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WE ARE OFF!!
Thanks to all who support is in love, service, prayer, and giving. We are here because you do what you do. 
To God be the glory. We love you all. See you soon ✌🏽

What it’s like...

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To leave again.

Well, we will have been in the USA for 17 month on the dot the day we leave for Southeast Asia. So much has happened, and yet our lives in Cape Town feel like just a breath away. Our entire season in America has been marked by the decision that it was a temporary step in a journey our family is on. It wasn’t permanent, although many times we were tempted to make it be so.
What is it like to leave again, this time after our longest season in the States in 15 years? I don’t really have words, except to say that there is this mixture of intense grief and loss, AND this feeling that saying goodbye has become so so normal, it almost feels easier than it should. Goodbye has become such a part of our vocabulary.
But that doesn’t happen in isolation. For every goodbye, there was a glorious hello preceding it, which means that there are more hellos awaiting us on the other side. Life is so transient, we are but a vapor, and the Smeddle family has been PRIVILEGED to spend our lives…

Goodbye traditions

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We had our traditional farewell breakfast with Joe Joe & Margie yesterday at First Watch. We love these two, who have journeyed with me/us since the beginning of our missionary journeys. It’s so special being a part of their extended family & great big hearts ❤️
Joe Joe & Margie always bring JP a new toy to play with, passed down by their precious grandkids. Today it was new trains πŸš‚πŸš‚πŸš‚

Holding sweet Hannah Joy πŸ’—

Precious memories πŸ“Έ

An update on our training time in Virginia.

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I am hoping this is the beginning of a long and meaningful relationship between you, the reader, and The Smeddle's blog! I love writing, but am not disciplined in doing it. I'm sorry. Discipline is something I am adding to my life in this new season we are entering.



A brief update on our family and the plans to move abroad...

We are nearing the end of our 7 week training. Our first two weeks here were a flurry of settling in, then hopping on an Amtrak to New York City where we stayed for a week in Brooklyn with some other trainees, then returning to Virginia and hitting the ground running. New York was fun, challenging, eye-opening, and a great training for how to engage a neighborhood as the newbie in town. We fell in love with Brooklyn, and are encouraged that we can fall in love with another city God might put us in.

"And should I not have concern for the great city of Nineveh, in which there are more than a hundred and twenty thousand people who cannot tell their righ…

The "WHY?" behind our upcoming move abroad

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Hi friends,
As I was doing the laundry yesterday, it occurred to me that not everyone I wish could come to our benefit concert will do so or be able to. I wanted so much to be able to explain to you what those in attendance tonight will hear more about, which is our decision to follow God’s “call” to Southeast Asia.
When we use the word “call” to talk about things like this, we sometimes assume people know what that means. And not everyone can truly relate to that experience, so we would like to explain it a bit.

Simon and I have individually been impacted by cross cultural living, and how the story of Jesus actually is very relevant across cultures. It is not an American story, not even a Western one. It is a truth that crosses cultures, geographical lines, and age old religious systems. It is as true now as it ever was, so when we say God “called” us, we literally mean that. We experienced a moment when Jesus, who is real, laid out a life before us that was too good to pass up. But to…

Simon's trip to Myanmar

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At the beginning of this year, Ashley and I actually had our hearts set on going to Northern Thailand to partner with a family in Chiang Rai. We are so similar to them when it comes to values, sense of humor and what we think doing missions looks like.  We assumed this is where the LORD wanted us next on mission for Him.  We started planning, praying specific prayers and telling folk about it.  However, when our leaders of that region caught wind of what we were planning, they politely burst our bubble, saying, “Sorry, we think it non-strategic to write a job assignment for Northern Thailand at this point.  We need more missionaries in Shan State, Myanmar.” 
Of all the places we had explored going in South East Asia, Myanmar was not one of them. As many of you know, Ashley had been there as a missionary in 2003 for one year before going to South Africa for ten years. To put it plainly, both of us were a little afraid of the prospect.We were not enthusiastic about how much harder the l…