We are east bound…..we’ve got a long way to go, and a short time to get there……
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!
Courtney is with us on this trip and that has made it extra fun!
God has also blessed us with beautiful sunsets!
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.
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.
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 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!
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.
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.
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!
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”.
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.
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.
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.
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.