Saturday, June 30, 2007
On Fridays, the COD kids join the CDTS class for worship. At that time, the director of our class told us that the we would be going to the Philippines. I thought it was great that the kids were able to hear it from him at the same time we did. I really want the girls to feel that they are a part of this whole adventure, not just compulsory spectators.
Tonight, before dinner, I was looking for Annalise. When I found her she was on the trampoline eating an ice cream treat she had just bought from the Internet Cafe. So much for eating a good dinner. But hey, at least it shows she has talent. How many 4 year olds do you know who could eat ice cream while bouncing on a trampoline and not end up wearing most of it? Now you know at least one.
Alayna and some of her friends became a cheerleading squad for the volleyball game we had after dinner tonight. They were so adorable - even if they did only have one cheer that they repeated over and over and over and over............ At least they did it for each member of the team - over and over and over.......
Friday, June 29, 2007
First and foremost! HAPPY BIRTHDAY, LISA! Before breakfast, we had a little celebration. But during our class, she had a cake complete with candles. (If you counted the candles though, today she celebrated sweet 16.) At lunch the whole base sang Happy Birthday again. Happy birthday, Sweetheart!
After breakfast on Thursdays, the base takes time for intercessory prayer. Today our prayer emphasis was for the F.A.N. ministry (Friends of All Nations). They work with international students at the local universities. They help the students as they learn the language and culture. They help them obtain needed services. They provide fellowship and cultural activities. And of course, through it all, they share Christ. After interceding for a number of specific needs of the ministry, we prayed for the directors. It was a very powerful time of prayer. It was awesome knowing that God understood and cared about each prayer as people spoke out in English, Korean, and Madagscar-ean (Sorry, I suppose I need to find out what language the student from
Adriana’s COD class joined us. She too, was moved by today’s prayers. How grateful we are to have the burden of discipleship of our girls shared by so many people: family and friends at home as well as new friends from around the country and around the world.
After that, it was on to class. We continued the topic of spiritual warfare with Dean Sherman. It has been a great class.
After lunch we had our small group time. The men decided that we would like to use some of our times together to do some work for a widow down the road. One of our group happened to meet her while on a walk. So today, we went over and chopped wood.
I helped with the ropes course again before dinner. It has been very enjoyable helping encourage people to work through their fears. Today the teen son of another CDTS family helped me out. It was fun working with Josh. I presume he had fun too, since the group that was here today is a cheerleading team.
After dinner Adriana and Alexie have been helping with kitchen clean-up. It isn’t exactly their idea of fun, but I think it is good for them to have some responsibilities. They have been doing a good job. It is nice to be able to see my family throughout the day and work alongside them as well.
Thursday, June 28, 2007
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
Annalise fell fast asleep during our evening service tonight. She continued to sleep as I carried her back to our dorm. What a wonderful blessing to be able to carry her in my arms. One day, I won't have the opportunity to carry her as she sleeps. I am blessed to be surrounded by my girls.
A beautiful and wonderful wife, awesome girls who still think I am something special, and a God who cares about all of the above; I am, indeed, better than I deserve.
It's not a recent photo, but it is does represent all that is important to me.
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
I am pleased to report that we didn't have a field trip to cast the demons out of the neighbors emu or llama. It was a very good discussion by Dean Sherman. In the few hours we had with him this morning, I jotted down several ideas I would like to share with you. I am not going to try to give you the lecture notes, just a collection of ideas.
- Jesus talked about the kingdom of Heaven being like a treasure hidden in a field. Our job is not to sell fields, but to make people aware of the treasure that can be found. This is best done by living a joyfilled, loving, serving, compassionate, humble life. Then they will sell all they have to buy the field.
- When He sent Jesus, God was not interested in starting a religion, He wanted to love the world.
- If your belief system does not include the supernatural, you will tend to become too active towards humans. People are never the enemy (see Ephesians 6).
Tonight Adriana's Bible study met again. They studied chapter 1 of Ruth. They drew pictures of life before and after God transformed their life. She is very excited about how it went.
