Salt Run Bible Camp — July 16, 2013

Salt Run Bible Camp

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Last week, Paul and I were given the wonderful opportunity to spend a week at Salt Run Bible camp in Brilliant, OH! It was a small camp, comprised of what was once a school house, two concrete cabins, a living space for youth workers, a large field, and outhouses. The youth workers lovingly referred to the lifestyle of Salt Run Bible Camp as “rustic.” We had a BLAST right along with the campers, and while Salt Run may not have the amenities of The Wilds, Fort Bluff, or other more modern camps, it had things that are truly the heart of a successful Bible camp.

1. Passionate Youth Workers
Those responsible for running this camp were in love with Jesus and in love with these kids. This could be seen through their hard work, attention to detail, interaction with the kids, well-prepared lessons, and obvious concern for the spiritual condition of their teenagers.
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2. Great students
It was definitely an interesting mix of kids from every kind of background, lifestyle, and spiritual state. Though there were many differences that could have posed a challenge to the daily activities and overall spirit of the camp, I saw very little of the things that are common in a group of teenagers. There was little, if any, drama, “camp dating,” cliques, complaining, gossip, or name-calling. Nearly all of the students had great attitudes and participated in all activities enthusiastically, having good, clean fun together, engaging in worship, and listening intently to the preaching of God’s Word.
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3. Awesome Preaching
I know, he is my husband, and I have a biased opinion, but my husband is a fantastic preacher! I heard him preach 12 times throughout the week and just stood amazed at the content he draws from the Word of God and his ability to make it interesting and applicable to any group of people. Not only did he preach wonderful messages, but he also spent time with the kids, participating in their group activities, and talking with many of them one-on-one.DSC_0373

4. Decisions for the Lord
Faithful workers, tender hearts, and challenging preaching led to many decisions for Christ. Many were challenged to “put God back on the throne,” giving Him the glory and honor He deserves and allowing Him to use their lives in any way He chooses. Additionally, Paul challenged the teenagers of the great need of the gospel around the world and the impact we can have on it if we submit our lives and plans to him. He had a Volunteer pledge (the same one Paul signed at OG camp 10 years ago) available to those students who desired to make a commitment to pursue full-time missions, and we were thrilled to see 7 students take and sign this pledge. We are praying that God would hold them to their commitments and find them faithfully serving on the foreign field years from now but ministering and living for Him each day until then.

I learned a lot, too, from the workers, students, and handsome preacher and was so blessed to be used where we are right now. Sometimes, it feels like we are waiting to get to India to “do something” for Him, but I know that as we fully submit to Him and trust Him to get us there, He will use us where we’re at.

I believe our time at Salt Run was truly a divine appointment. We are not veteran missionaries, and my husband is not an evangelist, but for some reason, God allowed Salt Run Bible camp to invite us to share our hearts with them, and we couldn’t be more thankful that He did!

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Back to Business — June 5, 2013

Back to Business

2 posts in 1 day! This is the first and only time this will happen!

In some ways, I have that feeling that I have at the beginning of every month, “How can it possibly be June already?” But then, I think about my little boy’s birthday, and that feels like it has been much more than 3 weeks. Not because I don’t miss him (I do) or because it doesn’t still hurt (it does), but because we have just been off of our normal crazy routine!

We took some time off (May 15-27) to mourn our loss, rest, and recover. We then spent a wonderful week at Fort Bluff for the OG Camp! I have to admit, I was not looking forward to the long days with an off-schedule baby, but the Lord really used this week with our missionary friends to bless and encourage us. Even better than that, we saw 5 teenagers/college students accept Jesus Christ as their Savior and dozens of others commit their lives to service to the Lord! We are excited to see how God will use these sold-out students to reach the needy world with the gospel!

We spent Friday night and Saturday morning/afternoon with our families in Middletown. I was also blessed to have breakfast with a sweet friend, Dawn Swope, who has been such a wonderful example to me through my “formative years” (do I sound like a Psych major?) and beyond! 

Saturday night, we arrived in Laurel, IN and had dinner with Pastor Jordan and his sweet wife! They were such a blessing to our family and had a wonderful way with Jolynn! You know, people do some awesome things to be a blessing to us on deputation, but nothing touches my heart more than new friends just loving on my baby girl!

Sunday was our first day back to our normal deputation routine. First Baptist Church in Laurel was a great place to start! FBC was a church that was outgrowing their building and doing some awesome things to reach out to their community! We were so encouraged by their people and left with an awesome feeling, “This is where we belong.” Not that church, although it was a great place to be, but on the road, raising our support to get to India!

