Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Our Prayer Support Letter

Here is a copy of our prayer support letter. It explains why we are going to Taiwan and how you can help. Thanks for sharing in our journey!

Kayt and I wanted to write and say a special thank you for your love and prayer in our lives. Jesus used you to bless us and prepare us for each other.

When people ask us what is new in our lives, we feel as if we have an overwhelming amount of things to tell them. We are enjoying transitions to marriage and a rather nomadic lifestyle. After we celebrated our wedding, we returned to South Carolina to attend several friends’ weddings and to sell our belongings. Soon we will travel to Wisconsin and Colorado to visit our families. Then, in a few short weeks, we will move to Taiwan to live and love Jesus.

Why Taiwan? Our identity in Christ calls for freedom from material possessions, love of neighbor apart from the places we feel comfortable, and a desire for people of all cultures to know Jesus. Kayt and I enjoy traveling and each spent time overseas before we met. When an opportunity arose to live in Asia and work to pay off our student debt, we decided to go for it. We believe God has given us grace to thrive in these types of environments and hope to begin our new lives together as a Jesus-centered family on mission in Taiwan.

God has provided abundantly during our preparations to leave. We acquired visas, passports and plane tickets with little difficulty. An American couple with over five years of experience teaching in Taiwan offered to let us live with them and show us the ropes until we find a place to live and get settled. Three of our friends already moved to Taiwan within the past weeks, and we look forward to supporting each other and living in healthy community together. We possess the tools for success because God has blessed us abundantly.

How can you help? Part of God’s provision for our travels includes the prayers of the saints—you! We do not need any monetary support or physical aid. However, we ask for your prayers. You have loved us at home, in previous travels, and now in our pilgrimage as a family. Please pray for us while we live and travel in Taiwan. Pray for our witness. May we love Jesus and each other in such a way that others see where we find our rest and know that they might rest there as well.

With love in Jesus,
Kalan and Kaytlin Spencer

Goodbye Columbia

Our final week in the South brought the most recent chapter of our lives to a close. We said goodbye to the place we called home for the past three years and bid farewell to the people who made our time there worthwhile.

Thursday took a toll on me (Kalan), as I left my friends at work and my lifegroup. The men in my lifegroup became an integral part of my life since our fellowship began 10 months ago. I already miss their diversity, love for Jesus, maturity and community.

Kayt parted ways with different people throughout the week: final coffee dates on Wednesday, rollerblading with her newest friend on Thursday, lifegroup cookout in the evening, last day of work on Friday.

Everything came to a head for us on Sunday, though, we when went to Charleston to celebrate a friends' recent wedding. We both said goodbye to our former roommates and some of our closest friends from CIU. We have known these people since our first days in SC and they walked with us in our journey since the beginning. Columbia's distance from our normal path makes the possibility of returning unlikely. This truth intensifies the leaving process. We will likely not see many of these people again on this side of heaven.

Transition is difficult, but life always moves. All things pass away and we would abuse our relationships if we tried to hold on to them and never let them change or grow. We loved people deeply during our time in SC, and now we prepare to love people where God's takes us next.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Weddings Continue

Another wedding provided a mini vacation for Kayt and I this weekend. We road tripped to New Bern, NC to celebrate the marriage of our friends Michael and Katie. The wedding blended classic southern tradition with personalized elements reflecting Michael and Katie. Guests sat outside in white wooden chairs, fanning themselves in the warm summer sun. Historic homes surrounded the venue and New Bern's historic downtown snuggled around us from two blocks away. Meanwhile, hand sewn dresses for the bride and bridesmaids complimented an assortment of home made wedding cakes. The grooms friend played piano during the ceremony and a community painting called attendants to share in furnishing Katie and Michael's home. An eight-thirty sunset brought the wedding to a close while fireflies escorted us home.

Katie and Michael will go places in life. Their marriage springs from a foundation of communication, honesty, understanding and big dreams. They have a passion for life, big dreams and the tenacity to reach their destinations. These elements make Michael and Katie kindred spirits in our life. While others talk about traveling and paying of school debt, building good community and living life to the fullest, this couple will make those things happen. Living a rich life requires dreaming about the future and making plans to get there. Praise God for Michael and Katie, their new life as co-adventurers, and their love for Jesus which frees them to live life as God intended.

Monday, June 7, 2010

A Taste of Southern Hospitality

Our second week back in Columbia begins after a miniature vacation to the booming town of Sumter, SC. Kayt fulfilled the role of Matron of Honor, a title which she complains makes her sound old, for her friend's wedding. Participating in a wedding takes work, even when someone else wears the white dress. Fortunately, Southern Hospitality wiped away the hard work at the end of the weekend. The Bride's aunt hosted Kayt and I for the weekend overwhelmed us with generosity. Unbeknownst to us at the time, he sons had move out of their rooms so we would have beds to sleep in, she cooked a gourmet breakfast for us with a gluten free option for Kayt, and she encouraged us to stay up and play games and spend time with her family, all the while making us feel at home. Two weeks before we leave the south for good, we finally experienced the famed Southern Hospitality.