Monday, December 28, 2015

Merry Christmas from the Stepps!


Merry Christmas all of you wonderful people!
We hope and expect that this holiday season you got to enjoy time with family and friends, and that it has brought you back to the sweet place of remembering how God sent Jesus as a baby to change everything!

We want to first say thank you for being with us on this journey through relationship with us, and through your financial gifts and prayer. We will never be able to say it enough..THANK YOU!! It has been an incredible year for us, and we are thankful to God and humbled by the support of our loved ones!


 It's hard to believe this time last year, we had just finished our lecture phase of the Discipleship Training School (DTS) through Youth With A Mission (YWAM) in South Africa, and we were in Nepal on our outreach phase. Being away during the holidays was hard for us, but God gave us friendships with our teammates and the Nepali people that brought us such comfort. We got to stay in Nepal for 3 months and build relationships with a church called Fresh Fire, work in an orphanage, a feeding center, and a leprosy colony, go on a trek, and pray for many people at the temples. It was an amazing time! In March we finished up our outreach and went back to South Africa and graduated from our DTS.  This 6 months was such a growing experience for each of us personally, but also for our marriage! We really got to know each other, through the tough and amazing times!




We then traveled back to the States to spend time with family and figure out what God had next for our journey! Whilst spending time with family and friends catching up, we saw on the news that two large earthquakes had pelted Nepal. Side note: While we were on outreach during DTS many of us felt led to pray that God would shake the foundations and that all the temples and false idols would fall to the ground. WHOA!! Who would have known that shortly after those prayers a 7.8 earthquake would come shake Nepal and many of the temples and idols would be destroyed! Now on the other side of that we felt the weight of what our new friends were going through. Our hearts were broken for the people we had grown to love, but we also felt the excitement of God shaking not only the physical but the spiritual atmosphere in Nepal. We were able to go back to Nepal in May to help take down unstable structures and love on the people!




After one month, we felt that we should go back home and help our Great Grandmother,  Pauline Clark, recover after taking a very hard fall and having a brain bleed. So we lived with Pauline for a couple months whilst she recovered! Praise Jesus for healing her! She is one of the strongest people I know, and she is now almost 100%, going here and there and truly taking care of herself! God is Good!  While we were there we took some time and prayed a lot into what God would have next for us. There were many opportunities, but we truly felt that we should deepen our understanding of God's Word! Which leads us to where we are now!


We are now attending a school through University of the Nations (YWAM's university) called School of Biblical Studies (SBS). Through our first 3 months, we studied 20 books of the New Testament using the inductive method. We attend lectures, then we begin to dig in for ourselves. First we observe the text from the original reader's point of view with the historical background in mind, then we start to interpret the text and discover timeless truths and apply them to our lives. The process is long, we easily spend 50 hours per week studying and in class. It is exhausting at times, but there is a deep sense of God expanding our knowledge and understanding of who he is.




                 
                          
Currently we are on a 3 week Christmas break. It has been very restful! We had the opportunity to house sit for a couple here who went on a road trip! They have a very nice apartment and it was so healthy for Kaycee and I to have some space to ourselves and really focus on our marriage! We have 2 more weeks left of our break, and we have created a bucket list for our time here in Cape Town, so we hope that with some of our Christmas money to take part in some of that fun stuff!
 
Please be Praying for us!
  • That Uriah's grant money for school will come. It has been sent, but we haven't received it due to the mail system in South Africa.
  • That our financial needs would be met:
  • $2400 for rent and health insurance for the remaining six months of SBS.
  • Our return flight back home after SBS-roughly $2000.
  • Spending money for cell phone, toiletries, misc., date nights-about $600.
  • That we would continue to grow deep into God and trust him!
  • That our marriage would continue to grow and thrive.
We would like to build up our monthly support, which would make budgeting a lot easier, as well as further prepare us for whatever might be next! Would God have you partner with us on a monthly basis? It would be awesome if you would think and pray about it.

May God bless you and you family as you wrap up 2015 and begin your 2016! We pray that it is full of all things good and lovely, and that God will take you to a deeper place of knowing who he is and trusting him! We would love to hear what God is doing in your lives, too! It helps us feel connected and we want to pray for you! Please email us.

