song 14: your Light has come

Well we'll save our big announcement til the end. This week's song dates back to a time when little Moses was in my belly, but we did not yet know it was so. Noah felt inspired to write a lullaby, and drew on verses from the book of Isaiah, chapters 60 and 61. We started recording this song back in the fall of 2014, and Moses' vocals were recorded on his 3rd birthday, in mid-October. It's been so fun finishing up some of our half-baked songs... remembering the way we were while finally stepping into what we could have been all along. This is such a sweet time of connection and creativity...

lift up your eyes and look about
your sons come from afar
your daughters carried on the arm
and your hearts will swell with joy

your hearts will throb and swell with joy
yes your hearts will swell with joy
your daughters carried on the arm
and your hearts will swell with joy

your sun will never set again
and your moon will wane no more
I will be your everlasting Light
and your days of sorrow will end

your days of sorrow will be no more
yes your days of sorrow will end
I will be your everlasting Light
and your days of sorrow will end

arise, shine
for your Light has come

they’ll rebuild the ancient ruins
of cities long destroyed
you’ll receive a double-portion
and everlasting joy

and everlasting joy, my love
and everlasting joy
you’ll receive a double-portion of
that everlasting joy

arise, shine
for your Light has come

as the soil makes the sprout come up
and the garden seeds to grow
so the Lord will make His praise spring up
like you never heard before

like you never heard before, my love
like you never heard before
so the Lord will make His praise spring up
like you never heard before

arise, shine
for your Light has come…

And now for our news: we are moving to Jerusalem in late August! We do not mean we are thinking about it or hope to go, we mean we are going!! Missionaries are not permitted in Israel or much of the Middle East, but volunteers with non-government organizations are more than welcome. We are looking at volunteering with one of three different organizations, all of which are focused on peace and reconciliation between Palestinians and Jews, and all of which leverage worship and intercession (praying on behalf of another) in their work.

The origin of the conflict in the Middle East traces back to a family dispute between two brothers: Isaac (the father of the Jews) and Ishmael (the father of the Palestinians). Both brothers were sons of Abraham, both were loved by God, and both received a promise from the Lord that He would surely bless them and make them fruitful. We will be worshiping and praying for the peace of Jerusalem and all its inhabitants and the surrounding nations, as well as serving an organization that is giving Palestinians and Jews opportunities to encounter each other — because as people, when we experience the humanity of our perceived enemies and discover that they are, in fact, actual people and not so very different from ourselves, it opens the door of our hearts to compassion and understanding, reconciliation, and even friendship and peace. We have to believe that peace is possible, and so we are bringing our peace to the Middle East — bringing the peace, hope, love, and sense of family that our family carries to Jerusalem believing that we (yes, us!) can make a difference in the Middle East, and in this world. Depending on who we end up serving, we may be able to set up a mentorship and also do a third year of BSSM abroad — this would be ideal, as it would provide us with a spiritual support system, but we'll just have to wait and see how it all pans out. We can try to make plans, but a lot of flexibility is required when it comes to these things!

We need two things: first and foremost, we simply cannot go unless we are sent. As volunteers, we will not be permitted to earn any income, even though we will be working our tails off. We need people who will partner with us financially to support the work we are doing. Some people go and some people send — only together can the work be done! If you are passionate about peace in the Middle East, or if you simply believe in us and want to partner with us financially, whether monthly or with a one-time gift, we would ask you to consider partnering with us even now! We do have a few monthly supporters who have been instrumental in keeping us going, and we are so grateful for the support! We still need to raise over $10,000 to complete ministry school and mission intensive training in May, which will prepare us for cross-cultural adaptation in the Middle East. PayPal is the best way to offer your support for the time being (noahstarandjuliejane@gmail.com), although we are working to find a way for your support to be tax-deductible. Please help us to get there!

Additionally, we a need a solid team of people committed to intentionally praying for us on a daily basis. We have been told repeatedly, "if you don't have a team of intercessors, don't go!" If you are an intercessor and want to be on our team, please reach out to us. Again, we are looking for people to be a part of our team and support us in prayer now, not just when we fly away. The work doesn’t begin when we leave, it has already begun — we are in the throes of it now!

Many of you may have big questions, such as how long will we be gone and what will we do with the tiny house? The answer is: we aren’t entirely sure but based on our history with God, when we are stepping out in obedience to Him, He always works out even the tiniest of details and He always provides. We don’t sense that this is a short term endeavor (anything under 2 years is typically considered short term), nor do we sense that it is forever — and we are okay with a few unknowns, even big ones. While this move may come as a bit of a shock to some of you, it is no surprise to us. We have known we would one day be heading in this direction since March of 2014, and we have been actively and intentionally planning for this move since June of 2014. We have been very strategic and worked very hard to set up an infrastructure in our lives that would allow us the freedom and flexibility to go, while allowing us the stability of a home from which to launch. After our world travels, we knew we needed to be mobile but did NOT want to continually be packing and unpacking, living in constant transition. So we quite intentionally built a home we can leave without packing up, seal up and store and forget about while we are away, which will incur minimal expenses (if any while gone), and which we can return to without wasting precious time trying to get settled somewhere new. We want our time back home spent resting and being refreshed, refocusing, and reconnecting with friends and family. We are praying for a place, either in the Northwest or in Redding, where we can park the tiny — on solid ground, such as a concrete slab. Ideally, we’ll find a place where we can build a pergola to cover it, as an added protection from the elements since we won’t be present most of the time to observe and take swift actions if something needs fixing. Please be praying for us that a place where the tiny will be completely safe but not in anyone’s way will open up!

So that’s a lot to digest! We are sorry to not be able to tell most of you personally of this next chapter in our journey. We hope you will join us in bringing peace to the Middle East and in praying for the peace of Jerusalem!