Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Our home away from home.

We bought a house…

Well a house on wheels of sorts.  We bought a 1999 Gypsey Royale Caravan. 

Much of our missionary assignment involves travel.  We are on the road at least a couple of days every week or so.  Sometimes we are on the road for a week or two at a time.  When it was just the two of us traveling was easy.  (Well let’s be honest we got pregnant several months after we got here so travelling then meant stopping at every possible bathroom opportunity to empty my pregnancy sized bladder.) We packed light and that made moving hotel rooms or hosts homes easier.  But now we are a family of three. 

Joe and I felt called into missions, Peter well he didn’t have much choice in the matter.  So Joe and I are trying to balance between involving Peter in our call and giving Peter room to find his own call.  I know, I know he is only 4 months old but we realize that patterns start early and habits are easier to form than to break.  So we are trying to be intentional now about being the parents and missionaries and family we want to be even now when Peter is a non-verbal and non-opinionated member of the family.  We are also trying to balance between doing what is best for our ministry and doing what is best for our family.  Many times they are the same thing.  But there are and will be times when what is best for our ministry is not what is best for our family and visa versa.  So again we have to be intentional about making sure that it is not always tipping in one direction (whether it be family or ministry.)  We felt it was important to give Peter a sense of routine or a place of his own even when we are traveling to assemblies, or site visits or with a team.  We wanted to make sure he had a place to unwind after the 5 hour dedication service or the 8 hour district assembly.  We wanted to start family traditions that make him thankful for where and how he lives not resentful of it.  But at the same time we  don’t want to raise him to think that that the world is all about him and does revolves around him.  All of these things and more were the things we talked about when we were discussing our family and our ministry and the possibility of a caravan. 

On one of our journeys Joe said jokingly we could just get a caravan/camper.  He was kidding but it started a conversation that carried on for several months.  We joked about and then we started talking seriously about it.  We talked to our friends, our mentors, our co-workers, other missionaries, our boss and asked is this a good idea, how will it be viewed by those we will be working with, is it worth the investment, what are the pros and cons we are not thinking of and are we crazy for considering this.  We looked at a few caravans and we talked about it and prayed about it some more.   We tabled the discussion several times and then we would pick it up again.  Until a couple of weeks ago when we found a caravan that was in our budget and fit our need/want list.  And after looking at it several times and talking and praying over it some more, we bought a caravan.  On a Thursday we signed the papers and had the official handover.  Then the next day we hooked it up to the field truck and drove it off the lot and went on our first trip with it.  Two countries, 6 district assemblies, 1 field rally, around 2500 kilometers (about 1500 miles), 4 different caravan sites, and 8 tanks of petrol (gas) and a whole lot of memories later.  We made the right decision and we are thankful for and blessed by the experiences that we have had and that we are going to have as we see the countries of our field and set up our home wherever the road leads us.  This next week we will be taking it back out for another assembly weekend. 

Until next time: Ostrich’s look much smaller and cuter from a safari vehicle than when you meet up with an ostrich family while on a walk in a nature reserve. Then you realize how big they are and how small you are.  Thankfully Joe masterfully protected our family and no animals or humans were harmed in said walk.  Shortly after we picked up a walking stick and we turned around when we came upon a herd of Kudu. 

Friday, October 2, 2015

Busy and Blessed

Busy and blessed.

Life here has settled into a somewhat predictable rhythm.   Each week is a little different depending on what is on the schedule.  Most weeks involve a trip to the airport or a couple of days traveling.  Occasionally we have a week where we are home the whole week.  

Sometimes we are with teams for a week or two at a time.  In mid September we were with a team from Upstate New York.  The team was a Jesus Film Team, so the focus was on showing the Jesus Film and on training the leaders on the District on how to use the Jesus Film Equipment.  We had a wonderful time with the team and getting to know the pastor and church members and surrounding community better.  Peter was a big hit wherever we went and he made a lot of friends. 
Peter is doing great and is now 5.5 kilos/over 12 pounds.  He is only waking up once during the night now.  He is cooing and “talking” with us now.  He hasn’t yet figured out that he can control his arms and legs but he is definitely moving them more and more.  We are very blessed that he is a good traveler and handles our ever-changing schedule with ease.  We pray that continues as he gets older but we will adjust if it doesn’t. 

This week we are home most of the week and were able to spend some time in the office getting things prepared for the upcoming District Assemblies.  On Friday we will travel to a District about 4 hours away to attend their adult camp and encourage people to join up with the Work and Witness team we will be bringing to their district in December.   On Sunday we will join a family from our church for lunch and fellowship.  Then we will have one of the couples who are volunteers in Swaziland in our home for a few days.  We will be in the office again for a few days and then on October 16th we head out for a little over a week for 6 different assemblies throughout our field.  Four of the assemblies are in Swaziland, so Peter will get to decorate his passport. 

We feel very blessed to be a part of what God is doing here.  We are feeling more and more connected with the leaders on our field.  And count the various District Superintendents we work with as friends.  We have a wonderful missionary community around us.  We have a loving church family that is happy to see us whenever we are not traveling.  We have family and friends around the world who love, support and pray for us.  We are blessed and try to be a blessing to others around us. 

Pray with us for the upcoming assemblies and rallies that will be help throughout our field. 
Pray for the upcoming Work and Witness Teams.  Two of the teams are from South Africa and one is from Brazil. 
Pray for our family as we travel, minister and live life together. 

How can we pray for you?  What is going on in your life?  Drop us an email and let us know.   We love hearing from you. 

Until next time: Remember, the keys to the office don’t help you get into the office if you leave them at home.    Just in case you were wondering (but most likely figured out) that was Beth who did that.  On a day that Joe was staying home with Peter.  Thankfully the Africa Regional Office is in the same building as our Field office so I just borrowed a desk space from them.