El Salvador UPDATE: volcanoes and dirt

Just wanted to send out a little update that Josh is safe, healthy, and enjoying his time in El Salvador. Fun Fact about El Salvador: it is the most densely populated country in central america, over six million people!img_0325.png

Today, he got to visit a volcano. How often do we get to say that word in a sentence!?… Volcano. volcano, VOLCANO.. kinda fun… or maybe I’m just really CRAZY tired! hahahe

So, the visit to the volcano… was part of a retreat that his team hosted for the regional director, national director, and the local training and network leaders of El Salvador.  It was a time of much need rest and encouragement. Hopefully more stories and pics when he returns.

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Josh along with the Kids at Heart team met with two extremely large churches: Churches that host 500+ campuses, with 200,000 members each, that include 10,000 seat auditoriums!!– Wow, Talk about some FAR-reaching nets to grasp the souls of men! 

The team also met with a local university about establishing 8 courses to equip this up and coming generation.

The trip also has and will entail some training of the local staff and volunteers.

I really wish I had more to share, but that’s it for now! Josh returns, Lord willing, Thursday, September 27th!

And here back on this side of the Ha-mool River, ALL four kiddos have fought off a bacterial eye infection…. I think we might spend TOO much time in the dirt?? Oh well such is life! Messy but beautiful!

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Thankfully prescription eye drops did the trick pretty quick, but please keep the tots in your prayers… as you know things can change in SO quick.

Lots of thankfulness and LOVE,

From the Rasmussen Clan

 

Would love for you to reach out by sending us an email! @ therasmussenclan@gmail.com

And if you would like to support us in one-time or monthly partnership click……… here!

 

 

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El Salvador, Birthdays, and Tension

Josh leaves for Arizona today for a staff retreat and then from there to El Salvador! He is going to be doing some training for the regional and national directors of Latin America for Kidz at Heart International. He will also be meeting with several in-country partners. (If you would like a detailed itinerary, email me! therasmussenclan@gmail.com). I look forward to the pictures and the stories he will return with!

Josh will be gone for two weeks. And I’ll manage the fort with Silas (5) who is week two into homeschool with classical conversations and totally loving it, Zoe (1) now walking like a little pro, and Owen and Caleb (3) …curious as ever!

With the little family update aside…

I want to share a little story.. well, a little question actually that led to some big thoughts…

Recently, Silas asked–

“How many birthdays do we get…..

And it just hit me like a ton of bricks.

“I don’t know, Silas. We don’t know. Only God knows; He numbers our days…that’s why each day we have is like a gift even before our birthday comes…”

I could feel some anxiety and even some deep sorrow inside us.

Why doesn’t God tell us! Warn us.. something. What is this?? Why is it like that? Ahh!!

Well, I also got to thinking about Jesus falling asleep on the boat during the storm recorded in Mark 4 (Mainly because I had listened to a sermon recorded from my old pastor in Julian on the subject). Jesus didn’t tell his friends the storm was coming. This is somewhat disturbing, much like in the way he doesn’t tell us when we die. This is the tension we live in–The CONSTANT unknown.

And like in the car ride with Silas with the completely unsatisfying “I don’t know” answer… I found a tremendous satisfaction trusting God and knowing Him through the work of Christ –Who answers all the primal questions of life (origin, morality, meaning, and destiny!) . He holds it all in His hands…

He “hushed” the waters quiet, the same way A mommy comforts her crying baby. The voice was familiar to the water–as it was the voice that made it!

And so like the water, I pray we can heed the similar hushes whispering into our souls right now.. whatever the question or storm….He is there and He is enough.

camp-mountain trailer-house adventure

On May 12th we moved into a friend’s house my children affectionately refer to as “pool mountain”. Due to the fact, that their house is on top of a mountain in San Diego, and bet you can guess, they have a pool. We loved living on Pool Mountain, but as I addressed in our last blog post we had to move out on June 10th, because a missionary from China calls it her temporary home. (above: boys playing with sticks on the south side of Pool Mountain) Fortunately, we were able to still be on Pool Mountain, because a friend from church provided a trailer. So thankfully, that move wasn’t too drastic; just a few stroller strides with boxes piled high! This trailer sheltered our little tribe of 6 until escrow closed on June 29th. Yes! I said escrow! Is that a proper noun? I don’t even know!! I just know it means we have a house! Not tied to a camp, and in San Diego county. It’s literally a dream come true, A dream I never really dreamed because it was too expensive. But God closed lots of little doors and opened this one. So, like I see in every dimension of my life—God made a way, where there was no way.

