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 ourlecture 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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