Saturday, March 22, 2014

Grandparents!



 We are grandparents!  Our oldest daughter and her husband gave birth to a lovely little man this week.


We arrived in the UK yesterday to visit the three of them, but especially this one!


We are already enjoying being grandparents!




Children’s children are a crown to the aged, and parents are the pride of their children. 
Proverbs 17:6

Saturday, March 15, 2014

depression...

There is still a paper that I need to write for my winter CIU Member Care class. We are to pick a common clinical disorder or personality disorder prevalent to member care, research it, talk about how it shows up in missions and how it can be "met with proactive measures in the missions context." With us moving and starting new positions in the days around the intensive course, I was pretty sure I couldn't get it done by the due date and asked for an extension, so now I have until April 15.  (Hmm, something else* is due that day, too...)

I have chosen the topic of "depression" because it is actually quite common in missionaries. I haven't personally experienced full depression though there have been several times in my life which I have referred to as "depression-lite." Knowing I will encounter this regularly as I meet with missionaries, I decided to take this as an opportunity to increase my understanding. Hopefully I will grow in empathy and be better prepared as a missionary care practitioner.

I'm experiencing a strange juxtaposition of thoughts. As I eagerly await the immanent birth of our first grandchild, I am starting to collect reading materials on depression.

Here is some great news to keep in mind:

Praise the Lord, my soul;
    all my inmost being, praise His holy name.
Praise the Lord, my soul,
    and forget not all His benefits—
who forgives all your sins
    and heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit
    and crowns you with love and compassion,
who satisfies your desires with good things
    so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
Psalm 103:1-5 (NIV)

* for my readers from outside the US, April 15 is notoriously the due date for US income taxes.

Saturday, March 08, 2014

March happenings...

We've been working at the SIM office since the beginning of the year. The first few months have been fairly quiet, giving us time to figure out "what" we should be doing. The pace is going to pick up from here on out through the summer.








The next two weeks are SIMGo, the missionary candidate training seminar. Tonight was the kick off for this new class, and we stopped in for dinner with the folks. It is fun to see some of the people we saw at one of the last two "SIMStart" programs (applicant screening retreat).  I am grateful to have the three folks who are joining the Member Care staff later this year here for this training. I will participate in some of the sessions for this SIMGo, while Stan will head to California for a missions conference at Cornerstone Bible Church in Glendora this week.

Among other tasks on my list is the design of a  "Member Care Suite" which will be a group of offices and debriefing rooms specifically for my staff and our work of hearing from and working with missionaries as they come through the SIM office. We are taking over a block of offices and refashioning some adjoining rooms in a building separate from the administrative offices.  Our hope is to be in this new space before May when, according to my staff, things really get busy .  We want this to be a comfortable, inviting place where our people feel at ease, and we can more effectively work as a team.

Meanwhile...

As we come to the third anniversary of the March 11 earthquake, tsunami, radiation disaster in Japan, our hearts and prayers are with those who live among and serve the survivors. We both tensed up at a meeting last week when we felt the floor moving and saw the water sloshing in the water pitcher on the table in front of us.  Apparently the construction of the building made it vibrate as a heavy truck drove by outside, and our nervous system triggered an alert learned from the past three years of earthquakes and after-shocks. If that is how it is for us, I can't imagine how hard it must be for those who lived through the event right up there in Tohoku.