Friday, January 27, 2012

Technology

I put a tweet out a few days ago "Shut off the technology pipelines pouring into your house & let your kids read a book. You read one as well."

As Christian parents we must continually fight for the heart of our children, spouse, marriage, and church. We want better things to happen in so many arenas we find ourselves serving yet we can't figure out why they aren't moving towards the better. One of the areas you must fight is the consumption of technology absorbing the heart of your family.

Let not the technology that is being poured into your home be the parent or better yet be the glue that holds your marriage together. I am confused at the couples I know who sit for hours watching movies and television shows but never spend lengthy time discussing their faith, their children, the Bible, their dreams...or better yet praying together...serving together...writing notes of encouragement to each others as well as friends, family, coworkers, etc...

I am not the anti guy...I am very much pro technology and media but remind your computer, smart phone, tv, children, spouse and your own heart who drives who...and what has priority in your home. Your kids will multiply in the generations to come what you model for them.

For those of you who know my boys...they are all boys...they are full of life, adventure, noise, running, loudness, and laughter. But to see how they can at the same time...all on their own grab a pile of books and go sit in their bed without prompting or "as punishment" and read is absolutely amazing. To see my 3 year old even this afternoon go into his bed all by himself and read was amazing. And my boys do this not just for 5 minutes but for 30-45 all by themselves. It's a beautiful thing.

Here is an article I would recommend for you to read here.

Jerrell

Value...Offerings...

This week I have been thinking alot about value...That my value must be found in the divine new nature that God gives us when we surrender our lives to Jesus...it is so tempting to find value in my marriage, my kids, family, friendships, status, etc...but God has given us a new nature...seated in the heavenlies...united with him...new nature...and it is for me to walk in that truth daily and continually...As I walk in that the Lord showed me that everything else is an offering...loving my man, my kids, my friends, the world...all is an offering...I am full stepping into the situations he places me in...instead of walking into them with an expectation needing the person to fulfill me...

Another way I have been looking at is that my value in God is the cake and every other compliment, acknowledgment, encouragement or love I receive is icing on the cake but not the cake itself...

So this week has been about catching myself desiring value in other places and asking God to make them an offering...he has done it on several occasions this week and I am feeling free...free to love, free to offer myself and free to follow the Holy Spirit instead of trying to meet my own needs...He is so much better and I long for more of Him and less of me...

Lord may your grace lead us as we find our value in you, and then we are open to freely offer ourselves to you and to others...

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

God-serving or Self-serving....

Well this is Kay writing...Jerrell has been doing awesome sharing all that God has done and is doing in the Altic household...but I wanted to share something that I have personally been walking through this side of SE Asia and just in life....

Something the Lord has been talking to me about is "my Agenda"...not like a time agenda or list of things that need to get done on a certain day...but "my Agenda" within my relationships from Jerrell to the kids, to friends, to just random interactions the Lord might bring along the way...and it has been so convicting...because as long as I have my Agenda...my wants...my needs...that I am trying to get met in ways illegitimate ways, it is going to hinder me following God's agenda for the day and for my role as a wife, mom, friend and follower of Christ...

So I felt the Lord put before the question "God-seving or Self-serving?"...to help me check my reason for doing what I am doing...and it has been freeing and convicting at the same time...I desire so much not to self-serve through life...it is so easy to do because the self can be so strong inside me at times...but when I step back and walk in a God-serving mindset I don't struggle to need more from others than what is appropriate to need...For God is the provider and I want to walk with Him and be amazed at the ways He provides...Self-serving can leave a heavy burden on others when you walk away...but God-serving always leaves the fresh fragrance of Freedom...

So I ask you the question I am constantly asking myself right now...Do you find yourself living a more self-serving or God-serving life?

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Something to chew on...baptism outside of America

I started following Jesus at 15 years of age in a small church in Southwest Missouri. There wasn't anything flashy what so ever about my home church. Those men and women worked long blue collar jobs and sacrificed every week to teach Sunday school, open the church, set up chairs, move rooms, and much more to see Jesus become King in so many lives. The longer I am away from those people the more appreciative I am of those who loved me, prayed for me, and encouraged me. Deacons who served not only in title but in practice.

I learned to pray by setting in on adult prayer meetings throughout high school and college. This I feel has been lost in so many churches. You want to see faith... then watch a farmer get on his knees and beg God for rain and it starts pouring before someone else can pray. You want to see faith modeled start watching groups of men and women pray and lives are changed right before your eyes.

