Saturday, August 28, 2010

Eyes That See

Matt and I are busy getting things going with Eyes That See! We are so excited to see where God leads us with this.

We'd love to have you follow along at our blog: Eyes That See

Thanks for your prayers and support!! Things are going pretty good here in Louisville!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

More about our KY trip in July!

Our trip to Kentucky was really fun!! It was our first vacation as a family of 7. One of the most fun things we did was go to the Louisville Slugger Museum. Louisville Slugger's are made right there in Louisville!

Matt holding Babe Ruth's bat!

We got to tour how the bats were made which was very cool. Here I am having a meaningful conversation with Ken Griffey Jr.

The boys really enjoyed the museum. Especially Carter since baseball is pretty much what he talks about and thinks about!!

Ezra and Babe Ruth hanging out!

Matt is listening to tapes of Babe Ruth. He had such a cool voice.

Carter with one of his favorite baseball players - they almost look like twins!

Matt got to hold Mickey Mantel's actually game used bat!!! That was a highlight of the trip for sure!
I love this picture..... Matt just taking in the moment!

Carter chose to hold the bat of David Ortiz!

Me holding my favorite players bat....... do you know who's it is????

Derek Jeter!!!!

Carter loving on Jackie Robinson's bat! I love his cute face in this picture.

Jackson holding Jackie's bat!

Durant with Jackie's bat!

Matt got to hit with the same bat style that Ernie Banks used.

There's a ginormous bat in the front of the building!! Super cool!!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

First Day of School!!

So we are here in Louisville now!! We have been here for 5 days. The kids started school yesterday (today is Jackson's birthday... more on that later). I'm super behind but will do my best to catch up here on my blog.

The first day of school went great!! We are super excited about the kids schools. Ezra had a great day of middle school. I can't believe I have a middle schooler!!! Ezra took the bus the very first day. He did great and is enjoying school. The big city schools are a bit different then our small town Eau Claire schools, but I think Ezra will do awesome!

Ezra goes to a uniform school - totally new to us, but turns out that it's not that bad!! We're getting used to it!

These three boys had great days!!! They really like their teachers and have already made some friends.

Look at this cute Kindergarten kid!!! He was so excited for his first day of school!! Although he did ask if I would take him and also come eat lunch with him!!!

Ana will start school in about a week or so. We are having a meeting next week to discuss what her day will look like. She will be going to the same school as her brothers. They were all excited to hear that!

Jackson checking out his room and table!

Durant getting right to work in Kindergarten!

Carter fits right into 4th grade!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Things Change....

Most everyone knows by now, but just wanted to post the letter that went out about us leaving for Louisville, Kentucky. I will be updating on the rest of our visit to Kentucky and other fun things we've been doing these last few weeks but wanted to share this letter first.

I'm excited that you can join me on this next part of our journey. I will also be posting information on our new non profit called Eyes That See!! Very excited to see where God leads it.

July 27, 2010

Dear Valleybrook Family,

About eleven years ago I got the opportunity to come on staff at Valleybrook Church. Two months later Nikki and I were married in the auditorium. Carter was born into this community. Next, little Ana was brought home, followed by Durant, and now Ezra and Jackson. Our family came into being here at Valleybrook. I learned who I am within this community. My eyes were opened to God's people around the world and to His word. I fell in love with Scripture here, and have had the honor of teaching you from the Bible. As we have learned the Word of God together, we have seen clearly how we are to be doers of the word and not just hearers. I am excited that this is true for me as well as it is for you. I cannot just teach His word, I need to continue living it as well.

In light of this, last Sunday I offered my public resignation to pursue God's invitation to step out in faith in starting a new ministry called Eyes That See. Eyes That See is a nonprofit that is being born out of our incredible experience in helping to start KVI in Ethiopia. Eyes That See has been invited by Arise for Children in Louisville, Kentucky, to partner in their work within Ethiopia as well as other countries that God calls us into. Those of you who have adopted know Pat and Susan. They have taken a step of faith, and like you, they believe in what God is doing through us enough to give significant financial support to us as we oversee their humanitarian aid projects in Ethiopia and raise awareness within the States.

We have been so blessed to see the fruit of our obedience as we worked with KVI in our extra time over the past few years. For the past year KVI has grown in significant ways and is currently run completely by Ethiopians. It is stable and thriving. We have seen the community of Valleybrook embrace Ethiopia. Some through financial giving, others prayers, still others through adoptions. In light of all this, God has clearly spoken to our hearts that now is the time to embrace this calling full time for the children and the nation of Ethiopia, a nation we love so dearly. We have friends there and in other places that don't know their Father or that He is good. I cannot wait any longer to be able to show them His love.

We feel like we have stepped out in faith before, but never like we are now. While Arise is being very generous, we are responsible for raising the remaining 40% of our salary, plus all of the start up costs and ongoing monthly overhead that will be required to run a ministry of this scope and magnitude. While we have never been in this position before, we are confident that God has spoken and now in faith we must follow his voice. We have walked this openly with Doug and with the overseers and are asking for Valleybrook's continued support of what God has called us to do.

The urgency that I feel is incredible. I cannot ignore that. In light of this, the timetable for transition is short. With needs being so great within Ethiopia, God's clear calling and heading into the fall, we have decided that my last Sunday will be August 8th. I am honored to be given the opportunity to teach you one last time on that Sunday.

Over the coming weeks Doug and the overseers will share how the church will go forward. I know that our God is good and that He is ordaining the steps of my family and others as well. I'm excited for what is next for this great community.

While this last Sunday was one of the most difficult days of my life, my family believes that God's favor rests on obedience. So we ask for your continued support, love and prayers in the days ahead. We are moving to Louisville, but we believe that our relationship with Valleybrook will continue to grow in new ways as His Kingdom is established in our midst.

Thank you for loving me and my family well. Our story is here and you will never be forgotten.

Your friend,
Matt Ness