Tuesday, July 22, 2008

1 week to go!

No, we didn't drive off a road some where in MN!! Sorry you have not heard from us for a week! Its really hard to believe that we are in our last week of this trip. Our family time in the Dells was awesome, just a delight to play with the kids. They have kept up so well. Our week at Bethel seminary was a really great week. It was so good for me to see where Rob has been going to school for the last few years. It is a great campus which screams nature, so my boys felt right at home! We had great accommodations right on campus and we loved meeting many of the people we have heard Rob talk about over the years. Rob had a good class, its always a bit intense for the on campus classes so he was worn out by the end of the week. The boys and I filled our days with a more "normal" schedule then we had carried in MI, lots of out door walks and I was able to begin some of our follow up on things that took place during week one in MI. So it was good to regroup. Many of the staff/fellow students were given our prayer cards through out the week as we went in and out of conversations and there are a few that I know we will follow up on as well. We did the truly touristy "american" thing and went to the mall of america one night. I was so proud of our boys, they had one agenda and one agenda only and that was the Lego World store. Thats all we did and they had a great time and came home with a few coveted lego sets that money had been saved up for! We have made our way back to Grand Rapids MI, we will be here until Wednesday morning. WE just took a couple of days to take the pressure off of week one to have some over flow time for those we couldn't fit in on the first stop. WE will leave early Wed morning for Houghton NY. There is a youth camp held there that Rob was involved in for many years, we have many loved ones and staff members there that it will be great to touch base with plus the worship experience is always a huge shot in the arm for us. So pray for us in these last few days here in MI, there is always that feeling of "should there have been more we should have done", "should we have stayed longer" many of those feelings. Also this is like coming home for us, and we likely will not be back prior to leaving for New Zealand, so there are many emotions mixed in with this as well. Thank you for those who prayed for my brother, he and the team returned safe and sound to their families last monday night. I'm looking forward to hearing about his experience there in Haiti. Thank you for checking in and I will update again in the next few days. Many of you have sent us encouraging notes, thank you so much, it helps "carry" us!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Priceless

6 days, non-stop schedule= exhaustion
Pushing kids hard and staying up late every night= whiny children
All day conference and putting best foot forward for 8 hours= falling asleep while sitting up

A full week of being with friends and loved ones, plus many opportunities to share our heart for New Zealand=......PRICELESS.

It is so hard to believe that we left NH a week ago today! This past week has been like a whirl wind! We heard from many of you, and felt your prayers as we went through our day at the district conference yesterday! Thank you, thank you from the bottom of our hearts! It was a very full and great day for us yesterday. Rob and I did not expect to come away from the conference as encouraged and inspired as we did. First of all this day was a far bigger deal then I had in my mind. There were close to 350 people there and a lot of buzz and busy vibrancy in the building by the time we arrived. We were given a table that we set up in back of the sanctuary and during the second session we were recognized as guests at the conference and officially introduced and then Rob was given just a couple of minutes to introduce ourselves and explain a bit of what we were doing. Rob did a great job and took the opportunity to thank KCC (our "home" church while in MI) and the district for all they have invested in us over the years. It was also announced that if anyone wanted to spend some time with us they could have lunch with us in a pre assigned room. The rest of the day was filled with reconnecting with many familiar faces and catching them up to speed, getting to know a handful of pastors and other individuals we did not know prior to that day, and being encouraged and gleaning some "team building" info from some fellow missionaries who have been in the business much longer then us. We were encouraged by seeing Gods work through the Wesleyan Church and inspired by a speech delivered by the new General Superintendent. The ground work and "face" time that was laid out and has set us up so very well for much follow up over the next few weeks was .....again....priceless. So thank you for your prayers over the past week and especially yesterday....priceless.

So Rob and I packed up all our stuff and loaded up the kids this morning and headed out of Grand Rapids. We are on our way to ST. Paul MN, for Rob to do a week of seminary. We decided to spend some much needed down time and family play time. So after years of saying we wanted to go to Great Wolf Lodge, we are here for one night in the Wisconsin Dells. This is an amazing place that is all built around an indoor/outdoor water park. The whole place is totally designed for family time. So we are just focusing on us today and tomorrow, and will arrive at school Sunday evening. So...we are well, we are blessed, and we are grateful for what week one has been on our 3 week trip. I will update again once settled at school. Grace and Peace.......

Friday, July 11, 2008

Camp Caleb and Aedan

hello family and loved ones!! I know Pastor Brett from NZ is saying "finally she updated the blog"! I promised I would keep everyone up to date on our trip, and honestly this is the first chance I have had since we left on Sat the 5th!! Sorry Brett :-) Well as most of you know we are on our three week tour (I keep saying that reminds me of a song "three hour tour, a three hour tour...anyone know what that is from?) We had a great 4th of July week spending time with family and friends and getting ready for our trip. We left in the pre dawn hours on Sat the 5th and drove 18 hours straight through to Grand Rapids MI. It was a great trip. Even though it was a holiday weekend, we had no traffic and weather was amazing. We have a dear family we stay with that is truly our home away from home. This family has plenty of room for us and has an open door policy when it come to us! My kids love it here as well. We walked into the basement to find a tent set up with two beds in it, flashlights, battery lantern and plants all around with a wooden sign that said "CAMP C & A" on it. It was very cool!! We laid our heads down and hit the ground running on Sunday morning, and haven't stopped since. Its been a really great week, and our hearts and spirits are so full with dear dear friends and all that God is doing through our efforts with New Zealand as well. it was Great to be back at Kentwood Community Church, which is our home church and connect with so many great people, not to mention awesome worship service. The week has been filled with catching up with close friends and dinners with others and sharing our story. The kids have been awesome and have loved the social side of all of this. So that is pretty much the nutshell of the last 5 days. We always feel like we wish there were 48 hours in 1 day, but we do what we can and enjoy the ones we are with in any given moment. We leave from here on Sat the 12th, for Rob to go to school in MN, but we will have about 3 days back here in Grand Rapids after school as well. So I have a couple of assignments for you :-) Tomorrow (friday) Rob and I have the opportunity to attend the General Conference of the Wesleyan Church for this area. It will be an all day event (thank you tammie for taking our boys) There will be over 50 churches there, all of which got our packets over a week ago. We will have a few minutes in front of them for introduction, have a table and display set up throughout the day and be able to share our story face to face with those interested during the lunch break. This is an amazing opportunity to connect with several churches at one time to share with them our heart for NZ. If you could pray for our preparation today (writing out what we will say, designing display board etc) and then cover tomorrow in prayer, that Rob and I can be ourselves, but present ourselves well and that God is already working on the hearts of the churches and individuals who need to be part of our team. My other request is to help us cover my brother in prayer. Kevin is a pastor at a church in NH and he is currently in the heart of Haiti with a team, the reports have been good so far and he returns on Monday. Would you join us in covering him and his team (and wife and kids back at home) in prayers of protection both physically and spiritually. Thank you. I will update you all after the conference tomorrow. We love you all, thanks for checking in. We would love to hear from you so feel free to post a comment or two.