Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Nope Not Yet

A while back Beth and I were on our way to a friends for dinner and on the way over we talked about our current needs. We each shared the same concern about a vehicle for the summer traveling. Our van is just not road worthy for such a long trip, and we had posted our needs on our website and published a few other places as well. We began talking in terms of who we might be able to just ask. We had a few ideas but nothing that we were really convinced would work. Its pretty bold to just call someone up and ask to borrow their vehicle for two months and put about 5000 miles on it, not to mention the added wear and tear of 4 kids in the backseats.
By this time we were at the Gregory's. We went in with the kids, exchanged pleasantries, and began filling plates for everyone. The kids (Amber, Amy, Stephanie, Sara, Jacob, and Weston) sat at a table in the kitchen and the adults sat in the dining room with Landon. Once we were seated and began eating, about 20 minutes after our arrival, Tony and Ginger made a monthly commitment to the work in Budapest. In addition to that they offered us their 2006 Chevy Suburban for the summer. They had not even crossed our minds when we discussed this on the drive over to their house. God is taking care of us in ways we don't even think about and I'm grateful...but not surprised, after all he's already told us he would so surprise might indicate a lack of trust. Just something to think about.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Still Not Surprised

So after nearly a year of trying to convince God that, inspite of our willingness to entertain the idea to go, there really did have to be a better option. After all we had 3 kids (4 now) and as I've said we really love our Church and our community in Brownsville, TX. Why wasn't there some young college kids willing to go, someone without children, someone for whom it would cost far less to be there.
We decided we should go for two weeks and see whether or not this was work we really could do and to see if this was a place we were willing to raise a family. We spent the first week participating in nearly every activity the library has to offer. We then took the next week and visited schools where our children might attend and looking at neighborhoods where we might live. We tried to get a good 'feel' for the city and the culture.
We loved it, all of it. The library, the city, the school for the kids, and the people. But we were still convinced that someone else would be better option.
We'd been home for few months when the door bell rang one evening. Nola and I answered the door to find 3 anglo young ladies on our front porch asking to sing us a song. I said yes and they sang us a song about Jesus and love and children. Once it was finished, they began to tell us about their mission work in Mexico City.
I noticed that one of the girls had an accent and asked where she was from. I was a little surprised when she said Norway. I then told her that we were contemplating a move to Budapest where we would operate a christian library. She said, "Oh is it the Budapest Christian Library?"
Well I'm a bit of a synic so I thought to myself, of course its the Budapest Christian Library, I mean what else would you call a christian library in Budapest. But I didn't say any of this, I only said, "Yes, it's the Budapest Christian Library." Then she says, "So you know Phyllis and Andy." Phyllis and Andy are who we spent our two weeks with while in Budapest.
So all at once I'm trying to put together a girl from Norway, who is a missionary in Mexico City, standing on my front porch in Brownsville, TX, talking about a shared ministry experience in Budapest, HU. At that point, out of fear for being struck by lightning, we decided God finally had gotten our full attention and that we would indeed heed His call.
And that might be surprising but wait until you hear what happens next.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

No Longer Surprised...(Part 2)

So it all really got started nearly two years ago at a Christ in Youth (CIY) conference in Colorado. Seated in front of my youth group we began reflecting on our day at the conference and our trip overall up to that point. After some chit chat I began working through a series of questions provided by CIY. One of which was 'Where do you see yourself 5 years from now?' I was surprised when, before I had finished reading the question, I had an answer. My answer? Well in my head I thought 'I'm not living in this country.' And then continued to think 'That's ridiculous, I've never had a desire to live outside of the U.S.' But I couldn't let it go. That answer just kept haunting me throughout the rest of the evening. It even kept me up a good bit that night as I tried sleeping.
The morning after this night of unrest, it was still on my mind so I shared it with my wife. She agreed and said so with, 'That is ridiculous because I'm not living outside of the country.' So that was that. She went to a class with Mark Moore and I went to lead a Discipleship group. She had already been in Mark's class twice that week, but on this day and at this time he chose to share about his new work with The Institute for Christian Resources ( and their current need for new directors at the Budapest Christian Library ( He said the right person should have a heart for missions, ministry experience, and know something about books (i.e. worked in a library or book store). Well I qualify on all of those. In Beths words she was overcome by the spirit. And our friend Alex, who was sitting beside Beth agreed. She thought something was wrong with Beth becuase she broke out in a cold sweat, had a shortness of breath, and was nearly overcome by the anxiety she felt as she tried to contain the Spirit for an hour while listening to Mark. We have talked with Mark a number of times since and are amazed at God's working in our lives.

At this point we were still surprised by God. I mean all of this had happened so quickly that it couldn't have been anyone but God. I once heard someone say that 'timing' was the single most critical factor in a miracle. I'm not sure if that's entrirely accurate but it's certainly worth considering.
More tomorrow...

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

I'm no longer surprised by God...

It's true, I'm not surprised by God. You're only surprised when you don't trust something or someone or whenever you're unsure about how a situation might turn out. I do trust God and I believe He is looking out for me in ways I can't even begin to imagine. So again I say to you I am not surprised by him. However I am absolutely amazed by Him on quite a regular basis these days. As Beth and I continue our preperations for moving to the international mission field in Budapest, Hungary I see God doing things and can't help but smile in amazement. I want to take the next few days and tell you a few stories that have happened to us over the past few days, weeks, and months. For those of you struggling with my 'not being surprised by God', consider this: you tune in to watch Lebron James play basketball and he scores 25 points. If you are surprised then you're certainly not a basketball fan. I mean he plays in the NBA, he's one of the best players in the world, and possibly one of the best all time. Scoring points is what he does and it does not surprise me. It is the way he does it that amazes me, and I'm not alone. ESPN regularly has a clip of him in their Top Ten daily high lights. Again I am not surprised by God, but I am completely and entirely amazed by Him. Check back soon to see where I'm going.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

New Website

We've got a new website. It's just for the Ridgeway's piece of the pie at the library. We'll post pictures, prayer and support needs, and even some stuff from the kids from time to time. The address is Just wanted to get the word out. I've got a post coming later about support. peace, rusty