Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Terrific Tuesday - Kitchens

Kitchens...how I love Kitchens!  And what is in kitchens???  Gadgets!!!  Anyone that knows me knows that I LOVE gadgets!!  During our time in India, one thing that was greatly lacking were gadgets!!  Not even stoves and refrigerators!!  .....And yet there was joy, smiles, fun, hard work, good food, and GREAT fellowship!!  The pictures today are just a few of the kitchens that I spent time in.  One thing was the same everywhere, no one would let me help.  I guess they knew I was probably helpless without my GADGETS!!
 
Didn't get a good picture in the kitchen, but here they are serving us outside.
These are all the people who helped with the food prep our first night in Dimapur.
See the stove????  Of course you do, it is the big one on the left with the large
flame under it!!!  The fuel for the stove is neatly stored above it!
 
Mixing the squash.

She was having too much fun!!!

Hard work and laughter!  What a pleasant experience!!
 
The only place where I saw a little two burner gas table.  This kitchen has a
chimney even!!!
 
Our cooks in the village of Leiting, Manipur.  Search for it on Google Maps!
 
The ladies of Ruhm Baptist Church eating after they served us!
 
Pastor Somi's kitchen.
 
The pastor's kitchen in Nungbi Khullen.  Notice the very dark walls.  This
is due to the smoke from the open fire.  I had a wonderful time "hanging out" in
this kitchen with everyone.  Of course, they had to help me up off the little
stool I sat on, but that gave us all something to chuckle about!
 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

HOME!!

Our time in London was lovely and we enjoyed getting to spend time with our dear friend Sheila.  She is such a blessing to many and we have come to love her in the short time we have known her. 

My bud - Sheila
A walk and coffee - what more
could you ask for?









Pastor and Mrs. Esquibel - our last ministry stop of the trip.
What an enjoyable visit we had with them and their church.
 
We boarded our flight home and found almost half the plane was empty!  You travelers know how wonderful that is!  After take off, we moved around to give ourselves lots of space.  Our international flying was done on Virgin Atlantic.  I must say that they have been one of the best carriers in all of our travels.  This trip was different and a little more difficult with Randy on crutches and they did their very best to accommodate his leg situation.  Our plane landed early and JFK was a mad house!  Our dear friend Brother Levine picked us up.  We couldn't resist a stop at Wendy's on the way home for our first hamburger in over a month!  It did give me an upset stomach later in the night.  I went and unlocked the back door while Randy and Br. Levine worked at getting the luggage out of the car.  As I opened the back door, something on the couch moved.  I resisted the urge to yell and in a few seconds Christa stood before me!  She had taken Tuesday off so she could be home to greet us Monday night.  What a fun reunion we had.  I had to resist the urge to talk all night and Randy finally declared that it was time to go to sleep.
 
Today was my bi-annual cancer check up and as of today, all is looking great!  Tomorrow Randy has two appointments about the leg situation.  One in the morning with "Urgent Ortho" and then one in the afternoon with his primary doctor.  After Thanksgiving he will meet with his thyroid doctor.  Some of the blood work results came back while we were in India and it seems that they lowered his medicine too much, so back up they raised it.  We will let you all know when we get some answers as to the cause of this "insufficiency fracture" in his femur.
 
We took almost 1500 pictures on our trip!!  Last night we spent time showing Christa all of them and the videos. It was exciting to relive those memories.  Over the next few weeks, I will be uploading the pictures on to the blog.  Stay tuned!
 
Thank you to all of you that prayed for our safety, endurance, health, finances, and purpose.  The Lord blessed us so many ways.  I will leave you with a few pictures of the sunrise over the India/Burma border!
Here it comes!
Almost up!


The Sun still rises in the East.  Praise the Lord for the things
that NEVER change!

Departing Delhi - Goodbye India
 

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Leaving Delhi




See how happy we are to have electricity, internet, and hot showers??? We landed back in Delhi on Tuesday, November 12.



