Wednesday, August 27, 2008

August Travel-on our last stop!

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Departure Date Slight Change

We've been informed our orientation dates in Africa got pushed back, so our departure date is moved as well, from January 9 to January 16...that is our target, but is still dependent on financial support commitments. As you can see on the right (on our "way cool" air speed indicator graphic), our support has climbed to nearly 60%.  That number does not represent any new commitments because we have quite a few people to follow up with still from our summer-full of multi-state travels.

But the fact remains, we will not be allowed to depart on our January target date if we don't have 90% commitment by December 16! Please pray to that end. Let us know if you are interested in helping financially, and we'll get you all the info. you desire!

Below is a recent photo of us in Texas, but sadly, no cute kids since ours are with Breanna's parents in Indiana now. We are counting down the days 'til we see them!!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

beautiful Video

While I have a moment to spare, I wanted to mention this video below. I noticed it on the video feed to the right on our website. It really seems to capture for me why we want to go with Africa Inland Mission. It is beautifully arranged and so quietly assured it really speaks to me. I hope it does to you, as well.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Dylan's all right!

Dylan the Miracle Boy! From Gweni, his mom, Jerry's sister:
"THANK YOU for your prayers for Dylan!
God had mercy on us! 
Dr. Jeff said the throwing up was a clear sign of brain swelling, and the Neurosurgeon in Townsville, Australia agreed with him.  I'm glad our doctor didn't let on how serious he thought it was, during my night of hysteria, because I had
 enough fears of my own!  Anyway, sometime between 10 pm Thursday night, and the CT scan at 1 pm the next day, God healed Dylan's brain!!  Just incredible.  I can't help but think that there was a Divine reason the scan was delayed until after lunch.  If a scan in the morning had shown any
 sign of brain swelling, Dylan and I would have been on the King Air to Townsville for surgery.  We are rejoicing every day in our amazing God and in our little guy.
Gweni, John, Sierra and Dylan"
Praise the Lord, the CT scan of our nephew on the navy hospital ship near Papua New Guinea showed there was no damage from his fall! Praise the Lord and thank you for your prayers!!!
The following are excerpts from his parents' emails with the good news:

I didn't want to go into great length tonight (I will let you all know more about the amazing events of the day later), but here are the highlights:
  • The weather usually keeps our mission planes from taking off in the early morning, but this morning there was a small break in the clouds above the end of the airstrip, so Dylan, Dr. Jeff, the pilot, and myself were airborne by 7 am.  It was very difficult saying goodbye to John and Sierra.
  • A Navy Sea Hawk helicopter met us at the airport in Port Moresby, and got us to the USNS Mercy ship very quickly
  •  just before 1 pm he fell into a very deep sleep!  So I asked the CT Scan Technician if we could try to scan him without anesthesia.  He wasn't sure about it at first, but did agree.  And Dylan slept through the scan, keeping perfectly still!  He only slept another 30 minutes past that time, then was awake again until our plane trip home.  Praise the Lord he didn't have to be anesthetized, which meant no IV drip in his arm, and no long recovery time afterwards!
  • Then we waited another hour until the ship's pediatrician came to tell us the CT scan showed everything was perfectly normal!  What a wonderful peace that prononcement brought.
  • We were able to take a shuttle (a whale boat) from the ship to the shore, where a car was waiting for us, to drive us to our mission's hangar.  It was late in the day, but the weather was still good in Ukarumpa.  So our pilot, Bruce  (who had been with us the whole day), was able to fly us home this afternoon!  We arrived at Ukarumpa around 5:30 pm.   I am so glad we didn't have to overnight in Moresby, and that our little family could be reunited so quickly.

  • Please keep praying for us:
    • We are emotionally wiped out.
    • None of the four of us have had much sleep.  Many others had very little to no sleep on our behalf - Dr. Jeff who was with us through the night then all day for the medivac and scan, three nurses who watched Dylan around the clock last night, Ron who spent most of the night on the phone trying to get us on board the Mercy ship, Thomas the Clinic van driver who was awake and on-call the whole night, our dear friend Beth who stayed by our side for much of the night and helped me pack, and Mark and Lynn  who worked to get our passports released in Moresby in case I had to fly to Australia (and I know I must be leaving out others).  Please pray for everyone's physical rest.
    • Dylan's sleeping habits were already "light" before this.  Pray that he can sleep deeply, and that the pain in his head won't keep him awake.
    • Pray that he will not start vomiting again (I am on emotional tenderhooks about this!) -- according to our doctor, and to the neurosurgeon he consulted in Australia, Dylan's chronic vomiting was an indication of his brain swelling.  But God preformed a miracle.  And by the time the CT scan was done, there was no swelling to be seen!  Our doctor keeps reaffirming that Dylan's recovery from such a terrible fall is a complete miracle.  Other than the scrape on top of his head, along his cheek and chin, he is doing great!  He didn't even need stitches!
    I will write more later.
    Thanks for standing with us in this!  Words cannot express what your emails have meant to us!
    Gweni (for John and the babes)

     Sent: Friday, August 15, 2008 3:23 PM
    Subject: Answered Prayer

    It's 3:30 pm, and I was finally getting a bit of sleep when Gweni called.  She said the CT scan was completely clear.  They were looking for swelling, bruising or bleeding in the brain, but Praise the Lord, there was none.  The pilot and doctor (who had a fun day on the ship) and Gweni and Dylan are trying to get back to Ukarumpa before dark so they don't have to spend the night in Port Moresby-possibly the shortest medevac ever! 
    Thanks you all for your prayers, Gweni will probably write more later, undoubtedly with pictures!  God is good!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Jerry & Breanna's August Travel...So Far!

