Monday, January 29, 2007


When last we we posted, it was broken glass we were cleaning out of of our family ride. This time, it's a bit more beautiful.

Jerry has completed his first custom panel, on his own -his design!
I think it's gorgeous, but we're throwing it out there on e-bay to see what he can get for his hard work! If you're interested in seeing it, or bidding, here is the link:
the auction will end next Sunday evening (at least for those of us in the western hemisphere)

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

White, beautiful, cold, and treacherous

At a quarter to six I drove down a stretch of elevated highway near downtown Wichita - my typical afternoon commute home. I noticed I was unusually tense and a sore neck reminded me why.
Two days earlier we enjoyed some rare snow time by taking the kids and two friends to go sledding. On the way home the volume in the car was boisterous and rising! I tried a diversion by turning on a CD of South African music, hoping to quiet down conversation (not a brilliant idea, more of a tired feeble attempt!)
Grace was not happy with all the noise, and I made further adjustments to the stereo. On a straight stretch of downtown flyover, with ice and snow remnants left by the plow, the land cruiser started drifting sideways. I pictured the rear tires frantically clawing at pellets of ice, trying to establish traction.
I tried to correct, and the swerve became aggravated and in the opposite direction as my confidence in our four-wheel-drive icon of invulnerability flew out the window.
We started a spin while sliding towards the left shoulder. Past 90 degrees the front right corner of the bumper hit the cement barrier, keeping us squarely from a 15 plus foot drop. The car bounced off this rotated further and hit the back right corner with an unforgiving, resolute crunch.
I remember disappointment when I heard that sound. It wasn't a bright crunch, like someone biting down on a crisp taco. It was dull and painful. Perhaps the immediate thought of bending metal made me wince inside.
Judging by the sore necks Olivia and I have, at that moment our bodies must have strained against seatbelts.
We stopped, facing east, on the left shoulder as snow flakes continued to fall. Fortunately no other traffic was nearby. I crossed over to the right shoulder and stopped to gather my thoughts.
Breanna noticed our spare tire was back in the left shoulder. It took some time to calm down the kids. A firm "We are OK. We are stopped and we are going to be alright" seemed to work.
Walking across the slick highway made me wonder if I really wanted to cross it again, between spaces in traffic, with the tire . I thought of dropping it off the overpass to pick it up down below, but I didn't think it would fare too well and who knows where it would bounce!
I got back to the car. As I started tying up a now dragging piece of trim, the highway patrol pulled up. They wanted me to exit the highway and meet with them at a convenient parking lot to fill out the accident report.
Aside from being sore and rattled, no one was hurt, and we give all the credit to God. The car damage could have been worse, and if anything, it re-awakened me to the realities of driving in poor conditions, even in a four wheel drive tank of a car.
Our daily reality, regardless of whether we remember it or not, is we must trust God in everything. I can't explain why this needed to happen right now, but I know He has in His hands the way to Nairobi, body panels for the Land Cruiser, and the lives of our family and friends. Blessed be the name of the Lord.
I love seeing the snow covered lanes under trees sporting highlighted branches. But, maybe, Spring would be nice ...

Friday, January 19, 2007

And we're off ... 2007!

Over half way through January and this year is tearing along! From a week long Christmas break, it is back to a familiar routine with freshly sprung challenges. And the silent questions in all our hearts ... what are you up to and when do you leave?

This is my quick attempt to answer. The rosy new year persuaded us to become serious about exercising the body, mind and soul (unfortunately a new diet idea didn't stick), making time for family, and preparing for our journey.

The best way we prepare is to pay off debt. A great opportunity has realized and I occasionally moonlight as a stain-glass-window-maker-apprentice. My good friend, David Strouse, runs the custom window department at a nearby glass shop, and I enjoy learning the trade and hanging out with him. I will write more about this later.

A couple evenings a week Olivia and I work through a kids book called “Let's Move Overseas.” I love spending time one on one with her and watch the apprehension ease from her shoulders as she adjusts to the idea of leaving Kansas.

I enrolled in a class called Perspectives on the World Christian Movement, which I was very excited about. Unfortunately, the class was canceled after the first week.

We have been reading. These books relate to our new vocation and my existing one. My books have been The Emotionally Healthy Church, My American Journey (Colin Powell's autobiography), Who Moved My Cheese?, and Revolution (by George Barna). More on this later, as well.

Our plans are (come August): sell the house, leave Cessna, and join Proclaim Aviation for a year (pending official acceptance). From there, we will (God willing) complete the technical evaluation and leave with AIM-AIR as full time missionaries. This will likely be our last winter in Kansas for a long time.

The family is well, aside from the sniffles and sore throats. Isaiah mastered walking ... and walking away with whatever his little hands find. Breanna started a unit study with the girls on Africa (something Olivia requested), and we slowly work on packing up the house.

I can tell this is going to be an exciting year! I feel like a wooden ship driven by a strength I can feel but not touch. It fills the sails and tightens the ropes which strain to pull this mortal vessel on a tightly steered course. And over the bow comes the crash of waves and salty air filled with adventure and purpose. Hang on ... and thanks for coming aboard with us!


Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Christmas Joys & God's Creatures

Christmas morning we (the 5 of us & Jerry's folks) all enjoyed a special treat! After weeks of viewing the Botswana waterhole, that's linked at right, we had only seen impalas, warthogs and birds. So on Jesus' birth-day, what a gift we got in seeing a herd of elephants at the water hole, with 4 babies!

We then visited our local zoo and got to see our lion showing off his bravado... roaring at us. Maybe all these animals reminding us of Africa, where we will continue to journey toward throughout this New Year!

We ended our relaxing Christmas by watching the Nativity Story. We pray your Christmas was just as blessed! May you bask in His love daily!