A lot of moving in two months time: Camp- to -Pool Mountain- to -Travel Trailer- to —-House!

“Exhausted” was a choice word during those many move days. But as my flesh dies down and my soul begins to reflect, I think the greatest word defining all these gusts of change and momentary inconveniences is…”Adventure!”

We put ourselves at the feet of God! We prayed for a place to live literally looking all around the globe, allowing our whole family to feel the rush of faith! Knowing good and well, He would provide all that we need. We told our kids we can’t always stay in the same spot; God changes it up for our growth, and for HIS glory!

I think it’s interesting to remember Life on camp is often referred to as a terrarium–A safe place to receive love and grow in God. But sometimes, God chooses to prune and sometimes He decides to supplant! Thankfully, we weren’t supplanted far from our beloved community–We are STILL in Jamul! What an unexpected blessing. We thought for sure God would move us away somewhere desolate; somewhere fit for martyrdom.  But it looks like (once again) this is a moment where He is showing me–I am His precious daughter, not just His dedicated worker. And as much as I was willing to go somewhere for Him, it pleased Him to quench the quietest desire of my heart. I stand in awe of where we have come and where we now stand– 5 acres of rolling hills, boulders, and trees!  The silence is loud and the stars twinkle bright, to God be the Glory and to all a good night! (😜that’s preschool mama rhymes, free of charge) hahaha

Ok, Mom jokes aside .. Through it all, it’s comforting to to remember our heavenly home is forever, and will NEVER be moved because of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus!

Before I end this diatribe….. I gotta speak even more loudly to this blog’s theme of

WHOA MOMENTS!

Get. This.

On our LAST day in our house on camp. I was filled with sadness and distress. I didn’t want to leave camp—the kindred community, the spacious four-bedrooms, the known comforts surrounding. Not to mention all the UNknowns swallowing my peace and strangling my faith!

I was struggling internally. But thankfully, something happened. A timely run-in with God’s Holy Book–

As a family we were seated at the breakfast table. When suddenly, (randomly) Josh voiced from the melancholy dining,

“Let’s read from the Bible”. He picked up a 365 daily kids Bible. One we haven’t read much since Silas was an only child.

The question raised, “Where should we start!?”

“From the beginning'” I insisted for convenience and continuity. And the kids agreed.

“The beginning! The beginning”, they shouted! Bouncing from their chairs, their blonde locks swooshed over their energetic eyes, which of course, gazed above their huge smiles!

I thought for sure Josh would cave to my logic and their chanting. But he insisted we start from the EXACT day we were in the year. With some calculated configuring turns out it was Day #156. Which put us in the book of 2 Kings.  “Oh great” I thought to myself.. “What can we possibly glean from the obscure historical timeline that makes up 2 Kings!?”

Well, to my utter amazement, the account described in the one verse devotional paralleled our lives almost to a tee.

2 Kings 4:9-11

“She said to her husband, “I know that this man who often comes our way is a holy man of God. Let’s make a small room on the roof and put in it a bed and a table, a chair and a lamp for him. Then he can stay there whenever he comes to us.”

Okay, we didn’t sleep in a “small room on the roof”, like the prophet but something close to it. How cool is that!?? We got to explain to our kids that the lady holding the chicken was like Ms. Susan from “Pool Mountain”. She and her husband were showing kindness to us just like the two described in 2 Kings!

I was so thankful for that moment!!! 1. Because it gave my boys a greater grasp of what was happening.

2. It gave me a greater hold on God to trust Him midst the unknown.

And 3. Just the craziness of getting to the book of 2 Kings and God legitimately

using  it to show me He TRULY is *El Roi “the God who sees me”…HE SEES ME! (*Genesis 16:13)

Okay that’s all for now! I hope my little life update encourages you to navigate your own WHOA MOMENTS!

You are BOTH seen and loved. How marvelous is that!?

I pray today we make him our Lord, AND our shelter forever!

Much love to YOU,

from the rasmussen clan

Goodbye IHC, Hello NEW Adventures…

This is a very important update to share with you.