Our time in India came to a close on Wednesday, November 13. We just couldn't resist two stops in the airport! We don't eat at McDonald's since leaving Japan, but we decided to have a fish sandwich before boarding our flight to London. After lunch we headed for the Starbucks and as we rounded the corner for the coffee shop, we ran into (literally) a group of women from St. Olaf's College in Minnesota, my home state!! This college is known for their outstanding choirs. It was fun talking a little nasal Minnesotan!  

We landed safely in London and are already missing our dear friends in India.  This afternoon we took the tube and train up to Alconbury to spend the night with Pastor and Mrs. Esquibel. Randy will be preaching at their church tomorrow. One thing is missing, our dear friend Autumn who transferred from here last month!

Monday night I will sleep in my own bed! Whoo hoo!! There will be many more stories and pictures to follow.

We have been praying and will continue praying for the people in the Philippines. Our lives are so easy compared to many billions in the world! Praying they will meet the God of the journey if they haven't yet.

Friday, November 1, 2013

India Pics!

Well, we have WiFi, when we have power! Here are some pics of our room and the view from our room.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

India Happenings!

The pictures were taken at Pizza Hut in Guwahati and the tea plantation.

Well, we made our way today up to Dimapur after saying goodbye to our wonderful staff at the hotel. At breakfast this morning, the manager hung Assamese scarves around our necks as a gift of honor. We were so blessed by their service and effort to understand our foreign ways. Like coffee FIRST before we start eating breakfast. They asked to take our picture and begged us to return.  Then they all carried our luggage to the vehicle and stood in the driveway bidding us farewell as we drove away. 

It was an interesting ride to Dimapur to say the least. If the condition of the roads doesn't make you late for an appointment, certainly the cows, goats, chickens, dogs, bicycles, ox carts, and people in the middle of the road will. Let's not forget the cars coming at you because they are driving the wrong way on the divided highway! Such was our trip today.


Part way on our journey we stopped to have lunch. We were such a novelty that the workers asked to take our picture and then asked us to write in their guest book about how good the food was and it was good!

After lunch, the ride got so bouncy and jostling that I thought I might need them to pull over. Deep breathing helped the feeling pass.

The rough drive slipped into a dim memory as we were greeted by our Indian friends when we arrived! They are really spoiling us. What a blessed time of fellowship we had with them. 

Have a wonderful day!

Thankful Thursday - My BABY Sister

Mom and Gwen
 A Loooong time ago!
Gwen and I after Eddie went to Heaven - 2003

Netta, Me, Dad, and Gwen
All together!!  Gwen's Birthday 2007

Gwen and I the night before my second chemo.
Gwen flew to Okinawa to be with me.  She is always there
when I need a shoulder to cry on! February 2010

Gwen and Missionary Wife Heidi Gardner
These ladies were so kind to help Spot keep me company
during my second chemo.

Gwen and I at tea after my second chemo.
My Baby Sister!!!
Today is a very special day!  Today we celebrate my sister, Gwen!  You might get the idea from this post that Gwen and I get along wonderfully and without conflict.  That would be a very wrong idea.  We have had periodic conflict ever since we were thrown together and forced to share a room!  The really great thing about our relationship is that we have come to blows many times, but we forgive and move on.  I love Gwen more than I could ever express.  She is the only one in our families that has been to see us everywhere we have ever lived in this WORLD!  At the lowest points in my life, Gwen has dropped what she was doing to be there to help me through.  Gwen, I am very grateful that the Lord put us together so many years ago.  I love you and appreciate you more than you can ever know.  BTW, You know I'm always right!!!!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Safe!