Much love,
The Stepps

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Sunday, December 13, 2015

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Merry Christmas Everyone!!


God has been so faithful these past couple months!!

So most of you know we came to South Africa to take part in a program called SBS (School of biblical studies) with Youth With A Mission! We have just completed our 1st term (3-months), we have covered 20 books of the bible using the inductive study method, taught 1 book, and have taken 3 tests! These books have really come alive! We read all of Paul's Epistles and found loads of historical background info on all these different letters!

We also have been doing local outreach here in Muizenberg. Uriah has been loving this! (IN HIS ELEMENT!!) He has been doing street ministry and really connecting with people on the streets!

"God has been teaching me so much about equality, God loves the people on the streets just as much as he loves you and me! They are just as much sons and daughters of God as you and I."

A couple cool testimonies:
  • So we have a place to stay for the remainder of this school!  
  • We had our debit card info stolen... about $700! Thank Jesus for banks with insurance. After the process of filing a fraud claim, and after 8 days we received all of our money back!!
  • The other night after our last day of class, a bunch of us were sitting and discussing what we walked away with from our first three months. We all did the same book assignments and sat through the same classes, but we all walked away from the first term with something different. God met each of us here in such different ways! 
So now we are on our 3-week break. We don't have any plans, really, except that Uriah and I are going to stay in our friends' apartment while they're away..all by ourselves!! On our list of things to do are sleep (a lot), drink coffee (also a lot), eat, watch movies, go to the beach, repeat.. The best word to describe it? Glorious.

Thinking about Christmas without family again is a little bit sad. This year we will be spending it with our couple-friends from Switzerland and a few people that are sticking around for break!

Please let us know how we can pray for you! Email us at uriah.stepp@gmail.com !!

You can get updates from us via email right here!

Thanks so much for your prayers and support!

Sunday, October 25, 2015

God is Faithful!!

Hi friends and family! We hope you all are doing well and enjoying wearing your sweaters and sipping on pumpkin spice lattes from Starbucks while watching a good game of football or carving pumpkins or jumping in leaf piles.. I seriously miss fall, for the second year in a row I miss fall! But I do have the beach and mountains. I guess it's a good trade. 
Muizenberg Beach!!
           Anyways, we are doing GREAT!  You haven't heard from us much because our time is quickly eaten up by studies.  It is hard to believe we are already starting our 7th book using the inductive study method!  In the inductive method we read and observe entire books from the view of the original audience with historical background and context in mind, and then we eventually  find the "timeless truths" that we can then apply to our lives.


 In a typical week we will study 25+ hours, attend 12 hours of class, participate in 2+ hours of "work duties" (chores) and 2+ hours of local outreach, and base worship and base intercession.  It is basically a full-time job, but it's the most rewarding full-time job ever. Our minds are being renewed and our hearts are exploding for Jesus! :)
                                   
 Since we last updated you we found permanent housing (till the school is over in June). I think I mentioned last time that we are living off base because there are so many students on base they didn't have room for us. It has been kind of nice, though, having a quiet place to land at night. It's good for us. We stay with a little lady from Zimbabwe and she is really great. 
 



To get around quickly we invested in two long boards! I really enjoy riding with Uriah. I think I'm catching on, but I'm still not very fast and hills scare me!                              This is our lovely Church called Connect!! It is literally right across the street from where we are living! It is so amazing to come together in midst of a hectic week and be with Family!!



Now for our favorite part: Finances!  We are thankful to have all of our food and most of our school fees paid. Uriah's Indian Tribe grant paid all of his fees!!! We still need about $5550!God is faithful!


We are really working on a group of monthly supporters!! Please consider and pray about supporting us monthly!! 
If you feel this is something that 
God is leading you to do, please email us at: uriah.stepp@gmail.com


Thank you guys for your continued support through prayer and giving. We pray that God will bless you and your families.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

"What you feed will grow, what you starve will die." -Craig Groschel

Lots of travel and new stuff has happened since our last post. We had a 12 hour layover in London, where we took the underground railroad (lol, jk) and saw several interesting things, including Big Ben, the London Eye, and Westminster Abbey! Kaycee's first time in Europe was pretty awesome!

