A Joyful Noise



How are we adjusting?

It’s been quiet.

We’ve been “hiding” in a sense.  Taking baby steps to understand life back in California.

Is our house set up?

Yes, for the most part it is set up and functioning as it should.  I think the biggest missing piece for me was a dining room table.  Why?  It represented a place where people could come and eat and commune with us.  God provided as he always has.  We were given the most beautiful dining table, and the night we got it I turned to John Mark and said, “who should be our first guests?” Our family was.  All four of us sat together to talk about our transition back. So many conversations are being had over dinner.


If you know our family you know we love community.  We love being part of the life that is happening around us.  One of our biggest struggles in coming back to California has been trying to figure out where God is writing us into his story.

Some questions we have been wrestling with are.

Why are we here?

What’s our purpose?

¿Dónde está nuestra gente? (where are our people?)

Although we look the same on the outside, well except maybe Caleb he has grown so much and looks like a pre-teen, we’ve changed and we are being faced with the challenge of “fitting back in” to a culture we left behind.  Navigating two worlds that are extremely different is difficult.

I was told in a conversation I recently had that “no matter what, you will have to join the rat race.”

WHY? I asked.  Why do I HAVE to join the rat race?  That’s what we left behind and I got to see life outside of that race.  Sure, I understand what he was saying in telling me that. My response was, if I have to join the rat race I am going to change the course of it, change what we are chasing.

What are we chasing and why are we chasing it?

This is a serious question we’ve been asking ourselves.  Thinking about the race and what’s the goal?  For the last three years we’ve focused on trusting God and allowing him to lead us in all we do.  Taking time to listen and think instead of just jumping in and making things happen.


On Tuesday, we all attended the Convocation at Vanguard.  It’s a time to focus in on the beginning of the new school year, giving the students a vision and charge for the year, introducing them to the faculty and worshiping God together.  It was an amazing time for us and the kids.  We sat with VU students and as the church filled with each one of them it became clearer as to why we came.  Students, nuestra gente!  We were designed to love students.  We purposefully chose to live close to Vanguard so that we could insert ourselves into the lives of students.  Walk with them on campus, eat meals with them, lend an ear to their story, cheer them on and make a joyful noise together.  Our race is focused on walking humbling with college students as they seek to find truth in their lives.  

We cannot wait to tell you the next part of our story and the lives that we get to be part of through God’s great plan.  Thank you for continuing to journey with us.

Con Mucho Amor, Cristina


Please continue to pray for:

  • Rebekah and Caleb as they begin school on Sept. 5. Pray for solid healthy friendships, wisdom and joy for learning
  • For me as I begin to new position in the coming months, as Director of Development for an NGO based in El Salvador
  • For John Mark as he teaches and is present at Vanguard University

4 thoughts on “A Joyful Noise

  1. Loved reading this. Made me think of dinner nights at your house; your family truly knows how to build community and I’m excited to hear that you will be pouring into more college students lives again. I know myself and many others appreciated your love and support back in the day! All my love to you as you all transition back. ❤️

  2. Welcome back to CA. I can relate to your feelings. We just spent he last year as interim pastors in Gardiner, MT and Dave was the Resident minister in Yellowstone.
    We lived in a town of 800. Everyone knew everyone else and took care of each other. We had barely gotten there and people were opening their homes to us. We loved small town living and the incredible scenery. We loved the pace of life. We would have moved there in a minute if the kids and grandkids weren’t in So Cal.
    Coming back to the whirlwind pace of life, traffic, and noise was a jolt to our system.
    We went to Network Council and there were multiple screens, flashing colors and loud music. I had to leave the service. And we were there just a year.
    You both will do well connecting with the Vanguard students.

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