Sunday, December 20, 2009


We are all so happy to have back home with us. He is still jet lagged, but actually slept all night last night- so that is progress! We are looking forward to Christmas time spent with extended family. My mom will be flying up from Oakland, CA and my sister and bro-in-law will come down from Seattle. Then on New Year's we get to celebrate Christmas with Mike's extended family (much larger on that side). :)
It was hard on our kids in Rwanda to have Mike leave. They love him so much. We look forward to a day when we no longer have to say "good bye" but can have them with us all the time.
We are thankful for the work we get to do in Rwanda. It truely is a blessing to be able to do this. We love seeing God change lives & work miracles!
Merry Christmas to each one of you. You are a blessing also!
This Christmas let's keep our eyes on the greatest gift of all- Jesus! He is our all in all!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Long Journey

If you read the TTI blog you know that Mike is in Rwanda now & it took him 42 hours to get there! The kids & I are doing fine so far. I have been struggling this week with a nasty cold, but thankfully I can feel it's grip slowly loosening & my strength ebbing back. I am working on our year end letter for TTI. Please be praying for this letter (I hope to have it out early next week- watch your mail boxes & inboxes). We have decided that the focus of this letter should be asking people to give towards our family's monthly support. As will be explained in the letter, we feel we need to be in Rwanda full time in order to facilitate the ministry there moving forward. However, right now our current amount of support is not sufficient for us to be able to afford to do that.

Please pray for God to use this letter to touch people's hearts to respond. We know that he has put His provision in the hands of his people. And pray for me to have the strength & time to get it all put together & out in the mail soon!

God Bless You,

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

looking forward

Mike has a trip to Rwanda planned for December 1st thru 15th. On the one hand this is sad for the rest of us, that we don't get to go and hug & see everyone we love over there. But on the other hand I am glad that Mike at least can go & be our representative & visit everyone over there for us. He will be busy during this trip & be trying to get a lot accomplished. Please pray for him to have a very productive trip.

Right now a big prayer request for me is that I want to get KaLia into a private school. We have been homeschooling for a year and a half, almost 2 years. I feel like KaLia would really do a lot better if she were in a classroom- she is competitive and needs the challenge of doing the same work as other kids in order to rise to her best. Here with me as her teacher she does not feel the need to rise up and outshine others!

The challenge with changing her to a private school is two-fold right now. Obviously the finances are a huge obstacle. The school she would like to go to (where some friends are) is very moderate, as far as private school tuitions go, but right now it is still out of reach for us. My hope would be that either, we would be able to qualify for a scholarship that would bring the cost way down, or that God would increase our monthly income somehow. I don't mind doing some kind of part time work, or it would be even better if our monthly support were to grow.
The other option we have is a private school that is more like a co-op. I could give my time (hopefully) in exchange for her attendance there. Right now she is not excited about this option, since she doesn't really know anyone there and she has her heart set on this other school.

Please pray for this situation. Besides the reasons I listed above for KaLia being in a classroom- I just do not have the motivation to make our homeschool experience all it should/could be & I feel like I am failing her in her education. I praise God because I know that he cares more about her education and her future than I do, and I am trusting him to make a way in the wilderness for us.

Thank you for all your prayers! God does honor them!

Friday, October 30, 2009

We trust

We survived the banquet last Saturday! :) Well, we did more than survive- we had a good time and got to meet many new people. People who hopefully will become regular supporters of the ministry. But it sure is a lot of work to put something like that together! We definitely could not have done it without some great selfless people who come to our side at times like this!
The funds that were raised were a blessing and a help to the ministry, and we praise God because of it & because of the 9 children who were sponsored & whose lives are now forever changed! The amount given that night was not enough for us to be making any big plans right now, just continuing in the work day by day. Mike is considering a trip to Rwanda in either November or December- he told me he needs to go sometime before the end of the year. Unfortunately none of the rest of the family will be able to go with him- the funds just aren't there right now. He will probably go for a few weeks & then return.
We continue to pray & trust & wait. Our personal family support has not changed yet, but God is taking care of us here in the "right now". One verse he is using to keep me encouraged (I have run across it at least twice in the last couple of days) is this:
"Therefore we do no lose heart... For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is *seen*, but on what is *unseen*. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal." (2 Corinthians 4:16-18, NIV)

Thank you for keeping our family in your prayers.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Still Here!

Almost a month since I've posted- that wasn't my intention when I started this blog- but I have gotten the feeling that I may be writing to me, myself, and I, so I haven't felt much pressure to post again. Just in case I guess I'd better update. We had a great time in Disneyland. Lots of fun, lots of rides, lots of walking- good times! I am very thankful because Mike has been doing some remodel work on the church that they were able to pay him for and this covered the extra expenses of our trip. We all have lots of great memories now- this was our longest & biggest family vacation ever!

