Thursday, July 9, 2009

Zipf Kids bringin in the Summer09

what a ride!

A few weeks ago, I got one of the greatest compliments I've ever heard, one of the teens we work with told Amy, "I think Tariku's starting to look like Pete!"

I'm not sure how that works, but Tariku’s definitely one of us...we cannot think of life with out him. Our family has become so much more with him – He’s added another dimension to our lives. I can’t fully explain it, but it seems we understand God’s compassion, grace and desire for our lives a little more clearly now because of Tariku and his story. His life has affected ours in more ways that we ever knew possible.

It’s kind of ironic too… his name actually means “his story” … Because of that we felt like it was too important not to keep his given name. His story has affected us forever. We’ve tried to come up with an appropriate nickname, but nothing’s confirmed yet. I've started calling him TK once in a while, but we'll see if that sticks or not. Amy's not convinced yet. ;)

It’s been about 15 months since we returned from Ethiopia and about eight or nine months ago Amy and I began to talk about adopting another little boy. It’s never made a ton of sense “on paper”, but after a lot of thinking, praying and investigating, we began the process to bring home a little boy between 3-5 years old. To make a long story short… it's been a crazy process for us this time –last time was crazy too, just different. Seems par for the course though… So, as of about a month ago, we finished our paperwork and we're now officially waiting for a referral for our new little boy. We don't know his name yet, but God does. We would appreciate praying with us for him. We'll keep you posted on this new adventure.

Amongst the new adoption process…
It's been a wild year in general. Last September we moved to Middletown about 20 minutes from where we were living and we love it here. We’ve got great people living near us in our diverse and loving neighborhood. Our girls both love their new schools and their teachers and they have fit perfectly in their classes.

Shortly after we moved, I began taking two seminary classes and in June I finished my third term at Bethel Seminary of the East. It has been such an enriching time for me, but over the last year Amy and I have talked about her going to school to pursue her nursing degree. This has been something we've been kicking around for probably more than 3 years. So, we’ve concluded over the last couple weeks that it would be a better use of time and resources at this point in our lives, that she pursues this degree now. Afterall, she’ll be able to complete it in two years. We're both excited about the kind of opportunities this could open up for us in the months and years to come.

It's been a cool thing too- living in a more urban area now- we’ve been able to connect with our community in some different ways as well. This summer, we're able to serve at one of the homeless shelters with some others from church, and help out the summer program for the kids in our community held at Kenni's school. .

Church life...
It's been about 6 months since we began our worship services for Hope Church in one of the local High Schools, and God has done some tremendous work in the lives of many among us. The stories that God is shaping in the lives of students is even more thrilling for our Alien Youth Ministry Team. We just returned from our summer mission trip, The Hartford Project. You can learn a little more about it here-

The local TV news came out to cover an event that was part of the week's serving time:

The Love Wins event described on that news segment was only one piece of our week together. Over 190 teens and youth workers worshiped, prayed, and worked hard with over 20 different non profit organizations all over Hartford that week. Powerful stuff…can't wait till next year!

As for this summer, we're looking forward to see how God will use our time in connecting with students, serving together and making deeper footprints. We've got some aggressive goals, but we are even more convinced of intentional living… act justly, love mercy and walk humbly with God. We know that there are a ton of things attached to that 'call'- but we've got some amped people around us who are preparing for greatness.

Looking forward to how God will continue to refine and focus us, as we hang on for the ride!