Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The Blind will see...

Yesterday Matt and I found out some sad news about Matt's grandpa. He was just diagnosed with temporal arthritis & has lost his vision in 1 eye. He's on strong medication to prevent it from affecting the other eye. They will be doing a biopsy on Thursday. This all came on very fast. Within 2 days, his vision was gone in his one eye. Matt and I prayed last night that the Lord would heal him! I began to think of how often this prayer of "making the blind see" has been prayed. Jesus healed the blind. He has done it before, and He is able to do it again! I have faith that our Lord will heal Matt's grandpa so he may see his new miraculous great-grandson or great-granddaughter. We talked to his grandpa last night. He was in good spirits, he mentioned to us about his desire to be able to see our baby. I was brought to tears thinking about how badly I also want this! Matt's grandpa is a man of few words, but he made it known to us how much he appreciated our prayers. Again, the Lord is calling us to a time of prayer. Physically we can do nothing from here, so we will pray. We trust, and know from experience that the Lord has no bounds. He heals, He restores, and I pray that He gets ALL of the glory!

Psalm 146:8
8 ...the LORD gives sight to the blind, the LORD lifts up those who are bowed down, the LORD loves the righteous.

Last night and into this morning as I lay in bed, I began to think of physical blindness and Spiritual blindness. There are some verses in 2 Corinthians that came to mind.. 4:4 "The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God." This kept repeating in my head over and over. Unbelievers are blinded. They cannot see the light! Then I read the whole passage.. where at the end, i realized what I have heard time and time again... the way God reveals the light is they see the light in us. Matthew 5:14"You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden."

I re-read these verses over and over... 2 Corinthians 1-6

"Therefore, since through God's mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart. Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God. And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For we do not preach ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus' sake. For God, who said, "Let light shine out of darkness,"made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ."

Matt and I really want the Lord's light to shine through us. That is our prayer! We also, want God to heal those who are spiritually blind, through His Holy Spirit.

So today, i will pray, and I am asking for you to pray also.. for Matt's grandpa first. For the physical healing of his sight. That his sight will be restored, and that he in fact will be able to see his great-grandchild! Second, for the spiritual healing of those whom we are here for. The unbelievers who are blind to the gospel. May their eyes truly be opened to the truth, and may they see the Lord's light shining in and through us.

Thank you again for all of your love and support! I can't tell you enough how much your words have encouraged our hearts, and helped us to keep going. Knowing we have your support and love makes things so much easier for us. May God bless you for your faithfulness!

Praying for the blind to see,
Love always,

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


In the past few months there have been few days where i have felt like I had enough energy to get through the day. I have had to learn a lesson though as I have mainly been able to just rest, and on occasion get out for a few hours. As I have been resting, gaining strength, and asking God what He would have me do while I am here, I have been reminded of the first time we came to Sweden. I was very ill, and couldn't do very much for the first week I was here. Matt was out meeting people, doing things, experiencing Sweden, and I was at home, alone feeling sad, discouraged and lonely. Although the situation, and circumstances have changed since then, I have felt similarities in the ways I feel now, to the ways I felt then. I realized today, and in the past few days, that perhaps God is trying to remind me of what I learned when we first arrived. Even though I may not be able to be doing things physically here, like leading Bible studies, coaching figure skating, or meeting with friends. I have an enormous job at hand while I am at home, alone. I have the responsibility and priviledge of praying for Matt, praying for the hearts of the people he comes in contact with. I am his cheerleader when he is on the ice, and off. When I watch Matt play hockey, I am constantly finding myself praying for him. Praying for safety for him, thanking God for Matt's health, thanking God for Sweden... and I realized that when I am at home.. i am a cheerleader here also. God gently reminded me of these verses...

Ephesians 6:18-19And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints. Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel.

Matthew 7:7-8Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.

Romans 8:26In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.

I know Matt is praying that doors will be opened for him, I am praying for this also, but what i didn't really come to understand was the importance of my role, of your role, of all of our roles in this time. When we can't physically be used, when I can't physically help Matt, we have this amazing, and enormous task of praying, interceding and asking God for doors to be opened. We are called to pray in the Spirit, to ask God to move through His Spirit, to ask God to give Matt the words to speak, through His Spirit. Right now, Matt is physically doing the Lord's work, and as I wait for God to restore my strength... i will pray without ceasing. (1 Thes. 5:17)

Thank you so much for how you have been praying for us. Thank you for your faithfulness. I want God to move in mighty ways here. Matt and I are willing to be used, in whatever way. I hope that soon, i will physically be able to be used.. until then... here i am, praying.