Coming back, things have been busy as we try to put the details together for TTI's fundraising banquet on October 24th. This is our major fundraiser for the year, and not only is it important but it is a lot of work! Finding table hosts, getting invitations out, trying to find sponsors (and trying, and trying...) You get the idea! Please pray for this event to be successful.

Tomorrow morning we are going to call our Rwandan daughter, Christine. She is at boarding school and has been feeling very lonely for us. And of course we miss her too. It has been 5 months now since we were last there. When we left, I was really hoping, praying, believing for God to make it possible for us to be back in Rwanda in November. November is when the kids have their big school break- two months. I would have loved to have had that time with Christine and our Rwandan son Michael too, as well as our other beloved kids there. Unfortunately the funds just aren't there for our family right now. Besides the obvious dissapointment for us, and for our kids there, we have the difficulty of trying to find adequate housing for Christine while she is off school. We also just found out today that Michael and the other kids in his grade (P6) will be having a graduation party (they are moving now from primary to secondary school) on October 24th. We are sorry to not be able to be there to celebrate their success.

Your continued prayers for our family, for our loved ones far off, and for Ten Talents are appreciated.

God Bless You,

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


I have so much to do! We leave on Thursday the 10th for Disneyland! This is also KaLia's 11th birthday. We will be there for one week. I am really looking forward to having some good memories with my family! Praise God for such a great deal (frequent flier miles, cheap hotel, cheap tickets, money from our income taxes paid for most of it back in the spring). I am worked today & I work tomorrow- yikes that's my packing days! So I have to get it done in the evenings. I am filling in at a self-storage facility that I used to work at regularly. It has been a long time since I worked there, but they called & I figured I should say "yes" so we could afford to eat in Disneyland! :) Plus I get to work the day after we get back! Whew!

Thank you for your prayers and love for our family.
God Bless You,

Sunday, August 9, 2009

He loves us

God has been showing me something in the last few days. It does not matter if I do not understand why he is not answering my prayers (in the way or timing that I desire). I do not have to understand. My faith can boil down to this- God has saved me. He has forgiven my every sin, cleansed me, and made me a new creation. Not only that, but he is preparing a place for me in heaven, where I will be with Him for eternity. If that were all he did for me- that would be more than enough!!! Maybe it is because one of my "love languages" is "acts of service" but I have a hard time when I am praying and believing & putting my faith out there for something & then I don't see it happen. But the confusion that happens after that is not where I want to dwell. I want to dwell on the goodness and love of God- God demonstrated his own love for us in this, while we were still sinners Christ died for us! Praise God! I do not *need* God to "do" something for me to prove he loves me and cares for me- he has already done it & proved it to me beyond a shadow of a doubt! He loves us- oh yes, he loves us. And I will be contented with that.

Mike had his dental work done- we paid half and will pay the remainer next month. Unfortunately we found out he needs additional dental work done- not good news! We continue to pray and believe for God's provision for all that we believe he has put in our hearts to do. God will take care of us- he always has & always will! He didn't promise we'd be comfortable- just taken care of! :)

We are also planning our TTI banquet for October 24th. This stresses me out and I will continue to pray for someday God to provide an event planner/fund raising coordinator for TTI. Lord let it be! For now, I do it- but thankfully I have some team members to help me out on this.

Thank you for caring (or being curious enough) to read this- post a comment to tell me "hey"! :)


Monday, July 27, 2009

Tooth Hurty

The kid's joke goes something like, "what time is it when it's time to go to the dentist?" The answer? "Tooth-hurty". Get it? ;) Well we just got back from a wonderful mini vacation/camping weekend with two other families. It was a really great time- except for one thing- Mike had an awful toothache that only got worse throughout the weekend. He was trying to get by taking ibuprofin, and at one point when he was up in the middle of the night to take more he asked me what time it was... guess what? 2:30. Funny, huh? Kinda. It was miserable for him, but on Sunday the dental office called in a prescription for him for antibiotics & pain killer & now he is feeling relief finally. But we imagine there is a serious problem with this tooth that will need to be taken care of. Same toothache problem that tormented him in Rwanda. So he has an appointment with the dentist for tomorrow morning.

Tooth problem + no dental insurance + very limited finances = need

We have a need, we have God, the only missing part of this equation is God stepping in to take care of our need! We need God to either provide the funds needed to repair the tooth or to heal the tooth.

