Thursday, August 30, 2012

All we can do is say thanks....

Something that still amazes us after all these years is the fact that nobody owes us anything. Without the churches support, (prayer and financial), we cannot fulfil the calling to educate leaders in the church. As people give to missionaries, we give to the ministry of our calling. We are desperately needy and yet....nobody has to give a dime. Nobody has to utter a prayer. So when people give and pray...we function in this grateful mode.

Denny usually signs his correspondence with  these words.....with a grateful heart. And he means it everytime.

As we have begun this itineration (furlough) cycle, our primary goal is to say thanks. In these difficult economic times, it is going to be hard to recoup all that our budget has lost over the last four years due to the recession, but we are full of faith that God who has begun a good work is going to finish it.

When we arrived in Phoenixville the first church we visited, we were greeted by Jamaicans, Mike and Euna. When the new students arrived on campus, there was a dessert fellowship in faculty members homes and one of our group was a Jamaican, Ron. We have been so delighted for this experience. The first thing Ron said to me, after learning of where we lived for the last four years, was WILL YOU COOK SOME JAMAICAN FOOD FOR ME??

....and that I will gladly do!

Adjustments, Adjustments!

When missionaries are on loan to a college, it is the husband that has the teaching position and serving in that capacity, so I needed to find where I fit and what I should do in this new community. Since our assignment in Phoenixville is temporary, I needed to find a place that doesn't require a long term commitment or deep roots.

I prayed hard, filled out tons of applications, pondered what I should do with my time. My dream would have been to find an assistant pastoral position somewhere, but since we visit churches on the East Coast nearly every Sunday, no pastor would hire me!  Grace Assembly has a daycare so just flippantly I asked the church secretary if they were hiring, unfortunately they weren't. However what a difference a week makes!

A couple of weeks ago the daycare director called and offered me 12 hours a week in the infant room. I jumped at the chance while entertaining other opportunities and interviews. I have worked in the infant room four days and today the director asked me if I would work fulltime. I am thrilled.

I love the church. I love working in the church so this is a perfect fit for me for now at least. All I can say is if I stay flexible I won't break! I need to be like a rubberband and do whatever God gives me at the time! He is so good.

VFCC and Itineration!

Missionaries love itineration or at least I think they do. We love it! Visiting the churches that already support us and visiting churches that don't yet support us light our fire.

Den is a great preacher. He is a great prayer warrier. He loves connecting with real people. We were in the states a few short weeks till we had services booked.

It was really quite exhilerating to hit the road. It gave us time to feel what really matters instead of fretting about when we would get our belongings, how long it would take to clear up transition matters, how long till we settled into an apartment and the like.

Our first service back in the saddle was in Hamlin, PA. The church is without a pastor right now yet they still had a missionary for a service. I think God will honor that. The sign in the front of the church got my attention.
When we entered the sanctuary the picture on the powerpoint announcements got my attention too!!

It is just amazing how young the kids look from the last prayer card! I guess it is high time to make a new prayer card!
On the evening of that Sunday we found ourselves in another great church, Peckville A/G. We had a terrific service.
The next Sunday we had two services in New England, Windsor Locks, CT in the morning and Woonsocket, RI at night. God will make up all the difference in our budget. It will take alot of energy and work, but together God and us, we will do it!

Settling In..

I am not sure why this transition has been so difficult. We endeared ourselves to Jamaica and our Bible College Students and Renee's Jamaican school. We gave our hearts. It has been so hard to pull away. Thank God for Facebook. We are able to stay in touch that way.

Denny has adapted well to the rigor of VFCC. He began teaching this week and loves it.

Renee surprised us by telling us on student registration day that she wanted to live on campus! There was a space for her and by the next day she was able to move in!
It wasn't too difficult since we had just prepared her room in the apartment. We stripped her room and just transferred it to the college!

Little did we know we would be moving into a new area, starting a new life and schedule and also become "empty nesters"!! well almost, she is just 2 minutes down the street!!

Valley Forge Christian College Arrival

When we departed for Jamaica in 2008 we left Ryan at VFCC to start his college days there. We trusted him to good hands, never imagining that one day we would be living in the VFCC dorm!

Because our belongings were in a container on a ship we had no place to live. Dr. Myer so graciously allowed us to take up residence in DiTrolio Hall. At first we thought it would only be 2 weeks since our shipment was to arrive July 9th! Not to be. Our container got hung up in Customs in Kingston. Then it got hung up in Philadelphia. It was actually one month till our shipment arrived at the apartment in Phoenixville. Thank God we had a place to lay our head during that wait.

The guys even took Denny's office books to VFCC, what a blessing that was. It would have been a tough chore to take the 50 boxes over there by car!

Do we have to?

I can't tell you how difficult is was for our family to leave the beautiful island of Jamaica. After four years of many experiences, it was as if our last month on the island couldn't hold any more splendor.

After many goodbyes, and Renee's graduation festivities it was departure day. Tears in abundance, hugs galore, we had to load the bus and head north.