Thursday, May 30, 2013

Taming the Beast

Recently, we purchased this:


It’s a Voltage Converter, designed to keep our electronics safe when we plug them into at 220 V electrical system.  It weighs 22 lbs, and I not-so-affectionately call it The Beast.

When you only have 50 lbs per suitcase, and you are moving your family overseas, this 22 lb. beast is a little stress-inducing.  It’s making me think creatively about packing, and that’s probably a good thing.  Because, after all, creativity is a necessity when you are moving your family overseas.  In more ways then one.

The Beast is a necessity.  It keeps things working.  Necessary things like phones and laptops, and helpful things like walkie-talkies and MP3 players.  I’m fighting the beast, wrestling it into a suitcase, because we need it.

I’m fighting other beasts these days as well.  Beasts like sadness, grief, and a need for more faith.  I’d rather fight The Beast.  It stays where I put it.

Fighting beasts like sadness and neediness is hard…  but even more necessary.  The difficulty, for me, is that they often don’t stay down, even when I flatten them to the floor. 

But fighting these beasts is a necessity too.   These are the battles that bring me to my knees, and closer to my Savior. 

They put me in my place.

My place is close to my Heavenly Father.  My place is where I can hear His voice and I choose to obey.  Fighting these beasts forces me to move to that place. 

This morning, I won.  I spent an hour with God and the beasts ended up on the floor. 

Tomorrow, they may be back.  If they are, their presence means I’m out of place again. 

So, while I am wrestling with The Beast and our 12 suitcases, I’m trying to remember to stay put, in this place where I belong.  It’s the only way to keep the beasts one the ground… and everyone exactly where they belong.

What are your frequent beastly visitors and how do you tame them?  Got any verses or advice to share?

Friday, May 17, 2013


The countdown (49 days!) has really hit home, and I’ve been motivated like never before to continue my 2-year-old-level of Bulgarian language learning.  For example, my newest accomplishment:

Здравейте. Аз съм Алиса, това е Дон. Това са моите деца, Милена и Илия. Ние се движим в София, България през юли. Ние сме щастливи да бъдем тук днес.

I can now introduce my family in Bulgarian.  Baby steps.  Literally.

Progress is progress, right?

Thursday, May 16, 2013

50 Days!

We will be leaving Indiana in just 50 days… surreal.  Here are a few quick updates.

  • We all went to the optometrist last week.  The kids love it!  I think they are always hoping they "get" to wear glasses, but no such luck.  Don, however, got his first pair of reading glasses.  Check one more item off the To-Do list!
  • We had to take both of our cars in for repairs, and BOTH bills were 30-50% LESS then estimated!  Can you believe it?  Another blessing.
  • We are selling a few final items.  If you need a grill, a Plasma TV, or a Blu-Ray Player, let us know.  
  • The kids have just 5 days of school left, and they are looking forward to the weeks of freedom ahead- and so is their teacher!


Partnership Update:

Thank you to everyone who has committed to supporting us!  We are so blessed to have each of you as ministry partners.  Here's where we currently stand.  We have raised about $23,000 of the total $80,000.  This leaves about $8,000 in one-time gifts, as well as $2,000 more in monthly support needed to fully fund all of our ministry and living expenses.  If you would like more details about our budget or expenses, please feel free to ask.  Here's a quick peek at some of our expenses for the first 60 days:

  • Visas $10,000
  • Airfare $5,000
  • Insurance $2,000
  • Living Expenses $3,000 (60-90 days)
  • Apartment Deposit and Set-up $2,000

If you want to support our ministry, the fastest way is to make an Online Donation via and select our names from the list.  The system can process USA & International cards.  You can also set-up automatic Monthly gifts if you choose the "Monthly" option.  Or simply mail your check to:  World Outreach Ministries, PO Box B, Marietta, GA 30061 and designate for Don and Alyssa McGrew #214.

More soon!


Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Too Great A Compliment?

I’ve been reading the Bible recently in a bit of a different way, mixing it up a little, as it were.  I’ve been using my Bible App to search a specific word or phrase and reading through all the related passages.  Most recently, I’ve been reading through references for the word “decide.”

The first passage that really caught my attention was Exodus 18.  This is the chapter that tells of Jethro’s visit to Moses, and his subsequent advice to Moses to appoint judges to serve under him and relieve him of some of his duties.  There is a lot of good stuff in this passage, but there was one thing that really jumped out at me.  Check out this quote from Matthew Henry’s commentary on Exodus 18:

Necessary business must always take place of ceremonious attentions. It is too great a compliment to our friends to prefer the enjoyment of their company before our duty to God, which ought to be done, while yet the other is not left undone.” – Matthew Henry

Huh.  We are in a season right now of trying to squeeze in as many visits with friends, trips to favorite places, and meals at favorite restaurants as possible before our departure.  Sometimes, that becomes a very high priority.  And, there is certainly nothing wrong with that.

Bu in pondering this, thinking about Jethro’s visit to Moses (which, by the way, was made to return Moses’ family to him following their extended visit with Jethro), something really stood out to me.  Moses could have easily used the visit as justification for laying aside his work and staying home.  And he did, to a certain extent.  But as Matthew Henry so eloquently points out, he did not do so to the detriment of his duty to God.

In the most unexpected of chapters, then, I find this reminder to reevaluate, reconsider, and realign my priorities.  It’s time to once again make sure that the main things are the main things… 

I’m sure that will be the last time that we, as a missionary family, will have to do this prioritizing.

Or not.

How do you prioritize items on your list?  How do you keep your duties to God in the “top positions?”