We love you all so much. Thank you for your comments, love and support. Matt has a hockey game tonight, and I am excited it is at home so i can go! We miss you and love you all.

Specific prayer requests:

  • For our little baby who is growing lots!
  • Matt, as he is having his first Bible study with a guy who he has never had one with before.
  • Matt's health. That he can remain healthy for the rest of the season.
  • The people who help us to be here, that God may bless them richly.
  • For opportunities to share. Doors to be opened, hearts to be opened.. and that the Spirit will help us "fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel"

God bless,

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


Tonight Matt and I were visited by a man whom we had never met before, but who knew about us through one of the churches here. He told us that he had been praying in his car one day and asked God what he should pray for, and he felt like he should come and pray with us. He came with one of our good friends. He started by telling us that he had a word for us, he read the following verses:

Proverbs 3:5-8

" Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge, and he will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones."

They are such familiar words and verses.. one we have all heard before. However, this time it pierced me heart. I have felt a little overwhelmed with being sick, and not being able to do that much. I have been worried about the future with our baby, with where we will go and what we will do. These words came as such a comfort to me. I was so touched by these words tonight. I haven't been trusting God with everything. I have been scared about the health of our baby, as I am sure every mom is. I realized again, as God keeps reminding me.. that I need to "trust" Him with everything! I know He will take care of us, I know He will show us where we should be and what we should do this summer, and into the fall. I need to acknowledge that I don't have all of the answers, my wisdom is nothing. God has the answers and I need to turn to Him in these times.

I also felt so amazed at this man's obedience. He said he felt like God wanted him to pray for us, so he was obedient and shared this word with us. His obedience blessed me in awesome ways. I can't thank God enough for speaking to me through him. Please pray for Matt and I. Pray that we can rely on God, and trust Him enough to know that " he will make our paths straight." It is hard to not worry about the future, and to not be concerned about the present. Please pray that we can focus on our time here, and make the most out of it. That God will use us in whatever capacity He chooses, and that we can both be healthy through it.

Thank you all so much for all of your comments. Matt and I are blessed by them. We miss you all, and thank you for your prayers and love. Matt had a game last week, where he played better than I have ever seen him. I am not just saying this. He really looks amazing on the ice. When i watch him, I am almost brought to tears. He is using this amazing gift that God gave him, in such an awesome way. God is so good to present this opportunity to us. We feel so blessed! He got three goals in the last game. They were all beautiful. He really takes advantage of the larger ice. He has another home game tomorrow. I love being able to watch him play.

I will try to write and let you know how the game went. We miss you all so much. Thank you again for your prayers!

Jess and Matt

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Update from Matt

Hello everyone.

Jess has been telling me that its my turn to update our blog so i will do my best...
Things have been so great so far this time around. As you all know Jess and I are going to be parents soon. Today we went to the doctor and got a ultrasound and we got to see the baby move around, it was so amazing and made it more real for me to see the miracle. Jess has been so great, I'm so lucky to have her in my life and I know she will be a great mom. She has her good days and her bad days but we are still able to do what we need to on a daily bases. If it wasn't for Jess no one would know whats going on here in Sweden she is so great at keeping everyone up to date here.

I just want to say thank you to everyone who is supporting us to be here. We can feel your prayers please don't stop. God is so great. He is opening so many doors for us to walk though. I have been meeting with one of my teammates for the last two years here, we have been doing Bible studies on a weekly bases and it's amazing to see God work in his life and to see him grow in the Lord. His name is Matias he is 19 years old so please pray for him. I have been praying that God would open more doors for me, I've found when you pray that prayer watch out because that's whats He does. I have been getting really close to another guy on my team and I asked him if he would be interested in starting a bible study like i have been doing with Matias and he said he would love to. We will start at the end of this week. God answers prayers! Please pray for him. I really feel the Holy Spirit working on him, his name is Alex and hes 22 years old.

God has been showing me so much since we got here in Sweden. There are a couple of verses that keep ringing in my head and I would like to share them with everyone because they speak to all of us who believe.

In Romans 10:8-15
8But what does it say? "The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart," that is, the word of faith we are proclaiming: 9That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. 11As the Scripture says, "Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame." 12For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, 13for, "Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved."
14How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? 15And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, "How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!"