Sunday night, we attended our meeting at Crossroads Baptist in Indianapolis. It was awesome to show up at a church that had been bringing our names to the Lord in prayer for weeks prior to our arrival. They helped us carry the burden of the loss of our child before we had even met them! They continued to bless and encourage us throughout the night, and we left, knowing we had to get on our way, but wishing we could spend more time with these sweet people.

This week, we have been hanging out in Anderson, IN at a prophets chamber at Grace Baptist Church. We are thankful for a comfortable place to stay and so touched that a church that hasn’t even met us would allow us to use their mission house! Paul is back to work making phone calls all day, and Jo and I are trying to keep ourselves occupied in the meantime.

Tuesday, we went to Fort Wayne and spent time with my friend from college, Ronae Cleland and her precious little red-headed boy, Josiah. Paul set up his “office” at McDonalds, and made phone calls there, while we took the babies to the splash pad and hung out the whole day! We then had dinner with Ronae and her husband Chris who were just such a blessing to us! One of the perks of traveling like we do, for sure, is getting to see “long lost friends!”

Tonight, we have a meeting at Cornerstone Baptist in Indianapolis. We are excited to meet its members who we know will be a blessing and encouragement to us as are all those we meet on the deputation trail.

I know some people pity us for how much we travel and are away from home, but I think it’s pretty awesome! We are in three different churches a week, and each church does different things to be a blessing to us; at least 3 times a week, we have people pouring into us and loving and encouraging our family. Can’t imagine many things that could be better than that!

May may be crazy! — May 1, 2013

May may be crazy!

…And it just may be the best month of all!

It’s May already? Wait, what? Well, I believe my calendar, my phone, and my computer, I guess, but I’m still finding it hard to fathom that it could possibly be May 1!

May will be an exciting month for us! For starters, we are spending this weekend with my grandparents and aunt and uncle in Ooletewah, TN. The weather sounds like it is not going to cooperate with all of our plans, but I am looking forward to some R&R with family!

Next week, we have Vision Baptist Missions Orientation! This will be our third awesome week spent just with our missionary friends/family learning and growing together as we talk about missions, marriage, family, etc. and get to know each other a little bit better while we’re at it!

On Tuesday, the 14th we will find out if our next baby is a little boy or another little girl! Paul is hoping for another girl, but I am secretly pulling for a boy! Whatever it is has already been decided, and we will be thrilled either way! Last time, I had the mother’s intuition about what gender my baby would be, but this time I have no clue! What do you think?

After a trip to Ohio for some meetings and family time, we will head to Fort Bluff, TN for the Our Generation Camp! This is such an exciting week of sharing our love for the Word and the world with teens and college students with an interest in missions! Not to mention, the camp is BEAUTIFUL, and we have lots of fun!

Here there, and everywhere, we will find time for Sunday morning, Sunday night, and Wednesday night meetings (with the exception of orientation and camp week)! Needless to say, it is going to be a busy, tiring, EXCITING month! We will have 4…MAYBE 5 days home this month. Sound crazy? It is! But, this month, at least, I wouldn’t have it any other way! Can’t wait to update on all the awesome things God has for us this crazy month of May!

Too Blessed to be Stressed — April 22, 2013

Too Blessed to be Stressed

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My mother-in-law’s coffee mug sums up my current state perfectly: “Too blessed to be stressed!”

I was so happy to be able to resume traveling with Paul to our meetings yesterday! I had so much fun, I didn’t even have time to be paranoid! We were in Ringgold, GA in the morning where we had a meeting at Pleasant Valley Baptist Church with our friends the Vances, missionaries to Colombia, South America! Paul and I had a bit of time to kill before we had to leave, so we stopped at O’Charley’s (where they now have fried pickles-amazing!) to split a lunch. After a wonderful meal, we headed on to Hope Baptist Church in Winder. We sat in some traffic, and I longed for our air conditioning to be fixed, but mostly I just enjoyed the beautiful day and my singing baby in the backseat! The people at HBC were so welcoming and loved on Jolynn so much! We hung around a while chatting to some of the sweet families and loving on the Pastor’s son who was just a week old! It’s a good thing I’m pregnant, because I got baby fever quick! On our way home, as we were pulling off the Buford exit, we noticed that our friends Kyle and Hannah Shreve, missionaries to Peru, were right in front of us! Paul tailed and taunted them a bit, and since they weren’t familiar with our Ion, I called Hannah before Kyle got too road-raged! We stopped at Waffle House and had a fun, spontaneous late-night dinner with our friends! So fun!