Grace to you,
Monday, June 25, 2007
Then when I should have been finishing up my homework, I made this movie. I hope you enjoy it.
Sunday, June 24, 2007
My timing was perfect. While it was in no way planned (of course I would have planned it if I had known), the ropes course staff was having a Brazilian BBQ for dinner. We were blessed to be invited.
Sal and Loly hosted it at their house (right on the base). Sal grilled up some awesome beef, pork, and chicken. They are from Brazil but have recently returned from Moscow, where they have been for the past 10 years or so. Sal is working with the course so he can learn the ropes to start that ministry back in Brazil. (I know, that was a bad joke. But you've already read it now so there's no taking it back.) Loly is currently working with Annalise's class in COD. They have 3 wonderful daughters that have become close friends of Alexie, Alayna, and Annalise.
A Brazilian BBQ is a very social event. They don't follow the American plan of cooking the meat, everybody getting as much as they want, and calling it an evening. Instead, they cook up more meat than you could expect the group to eat. Then the host cuts a small piece of meat off for you right from the grill. In this way, you are never satisfied and keep coming back. I know that when I was full, I had eaten more than I should have and that there was still plenty left. Sal has told me how hospitality and social gatherings are of great importance in Brazil.
I also found out that today is the Midsummer Holiday, or Jani, in Latvia. So be sure to wish any Latvian friends well today.
Another thing to ponder from Annalise's prayer tonight: God is real. He is not pretend.
Saturday, June 23, 2007
After dinner and dishes, we had a volleyball game. It was a mix of competetive spirits, adults who had never played, and a swarm of kids. It became even more fun when we got ahold of a beachball sized ball to play with. Everyone had a great time. I didn't get any pictures or video - who do you think one of the competetive spirits was?
While the kids were showering though, I did slip over to the English as a Second Language classroom and take this video of some friends. Enjoy...
Friday, June 22, 2007
The ropes course is an extraordinary evangelism tool. It is used not only for the YWAM classes, but also churches, schools, National Guard units, police (including the SWAT team that was here last week), corporations, etc. Many people have heard the gospel because of the testimony of the YWAM staff here.
One other really cool thing about the ropes course here that wouldn't be the same at home; there are hardly any mosquitoes. I mean, here we were, standing in a dense forest on a warm day for about 2 hours and I swatted at less than a dozen of the little bloodsuckers. How cool is that?!
Today we had small groups again. The men took a break from being serious and spiritual. For our small group time, we played volleyball. It was fun. One of the men had never played before. The rest of us just looked like we hadn't.
Probably the most interesting thing (I saved the best for last) is what Adriana has begun. She has begun a Bible study/book club with several of the Korean ladies. Several were excited about coming. They met for the first time tonight. They read Psalm 1 together tonight. I understand they will begin a study of Ruth next time. For the book club portion, they read the highly contemplative works of Calvin and Hobbes. The Koreans understood Psalms, but Calvin and Hobbes required much explanation. Lisa said the ladies were looking forward to the next meeting. What a unique and wonderful girl Adriana is!
While Adriana was leading the BS/BC, Lisa attended an aerobics course led by one of the staff ladies from Latvia. Lisa said Christina did a great job leading the workout and expects to be sore in the morning.
Thursday, June 21, 2007
I have a new video. (Lisa was teasing me about how much I am enjoying videos now. This one is complete with transistions. We have years of video at home we never watch. At least now we get to enjoy some of it.) This is one of our friends Nat playing with the kids. He is in the CDTS with us. It is great to see people connecting with our kids. Nat is a rancher from Texas who recently retired from his position as an airline pilot. He is a trained professional. Don't try this at home.
Nat's daughter is currently in the outreach phase of her DTS. His wife, Shirley, created a new proverb, "Train up a child in the way he should go; then follow them." I know we have been learning a lot from our daughters this past week. And Jesus did say that we must enter the kingdom as a little child. Yes, Shirley, there is much wisdom in that proverb.
Today we started school up again, as you may have seen from the 3 previous entries. It isn't like we have a full school schedule. We feel that the girls are doing much learning just with COD and life among the various nationalities. But they will be doing some grammar, writing, and math while we are here.
