Thursday, February 25, 2010

Welcome to winter!

Stan and I are in Wheaton, Illinois for the College Church's "Spring" Missions Festival that officially begins tomorrow. Today there will be meetings for the missionaries attending -- some we've never met, others we've crossed paths with in previous visits. We'll be having a small gathering that anyone in the area is welcome to attend on Sunday evening at 5:00 pm in a room right next to the College Church library (I think the number is 210-but look for signs to the library). If you're in the area and want to stop in, please do!

We were welcomed to Chicago by snow lightly falling, and quite a wind. It brought back many memories of the winters we experienced when we used to live here. (I was here from '75-'83, Stan from '77-'82, and then as a family we were here for the '99-'00 school year). We reminisced about the blizzard of '79 over breakfast this morning. It was pretty memorable--though I think of our missionaries who lived in Obanazawa, Japan for three years, where the snow is annually up to the second story of their house. This morning the sun is shining, and the temps are supposed to get up to the mid '20s...Fahrenheit.

Our sons are in California at two separate home stays. God put them in great families, and we are praying for their time experiencing life in another family and as a "singleton". If you pray, please keep them especially in your prayers these days--we continue to ask God to breakthrough the walls they've structured around their hearts toward family and toward Him. I have great hope that they will be transformed in God's time, because that is what He does. So each time they have input from another caring source, we pray for God's work.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Acceleration

Year-long home assignments used to be the norm with missionaries--but these days many people will return for shorter time of 3 months to 6 months. We have needed this longer time, ourselves, because we've wanted our children to experience complete school years here in the States, we need the time to connect with people across the country, and its what works best for who we are.



So we come to mid February--over the half-way point of this home assignment. I visualize the year like walking up and down a hill. Going up the first half of the year seemed slow and deliberate, but we've crossed over to the down-hill slope, and it feels like everything is picking up speed. We have several trips scheduled over the next few months, more penciled in here and there, and just today I had to look two months ahead to identify a Friday or Saturday for a special event someone is trying to plan for us.



We are thinking about Japan, and I've already looked online at whats available in the rental market in our area. Yes, its WAY TOO SOON for that, but I'm curious.



At the same time, we're getting pretty comfortable here. Finally I feel like I've got friends to talk with about things I'm experiencing. Stan is settled in a couple of small groups. We have our "regular" seats in church... But we know that we'll be on our way, Lord willing, in another five months.



We're doing good things here, but always thinking "there."



Last Sunday we put up a booth at church. It was fun to share with people about our ministry in Japan, as well as listen to them talk about their interests in missions. We leave next week for a 9-day trip to Wheaton and central Illinois to share with churches and friends there. (There we won't be setting up outside, though!)



Stan has had a chance to meet several times with Hisho, a grad from the school our kids attend in Japan. His fiance, Ami, stopped in last week for breakfast. She had flown to the States to purchase all kinds of things needed for the wedding--it was cheaper, including the flight, for her to shop here than in Japan!



We have made a real effort to get a Disney date every month. The first Wednesday of February we headed down there--and we said this one was "free" because it was the third trip on our passes--which cost the equivalent of two trips to Disney. It was a beautiful day between very rainy days. With "jobs" like ours, it is easy to "work" all the time, and this has given us a way to get away and spend time together not working.


Finally, I couldn't help but add this photo of Stan, A and me at Balboa Beach on President's Day. It was in the 80's so we bought Subway sandwiches and headed to the beach for a picnic. We know we will miss being able to do this once we've got that ocean between us. Being this close to her has been a very sweet gift from the Lord this year.



So, as the schedule picks up steam, we are still trying to make those times for special memories.

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Provisions, seen and unseen

A few months ago we shared a prayer request for our oldest daughter who was the victim of a hit and run accident. Sadly the other driver never came forward. She still feels discomfort in her neck and shoulders. Those of you who have been praying for her, we thank you.

We were able to arrange financing for a 2002 Honda Accord, and she is enjoying this "new car" very much. While its not her dream of a convertible, it does have leather seats and a sun-roof...


Over the past five months, B has been working as a stand in for a new Bruckheimer TV show that will begin airing in April. In the photo she is on the right and the principal actress is on the left. Our daughter was the one they used for matching lighting, timing and spacial adjustment of scenes, etc. Only rarely did she do any doubling for the actress. All that means that when the show airs, we won't see her--but she had an incredible on-set /off-set education during this time. It was also reasonably regular income--which is something that doesn't come often to those in her industry. They have just finished filming for this season, and now she is looking for God's provision of the next step in her journey in Hollywood.

We honor her diligence and efforts over the past years. She has certainly come a long way since her first background acting experience in Oceans 13. We are praying for God to lead her to opportunities that will help her hone her craft to the next level.