The Lord always knows just what we need to lift our spirits and remind us that He cares! What a perfect day to encourage me to persevere on this deputation journey! He is so good, and we truly are so blessed!

I’ve been so amazed at the little ways the Lord has encouraged us and spoken to our hearts through old and new friends alike during this quite stressful time in our lives. We have received so many messages, e-mails, Skype “dates”, calls, cards, and even a package just to encourage us and remind us that we are loved and prayed for daily. I feel like my last post was all facts, and I did not truly express just how grateful I am for all of you who have been lifting us up in prayer to the Lord. We are so incredibly thankful for our friends, family, supporting churches, and VBM team members who constantly show us the love of Christ!

It just tickles me how the Lord can use a smashed car and failing insurance claims to show His power and grace in our lives! Falling more in love with my Savior each day as He reveals Himself to me; I’ll take this opportunity to be encouraged and loved on by my Jesus!

All the Way My Savior Leads Me — April 4, 2013

All the Way My Savior Leads Me

I can’t believe it, but, after hearing me sing my usual, “I love to Tell the Story” special song, some churches have requested I sing another! As I never expected for this to happen, I scrambled to find another song that was in my very limited range. Upon this first occurrence, I flipped through a few hymnals with my new friend, Katie Winkler, and I stumbled upon a song I had only sung a few times before. I can’t remember where I learned it, and she nor just about anyone else I have talked to since had hear it before, but there is just something so special about this song! 

  1. All the way my Savior leads me,
    What have I to ask beside?
    Can I doubt His tender mercy,
    Who through life has been my Guide?
    Heav’nly peace, divinest comfort,
    Here by faith in Him to dwell!
    For I know, whate’er befall me,
    Jesus doeth all things well;
    For I know, whate’er befall me,
    Jesus doeth all things well.
  2. All the way my Savior leads me,
    Cheers each winding path I tread,
    Gives me grace for every trial,
    Feeds me with the living Bread.
    Though my weary steps may falter
    And my soul athirst may be,
    Gushing from the Rock before me,
    Lo! A spring of joy I see;
    Gushing from the Rock before me,
    Lo! A spring of joy I see.
  3. All the way my Savior leads me,
    Oh, the fullness of His love!
    Perfect rest to me is promised
    In my Father’s house above.
    When my spirit, clothed immortal,
    Wings its flight to realms of day
    This my song through endless ages:
    Jesus led me all the way;
    This my song through endless ages:
    Jesus led me all the way.

It’s so special because it truly is my testimony. I have experienced the fulness of his love, his tender mercy, his guiding hand, his divine comfort. He has fed me with His word and quenched my spirit with joy unspeakable. I am so thankful He has lead me all the way, and I am so thrilled to share the rest of my journey on earth with Him as my guide! With even more anticipation, I look forward to the wonderful things He has promised me when I spend eternity with Him, and I will sing through it all of his goodness and grace in my life!

A Year in Review — January 5, 2013

A Year in Review

Well, I’m a little behind, but our year ended just as crazy as it does every year with Christmas and the Summit. I thought it would be fun to look back at all the blessings of 2012 and then anticipate what’s coming in the next year! I planned to write all this in one post, but after reviewing the year, I realized I needed to split them up! For now, we will just think back on how good the Lord has been to us in 2012!

We continued to serve as leaders for the youth group through 2012. We loved spending time with the teens as they kept us feeling young! The Lord continued to bless and grow the youth group and gave us some faithful teens to keep the fire a live in our absence. Please be in prayer for a new couple to lead the teens.

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At the end of January, the family for which I had babysat moved to Virginia, and I was left jobless. I was a little panicky as the plan was to take Jolynn along with me so that I could work but also be with her, but we prayed that the Lord would work things out so that I could still be with my girl.

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February 21 we welcomed our sweet baby, Jolynn Elyse, into the world. Everything with the labor and delivery did not go as planned as I was induced due to high blood pressure, and Jo was “sunny side up” with the cord wrapped around her neck. She did not immediately cry, and we worried for her life, but the Lord had my little girl in his hands and He breathed life into her little lungs! We know that He has a special plan for our little miracle!

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Paul was offered a job in addition to his part-time work at Wendy’s doing commercial landscaping for Big Daddy Mulch. He mostly worked on Wendy’s restaurants throughout the Atlanta area, but he also did a lot of work at his boss Julio’s home in Ellijay. This was a huge blessing as it was an increase in pay and a schedule that allowed for much more family time! Because of God’s provision (and a lot of penny pinching), I was able to stay home with Jolynn as Paul worked to provide for his girls!