We continue waiting to see the fulfillment of God's provision- that our family could be fully supported enough to afford to go to Rwanda. We desire to go in November, but we can not if things do not change drastically. Right now we barely have enough funds to pay our bills here, much less to afford the extra expenses of living in Rwanda (renting a house there, higher food bills there, etc.) I have been homeschooling for a year and half now with KaLia, but honestly after our last time there I just felt like I can't do this anymore. Having to always be the one who has to lean on her to learn & complete her work - I just don't have the motivation to fight that fight anymore. I would like to be able to afford to enroll her in a small one-room schoolhouse type of thing there- something started by missionary families & a place I think she would thrive in. It costs about $2500 per year I think. I would love to be able to afford to send both KaLia and Nate (as Nate enters kindergarten this fall) to a school like this while we are there.

So, along with prayers for God's provision right now I am also praying for wisdom- to know what God wants me to do about the kids for school, to know if we are going to Rwanda in November or not (this affects the plans I make for the kids in the fall), and so on.

Thank you for joinging with us in prayer.
God Bless You,

Nate & KaLia & friends riding the ferry back from our camping spot

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Testimony, Faith, Promise

This last Sunday was the one year anniversary of our church, Heritage Church. Pastor Bryan Davenport preached a message titled, "History, Hope, and Mission". Talking about our history- the testimony of what God has done for us in the past, our hope- the promises we are believing God for in the future, and our mission- what the previous two things lead us to do in the here & now!

Here a few lines I wrote down that stood out to me,

"Today, we live by faith, between testimony and promise."

"Faith is what I do between (testimony & promise) and because of (testimony & promise)."

"Nourish yourself on testimony"

We are still waiting for the fulfillment of God's promises towards us, but we remember & rely on what we've seen God do in the past. We live by faith!

God has been taking care of our needs, but we still are waiting & believing for the additional provision we would need in order to return to Rwanda in November of this year.

Thank you for praying with us!
Lisa & family

kids at the zoo

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


Sometimes we all find ourselves asking the question, "why?" Like me for instance, right now I am asking, "Why God? Why? Why in every single house I've lived in since I've been married have there been the torment of invading ants? Why?" I'm serious, every single house. 17 1/2 years. How many houses? Hmmm, 6. I may be exaggerating- there might not have been ants in the Camas house- it was brand new after all... and there might not have been ants here at my dad's house the first time we lived here (for a year when KaLia was an infant)... but really, I feel like I have the curse of ants! I hate them! Ugh! We even had them inside the Guest House in Rwanda this last time (though I much prefer them to the rats we had the year before!)
Now, it may make you wonder, does it have something to do with my cleaning abilities (or lack there of)? Well, I have this on my side- we are living in the same house I grew up in with my parents- now my dad's house. And I may not be the best housekeeper in the world, but I am no worse than my mom & there were never ants here then!

Do you ever feel like certain struggles in your life keep happening over & over again? I'm sure there is a spiritual application for this... I'll get back to you on that...

Right now we are walking through a season with God- it's called "waiting"- I think maybe you've been there too. Sometimes God gives you a vision, but then he needs you to wait... To stop, so you don't run ahead, and wait for his perfect timing & his perfect provision. Praising God is not always easy in the times of waiting. Sometimes we feel like God's got us on hold, and we keep hearing that hold music playing over & over & wonder if we've been forgotten about. I'm just being honest here because I think many people can relate to what I'm talking about.

We had our TTI auction Saturday night. I am grateful for what God did that night- but when you are thinking realistically that you should have 50 people at an event, and you only end up with 15 people, that can be a let down. But we continue to press ahead, and believe that God is doing something in the background that we can't see yet. In our personal financial needs, no outpouring of finances has come our way yet, but little drops to remind us that He is still there.

I would like to read something with you, I'm going to share some excerpts from a book I started reading in Rwanda & was able to read some more of today. It's by Jennifer Kennedy Dean & it's called Fueled by Faith. This chapter is called The Process of Purity:

God is purifying you so that which He brings forth from you will be pure. He is cleansing you moment by moment, moving you from one level to the next, and never leaving you to "sit on your dregs" (see Jeremiah 48:11)
God says that Moab has been left undisturbed. He is describing what a person is like who has never been challenged and forced to face disappointment or disruption of his life. He is like a wine on its dregs. Wine left on its dregs becomes bitter and harsh. It is unpalatable. It is useless.

The art of winemaking involves stages. Each stage requires a vessel of different size, shape, construction. At each stage the dregs have settled to the bottom and must be strained out to prevent the ruin of the wine.

Do you feel yourself being emptied from vessel to vessel? You get used to the shape and feel of your life, and then you find yourself being emptied out. During part of the process you have been poured out, but not poured in yet. You know that your old vessel has been emptied out, but you do not feel yourself having arrived in a new vessel yet. There is a transition period, a pouring. It is disorienting and uncertain. Then you find yourself poured into a life of a completely different shape and size, made up of new materials. It is new to you, and it doesn't feel like it fits.

