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It has been way too long since we posted any info and so this is a quick note to say what is up.

You may know that we have moved into our new (new to us) home, Mount Vernon is our new home and we are really enjoying getting to know folks from our church (The Gathering) and things are starting to take shape with work and ministry.  We recently sent out a newsletter to folks talking about our lives, work and ministry.

We are still CAM missionaries, but our focus is now on Hispanics living in the USA.  This is a fun change as we are finding some interesting differences in cultures. One is the apparent interest rather than apathy regarding spiritual things.  In Spain, we constantly were challenged by mindsets that depreciated anything having to do with a real walk with God or a new life in Jesus.  Here on the other hand, we have had easy open conversations with folks regarding Christianity and find Hispanics to have a real hunger or at least a serious respect for Biblical Christianity.  What a nice change.

On another hand, finances have become a major concern and the reality of getting a good part time job are upon us.  We have had a number of ministry partners end their giving due to financial realities with the economy as well as the fact that sometimes stateside ministries are not their particular focus.  So, our question is whether or not finances will be available much longer for any part time ministry work and if finding full time employment will be necessary.

Mary recently spent the weekend with the Ladies from “the Gathering”. It was an encouraging and special time of friendship building.

Andrea and Theo have enjoyed being part of their soccer teams. They are enjoying it and making lots of friends. Andrea’s team is about 1/2 Hispanic. She also just turned 13!!

Timothy has made friends with latin kids in the neighborhood. I met the parents recently and enjoyed a good chat in Spanish.  They speak of having had a wide range of spiritual input and find it frustrating to have so many different things being taught.

Sierra has started violin lessons again and may start playing as part of the church worship team in the near future.

Pray for us as we settle in here more, deciding about work and ministry and getting into a good routine of both.

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Waters of Transition

It certainly has been longer than I expected for me to do a blog entry.  It seems the waters of transition have thrown our family through some rough storms and it has taken most of our strength just to navigate through them.

I will start in saying that we had a very touching farewell in Ubeda.  Many kind words were spoken to our family, many tears were shed on our behalf, and a party by the youth was thrown in our honor.  After so many tearful and heartfelt goodbyes in Spain and all the preparations to move our family back to the States, we were not prepared for the instability and difficulty of transitioning back to life that was supposed to be familiar.  There has been many rejoiced reunions with friends and family but the pain of transition still lingers.

It is not that we wish we were back in Spain, although we miss it.  We know the Lord had us move back.  That does not come without the painful package of the sacrifice and suffering attached to giving up to go, to live there, and to come back all in an unexpected short time of 2 years.  It is often hard to swallow the extent of our loss, trials, and unmet hopes and expectations.

There is not a way of getting around this road of suffering we’re on, but we hope that there will be relief soon.  All 6 of us feel it deeply.  It is a place of loneliness, disappointment, digesting and grieving over loss, and often feeling misunderstood and out of place.  We have seen gains in deciding on a location, ministry, testing and possibilities for education for Timothy with his severe dyslexia.  Also, we recently celebrated our 17th wedding anniversary.  The offset is being homeless going place to place and tight finances.  We still have not been able to get into a norm or allow our children the stability they need.  We are stretched between a furlough (visiting churches, friends, family), starting over again as a family and all the details involved with that,  the pressure of finding the right fit in ministry under the new division of CAM Hispanic USA before too much time lapses, and homeschooling the kids mixed with a confusion of how to meet educational needs.  There has also been p/t work possibilities that have not come to fruition yet but we hope will soon.  We are thankful and encouraged by the grace shown to us by many as we tread these waters, for the prayers and continued consistent giving.  We know that our journey has consisted in just as many hardships and trials as victory stories but thanks for believing with us that God has a plan through the road He’s been taking us on.  We do know that God is good. Hopefully it will all make sense soon and you can catch with us the rampant needs of the Hispanic community in our country.