After many conversations and much prayer— We decided to say good-bye to Indian Hills Camp.  As shocking as this news may sound, God is not surprised and nothing thwarts His plan.  I am deeply thankful for the four years we spent at IHC.  We doubled our

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family size amongst amazing neighbors, campers, and staff both seasonal and year round—What a gift from the LORD of which we will always be grateful!IMG_9637

WHAT’S NEXT??! —- It is truly incredible to share, On Josh’s LAST day of work at IHC, a formal job proposal was presented to him from a ministry called Kidz At Heart! (The LORD did not want me worrying a single day about unemployment).  He started work as the Vice President of Development in their virtual office on May 21st.  Kidz at Heart exists to —

Equip people to reach and teach kids for Christ within their own culture

To expound on their mission, KIDZ desires to create culturally relevant and sustainable children’s ministry all around the globe! As I personally researched the organizations website and newsletters (which you can subscribe to by clicking here! ), 2 Thessalonians 3:1 immediately came to mind:

“…Pray that the Lord’s message will spread RAPIDLY and be HONORED wherever it goes, just as when it came to you”.

KIDZ is passionate about training trainers…to train more trainers! With a model like this, a countless expanse of the gospel is happening all around the world! Currently, KIDZ has nationals operating in over 40 countries as trainers! And with Josh on board, we pray the Lord’s message will continue to spread rapidly and be honored— just like the timeless 2nd Thessalonian prayer!

WHAT’S NEEDED??!—    Our housing at camp lost effect two weeks after Josh’s last day of work.  We moved out on May 12th, and have been staying at a friend’s granny suite in Jamul.  This has been generously provided to us until June 10thPlease pray the Lord provides a place for us to call home!  We are diligently searching real estate options that will work not just for our nuclear family, but for Josh’s parents as well.  So far, nothing proves to be a good match logistically or financially.  We are considering any and all options that present themselves before June 10th!  We know nothing is too difficult for the Lord to provide.  He is a GOOD Father and will make it clear to us where to go next.

*For networking purposes, we are seeking to live in San Diego County, so if anyone knows of anything for sale or rent please let us know!

Also, as much as we love the 1994 Chevy Suburban for hauling all the tools and all the boys— it’s not the best car for work. The need for a more fuel efficient vehicle has presented itself! Please pray we can find the perfect car to fit Josh’s new job!

 

Thank you SO much for reading this BIG, life-changing update! Your care and your support for us during this season is truly cherished in our hearts and minds. Every time we think of YOU, we are blessed and thankful to God!love

As you partner with us spiritually through prayer, consider also how you can partner with us financially as we transition into this new ministry.  Click here to support us either with one time or monthly partnership

MANY blessings from above  and MUCH thanks from us,

The Rasmussen Clan— josh, alicia, silas, owen,                                                                                                                                               caleb, and zoe

Got questions? We would love for you to email us: therasmussenclan@gmail.com

& be sure to check out KIDZ at Heart:  www.Kidzatheart.org

 

oh, sweet child of mine

I wanted to take a break from the long, life updates to just share a short story. I have drifted away from my blog’s theme of “whoa moments”. I haven’t shared many although they are all around. Macro. Micro. Moments where I recognize God’s presence.  How He really is everywhere (Jer. 23:23), pursuing to show me His character, His power, and His………  “Never-Stopping, Never Giving Up, Unbreaking, Always and Forever Love.” Yes, His love. It’s chasing me down, and making me say, “whoa” again and again and again.

This short story begins, last April actually, but I still remember it very clearly, because it was so powerful and too profound to forget. You see, I host a weekly prayer gathering at my house for camp, and all the staff. We try and pray for every single staff person  and their entire family by name. This can take a long time, and this morning, like every morning, the kids were running round loud interrupting to pull mommies away.  But this particular morning, my eldest was eager to interrupt, but not to ask for water or tattle tail, but to pray! It was so sweet. I was in the middle of praying for Jessica, who at that time was the camp registrar. I prayed, “God would you give Jessica..” and I paused to think about what to say. Words like rest, peace, strength came to mind. But Silas chimed in before I could say those super spiritual words. He said, “a present!” I laughed with my eyes closed, and said, “Yes, God, would you please give Jessica a present, amen! Good prayer Silas.” Well, that evening, randomly Josh and I somehow got the awesome ability to go out on a date. While we were out Josh apologized saying, “I know we aren’t supposed to run errands on dates, but I really need to buy Jessica                    A PRESENT!

What the WHOA, people.

I burst out crying! Oh my gosh, Josh! Are you serious?!… as you can imagine He was very confused and panicked thinking I was upset with him.

Silas prayed for this to happen, Silas prayed for this happen and it came true!

Turns out it was Administrative Assistant day and Josh forgot, so we went to Staples and bought Jessica a  cat mouse pad for her desk.  And the next morning, I showed Silas his answered prayer. He seemed kinda underwhelmed comparative to my jumping up and down laugh-crying experience.  Like “yeah, of course God heard me, mom”.  Silas had some sweet trust in Jesus to provide the perfect answer to his simple prayer. I want to be more like him. Simple. Trusting. and totally dependent on God to provide his perfect will.

