A Merry Update

Merry Christmas everyone! We thought we’d end this year with a more detailed update of our trip plans. We have been so overwhelmed and blessed by people’s love, words, excitement and support for us at every step of the way. We have amazing family and friends and we feel like we’re doing this with you.

So, what are we planning?

A quick snapshot: USA – April, Brazil – May to July, Turkey for 3 nights, Thailand for a year – August 2014 to September 2015….

Travel Map

USA – Northern California & Florida (1 month)

Time for a holiday! We’re going to stay in San Francisco for about 5 nights before doing a little road trip up north to Redding (including a few days near Yosemite).  Although some of the destinations are only a few hours apart, we want a relaxing trip and have to keep Amy in mind. We’ve never done a road trip together before, so it’s bound to be lots of fun. We’ve paid for a some of the accommodation and hire car and pretty much know where we’d like to stop along the way. After 12 nights in Redding catching up with friends and celebrating Easter at Bethel, we’ll be heading over to Florida to connect with an amazing couple we met in Pennsylvania in 2011.

Brazil – (3 months)

Indaiatuba
When Tim went to Brazil earlier this year, he fell in love with some incredible people and we’re so excited to stay with Hangar7 for about 3.5 weeks. We’re hoping to serve and observe in any way we can during this time. It’ll be a great opportunity for us to be exposed to a different church culture. Hopefully we’ll get some Portuguese lessons too.

Rio
Jess turns 30 in Rio, so we’re meeting up with her folks and sister to spend two weeks exploring the city and filling up the family love tank. After this we’ll be spending a month partnering with Exodus Cry during the FIFA World Cup. We’re so excited to connect with these guys and learn as much as we can from them. This will involve a lot of prayer and worship as well as street outreach. Between us, we’ll spend 6 hours a day in the prayer room while the other person looks after Amy. How involved Amy will be in this venture will depend on the atmosphere and environment. We will be connected with a local church (we think) and hope/pray that they will be able to host us… otherwise, we’ll have to look for our own accommodation eeekkk! If we’re lucky, we may even attend a soccer/football match.

Rio

Recife
The end of our Brazil leg will be a two-week visit to Shores of Grace. The leaders of this great ministry were Tim’s trip leaders when he was in Brazil in March. This incredible couple (Nic & Rachel Billman) and their team have a huge heart for Brazil and the women and children in Recife effected by poverty and abuse. This will be more time of connection and learning.

Turkey – Istanbul (3 nights)

It’s about a 12 hour flight from Sao Paulo to Istanbul and then another 7 hours or so to Bangkok. If we were just travelling as a couple we may not have scheduled this stop, but once again, we need to keep Amy in mind and be fair on her. So a stop over in Istanbul for three nights is our plan. We haven’t booked our accommodation yet, but we have somewhere in mind. We looked into making a trip down to Gallipoli, but it’s a 5 hour drive one way and a two-year old in a car for 10 hours in one day is probably not the best idea. We’ll stick to easy things and we know we’ll enjoy our short time there, now we just wish it was longer!

Istanbul

Thailand – (1 year minimum)

This is the least organised part of the trip so far. Here’s what we have on the cards at the moment. We’ll fly into Bangkok and then head over to Phuket. We’re hoping to attend the Australian Christian Churches (ACC) International conference where missionaries come together with Australian pastors to connect.

After this we plan on serving with Destiny Rescue, taking a single volunteer position between the two of us. Once again this will mean that Amy will always be well looked after. How this will look we are yet to work out.

We hope to get a 2-3 bedroom apartment whilst in Thailand to host any family and friends who may want to visit . There is always room at our Inn (nice Christmas reference there) if you want to check out what Destiny Rescue are doing or just want to come and hang with the Greenwoods.

Sometimes we have to pinch ourselves!

When we think about all the different destinations of this adventure, we want to be at all of them now. We want to be holidaying in the USA, praying for people in Brazil, walking through the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul, and partnering with Destiny Rescue in Thailand. How exciting and challenging at the same time! There’s so much more planning (and spending) to come and of course that can be stressful, but we’ll just keep going at it and enjoy this part of the ride.

Once again from our family to yours… Merry Christmas!

Love Tim, Jess & Amy

A meeting with Destiny by Jess

“We are energized when we recognise we are being prepared for something great; every moment provides an opportunity to possess it.” Steve Buckland

Last week we met with Michael and Christian from Destiny Rescue over a coffee for a chat. I was actually a bit nervous that God would close this door and tell us in His roundabout way that we were meant to be doing something else. For some reason I felt that this meeting would be pivotal in this whole idea/trip. However, Michael and Christian were so patient as we shared our hearts and our journey from the last 18 months. They were extremely supportive and encouraging; it lifted my spirit and made the impossible seem possible. So basically, the answer was YES, Destiny Rescue could use us! YAY! Obviously, nothing is set in stone.

I think it’s important to connect with people who have gone before. We’ve never done this before, so why not surround ourselves with people who’ve walked similar roads and get their insight and wisdom.  It was totally a God-thing that Christian was at the meeting/coffee date. Having recently been called on from his own ‘home’ church to establish his own, I know that he and his wife will be able to provide us with wisdom on how to best proceed. For example, do we sell our house? How soon should we tell people? How do we deal with mourning the loss of family and friends at home? (More on these questions and answers to come I’m sure).

Well, I’m so excited and nervous… this might actually be happening! I feel hesitant to get my hopes up even though I know in my heart that this is what God has next for us. I feel like how I did when we decided Tim should go to Brazil for a short trip. Certain, yet uncertain. There are so many things for us to start to think about now. Telling our families, getting prayer partners and covering, telling Ps. Murray and my work, our friends, finances, passports for Amy, needles etc. It’s ok though, we just have to walk the path before us one step at a time.

So, I’m doing a lot of research about Thailand. I want to go into this with my eyes open. I don’t want to be naive or romanticize anything. I know it will be tough sometimes and I know it will be rewarding other times. But, I think that’s all part of an adventure isn’t it?

Love Jess