What’s Next?

Friends, Family, Prayer Partners,

We are so sorry to have left you all hanging for so long! After several months of seeking God’s direction for our lives after the recent merge/relocation of our mission we finally have some answers. Grace Community Church at Deerfoot in Trussville, Alabama has asked Jordan to become the full-time Associate Pastor and we have accepted!

God has been preparing us over the past few years for this ministry with counseling, pastoral care, and teaching opportunities. We believe this will be a natural transition for us. We are also so excited to be able to do life and ministry near longtime friends and family!

We love Camino Global (Avant) immensely and will miss serving with them. It will be hard to leave after almost twelve years. We hope for the very best as they make the move to Kansas City, Missouri and continue to serve Jesus Christ all over the world!

To all of you who gave, prayed, or served alongside us as we served missionary kids in Guatemala and then from Texas, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts! You were instrumental in the ministry that God has allowed us to do. We absolutely could not have done it without you. We ask that you would keep us in your prayers as we continue to serve Him in a different way. Our official start date is June 1. We will be in contact with all of our financial supporters about how to discontinue giving if you give on a monthly basis. We also have a few missionaries that could use your help if you would like to continue giving but aren’t sure who to give to. Let us know and we will give you information!

So what will our lives look like until June 1? We have already contacted a realtor and are putting our house on the market in about a week. The Dallas market is doing well now so we hope to have a contract on our house quickly. Please pray with us that it would sell quickly and for close to our asking price. We have already been packing and are ready to move to Alabama as soon as our house sells and maybe sooner. After we get there we will need to find a new home! If you know of any good realtors or homes on the market let us know! Please keep our kids in your prayers as they make this transition. They have moved a lot in their lives and it doesn’t get easier with time. We have made lifelong friends here in Texas and leaving hurts.

Thank you all again for being there for us in so many different ways. We have felt the love and the prayers. We are excited to see what God will do going forward. Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ!

Love,

Jordan, Hannah, Solomon, Grace & Afton

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¡Hola Amigos!

We have been living in our home outside of Dallas, Texas for just over a year now. Besides the incredibly hot summers, we are loving it! We have gotten plugged into a great church where we have been able to teach some Sunday school classes and where we have met some amazing friends. There are days that our hearts long to be back in Guatemala, but Texas has welcomed us with open arms. We also get to experience quite a bit of Hispanic culture here!

In March, Jordan took a trip to Mexico for their annual missionary kid camp. Since the majority of our MKs are in Mexico this was a great opportunity to get to know the kids better.

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(Jordan is hiding in the back right :))

In April, Jordan’s parents came to Texas to see Solomon and Grace get baptized! They also stayed with Solomon and Grace for a few days so that we could attend a conference about MK care with another one of our team members. We learned so much and met some amazing people that also love to serve missionary kids.

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Jordan has opportunities throughout the year to visit several colleges where Camino MKs go to school. This year he has visited Southeastern Bible School and La Tourneau. He will be visiting Moody Bible College and Liberty University in the fall. Whenever he visits MKs at colleges he also spends some time recruiting college kids for Camino Global’s EMERGE Summer Internships. Right now several interns are ministering in Mexico and Spain through this awesome opportunity! We are praying for God’s direction in these student’s lives.

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(The Grewatz’s! Dallas is a great central hub to see our MKs as they visit the States.)

Every year we have a camp/get together for our missionary kids. This year we are calling it our MK Summer Road Trip! In August we will be staying in a cabin on the Guadalupe River right outside of San Antonio. Please pray with us that the MKs that need this trip will be able to attend and that it will be a time of refreshing and a place where the MKs can feel like they fit in.

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As a member of the Pastoral Care Team, Jordan was able to be involved in interviewing new candidates that are interested in being missionaries with Camino Global. Camino Global takes great care in making sure that their missionaries beliefs and values line up with what Camino stands for so this is a very important step for our new missionaries. It was also a great opportunity to connect with new missionaries before they go on the field.

