Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas Memories

We had a wonderful Christmas with our family and hope that you did too. What a blessing to make memories with our family and friends. I'm still awed that God knows everything about us and still loved us so much that he gave us Jesus. The snow is falling as I hear people talking and laughing here in the coffee shop. We plan on playing table games and watching the Nativity Story this weekend. Make it a happy new year!! Lori

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Happy December! As we celebrated Thanksgiving with family and friends we couldn't help but wonder what the holidays would be like next year in Kenya. I'm sure there will be plenty of new friends as well as missing our family and friends in the US.
For now, we cherish the time together. The grandkids bring so much fun and laughter. It is perfectly acceptable to crawl around on the floor, play with playdough, sing silly songs with Bob the tomato, play peek a boo, and read the same book four times in one afternoon. I can't think of a better way to spend my day off from the clinic! Ernie drives a school bus, so much of the day it is just me and the grandkids. Kaylee and I enjoyed our quiet snack for about 20 min while both babies were napping, maybe one of these days they will both sleep longer at the same time! Oh how I will miss these little ones!
Another missionary family that is in the fund raising process to go to Kenya have two boys. Joshua is 11 years old and Michael is 5 years old. Since we will be neighbors, I'm sure I'll get my playtime in!
As you plan for Christmas, remember to pray for those missionaries already on the field, our military men and women that are fighting for freedom, and those who are spending their first Christmas without a beloved spouse. This will be my dad's first Christmas without Mom. They were married for 55 years before she passed away in May. I'm so thankful that Dad can spend Christmas with us and meet his new great grandson!
Well, I think we've occupied this table at the coffeeshop long enough, we don't have Internet at home, but I thank God daily for the missionary house we are able to live in this winter!!
Enjoy your day with Jesus! Lori

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

I can hardly believe it is into the middle of November, but the weather is turning cold and wet. I have had to scrape frost off the windsheld several mornings now. The Ellis Park Church of God had a wonderful reception for us last Saturday and several ministerial friends from Cedar Rapids were able to attend. We had a good time sharing with the Zion Community Church of God in Ottumwa and are very thankful for their gift. I'm trying to find a way to link our newsletters to this... maybe even our Thanksgiving/Christmas letter we hope to have out this week. We are traveling on Saturday to get my mother for a week's visit. We plan to meet my brother Paul who is bringing her about half way to Normal, IL. It will be good to have lunch with him there too.

Friday, October 30, 2009

As October ends we had hoped to be moving on to being in Africa, however the economic conditions have slowed our fund raising so that perhaps we will be able to make that move just after the first of the new year 2010.  Thankfully we have been allowed to remain in the missionary housing provided by Faith Bible and keep Lori's position working as Dr Lottes' office nurse.  I have found interim employment driving bus for the Cedar Rapids School District.
We are a bit disappointed in where we are at, but look to the positive side of having one more Christmas with the kids.  We hope to have my mother visit at Thanksgiving and Lori's father visit for Christmas.  Last week we had all the boys home and got a picture of them all in uniform.
This weekend we will be putting shelves in and organizing the storage trailer.  Next weekend we will be speaking in Ottumwa with the Zion Community Church.  We enjoyed our visit to the Des Moines Church of God two weekends ago.  Last weekend we met Aaron and Holly in Tennessee to transfer Tux to them.  Somehow we keep going and going. 
The Ellis Park Church of God is going to have a celebration for us on November 14th honoring our years of service here which will bring a closure needed.  