God has been showing me that He will work though us, we just have to be willing to be used. God does all the work. He opens the doors and the hearts of the people we just have to be the planters. God's light will shine though us.

Matthew 5:14-16:14"You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. 15Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven."

I just want to say thank you all for all your support and prayers. Thanks for reading our blog and being with us during our Swedish adventure. Jess and I love you all so much please keep praying for us, please pray that we can be bold and speak truth into the lives of the people we meet here.

To him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy- to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore. (Jude 1:24)


Sunday, January 10, 2010

A little under the weather...

The past few days have been really hard on me. I am not feeling the best. I wish i could feel better. I am now 15 weeks, and wishing that i wasn't so woozy. It has been hard to sleep also. Not so much fun! So please pray for me, that God will give me peace and rest.

Matt has had two away games this week. The first game was against the second place team in their division. They won 5-2 and Matt had 2 goals. It is so nice to see him enjoying himself and having fun. He had another game tonight, but they lost 2-1. Their team is now in 2nd place. I feel like he is just really in a good place. He feels good, looks great on the ice, and he is just totally motivated to start more Bible Studies with more guys. It is so great to see. I am glad one of us has energy to do things haha.

He promised me he would write so i will make him do that soon, but I know for him it is hard for him to talk about himself when it comes to hockey.. so i can say it cuz i am so proud of him! He is doing amazing. Right now he is 3rd for points on his teams and trails the other guys by many games. He said that some people were asking for the website to see his stats and stuff so here it is:

Good luck reading it haha. It is all in Swedish, but you can see his points easily! He has another away game on Wednesday, and then i hope a few home ones!!!!! It would be nice to go watch him, as I have only seen 2 games since i have been here.

We have another Dr's appointment on Tuesday where we can hopefully hear the baby's heart beat! We are really excited. God has just blessed us beyond words. When I am sick.. i just try to remember how blessed we are, and how i prayed so hard for this baby. So I will thank God for the sickness.. because it is all for the greatest gift ever!

We miss you all, we really do. Please continue to keep us, the team, and the church here in your prayers. Hopefully you will hear from matty next! Fingers crossed.

So much love,

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Christmas Time Review...

First of all, thank you to all of you for your comments about our amazing news! We are both really excited, and this Christmas felt so different for us in a lot of ways, but knowing we have a miracle comming made it so much fun! I realized I never wrote about our Christmas or how blessed the day was for us. In Sweden, they celebrate Christmas on the 24th. We were so blessed on that day. Some of our good friends invited us to their house where we ate amazing Swedish food, ( Debbie I thought of you a lot that day) we played games, we laughed, sang Christmas songs, read about the arrival of Christ to this earth, and I was just in this blissful state the whole day. When we decided to come to Sweden over the holidays, I was a little hesitant... I knew we would miss our families... that it would be hard to be away, experiencing a new kind of Christmas tradtition. However, i really can't express how the day felt to me. I did miss our families, I thought about them alot during the day, but God just placed peace in both mine and Matt's hearts. I had so many moments where I could just feel the Spirits presence. It was a day where three families who have their own traditions came together to celebrate. It was an awesome day. I was blessed by our friends' kindness. I can't say enough about the people here in Sweden. Everyday we are blessed by them. If you have looked at the pictures of our house.. then you can see all the work they did to make a place for us to call home. They have gone above and beyond to help us, and there isn't a day that goes by that we don't thank God for them!!!! Thank you to all of you!

This last week my parents were here! It was amazing! Just having them here was enough for me. We could have just stayed at home and ate bread and cheese all day and i would have been satisfied. It was extra special because 35 years ago almost exactly my parents had been in Sweden travelling around with my dad's hockey team. They spent their first Christmas together in Sweden, and they have really special memories of this place. It was really awesome to have them here! It was a bit of a harder trip for my dad, as the first night he hurt himself. It was really icy outside and he fell really hard, and hurt his hip. This slowed him down while he was here, as he wanted to go out and practice with Matt and his team. I was really sad for him that he was hurt.. but Matt and I both felt like our time with my mom and dad was such a blessed time. We had a lot of time to rest, and relax together, to play games, and just really enjoy each other. We spent new years eve at our friends house and had such an awesome time.. it was such so much fun. We ate well, talked and laughed for hours, and then were able to watch an amazing firework show but on in our friends backyard. It was just so much fun!!! We did so much more with our parents while they were here, boat trips, many meals with friends, shopping, playing games, and just like I said.. enjoying each others company. We miss them already.. and they haven't even been gone one day!

