Monday, December 30, 2013

He's Gone To Share God's Love In Thailand

Matt, Tim, and Grandma.... 

As some of you know our Tim left early this fall for a 6 month Mission training and Outreach with YWAM. He attended 3 months of Discipleship Training. I know he is involved in videography too.  He was originally set to go to India and Nepal with his Outreach Team. God had other plans. After some paperwork that needed to be straightened out Tim had a choice to make. To wait a couple of weeks and go on to meet his Team, or to leave with another Team. Tim prayed, and then he went.  

This is Team Thailand/Cambodia

Tim arrived in country just a day after the others. He loves it and is deep in the ministry to a children's home. The team is busy getting to know the kids and teaching them conversational English.

* a note here there will be no children's pictures posted here. The children have made it know to the adults that they feel like zoo animals when folks come waving cameras in their faces. This wonderful team has chosen to honor their request and take no photos of the children. I will post projects that involve photos of team members here when they are appropriate.. 

I have been overwhelmed by the beauty of the Country. It's breathtaking. 

On the Team's first day off they decided to spend the day at an Elephant park.. The photos are awesome. Dillon Engstrom is the photographer. Most of the photos I post here will be his work. I'll post them along with a few from Tim and a few here and there from other Team members.   

Tim getting his Elephant ride. 
There was a show to watch then they rode the elephants for about 20 minutes through water, down pathways, over bridges. The Team also experienced a long river raft journey, a ride in a cart pulled by Oxen, and a large buffet meal to top it all off.. 

I ask that you remember this team in your prayers. They are so excited to share the love and Gospel of Christ with everyone they meet. I'll try and post something each week as Dillon does an update of activities once per week. Please pray for the health of the team. Some are feeling a bit sick. Also pray for the children that they understand all that is being taught to them. 

A big THANK YOU to those who have supported our Tim financially and with their prayers. Your support is allowing him to live out God's plan. 

UPDATE: you can follow Tim and the team on Facebook..  just click this URL..  and make a request..  

Wow.. That Was A Wild Christmas ...

Sunday Dec. 22nd we had an ice storm. Kind of weird for Michigan. We are def. a snow state. When we didn't lose power overnight we figured we were in the clear. We were wrong. 

about 1:30 that afternoon we lost power. Like thousands of others throughout the storm area. Husband got out the Kerosene lamps, the camp stove, the old peculator coffee pot, and a Coleman light. We were ready for the couple of hours (normally) we might be without power. I had filled 5 gal. buckets with water and put them in the tub the day before..  goooo me..  

We waited. I put up a cotton blanket to block in the heat generated by the kerosene lamps and Coleman lamp. Considering we had no heat source it stayed pretty comfy, that is till the next day. We headed out to find kerosene, 1lb propane tanks for the stove and light, and a new heater. As you already have guessed.. Nada for any of those. We did have friends give us their Kerosene heater to use. We found a place close with Kerosene, and we found the last 1 lb propane tanks in town and bought some. 

We had some snow. It was beautiful stuck to the icy trees. 
We were fortunate. When we called in to report the outage we were given the Date of Saturday Dec. 28th for restoration of power. YIKES...  We  got our power back Monday night about mid-night. Many didn't get their power back until that Saturday. 

We had a plan for a big family dinner and gift exchange for Tuesday afternoon.. I made some calls and said the cancelled party was back on. I moved the furniture back, put the food back in the full size freezer in the basement, and the food to the fridge.. then threw all the unwrapped gifts in any Christmas bag I could find that would hold them, scrawled names on the bags in black sharpie marker.. ordered Pizza, Salad, and bread sticks,and we  had Christmas.  

Husband still says our best gift of the year was our heat and power back on. I totally agree.. the "jingle bell shotgun shell" Christmas lights came in 2nd. LOL  he is easy to please. 

We realized we spend way to much time watching TV. We had no board games, puzzles, not even a deck of UNO cards..  I gave them all to the kids when they moved out.. I plan on rectifying that this year. 

