How We Met
We (Geoff and Jamie) became friends and quickly fell in love in the land of Israel during the early summer of 2006. Geoff was a student at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, pursuing a master's degree in 'The Bible & It's World," when Jamie visited the country. We were first introduced in Abilene, TX where we each completed our Bachelor's degrees at Abilene Christian University (ACU); Geoff in '04, Jamie in '05. However, it wasn't until the LORD brought us together in Israel that our acquaintance evolved into a life long love.
Within four months of meeting in Israel, we were married. On September 30, 2006 we came together with friends and family by the steps of the administration building at ACU and were joined together in covenant with each other and GOD, for life. Our wedding ceremony incorporated traditions from the ancient Biblical culture. Our parents joined us in procession, our father's led the ceremony, our grandfather's blessings opened and closed it, and our siblings surrounded us as our wedding party. We were witnessed by many friends and family who have guided and loved us for years.
Where We've Been
On our honeymoon we were surprised by a job working for a church in beautiful Poncha Springs, Colorado and loved living in the mountains. In 2008 we moved back to Abilene, TX for Geoff to complete his Master's of Divinity (M. Div) degree at ACU. We remained in Abilene for 2 years as Geoff completed his M. Div. While living in Abilene we commuted to Early, TX where Geoff was a part-time minister and we moved to Early in 2010 to continue ministering there, full time. Through these years we took advantage of opportunities to return to Israel on extended trips as often as possible.
At the beginning of 2012 our hearts were longing for a new experience that would teach us to be better ministers for HIS Kingdom. We needed a change that would take us out of our comfort zones and require us to become more dependent upon HIM. With no kids and student loans (finally) paid off, we felt called to take advantage of this unique time in our lives to think radically and hold nothing back.
Our primary goals when we began this transition were to live in a new culture, to work for the Glory of God and not money, and to seek a Kingdom perspective through a time of rest, healing, and prayer. We moved to Ecuador and enjoyed a wonderful season there, though shorter than we initially dreamed due to visa complications. We think of and miss the kids we worked with at the orphanage Olon, Ecuador, every day and are hopeful to return again.
At the end of 2012 visa delays in Ecuador and new opportunities collided to lead us back to Israel. For the first half of 2013 we lived in Jerusalem, Israel traveling from that great city around the land of the Bible. We worked on research and curriculum development, photography projects, and with Biblical Study Groups traveling through the land.
Where We Are
We have spent many years pursuing our dream of leading the best Biblical Study Trips available in the land of the Bible. Our personal business called Travel the Text is the fulfillment of a dream many years in the making. We are currently living in Texas, traveling back and forth to Israel, Jordan, Turkey, and Greece, leading 2 week Biblical Study Trips several times each year. For more information about this, please visit www.TraveltheText.com.
Our Ongoing Mission
Our native culture exalts self reliance as one of the highest virtues. In our pursuit of complete dependence on GOD, that is dangerous for us. We want to break any developing habits of self-reliance before they take root in our young marriage. By putting ourselves in new and different cultures as often as possible we are automatically more helpless as we learn new rules and we are forced to be more dependent on Him than ever.
"Seek first HIS Kingdom and HIS Righteousness and all these things will be given to you as well."
- Matthew 6:33 (NIV)
We love to travel. We love the adventure, discovery, vulnerability, learning, anxiety and excitement that make up each journey in response to the changing environments around us. We learn so much about ourselves through the challenges and joys inherent to travel. Culture defines many of our values, hopes, expectations - even how we view God (for better and worse). Travel allows us to seek God as He reveals Himself to us in new ways beyond the limits of our cultural expectations and training. We love bearing witness of our Creator as HE reveals Himself to those made in HIS image throughout the world. Everyday is a revelation.
"The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.”
- Marcel Proust
"Travel is the enemy to prejudice."
- Mark Twain
We are tired of all the WORK we do on earth that has nothing to do with the WORK we are here on earth to do. We spent too much time looking for jobs that would give paychecks instead of first seeking the work GOD wanted us to do and trusting HIM to meet our needs. Sounds cliche, huh? But it's possible. We don't want to live as though GOD's greatest call for us on earth is to figure out how to survive and/or thrive as we desire. Our work on this earth is to LOVE and bring Him Glory. We know we can Love and bring HIM Glory through most tasks on earth, but we want to pursue the passions that HE places most strongly on our hearts - those that we know will refine us more into who HE has called us to be.
"Be the change you wish to see in the world." - Ghandi
"Preach the gospel constantly; when necessary, use words." -Francis of Asissi
We need rest. We believe in a GOD who set aside Sabbath; a GOD of Restoration. We are all hurt at some point in our journey and left untreated such hurt can get infected and harden hearts. We value the commandment of the LORD to honor the Sabbath, praising GOD that HE created such a day of restoration, healing, and worship that might honor HIM. Though cultures of this world strive to destroy it, we are committed to doing our best to take a day of rest each week and to seek time each day to be still before Him. We seek to invite His restoration into our hearts, and the world we live in.
"Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is,
and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls." -Jeremiah 6:16 (NIV)
We long to live simply without answering any culture's call for the right clothes, cars, houses, etc. The material world forces its idea of reality, teaching to justify wants as needs. It was amazing how good it felt to sell, donate, and get rid of so many of our previously treasured possessions. We treasure the opportunity to be thankful for the little things, to make do with what we have, and to rejoice when less is more than sufficient. This is an easier perspective to grasp in poorer cultures and we pray that it will take root in our hearts no matter what cultural expectations or material availability the future may bring.
"He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose."
- Jim Elliot
Dreaming allows us to reveal and pursue the passions the LORD places within our hearts. We don't want to miss an opportunity. We have so many directions we want to go and have to remember to take time to slow down and dream; seeking the LORD to hear HIS direction for us. We are taking each day one at a time, seeking to live life to its fullest no matter where the LORD may lead.
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” - Mark Twain