So from the time of 15 to now I have witnessed a large amount of baptisms (the public declaration of being a Christ follower). Being here for 11 years I have also had the great opportunity to baptize men and women from all kinds of backgrounds, journeys, and stories.

What I witnessed in Asia was over the top in regards to baptism. To see these women who stepped into the baptism waters with full hearts yet anxious, steadfast courage yet tentative..the questions that were asked of them caused me to ponder hard and think through how I view baptism.

First Question: Have you trusted upon the Lord Jesus Christ has your Lord and Savior? This seems to be an obvious question and a great place to start. This is where baptism starts...a public loyalty to Jesus.

Second Question: Are you willing to endure persecution, isolation, abandonment, and loss of family for the Gospel? What!!! Yes that question gets asked. Not just one time either. Every time. Every person. That this following of Jesus will lead to persecution. Not that it "might" but that it will. See here! And these ladies with courage and counted the cost and responded with full hearts a hearty "yes!" Are you kidding me?! What if your baptism was proceeded with these questions? What would your answer be? The same? Would answer a yes to this question cause you to think harder how you would now live? How you would now love? care? give?

Then to see this ladies go under the water and come out of the water with huge smiles on their faces left me speechless. Truly. I walked away thanking God, renewing my own heart, and asking God to give me the greater courage to walk in His Spirit.

Church in America I say again we must sit at the feet of the global church. When you go on your next international journey ask those you are visiting to speak into your life. Let them speak about how they live life, do ministry, serve others, and sacrifice. Truly let's learn. With all of the church planting movements around the globe... they have left the gimmicks, pomp, and glitter on the sidelines and invested in people, prayed, and are seeing the Spirit move. Let's learn & then implement.

A couple of pics:





Jerrell

Friday, January 13, 2012

Jayk's First Basketball Game

I think the entire sports scene today for the youth of America is jacked up! The cut throat stress, expectations, and pressure placed on children is beyond acceptable. We have been witnessing a generation of parents who think their kid is "the best" and surely if they have "more practice", "more instruction", and "more opportunity" that they would be the next professional gem to be snatched up in 9th grade and sign a Division I scholarship to play at the collegiate level even before they have played one in minute of high school competition. The amount of cash spent for personal coaches, trainers, instructions, select teams, and the like is stupid. We are seeing those in the church spend 3x's the money on sports, travel, gear, and games and haven't even come close to spending that type of cash for their kids to experience an international mission trip or feed the homeless or actively engage in the 100's of opportunities around them for their children to be awakened to the greater issues of faith.

So today (January 7, 2012) our family stepped our feet into the arena of youth basketball with Jayk. He is on a fun team with 9 other boys. This definitely is not the cut throat league but an opportunity for the boys to learn the game and burn some energy. (Men need to do both--put their minds to action and their bodies to work). We had missed the first two practices while being in SE Asia but went to the 3rd just two days before his first game ever. Needless to say we had shot, rebounded, and talked about basketball a few times but this was now go time.

So on this morning I had the perfect morning planned out in my head but very little went as planned. I had a time in my mind we needed to leave but that didn't happen. When we were leaving Jayk busted his head on the door (nothing major). Judah was wanting to whine and the adult emotions in the home were running a bit higher than normal. I grew up in a family that if you weren't early to anything then you might has well not even go while Kay grew up in a family that was fashionably late. So I had this moment that I had to surrender my plans to God's greater plans.

I was so excited for my son to go play a short basketball game that I could hardly contain myself. For the first time as a father I felt like my dad had to feel so many hundred times over with my brothers and I (I have two older brothers) before all the games we played in. Some of my best memories was going to a basketball or baseball game with my dad. It was tremendous. He coached every game every sport until Jr. high for all three of us. What a sacrifice my dad made for us. Amazing. I got worked up a few short times and I wasn't even coaching today. Well I coached a bit from the sidelines.

Jayk loved it. Played hard and had tons of fun. Shot the ball a few times and loves playing defense. Many dads say they are proud of their children because of what they do or how they perform on a court or a field of competition but I am proud of my son because of who he is. He is my son. So father's and mother's as kids basketball is in full swing remember to tell your children you are proud of them and love them for who they are not for what they do. That what they do is exciting and fun to experience together but let not their value, worth or position be driven by a performance.

The goal of sports has to be reconfigured. Many parents have their kids in church just like they have them in sports and many times sports gets trumped by church. But I submit a new line of thinking to you. Don't raise your kid in church but raise your kid in Christ (which will include church). There is a difference. What you value most they will value. What you own they will own. If you value faith they will. If you value sports, stats, and games more than Christ your kids will.