Now we are in Muizenberg, Cape Town! A family is letting us stay in their sweet little granny flat for cheap until we find something more permanent. So we got all moved in there, we saw some old friends, we met scores of new ones, and started class today! It is going to be an awesome, crazy, busy time!

Thank you for your prayers and financial support so far! We feel incredibly blessed to be where we are and to get to study the Bible for 9 months. Right now, please pray with us that we will find more permanent housing that is closer to the base.

We trust you are doing well, too. Email us or send us a message any time to chat or if you want us to pray with you. We love and miss you!


Sunday, September 6, 2015

Tempus Fugit

Hey Everyone! We want to take a moment to say a HUGE THANK YOU to everyone for praying with us and helping us through this process in getting back to South Africa! 

HERE ARE SOME PRAISE REPORTS
*SOLD OUR CAR!!
*RECEIVED OUR ONE YEAR VOLUNTEER VISAS!!
*PURCHASED OUR PLANE TICKETS!! (We will leave in 10 days!)

PRAISE JESUS!!! SO GRATEFUL FOR HIS FAITHFULNESS!! 

HERE ARE SOME PRAYER REQUESTS WE HAVE:
* For extra grace as we say our hard goodbyes and transition into being students again.
* That our minds and hearts would truly be transformed during our 9 Months of intensive Bible Study
* For the remaining financial needs to be met.
* That God would lead us to the perfect place to call home in Muizenberg.
 
Lord willing, we will be in South Africa next time we update our blog. Love to you all!

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Update and Prayer Requests!

Time is going so quickly for us. It doesn't seem possible that in 3 weeks we will be in South Africa and starting our school.. We are excited about it, and trying to soak up every second of our time with friends and family in the states. (If you are in KS or OK and want to see us before we go, please speak up and we will do our best to make it work!)  

Mexican food for Grami's birthday! <3
Saw my Bestie and her other half in OKC!
Two weeks ago, Uriah and I made our 3-trip out to Chicago to apply for our study visas. We were a little bummed that we had to go at first, but it ended up being and extremely satisfying trip, and we were blessed to see and spend time with many, many people we love as well as spend a night together downtown. When we applied for our visas, we were very prepared and had everything we needed and spent less than 15 minutes at the South African consulate..
Uriah's first time.. Chicago..we love you!
Meg N Mike..power couple in Chicago!
Ran into this fine man and his NEW FIANCE in Chicago! Congrats to them!
My God Sister and God Daughter. :D I LOVE YOU ROOMS!
Cousin time in St. Louis<3
I've been to Chi town several times and never saw the bean! It's much larger than I expected it would be!

(We also saw Brett and Greg & Laura (and Alyssa and Grady), but I forgot to get pictures!)

Praise reports:

1) God is providing for our needs. Finances are coming in, I prayed and found suit cases at garage sales for cheap, and I needed jeans and mom cleaned out her closet! 

2) We have a family gym pass and I have mustered up the courage to begin getting back in shape!

3) Uriah and I sold our car and are officially DEBT FREE!!! (Happy dance!)

She was a good car!
I think every time we have made a big decision like this, God has taught us more about His character and His ability to take care of us. We are trusting this is what He is calling us to, and trying to keep our eyes on Him and not putting weight on what we see in the physical. Like Peter when he walked on the water. Jesus really does make us BRAVE as the song says, because we are so secure in Him even if we fall. And we're no longer slaves to fear, because we are Children of the Living God!

We have three prayer requests, and we're asking you to pray with us. If you feel like He is giving you scripture or something for us, please do share!

1) Pray for closeness to Jesus and for sensitivity to what He is saying/doing just during all this craziness. 

2) Pray we (and our classmates) will get our visas . Uriah will be calling again tomorrow, and it has been kind of a hairy process and we are honestly unsure about what the outcome will be.

3) Pray that we will find housing in Muizenberg. (The base has run out of housing for students.)

4) Pray that the finances will come (for us and our classmates), and thank him for what has already come in. 