Paul began to make phone calls to pastors to set up meetings over the summer. He only had an hour here and an hour there, but he was able to book 9 meetings for our first month out before we would officially start on September 1! What a blessing! I am so proud of my hard-working man!

In May, we attended the VBM missions orientation and learned VERY much there! In June, we attended the OG camp where we were able to meet many youth interested in missions!

At the end of August, Paul quit his jobs, and we stepped out on faith to begin raising our support for India. We were anxious and nervous as we began this journey we had been dreaming about for years!

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The Lord has been so faithful to provide through the giving of his people, and we have never missed a rent payment or lacked in any way! We have had so much fun traveling and meeting all kinds of people who just love Jesus and learned to love us, too! We have been in about 35 churches and driven more than 7000 miles to far! We have gone for a few months without seeing support come in, but just as we began to get nervous, HE touched the hearts of a few churches to begin to support us monthly beginning in the month of December!

We were blessed to be able to spend Thanksgiving and Christmas with our families, as well as an unexpected trip to NY with the Taube family to attend Paul’s grandmother’s funeral at the beginning of December. We welcomed the extra time spent with family, and we were so excited to be able to get to know the newest member of the Taube family- Galilee Grace whom Jake and Steph adopted in October! We also found out at Thanksgiving Rebel and Will will be giving us a niece/nephew in June 2013!

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To round out the year, we attended the OG Summit in Pigeon Forge Tennessee. It was my 5th and Paul’s 6th Summit! We look forward to this event EVERY year, but this year was definitely the most anticipated. It was our first year as official VBM missionaries, and there were more than 25 of our missionaries in attendance this year! While having a baby there complicated things a bit, I was able to catch almost everything and learned SO much from these awesome people who I get to call MY friends!

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We watched the ball drop from our room at the Music Road Hotel and were asleep by 12:02!

Taube Family Update (Nov/Dec) — December 6, 2012

Taube Family Update (Nov/Dec)

Oh, I have gotten so behind on writing on here! I don’t have a great excuse. We were traveling for Thanksgiving a couple weeks ago, but now I have just been being the biggest homebody ever which is totally out of the norm for me. I’ve just been doing my little “Susie Homemaker” things (as my mother calls them) and resting the rest of the day since I have been sick for two weeks now! Not pregnant, people! I have a sinus infection!

Jo has also been ill for almost 6 weeks! Poor girl has her first ear infection and just can’t seem to get rid of it, even with her twice daily dose of antibiotics. Her cough is a little better, and she is now sleeping through the night, so we are thankful for that. Deputation has been hard on her poor little body, and we have been having a hard time keeping her healthy. We just began giving her yogurt with probiotics, and we are hoping this will help!

We had a fantastic time at home with our families for Thanksgiving. We stayed in Ohio and had Thanksgiving dinners in Indiana and Kentucky! Many of my family members met Jo for the first time, so that was a wonderful blessing in itself!

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December will be a slow month for getting into churches as many have Christmas programs and special services. The Lord has been faithful to meet our needs through generous churches where we drop in, and I am happy to say that He has nearly provided our rent money already this month!

While on the topic of money, I should mention that we are beginning the Dave Ramsey Money Makeover system through a financial service here in Cumming. Parkey Thompson, a certified Money Makeover counselor and friend of Pastor Austin Gardner, is our financial counselor. Attending counseling is a requirement for VBM missionaries, but we are excited to not only meet that requirement but also learn to manage our finances in a way that is pleasing to the Lord. We live through the sacrificial giving of saints, and we feel a HUGE responsibility to handle that money wisely! With Christmas traveling, gifts, and the Summit this month, it is a hard month to start! But I guess every month after will seem easy in comparison!

We will be blessed to be in Ohio with our families for Christmas as well. This Christmas will be very different from last. At the Taube house, there will be two extra family members! We praise the Lord for his goodness in growing our family! Next year, though all will not be in the States for Christmas, our family will have a third new member, Rebel and Will’s new baby which I believe is expected to make HIS (just a guess) appearance in June! Paul thinks there will be a fourth baby by next Christmas, but we will see about that. This year, it’s a PINK Christmas! Photo props to Jake Taube who knows how to use his camera better than I know how to use mine.

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We do attend the Our Generation Summit at the end of the month! We are so excited about the wonderful learning opportunity that awaits us in Pigeon Forge, TN. This year, it is especially exciting because we will have multiple missionaries to many countries including China, India, Colombia, Japan, and Peru.