Sometimes you are in a vessel long enough to get very used to it, and when you are poured out of that vessel, you feel that you have lost your focus or that your determination has waned. Maybe God wants to show you that you have come to trust in the forms of your faith instead of in God. You have leaned on the expression of your faith instead of in the object of your faith.

Anytime you are poured from vessel to vessel, it is for your benefit, not your harm.

Faith is how the power of God gets into the circumstances of earth. Power flows from purity. "If you remain in me and my words remain in you (the process of purity), ask whatever you wish and it will be given you (the promise of power)." John 15:7

Don't seek power. Seek purity.

From the next chapter, The Prayer of Faith
There are times when the circumstances of your life would appear to call for anything but praise... When, in the face of difficult circumstances, you choose praise, you will find that your view of your circumstances changes. You choose your role as either victim or victor by how you respond in the face of difficult circumstances.

The ability to choose praise as an act of obedience in spite of your feelings comes from knowing God. When you face difficulties, disappointments, or heartaches, take inventory of what you know about God. Reason.

God is good (Ps. 100:5, 136:1, 119:68a)
God loves you (Ps. 13:5, 21:7, 33:22, 52:8b, 89:2, 145:8)
God is in control. He is working everything toward a good end. (Eph 1:11, Rom. 8:28, Jeremiah 29:11)

Determine to respond to every situation today by praising God. Commit to meditating on the power, the character, and the mighty deeds of God, turning those thoughts into praise. Ask the Spirit to remind you & teach you.

That's the end of what I wanted to share with you. Praise God for a timely word!
I praise God for you too- whoever those few of you who are out there reading this- I pray God uses this to encourage you also.

God Bless You,

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

A Cloud

We continue to pray & trust God to provide for us. It can be a bit perplexing- as we have no idea how our personal support will increase or be taken care of (we do not have churches lined up to speak at or any personal fundraisers); however, we know that God knows our needs and he is more than able to take care of all that we need.

We had a blessing in the mail today. We got a refund check of $145 from our home insurance company. Somehow we overpaid the insurance, so praise God for the refund check coming at the right time! :)

It made me think of Elijah in Kings 18, where there had been no rain and God told Elijah to tell King Ahab that it was going to rain. Elijah went away to pray for the rain. He sent his servant to look for a sign of rain, but six times he came back saying there was nothing there. The seventh time he said, "A cloud as small as a man's hand is rising from the sea." It wasn't long after that when the "sky grew black with clouds, the wind rose, a heavy rain came on".

I think of our $145 check today as that "cloud as small as man's hand"... it is a sign that the "rain" is coming! We are taken care of right now, and although our needs are still great, our God is greater!

Believe with us for the "rain" of God's provision that is on it's way! (ha ha - it rained here today after many days of dry weather too!)

P.S. If you know of anyone who is looking for a great way to learn spelling, I found a program we love & so I signed up to be an affiliate with "All About Spelling". It makes it so simple - everything is clear! Great for homeschoolers, or for parents who want to work on their kid's spelling over the summer, or for adults who want to finally learn the reasons "why" we spell words the way we do! Love it! Any purchases through this link will give me credit too. :) Thanks!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Believe with us

I had the opportunity to share with the women at our church, Heritage Church, this morning. I shared with them something that God has been showing me- the life changing difference of making praise a priority in our lives. God has been showing me that if I spend more time in praise- start my day by praising him, praising him for being the answer to my needs, praising him for who he is, praising him because he is all I need- my life is changed! God changes me, and I believe he also moves in my circumstances, but most importantly he enables me to be content no matter the situation because I trust in him completely. When I praise him then I know he is good, he is faithful, he is trustworthy, he is powerful- I have nothing to fear!

One of the things I praise God for is being our provider- I know we have needs, and we are asking God to provide for us in miraculous ways this year- and I know that our source ultimately is God. We would like you to believe with us for God to supply an additional $2600 in monthly personal support for our family. In addition to that, if we are going to travel to Rwanda in November we will need the finances for the plane tickets for our whole family- around $8,000.

I am asking God to do big things for us- not to mention what we are asking him to do for the ministry of Ten Talents (we have another blog for that)! :-) But I know that our God is big enough, and part of the reason why I wanted to have this blog would be so that those of you who choose to pray with us for our personal needs can hear us testify of how God meets those needs. I am looking forward to sharing those testimonies with you soon!

Thankful for our God & for you!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

It is time!

It is time for the McColm family to become more visible in the blogosphere! Here we are & we need to be connected to you! We need your prayers as we follow God's calling & look to see God's provision! We are so thankful because He is always good!