We arrived in New Delhi at 1045 a.m. Delhi time. That is 9 1/2 hours ahead of NYC time. We stopped at Costa Coffee on the way out of the airport!!! We grew to love that place during our stay in London last May. Thank you Autumn!
We are safely in our hotel room and have already showered!!! After 22 hours, we both stunk! Now we will try to rest for two hours, in spite of the constant horns blowing! I am really so thrilled to be here!
Nite, nite!!!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

1st Leg - London

We are in London waiting for the gate to open for our flight to India. All is well, but keeping Randy on his crutches is quite the task!!!!  I have loaded him down with the carry ons and put him on the phone (via Skype) with Christa! We will land in Delhi around 130a.m. NYC time. TTFN

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Packed

Randy is off at the doctor getting fitted for his crutches! I am here at the home front finishing up our packing. Actually we were finished packing last night, but not before we had to cram everything into two small duffels and two smaller carry ons! So I'm sending pictures with this post so you can see exactly how little this woman had to take on the trip for a month!  There are even two pillows packed. Isn't that exciting? I just hope I can live without everything I had to leave behind! BTW MY duffle is the red one and I'm sure you know which carry on is mine!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Major Prayer Request

Please pray for Randy. The doctor called and it is official, he has a broken knee. Actually, it is at the bottom of the femur. He will go to therapy at 730 tomorrow morning to get instructions on how to use crutches!!!! He will see the orthopedist when we get back. We will NOT be canceling the trip!!

Missionary Monday


Nothing says missionary Monday like packing for a trip to India! Getting ready to go to the mission field is always a daunting task. I am trying to magically reduce 80 pounds of luggage into 33! It can be aggravating. It can be frustrating. It can be overwhelming. The nice part about this trip to India, is that I am only packing for 3 weeks. However, we will be in two very different climates on the trip. I am having to pack for hot and cool!

No matter how hard you try to pack lite there's always enough stuff to fill 10 suitcases and you only have one. I remember when we were in the states for Randy's cancer. We stayed in our church's apartments for missionaries. Next door to us was a veteran missionary couple going back to the field of Nigeria with two small children. Having been through the hassle of trying to pack all the many Items accumulated during deputation into just a few suitcases, I went over to see if I could be of help. When I walked in the missionary wife was in tears and trying to figure out how she would fit all of the things that her babies were going to need on the field into the few storage container she had. Eventually we got it all packed up, but phew! What a task. 

Well, I am off to get ready for the day! Tomorrow afternoon we will go to a hotel near the airport. This will allow us two extra hours of sleep and no worries about NYC traffic!!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Thankful Thursday -

My new friends - Lily and Sakiko
 
 

Can you believe they are ALL sitting down!  How wild is that???
The tooth that was repaired within two hours of it breaking.  The Lord supplying some very necessary finances for our India trip.  A daughter that is flexible and is willing to give up her room to an unexpected guest.  The beautiful weather supplied to us this week.  Leaves changing to brilliant colors.  Getting to hear a Handsome Young Evangelist preach last night (my hubby).  These are just a few of the many things I have to be thankful for on this lovely Thursday.
 
However, I would like to share one special blessing from my week.  I had an opportunity to spend a morning with some amazing women and their children.  I have a new friend, Sakiko.  She is Japanese, new in this area, speaks some English, but doesn't have a lot of friends here.  Some ladies I know have an active Mommy Group and they invited Sakiko and I to go on a field trip to the pumpkin patch.  These mommies are so kind and welcomed Sakiko like an old friend.  I am honored to know and spend time with ladies that are thoughtful and open towards all different types of people.  We had such a refreshing time.  The Lord gave us a beautiful day with the most fabulous blue sky! 

This outing was just one of many things that I am thankful for this Thursday.  My journey has been beautiful this week and I have kept my focus on The God of my journey!  Have a blessed week.

 

Friday, October 11, 2013

Faithful Friday - My Dear Friend Lynn


Lynn is the one in the middle.  What a beautiful woman she is, inside and out.  I met Lynn within the first month of our return from Japan.  She lives here in Connecticut and she was diagnosed with the same kind of breast cancer that I have two years before me.  She has encouraged me to LIVE!  Her life touches so many around her.
 