 

SOME SIMPLE VERSES FOR THE CHILD IN ALL OF US:

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Matthew 11:28– Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.

John 6:37– All those the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away.

John 1:12– Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God–

 

 

FALL Update: Outdoor Education, Indoor Celebration, and the Shepherd David

 

September, October, November, December, and now January…… 2018! I’m so sorry for the silence! I lost my rhythm in writing monthly, with our latest addition to the family and daily tasks! I hope the prolonged procrastination just makes the update all the more suspenseful and sweet.campbird

As most of you already know, the Fall season encompasses 4 straight weeks of 6th grade camp. This year, we had 17 schools participate reaching a total of 369 students and 69 adults.  135 children and 3 adults dedicated their lives to Jesus for the first time!!! We love the 6th grade camp season, it’s so jam-packed full of ministry beautifully interlacing science and spirituality, especially on astronomy night!  Students truly get WOW-ed by God as Savior AND Creator! Pray for these hundreds of students as they enter back into normal, indoor education routine. That God would continually draw them closer to Himself and His creation. And that Romans 12:11-12 would reign true,

“Never let the fire in your heart go out. Keep it alive. Serve the Lord. When you hope, be joyful. When you suffer, be patient. When you pray, be faithful.”

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CAMPER STORY:  One 6th grade boy stood up in front of all his peers at the closing campfire.  He declared he had given his life to Jesus, and that it would be difficult for his family to understand as they are Muslims from Syria!

 LETS PRAY  For his faith to grow & spread in spite of discouragement & possible persecution!

 

In the Fall, we also had the great privilege of attending our annual missional staff retreat to Palomar Mountain Conference Center.  All seven missionary couples gathered for a three day retreat. We each got unlimited time to share our life as a story, and discussed a truly thought-provoking book by Lance Witt called, Replenish.  Together we laughed, cried, confessed, prayed, encouraged, and ate on repeat!

“You can’t live life at warp speed without warping your soul.”

Lance Witt from the book, Replenish

We also got to play some fun team building games. ….In case you were wondering, it’s quite difficult to lower a hula hoop as a group!hulahoop

Indian Hills Camp is a proud member of the Christian Camp and Conference Association (CCCA).  This is Josh’s second year helping to organize the education for the Pacific Southwest conference as he serves as Chair of the Education Committee.  He has been working very hard with the team to find the perfect speakers for each category of the conference.  He will also be leading several seminars at the conference as well. It’s bound to be super insightful and thought provoking, and I can’t wait to hear the feedback after its conclusion in late January.

thanksgiving17Family Update:  It sure was fun to host Thanksgiving this year.   Josh’s side of the family filled our home with lots of laughs, hugs, and tickle fights.  We are so thankful we have housing on camp that can shelter such precious memories. Silas 4.5 loves quesadillas and oranges. He likes telling stories and making up songs. He is super into the story of David and Goliath, and really enjoyed dressing up like the “shepherd David, not the King David” for one of his weekly AWANA meetings. I also participate in the AWANA program at Skyline Church as a leader of four 5-year old boys!  It’s a great honor to teach these little warriors the TRUTH that is God’s Word, considering Oxford dictionary’s word for 2016 was, post-truthawana  AWANA stands for “Approved Workmen Are Not Ashamed” based on 2 Timothy 2:15 which says,

“Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.”

Caleb (3) loves looking around, but mainly touching and exploring new things!  He is keen on using physical strength, swinging on the rope swing Josh installed in our play room.  Owen (3) appears more mechanical, always running to play with the light switches or sitting to configure an entire puzzle by himself.  The boys outgrew their amazing giant stroller, so these days we walk everywhere; brave, rugged and absolutely covered in dirt!  Our sweet Zoe loves: looking at her brothers, pulling on her hair, sitting up as straight as she can muster, babbling, burping, and drooling.  It’s a simple life for a 5 month old.izzynzoe

 Financial Update:  Coming into our 4th year as missionaries serving full-time here at IHC, most of you know that part of our salary accrues through financial supporters— many kind, amazing people, people like YOU!

Based on the economy, family size, and changes to the camp calendar year, we are looking to increase our monthly support by $1000.  Please consider and/or pray regarding this matter.  AND check out our “support us” page to learn the 3 ways to give financially!