This Spring we had six MKs in the Dallas area graduate from high school or college! We are so proud of them and are excited to see what God will do in their future.

If you would be willing to pray for one or several MKs daily/weekly/monthly please email or Facebook message us and we will give you a specific name and picture. We love our missionary kids and would love to connect our prayer partners with them as much as possible!

Thank you so much for praying and keeping up with what the Lord is doing through us! Please let us know how we can pray for you as well.

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(Afton is 9 months old now!)

Grace, Peace, and Hope to You,

Jordan, Hannah, Solomon, Grace & Afton

MK Ministry & the Body of Christ

“But now there are many members, but one body. And the eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you”; or again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” On the contrary, it is much truer that the members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary; and those members of the body which we deem less honorable, on these we bestow more abundant honor, and our less presentable members become much more presentable, whereas our more presentable members have no need of it. But God has so composed the body, giving more abundant honor to that member which lacked, so that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another.And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it. Now you are Christ’s body, and individually members of it.”

The past couple of months have been a very busy, but fruitful time for us! Jordan has a lot on his plate as the Director of MK ministries, Pastoral Care team member, helping with new Camino missionaries, and recruiting students at colleges for Camino’s EMERGE Summer Internships. The Lord is using us and many other missionaries in Dallas, Texas to send and care for missionaries and missionary kids all over the world. Like Paul says in 1 Corinthians 12, we are all a part of the much larger body of Christ. Missionaries need your prayers to help the body function!

Having fun with our MKs at our New Year’s Party:

RECRUITING: Last month, Jordan went on another recruiting trip to Le Tourneau College in Tyler, TX where two of our MKs go to school. Last week he visited Southeastern Bible College in Birmingham, AL. So far, several students have signed up to participate in Camino Global’s summer internships in Central America and Spain. Please pray with us for God’s leading in their life. We are hoping that some of these students will hear the call to full-time missions because of these trips!

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MK CAMP: In March, Jordan will be taking a trip to Mexico for a missionary kid’s camp. We want to get to know the MKs on the field so that we can walk with them throughout their journey from the mission field, to college or career, and sometimes back to the mission field. Jordan will also be able to get to know some of Camino’s adult missionaries in Mexico.

MISSIONS CONFERENCE: We will be in Alabama as a family March 12-17 for Grace Community Church’s missions conference. We hope to see some of you during that time!

NEW CAMINO MISSIONARIES: Another part of Jordan’s role at Camino Global is to help with the accepting and preparing of new Camino Global missionaries. Camino Global realizes the importance of equipping their missionaries for their time on and off the field. There are many things that missionaries face, that they may not be aware of when they are just starting out. We want to be able to help our missionaries as much as possible as they serve others and glorify God!

TRAINING: Jordan and I (Hannah) will be attending a conference in April in Kansas City, Missouri to that will focus on missionary kid care.

THE KIDS: Solomon is becoming more comfortable at his school. Some of his friends from school live on our street, so he is able to play with them outside of school. Last week I overheard him sharing the gospel with one of his friends who decided to receive Christ as her Savior because of that conversation! I am inspired by his faith. He believes with all of his heart that the only way for him to spend eternity in Heaven with his friends is if they also love Jesus.

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Grace is also enjoying school. She has taken on some of our competitiveness in sports. The week before the mile run at school she told me that she was going to beat the girl that usually wins the race. She not only outran her but also outran all of the boys in 1st grade. We will let her outrun the boys as long as she wants toJ!

Afton is 4 months old now and is a joy to our family.

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Our new prayer card photo:

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Please let us know how we can pray for your family as well!

Grace, Peace, and Hope to You,

The Selfs

Fall…Or Something Like It

The past month has been a little bit of a blur from lack of sleep, but we are starting to get back into our normal routine (whatever that means :)). This week we have FINALLY experienced temperatures below 80 degrees!

