Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
for His compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
Awoke this morning to a rain-washed countryside. The storm has passed and we are on our way again with 480 miles left to go. Lord willing, this will be our shortest day. God gave me a special gift of a beautiful greenbelt to run along for my early morning job. Had no idea I would get this blessing to start my day!
We arrived in Clive, Iowa (just outside of Des Moines) this evening at around 8:30 pm. For the final two hours of today’s travel, we watched the storms building all around us. The winds picked up and by the time we arrived in Clive, the National Weather Service was issuing severe thunderstorm alerts. Winds have already reached 40-45 mph. The internet for the hotel was knocked out, along with TV service, but thankfully we still have cell and my VHF Handheld Radio, so we can continue to get the Weather Service Alerts. We pulled up a radar image of the area and found that we were right in the “red zone.” Five tornadoes touched down in central Iowa on Wednesday. Courtney is having a great time with mom and dad…”This is so cool…but I’m a bit scared too.”
The Intermountain NMI Convention was in Nampa Idaho at College Church. We enjoyed attending and seeing so many Idaho friends and fellow missionaries past and present from many parts of the world.
We were privileged to listen to Harmon and Cindy Schmelzenbach and their son Quinton share about their ministry on the Asia Pacific District.
They had some fun having Quinton answer the question in Pidgin with his father Harmon translating (and adding a few more details as needed).
Many young people raised their hands to indicate that they had felt the call to full time ministry, including missions. They had a special time of prayer for them with several different ones praying for the different age groups represented. It was very moving.
We were excited to see so many churches that had paid their WEF and over for the past 10 years! And some churches had paid way over 150%. That is so awesome! And we know that it is the WEF support that helps keep the missionaries and programs operating on the field. We are excited to return to the field from the Intermountain District. And look forward to the continued support of such a great district.
Monday morning we had the opportunity to be a part of another container loading party. As usual, I took photos and in almost every photo there is a smile on everyone’s face.
There is a certain kind of joy that one feels when serving others that you just don’t get in any other way. It really did feel like a party! One of the reasons for that sense of joy was that the driver of the truck was a good friend of the driver we had for the last load to the Ukraine, and since this load was also headed for the Ukraine, the driver brought a friend from the Russian Speaking Church in Meridian, Idaho. They have a youth group that goes to the Ukraine every summer to work and share the love of Jesus. They were so excited to hear about the ministries of Hands of Hope NW, and how much Hands of Hope NW has donated to the people of the Ukraine and other former Soviet countries.
David Ferdinand showed him the map on the wall indicating the containers that have been sent out from Hands of Hope NW.
The driver was very impressed with the ministry of Hands of Hope NW and even helped us load the container and was so excited to do so! Visiting with us as time allowed.
The Driver helping us load the container for the Ukraine
There was a point when some of us were not sure that everything was going to fit inside that container, as it was filling fast and there seemed to be so much more to fit into it. But thanks to the new way they weigh and measure the cube of everything, the estimations made based on that were almost exact!
That is in a large part due to the dedication of the loading crew that meticulously fills every open space in keeping with their goal of not packing any air, but rather sending a full load.
After we filled the container, we had a time of prayer before closing the doors and sealing the load.
A word of prayer prior to closing up and sealing the load
Then we had a time of fellowship as the crew watched the videos Todd had made of other container loading parties and volunteers and then we had lunch!
The driver visited with us and even stayed for lunch and fellowship with the crew!
The driver having lunch with the crew before taking the load to the port!
I saw a recent post on Facebook by a friend who is also moving. She indicated that she was almost to the point in time where she wished that the house they were leaving, “might possibly…catch on fire!” I can truly relate. Connie and I are in the middle of going room to room with boxes labeled: 1) Give to the family, 2) Place in the garage sale, 3) Pack up carefully for long-term storage…those pictures and keepsakes that are near and dear, 4) Be considered for placing in one of our 4 suitcases going to Asia. I need to give her long back rubs and lots of love these days. We are very excited about being part of the Asia Pacific Team and the incredible ministry. The move just comes with the territory! Hang in there hon!
We are in the full swing of the speaking schedule! We have just completed speaking and sharing at the OR PAC NMI Convention. The OR PAC District is our original home sending district and it was so good to see friends and family there, and to worship at Medford First in the sanctuary where we knelt at the altar some 25 years ago and said “Yes, Lord”. We again reaffirmed our commitment to go where God leads as we listened to several missionaries from around the world, including some that we will be serving with on the Asia Pacific Region.
We knelt at the altar with other friends that we have grown to love as they step out in faith and head to the mission field as well. What a wonderful time spent sharing from the heart.
There were several youth and young adults there that spent some time with the group of missionaries asking questions and the time concluded with them going to the front and stating that they had felt a call to missions and a wonderful time of prayer.