I've also ordered a free-standing propane vent free heater. 30,000 BTU.  We have a similar one at our place in Kentucky. We love it. We'll get some Propane tanks (I'm not sure what size, we'll see what the propane co. suggests) when the heater gets here. I'm making a corner for our emergency supplies so we'll be more prepared next time, and I won't have to spend so much time looking for stuff. We're gonna get a generator too. We have a couple of small ones husband picked up at yard sales here and there. They're small and I'm not sure they would be of much use. I want one big enough to run our fridge and freezer, maybe a light or two and a TV.  

It's always good to be prepared for the unexpected. 
I hope your Christmas was warm, full of family and friends. 

Friday, December 6, 2013

A Lesson Remembered At Walmart...

O Come All Ye Faithful....

It was another busy day today. I had to pick up a the last 3 gifts on my list, I had to go to 2 different stores before I could find one of them. I had to pick up some antibiotics for Hubby. Then I had to run home, unload the truck, and head out to grab a friend for our trip to Sams Club to pick up a few more baking goodies. 

My list was full and I was already tired. I hadn't even washed the dishes from 2 days ago. I haven't done laundry for 2 weeks, I haven't watched the videos for the new sound system at Church and I have to run the sound this Sunday. I haven't made any cookies. I haven't mailed my grandson's Christmas gift to Hawaii. I haven't gotten out the tree or the other decorations. I haven't changed out the everyday dishes to my favorite Snowman dishes. I haven't sent out my Christmas cards. * I did make some photo cards for the family that hubby didn't like. apparently I was suppose to get his OK first. 

I'm running and running and I'm tired. My list of "things to do" is so un-done. 

I decided to head to Walmart after leaving the mall. I only had to look for a gift card and buy some treats for the dogs. We're almost out and I don't want to run out of them before the end of the month. I parked and literally ran, well I kind of hobble along quickly, toward the door.. 

oh goodness. Another one of those Salvation Army red kettles. I love the Salvation Army. I always give a bit here and there throughout the season. As I started to dig through my purse for some loose bills. I hear it. He's singing. That big and I mean tall and stocky, Flannel shirt wearing, Santa hat bobbing man is singing. 

I finally get close enough to hear him and it stops me in my tracks. It was one of the purest and sweetest voices I've ever heard. I really hadn't expected that from that "hunting bears with a switch" man. I slowed a bit and stopped looking for my money. I immediately recognized the song he was singing."Oh come all ye Faithful". It stopped me in my tracks. The tears started to fall. and my heart cried out.. "Oh come let us adore Him". 

Oh my, I had once again let my plans, my lists of things to do, and my Christmas, fog up the real reason I love Christmas so. It's that King of Angels that I love. I had shoved that baby back to the bottom of the list. I had made everything else a priority. 

As I got to that wonderful big man. I was sobbing. He broke into a smile that brightened my very soul. I hugged him and thanked him for his song. He gave me a wonderful huge hug. I swear he was an angel God placed there just for me.  I walked through the store thanking God for reminding me the reason I celebrate Christmas. It's that Baby Jesus. 

4 yrs. ago I first wrote of how easy it is for me to get all into "the preparation" for Christmas without a thought of the Love that came to earth that night over 2000 yrs. ago. (you can read it here

I still have some Christmas preparations to make, gifts to wrap, the tree to put up, gifts to mail etc. But I can tell you I'm going to be singing with joy and praise about that baby that came.

 I hope you join with me. You may not feel like celebrating. You may have suffered great loss of some kind. I've heard several of my friends say how they just can't feel any Christmas spirit. You may not feel it either, But I ask you to remember the Love that God showed us that night.. The first and greatest gift ever given. His only son Jesus. He sent Him to earth to be your Savior. 

come on,  sing with me..   

O come all ye faithful
Joyful and triumphant
O come ye, o come ye to Bethlehem
Come and behold Him
Born the King of angels
oh, come let us adore Him
Oh, come let us adore Him
Oh, come let us adore Him
Christ the Lord...