First 24 hours in

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I wanted to write often to let you all know what moving to another part of the world honestly looks like. Just real truths. We started off by telling everyone we love goodbye. It was the worst. Our parents and friends all gathered together to wish us well and see us go. It was painful but so good to have that chance to live on them. We feel very loved! my parents were there too but they are slower to share pictures with me and I have none to post here just yet. I didn’t sleep the night before we left. A mix of anticipation and sadness. Doing what is Gods will doesn’t mean it’s easy. The first flight to Chicago went great. The boys flew fabulously. They got their final McDonald’s meal and played with the people movers while we waited. After that we headed on to Belgium. It has been a culture shock to the boys. We are spending two days here and will leave Sunday morning. We are exhausted and just needed some real sleep in a bed so I’m glad we pre planned this stay here. The boys are all doing so well. We’ve had emotional moments but we all know that we’re together and that God has us. Pray for us as some of us are fighting head colds. we’re ready to be home in Africa. It’s a lot of changes but it will be good to be where we know people again and where we’ve felt Gods calling. tomorrow when we’ve all had sleep and feel more like ourselves we plan to sight see some and swim in the hotel pool. Thanks for your love and prayers. They are felt and heard!

*Please excuse the odd pictures. I’m having to use my phone and its wonky.

Now the work begins…

Today is the day. We leave for our new home in Sierra Leone, Africa. We are so overwhelmed and excited. We have said many goodbyes that hurt more than we can express, and we have prayed more prayers than we can count. We have planned and prayed over this day for 4 years. To have it be here is so surreal.

Thank you all for the love you’ve poured into our family. It is invaluable to us. Please keep praying for our safety and for God to be our guide as we begin this new chapter with anticipation and hope. We plan to update weekly with details of life in Sierra Leone. Please keep in touch with us here.

Psalm 73:28 “But as for me, how good it is to be near God! I have made the Sovereign Lord my shelter, and I will tell everyone about the wonderful things you do”

We can’t wait to share about Gods goodness and love everywhere He leads us.

May God Bless You ALL!

With so much love, The Millers

Tyler is headed to Africa!

So you may be wondering why only 1/5th of our family is headed to Sierra Leone.

Ty and his dad Tom are on their way now to Africa for two weeks to get our house ready to live in. They are doing wiring, plumbing, and handy man jobs that need to be done. Our youngest son has autism and it will help him so much to go home to a house that has all his familiar things in it waiting for him. It will help us all, honestly.

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Tyler and Tom before heading through security

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Our family in the airport. A bitter sweet departing

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Ty and the boys

Tyler and Tom are in Paris, France right now and will arrive in Freetown, Sierra Leone on the 3rd of October. They will return home on the 18th. After that, the 5 of us will leave mid-November. It is so surreal to be on this side of things. We know the work will really begin when we arrive. Its amazing to see how far God has brought our family through it all. Every delay, and struggle, and prayer has brought us here. We are so excited.

We have a few prayer requests please:

Please pray for Ty and Tom. Pray for their safety. Pray for the things their hands touch to be blessed and for smooth, hassle free work.

Pray for the boys and I as well as my mother in law Cathy as we miss our guys.

We plan to have an open house Saturday, October 24th. I will update details later. Please keep the date opened so we can see you and say bye. Thanks for all your support and love!

God Provides

God has continually provided on this journey. We have been led to trust Him in all things because He’s shown He is worthy of our trust.

When we were first called to Sierra Leone in 2011, Tyler decided to go and see what God was working on him about. In thirteen days he raised the needed $2,000!

When we felt this really was where God called us  we were worried because of our sons health issues. God healed them completely. Connor no longer has asthma, Finnigan no longer has a growth hormone deficiency, and Sullivan doesn’t need a feeding tube anymore.

When I was conflicted in what my worries said and my spirit convicted me to do, I made a trip in 2013 where God provided for all my concerns. I met a great doctor for our boys and a pharmacist who could get us any medication we needed. I went to a grocery store that sold some of the american food we were used to, and best of all, I felt closer to God than ever before. God spoke to Ty on his first trip, audibly saying to him “this is your home”. On my trip, God shook me to my core and I know deep within that this is the right step for our family.

God blessed us with donors to meet all our needs in getting a shipping container and filling it with items for running water, electricity, and comforts of home.

In July 2014 we wondered why God hadn’t provided us with the money we needed to leave as we had hoped. Then the Ebola outbreak wrecked Sierra Leone, and God kept us safe in America.

A couple weeks ago, we shipped our container off to port in Africa. We did it in faith and trusted God to provide where we lacked. It was such an amazing, surreal experience to watch the container we have prayed over leave finally. It is expected to arrive September 13th.

Two days ago an amazing friend sent us a check for Seven Thousand dollars.

GOD PROVIDES!

We can now say we will leave for Sierra Leone, Africa on October 27th, where the real work will begin.

Thank you all  for answering your call,  so we can answer ours.

God is So Good!

We love you all.