Thank you so much for all of your prayers, please keep them comming! We are planning to start studying our Swedish this week, we also have some paper work for our Visas back home that we have to start... many many things to start this week. We miss you all so much and love you all! Thanks so much for reading and commenting on our blog. It means a lot to both matt and me. I will keep you posted on hockey things also. Matt has his first game back this week. He is excited to get back at it.

So much love and hoping you all had a great holiday season!

Jess and Matt

Monday, December 28, 2009


I have never really let anyone know of my deep desires and prayers. I have spent hours upon hours crying out to God asking Him to help me to be ok with things in my life that i can not control. One of those things for me, is having children. Matt and I have been told in the past about the obstacles we would have to go through in order to have a child. When Matt had cancer, he was told that there would be a large chance that he wouldn't be able to have kids. We were both thinking that maybe we would have to go through a long process of trying to concieve. However.. God has worked an amazing miracle.. and today i can say that God is so faithful in answering prayer.. and Matt and I are three months pregnant. I am crying as I write this because even writing it.. it doesn't seem real! I can't stop praising God and thanking Him for this amazing miracle that is being "knit together" as we speak. I feel so in awe of His amazing hand in our lives. He really does know my deepest desire!

I found out that I was pregnant while I was at home with my family watching my sister's children. My brother in law was in the hospital and was very ill. I thought that I was feeling tired from watching the kids, and an emotional week prior.. sending Matt off to Sweden alone. I had this feeling that maybe i should take a test to see if I was pregnant, but I really didn't think anything of it. When i took the test... while i was waiting that dreadful few minutes.. I prayed so hard for God to answer my prayers. I also prayed that if it wasnt' positive that He would help me to cope with the news. When i went back to read the test.. I was sure it said that i wasn't pregnant. I cried. I began to pray that God would give me strength and then I shook it off.. and decided i wouldn't mope around but would continue on with my day. About an hour later.. i started to think about the test.. and what it read. After thinking about it.. i realized i had read the test wrong!! I took 3 more tests simply to confirm, that I was in fact pregnant!

It was kind of a crazy time for me. I was leaving for Sweden in one week, and I was without my husband, and i had no idea what I should do. God really went ahead of me and worked it all out. I was able to get an ultrasound and find out that i was 8 weeks, and everything looked good! I decided to wait to tell Matt until I got to Sweden. I had this amazing plan about how I would tell him! I had it all worked out, however when i got here.. and after I saw him, things didn't go according to plan.... Once we arrived at home, I was overwhelmed with emotions from seeing our new house, and feeling so blessed. The first minute that matt and I were alone.. I just blurted out ... " I am pregnant". Not so romantic! haha He turned white right away and didn't know what to say.

Since then, we have laughed, cried, and been so excited about what is to come. It is such a scary, emotional, blessed thing!! We both feel that God performed a miracle, and we are so excited about what is to come. I feel like God's timing was perfect. We have an amazing house, that i feel totally comfortable in, we have awesome friends surrounding us, and we are doing the Lord's work. God is good! Today we went to the midwife we will be seeing here, and she told us how much of a miracle it is that Matt and I are pregnant... knowing Matt's history. I feel like God wants to use our baby already for His glory. I want Him to have ALL of the glory. He performed such an amazing work in our life, and we are forever grateful to Him.

Matt and I feel so happy, grateful, safe, and blessed. Please pray for us during this time, and pray for our little baby. Someone very special to me, wrote me an e-mail and reminded me about Pslam 139. I have read it over and over again the past few weeks. I get stuck on verses 13-16

"13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother's womb.

14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.

15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,

16 your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me
were written in your book
before one of them came to be."

Amazing. God is knitting our baby together right now, and He already knows all about him/her. What an awesome comfort. We love you all so much, and we were so excited to be able to share this news with you! Please pray for us during this time. Pray that God will grow us into the kind of parents He wants us to be. Pray that our baby is safe, and for God's hand in our lives. Pray for opportunities to share, and pray that God indeed gets all the glory, honor and praise.

So much love!!!!!!
Jess, Matt, and our little miracle!