24 hours of crazy exhausting fun!
Marion and I and 4 of our good friends are participating in Cotopaxi's Portland Questival this weekend! We are nearly 22 hours into this 24 hour adventure race! It has been a crazy whirlwind of camping, daring, driving and just plain silly challenges! We have been to Gresham, North Plains, Downtown Portland, St. Johns Bridge, Beaverton and even up to Council Crest to get some amazing shots, and be one of 250 teams participating to earn points for events and social posting. Here is our team, the Red Jaguars.
You may be one of our friends or family or you may be considering missions work yourself and wondering how we got to this point. As we've stated before, we never thought we'd be "missionaries". In fact, for many years we had little interest in missions at all and knew very little about it.
So, let me start from the beginning. On August 13, 1978 Byron was born at...okay, maybe not THAT far back.
When God provides in ways you didn't expect
It is just amazing to me how God provides and how creatively he does so. Our only hesitation with joining MissionNext was our financial burden. We were not wise with our money when we were younger and we racked up quite a bit of debt. We have felt frustrated that these poor decisions have haunted us and prevented us from more readily being able to serve in missions. We felt concern about asking people to support us at the level of support we require in order to keep up with our monthly payments or better yet, pay down our debt. While we were thrilled that God would use us to serve him and further his Kingdom through MissionNext, we didn't know how we could raise enough support and as quickly as was needed to fill the very immediate need MissionNext had for a web developer.
We are incredibly excited to tell you about our newest and most exciting adventure to date. As many of you know, we have been on many adventures in our personal lives, in our marriage and in our family. Many would even label us "adventurous". We've been known to ride motorcycles, run marathons, complete adventure races, leave the corporate world to run our own business, and so much more.
Praying for the next Olsen baby
As many of you know, for the past several months we've been trying to have another child. When Genevieve (our first child) was two years old we decided we didn't want to have any more children. So, Byron had a vascectomy. However, several years ago we started feeling differently, very differently (Genevieve is 8 now). In June of 2012, Byron had a vascectomy reversal so we could have more children. Since July we've been trying and have not been successful. When we decided to have children, I got pregnant with Genevieve the very next month after quitting birth control. I had no idea the emotional struggle and pain that comes with trying and trying month after month. This ranks up there as one of the biggest struggles I've faced in my life. I really had no idea how blessed I was the first time around. Of course I love and adore our Genevieve but I was spoiled getting pregnant with her so quickly. God has really opened my eyes to a huge population of people who try for months or years to get pregnant...
I'll start off by backing up a little bit since it has been forever since I've written a real blog post. I've barely managed to post on Facebook let alone my old blog. So the old blog was rolled into this one, and additionally Marion will be writing here as well. We are on this great adventure together, so will our stories along the way be together. Marion and I have been facing many upcoming changes and decisions lately. For the last few years, missions work has been a direction that we want to head. When we first started feeling this way, we weren't sure where that call would take us. It seems that in the last 2 years there hasn't been any real direction, only real opportunities to do what God has asked of us, still leaving us wondering what is next?
While the answer may be no closer than it was last year, both Marion and I feel that the knocking is getting louder, and we currently have been talking with a few different missions organizations that both would like to use our skills to support missions work from where we are. I know most of you may be thinking, how can you be a missionary if you aren't going to some far off place. The short answer is that the people who are going to those far off places can't get there without the support of stateside "missionaries". While our tasks would not directly put us in contact with those we seek to reach, our abilities here make sure that missions organizations continue to gain new support, new missionaries, and new ways to reach the unreached.
Here's some photos, videos, and a recap of our first Wycliffe Adventure race at Camp Bighorn in Montana. The 2 day adventure race was tougher than most expected, but we had a great time and found plenty of opportunities to grow nearer to God through the many challenges of the weekend. Thank you OCEC for sending our team and we are looking forward to our next Race to 2025 event in October of 2013!