Please Pray for our nephew!!

Our year old nephew, Dylan,  fell from a ladder onto cement on his head yesterday. Dylan has been  vomiting, and has been medivacked to where a US navy hospital ship is available to do a CT scan. His family lives in Papua New Guinea, where Jerry's sister, Gweni and our brother-in-law, John, are missionaries. Please pray for Gweni & John, they are very scared for Dylan, and of course, please pray for Dylan's healing!
We thank God for the dedicated clinic staff and doctor that stayed up all night on watch of Dylan and examined him at home. Thank you, Father, also for the pilot and plane that were available to transport Dylan and are waiting to see if they are needed further. It is for situations such as these that we are eager to get to Africa to serve the needs of missionaries and Africans there.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

On The Road Again

The kids are having a blast with Grandma, Granpa & Tia in Indiana (Today they're at the State Fair!) Whilst Jerry and I are on the road again. This time the bulk of our three week support raising trip will be in Texas and Kansas, although we did see some friends on the way down in Missouri and Arkansas. 

Right now I'm writing from an Auto Zone parking lot in Poteau, Oklahoma because the serpentine belt went out and got to try out our cell company's road side assistance service. It worked great in getting us towed here. Times like these I am so glad my husband is talented in so many ways and one of those is as an auto mechanic. :) I don't dare ask him when he expects to be done, but we do have a hotel reservation in east Texas tonight, our old stomping grounds when we were at LeTourneau University....

so if you are in the area and haven't heard from us yet, please do e-mail. With the close proximity of the end of our last trip, the kids' birthday festivities, and packing up and moving from our house in Minnesota, we didn't get all the correspondence done we had intended to, in order to let people know we're on our way!

Monday, August 04, 2008

Olivia's Slideshow

We made it out of the house early this morning, and drove 2 hours before stopping. So, now that I have a moment be organized, I will put the birthday slideshow up for Olivia. She turned 10 (already?) on the 24th.
I did write a song for Olivia when she was 2, but it doesn't seem appropriate for a mature 10 year old. So, this is a fantastic song by Paul Simon that is much more relevant.
Well, better go. The kids want to go swimming and checkout time is coming up.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Birthdays (already a week ago, yikes!)

This is a slideshow I put together for Izzy's 3rd birthday. I know, three whole years packed into one slideshow, how do we do it? :) Every year we will need to get longer and longer songs to go with it.
I also made one for Olivia I will work on posting too.
Quick history on the song- I wrote it shortly after Isaiah was born. I had read through the book of Isaiah before his birth, and was consumed with it. There is so much passion there I had never appreciated before. So, my wish for Isaiah was for him to be just as consumed with God as his namesake of old. I took most of the chorus from Isaiah (the prophet) and set it in tension with holding a newborn; not wanting him to grow up but still hoping he will leap up and respond to God's question: "Who will go for us?"
I recorded the song one afternoon at a friend's house (Josh) in Rose Hill, KS. He added the 2nd guitar part and did the mixing, and helped me compose the chorus. He is 1,000 times the guitar player I will ever be, so it was a treat to do this with him.
That's all- More than you wanted to know!

Pray Sunday's The Day

We thought we would pull out of our home here in Minnesota, Indiana bound, on Thursday, then we thought Friday. Friday, we thought, Saturday will surely be the day. Now we're saying Sunday. The U-haul's in the driveway and the bedding is packed away and the fridge cleaned out, so it would be difficult to stall any longer :) It's not that we don't want to get to my folks house and see them before our next road trip, it's just so hard to pack up a whole household...and sort where every little thing will be needed (or not)...there are a plethora of piles: "treasures" to give away, to Africa, to Africa by way of Indiana and North Carolina, treasures to store at Mom and Dad's, summer clothes for Kansas/Texas road trip, fall clothes for North Carolina, winter clothes for the limbo period after training in North Carolina and before flight to Kenya in January. It's hard to just keep all the places, seasons and plans straight let alone what we'll need then  and there.
It seems all that can go wrong is trying to discourage us. I decided to introduce our Land Cruiser to a cement pole in a parking lot, the bumper really liked the idea and got a little TOO close. Now we have matching dents in the back AND the front. Our power steering went out along with the stereo! And the trailer wiring, too. Oh yeah, the oil needs to be changed before we leave. 
 The stress of the move has heightened my clinical depression to a near difficult to function level(My depression, for the past three years is usually undetectable with my daily medication, which I consider a real God-send and tremendous blessing!)). Today I felt like I did a whole lot of despairing, longing for bed, a shoulder to cry, wringing my hands and not a lot of forward, please PRAY for us that Sunday is THE day.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Packing for Yet Another Move

So here's the question, am I updating you on what our week has consisted of (sorting, packing, cleaning, packing, sorting, packing, packing) OR am I procrastinating from doing more packing? 
This morning I was saying to myself how I am so tired of this moving stuff that THIS will definitely be our last move! Then it occurred to me, we've chosen the wrong profession if we don't like moving! 

True, we plan to live in Africa for the foreseeable future, but being missionaries means that every two-four years we return on a 6-12 month furlough to come back and spend time with friends, family and supporters to explain face to face about the people we've met and experiences we've had while living and working in Africa. 

So think of us, packing, packing, packing and pray we get it done soon and have a safe, uneventful trip to our next destination, my parents' house in Indiana. 

The kids will stay with Mom and Dad while Jerry and I hit the road again for the most of the month of August, heading south this time, bound for Texas and Kansas. We look forward to sharing the story of our journey to minister through aviation in Africa with friends, churches and family, and find more members for our ministry support team, to help us complete this journey to the mission field.