 

CAMPER FUN FACT: By supporting camp, you are cultivating future missionaries!  60% of missionaries polled a decision for missions was made in a camp setting

Thanks again for your inclined ear to hear our stories, our prayers, and our requests. Your partnership greatly humbles and encourages us to serve the Lord whenever and however we can. We are deeply touched by your love, and forever thankful for your prayers here at Indian Hills Camp!IMG_9637

 All our love,

Josh, Alicia, Silas, Owen, Caleb, and Zoe

Questions? …….don’t hesitate to email us:

therasmussenclan@gmail.com

Summer 2017

Well, this is an “extra, extra read-all-about-it” special update, because we have the immense pleasure of introducing our DAUGHTER!– Zoe Beth Rasmussen. She was born on July 23rd, at 12:28 in the afternoon. 8 pounds 1 ounce, 21 inches long.  zoefirstpic

The labor and delivery went so smooth all the hospital staff couldn’t believe how peaceful the whole process went– All praise to God for relieving me of all my burdens, and giving me an amazing husband/birth coach! The brothers love her so much; Silas always wants to hold her, Owen always tries to pick her up, and Caleb always pokes her face and says, “baby stit-tah”.

June was an exhaustingly productive month at camp. So much prep for summer. Mainly, for creating an entirely new BMX track! This project was a labor of love for sure. Josh and his team spent many, many hours, packing the dirt down, and making it just perfect for every age rider. Silas enjoys riding the track any chance he can. We are looking forward to how this attraction will bring more visitors to camp to hear the Gospel.biketrack

Speaking of visitors on camp… It was so fun to once again, have my dear niece Autumn come to camp for week #2.  She came to our house prior to camp to have a sleepover with Silas. And he asked her, “Autumn, do you love us?” and she replied “yah, I’m glad I get to spend more time with you guys”. How this warmed my heart. And what a reminder, as I checked her into teepee #6 that every camper is someone cherished and loved, every camper is someone unique and special, wonderously worthy of the Gospel invitation! Overall, in 22 days time, we had 616 campers onsite, 99 of them receiving Jesus as their personal Lord and savior for the first time! I saw one camper, Nick*, receive Christ with his counselor (Jamul Community Church’s associate pastor, Ben Alva). He pulled him aside during the camp carnival, which I found peculiar; I assumed he was in trouble! But later, Ben explained, the Lord urgently prompted him to ask the young boy about his relationship with God! “Do you want a relationship with Jesus?” He asked. Nick looked at the carnival:  people dancing, eating snow cones, playing games, laughing. Then, looked back at Ben. Again, looked at the carnival and then back at Ben. “Yes” he replied firmly, and right then they prayed and angels rejoiced.  Praise God Nick graciously grasped true wisdom –The pleasures of this world will not satisfy. The music fades and the snow cones melt away. Only Christ’s eternal salvation gives us the enduring joy that we truly crave.

This summer, we had 62 amazing high school and college staff voluntarily trek the 22-day program with us. This involves a week of training, 2 kid camp sessions, and ends with one Jr. High camp.  Josh spoke the first night of training week on the importance of perseverance and enduring the uncomfortable not only to keep staff unity, but to enjoy staff unity.  From that, Romans 12:1-2 became a key teaching point—“Therefore, I urge you brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—This is your true and proper worship.” The staff also meditated on 1 Peter 5 daily… “Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may lift you up in due time, casting all your anxieties on him because he cares for you….” It is encouraging to see high school and college students grow in their knowledge of God, and mature in Him on our campgrounds.jerusha

Another neat thing about this summer was training up some new worship leaders.  If you don’t remember, last summer I led in song at almost every opportunity.  But this summer we slowly transitioned this responsibility to two blooming musicians, who (pun intended) totally rocked the challenge.  I also was asked to help lead an artistic project with three other artists. It was very fun to create, and the end result will hopefully leave a lasting legacy in the hearts and minds of all who see it at camp. The 22 days ends with a weekend away to reflect and debrief. I had the privilege of attending those days without my children climbing my legs. We got a good amount of rest and heard lots of hilarious stories and encouraging testimonies of God working. Pray for those 62 young people that they would remain obedient and steadfast to the Lord’s teachings, and not lose heart when they grow weary outside the comforts of camp.crossart

Well, that about encapsulates our 4th summer here at Indian Hills Camp: a new BMX track, a new daughter, and new revelations of God in the hearts in minds of people young and old! Praise God for these sweet blessings; He is good to us! Thank you so much for your love and support through the intensely-packed summer season. We truly felt the prayers and are so grateful for them.

In His hands,

Josh, Alicia, Silas, Owen, Caleb,  AND …Zoe Beth!!

shoot us an email @

therasmussenclan@gmail.com