Friday, August 27, 2010

Mom's with tears in their eyes watch their 5 year old AK students bounce up into my bus on my first load to school.  Then for the next load, the upper class HS students come dragging out all bleary eyed and as they get on the bus is that a "happy dance" I see the mom's doing?  Well my 1999 bus has one more "problem" today, the turn signal lever came off in my hand two turns from the school where I drop my final load of the morning; and the other drivers thought I was nuts making hand signals out the drivers window as I got it back to the transportation center.  I have a 2006 bus for my afternoon route that is a wheel chair lift bus, which is thankfully not needed at this moment for the wheel chair students I pick up have improved to be able to "walk" on to the bus with assistance.

Lori and I have been keeping busy assisting those who are still working at recovery from the flood that covered about 10 square miles of Cedar Rapids two years ago.  This week we have been working on landscaping at home of a handicap couple who have just got back into their refurbished home.  Many neighboring homes that were not able to be repaired have been torn down.  The whole "time-check" area is still in need of rehabilitation and some of it will not return to housing (a "green-space" will be created).  The Ellis Park Church of God continues to provide a "tail-gate" meal ministry every Sunday noon in this area, as it has for the last two years.  Serving 30-40 each Sunday with a touch of Jesus' love in this need filled area of Cedar Rapids.  People trapped in drugs, alcohol, sexual ... addictions are served with kindness and the message of hope.

We continue seeking to finish our fund raising process that has taken longer than expected.  We have less than 40% of our funding needing to be pledged (about $25,000) for each of the three years we plan to be in Kenya.  The costs for us to be in Kenya are equal to want would be needed in the USA, but then you must add the cost of international travel and specialized training.  We will need to learn the language of Swahili ... Jambo!  Lori flies to Kittanning,  PA tomorrow for a Faith Promise missions weekend.  She will meet up with Rebecca the former nurse at KIST there for her last "official" missionary presentation for Global Missions.  We have been praying for a job near Rebecca's VA home to open for her as she leaves the mission field ("for a while") to care for family needs.

And if you think that leaves me with nothing to do this weekend, you have not seen my "Honey Do" list... and further "down-sizing" is needed to be ready to go to Kenya.  Thanks for your prayers, encouragement and support.

Monday, August 16, 2010

The Summer has flown by and it is now mid-August. The US Census has Lori and I officially listed as "homeless"!? I'm not sure how to justify that to reality... We have been blessed to have a "bed and roof" over our heads... I guess the bed may have been a air mattress on the ground, sagging cot in camp dorm, futon in a cabin, or the beloved Serta perfect sleeper. Oh you need to know that we have traveled over 6000 miles this Summer. After the family reunion in Wyoming, we have traveled to Rockford, IL and the Northern Missouri Camp Meeting, then on to the Nebraska State Camp Meeting and the St. Louis Michigan Camp Meeting. We only suffered one minor accident when the Envoy was hit in the rear in Cedar Rapids, which is now repaired. Lori will continue our missionary travels heading to Kittanning, PA the last weekend in August. We are hoping to soon be on the way to Kenya.

We are continually asked WHEN are you going to get there? Well the answer is "God only knows"... it depends upon when we become "fully funded"... Global Missions requires that we have 100% of our support for the next three years pledged and currently we have 60% pledged. We praise the Lord that ALL of our Start-Up Fund has been given, so we are financially ready to leave as soon as the pledges reach 100%. (We need 35 pledges at $700 per year - of course any amount will move us closer to being in Kenya) We need to be in Kenya by year's end to take up the positions at Kima International School of Theology now being covered until November.

We had to say good-bye to Adam being deployed to Afghanistan with the Iowa National Guard. Michelle, Kaylee and Joel need our prayers and support while he is gone. Andrew is still on the injured list pending deployment with the Wisconsin Army Reserve. His knee injured in training will be checked at the University of Iowa Hospital next week. He, Kiana and Austyn continue to also be in our prayers. Aaron with the Florida National Guard is currently not in the deployment process, which I'm sure Holly is thankful for, as well as her new teaching job.

We have been blessed to be "house sitting" which now has the possibility to be extended through November, at which time we hope to be on our way to Kenya. Lori continues to be an office nurse for Dr. Lottes and I am back to driving a school bus next week. Tomorrow I have to report for my "route and rig" assignment. Could I possibly have one of the new 2011 busses? Well since I'm low on the seniority list it will likely be a 1993 model I have had before. I have also been trying to get the route that Kaylee rides to Arthur on for Kindergarten. Yes our granddaughter starts Kindergarten next week! Where does the time go?