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Pictures from Mike and Anita James

Mike and Anita James

Reaching Children – Training Leaders

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Aug '14

Extra Time

Since we’ve been in The Netherlands, we’ve learned a lot about football (soccer).  One thing that is very common is going into extra time.  The half might be a certain length of time, but the referees almost always add on extra time because of times they stopped for injuries or penalties.  You don’t know how long it will be exactly until they announce it.  In our house, we try to guess and see who is right about how many minutes extra they will play.

We are calling this time in our itineration “Extra Time.”  We were supposed to be gone by now.  A few things have kept us back.  First of all, we don’t have our complete budget raised.  We are very close, so we still could’ve left in time for Grace to start school in The Netherlands this fall.  The biggest holdup at the moment is waiting on the arrival of our son.  As of today, I am 36 weeks pregnant.  They definitely don’t let you fly at this point in the pregnancy – especially over an ocean.  In our extra time, we continue to have services.  It’s changed a bit.  I’m not supposed to travel more than 100 miles from our hospital.  We’ve gone a little over that in the past month, but it’s about to change.  The long trips just wear me out.  Plus, there are some trips where there isn’t a hospital on the way in the case of the baby coming on the trip.  Side of the road delivery isn’t exactly what I have in mind.

Our extra time has really been a blessing to us.  We’ve had amazing services at great churches and been able to meet some amazing people.  Recently, a church really blessed Grace.  The children’s pastors, Jason & Jennifer Libby heard of something we plan to do when we get back to The Netherlands and had their kids help us already.  Grace loves drawing and is really good at it.  We plan on using her in our Kids Club in The Netherlands to draw pictures while we tell stories.  When I was a kid, someone usually did it with chalk.  Today, with the technology we have, we planned on her using an iPad that can be connected to the projector.  She can draw so that the kids can see it on the screen while we tell a story.  She learned of a great app and tool to use to do an even better job.  We were going to get an iPad for her to use.  The Libbys and the kids of Mustang Creek Community Church in Forney, TX raised money and got Grace a new iPad mini.  To say that she was surprised and excited is an understatement!

The children of Mustang Creek Community Church and Grace with her iPad mini.

The children of Mustang Creek Community Church and Grace with her iPad mini.

Our extra time also has us doing everything we can to get ready for the new baby.  The three of us all taken CPR classes hoping to never need to use the skill.  Grace took a babysitter’s class that taught her.  It also taught her things like discipline, first aid, swaddling, changing diapers and much more.  At first, she didn’t really want to take the class, but she’s decided since then that it was a great class and she would like to babysit – not just her brother.

Grace is demonstrating how to do CPR for the parents after her class.

Grace is demonstrating how to do CPR for the parents after her class.

Grace is also going to go to one semester of 7th grade in America.  This year was much different than last year because she knows what to expect from an American school and she has friends already and knows of people in her classes before she even started.  That gave much more peace to her and to us as parents.

We stil have services in September and some in October.  Mike will be going to The Netherlands for a few weeks in November for meetings and to try to arrange our housing.  Everything we have is in storage at the moment, so he will hopefully be able to find a place, get it ready and get our things moved in.  Then, he will come back and we will all go at the end of December.  We’re looking forward to that, but there is a lot to do before that happens.  Our extra time is bringing a lot of changes into our lives, but we know that God is ordering every step/minute.  Even though we don’t know how long it will last or what exactly will happen, we trust Him!

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