Friday, December 20, 2013

Patience in Paradise

In complete spontaneity, as we tend to operate, we decided to hitch a military flight to Hawaii and spend some family time together. It's something we've always wanted to do, and since Michael had some time off work (and it was cold and miserable where we live), we thought "Let's go for it!".

Aboard an Air Force C130

Over the Pacific

This is good for us. Not only because we got a few days to play together on the most beautiful beach we've seen in a long time, but also because when a retired person attempts to fly on military flights to and from California and Hawaii the week before Christmas, especially with children, the patience muscle definitely gets exercised. Since we are retired status, we fall low on the list compared to active duty personnel, which is basically everyone else. So we have spent quite a bit of time in the terminal in CA and in the one where I now write in HI, waiting for a flight that is not already full. We've seen many come and go.

Hawaii is not a bad place to get stuck, but when one is ready to be home, especially to spend Christmas with family, any delay is frustrating. So, we're thinking of it like "missionary training". We have to be resourceful with our money while we wait - we're not able to finance an "endless summer" - and we have to have balance in our attitudes, having gratefulness while we wait. We have to understand that sometimes, the system doesn't work like we want it to, and most of all, we have to constantly choose to ask the Lord what He has us in this place at this moment for.

 We have had a wonderful time. All of us enjoy exploring and learning new cultures. This is the most different from our own culture that our kids have experienced, and it's been fun and a little enlightening to see them taste new foods, hear a new language, and talk with people of a different heritage. We're excited to experience Indonesia with them!

We met another family with 5 kids, and quickly made friends, including sharing a rental van for a day.   

The military beach on the East shore that we got to visit.

Shave ice in Hale'iwa

We all learned much about the attack on Pearl Harbor and WWII

The USS Arizona memorial (USS Missouri in the background)

Michael and Fawn
Kalem and Adria

Thursday, November 7, 2013


We were introduced to our church family as missionaries for the first time this weekend. We almost turned around to look behind us, as if, "Who us? Oh, yes! Us." It's really happening! We've been headed this way for a long time, and were blessed beyond words when our church family officially commissioned us this weekend, and committed to being our sending church.

There is no other thing like feeling the many hands of brothers and sisters in Christ on your shoulder in support.

A real joy for us was that Ben Dodzweit, U.S. Representative for Helimission, flew in from New York to share Helimission with our church body, and to participate in the commissioning. It was too short of a visit and truly an honor to share him with our church family, and vice versa.


Thank-you to all of our family, friends, and brothers and sisters in Jesus for standing next to us.
God is working through you!

During this service, our Pastor of Worship Arts, Bobby shared a deeply true and sort of paradoxical piece from John Piper. Please enjoy:

“Missions is not the ultimate goal of the Church. Worship is. Missions exists because worship doesn’t. Worship is ultimate, not missions, because God is ultimate, not man. When this age is over, and the countless millions of the redeemed fall on their faces before the throne of God, missions will be no more. It is a temporary necessity. But worship abides forever.

Worship, therefore, is the fuel and goal of missions. It’s the goal of missions because in missions we simply aim to bring the nations into the white hot enjoyment of God’s glory. The goal of missions is the gladness of the peoples in the greatness of God. “The Lord reigns; let the earth rejoice; let the many coastlands be glad!” (Ps 97:1). “Let the peoples praise thee, O God; let all the peoples praise thee! Let the nations be glad and sing for joy!” (Ps 67:3-4).

But worship is also the fuel of missions. Passion for God in worship precedes the offer of God in preaching. You can’t commend what you don’t cherish. Missionaries will never call out, “Let the nations be glad!” who cannot say from the heart, “I rejoice in the Lord…I will be glad and exult in thee, I will sing praise to thy name, O Most High” (Ps 104:34, 9:2). Missions begins and ends in worship.”

–John Piper, Let the Nations Be Glad! The Supremacy of God in Missions (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1993/2003), 17.

Friday, October 25, 2013

The 'Last' Fall

This will probably sound silly, but it just occured to me today that this will be our last autumn in Oregon for at least 4 years. You would think that with planning to leave for the missions field for the last several years that would have been an obvious conclusion that I would have already come to. But alas, it's just donned on me. I was in the car alone today, driving through some back country roads when it struck me. The beauty of the country here in NW Oregon captures my attention every year, but today I realized it would be the last time I'll see it for awhile. This was also shortly after we spent the afternoon at the local pumpkin patch, just a mile down the road from where we live. We've gone there every year for the last five, and it's our favorite. I didn't even think about it while we there, but that's the last time we'll go there for quite awhile, too. I have pictures of my kids doing the same silly activities every year; they're just a little bigger each time. Today's pictures will be the last of those for some time.....

That feels pretty weird. There's a little twinge of fear and some sadness mixed in that pops up when I think about it. We are all so excited to head to Indonesia, and we're truly feeling prepared to go more and more each day. But, then also, we're a little nervous. This makes me realize that leaving will also be hard, and that it will be a sacrifice. It makes me contemplate things a little differently when I think of making Thanksgiving and Christmas plans this year; birthdays and holidays will take on a new significance this next year I think. It will be the kids' last statestide birthdays this next spring, last Independence Day, last Camp Tilikum, etc...

The bottom line is however, that the United States is not our home. We are in this world, but not of this world, and our citizenship lies in Heaven. We've been called and will rely on Him to be our joy and our strength; and knowing Him, He'll have a whole new list of holiday and birthday traditions waiting for us in SE Asia. If we look at it from that perspective, it gets exciting again. The kids and I "happened" to read about Abraham today, being called to a land faraway that he didn't even know existed. He didn't have Google Earth or books at the library to glean information from. And yet, he was faithful and very blessed. We tend to think of ourselves that way, too, except we also have Skype and airplanes!

...scared, probably ignorant of what's to come, and doubtful at times, but trusting and dependent on a Good and Mighty Savior...

Here's to the holy adventure!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Loving Others for Jesus

Click on the picture to read an article we wrote about how MCNW has impacted our journey
Do you ever feel like you want to be more involved, or get your family more involved in loving others for Jesus but just don't know where to start? Sometimes it seems like it should be easy to find ways to serve, but's not. Maybe it just feels like it takes too much research, or you just don't know what opportunities are out there. It is easy to get involved, whether you never leave your town, or you travel far away. It's also easy to get your kids, your family, involved. You just have to GET CONNECTED to the right people!

Mission Connexion NW is an annual event in the Portland area that attracts thousands of people from all over to attend plenary speaking sessions by some top-notch missionaries and teachers, participate in a few of over 100 workshops dealing with every area of Christianity and Missions one could think of, and peruse dozens and dozens of booths by missions and service agencies from the Portland area and far beyond. We (including our children) have enjoyed it immensely over the last several years and count ourselves blessed to live in an area where something like this happens. It is one the best ways to let others lead you into what the best ways to serve are in your community....babies, homeless, teens, Muslims, college students, adoption...-you name it, there is someone there to help you get involved! You can come for part or all, and IT'S FREE!

We recently spoke for a few minutes at a pastors' luncheon in Salem, OR encouraging them to encourage their church bodies to visit MCNW this next January, and have also written a little blurb about it in this month's MCNW newsletter. There is MUCH going on in the worldwide Christian missions/church community and MCNW is definitely in the mix! Check it out in the other features of the newsletter.

God has a way just for you to be blessed by allowing Him to use you to love others!