(By the way, Alyssa, Uriah, and I have two more fundraising events before we leave! One is a garage sale, and the other one is a Gambino's fundraiser. :D)
If you're in Kansas, come see us!!

This is about it for now. We will update you again in the next couple weeks. God bless you all for your friendship, prayer, and kind generosity. xoxox, Kaycee and Uriah


Thursday, July 30, 2015

Game Time!!

Hey friends!! We've been "home" for a little over a month. Spending time with friends and family and just being in a familiar place has been quite nice. We were tempted to start settling down and having a normal life, but it's just not time for that.


Out at YWAM in Muizenberg, South Africa, they run an excellent School of Biblical Studies (SBS). Last year when we were in South Africa attending our DTS, I got the itch to do my SBS when I realized how little I know about God's Word. Uriah and I prayed and felt that we should apply together, and we were accepted Monday! The SBS runs from September to June. During this 9-month school we'll study the entire Bible, book by book, using the inductive approach. The idea is that we will leave having a better understanding of the Scriptures and be equipped to study for ourselves as well as teach others!

Here is the breakdown of our expenses:


$8,880 total tuition (includes housing, food, class materials and fees)
$80 for registration fees
$1,800 for our health insurance while we are gone
$4,000 roundtrip airfare for two
$1,800 for miscellaneous costs (date night, toiletries, transportation, giving, etc)
$16,560 grand total

The need is rather large, and potentially overwhelming--if you don't know my God! :D We wanted to extend to you the opportunity to give. Any amount is great and appreciated, $25, $50, $100, whatever you can afford. There is a "Donate" button through paypal just to the right of this post, below the picture up top. Even if you can't give, you are still a valuable part of our team and we need you to pray!


Pray that we can get our visas.
Pray for us, that we can focus on our studies and that God will meet us there!
Pray for grace in our marriage.
Thank you for reading this long post, but mostly thank you for supporting us and loving us as we go. We would love the opportunity to pray for you and support you in any way, so please comment or email us any time.

Much love, 
Uriah and Kaycee

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Oklahoma dwelling!

Hello!! Hope you all are enjoying your summer! We have enjoyed it so far. Last we posted, we were in Nepal still, but we actually left about a week and a half ago and hit the ground running as soon as we got back to Oklahoma. The rest of our time was really amazing. It was awesome meeting so many people who felt the same call we did to go to Nepal. It seemed like this time around we were able to see many more ministries and connect with many more people than before.

As we mentioned in our last blog, a week in the village went by, and when we returned we started serving in various places. We got to serve a couple times at Banquet House (feeding the homeless and bandaging their wounds), and once Kaycee went to Beauty for Ashes (employs women to make jewelry and beautiful infinity scarves and more..) to help with inventory. We also hung out several times with our Fresh Fire church friends, and Uriah got to preach one Saturday. We were also so blessed to spend quite a bit of time with some new friends, Heather and Matt, who live in Kathmandu. While the boys went and tore down houses for two days, Heather and I stayed home with their adorable new baby, Jeremiah.

We had been praying about joining another organization for our last few weeks, when we received a call saying that Uriah's Great Grandma Pauline, who had taken a bad fall before we left, was getting out of the hospital and needed someone to stay with her at home. It seemed God spoke pretty clearly through scripture (Isaiah 58) that it was the right thing to do, and he gave us grace and excitement to go back early. We were able to bring her home last Wednesday, and she's doing great at home!

For now, Oklahoma is where God has us! There are many hopes and dreams in our hearts!! Watch and pray with us!! Thank you so much for keeping up with us!! Much Love!!

Pani puri..yum!

Cool shot from on top of a building Uriah was working on.

This is the house that Matt and Uriah were working to tear down! Yikes!

Nepal Will Always Hold A Dear Spot In Our Hearts!


Outskirts of Kathmandu.



Cows doing what they want in traffic.

A wooden chariot built for rain god festival.


Fresh Fire Church Family!! So Much Love For These Strong People!

More Family!! So Precious To Us!



Uriah & Ezekiel!


Uriah serving at Banquet House.

Patan Durbar Square--several buildings down, several held up by wooden sticks..