We'll Be Home for Christmas, but Not Really.

As most of you know, we are having a baby girl in January. What you may not know is that we can't have Cypress here in Mozambique. It's complicated; I won't bore you with details. We have two options. She can be born in South Africa, where Cedar was born, or we can go to the States. Either way, we have to leave Maputo at least 4 weeks before my due date of January 20 because NO BABIES BORN MID-TRAVEL PLEASE! We prayed about this decision a lot, but we still had to make a pros and cons list because sometimes we are 16. Here's a peak at our musings...

It is an interesting thing planning which country your child is to be born in, and as you can see from our super-professional list, it's not just choosing the hospital or picking a doctor. Our conversations are more like, "Hey babe, are you thinking rent a place in Joburg, SA, or fly to the States?" and "…might be pretty boring to be alone on Christmas." Of course, our ideal would be to have our bundle be born in Mozambique without crazy time/environment changes for us and Cedar, BUT we really enjoy our life and all the adventures that come along with it. These challenges are just the nature of the call.

Both our options mean a time away from our students (who are amazing people; you guys would love them) and what God is doing here (even more amazing, but we know God can hold down the fort). Those are THE hardest parts of making any decision to leave Mozambique, but some of the stress this time is alleviated a little by the fact that our weeks away line up exactly with the summer break for all the universities here. That's right: It's summer right now in the southern hemisphere, so we won't miss any of the school year! Isn't God the best planner?

Both options also equal us being away from home and away from our ministry, but only one option allows for us to be with family over the holidays and for the birth. DRUM ROLLLLLLLL! We have decided to have Cypress in Arkansas. [Side note: We are coming for you Panera….And no, this is not most important, but I am pregnant and I haven't had access to any of my cravings so my priorities are slightly skewed. Family, we are coming for you too.]

 Cedar hanging out with his bestie for the last time for a while.

Cedar hanging out with his bestie for the last time for a while.

The craziest part? It feels weird to say "I'll be home for Christmas," because Mozambique is now home. This place I once couldn't picture myself living no matter how hard I tried, where they speak a language I couldn't utter a word in correctly, where I knew no one is now not just where I live, but HOME. God is so good to not just call us, but to lead us and to settle us. And this doesn't just apply to missionaries; it's for everyone in every situation. It's for you.

Are you trying to feel at home in a new job, city, stage of life? With the holidays around the corner, are feeling alone and isolated? Comment below or email us at xamarlin@me.com. We'd love to pray for you. 

P.S. Now to just decide on where exactly Cypress will be born and who will deliver her!!! Can you say a prayer with us about those details?

Torichel: His Story Will Grow Your Faith

This is Torichel--or "Tortoise Shell" as many Americans mistakenly say, but, hey, he's a good sport. Torichel is not poor and he's not oppressed. To be honest, the guy is pretty set to have whatever kind of life he wants. He's from a wealthy family, speaks English, has nice hair (okay, that's a bit irrelevant), and is going to the best University in the nation. BUT the guy just won't settle for the "Mozambican Dream."  You're about to hear him tell a quick story, and it's just one of so many things that have driven him to want a different life, a life of proclamation, a life fully submitted to Jesus and fully opposed to the enemy. 

...the enemy always tries to abort what the Lord is doing.

Some take-away's (I could use some take-away right now, preferably from Panera, but I will just dream about it...unless one of you wants to volunteer to ship me a cinnamon crunch bagel)...   

1. The possessed dude started yelling, "They are telling lies" even though he was too far away to actually hear what was being said. You guys, Satan is listening, even when man is not paying attention. Say something that matters. 

2. The man screaming drew more attention to us, and caused his OWN family to become interested in what we were saying. They ended up coming to church, and many even gave their lives to Christ! Don't let the enemies scare tactics intimidate you. Basically, the devil always digs his own grave. 

3. The man freaked the most when one of the students was sharing his testimony. MAN! That is how powerful our stories of redemption are! Satan is threatened by your testimony and he doesn't want you to share it, so share it all the more. 

Oh and btw, "A Palavra" is the name of our campus ministry movement here in Mozambique. It means "The Word" and, in less than two years time, the word is being shared on 23 campuses. Crazy right?!!? God is faithful! Thank you for praying for us and Christ's movement on the campuses of Mozambique.

Now, let's all go share Christ, let's shout our story of redemption, and let's see what God does with it. And watching Satan squirm is always nice, too.