There it goes….

The container has left!!! You guys!! You have no idea how excited I am to write this blog post. So many cool things have happened. And a few not too cool things. But lets start with the good news! OUR CONTAINER HAS SHIPPED!!! It left our hometown of Athens on July 31st. It will arrive in New York port by train on the 6th of August. From there it will travel to port in Sierra Leone and arrive about September 13th. It was such an emotional high to watch the crane lower the container onto the truck! Here are some pictures! _MG_0024-2Chessie's pool Our Family in front of the container before it leaves _MG_0058Chessie's pool Heres the crane lowering the container onto the semi _MG_0033Chessie's pool A quick photo of them lifting it up! _MG_0246Chessie's pool A shot of us with Tylers parents and grandparents It was a huge blessing to watch the container drive away. Its been a lot of prayers, tears, frustration and celebration. This part of the journey is over! Now heres the difficult news. The fees for the crane were a significant amount more than expected. This caused us to cut into the savings for getting it out of port in Africa.  We also had to buy some items for the house in Sierra Leone we had not planned for in the way of plumbing and electrical. With Tyler working we can make up some of the difference. In fact, we’ve moved into his parents house while we wait to leave to help save up more funds. However, after all that, we still lack $3,000 to get the container out of port and into our back yard. The longer it waits in port the more expensive it becomes. After that we need $4,500 more for plane tickets. We currently need help most with getting the container from port in Sierra Leone and to our home in Africa. We are tired of asking (we are truly sorry we need to), but we know if we make the need known God will provide. We have just over a month to come up with the $3,000 we lack. I have created a go fund me page to help meet this goal and would ask that you give any amount you can. Many givers can meet the need. Here is the link:  Our GO FUND Me Page Please pray for the safe arrival of our container in port. Please be praying for our family as we get closer to leaving in October. We are so grateful to be on this side of things. Soon we will be giving you updates from Sierra Leone! Love, thankfulness, and prayers for you all! The Millers

Come pray with us as we ship our container!!!

We are so excited to share with you all that we are shipping on container this Friday!!! As we prepare to send our things off to Sierra Leone, Africa, we invite you all to come meet us at our container and pray! We are meeting this Thursday, July 30th, at 7p.m. behind Athens Christian Church where our container has been sitting. We want to thank God for how much He has done through so many of you and ask for His blessing as it travels to port. We have prayed and dreamed of this day for so long. Please come thank God with us!

We truly couldn’t have done this without you all being the hands and feet of Christ to us. This is as much a victory for so many of you as it is for us. Everyone is welcome to join us and we’d love to see you there!

Love and thanks, The Miller Family

A Challenge!

You guys! I am so excited/ overwhelmed/ blown away… Did I mention how awesome God is? He’s amazing!

We recently posted how close God has gotten us to having enough- enough to get our container to Africa! Today we were blessed with a gift from an amazing person who wishes to remain anonymous. This person gave us half of what we need with the request that we challenge all of you supporters to match the other half. We were gifted $1,900! All that stops us from having the funds to ship our container and have it sitting in our back yard in Sierra Leone is $1,900! How amazing is that?!

So, you have followed with us over these 3 years in prayer, financial gift, and supportive love. Don’t you wanna get rid of us yet? haha! Seriously, God can do this through you! Will you please help us with this?

We are praying for you and praising God for you!

Please contact Tyler or Sarah if you wish to donate. You can get ahold of us through phone or email: millersinafrica@gmail.com

May God bless you and we thank you for all you do to bless us!

Almost Home…

To all of our amazing prayer warriors, supporters and blog readers we want to tell you thank you! You all have been amazing in this time of transition and wait.

Since we last updated you all, the ebola outbreak counts have decreased in Sierra Leone, our friends and ministry partners Rick and Paula Miller have returned to the country to continue the work, and we have really felt God moving us forward. We truly believe even more now that we are meant to go. Before, we needed to be willing but the timing wasn’t right. As I mentioned earlier, Our Great God was protecting us. The call to serve in Sierra Leone has always been there but we needed to prepare spiritually and mentally. In Matthew 26:41 Jesus says “The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak”. I feel like this applies to the last 3 years for our family. We have been willing but we lacked things God needed to gift us and teach us in order to be ready to serve. We have learned to rely and trust in God and His timing beyond what we or anyone else may say. Its hard to persevere in what you believe is right when others try to convince you otherwise, or stop supporting you. Its really hard to wait on God sometimes. I am so glad that He sees all and knows all. How much we have relied on Him in these recent months, especially!

