Failing Fast

Jesse and I attended an event last summer that was for people involved or interested in Social Entrepreneurship. I’ll never forget one of the speakers who got up front and said something like, “the only way to succeed in a social enterprise is to fail often and fail early.”

I remember it so clearly because I was genuinely frightened by the idea of going into something with the expectations of multiple failures. Engineers aren’t really designed for that. We do all our work to codes that have been “proven” and we have safety factors to make double-sure things will NOT fail. You can’t build a bridge with the mentality of “fail often and fail early”.

Since that event last summer, it seems like we have been told to “Fail often and fail early” a lot of times. We’ve also just had a lot of things fail.

However, I’m also learning to see the wisdom in “Fail often and fail early”. It’s basically the fastest way to learn.

We are at our month-long training now, and the first two weeks focus on language acquisition. It’s actually really fun, but just today, our instructor said, “when you learn a language, you have to make a million mistakes first…so get started!” After laughing, I realized how that statement seems to have been true about so much lately and how I better just embrace it!

So, as of today, I’m committing to embrace the wrestling, the effort, the falling down and getting back up, the starting over, and the failure…because it is the fastest way to get to success.

Here are some photos of our last few weeks! We traveled over 1,000 miles, driven more than 19 hours, and stayed in 7 different places over the last 2.5 weeks.

We visited petroglyphs in Crow Canyon!

We visited petroglyphs in Crow Canyon!

Mom took us to Chaco Canyon to learn about the ancestral Puebloan culture. It was SO cool!

Mom took us to Chaco Canyon to learn about the ancestral Puebloan culture. It was SO cool!

Tested a solar oven for Lumi. Just because we are on the road, doesn't mean we aren't working.  =)

Tested a solar oven for Lumi. Just because we are on the road, doesn’t mean we aren’t working. =)

After Farmington, NM, we hit the road for Rocky Ford, CO. Beautiful wide-open road.

After Farmington, NM, we hit the road for Rocky Ford, CO. Beautiful wide-open road.

Brian, one of my (Rachel's) previous co-workers, let us ride his horses during our visit! So fun!

Brian, one of my (Rachel’s) previous co-workers, let us ride his horses during our visit! So fun!

We got to learn a lot about drip irrigation systems. I bet this will be helpful in dry northern Uganda.

We got to learn a lot about drip irrigation systems. I bet this will be helpful in dry northern Uganda.

After Rocky Ford, it was time to head to training camp. Excited to be at MTI, but sort of bummed about 7 days of rain!

After Rocky Ford, it was time to head to training camp. Excited to be at MTI, but sort of bummed about 7 days of rain!

Still, it was a beautiful week. 1 week down, 3 more to go!

Still, it was a beautiful week. 1 week down, 3 more to go!

Prayer Requests:

– Praise:  We are under contract with a buyer for our house!

– Request:  This is actually the third buyer we have had a contract with, so pray that this buyer will work out.

– Praise:  Great time with family over the last several weeks.

– Request:  Safe travel as we drive to and from our training center to meetings, etc in Denver.

– Praise:  One month in the same place! So nice to unpack and get settled for a bit.

– Request:  We’ll receive Jesse’s Professional Engineer exam score in late-June. Please pray that passed his exam.

– Request:  For Lumi and for Lumi’s founder Thomas. Lumi is in a critical phase right now as the capital raise is starting. Thomas is with WV also and is in need of more financial supporters. Pray for wisdom for Lumi and for supporters for Thomas.

– Request:  Pray that we reach 100% of our monthly support before we leave MTI training at the end of May!

2 Corinthians 12:9:  “But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”

Thank you SO much for reading up on our journey, and supporting the work we will be joining in Uganda!

Please let us know how we can be praying for you!

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6 thoughts on “Failing Fast

    • Just boring engineering tests (documented internal temperature changes under a variety of conditions), so we haven’t actually cooked anything yet. Miss you all, but SO excited to see you at Pre-Departure!

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  1. Thanks for the update! This is encouraging and helpful as we continue in prayer for you. And the message on failing early and often is so true, especially in ministry. I had just never thought before of how opposed this is to an engineering mindset! So we’ll keep this in mind as we pray for you. May you experience more deeply each day the sufficiency of our God who never fails, and who in all of life – not just in language learning – can work redemption through all our human failures.

    God’s grace to both of you today,

    John

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    • “the sufficiency of our God who never fails, and who in all of life – not just in language learning – can work redemption through all our human failures.” – AMEN!
      Thank you so much John!

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    • =)
      I didn’t have a photo to go with it. I didn’t have one for Del Norte or our visit with Zach & Tara, either. =/
      Thanks so much for letting us rest up at your place! =)

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