We are positive towards the possibility of joining in ministry under CAM with Tierra Nueva in Mount Vernon/ Burlington.  It has been refreshing to experience their approach to ministry which is grace-filled and meeting needs.  We feel that we could learn a lot from being a part of this ministry and it could be a catalyst to effectiveness and possibilities within our giftedness.  We still have in the back of our minds checking out other ministry options but we don’t see any red flags about this ministry or location.  We continue to persevere with a ministry focus, or I prefer to look at it as pursuing after what God puts on our hearts, not other peoples ideas or expectations.  It seems there can be so much focus on serving, spiritual discipline, character, and suffering that we can overlook the point of who Jesus is and how He wants to be real in our lives and offer us unconditional love.  It also seems that as a body we too often fail to meet the needs of people who are suffering.  I think that this is part of the reason for our own road of suffering…it makes us real and sensitive to others so that we do not overlook people with a real need to be touched with love and kindness.

We have enjoyed visiting churches, friends, family.  We admit that getting back on Orcas Island felt the most like coming home.  We have all had heart swings that pull us to want to live back on Orcas, but the price of living and the much larger hispanic population in Mount Vernon pulls us to the mainland.

We have experienced hispanic church in Mount Vernon, and it was definitely an experience, and a new culture (may have to do a blog just on this).  It seems that alcohol, divorce, and child abandonment are pandemic but we also have sensed a duty focus in church somewhat similar to Spanish churches.

I speak for the 6 of us when I say that our hearts yearn most for a home to call our own.  Andrea said through tears recently that she’s tired of going place to place and would even live in a mobile if it didn’t have holes in the ceiling just to have our own place.  We are trying to set ourselves up for long-term to avoid more moves while our things sit in storage.  It is a faith-building experience in itself to find a home but we clutch onto the hope that Jesus has a home for us that will fit all the needs of our family and be a needed component in giving us stability through the waters of transition.

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November e-newsletter

Fresh From the Olive Press
In case you haven’t heard…

As we announced in our last e-newsletter, we will be returning to the States.  We are currently preparing boxes, and making preparations for this return.  The reason we are coming back is two-fold.  One, financially, we have not been able to maintain the support level necessary to live in Spain.  Secondly, we have found ourselves in a situation with the education of our children that requires much more support and attention than we are able to get here.  Either of these issues in themselves would be sufficient to make our return necessary as they are both serious.  We worked at these obstacles from many different angles to see if we could make things work out here, but we found ourselves only avoiding the imminent reality and thus decided last August to come back to the States.  We are NOT quitting mission work but are going to be working with CAM USA in outreach efforts toward the huge Hispanic community stateside.

Arrival on US soil and thereafter…

We will be arriving in Texas mid December and spending some time there at CAM mission headquarters before trekking up by van through AZ, CA, and OR before getting to WA in late December.  We will be staying with Nate’s parents in Anacortes for a time of furlough.  As 2010 begins, we will be visiting with as many of you as possible, connecting with our supporting churches, friends, and family.  This time will also be important in praying through the decision process of where we will be working in outreach to the Hispanic USA community.

Our lives as we wrap up work in Ubeda...

As November arrived, I, Nate, ended my teaching responsibilities in the church.  Passing on teaching tasks to Jose and Krista has been easy as they are both capable.  However, it is not without regret that my time of influence is coming to an end.  It was a privilege to teach God’s word to the youth and others in the church.  We will also miss the other activities & evangelism we’ve taken part in here.  We enjoyed a special meal at church 2 Sundays ago as we gathered after the church service.  We will miss these times of fellowship and communion.  We are also saying goodbyes to other friends here like our long time friends in Caniles.  This all flows with a bitter sweet sense as we contemplate what God has next for us, and thinking of rejoining family and friends that we have not seen for 2 years.
With love and grace, Nate & Mary Saxe


Sierra’s 14 Bday                          Villacarillo folletos                      Festival Oct

PLEASE PRAY:

*SALE OF OUR VAN (& many other details)

*TRANSITION FOR ALL OF US, ESP. THE KIDS.