So, what has been going on the past few months?

Jordan had the joy of going on his first college recruiting trip to Liberty University. He was able to speak to hundreds of college students about the possibility of mission work with Camino Global. While there, he had the joy of visiting with some of Camino’s MKs and a couple of our students from the Christian Academy of Guatemala who are now at college in the States. He also was able to visit one of our former students who is in college just south of Dallas. Jordan will be doing several recruiting trips to colleges around the U.S. next year. This allows him to inspire young people to serve as missionaries and he gets to visit with any of our MKs that attend that college!:

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Jordan was invited to teach the youth at Fellowship Church. We are so thankful to have found a great church that already feels like family.

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We also had an adorable baby girl. Afton Hope Self. 7lbs. 6 oz. She is named after a river in Scotland. Robert Burns wrote a poem about it and many years later Nickel Creek put it to beautiful bluegrass music :).

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Grace feeding sweet Afton

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Ways that you can pray for us:

  • We do a lot of communicating with our MKs through skype, facebook, etc. Please pray that we would find effective ways to serve and care for them when we are not able to spend time with them face-to-face.
  • Jordan has recently become a part of the pastoral care team for all of Camino Global’s missionaries. Please pray that we would also effectively care for our mission’s missionaries through that team, especially as they transition to and from the foreign mission field.
  • As missionaries with Camino Global, we have always relied on the financial support of others. If you feel led to join us as we care for missionary kids and missionaries in the U.S. and Central/South America here are some ways to do that: Partner With Us
  •  It is so vital to fill our hearts and minds with the Word of God and to seek the Lord daily. Please pray that we would make time in our busy schedule for rest in Him.

May God bless you as we enter into the Thanksgiving and Christmas season! Please let us know how we can pray for you as well!

Jordan, Hannah, Solomon, Grace, & Afton

 

 

Life and Ministry in Texas

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I don’t know if this is an actual word or not, but if it isn’t it should be because it explains a feeling that missionary kids know all too well. A few weeks ago we had our 3rd annual missionary kid retreat near Tyler, Texas. The retreat is a time for our Camino Global missionary kids from high school to college/career to come together with like-minded people and celebrate their lives as MKs. We offer times of worship in English and Spanish, sessions that help them understand things like adjusting to U.S. culture, the importance of values, healthy transition, and much more. We were sad to see the MKs leave at the end of the retreat. Many of them are heading on to new phases of life like college, career, missions, etc. Please keep them in your prayers! We would love for our churches and prayer partners to take our MKs under their wings and choose one or two to pray for and bless with encouragement or a care package from time to time. Please contact us if you are interested in doing this.

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Solomon & Lizzie representing the Solomon Islands during our MK Olympics!

 

We are so thankful that the Lord led us to the perfect home for us (2043 Moonlight Trail. Heartland, TX 75126)! We are located less than twenty minutes from our mission, Camino Global. We live less than a mile from the kid’s elementary school and so far they love it! You can pray that they would adjust well to a new school and that they would make a few good friends. The summer has been HOT and dry; so dry that we are required to WATER the foundation of our house to keep it from cracking. We are really looking forward to a cooler fall!

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First Day of School

 

Jordan is settling into his new role as the Director of Missionary Kid Ministries. He has had the joy of spending time with our MKs that live around the Dallas area and a few that have passed through when their families returned to the States for a furlough. September 13-17 he will be taking a trip to Liberty University to recruit for Camino Global and to visit with four of our MKs that are students there. Please pray that his time there would be inspiring to college students that are considering mission work and that our MKs would be encouraged.

Another part of our ministry here in Dallas is to be a part of the pastoral care team at Camino Global. Different pastoral care missionaries from each field are coming together to create a way for the pastoral team to be unified and to help our Camino missionaries the best way possible through any of the struggles or hardships that they go through on the field. This will involve some field visits to Spanish speaking countries from time to time so please pray that we would have the funds available for travel when we need to do that. Field visits also give us a great opportunity to connect with our MKs on the field.

