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On The Road Again!

We are east bound…..we’ve got a long way to go, and a short time to get there……

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God has blessed our travels so far with good weather, a strong tail wind, which means excellent gas mileage, and safety as we passed a terrible accident with a semi trailer on fire and the tractor broken in half. Praise God it appeared that no one was hurt.

Warning for any of you driving back to General Assembly, I-80 has continual construction, with speed limits dropped in some areas to 45mph!

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Courtney is with us on this trip and that has made it extra fun!

God has also blessed us with beautiful sunsets!

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Exhausted, but Excited!

We have had a very full weekend!  As you know, we have been working on packing up our house and on Friday and Saturday we had a huge moving sale where we sold the majority of our belongings.  Yes, it was hard on me, but God took care of me and I felt Him close as we were able to bless people with items that they needed and wanted at a very reasonable price.  We saw God’s hand on more than one occasion over the weekend as we spoke with different ones that stopped by our sale.  We were blessed as well as we were showing our neighbor the recliner that we were selling but hadn’t taken out of the house yet.  Todd mentioned as we walked through the living room, “where will you do your devotions if your devotion chair is gone?”  The neighbor immediately said “I will take the chair –and leave it here until you leave so that she can continue to have her devotions in her familiar setting” A big blessing for me.

My special spot for Devotions and favorite place to sit
My special spot for Devotions and favorite place to sit

I do my devotions when traveling, but that chair is where I have done them for all the years we have been in this house and it is “special” to me.   It was my Daddy’s recliner, I slept in it for 6 weeks as a teen when I contracted Pneumonia and couldn’t lay down flat.  It has special memories for me.  God is good – always watching out for us and providing for us in special ways through His kids! We were also blessed with wonderful friends and neighbors and our family who helped us move things out and in and out and in and cover and uncover as we fought the rain on Friday.  But Praise the Lord, Saturday was beautiful and we didn’t have to fight the rain.

Todd speaking for Faith Promise at Ustick Church of the Nazarene
Todd speaking for Faith Promise at Ustick Church of the Nazarene

Sunday was a full day as well.  We spoke at Ustick Church of the Nazarene for Sunday School and then for their Faith Promise service and then we had a nice potluck dinner. We attended Ustick Naz for a few years before going to Africa, and once again felt like home as we visited with our many friends there.  Several of our family members came and that was nice to have them there with us.  We ran home for a bit and then hit the road and drove to Kimberly Church of the Nazarene.

Todd sharing from the suitcase of items from his Grandmother's time as a missionary kid in China, and as a missionary herself in Honduras
Todd sharing from the suitcase of items from his Grandmother’s time as a missionary kid in China, and as a missionary herself in Honduras

Todd shared about his Mission Heritage and showed the suitcase he had been given recently that was his grandmother’s with many items from her time as a child in China, and then as a midwife herself in Honduras, and showed the book about her Father Cecil Troxel.  He challenged them to see the new and different ways we can witness and share with others using the tools of today to reach the teens of today.

We drove home to a beautiful display of God’s handiwork in the colors of the sky!

God's Handiwork
God’s Handiwork

Taking a break today!

Load staged and ready
Load staged and ready

This morning was my first opportunity to be a part of loading a container at Hands of Hope NW.  In the past I have always had to work and was not able to be a part of this special piece in sending a container.  Todd of course has loaded many containers in the 2 years as Executive Director.  For years our family had sorted and counted, and re-counted, and boxed many items at the ministry center, and that has been very rewarding for us, but this tops it all.  There is a special undercurrent of excitement along with the hard work of loading a container within a small window of time.  Knowing that we are putting the final touches on a load that will be opened and bless the people of the Ukraine is an awesome feeling.  If you live in the treasure valley and have not yet volunteered at Hands of Hope NW I would highly recommend it!  As my mother says, “Victory in life isn’t about personal success, it is about helping others who have a need that you can fill”.

