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)

 

Sweet Home Alabama!

Hello Friends!

Last January marked FOUR YEARS of ministering in Guatemala!

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(A little throw back to our first month here)

Our next big life event: A seven month long furlough!

Our mission recommends a year every four years, but we feel like seven months will be a good opportunity for us to reconnect with our partners in ministry while only missing one semester at the Christian Academy of Guatemala. We are also incredibly excited to spend Thanksgiving and Christmas with family for the first time in four years! And how could we forget the joy of going to an Auburn football game??? Oh, and Chick-fil-A… We are just a little bit excited about some of the joys of home even though we will miss our home in Guatemala while we are gone!

God has always taken such good care of us throughout all of our many transitions and we trust that this one will be no different. We will be renting our Guatemala home out while we are gone to cover our rent that we pay here and we will stay in our little home in Alabama when we are not traveling.

When we left the States we sold or gave away most of our “stuff” so we would like to ask for some help with our basic needs. If you have any of the following items around your house taking up space and could sell them cheap or loan them out to us for the seven months that we will be in the States we would really appreciate it! We are looking for function and don’t care what anything looks like. We will need the following items pretty quickly after arriving in Alabama:

A vehicle: This one is a big one! We will be visiting some out of State ministry partners in June so we need a vehicle that is reliable at least for the month of June. After that anything that runs will work for us.

Booster car seats for the kids

Beds: Jordan and I are looking for one for us and two for the kids. Bunks would be great for the kids because our space is limited and bunks with storage are a double plus!

A couch

Small desk and office chair

Bicycles for Solomon & Grace (this is not a need, but we would love to buy these for cheap if you have one that is not being used)

We hope and pray that this furlough will be a time of reconnecting and refreshment before embarking on the next phase of ministry. Thank you so much for ministering alongside us through your prayers and all of the ways that you have supported us financially and with your time. We truly could not do this without you!

30 for 30

We are still lacking about $300 of monthly funds to be at our full support level. That could mean 10 people giving $30 a month or 30 people giving $10 a month. We are hoping to get our support level where it needs to be before returning to Guatemala.

In case you were wondering what our lives here look like right now:

We have been keeping ourselves busy lately at the Christian Academy of Guatemala. Jordan teaches Bible and most of his day he counsels youth that come to his office wanting direction about various issues. Hannah is an advisor for the 7th graders and teaches them Science once a day. We both help lead a discipleship class once a week after our weekly chapel service. Solomon is a superstar reader in 1st grade and Grace is pretty much always living in the fantasy world of the movie Frozen when she is not being a ballerina.

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We recently began hosting a small group Bible study in our home on Sunday nights so please keep that in your prayers.

Last, but definitely not least: Over the Christmas break Jordan was given the privilege of teaching/counseling/being involved in our mission’s 2nd annual missionary kid conference. Our mission’s MK ministry of this kind is in its grass roots phase and we hope to be involved in developing a more consistent ministry for the Camino Global missionary kids in the future. Please be praying about our future involvement in this ministry!

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(MKonnections Conference)

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope!

Jordan, Hannah, Solomon & Grace

Merry Christmas!

Feliz Navidad!

We would like to thank everyone that has participated in our 30 for 30 campaign. So far you have helped us reach the halfway mark! We are still lacking $350 monthly to be fully supported, but we are so grateful for how you have gotten us this far! Thank you, thank you, thank you! Raising support can be such a challenge because we know very much how it feels to think about every purchase and worry about whether there will be enough at the end of the month. We are so incredibly humbled every time someone gives of their money to what we are doing here in Guatemala.

Our mission here has always been to minister to missionary kids and youth at the Christian Academy of Guatemala (C.A.G.). We do that through counseling, discipleship, Bible classes and academic classes like Jordan’s Psychology class and Hannah’s Science class. Along with an amazing staff, we want to help the students at C.A.G. have the best experience possible in Guatemala. The second most common reason for missionaries to leave the field is family problems. We are trying to develop healthy youth and healthy relationships with their families so that the whole families can be successful in what God has called them to do.

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(11th grade boys’ discipleship group)

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(We took our discipleship groups to Hermano Pedro, a disabled children’s hospital, to minister to the kids.)

C.A.G. allows parents to work wholeheartedly in their specific ministries during the day so that they can have family time after school. Most C.A.G. families include their kids in ministry outside of school hours, which is so important, but they also have dedicated times where they can fully focus on their mission. Here are a few examples of the many ministries that families of C.A.G. are involved in:

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We have been so blessed to know people that are doing such amazing things in Guatemala. Not just coming in and doing work, but including Guatemalans in their visions. Our hope is that our role at C.A.G. plays a little part in helping them accomplish big things that lead Guatemalans to Christ.

In other news, December 31-Jan 3 Jordan will be leading some sessions and devotional times at Camino’s MKonnections; a retreat for missionary kids from Camino Global. Please pray that it would be a great time of learning, bonding and refreshment for the MKs.

To God be the Glory,

Jordan, Hannah, Solomon & Grace