I hope you had a great Easter. The weather here was rainy, but the day was still a wonderful celebration. We enjoyed a nice time at church and then had a lamb dinner with friends from Partners. Our 3 teenage kids did an indoor egg hunt and the camo eggs took them over 1/2 hour to find! It was very fun.
I have had a few people ask me to answer some questions here, so I will do that now. First of all, an update on our kids. LAURA is about to turn 23 (April 10th) and told me to tell you she is now in her late early 20's. She is still working with AT&T Mobility and is doing corporate sales in the Baltimore/DC area. She has a sweet roommate and lives near some Grove City grads and is involved in a weekly Bible study. She has picked a church to attend. She enjoys entertaining and often has people over for dinner. Jenni spent her spring break with Laura a few weeks ago.
ALLISON is finishing her student teaching of 1st graders in Lakeland, FL. Her graduation is on April 26th from Southeastern University. Her 22nd birthday is May 2nd. She is planning to work in Denver this June ande July, where she will be nannying for a family with 2 girls she has worked for for several years. JENNI plans to spend those 2 months in Denver with her. They are looking for a place to live during that time. Jenni is looking for a job for those 2 months in Denver. Allison is job hunting for after July, and Jenni plans to spend August with us before heading back to Grove City for her sophomore year.
JENNI is enjoying her freshman year of Mechanical Engineering at Grove City College. She is in the school choir and leads worship for a fellowship group every two weeks. She is planning to go to a dance this Saturday night. She really feels like Grove City is a great fit for her. She turns 19 on April 29th.
JESSE turned 17 on March 8th. He is still job-hunting here in Spokane. He is avoiding applying to fast food places, and his dream job would be Starbucks. He probably has applied 20 places so far, and is somewhat discouraged. He is preparing for a mission trip to Mexico with his youth group this summer. Last Wednesday night he played guitar and sang in the school talent show. He did a good job and is putting together some songs with a friend to play at coffee houses, and an upcoming benefit concert that has been postponed. They sound really good together. He is on spring break right now and is helping Greg dig garden space in the backyard for berry bushes that are coming in the next week or two. Jesse helps lead the music team for youth group, plays the baritone in the school band and enjoys the school choir too.
I am scheduled to meet with the children's ministry team at our church tomorrow night to talk about curriculum. In a few weeks I am coordinating a missions skit during children's church. Greg and I are planning to go to Allison's graduation with free tickets we got in January when we volunteered to get bumped off a flight. Her car is limping to its death right now and we have to find a replacement for her. This is a challenge from 1000's of miles away- but we are trusting that the Lord will help us find her something.
My ears- This is an update for those who remember that I had the flu which settled in my ears in February. I could hardly hear for 2 weeks, and gradually my hearing came back. My ears are still popping with occasional pain. We recently took a walk in the evening and I think the cold air got to them. Anyway, I am just waiting for them to get better. They don't hurt very often.
The Partners International meetings. The most powerful message I heard was from one of our Asian partner leaders. He talked about poverty and a better way to understand it, and also some effective ways to deal with it. The surprising thing he said was that a lot of projects are counter productive when done for the impoverished, and don't solve the problem. He also described one model of community developement where people dwelling on a dump, actually have totally transformed their lives. They are in homes with jobs and a lovely neighborhood. Initially the team working with them debated whether they could make any difference since the situation was so terrible. Now people are trying to buy property in that area to live there as it is so desirable. This process takes maybe 7 years to fully happen and ends with a church planted as well.
Jesse ended up coming with me to hear this, and we were blessed to have this man stay over night and spend the next day with us. Jesse asked him how he could get trained to do this kind of work. So we are praying with Jesse about what steps he can take to prepare himself for what the Lord has for him to do. Jesse hopes to graduate from high school a semester early, and may use that time to travel and get some of this training. We would love for you to pray for God's leading in his future.
Greg took me with him to a leaders meeting here in Spokane last Thursday and Friday to represent Partners. We got to network with both local ministry leaders and several who came in from out of town. It was a really neat time and relationships were established that will bless Partners and that will allow us to be a blessing to others as well.
Well, I will let you get back to your life! Thanks for being interested and for praying for us. I am regularly very achy and tired, but no cancer that we know of. That makes dealing with the rest of this much easier.
God bless you!