 

Pack No Air
Pack No Air

The motto “pack no air” is very much a part of the way they load.  These guys and gals work really hard organizing and handing just the right size box to fit in the space that is open. And let me tell you – it is HOT inside that container! The water gets passed out several times to keep them all hydrated and cooled. They are a great team taking turns fitting the boxes in just the right spots, which includes a lot of lifting.

Todd and Mike Peek closing the doors
Todd and Mike Peek closing the doors

Hands of Hope NW had been blessed for several months being able to rent a warehouse with a truck dock, on the north side of the freeway, making the loading of containers much faster and easier on everyone’s backs.  They are hoping that the funds will come in to build a warehouse with truck docks on the property they own there at the ministry center on S. Powerline Rd. in Nampa.

The time away from the house and packing was good for us.  We have done so much but there is so much more to do.  Everything we pick up, we have to decide if it is going with us, if we are going to pack it to keep it for our return some day, if it will go to one of our kids or extended family, or if we will just sell it at a big garage sale. Not an easy task day after day.  It is amazing how much stuff one can collect living in a house for just a short time.

Connie Lou

Continuing the Work of a Great Missionary

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We are just wrapping up the church planting seminar here at Asia Pacific Nazarene Theological Seminary. As I was walking up to the library, I saw a display cabinet and stopped to look at the items.  I was so excited to see the item remembering the work of Peter Burkhart here in the Philippines.  Peter and his wife Meryle attend our home church, Karcher Church of the Nazarene and served as missionaries here in the Philippines.  Thank you guys for your tremendous legacy here on the Asia Pacific Region.

Collaboration Conference on Church Planting at Asia Pacific Nazarene Theological Seminary

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Article Written for Nazarene Communications Network

Manila, Philippines:  “Church planting does not take place by accident, it must be birthed from the heart of God and then must be planned!”  This is the theme that is being shared by presenter John Bond, from Australia, as he teaches a seminar this week to over 50 church planters from across the nation of the Philippines and the Asia Pacific Region.  The seminar, being held at Asia Pacific Nazarene Theological Seminary April 3-5th, is entitled Dynamic Church Planting International (DCPI) and is a joint venture between the Philippine Field, Asia Pacific Regional Office, and the Jesus Film Program.  Participants have come from 11 Nazarene Districts, three of our Nazarene Colleges (Asia Pacific Nazarene Theological Seminary,  Philippine Nazarene College, and Visayan Nazarene Bible College). In addition, 11 Jesus Film Team Leaders are present as well as Field Strategy Coordinators from Southeast Asia, Sea Lands, Melanesia/South Pacific, Philippine/Micronesia, Austrailia New Zealand and Creative Access Fields.

Asia Pacific Regional Director Mark Louw opened the conference by making clear that, “Every church has the mandate to start a new church that will start a new church! We need to be a church that is about the business of growing the Church…we are not as the Church of the Nazarene, independent planters or churches, but we are co-laborers working together as a team to make the greatest impact possible on our Region.
Collaborative effort of this type builds incredible synergy and results not just in the growth of the Church, but in the development of strong disciples of Christ.  Please continue to pray for the Asia Pacific Region as we move forward with this strategy in the days and years ahead!

Arrival to Manila on Tuesday, April 3rd, 2013

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Descending into Manila
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The countryside of the Philippines.
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Descending below the clouds.
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Fishing platforms and homes in the bay at Manila
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More fishing villages.
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The edge of the city.
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The downtown area of Manila.
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Finally the airport.
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Road trip from International Airport to Asia Pacific Nazarene Theological Seminary.
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Asia Pacific Nazarene Theological Seminary
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Cafeteria - Asia Pacific Nazarene Theological Seminary
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Dynamic Church Planting Seminar - April 3-8, Manila, Philippines

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Arrived in the Philippines!

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Dear Friends and Family,

After 30+ hours of traveling, I have arrived safely in Manila.  The flight was absolutely without issue – thanks for your prayers.  I had a significant amount of time to read, reflect, study, and prepare for this week of meetings.  I will say that if you have to choose an International Airport in the Asia Pacific Region for a long layover -Incheon International in Seoul is tops!  Free showers, massage chairs, reclining chairs with blankets and pillows.  They go out of their way to make weary travelers feel welcome –  a real blessing.  I arrived at final destination refreshed, showered, shaved, and ready to tackle the tasks of the afternoon.  I will try to add a few photos daily of the events as they happen.