- My friends
- Being with my family
- The C.O.D. crafts
- Being outside all day
- The food
- Learning about God
- Learning Korean
- Meeting people from different countries
- A loosely structured life
Our C.O.D. class has had 2 crazy Wednesdays. Crazy hair day was first. I put a bandana and 3 pencils in my hair. Today was inside out day. We wore our clothes inside out!
We started school back up today. I have to do math and grammar every day now. I also have to do a writing assignment every Wednesday.
Thank God! I had the stomach flu but now I am better! Unfortunately, one of the C.O.D. teachers has strep throat. Pray he will get better and we won't get sick!
then Adriana's group, the Pirate Monkeys. Then we snack time and game time. Then we have lunch. Then at 1:15 we have an oral presentation on a country.
My top 10 list:
learning about God
the time with my family
learning about Sudan
We have school (Children of Destiny or COD). In school we play. There is a box house and dishes, two sinks, a fridge, oven, and freezer. We have been learning about God speaking to us.
There are lots of hills for riding bikes. There is a playground, merry-go-round, and volleyball court so we love to play in the sand.
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
some sort of stomach illness. She spent the day sleeping. (Sleep is a
rare thing for Adriana when she is healthy.) We did get her up after
our class was over so she could sleep tonight. She is sleeping again.
We couldn't get her to eat much during the day. (Eating is a big thing
for Adriana.) Please keep her in your prayers.
prayers, the young man who is heading for Tibet has gathered all of his
needed finances. Now he is waiting for the approval of his visa and he
will be on his way. It is such a cool thing to be surrounded by so many
people who are following God's calling to different places and have
paused here on their journey.
Beginning today, we have small
group time. Our class was divided into 3 small groups to discuss what
the teaching has been and what God is doing in our lives. We will
continue to meet twice a week for the rest of our time in Salem. I look
forward to getting to know the men of our group better.
new connection was when Lisa and I had the opportunity to encourage one
of our Korean sisters. I won't share the details, but we had a great
time of prayer with her. Neither Lisa nor I understood the words of her
prayer since we encouraged her to pray in Korean. But our spirits
connected, nonetheless. It is fantastic to be a part of such a
community of believers and come alongside someone who needed
On a completely different topic, here is the
snowball fight video Adriana has been eager to have on the blog. It is
the snowball fight we had on June 7 in Yellowstone National Forest.
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
What can I say except, Amen, so be it! I have been challenged this last week. Sure I pray but do I really take time to listen? Maybe I could hear God if I let Him get a word in.
Alexie was climbing the climbing wall and Dirk, staff assisting Alexie, commented on how trusting she was. I think I have clearly communicated my fear of heights yet my 10-year-old is struggling to reach higher and higher and if she loses her grip she knows Dirk is holding the rope so she keeps stretching and trying until she makes it all the way. That's how I want to be. I want to have the faith that I can keep climbing. I don't have to waste time worrying because I know I can trust God to hold the rope.
The question today was "Do you believe you will go to heaven?"
When all in class answered confidently, "Yes." Donna continued,
"If you believe you will go to heaven why can't you trust Him for tomorrow?"
Good question...certainly I can.
Monday, June 18, 2007
I couldn't resist taking and sharing this picture with you. Annalise was beside her bed praying when I walked in on her Friday night. Maybe she was thanking God for the ice cream she had eaten in the picture above.
This morning we went to the Salem Vineyard church again. It isn't yet what Cornerstone has been for us, but everybody except Adriana seems to like it there. I think I can add that to the answered prayers list. But I think I will add Adriana's adjustment to our new lifestyle to the prayer list. She is having a difficult time adjusting sometimes. She loves the freedom. She loves getting to know our new Korean friends. But I think she misses the known and predictable.
Tonight after dinner, our friend Kevin brought out his computer and projector and we gathered the kids (and plenty of adults, too) to watch a couple movies. It was a fun time. We moved the couches around in the lounge and put a mattress on the floor for the kids. Everybody had a great time.
