Monday, October 27, 2008

The Right Coast

On Thursday we said goodbye to Portland and hello to Cincinnati, Ohio. My parents live just south of Dayton, so we stayed there overnight, and the next morning we loaded the car and drove the rest of the way to Maryland (my home state). Since then it's been a blur of food, meetings, conferences, and people I haven't seen in years! Today seems to be the "slowest" day we've had in quite a while. We're just trying to catch up with emails and phone calls, and tomorrow (being our day off) we're taking a day trip down to the D.C. area and visit the museums and tourist attractions.

Being here has afforded long overdue visits with family. My nephew, Kaleb, is having a relaxing afternoon lounging in the pool. It seems like he's grown a foot or so since the last time we saw him! His little brother, Samuel, is also growing quite a bit, and even resembles his most handsome Uncle!

Other than that, we've been busy meeting with old friends and relatives that I haven't seen in a long time. We've been sharing our new ministry every night as we're attending my home church's missions conference. This church has been behind me ever since I wanted to be a missionary and have supported that call on my life since I went to college. It's exciting to come back and share with them that I have finally reached that goal. It's fun too because the ministry of MAF is a little different than many other missions in that they use the airplane to further the Gospel. We're speaking in a different church every Sunday for the next few weeks, and have several meetings to go before we head back to Ohio for more meetings and speaking engagements there. Right now we're at 22% of our monthly support goal, and our outgoing fund is at 10%. Pray for our health and safe travel as we continue to visit many churches and individuals. Pray that God will bless the ministry of MAF. Know that we are praying for you all as well, and we think of you often!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Dutch America

We got back late last night from our trip to Lynden, Washington, and we're beat! We had several meetings with individuals and a church to speak at all in a few days. So, we were running around like crazy visiting people and speaking and sharing our new ministry with lots and lots of people. On the way home, our trusty vehicle reached 180,000 miles--and it's still ticking! Our other car has over 260,000 miles on it, but that's a different story. All in all, things went really well and we have been encouraged. In fact, we may take another trip up to that area because it was so beneficial for us. We spent one evening carving pumpkins with Joy's brother and sister-in-law. Their kids love horses so we decided to try and carve out horses--they didn't turn out half bad, although I accidently chopped off our horse's neck. We performed a little "surgery" and things were back to normal in no time!

We were even blessed with good weather while we were there. I think that was the first time I drove through Seattle without it raining!

On Thursday we fly out to Ohio and then drive to Maryland from there. We'll be on the east coast for six weeks, until we fly back here to Vancouver. After we get back here, we'll be driving down to Southern California. It's looking like we'll have to wait until April to finish up the rest of our training. We were really hoping to start that training in February, but I just don't think we're going to be able to raise all our funds in that amount of time. That's OK though, we realize God's timing in the process, and we've learned that God knows best!
We're a little over 20% at this point, and we're still going strong. Pray that we'll remain healthy and have a safe trip to Ohio and Maryland later this week. Pray for all of our upcoming meetings speaking engagements, and conferences.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Old School

Sorry, no pictures today. I'm writing from Lynden, Washington, amidst the busy schedule here. We've met with lots of people and family here already, and tomorrow I think we're heading home after speaking in a local church. The East Coast is on our mind a lot now as we're starting to shift gears and prepare to head out there for six weeks. We're trying to think ahead and fill our weekdays with catching up and meeting with people, so if any of you eastcoasters actually read this, give me a call or shoot me an email so we can get together sometime! Our weekends are starting to fill up with churches and other big meetings, but our weekdays are still relatively open. We're excited; I think I am a little more than Joy is. I haven't been back in quite a while, so it will be fun to back on home turf again! Look out Maryland, here we come....

