Dear Family and Friends,
So much has happened since we last wrote! It has been awesome to see what the Lord has done in this time. During the last few months we have spent a weekend in North Carolina, Thanksgiving in Miami, I (Blair) have flown to Australia and back, Carrie and the kids spent the month of December in Minnesota and so much more.
Let’s rewind and tell all of you how we got to where we are now and what God has taught us through all of these events.
As many of you know we have been looking to move to Australia. When we last wrote in September, we were waiting for a response from the Australian government about our visa applications. It seems that, at this time, God is not opening the door for us to go. Teen Missions Australia was denied as a business sponsor and it doesn’t look like there is another visa that will work for our family. It wasn’t the answer we were looking for, but we will continue to seek after the Lord and trust that His will for us is perfect. One day toward the end of October, Carrie came to me and asked me if I thought the Lord would want me to go to Australia to help with their Boot Camp.
I had not been thinking about going at the time so I began to pray about going, but it was not an easy decision for me. Many questions came to my mind almost immediately. What about Carrie and the kids? What about the money to go? Can we afford our summer team to Sicily if I spend the money to go to Australia? These were not easy things for me to ponder and I struggled with making a decision. One of the hardest questions He asks is “ Do you trust Me for everything?” The Lord has challenged me in this area in a lot of different ways. I emailed the Australia base and asked if they needed help with this Boot Camp. The answer that came back was a resounding YESSSS!!!!!!!!! With that I knew the Lord had opened the door for me to go and now I had to trust Him to work out the rest. What it comes down to is that I want to do what God wants me to do—whatever the cost, no matter what.
Carrie decided to spend the month I would be away visiting with family and friends in Minnesota. We drove to Minnesota the weekend after Thanksgiving, and I flew out of Minneapolis on Dec. 1st. I flew back late on the 24 , so we were all together again for Christmas. The kids enjoyed playing in the snow, sledding, ice fishing, playing games with cousins, drinking lots of hot chocolate, stories by the fireplace, snowmobiling, working on lots of puzzles and the list goes on!
While I was in Australia I was able to help the base upgrade a lot of their computer systems and update their website. I did minor repairs on some sound equipment and was able to help with some cooking and made trips to the airport to pick up team members and drop them off to head to their overseas projects.
I had the opportunity to teach two classes while I was there—Devotions and Maturity. Devotions teaches the importance of daily spending time in the Bible daily and why this time is important. Maturity is a two-day class where we teach the students what it means to be spiritually mature. It was awesome to see the impact that this Boot Camp had on the lives of the team members. We praise the Lord for the 43 team members who accepted Christ during Boot Camp. Though the Lord has not opened the door for our family to move to Australia, I am thankful for the opportunity I had to go and serve.
We do not know everything the Lord has planned for our future, but we can feel his moving in our hearts and lives and know it is only a matter of time until his plans will be shown to us. In the meantime we have a few things in store.
As I mentioned before we have been asked to lead a Preteen team to Sicily, Italy. This will be a team of 10 to 13 year-olds, and we are very excited to have the wonderful privilege to impact these young lives. Please pray for these young hearts to be open to what the Lord is going to teach them and that the lessons they learn this summer will greatly influence the choices they make as teenagers. Pray also for wisdom for us as leaders to be able to effectively minister to the Preteens we will be working with. Many of you may not realize the hurt that some of these kids come with. The Lord can use us to help them through difficult situations that they may be going through back home. Through your prayers and support you are able to be a part of impacting their lives as well. We do have to raise just over $8000 to go so if the Lord lays on your heart to help out with that, we praise the Lord.
Homeschooling is still going well. Carrie enjoys the flexibility of the schedule and being able to teach the kids practical life lessons along with the book work. Raising kids to know and love the Lord is a huge undertaking and homeschooling has allowed us to incorporate our values and beliefs into every aspect of the day. Some days it’s tough to balance school, housework, playtime and the demands of daily life, but homeschooling has been a good fit for our family. We have finally given in and signed the kids up for their first sports teams. Jaden and Liam are playing flag football and are on a team with two of their good friends and fellow TMI staff kids. Skylar is excited to participate in the Upward basketball program through our church.
Because He’s Worthy,
The Hames Family