Madison’s 12th Birthday – June 14th, 2008

Twelve years ago Maddy came into our lives.  In a foreshadowing of her serious way she entered the world as if she had a purpose.  Two and a half hours of labor was all she desired.
 
Maddy the seriousAs if to prepare us for the fact that she was not going to be the kind of person to adhere to other peoples’ norms, she walked late, potty trained late and read early.  She has always been her own person and never really been concerned what others have thought.
 
She is physical yet never gravitated towards athletics.  After five years of karate she decided to stop just six months shy of her black belt.  She was always the biggest kid on the soccer field but spent a large amount of time apologizing to opposing players for knocking them down and stealing their ball.
 
Maddy the funFollowing her own path continued in the intellectual.  Again defying all perceived norms, she excels at science yet struggles at math.  She has struggled in English yet excelled in writing and literature. Art is her passion. She became a Christian at seven and can explain why better then most adults.
 
She has always been the ideal only child; content to play by herself for hours or happy to spend time with a large group.  She often seeks out the new kid in class to make them comfortable and frequently offers her desserts at lunch to the bully before he asks. Regularly she finds herself betrayed by her sensitive nature. She doesn’t think of hurting others, so it is confusing to her when others hurt her.
 
Her flexibility and adaptability are amazing.  She has attended public school, home school and private school. In 13 months time she moved from a comfortable house with a pool in California to a 500 sq. ft. apartment in Central America.  Seldom does she complain and never has she expressed homesickness.  She is happy with expensive toys or rocks and sticks.
 
She is not perfect, but, she is amazing.  She knows she is odd, weird and different, and almost relishes it.  She laughs at her own mistakes and social missteps. There can never have been a child that is more comfortable in her own skin.
 
We love her and do our best to raise her in a God honoring way. We know we often blow it as parents, but, we know God watches over her when we mess up. Madison we love you very much. Happy birthday.

About Mike

Mike, 49, grew up in California and spent 38 years of his life there. He received an undergraduate degree in Political Science, graduated from Reformed Theological Seminary and is pursuing a doctorate from Fuller Theological Seminary. Before accepting God’s call to fulltime missions, Mike worked in the California State Senate for 12 years. He became a Christian at the age of 20. Mike was a Ruling Elder at Soaring Oaks Presbyterian Church(PCA) for seven years. While at Soaring Oaks, Mike served as the Director of the High School Youth Group, Sunday school teacher, and instructor of evangelism. His cross-cultural missions experience includes five short term trips to Mexico, Belize, Guatemala and Peru (Lima and Cusco) through Mission to the World (MTW). He has volunteered with World Relief by teaching and counseling international refugees. Mike has also attended cross-cultural church planting conferences in New York and Orlando and completed the Perspectives course on the World Christian Movement. He attended Bible Study Fellowship for two years. He is a certified instructor through Evangelism Explosion and is a certified trainer of the Darkness to Light child sexual abuse prevention program. He completed MTW‘s Disaster Response Training. Mike is an experienced speaker and author. Over 70 of Mike's articles on missions have been published and he has written three books. He is a trained and experienced mentor, discipler, leader and a passionate teacher of small groups and Bible studies. Mike received an undergraduate degree in Political Science, graduated from Reformed Theological Seminary and is currently pursuing a doctorate from Fuller Theological Seminary. Before accepting God’s call to fulltime missions, Mike was a Ruling Elder, Youth Group Leader, adult Sunday school teacher and evangelism instructor at Soaring Oaks Presbyterian Church in Elk Grove, CA. Mike is an experienced speaker and author. Over 70 of Mike's articles on missions have been published and he has written three books. He is a trained and experienced mentor, discipler, leader and a passionate teacher of small groups and Bible studies. From 2007 to 2017 Mike served as a fulltime missionary for MTW. Mike served as Team Leader, Church Planter, and Seminary Professor. Mike and his wife Erin served in Honduras in Central America and Equatorial Guinea in Central Africa. Mike currently serves as the Director of the MTW West Coast Hub where he trains and mentors new missionaries from CA, AZ, & NV. Mike is also busy writing his next book.

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