Sunday, June 30, 2013

I love furlough...

            The kids arrived in Denver on the 18th. 

Meeting them at the airport had the feel of Christmas morning for me. 
The excitement that keeps one awake for days with the anticipation of finally getting to open that one special present. 

I haven't seen them for over two years, and the kids have grown TALLER and all around cuter...
It's true.

We've had a marathon week. 
Lots of shopping, cooking, fun, fishing, and firsts. 
How do seat belts work? 
How many dishes does a dishwasher hold? 
What is a pop tart? 
What does greek yogurt taste like? 
What is a fireworks stand? 

I love getting to show and teach them things first!!
A few more days and they will move on to see supporters and more family.


But it feels different letting them go knowing that they will be in the states.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

A Time to Rejoice....

It's been months since I wrote on this blog. 
Not because nothing is happening, but because so much is happening I have had a hard time putting all my feelings on paper. 
Here is a recent picture of my missionary family. Its been two years since I've seen them. The three oldest kids have matured so much, and there is my Joel, taller, but still that adorable grin. 

I've missed them...
It has been a hard year for me back here at home
but knowing that they have been working hard and that God has faithfully upheld them and finished the work of translation has helped me.

They will be coming back soon...
This week they have finished up their work... 
After 12 years...
Dedication of the New Testament will be in one year...
God's precious Word is translated into the Nafe language.

It is hard to put my feelings into words. 
Overwhelmingly joy...
Hope and excitement for the Ni Vanuatu
Thankfulness to God for His Faithfulness 
to my missionaries and His work, but at the same time a sadness and some grief. 

I was surprised that I could feel sadness at this time, but then in my mind
I see the people, the village ,Mama Ellen,  Mama Trutorsi,  Ruth,  Nettie,  their husbands, their children. They have been so much a part of my missionary families lives. My grand children have grown up there.
These precious people, friends will be missed by all. 
I know that they will miss my family. 
This is one of those times that I find comfort and solace from the scripture in

 Revelation 7:9-12:
"After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could count, from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, and palm branches were in their hands:and they cry out with a loud voice,saying, 
   Salvation to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb."

Yes!!   Amen!!  Thank You Jesus!!
we will all meet again. 

For now Erik and Michele still have much to get done in Vanuatu,while they make plans for here.  

Monday, November 19, 2012

I remember...

My friend Cindy is a POM and she left last week to visit her daughter in some far off place. I'm happy for her and have been praying for her, but there is a part of me that is sooo jealous. I've been blessed to have traveled to Vanuatu three times. I have so many memories, good ones,bad ones,scary,happy,sad ones,fun ones, all unforgettable.

Cindy told about packing and unpacking her bags getting ready to travel. I remember that exercise, and  when one is allowed only 2-50lb bags one must be discerning. She packed everything around a crock pot. I remember the time I packed a bathroom sink in my bag. We were flying between islands with a strict weight allowance. I couldn't sleep for three days worrying about getting weighed with my bathroom sink. I wasn't sure who would get left behind me or that much needed sink if we went over weight. Luckily we both made it onto that tiny propeller plane. 

I remember the first time I traveled on the road into the village. I call the road "the nightmare". We literally ALWAYS get stuck somewhere on that road. The first time it was mud, over the tires. It took hours to dig out with only two bush knives and prayer, I realized rather quickly that I wasn't in the USA anymore, no tow trucks here. 
And then there was the time we literally were high centered on top of a tree that was blocking the middle of the road.
I remember asking Sierra, "What will we do if it gets dark before we get unstuck." 
"Don't worry grandma, someone will let us stay in their grass hut for the night." 
I remember not being comforted.

I remember the rain that settled in and poured for days. Our clothes hung on lines and never did dry until the sun came out a week later. 
I remember baking, reading, and playing games with my grand children.We had a great time in spite of the rain and cold that week.

I remember finding the six inch centipede that sat under my chair the entire afternoon I made skirts for my grand daughter. Spiders as big as my fist, and the giant cockroach that kept me company in the toilet at night. 

I remember being slightly dizzy when the earth shook and I felt my first earthquake. 
I remember the boom boom boom of the active volcano sending rocks hurling into the sky as we traveled across the ash plane to the road leading up to the top. 

I remember the wide smiles of the people. 
The stares of the those in the village who would sit for hours and just watch me.
And the little children who would play games in the yard with my grand children. 

I remember the chickens that were given to me as gifts. One village papa tied the chicken securely so I could take it on the airplane with me. 
Little did he know that would never ever happen. 

I remember the smell of flowers,saltwater,dirt,mildew,sweat,burning fires,and cooking food.

I remember the delight of my grandchildren and their friends when they found big white caterpillars in the logs, roasted and ate them. I remember distinctly saying, "no way!!!" 

I remember Mamma Ellen making me a purse out of tree branches. She spent hours on a bench weaving it together for me. 

I remember the hours Erik spent translating the Word Of God into the Nafe tongue, and watching the translators from the village working with him. I remember praying that God would change their lives as they studied truth.

I remember watching Erik preach to the many on the hillside. I was so proud of him and thankful for the people that had gathered to hear him.   

I remember making Lap Lap (the traditional food of Vanuatu)with Mama Tetrosi in her hut. We grated manioc with tree branches, and cooked the finished product in a hole in the ground. 

I remember teaching the women of the village to knit. How quickly they learned, and how thankful they were. 

I remember trying on colorful grass skirts with Sierra.

I remember walking with Michele from family to family in the village as she introduced me. How happy they seemed to see her, and the easy repore she had with them. I remembered I was thankful to be a part of it that morning. 

I remember the excitement of my grand children when they saw me and grandpa get off the plane, and how hard it was to say goodbye. 

So many memories. 
To many to write them all down, but I've been blessed tonight thinking about them. 

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

After the Storm...

I wrote my last blog post before the storm that hit the East coast, and the morning after it became very apparent that it was a devastating storm for many. It will take months to get back to normal and in some cases people will have a new kind of normal in their lives. 

This morning after the election I have to admit I'm feeling a bit devastated, some surprised and a bit apprehensive.  The storms of life can kick us to the ground, but it is in the storm that God can speak to us and we are willing to listen. 
I came across this scripture this morning: 

" Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving;
Praying at the same time for us as well, that God will open up to us a door for the Word, 
so that we may speak forth the mystery of Christ, for which I have also been imprisoned; 
that I may make clear in the way I ought to speak. 
Conduct yourselves with wisdom toward outsiders, making the most of opportunity. 
Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know
how you should respond to each person."  

I think in times like these it is important to remember what God tells us here: 
He does not just say pray, no He says :DEVOTE yourself ,KEEP ALERT in , with ATTITUDE of THANKSGIVING to prayer. 
This is quite a command to prayer if we  apply it the way He is telling us too. Not an easy task, but instead a life style of continuous prayer with an attitude of humbleness.   

Paul is asking for a prayer for an open door for the gospel to be preached
That he would have clarity on how to speak truth...

Often in times like this God  will give us the opportunity to speak the truth of the gospel to others.
We need to be aware, open and willing to speak with clarity and wisdom in order to lead others to God's Word to seek His truth in these times. 

And then he commands us not only to CONDUCT with wisdom,or 
MAKE THE MOST of opportunity, 
but show GRACE in our speech toward others as we do these things. 

How are we doing it? Are we speaking to others 
with dignity, grace and respect? 

In times like these it is important to remember that we may not know what is 
happening or why, but God is still on the throne, and
He is sovereign and in control...