Who is with me? Let's reconfigure how we own and model Christianity. Sure play sports but you own your kids time not the sport. Because when the sport ends will their faith last? The fatality of college students faith is extremely high because of the things their parents made priority over Christ. Let not this be.

Here are a few pics for your enjoyment.






Thursday, January 12, 2012

Testimony "God loved me so much"

This past Sunday was our first time to be back in our Life Bible Study class (Sunday School) since our return from being out of the country. We were so full of story upon story so we did our best to articulate some of the stories but not all. Kay stood up and told the story of Jayk and Judah getting sick. One of the things that Kay loathes probably the most is sickness. She has a huge heart for people who are sick and battling illness but she hates it when it is present. She would be the first to tell you it arises all kinds of emotions in her. And in her telling the story to our class on Sunday she stated this phrase "...and because God loves me so much he let me both of my kids get sick." Out of that story alone on Sunday we have received a few testimonies back of situations this week in our friends lives that in the midst of struggle and frustrations this week they remember "because God loves me so much..." and their response and attitude began to see the bigger picture of God's glory in their lives. Here is an email (names edited for blessing sake)

Hi Kay,
I wanted to share something with you. I don't know if you have had a chance to go through the items we all wrote down on Sunday, but one of the things we wrote was prayer about our home. We were considering buying another less updated and therefore less expensive house in our neighborhood. Everything about it seemed "right." Lower our mortgage debt, lower our monthly payments AND put some money in the bank. We were both praying about it, but even though it seemed so practical, the answer just didn't seem clear. And we would both start to feel sad every time we thought about moving.

Sunday night we pretty much decided to do it. My husband was going to call the real estate agent the next day. And then God sent a flood. Yes, our house flooded Monday morning in the storm. This has happened twice before, and usually every time we get water, so does our next door neighbor. But she didn't get any. We were the only ones on our street as far as we know. Of course a flooded house can't be put on the market. God loves us SO MUCH that He sent a flood, a totally clear sign, to tell us "not now." I don't know why, but I know He clearly told us no.

There are so many other intricacies to the story that were so clearly God, but I'll just share this one. A friend was over Sunday night watching Tebow Time with my husband and left his glasses. So he had to come back to get them Monday morning and was able to help us move some furniture. He also called a friend of his who is a contractor who came over today and helped us rip up all the carpet free of charge.

Kay, without hearing yours and Jerrell's stories from SE Asia on Sunday, I really think I would have been thinking "Why God? Why now?" But instead I'm saying "Thank you, God for loving us so much!"

Isn't that absolutely amazing! So awesome to live life with people who get it and desire to walk in the ways of the Lord. Be inspired and let not your heart be troubled.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

SE Asia (Part 6)

Before we left on December 9th our youngest (Judah) had turned three a few weeks before. Kay had learned from our first born that potty training Altic boys needed to wait till 3. We had a few conversation about the need to potty train him before we left or not with no clear direction. Kay then one morning after her devotional time spoke to me and said "we are not suppose to potty train him before we go." I quickly and confidently agreed (men when your wife speaks after her morning devotional you should listen.) I quickly did the math on how many diapers to pack and then added about twenty more. Because the Lord loves us so much not only did Jayk get sick on the trip Judah did so as well. He was lovingly stretching our hearts of faith and surrender. However Judah's sickness came on the day before departure. Not the exact time you want to deal with a sick child that just turned 3. This type of sickness resulted in multiple diaper changes people! He said his tummy didn't hurt and he also kept eating. We thought well maybe he picked up a parasite. So he continued to eat and drink and his diapers continued to be filled on an hourly basis almost. He did sleep fine however. So we made a call to home and had a doctors appointment ready when we landed. So after our first of three flights he went a few more times. Kay and I were praying and asking for healing. He went again right before loading for our flight to America (he loaded up on Burger King as well as mommy and daddy). As God would have it...he didn't go again at all! When he got home he had some Lupe Tortilla (the meal of choice) and his tummy never bothered him again. So we cancelled the appointment. This was the exact reason God told Kay to not potty train him. My wife has an unbelievable ear of hearing the Holy Spirit speak. This was another example of asking and believing Him for all wisdom and favor. Let's don't just live our lives in accordance with what others are doing. Let's live in accordance with the Holy Spirit. His power and his provision. God is in the speaking business. Cry out to him and he will speak. Trust us. We do and He moves. Don't grow weary...keep seeking and He will keep speaking. Jerrell

PS. Pray for us this weekend because will potty train Judah this weekend. Now it is time for diapers to cease in our house.

