“Here am I. Send me.”

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“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.  Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.  Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

Matthew 6:33-34

2In January I spent 10 days at World Venture Headquarters in Littleton, Colorado.  During my first few days there I attended Pre-Departure training, which was filled with great information to help me prepare for this next chapter in my journey.  The sessions covered topics such as integrity, mourning, transitions, as well as logistical issues of moving to another country.

During my time in Colorado I also attended Renewal Conference, which is held annually for all World Venture missionaries on home assignment.  The goal of RC is to help us missionaries connect on a deeper level with God, each other and World Venture.  The first few days were spent in corporate and personal prayer, along with times of worship.  Later on in the week we heard from many of the World Venture leadership and missionaries, giving guidance and encouragement to each of us.

My time was blessed by all that I was learning and also by the friendships God placed in my life.  I was blessed by getting to know three other single ladies who are each on their own journey to locations around the world, it’s so nice to have friends who are headed down the same road you are.

I also got to meet the lovely ladies in the picture above, each of them have been serving God in Senegal for many years.  They were all so welcoming and encouraging to me and I can’t wait to join them in ministry!

 

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God has used so many different things to speak into my life and lead me to become a missionary.  For over a decade I have told God, “I will go. Send me.”  Now the time has come, God is sending me out.  If everything goes as planned the next newsletter you receive from me will be sent from Senegal!  It’s such an amazing feeling to look back on my life and see the gentle ways God has been directing my life and to see his faithfulness in getting me to this point.
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The question I have heard a lot recently is, “Do you have a departure date set?”  The exciting answer is that I do have a tentative date set.  It’s only tentative because I haven’t been given clearance to buy a ticket yet, but soon!

Another question I hear often is, “Are you getting excited?”  I have such a mixed reaction to this.  I am definitely excited for what God is doing in my life and I’m looking forward to seeing how he will use me in Senegal.  But, I also struggle with being anxious about all the changes that await me.  I know that moving to a new country won’t be easy and I don’t relish being away from my family and friends.  I’m so thankful to be able to look back at my life and see how God has provided for me and my family, it helps me remember that he will continue to provide.

Final Thoughts…

As I sit here writing to you it is 2 degrees outside, with big beautiful snowflakes gently falling and I am relishing the view.   As much as this winter has been cold and long, I know when I’m in Africa I will miss looking out my window in the winter and see the snow falling.  But I can’t wait to see what sights and sounds await me that I can share with you!

I truly covet your prayers over the coming weeks.  There are so many goodbye I must say, all with differing degrees of difficultly.  I know that God will see me through this step of following him, but I ask you to pray that those I leave behind with be reminded of the same thing!

 

One-time Expenses – 100%

Monthly Expenses – 90%

 

Thank you for your prayers,

Kim Johnson

 

 

Homemade Egg Noodles

Beef and noodles.

It doesn’t sound like anything too amazing…but when those noodles are homemade it’s a perfect winter meal!  The first time I tried this amazing dish was 3 or 4 years ago, thanks to a very dear friend.  A few weeks later, I knew I had to try my hand at making homemade egg noodles myself.  So I called my friend for her recipe…well, there really wasn’t a recipe.  She just said break some eggs in a bowl, add a little water, salt and enough flour to form a soft dough.  So that’s what I did.  It’s surprisingly much easier than you may think!

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Step 1 – Crack eggs into a large bowl. I used 8 eggs, but you could use more or less, depending how many noodles you want in the end.

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Step 2 – Add salt and water. Salt: I used about 1/2 tsp of salt, but they were a little bland (that’s what happens sometimes when you don’t use a recipe). Next time I think I would use a 1 tsp. Water: I used about 1/2 cup.

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Step 3 – This is an easy one…whisk!

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Step 4 – Add flour. I think I put in 3 cups before taking this picture. Sorry, it’s been about a month since I actually made this batch of noodles.

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Step 5 – Using a sturdy spoon (I prefer wooden spoons) begin to incorporate the eggs and flour. As you can see, the dough is still quite sticky. Continue adding more flour at 1/2 cup at a time.

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Step 6 – Knead in any more flour you may need to have a soft, but not sticky dough. Then I split the dough into manageable sizes for rolling out.

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Step 7 – On a well floured surface, with a floured rolling-pin, roll your dough out fairly thin about 1/8″ – 1/4″. (The noodles will expand as the cook.)

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Step 8 – Cut the noodles. The easiest way to do this is with a pizza cutter…my Mom taught me that! You can cut them whatever size you want them, it might differ depending on what you are using them for.

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After they are cut I put them on a cookie sheet or plate with extra flour on it and toss them in the flour so that they don’t stick together.

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Ok, so this time I was making turkey and noodles. Not as good as beef or venison, but still good. So, before adding the noodles to the turkey broth I had it boiling in the oven (I think the oven was set at 425*) and then carefully began adding noodles to it. I had also seasoned the broth with celery salt and pepper, you could also add any vegetables you might want at this time. After the broth and noodles begin to simmer again turn oven down to 375* and bake, stirring occasionally, for 30 – 60 minutes.