In the last month, this dreaded disease has reared it's ugly head again.  Here is an update about what is happening in her body:
 
Lynn was diagnosed with Stage 3C HER2 positive breast cancer in 2007, she fought it and kept it at bay until a re-occurrence in 2010. She fought it then and was in remission with no sign of cancer. However in the past few weeks Lynn was diagnosed with Lyme disease and upon closer inspection, she was found to have her cancer metastasized into several parts of her body as well. The scans have revealed that she has it in her Lungs, her Liver, her Bones and in her Brain. Lynn is a fighter, and she is determined to fight this with all she can muster. Our oncologist has a treatment plan in place for her that gives us high hopes. In particular two new smart drugs have been approved that fight her type of cancer (HER2) while leaving the regular cells alone. In the six years since we started this journey some major medical advancements have been introduced.
 
She is currently undergoing radiation and next week they are praying that Sloan-Kettering will get an opening for her to participate in a special study.  This is their most urgent prayer request. 
 
Lynn is one of the most faithful wives, mothers, chocolatiers, and church members.  However, the greatest gift that Lynn has given me is her faithfulness to the Lord.  Her joy is contagious and her trust is all encompassing. 
 
This is one of those times when it is so important to focus on the God of the journey.  He never fails.  He is the truest example of faithfulness!!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Missionary Monday - Full of Joy!

Wow!  What a week we had!  Last Sunday started our missions conference at White Oak Baptist Church and it ended on Wednesday....or did it!  God must have decided it wasn't over!  We had the privilege of having Brother Rafael Gomez stay with us at our home until yesterday.  He is a Colombian, saved through the work of a missionary, and going back to Colombia to plant churches.  The international flags were still up at the church yesterday and Brother Gomez gave a short testimony of his life and work.  We thoroughly enjoyed our time with all the missionaries that were in the conference.  They were all such a blessing. 

I have a new friend, Sakiko, as a result of the missions conference.  Her sister-in-law, Haruna, was one of the missionary wives.  Haruna's brother and his wife live just 10 minutes from us!  Today I start English conversation with Sakiko.  She needs more practice with her English, although she already does a very good job, but she would like to have more time just talking to someone in English. Talking?  Talking? I can TALK!!  Praise the Lord for a new friend and an opportunity to help.
 
Thursday brought us a HUGE answer to prayer.  After much stress and a trip to NYC (not my favorite thing), I am now the proud recipient of a VISA to India!!!!  We leave on October 23!! I will try updating this blog throughout my trip, so keep checking back after October 23.
 
Well, off to get ready.  Before I go I would like to share with you a thought  that our pastor shared yesterday in church.  "Don't focus on the journey.  Focus on the God of the journey."  I still believe we should not miss the journey on our way to the destination.  However, there are many times when the journey becomes cumbersome and full of burdens.  Focusing on the God of the journey, allows us to make it through steep climbs and deep drop-offs.  If you don't know Him, just comment or send me an email.  No one sees the comments until I manually approve them.  If you comment and don't want it posted just let me know. 
 
So my exhortation to you the reader, Focus on the True God of the journey. 

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Time

Unique title, heh???  I was trying to think of a name for this little update and all I could think of was - TIME-.  How quickly it passes!  So much has happened since my last update!  We accomplished our "M Tour" which took us to Missouri, Minnesota, and Michigan.  In the end, we added Ohio! 
 
On the way west, we stopped in Illinois to see the Hill Family.  They were stationed at our church in Okinawa and we haven't seen them since they transferred many years ago.  The boys have grown so big and it was so special to see how much they have grown up.  They will always have an extra special place in our hearts. 
Kelly, Eli, Randy, Aaron
 Once in Missouri, we had a couple of meetings with churches we hadn't been to in 10 years.  The Lord allowed us to renew our friendship with Paul and Janet Perry.  They have encouraged many missionaries on and off the field through the years and I believe they are some of the Lord's choicest servants!  This missionary wife was kept alive by the chocolate deliveries that arrived in my mailbox periodically from my dear friend Janet! 