When we headed home


Judah seemed fine


Boys are hungry


Burger King!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

SE Asia (Part 5)

Now where do I begin. It's been a month since we departed. After the miracle of flying, orphans, Buddhist temple and sick child what else is there to discuss? So many things--house gatherings, worker meetings, baptisms, and a few other side stories. However before I tear into those stories and pictures I want to take a moment and talk about our host family. I submit to all my American friends, especially those involved ministry, that the time came awhile ago to start listening to the Global church voice. Let me explain. For decades there has been this mindset that American/western thinking controlled all arenas of life especially Biblical insight and the "how to's of ministry" but those days are long over. What is happening in the Global church must be heard, thought through, and responded too by the American church. We no longer (as if we ever did) have the market on spiritual movements, church planting movements, courage, and the like. It's time for us to sit at the feet of the nations and learn, listen, and live differently. So for Kay and I to sit with an American family that took their entire family (7 in all) to the other side and transplant themselves into the culture was eye opening. Their home is no longer America. It's the place of their residency now. Their children are immersed in the local public school in the morning and home school in the afternoon. These kids are sharp. Incredibly sharp. Not just educationally sharp they are culturally savvy and incredible social. To see a family that has soaked themselves in the local life of their community was beautiful. Our kids and their kids were amazing together. It was quite the zoo at times.

The adult conversations were always lengthy and stout in nature. To sit with this couple and hear their stories, their struggles, their victories, their hopes and dreams, and their walk with the father was tremendous. Kay and I could not be more proud of their journey, sacrifice, courage, and passion. I am not sure there was one quite moment in the house the entire time (except when I needed a nap--almost daily). I wish I could list the books spoken up and the topics hashed through but this post would be too long if I did. I wish you could have heard the hard questions we discussed and the vision required of all men and women who want to walk with the father.

So today. Think about your friends who live and work on the other side. Those that not only work their with oil and gas companies but those who work for the highest calling of telling the story of King Jesus. Pray for them. Write them an email. Write them a hand written note and mail it (when they receive it--it will be just the perfect time.) Send them a FB post or for crying out loud give them a call on the phone. If you aren't praying for a worker on the other side with your kids start now. Get their picture. Get a map. Any time something happens in the news in their country tell your kids and use it as a reminder to pray for them. Honor your friends on the other side some way some how. Remember parents what you own and model your kids will own and model. So if it's faith then it shall be faith. If it's consumerism, greed, and self pleasure then that's what your kids will model (sooner or later). So don't grow weary in doing good my friends but stay focused stay in the fight stay strong stay humble!

Love our friends on the other side. May all of our friends be honored today who are taking the story of King Jesus forward.

Sorry no pictures of our friends.

JA

Monday, January 09, 2012

SE Asia (Part 4)

One of the afternoons we took off for a Buddhist temple. In America you might see a Buddhist temple that is somewhat small or hidden away; however not in the city we were in. This temple was absolutely huge in every way (acreage, idols 3-4-5 stories tall, etc..). Before we stepped foot inside we stopped outside and prayed that nothing formed against us would stand. I spoke with Jayk and Judah ahead of time that all we were going to experience was not true and demonic. That Jesus was the truth and nothing else would stand against Him and what He has done.

It was so sad to see these people giving money and then bowing rapidly begging for this concrete goddess idol to hear their prayers let alone do something about their need. I wish you all could have seen my boys face to see these men and women bowing to statues all over the property. We walked into one area and their was a huge idol of Buddha. To hear Jayk tell the story now he says "he has a huge belly" and "he isn't God...only Jesus is God." This entire day was quite educational and eye opening for our boys let alone us as adults even though we had seen it before.

All of a sudden while we were walking through the temple courts Jayk broke into song:

Lord I lift Your name on high
Lord I love to sing Your praises
I'm so glad You're in my life
I'm so glad You came to save us
You came from heaven to earth
to show the way
from the earth to the cross
my debt to pay
from the cross to the grave
from the grave to the sky
Lord I lift Your name on high

Then he went right in to Father Abraham. It truly was powerful to see these songs rise up in his little heart right in the midst of darkness.

