by the potential of who I, we, she will be in the 18ish years from now.

If you happen to be one of those people that prayed for my enormous change of heart; PLEASE DO NOT STOP PRAYING. I am holding you partly responsible for this journey and expect you to pray as fervently for the reality of our growing family as you did for the conception of it. Go Team.

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An Old Gem?

I recently stumbled on this blog post I wrote some time back but never posted. It’s a bit raw, and not entirely hopeful, but it is truthful to the season that I was in. As I reread I was reminded of another post I wrote entitled Missionary Or Indiana Jones? and in lieu of this I’ve decided to share:

Piece of CakePiece Of Cake:

I don’t know about you but I often feel like this whole “Christian thing” is really difficult. The urge to throw in the towel is barely resistable.

You might be thinking “but Tera, you’re a missionary, you’ve given up home and country to obey God’s calling; you’ve got stuff figured out”. Well, you’re partly right. I have left my home, I do live in a foreign country, and I am a missionary. But the truth is, I have very little figured out.

Moving halfway across the world was the easy part. YWAM Muizenberg is a remarkable base and I knew this was where we were supposed to be. The truth is, the sacrifice of leaving home and forgoing the familiarity of the States is hardly a recipe for spiritual enlightenment.

It’s not like I have an uncomfortable life. I’m not experiencing bad living conditions, hunger, or persecution. I live in Cape Town, one of the most beautiful cities in the world.

For me, the difficulty comes when the description of my life has more practical impact than the reality of it. Or when I’m crying out to God in need of a revelation only to be disappointed, again, by my own deaf ears. Or when I look at my incredible colleagues, and the work they’re accomplishing only to see my own shortcomings and ineffectiveness. Or when a broken person stands before me but I have nothing to offer because my cup is parched and cracked.

Now comes the part where I offer some words of wisdom, practical answers, encouragement. But today all I have to offer is my choice to hold, knuckles white, to hope. Hope fueled by memories from my journey and the knowledge of Truth that isn’t dependent on ease, circumstances, or especially, feelings.

This Psalm from David has been my solace:

Psalm 13

This faith I choose is very rarely a piece of cake



These days I hear God perfectly, am fully effective in ministry, and have a well-patched, overflowing cup – ha! Not exactly. But I can say that I am absolutely in a more positive place; I still have a lot to learn, but now the sun is shining.

Titus Project 2015

This is Justin’s 3rd year of leading, and our 4th year of staffing!

You probably know all about Titus Project by now, but just in case, we’ll give you a quick run-down. We take School of Biblical Studies (SBS) grads and equip them with teaching skills. Then, for 2 months, these student-teachers go out and teach Pastors and Churches how to study the Bible! It’s a very exciting program that transforms both the student-teachers and the pastors/churches.

This year Tera was released from her responsibilities with Bethesda House in order to staff the 3 week lecture phase, and participate in the first 2 weeks of outreach. She has really enjoyed plugging back in with her Biblical Studies roots, and helping to propel more Bible teachers into the world.

Justin has been working hard for months in preparation for the school, outreach, and his many teachings. It’s such a blessing to take these knowledgeable Bible students and equip them to empower other believers.

Home-Home Again

homeWe’re coming Home-Home for a visit at the end of this year! We aren’t 100% sure of the dates yet, but the plan is for November and December (maybe a bit of January).

Of course we are very excited to see family and friends (it will be 2 years since our last visit) – we’ll even get to meet our newest niece and nephews!

chainsWe are also looking forward to sharing more about our ministry, and some of the vision that God has laid on our hearts. If you, your family/friends, or even church would be interested in hearing more about us and our ministry please email us at JustinandTera@hotmail.com. We are keen to offer preachings, teachings, or just chat about what we do.

Our psoonlan is to be in Pennsylvania for the majority of the time, but we hope to visit family in North/South Carolina. We also have several friends from Cape Town who are studying in Boston that we hope to visit.

If you’re in any of these places and want to touch base with us, please let us know! {If you are in a different location and wish to touch base, just contact us and we’ll see what’s possible}

mother

Justin In Malawi

Myself, and 2 other men from our team went to Malawi for 2 weeks. The purpose of our trip was to connect with new pastors in order to create contacts and run 2, week-long seminars.

The first seminar was in Lilongwe, the capital of Malawi. We had a great time teaching on the topics of Identity, Grace, and Biblical Leadership. At one point, after I taught on the topic of Grace, one of the pastors was so excited about hearing this message for the first time that they went home and immediately gathered their family and neighbors so that they could share all about God’s grace.

For the second week we took a 6-hour bus ride down to the city of Blantyre, and stayed with a local pastor. While we were there we ran another week-long seminar and held evening Bible studies with the local pastors. During one of the Bible studies I challenged the “prosperity gospel”, a teaching that is deeply effecting many Christians across Africa, and discussed what the true heart of giving is. At the end they rejoiced at the realization that they didn’t have to fear God’s wrath when they were unable to give financially. One of the pastors even said that he would sometimes have to borrow money in order to pay his tithe so that he wouldn’t be condemned by God but that now he was free from that bondage of fear.

This trip was amazing and we met so many wonderful people. The churches and the Christians we met are eager for more teachings and we will be sending an outreach team to Malawi in July/August for about 7 weeks.

UPDATE: Read & Pray Stat!

UPDATE: Today our checks from the South African consulate showed up in the mail; our prayers have been answered! Thank YOU and thank Jesus! —————————————————————

Original post from December 1, 2014:

We just found out that we might lose $3,000; please pray with us!!

One of the requirements for our SA visa is a $1,500/person “repatriation” deposit, which we sent with our first visa applications in 2012. This money would be returned when we permanently leave SA and submit the appropriate paperwork.

SA has recently announced that in order to receive this money all internationals must submit before February 2015, but can only do this from their home country. This would mean that we would have to fly home, hope that the application process would be finished in time for our return ticket (as the application requires our physical passports), AND that they would give it to us without cancelling our visa.

The reality is, this isn’t possible. Even if everything went smoothly, we’d spend about $2,500 on plane tickets.

SO WE NEED YOUR PRAYERS!!

Please pray that the fair and just thing will happen and we won’t lose the $3,000 deposit we placed in 2012.

Thank you for your prayers ♥