Janet and I
Some crazy guy!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
We said goodbye to them to travel through Iowa to Minnesota, but not before I weaseled a painting from Brother Paul.  We visited the wonderfully hospitable Noonan Family in Rochester, Minnesota.  They always make us feel special and it was bitter sweet to be with them as they prepared for their oldest daughter to head off to California for college.

Our next stop was in Minnesota to see my Madrasta and my father.  The weather this year was the best it has been since we arrived back from Okinawa 3 years ago!  Randy and I were able to get out for a bike ride and another day we pushed Dad over to a restaurant in the park near him.  God gave us a wonderful time with them and I cried as we drove away.  We did stop at my mother's grave before leaving the state.  I spent time thinking about how much my mom loved all of us and how grateful I am for all the things she taught me.  She has been in Heaven since 1985 and I am very thankful that the Lord has allowed my father to live a nice long life despite his health.  I pray I follow in his footsteps.  He has a great attitude and a positive spirit.  Annetta, my madrasta, is a wonderful lady and she always makes us feel loved and included in their lives. 
My madrasta, Annetta, and I
Time outside
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Remembering Mom
We travelled northeast through Wisconsin toward the upper peninsula of Michigan.  Randy found a hotel on a nice quiet lake where I heard loons all night and we sat by a fire watching the beautiful Heavens declaring the Glory of God in a spectacular meteor shower!  The UP is my special place and it isn't just the quiet splendor of God's creation.  Our dear friend, Sue, lives in McMillan, MI.  If you ever get to feeling sorry for yourself you need to spend time with Sue!  She knows how to look on the positive side of life!  Her pastor and his wife are some of our greatest encouragers.  We sure do love the folks at Northstar Baptist Church.
 
My dear friend, Sue
Autumn in August in Wisconsin
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
During our time in the UP, Randy surprised me with a day on Mackinac Island, where we rented bikes and rode the perimeter of the island stopping to have a lunch break and take loads of pictures.  The Lord gave us the most beautiful day we have ever had on the island.  He also gave me the energy to bike!  This is a big deal as my energy is just so zapped most of the time.  What a glorious day we had!

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 On the way down state to see Dr. and Mrs. Mike Cox, we stopped to clean up around Eddie's grave.  September 10th marked 10 years that he has been in Heaven.  So much has happened in our lives.  We have been from the Azores to Okinawa to Ohio and then to Connecticut in that time!!
 
 
Our time with the Coxes was too short, as usual.  Mrs. Cox is doing superb and has even been able to make a couple of missions trip since completing her chemotherapy.  Just as before her cancer, she was once again the happy hostess and servant.  I thank the Lord for her influence in my life. 
Mrs. Brenda Cox and I
On the way through Ohio we stopped to see our friends the Jamison Family, a stupendous family (and I'm NOT exaggerating!)  We also spent two nights the Rod and Debbie Black.  The Lord has gifted Debbie with song writing and music.  She is another lady who lets the joy shine through even when she is terribly sick.
 
HOME.....that's where we went after Ohio!  It is always great to be back in our home church, to see our daughter, our friends, our pastor and his family, and most importantly.....to sleep in our OWN bed!!!
 
Lest you think we are sitting back, sipping on ice tea, and eating bonbons....we have been busy getting ready for our home church's missions conference and getting my VISA to India approved!!!  It took a lot of time, paperwork, phone calls, and eventually a trip to New York City (which I don't enjoy), but this week my VISA paperwork shows that it has been approved and ready to be dispatched!!  Whoo Hoo!!!  We leave for India on October 23 and will arrive back here on November 18.  So excited to see this intriguing and very populated country!
 
Well, I guess that is all for now.  Have a wonderful week and remember the journey!