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Here is the end result…

So if you are the type of person who likes very clear directions…I’m sorry.  I know there was a lack of specifics in this recipe, but that is the way my Mom and I cook much of the time.  So, I don’t actually have a written recipe for these noodles.  As a side note – if you have more noodles then you need at one time, stick the extras in the freezer (leave them on the cookie sheet with the extra flour).  After they are frozen, put them in a freezer bag and back in the freezer for some other time!

If you try this “recipe” I would love to hear how it works for you.  Or, if you have a question, feel free to ask and I’ll try to respond quickly.

Family Time

The last two weeks have been full of fun family times!

Ok, so this isn’t quite what our Thanksgiving dinner looked like…but close!

My brother Mark and his wife Jenny arrived at our house the Tuesday before Thanksgiving and were able to stay until Saturday. What a blessing!!!  We enjoyed a nice visit together and an awesome Thanksgiving dinner.  I’m so thankful they were able to come and stay with us…life gets so busy sometimes that these moments of time are so precious!  

In some ways I feel like my time for special family moments is running out…

God has continued to provide the partners I need to begin ministry in Senegal.  I now have partners for 60% of my monthly support…which is an awesome feeling!  It’s so exciting to see God moving me forward on this journey!

Moving forward is good, but it can also be hard.  Starting this new chapter in the story God is writing with my life means that another chapter is coming to a close.  I have always had a hard time with knowing how to deal with change, so I have to keep reminding myself that God has always been with me and he will see me through these changes too.

So, my Thanksgiving this year was a little bittersweet…it will be three years before I am home to celebrate another Thanksgiving with my family.  But I am confident that God will see me through the times of sadness that I’m sure will come as I celebrate next year in Senegal!

Ok. Picture time!

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Hunting for the perfect Christmas tree!
Mimi – Angela – Papa

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Angela – Auntie Kim

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Here’s our perfect tree!!!

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The girls had lots of fun decorating the tree while Papa watched!

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Mimi’s good at reaching the high branches!

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Our puzzle project…didn’t quite finish it. Maybe next time!

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Angela…the little baker girl!

 

Homemade Soft Pretzels

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I LOVE SOFT PRETZELS!  This love was passed down to me from my mom, who had her first pretzel on a trip to the mall with her dad when she was young.  My brothers and I have enjoyed soft pretzels with nacho cheese for as long as I can remember and now our love of pretzels has been pass on to my niece.

In the past we bought frozen pretzel from the supermarket.  But in recent years we have been making our own, originally because soft pretzels got expensive, but eating homemade pretzels has spoiled us.  Now when I happen to eat a store-bought soft pretzel, I can’t help but notice the lack of flavor and texture.  So today I want to share my pretzel recipe with you!  They are simple and fun to make.  I like to make a double batch and freeze some, they  reheat very well.

Oh, and you will be proud of me, I took pictures of the process to share with you!

Soft Pretzels

Yield: 12 pretzels

1 Tbsp yeast
1 1/2 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups hot water
3 Tbsp oil
4-5 cups flour
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6 cups water
1/4 cup baking soda

In a large bowl mix together yeast, sugar, salt and 3 cups of the flour. Then mix in the water and oil. Once thourghly combined add more flour to form a smooth soft dough. Knead for 3-5 minutes. Cover with a clean towel and place in a warm, draft free spot and let rise until doubled in size (about 30 minutes).
While your dough is rising bring the water and baking soda to a boil. Then turn down to low until after your pretzels are formed.
Cut dough into 12 equal pieces. On a counter roll pieces into a long rope, then twist into a pretzel shape. Place on a parchment paper lined pan. Continue to roll and shape the rest of your pieces.
This next step is my favorite part! Bring your water back to a boil, I keep the temp between medium and med-high. Gently place pretzels in water, my pot holds 3 pretzels at a time, boil for 30 seconds. Then flip them over and boil for 15 seconds. Remove from water and return to the pan, sprinkle with coarse pretzel salt. Finish boiling and salting pretzels.
Bake @ 475* for 10 minutes. Brush with melted butter and return to oven for 5 minutes or until golden brown.

Grab a some family or friends and enjoy!

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I loved the way this last picture turned out! We had a beautiful, sunny winter day here in Northern Minnesota!

Winter in Northern Minnesota

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It has always amazed me that when the weather gets really cold, you can’t tell the difference between really cold and really, really, cold!  Right now the temperature is -20 degrees plus wind chill, making it feel like -36.  But the funny thing is -20 doesn’t feel much different then 0 degrees.

Well, now that we’ve talked about the weather, I guess we can move on.  So far 2013 has been a great year!  The first weekend of the year I got to celebrate Christmas with my parents, brothers, sister-in-law, lovely nieces, and some close friends.  Some highlights included: girls night out, watching Tangled with the little girlies, eating pizza, swimming and great thrift store finds!

Since then it’s been back to work and recovering from the holidays.  But I’ve still found time for some projects.  Tomorrow I will share about a great whipped body butter I made last week.  Have a great night and stay warm!