As time has passed from winter into spring, we have been encouraged and uplifted by the things God has done. However, we have felt unsettled in the wait lately and wanted God to tell us what He would have us do. I was up praying about it early one morning as I couldn’t sleep. That was rare in itself because with three energetic little boys, I typically go down like a rock. In my prayer I asked God to reveal what was the next step and I immediately heard Him say to me “just write and ask”. Now, you need to know I hate everything about fundraising. It shouldn’t have the word “fun” in there at all. Its a weakness of ours and we don’t like (hate!) doing it, so admittedly I put it off. A month passed and Ty was praying the same prayer I had that night. He heard God say “write the letters”. We did reluctantly, but wrote them with sincerity and decided to let God do what He willed. The letters were sent in March and through them, and through God speaking to some amazing givers on our behalf, He blessed us with five thousand dollars! We want to praise Him for the way He constantly provides and thank you all for the blessings you pour out to us. We today only need $4,000 to ship our container. We have never been this close! We really feel like God is opening up the flood gates so to speak and that we will soon have enough to leave.

God continues to show up. We have been blessed to have Him walk with us, and sometimes carry us, through these past 3 years of willingness, longing, and learning. He has been the reason for all that we have and all we do. We have faith that this is the year. If you have felt called to help in any way we are asking that you would please donate toward this last little bit to get us on our way to where we are called. We are willing and able. God has provided $50,000 thus far for a house, a container, all the things we needed to fill it, and the enough to ship it there! We are down to the last $4,000 needed to get it out of port in Freetown, Sierra Leone and into our backyard. Any amount will bless us and help immensely (if you want to know how, simply click the “donate” tab at the top and it will direct you). Lastly, I ask for your prayers. Pray for enough funds so we can move at the perfect time, pray for our safety, pray for our spiritual walk so we can Glorify God with everything we do, and pray for hearts to be open and ready to receive the blessing of Christ.

We thank you all so much for blessing us in so many ways! We pray for you all and love you so much!

Merry(?) Christmas.

As usual our blog has been neglected. It has not been for lack of thought or lack of words. Its been because what we have to share isn’t particularly joyous. What do you say when the country you love and are called to serve is affected by disease and death so great that its all most people know it for? When others know how to pronounce Sierra Leone correctly because its been on news stations and radio stories and headlines? We are so glad its received attention because people need to know there are those in the world who are in desperate need. Its also frustrating because the knowledge often didn’t spark a desire to help, but instead a state of fear. Im talking about Ebola. The deadly virus has affected over 20,000 people and killed at least 8,000 of them in the countries of Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone. Its happening because there are few doctors available to entire countries of people, and they can’t get the IV fluids and nutrition needed to fight off this sickness. Its happening because of lack of education of the facts in the countries being affected. In the end, they have nothing and no one to help them and they slip away from this sickness, becoming another number.

This Christmas was a difficult one. It was full of all the nice things like family gatherings and food and gifts, but it was hard in other ways. We had to work so diligently to get any bible focused meaning to our kids. They were bombarded by messages of greed and want and more. When we weren’t trying to give them the true message of Christmas, we were talking to and praying for our friends in Africa who had to stay inside their homes and away from loved ones as much as possible because venturing out meant a possibility of coming into contact with the virus. My heart broke, thinking about what it would be like to spend Christmas isolated, with so little and so far away from ones we love.

BUT GUESS WHAT? Thats how Jesus came into the world. It wasn’t glamorous- it was actually pretty sad in worldly terms. He was born in a barn. Joseph and Mary had no doting grandparents to share it with. They were poor and had only an audience of animals when Jesus came into the world. There was no crib, or going home outfits or blankets. Jesus, the most amazing man to walk the earth had the most humble start I can think of.

The baby that was God and came to the earth in the most humble of ways, calls us to be His hands and Feet. He calls us to serve one another and love one another. John 12:26 Jesus says “Anyone who wants to serve me must follow me, because my servants must be where I am. And the Father will honor anyone who serves me”. We are called to serve God wherever HE leads. God is everywhere. His people need help, and in all places we can find need.

We are called to Sierra Leone. We know it deep inside ourselves. God has blessed our family and we want to give Him our lives. The effects of ebola will be long lasting. There are orphans who lost their parents and are viewed as “cursed” in their villages, and there are women who lost their husbands and men who lost their wives. There are people without hope of any kind who need to know the love of Christ. We need to go and be love.

We are praying we can leave in April. We are praying for ebola to end and spiritual healing to begin. Please pray for these people with us.

Photos from Sierra Leone

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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You can also view a slide show of photos from Sierra Leone here on our blog from April 30th, 2012. You can also find it on http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z8pHGexvDI8

 This is a photo of the preschool kids at the christian church in Brigitte Village, Sierra Leone

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This boy is carrying water to his house.

 

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This is from Tylers first trip to Sierra Leone. These are the kids in the orphanage. It has since grown to 33 children.

 

 

 

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This is a photo of Brigitte Village, where we will be serving.

 

 

 

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This is Tyler bringing bibles to the church in the village. The pastors are Justus and Moses. Wonderful men of God.

 

 

 

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These boys loved having their picture taken!

 

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These are some children in the village who wanted to meet us!

 

 

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This is a picture of Sarah and the children from the school.

 

 

 

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This is a photo of Freetown, Sierra Leone

We hope these photos help put faces to Sierra Leone.

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