Thursday, July 7, 2011


The following questions are those that we get asked quite a bit, and then our answers which seek to be open and transparent:
Our family! Father's Day '11
When will you travel again?
We're planning another trip for the Fall. We hope to go to Nicaragua and Guatemala to talk about the possibility of another Literacy Leader Training, to interview some of our former students, and to pursue a potential LEI partnership with a literacy organization in Guatemala.

Will Ian go with you?
The plan is yes. We're working on getting the vaccines he will need. I (Emily) have already traveled by plane with Ian once to PA (when he was 3 months) and he did very very well. Based on other experiences as well (in a car for several hours, on a train, waiting in the airport), he's a good little traveler.

There is some anxiety, of course, that comes with taking your children to third-world countries. I'm sure all missionaries struggle with this to some degree or another. We are trusting that God will keep Ian safe and healthy; we're also depending on God to build our courage and create a deeper trust in Him as we step out into the "big bad world" with our baby.

Tedd working at "The Queen"
What are you doing now while you're in the States?
Right now Tedd is working a lot. He stays very busy working on "The Queen" (an old house we're renovating) and he's also putting in many hours a week doing e-mail correspondence for his LEI role. He attends meetings, skypes with missionaries overseas, and networks literacy workers.

While I'm here, I'm a full-time momma, and that is a hard job! I can't believe how much time is consumed just attending to the baby, and a happy easy baby at that. But when the baby is sleeping, or during short bursts of "free time," I'm trying to keep our house clean, cook meals, and do some graphic design work for LEI. I also manage to get out of the house with Ian some and that's always fun, plus I try to make some time for blogging, a hobby of mine. :)
Tedd teaching at the ILTI

Together, Tedd & I will teach a literacy class at the International Literacy Training Institute (ILTI) in Tulsa this summer. We love attending the ILTIs; each year we experience heart-warming fellowship and spiritual growth.

Will you be living overseas again?
It's likely that we will spend significant time overseas again someday in the future, but beyond this Fall, we don't have definitive plans for another long stint overseas. We lived in Nicaragua for awhile last year to experience what it's like to actually live & work overseas, but we're taking that experience now and using it to train others. So, for now, we're training and promoting, which requires that we take trips back and forth from the U.S. to different Latin American countries.

There's still a part of us that is drawn to Asia, so who knows what will become of that.

How do you guys get money for what you do?
We're a "faith-based" non-profit organization, which means that everything we do through LEI is funded by the donations and regular giving of individuals (and churches) who are passionate about the work we're a part of. These donations go toward our living expenses, plane tickets, travel overseas, etc.

We've also invested in our own "tent-making" business by buying (with our savings) and renovating a handful of apartments in AR and renting them out for some extra income. This helps us to work on our home renovation project ("The Queen") and to pay for extra things outside of ministry expenses.

We try to live, financially speaking, in a way that is mindful of the hard work others are doing in order to sacrificially give toward our cause. We try to live frugally and resourcefully.....we keep the thermostat at 85 in the summer and 63 in the winter : )

So about "The Queen:" what will you do if you live overseas again?
The Queen is meant to be our "home-base," a place to keep our stuff, a place to live whenever we're in the States, a place to use our gifts of hospitality, a place for our kids to identify as "home" regardless of where we are in the world, a place for me (Em) to "nest," and so on.

There is a rental house that came with the Queen's property, so we spent time in 2009 renovating that and it rents out now to pay for our expenses on that property. So regardless of where we are in the world: a) we have some people on our property watching out for our house, and b) the expenses are paid whether we live there or not, as long as the rental is occupied.

Have any other questions for us??
These are the questions that we're commonly asked, but if you've got another, ask away! Thanks for being interested!

Coming up next on our blog, we'll fill you in on all the fun we had at the ILTI 2011. I'll also show you some of the latest graphic design stuff I've been working on. I'm getting excited about a new one in the works!

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