Monday, July 19, 2010

Oh No! Not Again!

Yep!  It's almost time to move again.  We have been staying at Missionary Retreat Fellowship, a beautiful place in the Pocono Mountains that rents homes to missionaries.  Because they work hard to keep the budget down, there isn't a house-keeping staff to clean up after missionaries, so we are expected to leave the house in spic-and-span condition.  This involves a thorough spring cleaning. 
Other times we have lived here I have left it until the last week or so.  I underestimated how much time it really takes to do it all and I would end up so stressed with all the other last-minute details of going back to Africa.  So this time I really got on the ball and am only doing a little at a time.  Of course the last day we will have to wipe down surfaces, vacuum, and mop, but the major cleaning will be done.

Moving also means boxes everywhere. 
This is probably the part of moving I like the least.  It ends up with boxes in the living room, in the bedrooms, etc.  And I don't like clutter, so it annoys me.  On top of that, Daniel and Suzanne come home for 36 hours every week for their day off and they bring between four and ten kids with them.  Our house is fairly small for that many people and then to add boxes to the mix....  I love the "kids"....I hate the boxes.  (The boxes are normally stacked up, not scattered all over.  This shows the packing in progress.)  Tomorrow I need to go out and see if I can find more boxes.

Last week we drove down to Lanham, MD to visit Washington Bible College.  
John will be missionary-in-residence here for one year.  He will teach some classes, mentor those interested in missions, and recruit for SIM.  We have been given an apartment on campus.  It is a two-bedroom apartment and has quite a lot of space. 
The apartments on the left are one-bedroom apartments....three downstairs and three upstairs and then six more on the other side of the building.  The ones on the right are two-bedroom apartments and we will be in one of those.  Our apartment is on the back side of the building, so you can't really see it in this picture.

We found out that it is a furnished apartment, so we won't have to buy furniture or kitchen equipment.   Too bad about those dishes....but I really don't need to buy dishes now.  It's a good thing I didn't go out and buy any!

While John is being MIR, I will work remotely for SIM Niger.  I've already begun doing that.  Hopefully I will have time to do some kind of volunteer work, too.  I have a real heart for those in poverty or disadvantaged situations so I'm praying the Lord will open something up for me that I could do a couple of mornings a week.  

And a year from now.....we'll be doing it all again, preparing to go back to Niger!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

A Busy Weekend

We went over to Connecticut for the weekend and had a very busy time there!

We went on Thursday and that evening Mom D. had arranged a small service to dedicate a bench she had had installed in memory of Dad D.  His ashes are buried behind the church, so he has no grave stone. 
In fact, the bench does not have his name on it anywhere as he would not have wanted that.  But it is put there for people to enjoy.  They can sit and wait for a ride or meditate or just rest.  I won't say too much about it as I think John wants to do a blog about it. 

On Friday, one of our supporters took us sailing.  He loves to go and he loves to take people with him and we love to go with him.
It was a hot, sunny day, but as we got out on the water the breeze was cool and refreshing. 
There's nothing like leaning back, feeling the breeze on your face, and hearing the wind flapping the sail! 
We anchored near an island and had our lunch, then our friend took us to see some seals.
  From there we circled around the lighthouse.
These pictures look a little out of focus, but it is because a light fog moved in.
I am now working remotely for SIM Niger, doing what I was doing before.  I can't do all aspects of the job as some of it requires being on location, but I can cover the correspondence and paperwork.  I got really far behind last week because every time I went to log on SIM Niger's network was down.  So when we got home Friday evening I worked until midnight to catch up.  I had to put that in there so you wouldn't think I'm too much of a slacker!

Saturday was Levi and Shannon's wedding.  John played the prelude and did a great job. This is one happy man, don't you think??
Here they are with the cake cutting.
Levi's got his mouth open....Shannon can just shovel it in  (His appetite is incredible....he makes John look like a light eater.) The reception was upstairs in a building by the river and there was a balcony overlooking the river.
It was a very nice location.

Sunday was church, then we were invited to a luncheon with a meeting after.   By then I was so tired!  I slept at least two of the 3.5 hours home.  I woke up just in time to hear Spain score their goal that won the World Cup.  Normally I drive half of it but I let John drive the whole way. 

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Independence Day

This past Sunday was July 4th....Independence Day.  Our celebration was pretty low-key, really.  Since it was Sunday we went to church.  Our pastor had a great message on "The Biblical Foundation for a Free Society".  It went along with what we've been viewing in The Truth Project series of videos that we've been doing on Sunday nights and in our life groups.  In The Truth Project, it was pointed out that God's plan for government is that the king (president, prime minister, chancellor) is directly responsible to God.  A king needs a standard above himself to guide him, and that standard needs to be God.  When the king and the country decide their own morals, they are "fixin' to mess up".

We can see that in Israel's own history.  When the king and the people obeyed God, the country prospered.  When they turned their backs on God, things went downhill fast.
  Sunday morning I finished reading the book of II Kings which ends with the people taken into captivity, idol worship rampant, the land in decay, cities destroyed, and wild animals taking over a now desolate, but once prosperous land.

So, we might say, well that's just because Israel was God's chosen people and it doesn't apply to the United States or to any other government.  But we also see examples in Scripture of God warning other nations to repent or they would see destruction.  (Jonah being sent to warn Ninevah is an example.)  

It is sad to see how far from God's ideal we have come.  

But, on a brighter note, I did enjoy the church service and the picnic afterward.

This is me with one of my friends. 
She attended the boarding school I taught at in Nigeria, but I was never her teacher.  I did teach her little brother, though!  She recently moved into the area to teach at Scranton's new medical college.  Her brother put her in touch with me and she has gotten involved at our church.

After the church picnic we came home and just did nothing....which is what I like about Sundays!  We could hear fireworks off in the distance all week and now I regret that we didn't make an effort to go to one of the fireworks displays.  Other than that, it was a great day!