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We are blessed to have much more family time at home this month. The next few months are going to be CRAZY, especially February and March. We are excited about celebrating Jo’s birthday, my birthday, and our third anniversary on the road!

On a heavier note, Paul’s grandmother, LeVeda Taube went home to be with the Lord last night. She has had health problems for the last few years, and after fracturing a hip and experiencing complications from surgery including two strokes, she was taken off of ventilators Tuesday and passed away last night. We are thankful that she knew the Lord , and that she is with Him now. We are also thankful that she called us out of the blue about a month ago and Paul was able to talk with her one last time. She was just a sweet, precious lady that I am grateful to have known.

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(Forgive me for not having a better picture.. I hate that I didn’t get the rights to our wedding pictures!)

Thank you all for the continued prayer for our family. We count ourselves incredibly blessed to have such wonderful support system of friends and family to lift us up to the Lord.

Love,
The Taubes

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It’s the little things — November 8, 2012

It’s the little things

We have been traveling “up north” for a couple weeks now! The Lord has been so good to us and has used several sweet, sweet churches to minister to our hearts! I have been away from the internet much of the time, so I have not been unable to update my blogs!

The Lord has just used some “little things” on our journey to touch and encourage me! I know he moves in BIG ways; he has done  that already and I know He will in India also. Right now, though, I am just thankful that He moves in little ways, too!

  • Phillips family in Athens, TN. Their 9 year old daughter is SURE God wants her to be a missionary! I was able to pray with her for the Lord to lead in her life to where He would like to send her. She thinks Philippines 🙂
  • Whitfield Baptist Church, Dalton, GA. We prayed over a map of the world with our hands touching India. We also gathered around the altar to pray for Pastor Austin Gardner and the tests he was having to determine whether his cancer was in remission or not. (It was!)

  • Calvary Baptist Church, Richmond, IN. My Grandparents live in Richmond, and it is only 1 hour away from Middletown, OH where my parents live, so we had dinner out with my Grandma and Grandpa Longworth, Grandpa and Grandma Smith, and my parents. They then joined us at our meeting where I gave a testimony about the awesome influences in my life that helped nurture my desire to serve the Lord!
  • Lighthouse Baptist Church, Wadsworth, OH. Pastor Linden Orr was so sweet to us! He even had an Indian flag hanging in between the American flag and Christian flag! What was really a blessing to us, however, was that he was so excited and encouraging that we are so young and on our way to the mission field! So many are discouraging, but he thought it was awesome! Praise the Lord!

Sometimes, this journey can be awfully discouraging. It’s constant running around, trying to find things (for me at least), trying to keep the baby on some semblance of a schedule, and trying to put my best face forward in the midst of it all. But when I feel like I just can’t do it anymore, God sends a “little thing” to encourage me again and give me the boost I need to keep going! Just like a little whispered, “I love you” to uplift my soul! He is so good!

In other BIG news, my sister-in-law, Rebel is pregnant with her and Will’s first child! We are so excited for them! She is due at the end of June, and I am gonna go on the record now that I think it is going to be a BOY! Saw an ultrasound picture yesterday…what a precious little peanut! There are not many things I miss about being pregnant but the excitement of looking at that little mystery inside there was always such a wonderful thing to experience! Ah, life! Couldn’t be better!

I Love to Tell the Story — October 31, 2012

I Love to Tell the Story

I will be singing in a missions conference next month. You might be surprised to hear that, and you rightfully should be. I am not all about getting up and singing in front of crowds, but upon request, I will do it! I have been thinking about what song I would like to sing, and every time I hear a different hymn, I think that’s the best one! But this song really sums up why I would travel raising support, why I would sing in front of strangers, and why I will ultimately move my family across the world and learn another language. I love to tell the story!

What’s even more awesome about this song is that my brother has previously recorded it! Here’s his version… my favorite!

and…here’s my favorite verse!

I love to tell the story
’tis pleasant to repreat
It seems each time I tell it
More wonderfully sweet
I love to tell the story
For some have never heard
The message of salvation
From God’s own Holy Word!

We Will Remember — October 13, 2012

We Will Remember

We heard this song for the first time at Grace Baptist Church in Morganton, NC. The first time they sang it, we were all so blessed, they sang it again! I think during the missions conference they performed it at least 4 or 5 times. The music minister sent us home with a cd of it, and we can’t stop listening to it! It’s just awesome to think about what the Lord has done in our lives!

This version is a little bit more jazzy…still good!

 

I still remember the day You saved me
The day I heard You call out my name
You said You loved me and would never leave me
And I’ve never been the same

Hallelujah!

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