Isaiah 43:1-3, 7, 10-13

But now, this is what the LORD says— he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the LORD, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior... Bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the ends of the earth—everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.... “You are my witnesses,” declares the LORD, “and my servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he. Before me no god was formed, nor will there be one after me. I, even I, am the LORD, and apart from me there is no savior. I have revealed and saved and proclaimed—I, and not some foreign god among you. You are my witnesses,” declares the LORD, “that I am God. Yes, and from ancient days I am he. No one can deliver out of my hand. When I act, who can reverse it?”
Isaiah 43:1-3, 7, 10-13

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Furlough Highlights- Take 4

We stayed a couple nights with the Harrolds, a very special family. They support us in a variety of ways - financially (both in their contributions to our work and Van's and Justin's management of our finances), spiritually (in their prayers), emotionally (Donna and I communicate through email and blogging)... We are very thankful for you guys!

We really enjoyed the short time we were able to spend in Wichita with them. We even got a chance to visit the zoo! We stayed up late nights talking about old college friends and our lives (and trying to get our children asleep!) Michaela slept in Addison's room and we got our first taste of what sleep overs might be like in the future! A lot of giggling and silliness! We enjoyed yummy food - thanks Donna and Mary Ann - and new toys together! We still hope to get you guys down to Bolivia some day so we can return the hospitality.

At the zoo with the gorillas!

Addison, Michaela and Eliana at the zoo

Baby Clark and baby Jana

Playing in the pool together

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Furlough Highlights - Take 3

Fourth of July-
We spent the 4th with Josh's Marcum family in Oklahoma, near the ranch his grandad owns. We rented out a big hunting lodge - that place was amazing! They had hunting trophies everywhere, a long hallway decorated with old newspaper clippings (dating from Pearl Harbor and every major headline since then! I felt like I was in a time capsul), and the rooms were like hotel rooms. Anyway, the kids had fun cooling off in a wading pool that Papa bought for them and we all enjoyed visiting with the family, water skiing on the lake, devos at night and grilled meat and fire crackers on the 4th.

Swimming in the pool - even Jana got in!

Doing sparklers with Daddy

Jana with her Great-grandad

The girls in their special independence day shirts that Nana bought

Furlough Highlights - Take 2

Red River Family Encampment -
We went to Red River, New Mexico to meet Josh's folks for a Christian family encampment that happens there every year. His parents have been trying to talk us into coming for years, and we finally made it happen this year. We enjoyed being with them, the singing, the speakers (especially one class on being real for your kids), and getting to see a lot of people we wouldn't have seen otherwise. The girls had classes too, but I had a hard time getting them to go. Most of the pictures of family that I posted earlier are from Red River - but here are a couple from the actual camp.

A picture from the balcony of the condos where we stayed. It was beautiful - and cold (if you can believe it!) in the middle of June. I was glad for bringing jackets and pants for the girls.

Night time worship with 1500 others in the big top tent.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Furlough Highlights

Well, we're over half-way through our furlough travels and I thought it was about time to post some pictures and highlights of our trip so far.

We spent 2 weeks in Brownwood visiting our overseeing congregation of Austin Ave. We enjoyed staying with Leroy and Ruth Thompson. They were gracious enough to make the sacrifice of time and energy to keep our family for the full 2 weeks, even though they are great-grandparents in their own right. They have a house on Lake Brownwood and we enjoyed the peace and beauty of being there - and the girls enjoyed the swimming and the See Doo. We are very thankful for them both. Here are a few pictures of our time.

Leroy is a retired general in the Air Force. He met Ruth on duty in Japan where they fell in love and married before moving back to the States. They have a beautiful family and such stories to share of their life together. Ruth is a wonderful cook and they made Japanese food for us for many of our meals together - yummy stuff like skiaki and tempura (I know I'm not spelling those right, but that's how they sounded to me! Feel free to correct me.)

Leroy and Ruth kept saying they didn't know what they were going to do with themselves without our kids around when we left. The wonderful thing is I know they were telling the truth. They loved our girls - especially Jana - and were so great with all three of them.

Josh took the girls to a beach near the lake one day.

When it wasn't too hot, we spent a lot of time on their porch swing. Jana loved being outside.

We had meals with various families from the church - I don't have time to mention the wonderful visits we had with everyone, but here are 2 places we got pictures at. Doug and Sharon Rogers had us over for fajitas and then he let the girls bottle feed 2 baby goats. They thought that was pretty cool!

We also enjoyed being outside with Jim and Betty Hampton in their beautiful backyard. The girls loved the hammock, the swing and the sandbox.