Then there was a turn of events the next day. We believe it was in direct response to an attack on our family. Jayk's throat started hurting and then he got a high fever. We looked in his throat and saw some spots and redness (our host is a community health major) so we believed it to be strep throat. So we walked down to the pharmacy (no doctor needed) and bought him a round of Amoxicillin. It cost us a whopping fifty cents. We started the doses and in 24 hours by prayer and Amoxicillin he was good as new.

As Kay would testify this was truly a "surrendered" moment. When you have no where to turn you must trust the Father's provision. It was a moment we will look back on as well and realize He is in control of all things even when the enemy wants to attack he is still on the throne and in control.

On the way home we swung by an outdoor food and meat market (think farmer's market but no ice, deep freezers, or cooling option for items that should require some refrigeration). We also saw some cages of animals that would soon be dinner for people in a few hours (rabbits, ducks, chickens, & pigeons).

"Judah & I outside the temple


Incense in the temple


Buddha


Idols


Idols


Idols


Outdoor Meat Market


Outdoor Meat Market


Outdoor Meat Market


Outdoor Meat Market


Lady skinning a rabbit

Sunday, January 08, 2012

SE Asia (Part 3)

As I sit here & think about what this journey has done for our family the words "faith" and "surrender" ring louder and louder in our hearts. So upon our return we have been faced with a greater passion to live by faith. A faith that requires a public response of loyalty. It's about cutting strings to the crutches of life that require no faith and pressing into the power of the Holy Spirit to hear His voice and walk in His power. What are those areas that you have ceased walking in faith? What are those areas that require little trusting of the father's intervention? If you don't have areas that require faith then your faith is futile and things must change. Once you have lived at a level of faith in a situation or area you can't keep living at that level you must continue to live by faith at a greater level.

So back to to how this has changed our family. The amount of unity, purpose, teamwork, and love that has risen up is unfathomable. As a tight family already we couldn't even imagine what we are experiencing now.

One of the greatest days of my life with Jayk happened on the journey. We walked a few miles with our host family and one of their children through the city, the college campus, and to an orphanage. We were simply going to pass by the orphanage to drop off some cookies and see a friend but what we experienced was unbelievable. Upon our arrival to the orphanage we found the workers inside moving the orphan babies from one building into a newly constructed building. So we walked up a couple of flights of stairs into a room full of cribs one after the other. This orphanage has a large amount of children born with disabilities that had been abandoned. I was squatting down outside the room next to Jayk as we looked into the room of these little babies lined up row after row. I will never forget the look on Jayk's face when I was explaining to him what an "orphan" was and that we needed to pray for these babies to have a mom and dad. It was in that moment that he looked at me and said "they don't have a mom and dad?" I told him that Jesus was watching over them with special favor and as soon as I got those words out of my mouth he prayed for all of them real fast and then he said "this is what we do...we follow Jesus." It was powerful beyond words. So as we stood in the hallway while lots of conversation was happening that we didn't understand we also noticed that the children leg's were tied to the crib so they wouldn't stand up or roll over. Yes as you are reading this it should turn your stomach and cause something to rise up with in but the workers are so under staffed there isn't the time for them to see these kids develop at the rate any other child would. Judah during this time was holding tight to Kay and mesmerized by what he was seeing.

Then the most amazing thing happened. Our host began to interpret for us that they were going to allow us to carry the children from the old building to the new building. This never happens people! But it did today because the Father wanted to allow us to be apart of loving on these kids and allow our sons eyes to be made wide open. So we started carrying this kids down a few flights of stairs up the street and around the corner. When we got to the new room we placed the kids on a long mat sitting in the new room until the beds were moved. Then we started carrying the beds with kids in them (not our plan but theirs) to the new building as well. On one of the trips up the stairs there were two police officers with a day old baby and some paper work. We got to witness first hand a baby be dropped off by the authorities then in just a few minutes we got to carry the new (no more than a day old little baby) to the new building. Our hearts broke! Jayk and Judah were amazing. Jayk was running back to the old building as fast as possible so we could get another child while Judah held tightly on to Kay's leg but loved taking care of those kids.

It truly was an remarkable day. To see the doors open up wide and the favor poured out on us. It was a truly a powerful moment for our entire family.

Walking through City (took a rural short cut)


A garden on the way


Jayks first picture of a homemade broom in a foreign land


Man Fishing (Don't drink this water)


The orphanage


The babies


The moment Jayk's eyes were opened to orphans


Carrying to new building


Jayk helping me out


How marvelous!! I am so thankful for this opportunity. More stories coming!