I want to say, God is so very good!  Yesterday somewhere over Russia, the magnitude of what we are undertaking finally really hit home.  The adrenaline was wearing off, the fatigue of the last month settling in, and a wave of, “what on earth are we getting ourselves into” started to wash over me.  I have found that it is in times like these where going to the Word is so vitally important.  As it was already Monday in this area of the world, I opened my Bible and Our Daily Bread, and began to spend some quality time with God.  I don’t know why I was absolutely blown away, as I have seen God speak through His word so many times that I shouldn’t be surprised, but here it was again, God speaking through His Word.  The assigned scripture reading for Monday, April 1, 2013 was Psalm 139:1-12.  Verse 9 leapt off the pages, “If I rise on the Wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me.”   Our Daily Bread is written and prepared by multiple writers months in advance, but yet on this day, when I had awoken in the early hours and literally taken wing to settle on the far side of the sea, God was reminding me that He would be with us.  Defying the odds of coincidence, showing up on the scene, speaking through His living word.  We serve a mighty God.  Thank you Lord for your living word, may we be ever sensitive to hear from you.

Yours and His,
Todd

The Next Leg – Seattle to Seoul

The story continues.  All has gone well.  I am settled in my seat for what is scheduled to be an 11 hour 50 minute flight across the Pacific Ocean.   God just continues to orchestrate His adventure.  On the flight from Boise to Seattle, I noted that the man next to me was reading, “The Case for Christ” by Lee Stroebel.  I struck up a conversation with him and found out that he was a Physician’s Assistant returning home to Alaska.   In the course of our conversation he mentioned that he had travelled to Indonesia, where he worked with a Christian mission that had a rural compassionate care program / clinic.  “They struggle to find adequate supplies for their program,” He said.  As he shared his story, not knowing mine, I smiled at God’s orchestration of the events of our lives, right down to our seat partners on a plane.  Hmm…I wonder if I know of anyone who is in the ministry of providing medical supplies and equipment to developing clinics around the world?  He and his wife were definitely surprised when I shared with them about the ministry of Hands of Hope Northwest.  We finished our conversation by my explaining the process and providing them with the contact information that they would need to initiate a potential partnership with HOHNW.  I started this trip exhausted and wanting to just find a seat on a plane to settle into and sleep, but this morning Connie and I prayed that God would strategically place me next to people of His choosing for the furtherance of His ministry.  Once again – God is masterfully writing the pages of this story.  To Him be the Glory!

A Blessed Easter Morning – the New Chapter Begins!

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Prayer Under The Cross – Easter Sunrise Service – Lizard Butte

I can remember well the many Easter Sunrise Services that we attended as youth with dad, sometimes playing our musical instruments in weather where we had to keep the mouth pieces for our horns in our pockets (between songs) so that they wouldn’t freeze to our lips.  This morning at Lizard Butte, the “Son” rose on a morning that will be burned into our minds.  All of the kids were there, the Landreth families, the Aebischer families, the Smith and Sigman Families, Linda Barrows, and Amber and her family and many others.  The wind was calm, temperature warm (relatively speaking

g), and the Spirit was definitely there.  After the service, we gathered together as a united family on the hill and prayed for God’s guidance and protection over the generations of our families and for safety for this next chapter in our lives and mission.   God has been so good to us, providing protection across miles of oceans and jungles, through wars and disease, and now once again, as we accept this new assignment to Asia.

Nothing is more precious than moments spent with family and as we said our temporary goodbyes at the airport, I was so blessed to have the kids and Connie there.  Thank you to all of you who have committed to partner with us in prayer.  We will do our best to keep this story alive for you in the days ahead so that together, through our hands and feet and your prayers and encouragement, we can make an impact for Christ in the world of the Asia Pacific Region.

Yours and His from somewhere over the Northwest at 24,000 feet.

Todd