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Lost Lake and a Cold Night

Joy and I went on the last camping trip of the season yesterday to a place called Lost Lake, on the North side of Mt. Hood. The day before it had snowed, and it was still quite cool during the day--the snow stayed on the ridges surrounding the lake, but it melted a couple hundred feet below where we pitched our tent. This is the sunset we saw after hiking around the lake. I haven't been camping in quite a while, so I was really excited to go, and the promise of clear weather was even better! After the sun went down it got real cold real quick; thankfully we had a raging fire going. During the night, we decided to explore the trail a little bit and see what we could see with the full moon approaching. Here's what we saw, kind of creepy I know. It was an incredibly clear night (which is also why it got so cold) and I saw more stars than I think I have in my entire life. Congo is quite the same from what I hear. It seems obvious, I suppose, when you think about it, that you'd be able to see lots of stars there at night since there aren't any lights for hundreds and hundreds of miles!
Anyway, the night was pretty cold once the fire went out, and by 5am I couldn't stand it anymore, so we got up and went to a good spot to catch the sunrise. It was still another hour and a half before the sun peaked over the hills, but we got some incredible shots of Mt. Hood.
We're thankful that we get to experience things like this. It's so refreshing to get out of your surroundings, relax, and sleep on the cold, hard ground!

We're getting ready for a big meeting on Tuesday, and then we'll be spending the rest of the week in Lynden. Our support is up to 21% now, so that's good!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Long Walks and Phone Talks

Yesterday Joy and I went on a long walk down an old railroad. We had to hike through the forest a ways to get there; along the path were some HUGE mushrooms about 5 inches in diameter! They were quite possibly the biggest mushrooms I've ever seen. It's nice to take small breaks every once in a while and get away.

In other news, we're now up to 20%, which is a good thing, because we're trying to reach at least 30% before we leave for Ohio and Maryland in a couple weeks. The closer we can get to that goal, the more likely we can reach our goal of 60% by December 1. Lots of goals, I know! As we finish up things here, we've got a big open house to attend next Tuesday, and we will be traveling to Lynden later next week to speak in one church and visit several individuals. Pray for our safety in travel, and that we would be sensitive to God's timing.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Rain Makes Things Green

Did you know that? I think fall is officially here in the Northwest. We've had rain for a while now, and it's getting cooler, especially at night. Joy's mom is here visiting and we got to go on a hike around Battleground Lake yesterday. 53 pictures and .9 miles later, we were ready for some good dinner! Like mother, like daughter. Tomorrow, I'm hoping to drive back up to Mt. Hood and catch the sunrise over Mirror Lake, and maybe go on a quick hike--we'll see, it may snow tonight!

We had our presentation at our home church Sunday night; it went pretty well. We had a good turnout so that was good too. We're planning for our trip to Maryland and Ohio too. Our support level hasn't moved much in the past week, but that's how it goes. And, we finished our newsletter, so be looking for it pretty soon!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Mt. Hood and Trillium Lake

Yesterday Joy and I worked hard and finished around 3pm, so we took a little trip up to Mt. Hood and went hiking around Trillium Lake. The trail provided some amazing views of the mountain and it was a perfect day to be outside! This one was taken right around sunset. There were even otters swimming along in the lake. No motorized boats made for a very quiet and enjoyable walk and no ripples in the water--it was clear as glass! It seems, at least for the next week or so, that yesterday was the last "good" day of weather. It's been sprinkling and raining most of the day today, and the experts are saying this will continue through the weekend. I knew this nice weather was too good to be true! The rain has finally returned to Portland--people are chopping firewood and storing up food in preparation for the 4 month hibernation that's just around the corner. Good thing we're going to spend the winter in sunny SoCal! And just in time too, I don't think I could weather another Portland winter. It's not so much the rain that gets to me, it's not seeing the sun for months at a time. After a while your hair starts to fall out, and your nails get brittle, and you get pretty grouchy! I used to go flying sometimes just to get above the clouds and have the sun warm my chubby little cheeks!

In other news, our big meeting that we were supposed to have on Tuesday got cancelled. Turns out that pretty much everyone was sick and couldn't make it! So, we re-scheduled for a couple weeks. Nevertheless, our week is still pretty full. I'm going to be a bachelor for the weekend; Joy is going to the women's retreat at our church so I'm going camping in the mud and rain and cold...all by my lonesome. I can't wait! I'm also taking another trip up to Mt. Hood with some guys from church; we're going to shoot stuff...with our cameras (pretty alpine wildflowers and other stuff). Then on Sunday, I'm going to be giving a 5 or 10 minute presentation to the church about MAF, and then that evening we have a full presentation scheduled. We're moving along, and soon we'll be in Ohio doing the same thing there!