JA

Saturday, January 07, 2012

SE Asia (Part 2)

I just got back from #Passion2012 in Atlanta, GA with 45000 people in attendance. A truly amazing week of serving (doorholding) for the next generation. On the first night we were in the dome (standing room only for volunteers) and I slid behind a huge concrete pillar and scribbled down this note:

"Standing in the dome here at Passion singing "our God is greater" this song makes all the more sense even now after just arriving back in country from SE Asia. God you truly are greater, stronger, & higher than any other. Yes you are awesome in power. I have seen it and walked in it. I want it even more. Use me, use my wife, use my boys. Anything you want Jesus, anywhere! Lord please fill your servant with your power! Your power is greater. I'm walking in your ways. Let your glory Fall! Anointing come! Whatever it maybe you are awesome in power! Greater and higher! Oh and you are healer! I have seen it and watched it! You can do anything. You are healer! Jan. 2, 2012"

The following stories will be testimonies of our God being greater!

God's power: Flight story.

As we checked in our family we had 6 bags and 4 carry on bags. Two of the bags were for us the other 4 were full of goodies for our friends. Yes we packed our families needs for 10 days in 2 bags. That is one benefit of having an extensive travel history under your belt and the desire to live simply. Flying to San Fran, CA was simple and smooth. The boys say next to each other and watched a movie while Kay and I prayed and prepared for the 13 hour flight over the Pacific Ocean. After landing in SF and making our way to the international terminal we were hungry for some American food before we left the country. Who would have thought that the food choices in the San Fran international terminal were few in number and weak in choices. So we settled in for some good old Burger King (we got a basket of chicken tenders and fries). As we sat on the floor waiting for departure Kay realized at that moment we had left the children's ibuprofen, Mucinex D (Judah can fight some tough allergies), Olbas Oil (a very powerful oil that trumps Vicks 100x over), and our anointing oil (a constant companion of ours in all situations) all of this was left on the counter at our house. Luckily we had the liquid melatonin on hand to relax all parties as needed. This was the first of many times we had to simply "surrender" & allow the Father to be glorified. His provision on the long flight then the 3rd flight of the trip (it was only an 1:30 long) was overwhelming. Not once on the entire flight or the entire trip did our boys whine, cry, or have a meltdown.

At one point during the long flight I made a pallet on the airplane floor (thanks to airline blankets & this amazing blanket Nena (my mom) got the boys for Christmas. Jayk without hesitation crawled into the floor and racked out for 5 hours. He was so tired Judah rolled off the seats right on top of him and he didn't even move.

As we landed after 3 flights, 30 hours of travel, an hour taxi van ride, a .5 mile walk with luggage and exhausted family we made it to our place of lodging & racked out.

To summarize the beautiful travel to SE Asia we must say God's power was evident. I think too many times we "lean" or "trust" so many safe guards in our American culture that we trust the gifts of the Creator more than we trust the Creator. When you have to surrender it causes your faith to supersede your understanding of what you considered to be faith. This is where the power of the Holy Spirit comes in and you see God's amazing hand.

Picture right before check in


Picture after 30 hours on 3 planes before our 1 hour drive to lodging


Judah asleep


Jayk asleep on the floor (this pic was on the way home)


Thanks for journeying
JA

Friday, January 06, 2012

SE Asia (Part 1)

I'm not sure where to begin. A life on mission takes continual turns and often looks for a moment of courage. So taking our boys to SE Asia seemed fitting to the life of God in us. To sum of the decision--we could not be more pleased. The grace the Father showed us is beyond explainable. His power, provision, and protection were evident from beyond our departure and past our return.

Our family departed on December 9, 2011 on what had been a dream of ours from when Kay & I were dating (we celebrate our 10 year anniversary this coming June). We have some friends that work in SE Asia that graciously accepted our desire to come visit them and the work for 10 days. I'm not sure it was the greatest decision they made (just kidding) but it was one of the absolute best decisions we have made to date. Jayk (5) and Judah (3) were absolute men of courage the entire trip. With 30 hours of travel each way one should think that would be enough to reconsider such a decision; however if one thing is for sure the Altic's are going to usually take the adventurous route.

We got to experience so many things. Each with have a specific story that highlights God's power, provision, & protection.

Flights
Lodging
Food/Tea
Our host family
Boys in a different culture
Taxi/Buses
Long talks
Baptisms
Orphanage
Sickness
Letters/Devotionals
English clubs/ corners
The Culture (Saving Face & Honor/Shame)
Buddhist temple

So before I can talk about all of the things we sense we have learned from the journey I must start with a few stories to give you some context.

JA