Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Snow, Snow, where ever we go!

We were not stateside very long but we did visit 4 states.  Three of those states gave us the give of snow and ice.  Only Florida spared us the white stuff but even there it was cold!!! 

Atlanta was quit a sight.  We had gone across town for an appointment and were trying to get back for another.  It started snowing about 12:00 and by 1:00 we were driving.  It should have taken us about 45 minutes to go where we were going.  After 5 hours of stop and go, we were still not to our final destination.  The traffic was just not moving so we decided since we were only about 1.5 miles away, we would park the car at this nearby bank and walk.  So, walking through the beautiful snow was what we did!  Many were stranded in their cars on the interstate for over 18 hours!!!!  Many were also being good Samaritans and bringing sandwiches and snacks to those stuck in their cars.  So, there was not much snow but EVERYONE left work and tried to get children from schools (some children were stranded at school as well) at the SAME TIME!  Needless to say we did not make it to the next appointment (oral surgeon for Travis).  Oh, Atlanta!  We were thankful we got close enough to walk safely and the next day we walked to pick up the car. 

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That was Tuesday.  Saturday we fly to Maryland and rent a car to drive to Pa.  The day before we leave, we get a couple inches of snow.  That was not a big deal but the night before we leave we get about 6-8 more inches.  We waited until later in the morning to leave.  The roads were not too bad but we just took it slow.  All as we could say was “SNOW!” again, you must be kidding. 

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During our visit in Lewisburg we had the opportunity to see the Annual Ice Festival and here is a picture of one of the bigger ice statues. 

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So, as we drove south after the snow in Pa, the road got better.  Then just before we arrive in Md, it became ice.  ICE!!!! You must be kidding!!!  We would rather have snow.  So, our drive became even more careful.  The river was covered with ice, the trees were covered with ice and falling all around. 

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We were so thankful the God protected us the entire way.  I think we are ready to head back (in one week) to the heat (80-100 degrees) in Namibia!!!  Maybe traveling to the northeast the end of Jan and beginning of Feb is not such a good idea:) 

Norcross FUMC celebrates 10 year anniversary for GIC

But when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, you will be filled with power, and you will be witnesses for me in Jerusalem, in all of Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.  Acts 1:8

We were so excited to be invited to our home church for their 10th anniversary of Global Impact Celebrations.  When we were still living in the states, we helped to organize such events and we know that there was a lot of time, work and prayer put into the celebration.  It was awesome to be greeted and hugged by our church family.  It was humbling to sit next to other missionaries and hear their stories.  It was refreshing to hear 2 amazing guest speakers: Carolyn Moore and Max Wilkins.  It was fun and encouraging to speak to the youth and the children and answer their questions and see some excitement about Namibia. 

We arrived in Atlanta Thursday evening after the Global Gathering with The Mission Society.  We are so blessed to have Sharon and Gary Grahn welcome us “home” into their home.  They are the BEST and we could never repay them for their kindness.  Friday afternoon we went to the church to set up our display table of photo books, and a slide show.  After meeting and greeting, we entered the family life center for a wonderful meal and were honored to sit at one of the head tables with Dr Dick McClain, Dr Jim Lowry, Angie and Rick Miller, LuRae Ahendt and our wonderful volunteer/daughter, Rebecca Westbrooks. 

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The evening celebration was food, the awesome youth praise band, introductions of the missionaries and an incredible speaker, Carolyn Moore.  Are you a verb or a noun?  When God says “jump”, do you jump?  When God says “move”, do you move?  When God says “go”, do you go?  When God says “give”, do you give?  If you do not, what is stopping you?  Lack of faith?  Satan?  Your family?  If God’s timing is NOW, He will take care of everything else.  He does not send the equipped but He equips those He sends. 

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Saturday morning we joined a big group to package 40,170 meals for the hungry as part of the “Stop Hunger Now” program.  Everyone from the young to the old participated styling their beautiful hair nets and having a great time.  Each time the gong was sounded we knew to celebrate another milestone of packaged and sealed meals. 

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Saturday evening we spoke to a large group of youth at a home visit.  It is always an honor to know that God is planting seeds in these young people when they participate in such an event.  Sunday morning was a beautiful service with our guest speaker and President Elect for The Mission Society, Max Wilkins.  We then enjoyed talking to the young children.  They were full of energy but were very focused and ask great questions.  They also enjoyed with the beaded skirt and wearing the shantangi.  It was really awesome to see the energy and knowledge these children have about missionaries and missions. 

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We are so thankful to God for our church family, friends and the other missionaries around the world.  We went to Namibia weak and unequipped.  God continues to fill us with His strength and wisdom.  He equips us with what we need as we ask and fills us with joy that only He can give.  He will do that for all of you that call on His name.  We are NOT special and it is not about us.  It is about furthering His Kingdom in His Name.  

Praise the Lord, my soul!  All my being, praise his holy name!  Praise the Lord, my soul, and do not forget how kind he is.  He forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases.  He keeps me from the grave and blesses me with love and mercy.  He fills my life with good things, so that I stay young and strong like an eagle.  Psalm 103: 1-5