Thursday, August 6, 2009

STEAM Newsletter - July 2009

Greetings from the Trumbles!

This is the first edition of the STEAM Newsletter thing providing an update on our family as we pursue a missionary calling to African Bible College in Malawi, Africa.

We received word that we were accepted to join the staff of the ministry of the African Bible College on May 24th. The two months since then have been eventful for our family. Some of the things we’ve been involved in are these:

1. Jim (age 12) and Will (age 9) have both been playing baseball. Both seasons end this week.
2. Jim went to a Boy Scout camp for most of a week
3. The family drove to Iowa for vacation and spent July 4th there
4. Last week was Vacation Bible School at our church. Beth taught and all 4 kids attended.
5. Dan’s high school class had a 20-year-reunion. Dan was the Reunion Czar and thus that ended up being quite a bit of work.
6. Dan was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes

Along with these things, we have been working on communications related to our upcoming missionary adventure in Malawi.

We have established a new email account for use in our missionary communications (which is the account this update is being sent from). I, Dan, designed a logo that could be used (which you can see at the header of this message) and we developed some communications that could be sent out electronically and/or by hard copy. As many of you know, I take a lot of pictures. However, when it came time to find a picture to use for our Prayer card, we didn’t have a good recent one of the whole family that we liked so one Sunday after our church service, we spent some time getting pictures of the family and we ended up with something that works. We developed something on our own that worked okay but we also worked with an organization to get a professional card designed. As part of this process we decided that we wanted to list some kind of web address on that card but we didn’t have a website or blog set up so I quickly set up the basics of a blog that we could use. Since that time, we have added a bit of content but work remains to be done. We have sent or handed letters to over 150 people with many more yet to come. It’s quite a process to identify who you want to contact, figure out their contact information, produce a letter and related pieces, address and stamp the envelopes, and send the letters.

There are just a lot of details to work through with this stuff and we are new to the game. Please pray for us as we work through this process of raising up prayer and financial support!

There have also been some pretty exciting and fun things to the process. We have been blessed and encouraged by people stepping forward with a desire to partner with us. We have been blessed with many encouraging words from people as well as some encouraging financial support. African Bible College is a pretty low overhead operation (which is great from a cost perspective as ABC only takes a 4% fee from the normal donation) but it also means that they are not real robust in providing support. Because of their processes, it can take quite a while for us to receive word of contributions or commitments of financial support. As a finance guy and one who is keenly interested in the progress of the fundraising process, this need for patience is not my favorite part of the process! So, how are we doing on our fundraising? Good, I guess. We are aware of some very generous commitments of support but we still have a significant gap to close.

We have received word regarding what house we will likely occupy when we move to Malawi. The family who lived in the house for most of the last several years has been generous in sharing information about the house and it has been fun to be able to start having some of the details take shape.

Our plan, as God allows, is to move to Malawi in January. The ABC Christian Academy, where our children will attend, begins the 2nd semester on January 18 and it will be our goal to arrive before the start of the semester.

Prayer Items

1. for God’s confirmation of our call to the mission field in Malawi and our desire to answer that call
2. for the generous partnership and support of many people

1. Joy & Enthusiasm - That the whole family, including all of the children, would be excited about the adventure ahead. Jim (our 12 ½ year old who is going into 7th grade), does not really want to go. There are some real sacrifices for all of us (moving away from friends and family) but please pray that we will keep our eye on what God has called us to and that we would have great joy in being in the center of His will.
2. Fundraising – while we have received some very generous financial support, we still have a ways to go. Pray that God would work in the hearts of the people who He is calling to go to Africa with us through a financial commitment.
3. Houses – Dan met with a realtor about our old house (the one we’ve been renting out for most of the past year). Given the amount of debt on the house, it doesn’t look like it will be realistic to sell the house in the short term (we’d likely have to bring a substantial amount of cash to the table at closing) so we will plan to continue renting it. It is currently vacant and it would be great to get a renter in it soon. We will also seek to rent out the house we currently live in but we plan to continue occupying it for several more months so while we will need a renter for this house, that need is a ways off.
4. Health – as mentioned above, I have been diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes. To combat this, I need to be serious about food and exercise (less of one, more of the other). I have begun taking a couple of new medications and still have another to add soon.
5. School – The kids will be starting school soon. We plan for all three boys to attend ECA (Evangelical Christian Academy) for the first semester of the school year before we move. Beth will homeschool Elizabeth.
6. Moving - Of course we have a lot of packing to do and decisions to make about what to ship and what to dump/sell/give away, etc.

Thank you for your prayer support!

Missionarily, (I made that word up)


for the Trumble family

Dan & Beth Trumble Family
phone: (719) 635-5109

Kids dressed up in camping gear for one of the “theme days” at Vacation Bible School

Jim & Will in a boat on Uncle Steve’s & Aunt Jan’s pond in Iowa

Visiting the tallest working windmill in the United States in Pella, Iowa (where they are proud of their Dutch heritage)

Some of the kids (actually middle-aged people) from Dan’s class photo by Dave Ulman (husband to one of Dan’s classmates)

Top Picture: Jim batting. Bottom Picture: Will batting

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