Wednesday, November 22, 2006

At the gate

I am sitting at Kansas City International airport. Breanna and the kids are going to be here any minute after an extended stay with cousins and Uncle Glen and Aunt Maria. Of course the house is clean, the dishes washed, the laundry clean ... maybe that was just a dream.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Genesis reflection

Rain. Dishes. Commercials. Tears. Counsel. Testimonies. Ping. Pong. Coffee. Strong. Groups. Prayer. Singing. George of the Jungle. Walks in the desert.
Memories of a beginning. Words can describe and even relate, but they can't capture. Not fully. The new bonds that were formed, mixed with the sobering reminder that our next steps are not intended to be easy or safe. They begin a journey of exhilaration, wanting to escape, wanting to resist, and belonging. These steps will also leave footprints into eternity. It's what life is about.

Tidbits learned during Candidate Week:
  • Allow enough room to see the rear tires of the car in front of you. If you have to, this gives you room to turn around.
  • Plan out everything your family needs to say goodbye to.
  • Fried corn bought roadside (if it is still hot) is OK to eat.
  • At least in Wichita, Kenyans may refer to donuts as "Police Food."
  • AIM covers ALL the bases!
  • We can look forward to having a house help.
The best part? Sharing these days with collegues -- the seasoned veterans with stories to share and others like us: on the brink of something entirely new.

Monday, November 13, 2006

AIM Candidate Week - Man of sorrows

Yesterday and today we had morning sessions as a large group of AIM candidates. Yesterday, this was followed by a tour of the AIM facilities. Growing up in the Wide World of Wycliffe, I was surprised and impressed by the fact that the department offices were all in the same 3 story building as our dorm rooms. All the creativity and resources I had been using and displaying were generated in a handful of office rooms down below by a handful of staff personnel. Incredible!
Today we met with a counselor to go over the results of our personality tests we had completed several weeks ago. Tests of many many questions; from the obscure, to the very personal, to the obvious. Some points of discussion were hard, even discouraging, but nothing was suprising. The conclusion is passed on to the directors to decide how we should proceed. Tiring though it was, I appreciate the thoroughness of all the preparation work we are going through.
In our morning session we were told about grieving and loss. Understanding what we will be losing as we leave for Africa. Understanding how we can prepare. Understanding that it is normal. Understanding that Jesus was aquainted with grief, and did not cover it up or hide it. Not that any of this makes it easier, it just passes quicker.

Friday, November 10, 2006

NYC is people. Lotsa lotsa people. And also the statue of "Libervy"

Today was our first full day in New York. We hung our hats in Pearl River last evening. This is the Africa Inland Mission - US headquarters ... and to be honest, very charming. The kids love the playground and trees.
Today we had free time. The ONE thing we all wanted to see was Lady Liberty. Phil and Heather Enoch, AIM staff members, watched Izzy, while we took the girls on a hectic public transportation hopping adventure.
11 am: Pizza downtown Pearl River
12:50 First bus we saw going to NYC drove right past the bus stop.
1:20 pm: A two hour bus ride to 41 St. Grace read a book about what she called "The Statue of Liverby."
3:30 pm: A walk to time square,
3:45 pm: a jaunt on the subway to South Ferry.

4:30 pm: Then we boarded Staten Island Ferry. Got some great pics as the sun was low over the water and really lit up the statue.
5pm: Exited the ferry than ran around back into the terminal to re-board.
5:30pm: Back down to the subway to get to Penn Station.
5:45pm: On a NJ Transit train to come back north.
6pm: Missed a transfer at Secaucus Junction.
6:20 pm: A conductor told us we were on the wrong train. We should get off and catch one going back.
6:50 pm: The opposite train didn't go to Secaucus. So we went to Hoboken.
7:20pm: We got off the train to hear "Final call" our next train.
7:25pm: Sprinted with kids onto the train.
8:30 pm: Arrived in Pearl River. Dr. Ted Barnett picked us up and even bought us KFC! We missed supper and our first meeting for Candidate Week.

When I asked what the first meeting covered I found out it was just the vision and purpose of AIM. Great!