Saturday, July 21, 2007

R & R!

Lately it seems like everything is taking two weeks to actually happen. For example, after two weeks of rescheduling meetings, Mary Virginia and I finally met on Thursday to go over some stuff. (She is quite anxious to get all her ducks in a row at this point...that kid could show up at any second, though rumor has it that she may have a few weeks left!) The other big thing that kept getting moved was a day at the beach with Travis and Alicia. On Friday we loaded up the car, headed up north of town and spent a day lounging under the palm trees. (See, Stacey? We celebrated your birthday without you!) It was great to have the car so we could go to beaches that the buses can't get us to and also so we could lug Travis' barbecue. We brought chicken and steaks and a great supply of vegetables. Later Russ bought some shrimp from some vendors that came by. There wasn't a speck of food left when we were done. (We had help, though: we shared our food with several people who stopped to ask us for money.) It was the first day that we'd spent at the beach since we got back from furlough and we left swearing that it wouldn't be that long until we went again. I guess that considering the way things have been going lately we should go ahead and schedule it for two weeks from now--then we could go in a month or so!
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Thursday, July 12, 2007

New Life

I am well aware that I've been a total slacker since we got back from furlough. It's hard to believe that it's only been a few weeks! The truth is, I've only been a slacker with respect to blogging. So for those of you who frantically check this blog each morning or evening to see if I've updated, I'm sorry. (And may I recommend an RSS reader to simplify your life?)

But there has been a lot going on here. The "kids" left on Monday and we've been recovering from their stay. (Also, I've been recovering from a stomach bug that showed up right after we got home from taking them to the airport!) I've been trying to get all the pictures on Flickr (online photo albums--just click the word Flickr to get to our pictures). But here are a few pictures that I wanted to share with you:
Meet Clerlhan (don't worry, we can't really pronounce it either!). She is one of our LST students and had been studying with Kathryn, from Auburn.
We were so excited to welcome her into the family of Christ! It was an interesting baptism--the first time Russ had done one in the ocean (not to mention the fact that it was pitch black!)--and with the combination of members, LST students and the Auburn kids it was a bilingual event.

Clerlhan's family is spiritist so they are really not happy with her decision. Keep her in your prayers as she begins this new walk.

And then there's Whitney! Whitney was part of the campaign from Auburn. She had never been baptized but after spending a lot of time in the Word, she came to the conclusion that this was what God wanted for her.
Her baptism was in the ocean, too, but in the afternoon so the pictures are much better. We were excited to get to share this special moment with Whitney!

More updates to come!
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Friday, July 06, 2007

Waiting for Normal

I'm home alone. I think it's the third time I've been home alone since we got back from furlough (over a month ago). While many of you who know me may know that at times, being alone is torture for me, I've started to really enjoy it. Before we left on furlough, there were many days that were just me and Sam. But since we've been back and have had "the kids" at our house there just haven't been many of those alone times.

I keep waiting for life to get back to normal. This is probably a lesson that those of you who are 50 or 40 or even who have actually crossed over to the big 3-0 have already learned but it's new to me. I don't think normal is coming.

I spent the last part of furlough eager to get back to normal life. I got back home to the chaos of the Auburn campaign and helping the Parkers move and looked forward to everything calming down. Now I'm looking forward to Monday, when the dear, sweet "kids" will no longer be in my home.

But today I realized that after that, we'll still have the interns here. And in a month (or less, as I have predicted), Matt and Mary Virginia will have their baby. Not too long after that, other people will head out on furlough. And...and...and...

I don't think normal is coming.

So I'm trying to figure out how to make peace with today, just how it is, and how to find peace in days that are absolutely insane. Even if I can't get my quiet time, I can be quieted. That's a challenge, especially for someone for whom quiet doesn't come easily. But if I keep waiting for normal, I'll be waiting forever and I'll miss out on all kinds of great days that weren't normal but were wonderful nonetheless.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

It's been a good week...

Sunday was spectacular, not counting those we miss sharing the work with. We had a great praise service, then Val prepared a huge lunch and taught 26 women about fasting. The English class taught by Travis and Matt was even more packed that afternoon. We have enjoyed thrilling soccer games (we won 4-1), and long days regrouping after the Parkers decided to go. Today begain with an hour of body boarding at high tide. It was even better than it sounds!

Running with the dog, cycling to the lighthouse or laughing with a student over ping pong- it all makes the days more fun. We miss our friends, but our saddest times are for the hugs we cannot send over email. Please send big hugs our way, because we need them. We loved all the laughs we shared back in the States, and now we want to keep sharing how we feel. There is lots of work in the coming months, and we accept it gladly. Keep on truckin!