Thursday, March 29, 2012

This week started with a bang... a lot of fun and a lot of busyness. Garry has been busy with his aviation safety responsibilities. We have enjoyed seeing many friends again, catching up on their lives and the "God story" going on here at our NTM aviation headquarters. It's amazing how God is at work in both the best and the worst circumstances, how His love transcends our current perceptions, challenges, and realities. What a blessing to always know we are in His loving, perfect hands!

This photo is from the Prima Pasta tournament in Manila, but I thought it was good enough to share. We're pretty proud of Kevin and his excellence in badminton. Last weekend we had the opportunity to play another tournament, which we enjoyed doing. We met some great people and enjoyed the play. Then on Wednesday some friends invited us to try some racquetball with them, another fun sporting experience.

I went shopping again this week... I'm not sure what it is about stores that usually drives me to tears, or nearly so. Maybe it's the number of choices in the "average" store in this country, maybe the cultural experience that shopping is, or maybe it's simply the reminder that I no longer know how to survive in this environment. I feel an outsider so often (which is no reflection on my many amazing friends, but on the realities of daily living between continents).

Another new experience for me today was being invited to a "ladies night" complete with "adult prizes", bull riding, and cheap drinks. My heart broke with the realization that this is people's reality, a world without hope and cheap substitutes for the real life God offers.

Next time I'll try to give a better ministry update, but at the moment so much of what we're involved in relates to people's lives in ways that we are not free to share. While our story intersects so many others, these are not our stories to share, because they do not belong only to us.

Friday, March 23, 2012

 We arrived in McNeal, Arizona late Saturday night. We unpacked the car, found what we needed to go to bed, and crashed. It was a rather strange feeling to walk into the same trailer we lived in for nearly 3 years and it be a guest trailer. So many memories came flooding back as we walked through the rooms and checked out what had been done to the trailer since we left.

The following day we went shopping. On the way to town there was a huge dust storm. The air reeked of dust and we could barely see the road for a short while. Then things cleared up and we went to the grocery store. When we came back out, the wind was whipping across the parking lot. In fact, it stole a box of tissue from our cart and blew it half way across the parking lot before we could catch it.

We had lunch at an old favorite restaurant, El Alamo. It's a small place serves authentic Mexican food for reasonable prices. Good memories! When we got home Garry and I wanted to go walking, but it was cold and windy. Too cold to walk with just our sweatshirts!

Monday Garry started meetings with a co-worker from Papua New Guinea. They spent many hours discussing possible ways to set up a safety system and what that system needs to include. In fact, Garry has spent all week meeting with different people, gaining and understanding of some of what is happening here at our headquarters as well as discussing possibilities for the safety program. It's amazing to see how God is opening doors and closing doors. Truly, we are blessed to serve the Most High God who cares about every aspect of our lives!

Later today we'll head to Tucson to meet a friend of Kevin's and play some badminton. We actually joined a tournament, so it should be a fun weekend getting to know the local badminton community!

Friday, March 16, 2012

We had an amazing time in Manitoba. Short, but good. It was so great to be with our family again, to share meals and laughter and long conversations. Both boys were very blessed by things that happened while we were there. Garry and I were blessed and encouraged. God is good. Always.

We are on our way to Arizona, about 1300 miles down and 700 to go. It's been fun thus far. Really, we love driving as a family! It's incredible to drive for hours and hours on nice highways. It's fun to find a nice place to stop whenever you want to stop.

We spent the night in Colorado Springs and visited Focus on the Family this morning. We were impressed by the spirit there, apparently good camaraderie between people and helpful staff. We had ice-cream at Whit's End and thought we were inside our radio:). What a blessing!

Friday, March 09, 2012


Re-entry. It sounds simple... we've done it before and we'll do it again. And it is simple. You just begin living here (this time in Manitoba) like you have before. But, the journey to FEELING normal in a new environment can be long. I've thought about it before. I was clearly reminded of it when I stopped by Tim Horton's for a breakfast sandwich for Mom and I.

Everybody else was standing there looking around while I was anxiously studying the menu to find the breakfast sandwich that I was quite sure was there. But where? And what was it called, and did they still have the same ham option?

In fact, everybody else seemed like they'd been there often... maybe several times a week. There may have been another "foreigner" hiding in there somewhere, but I didn't notice any. People were greeting one another, discussing the weather. And they all spoke perfect English-- not a word I didn't understand among all those people.

I figured out what I wanted and felt quite accomplished to give my order only once and just get a total for my breakfast, no questions I didn't have the answers to!

The employees behind the counter were hurrying about, putting orders together very quickly. Hurrying! I haven't seen that for a very long while. And when I got my order 2 minutes later, the lady apologized for the wait. I'm sure I looked a like confused at that....

Then, I had a bag and a pair of gloves and a headband in my hands. There's got to be a trick to keeping all this winter gear straight and staying warm. For my part, I guess I should have kept my gloves on, cause my hands were very cold by the time I got back to the care. (And I should have been watching... maybe nobody takes off their gloves to order breakfast? Then again, I don't think I saw many gloves this morning... people seem to think it's warming up!)

Even as I write this, I wonder if you'll understand what was so strange about all this, so far from my recent experience, so novel. So new, and yet somehow also just like I remember it. Only the memories are fuzzy and the experience somewhat stressful.

This isn't quite Tim Horton's but it is snowy Manitoba!

Saturday, March 03, 2012

Day One of the badminton tournament is history. Kevin had a great game against the #1 doubles player, and played well. Maybe next time he'll win! While he was playing Garry and I had fun hanging out with our friends from Mindanao, chatting about badminton and life in general.

Today we have a slow morning and are planning to go out for lunch. It's nice to relax a bit in the craziness that usually accompanies travel!

Kaleb spent yesterday afternoon making a short movie with friends. It was fun to see them all enjoying acting out scenes they thought up!

Friday, March 02, 2012

Friday is a lovely day of the week! I must admit that it doesn't make so much difference when life is out of routine, but it's still nice!

We had a refreshing time with our friends from Canada... well, he isn't actually FROM Canada, but that's where we met him. Anyway, it was great, despite some delays in picking them up. We had to drive home from the airport after dark-- 102 km in 5 hours, our slowest trip yet!

Now we are in Manila, getting Kevin some great badminton and enjoying catching up with a few people. I had coffee with a friend yesterday who lives in constant pain. Her faithful furry friend is really sick. And yet her passion for God so inspired me. Again, like usual. Friends are good that way-- they keep us thinking and evaluating and growing. I want to be a friend like that despite my circumstances, yet so often I whine about my life and worry about what's coming next.

Just before we came to Manila we found out that there's a glitch with our papers to leave the country. If things can't be resolved by our flight time, we'll have to change our tickets. We would prefer not to do that, but God knows what is best. It keeps coming back to faith, and that's a good thing.

And now I need to clean up our room a bit and get ready for supper.... just wanted to post a quick update on our travels!