A funny thing happened during the movie. One of the little boys got up, stepped out of the room, and pee'd on the sidewalk just outside of the building. I am not sure if it has to do with his culture or just that he is a boy. Whichever it is, I hope he will soon learn to at least use the flower beds instead of the walkway.
Believe it or not, I am done with my homework assignment before Lisa! Of course, I doubt I would get a better grade. I guess that's the burden I have to bear for marrying someone who is not only gorgeous, but intelligent also. I am soooooo blessed!This picture is of our friends Norma and Natalie with Lisa. They are all working on decorating their journals.
Sunday, June 17, 2007
This morning, after much stress and strife, we went into town. In the literature sent to us about Salem, we understood that temperatures would be in the 80's and 90's. Our experience has been mornings in the 50's and highs in the 60's and low 70's. Well, the shorts and T-shirts we packed have been a little cool. We found a consignment shop and were able to get some spring/fall clothes and jackets for the kids. Great deals for what we got. We also got Adriana some new shoes. The ones we brought from home were too small for her already.
This afternoon, Lisa and I worked on our homework. I think it will take a little longer than either of us had expected. After dinner, I have spent a while working on the above video. (Adriana is eager for me to get the snowball fight put on the blog as well.)
Saturday, June 16, 2007
We started the morning out with the CDTS families in worship. It was the first time just our class and families spent time together in worship. It was a nice time.
This morning, our speakers gave us more insight on YWAM and, specifically, some of the history of the Salem base.
After lunch we did some more team building. Once again, Lisa conquered her fear of heights. (Hopefully the video is working when you read this.)
One week behind us. Now we need to get our homework done before Monday morning. We have some reading we need to do as well as a written assignment.
Friday, June 15, 2007
Today the training director, Troy Sherman, spoke to our class about how God chooses to use ordinary people to accomplish His work. It was a good discussion. The speaker was very talented and kept everyone engaged.
After lunch we did some team building exercises; note the excellent engineering and the rubber chickens. We went through a couple of different exercises and enjoyed the fun. Tomorrow we are going into the woods for some work on the ropes course. Woohoo!!! I am hoping for a ride down the zip line again.
In the afternoon, I helped some boys with their homemade archery. Hopefully nobody will lose an eye because of it. It has been fun fixing bicycles, fletching arrows, and putting rests on bows for the kids. Unfortunately, they came around while I was sitting near some adults who were trying to read and journal. The adults quietly wandered off as my warriors worked on their armament. For twigs and fishing line, they shoot fairly well.
In the evening there was a Love Feast, an international dinner welcoming all of us. It was held in a tent outside. It was very interesting sampling food from all the different countries. Some dishes were very spicy. Many people dressed in traditional garb including Adriana, Alexie, and Alayna.
Thursday, June 14, 2007
After dinner and kitchen clean-up duty, I had another bicycle related adventure. Two college-age sisters in the English class (Lynn, in yellow, and Belle) did not know how to ride a bike. After some lessons on the grass and eventually the parking lot, they were both able to ride. They were so excited and I was so happy for them. It was also fun to see the camaraderie that has already developed on the base. People were congratulating the girls from their windows or as they walked through the parking lot.
I keep trying to learn a few things in Korean, but all I do is end up amazed at people who have the drive to learn a new language and culture. I suppose it will happen somewhere in my future, but I certainly don't have a natural ability to learn languages. It's work! Adriana has spent a lot of time talking with the students. Perhaps she will be able to teach me someday. Of course, if you stand next to Annalise when she is playing with some of the Korean kids, she talks with a confidence that would make you believe she already knows the language.
During a break earlier in the day we had gathered a bunch of the kids that are on the base and went letterboxing. I found that there is a letterbox that is supposed to be hidden near the entrance of the base. Unfortunately we weren't able to find it. (We haven't done well recently.) But I think everyone enjoyed the adventure of it anyway.
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
Today our lectures began with Ellene Boden speaking on intercession. Here are a few excerpts: God will never leave you where His grace can not keep you.
