Careful to not make distinctions between "adopted" and biological children, I have not traveled previously with any of our kids. Since we really only have legal guardianship of our "adopted" kids, we cannot get passports and visas for them. Our biological children have dual citizenship and can travel freely between the U.S. and Mexico. However, Angie, our eldest adopted daughter, turns 18 this year (Whoa - when did that happen?) and can apply for her own Mexican Passport and U.S. tourist visa. Lord willing, this would allow her to travel with me to visit Indiana area churches in October. With that hope in sight, we decided to have Josiah, our eldest biological son, join me on this trip to Michigan! While Josiah was born in Logansport, IN, this will be his first time in the U.S. since we moved to Mexico when he was 2 years old!
Josiah and I will fly to Detroit, MI on Friday, April 29th and spend the next 10 days visiting area churches and individuals. We would LOVE to see you! Following you will find our itinerary in the hopes that you can join us so that we can hug each other, pray together and praise the Lord together!
I will meet with the Friends of Fishers of Men group at Mayfair-Plymouth Church, 5253 Bennett Road, Toledo, Ohio, at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, April 30. This will be an informal gathering to learn about the latest developments relating to the ministry. This group is open to anybody interested in actively supporting the ministry through prayer, promotion and other stateside activities that help provide a solid foundation for Fishers of Men.
I will present the sermon at all three services that first weekend at Mayfair-Plymouth: Saturday, April 30 at 6 p.m. and Sunday, May 1 at 9 a.m. and 10:45 a.m. If you usually attend a church other than Mayfair-Plymouth, we encourage you to attend one of the services that does not conflict with your home church. Wow! What a humble privilege...to preach in my home church! This is an undeserved honor and a dream come true! Those of you who know me personally know that I admire my father greatly and know that he trusts the pulpit to a precious few! I am honored to be counted among those precious few and pray that I will glorify my Heavenly Father in all that I say and do!
On Sunday, May 8, I will speak for a few minutes at the beginning of all three morning services (8:15, 9:30, and 11 a.m.) at McCord Road Christian Church, 4765 N. McCord Road, Sylvania, Ohio. I will also be available between services to visit a bit and personally share more about what God is doing here in Mexico and how He may want you to be a part of that! Hope to see you!
On the evening of Sunday, May 8, I will speak for about a half hour at Summerfield Baptist Church, 16010 Railroad Street, Petersburg, Michigan at the 6:30 p.m. service. I am looking forward to sharing that evening, on Mother's Day, about the adventures of mothering 17 children (along with the many other adventures the Lord has sent us on!) We will see how homesick I am by then...and on Mother's Day nonetheless!
Can you think of co-workers, friends, neighbors, or family members who fit this description and are in the Toledo area? What about your pastor or a member of the mission board of your church? We encourage you to invite them to come with you to this meeting. If you plan to attend, it would be helpful if you would RSVP to the Sattlers by calling 419-882-5785. You may also call them for directions to their house or if you have any other questions.
I say that this is an exciting opportunity because it is an opportunity to contact potential new supporters for Fishers of Men! The Lord has graciously allowed Fishers of Men to steadily grow since its inception in 2003. We held one Evangelistic Medical Mission Crusade in 2003 and had only one biological child in our family. In the last eight years, our family has grown to 17 children and we now have nine weeklong Evangelistic Medical Mission Crusades scheduled for this year alone. Obviously, feeding 19 mouths on a daily basis, plus staff, and paying for fuel, tolls, medication and other supplies for the crusades, requires the generous giving of many churches and individuals. So, it is always exciting to have a great opportunity to share God's work with new churches and individuals who can be blessed by being an active part of what He is doing here in Mexico!
Besides our scheduled activities, I am looking forward to sharing my childhood home with Josiah and some of my childhood memories (like Major Magic's pizza on my birthday!) As soon as Josiah knew he would be traveling with me, Grandpa and Grandma Claassen instructed him to make a list of what he wanted to do while at their place. His list included launching model rockets with Grandpa and fishing with Uncle Dan. (We hope it doesn't snow:-) I asked him if he would like to go to a library and he started jumping up and down! Josiah LOVES to read and we own more books than our local library here in Mexico, so our first stop on Saturday morning will be the Bedford Public Library to get stocked up and see how many books he can read in the next 10 days (while he is shooting off model rockets, fishing and going to Toys R Us for the first time. He is having a hard time imagining an entire store of toys! We only have department stores in Mexico and their toy sections are quite small and very expensive.)
I am looking forward to being a daughter, more than a mom, for a few days; being able to share all that God has done and is doing, which serves as a huge reminder for me of all that He truly IS doing, which sometimes is hard to keep in perspective when you are caught in the middle of day to day life; and eating things like blueberry bagels, Combos, lasagna (maybe? Although Lucy did figure out how to make that here for her family...now she is trying to figure out how to make it for 35 people!). I will be honest, what I am probably most looking forward to is a 24 hour personal retreat/get away in a secret location during the 10 day trip! I cannot tell you the last time that I was alone (not counting morning devotions at 5:30 a.m. or sleeping alone when Victor is on a crusade)! I am looking forward to 24 hours of almost no talking and doing a whole lot of ....hmmm...of what? I'm not quite sure! For now, I am planning on spending 24 hours of just being.
All of that to say.....we hope to see those of you who live in the Toledo area or can make it to Toledo during our stay! Your presence would be a huge blessing to us!
For everybody: we ask that you would bathe this trip in your prayers!
- wisdom in final preparations for the trip throughout this coming week
- safe travels
- that God would be glorified in all that is said and done and that His will would be accomplished
- for Victor as he plays Mr. Mom for 10 days and for our 16 children staying in Mexico as they try and function without Mom!
- for Mom (me!) as she lives without 16 of her children for 10 days!
- for the staff at Refuge Ranch - extra strength, love and sensitivity while I am gone
- that Josiah would have a wonderful time in the U.S., with his grandparents, with his Uncle Dan, Aunt Teri and cousins, and meeting lots of people who know him, but whom he does not know
- that the visit would be fruitful in expressing gratitude to those who have supported Fishers of Men and in encouraging new churches and individuals to join what God is doing in Mexico through Fishers of Men
"I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better."
(Check out verses 18-21, they are some of my favorite verses in the Bible! God has placed in us the same power the worked in the resurrection of Jesus Christ! Wow! Now that is power that not even Tim the Toolman Taylor from Home Improvement can top!)