*SUPPORT NEEDS THAT STILL NEED TO BE MET

*MINISTRY DIRECTION STATESIDE.

*SAFETY IN TRAVEL AND HEALTH

*For Spain missionaries, the Leatherwood family, whom we help at the 7 oaks camps  (mom of 5 has colon cancer, Lisa.)

*UBEDA CHURCH, particularly the youth

SAXE INFO:
blog
facebook:
Maria Michelle Saxe
email:
saxe@orcasonline.com

To support us financially:

CAM International
8625 La Prada Dr
Dallas, TX 75228
800-366-2264
acct #: 088580
*by mail w/ check or by paypal on CAM’s website.  On checks, include separate note with our name and acct # for first time giving.

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Sad goodbyes…

The most difficult “goodbye” is to our dear friends in Caniles, the  Marins.  We have known them since 1994 and did a Bible study there last year.  We hope to see them one more time since we didn’t get to see all of the family but also have many other goodbyes to squeeze in.  Our dog, Crockett, is happy living in Caniles (the country cave dog now).  He goes to work with Antonio, spends time running and playing near horses and mules and riding in Antonio’s unimog truck.  Alegria went back with G’pa and is now in the States awaiting our arrival, we miss her!!!

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saying goodbye to Alley until we can get her when we arrive in the States

Since our internet/ phone stops on Tuesday, this will be the last blog for awhile most likely.

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having tea with Antonia and Conchi (another friend from Caniles)

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visiting horses and mules

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Theo with Crockett the country cave dog and horses

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Second goodbye to Crockett who will stay in Spain. Lots of tears were shed the first time.

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Nov. 8th Roger Saxe was asked to share his testimony.  Nate translated into Spanish for him.  He encouraged the congregation.  Later, we enjoyed an all-church potluck tasting many Spanish dishes.  Couple days later we went to Guadalupe’s for lunch and had another tasty Spanish meal.

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Nate translating for Roger's testimony during church on Sunday Nov. 8

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G'pa gets to see Sierra play her violin for worship at church

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potluck after church, pic with youth

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All-church potluck Nov. 8th

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potluck. We translated for G'pa since most people don't know English or French.

 

 

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G’pa has been here helping to pack up our things.  Thankfully we have a garage to put boxes.  They have had a fun time packing up together, often finding ingenius ways to move boxes.  At the same time, Nate is passing on ministry.  Jose and Krista will be taking over the youth group teaching times.  We’re also selling things (or trying to) like our van and appliances.

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4 floors up, getting boxes down without flights of stairs...

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Sierra on the receiving end below. By the way, anybody know how to put horizontal pics vertical on this blog?

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father son packing team

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Nate preparing Jose for doing some teaching for the Ubeda youth group

 

 

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Moorish adventure…

 

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La Alhambra

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G'pa with view of Granada from La Alcazaba

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Generalife gardens

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Moroccan tea house in Granada

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visit to a Moroccan shop owner friend

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Moroccan man dresses up kids & G'pa for a photo

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N&M at La Alhambra

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we had a picture taken of us this exact location in 1994!

 

We decided to give ourselves and G’pa a break and visit Granada.   A beautiful day at La Alhambra (a moorish fortress), then we enjoyed tea at a Moroccan tea house in the Moroccan section of town (La Albaicin).  After tea, we visited our Moroccan store owner friend who told us many stories then dressed G’pa and kids up for a photo.  We spoke to him in Spanish but he often spoke in French too for G’pas sake  (we also heard a lot of French at La Alhambra…wonderful for all our ears).   Nate had a spiritual talk with our Moroccan friend who is muslim but says he has an evangelical friend in Granada.  He suggested we pray together before we left.  All in all, a great day…and now back to work.  We couldn’t let G’pa leave Spain without a good cultural experience in Granada.

 

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