Stop praying in desparation and start praying in faith.
In the afternoon, we spent time getting to know each other better- both during and after class. We enjoyed the warmer weather and sitting in the sun talking with other students and staff.
We had chapel service tonight. It was adorable when four of the little children were so worn out from the day that they were sound asleep in their parents arms. I don't get to hold Annalise in my arms while she sleeps much anymore. It was a joy. Alayna fell asleep too, but she was in another row. Lisa enjoyed cuddling her.
The message was about giving ourselves entirely to Jesus. The base director challenged us to think about what we are willing to give up to fully serve Him. It was an engaging message.
Adriana has found the library. So I had to go find her after the dinner bell had rung. It didn't take too many guesses as to her whereabouts.
The 3 year old son of some staff was another story. Nobody had seen him for a long time and though many searched for him, he couldn't be found. When I went to get Annalise for dinner, I went to the room of her new friend Anna, whose mom is in class with Lisa and me. Annalise and Anna were dancing away in Anna's room to some music. Guess who was there with them. I brought the little guy down, much to the relief of his mom.
Community life is different in many ways than having your own house in a subdivision.
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
Monday, June 11, 2007
Thankfully, unlike the all day rain yesterday, today there were only a few scattered showers. The girls being able to spend most of the day outside helped preserve the little sanity I have left.
We went to a Vineyard church this morning along with some others from the base. It is much like our beloved Cornerstone. Annalise did miss worshipping in the front row with her pal Noah and this church didn't have cookies after service or Mrs. Emmerth to spoil her. The Maxwells really know how to make a first impression...one of the girls accidently set off the fire alarm!
This afternoon we had a meeting about the Children of Destiny program the girls will be attending. We are really excited about what our girls will be doing. They will be going to school with children from Brazil, Canada, Korea, and Latvia. As most of the Korean children do not speak English there is a translator. Before long, all the girls will be speaking some Korean. Annalise is already imitating what she hears her Korean friends say. The girls will be learning the same principles as Thomas and I. They will also be ministering in the local park and a nursing home as well as daily service around the base.
Tonight we all met for some mandatory fun. We did several fun activities to get to know each other. During one, all the Korean students were told they could only speak English. The rest of us could only speak Korean. For those who have joined us for Cross Cultural Orientation, you know the type of activities we did. But as they were all new, we have plenty of fun to share with you when given the opportunity. The night ended with a challenge to go to the extreme. This meant a trip down the zip line! Climb a tree to a platform 30 feet above ground and then zip 800 feet down the hill hanging from a cable. For those who may not know, I am extremely frightened of heights. Yet, I am determined to allow God to stretch me and teach me whatever He desires so up I climbed. Actually I really did well climbing up. I have learned from previous experiences the importance of not looking down. I even did great jumping off the platform. I did not enjoy the incredibly fast ride across campus however! But I did it and cameras were ready to capture my bravery. But you'll have to take my word for it as the person working my camera didn't operate the camera properly. I'll have to do it again, but not too soon! Thomas followed me, but it was not a challenge for him.
Sunday, June 10, 2007
Thank you for all of your prayers. The trip was a much better experience than I had hoped for. The girls were generally well behaved and travelled well. We didn't have any real problems at all. We were blessed to see the variety of God's creation. That was probably my favorite part of the journey. We are all looking forward to establishing a new normal instead of living in the van.
Please pray for all of us to make the adjustments to life at the base. We look forward to meeting the staff and students on the base. Alayna and Annalise have already found a few children to befriend. Once they learn Korean, they will even be able to talk to them!
Saturday, June 9, 2007
Friday, June 8, 2007
No DVDs played today. Only the wonder of Yellowstone. It was beautiful. We were able to see a bear and her two cubs. (We are sure they were Nana, Nicome, and Chinook from Santa and the Three Bears.) The cubs wrestled and played with each other. It was fun to watch. We also saw a few moose, a coyote, several elk, and lots of Bison. We were able to have our snowball fight. The pictures didn't turn out so well, but you get the idea.
We made it to Idaho Falls, Idaho.