Menenberg News: We’re moving to Africa!

April 19, 2011 § 4 Comments

Wow, I can’t believe I’m actually writing this post. Ben and I have wanted to move to Africa for the past year or so and when we visited in September (see here and here), we fell in love with the land, the people, and the life we could have there.  Now, we’re going!! Here’s the details of what we know right now:

WHEN

Map of the African continent.

Image via Wikipedia

World Vision is sending us for an initial trip of 3 weeks in May. After packing up our earthly possessions, we’ll likely be leaving for good in summer of 2011 (exact date of departure TBD). The initial contract is for one year.

WHERE

We’ll be headed for Lusaka, Zambia, which is located in mid-Southern Africa. It will be the cold-dry season when we get there, highs in the 80s, lows in the 50s-60s. We will probably end up trying to rent a furnished house or apartment with plenty of room for guests. Also, there’s an Acts 29 Church that is in the process of being planted in Lusaka so we may even be able to help with that, as well.

WHAT

Ben will be working in the finance department at World Vision. I will initially take care of our household. Food is almost completely made from scratch (with no microwave dinners in sight) and you hang your laundry out to dry on a line in the sun. In some ways, it sounds the romantic old-fashioned life I’ve always wanted. I could anticipate volunteering as a nurse in some capacity but I think it’s unlikely that I’ll hold a proper job there. I’m also considering the possibility of going back to school with some online programs. I have no doubt that plenty of volunteer nursing opportunities will readily present themselves.

HOW

As you can imagine, as our big move is only a few weeks or so away, we are furiously preparing for our departure. My to-do list is growing by the minute. The story of how we got here is quite amazing. As I stated before, we had been wanting to go for quite some time but nothing seemed to be opening up. Because we hadn’t heard anything, we started calling the apartment office where we live to sign another year lease as well as attempting to make numerous commitments here in Seattle. Miraculously, no one called us back. In fact, Ben and I were starting to get pretty frustrated at the lack of response we got from our leasing office. It was only after we heard from World Vision about us going that we realized that the Lord had stayed our hand so that we would be ready to go. We were so thankful.

My plan is to continue this blog while we are living over there although I know for a fact the internet is not as reliable as it is here. Stay tuned for updates!

{Quotables} On missions

March 4, 2011 § 1 Comment

“For us in the Pacific, in Asia, in India, and in Africa, Christian unity is not an optional extra.  It is an urgent necessity, for our divisions are a real stumbling-block to the proclamation of the Gospel…  Mission is at the heart of the divine reality.  It is the will of God and the Kingdom of God which are to be made known.  Wherever we are, our purpose is not to propagate the Church as an end in itself, but to proclaim Christ as Lord of all life and as Saviour of all men…”

– John C. Vockler

Happy 2011!

January 4, 2011 § Leave a comment

At my birthday dinner, Ben and I reminisced over 2010 and some of the major events we experienced over the year. So, dear blog readers, here is an abridged version for your enjoyment.

 

JANUARY

In the first month of the year, I had my first doula client and the birth of my god-daughter. What a blessing to be at her birth!

My first doula client and one of my best friends Holly and baby Winter Grace

We then headed to Palm Springs, CA for a midwinter vacay. Contrary to the snow you see high up on the mountain, it was sunny and mid 60s.

A Snowy Palm Springs Vacation

 

FEBRUARY

We packed and moved out of the city

Enjoying our old Green Lake apartment

 

MARCH

We had our first overnight guest! Winter (3 1/2 months) and Ben having some fun together

Winter imitating Ben...probably after talking about the Seahawks latest trade

 

APRIL

We had the help of a designer student to decorate our living room. It looks perfect! I love being home.

Our new apartment fully decorated!

 

MAY

I met Ben in New York while he was on a work trip and we celebrated his birthday lying on the beach in Virginia with the incredible Casey Tait

 

In the Library of Congress

We also spent time in Portland at the Young Professionals Weekend Getaway.

Hiking Multonomah Falls with YP

 

JUNE

I helped teach a birthing class though the City Church City Group. What a fun experience to work with an amazing doula (Holly Cervantes) and her husband and to help teach these expecting parents about labor and birth.

The City Church Birth Class

 

JULY

We celebrated our 2 year anniversary with a trip to Orcas Island

On the Ferry

Doing model shots for fun

My handsome husband

If you’ve ever wondered where my avatar blog picture came from, here it is!

Sunset on Orcas

 

AUGUST

We celebrated my wonderful mom’s 39th birthday

The Leyde 5

I hit up Chelan with some girlfriends (remember this post?) while Ben was in Africa on business

Lovely ladies

 

SEPTEMBER

Then I finally met up with Ben in Uganda! He finished his business with World Vision in Kenya and Zambia and met me outside customs in Entebbe Airport in Uganda. What a welcome sight! I was very sick (see here for more details) before leaving but God healed me and gave me strength, I took antibiotics, and it was a wonderful trip (more here).

Kyambura Gorge - going chimpanzee tracking

 

Ben preached

 

I nursed

 

OCTOBER

We made the difficult but wonderful decision to transition to Mars Hill Church (read more here). We are so thankful to be at a church that is missional (http://www.acts29network.org/) and is centered on the Gospel. The word that has resonated with both Ben and I the most this year is community. We have such a rich community in the body of Christ with such wonderful relationships. If you don’t have a good community, there’s hope! God will place you into a family. You don’t have to live life alone.


I’ve also been learning how to do ultrasounds for my volunteer work at Carenet (more here) this past year

 

NOVEMBER and DECEMBER

We celebrated birthdays, holidays and more holidays, and more birthdays (including mine!). We worked hard this year, experienced a lot of heart ache and difficulty, but God was faithful. And we can see His hand on us throughout the year.

 

JANUARY 1st,  2011

Here’s to a wonderful new year full of true Peace and Joy. Happy 2011!

Lake Chelan

New Development for the Menenbergs

October 7, 2010 § 2 Comments

 

Mars Hill Church

Image via Wikipedia

 

For several months, we have struggled in prayer regarding the direction that God is leading us.  After much prayer, careful consideration, and discussion with several pastors, we have come to the conclusion that the Lord is leading us to attend the Bellevue campus of Mars Hill Church.

Leaving a church is never an easy decision, and we have agonized over this decision for several months.  Without a doubt, God has used our time at the City Church to shape our lives and improve our understanding of Him.  Additionally, we have been part of a strong community of believers whom we love and adore.  However, there are several significant factors influencing this change in direction for us.  The first factor influencing our decision is Mars Hill’s participation in church planting and missionary training through the Acts 29 Network.  We have a strong desire in our hearts to someday be a part of a church plant, and we are excited about the opportunity for training through Mars Hill.  The second factor influencing our decision is the doctrine of Mars Hill.  Without going into specifics, we appreciate Mars Hill’s strong emphasis on the Gospel message and how this understanding of the Gospel shapes the rest of their teaching.  The third and final factor is that we have the peace of God and know that He is leading us.

We recognize that this is a major transition and our desire is to carry it out thoughtfully, transparently, and respectfully.  We made the announcement to friends at Belltown last Sunday and I wanted to share in more details some of the reasons for us going. Please feel free to contact us if you have other questions or concerns.

Last night, we attended our first community group at Mars Hill (in walking distance from our home). It was a wonderful introduction to the beautiful community at Mars Hill. It’s a new and exciting season! We will miss our dear church family at the City Church and are glad to know that we will always be a part of God’s family with them.

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