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Camino Global Pastoral Care Team

 

In other Self news, we are anticipating the arrival of our sweet baby girl, due October 17th! Please pray for a healthy delivery and a smooth as possible adjustment as we add another Self to our family. Solomon and Grace already love her!

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Last, but not least, we are feeling the need for a small, older, but reliable second car mostly for Jordan to use locally. Please pray as we seek a way to make this happen. We know that if it is truly a need that the Lord will provide for it somehow. Every time we begin to stress about life, God shows us that we didn’t need to worry even for a minute. He has always provided everything we have needed and more!

If you ever have any questions about our ministry or how you can be more involved in the life of a missionary kid please email us, call us (Jordan: 205-470-9936, Hannah: 205-643-5938), or send us a message on Facebook! We would love to get you more involved in caring for an MK. We have really felt your prayers during our transition to this newest phase of our ministry to MKs. Thank you so much for your prayers and support. We could not do it without you partnering with us!

Grace and Peace to you!

Jordan, Hannah, Solomon & Grace

Moving to Dallas!

Hello from Dallas, TX!

We wanted to send a quick update of our home search and what our next steps will be. After looking for homes in all available areas in Dallas and Dallas suburbs, we have decided that we need to rent a small apartment while we look for a better option. We were hit hard with the reality that housing in Dallas costs a lot more than housing in Guatemala. We are hoping that over the next few months that something will come up in our price range.

In Texas there is a huge issue with foundations cracking when it gets hot in the summer time, creating cracks all over the house. Residents of Dallas are supposed to water their foundations every day during the summer to prevent this. We looked at several houses that were visibly sagging into the earth because part of the foundation had cracked and was drifting. Some things you just can’t understand until you see it. Finding a home without these cracks has proven to be very difficult, especially in older houses. Please be in prayer that we can find an older house in our price range without major structural damage.

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So having said all that, we plan to move to Dallas within the next few weeks. This is a pretty stressful time for us and we could use prayer for our spiritual, emotional and physical health. We are feeling a lot like vagabonds right now and just want to get settled and into our full-time ministry soon. Thank you for walking through this with us!

 

God Bless,

Jordan, Hannah, Solomon & Grace

A New Kind of MK Ministry

For four and a half years we have been ministering at the Christian Academy of Guatemala. Our desire was always to care for the kids of missionaries so that the parents could accomplish their ministries and so that the students would have the best possible experience on the mission field. The second most common reason that missionaries leave the mission field is because of family issues. We are trying to prevent that as much as possible where missionary kids are concerned. MKs have been dear to our hearts for many years. Our plan was to do this in Guatemala indefinitely, but God had other plans for us. We are excited to announce that our ministry to MKs has taken a new direction!

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As most of you know, we have been very involved with our mission’s (Camino Global) missionary kid retreats for the past couple of years. In July, after our most recent retreat, we had a leadership meeting where it was confirmed by Camino Global’s leaders that our mission needs a full-time ministry to our missionary kids. We were asked to head up that ministry and have accepted the position! This means that we will be relocating to Dallas, Texas sometime early this year. From there we will minister to all of Camino Global’s missionary kids in the US and in Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, and several other countries. We will do this through field visits, counseling, re-entry retreats, coaching and more!

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This will be a huge transition for us. Please keep our family in your prayers as we embark on this new journey. Some specific things you can pray for are:

  • Good transitions for the kids.
  • That we would find an affordable home. We are saving for a down payment, but we are not where we need to be yet.
  • Continued financial support.
  • Direction and wisdom as we develop ways to care for Camino’s MKs.

If you have any questions about our ministry or would like to hear more about what we will be doing, please let us know (email: jself@caminoglobal.org, cell: (205) 470-9936).

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(We visited Washinton D.C. on our road trip last summer)