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

We have overcome the hazards of traveling in Wyoming "winter" weather.  Hitting "black ice" sends one flying through the air and landing in a ditch, thankfully upright!  We had a tire come off the rim and it it took about 3 hours to get it fixed and back on the road thanks to AAA.  (We could not get it jacked up high enough, nor dug out of the mud enough to get the spare tire on.)
Should be home in Iowa tomorrow to get the tire fixed and check the alignment on the Envoy.
We now have the storage trailer we have named "Behemoth" (it's 8'x24').  We have some of what we want to store in it, but are awaiting the shelves on "back-order" at Menards for the rest. Aaron came home for a visit and he helped me get the equalizing hitch set-up for pulling it.
With Aaron coming home, we made a trip out to Wyoming for him to visit Lori's dad, he was in military training when his grandmother passed away in June.  So we have been in Casper, Wyoming for 10 inches of snow and record cold (14 degrees) and delayed traveling home until today.  Should have waited another day perhaps, but Thank the Lord we stayed safe!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Back from our trip to Minnesota and the cabin is all in order and now run by generator power.
Had a opportunity to share about our mission at the Harvest Community Church in Willmar, MN.  The Willmar Church of God was the congregation I grew up in.  
Hoping to soon obtain a storage trailer for the packing of our household.  This is one more step towards the move to Africa.
Aaron is now done with his military training and we are looking for a visit from him soon.
Looking forward to making presentations in Des Moines and Ottumwa in this coming month.  We now have 27% of our start-up funds in the account at Global Missions, Church of God Ministries; and about 20% of our annual budget pledged.  Fund raising has been slow going in this economy but we believe God will provide for what is needed soon.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Back at last!  During the move our computer "crashed" and would not let me return to blog.  We made the move to missionary housing and are still down-sizing.  We hope to obtain a storage trailer and get it packed soon.  During August I traveled to camp meeting from  Iowa’s Inspiration Acres to Wisconsin’s Rock Springs Camp, then on to Minnesota’s Camp Arrowhead and South Dakota’s Lake Poinsett Living Waters Retreat Center provided contact with a substantial portion of the Church of God Ministries in the North Central USA.  I am in the process of writing up a newsletter to tell about it.
As I end my ministry at the Ellis Park Church of God in Cedar Rapids, Iowa It was my privilege to baptize Joe, Kacie and Dayzaray; individuals I have worked with over the years.  In fact, Kacie I dedicated as a baby and now 16 years later has grown in her faith to making this commitment of her life.  This has helped as we say goodbye to those we have ministered to over 17 years.  This weekend will be a reunion of a youth camp I was involved in 10 years ago.  It will be fun to celebrate the accomplishment of the youth who are now youth adults active in many ministries.  Then next week we will be traveling to Minnesota to take more stuff there and make sure it's ready for the winter. 

Friday, July 10, 2009

What a month it has been!  Time to get back to regular posting again.
Lori's mother passed away soon after we returned from our visit to Colorado.  It was a blessing to have just been with her there, and we saw how fast her physical health was failing.  We spent the first week of June in Casper, Wyoming with Lori's family.  Michelle and Kaylee, Andrew, Kiana, and Austyn all made the trip out with us for the Memorial Service and visiting of family.  Lori's friend from her youth, Tami Rudkin (Smothers) was able to officiate the service held at the Highland Park Church of God.  Adam and Aaron where in military training and not able to attend.
Upon coming back to Cedar Rapids, Andrew and I loaded up a trailer to take what we want to store in our Minnesota cabin up there.  It was a quick trip to mow the property and unload the stuff to store.  Andrew couldn't resist putting a hook in the lake and he released a nice bass.
Upon our return, I began working in the Healing the Heartland festival management.  Serve the City organization representing over 40 different ministry groups provided a weekend of ministry and concert activities which conservatively ministered to over 12,000.
The third week of June was moving week, we thought we had downsized lots, but we still have more than what we should store.  The dumpster was over loaded, Adam and Michelle took lots of our stuff for a sale their having in the next week, and there were still too many trips to the new home.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Our level of support needed for our mission in Africa is at 3% today. In just a few months that needs to be 100% pledged and our start-up budget full rasied, which only has a couple hundred dollars in it now. We are encouraged by this beginning response to our support raising letters that went out two weeks ago and we thank all who have responded.
We will be traveling to Evergreen, Colorado for a family gathering over this coming weekend, celebrating my niece Denera's Graduation from High School. We are hoping Lori's mother will be able to be there, the cancer she has is beyond control and is affecting her breathing among other things. We keep her in our prayers and she needs the Lord's presence in her life now.
This will be a good break from our - sort, pack, or sell - routine - oh yes, there has been the Goodwill and garbage part to this as well. "Stuff" from 17 years of living keeps appearing and we have about a month to have this all completed.

Friday, May 15, 2009

"Moving to Africa" sale went well, even had a quick follow-up sale on Thursday that reduced what we had left, plus another trip to Goodwill. Were does all this "stuff" keep coming from? Since our parsonage home has sold and we will be moving into "Furnished Missionary Housing" in Cedar Rapids PTL! and our packing becomes more serious. Our new housing arrangement will make our transition smoother and we look forward to having more ministry time once we get through this next month. The "Down-Sizing" is emotionally and physically difficult, it really makes you think on what you value.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

As we begin our journey to Africa, we are preparing this week for a "Moving to Africa" sale on Saturday.  Finished a cover letter for Global Missions to mail out our support raising information next week.  Sorting books to send ahead to the Kima International School of Theology next week, with the others going into the sale.  Down-sizing to 4 suitcases going with us and only 7x16 to store what will be held here for our return has proven to be difficult.  Maybe not as difficult as leaving family and friends.