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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

In and Out for Christmas

 You can tell from our being bundled up that it was pretty cold.
The National Christmas tree with the Washington Monument in the background made a pretty shot.

 We decorated our apartment to remind ourselves to make room for Christ in our hearts.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Have a Joyous Christmas 2011!

As Christmas 2011 rolls around, our family wishes you and yours a joyous Christmas. These are some of the three generations of us that gathered last week-end to exchange gifts and visit. Hope the presence of the Lord is real for you at this time of remembering God's many gifts to us.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Mission Movie Night

Sue says: How glad we were to see a dozen students from the Bible college and seminary turn up last week to watch a video about how God is making Himself known among those around the world who don't know Him. We had a discussion about the video together and then some snacks. And then the group wanted to see another similar video! They were well enough received that we want to have more regular events like this one next term when classes begin again.

This is finals week. Lots of pressure on students to finish papers and do well on exams. We are students as well as instructors. Jeff is laboring to finish a paper for his Hebrew Readings course on the Psalms. I finished the Guidance Counseling class I was taking.

Our missions class concluded with speakers who minister in a country which harshly treats Christians. It's quite a sobering position they are in. We pray God will use them to make His love known.    

Friday, December 9, 2011

College Halls Decked for Christmas

Sue says: It was time to decorate the Bible college for a Christmas gathering of alumni and donors. We started several weeks ago by washing and sorting literally dozens of boxes of decorations saved from years past. Once gathering everything in the student lounge, our director pointed us in all directions with projects.
 Students and other volunteers donated time to help...
 ...and the effects were lovely.

 The choir was to sing in the chapel, so it was fixed up too.
 Gifts were prepared and hidden.
 and bannisters and the lounge made more attractive.

 The entry had to look welcoming ...
and the halls too. It turned out to be a fun time of renewing friendships and praising the Lord in song. We welcome this time to remember the Lord's coming to earth.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Missions Bulletin Boards Revived

Sue says: Jeff had a great idea recently. He wanted to mount a bulletin board in the seminary and another in the Bible college as ways to stir up interest in what God is doing to make Himself known among the nations. Jeff found posters and decorative borders, and a student (above) set up attractive displays.There are lots more posters that can be rotated up on there. We're happy this way of communicating can be revived.   

Monday, November 21, 2011

Thanksgiving Week 2011

Sue says:
As we were singing praises to God with our new congregation in Seabrook, Maryland, today, I was thanking the Lord that even though we have moved yet again, He has joined us to another group of believers that honor Him.
Jeff has had the opportunity in recent weeks to teach one of the adult Sunday school classes, and today all the fellowship had a Thanksgiving meal together. What a joy to share with a multi-generational, cross-cultural group in thanking the maker of all people.

I'm thankful too that this week I was able to compile an email list of some 50 organizations that attended the last missions conference our Bible college and seminary held. Responses are coming in showing interest in setting up display tables for missions organizations and in leading workshops too. What a relief that things are coming along in this regard.

We are also thanking God that we live close enough this year to stay in touch with our family members by regular telephone calls.  

Sunday, November 13, 2011

The Joys of Autumn

Sue says:
Have I mentioned that we are thoroughly enjoying the beauty of autumn?

We captured this fiery maple tree a couple weeks ago in Blacksburg, and just yesterday we saw burning bush, sweet gum and even oaks that were brilliant hues here in Maryland.

Another joy of fall is looking forward to spring. A neighbor and I planted spring bulbs in the bed in front of our apartment building. We anticipate the time the things we put in the ground come up to tell us spring has arrived. We hope they will bring cheer to our neighbors.

We thank those who have been praying for us. Jeff's headaches are generally better than they were. Plans for the missions conference are coming along. Relationships with the students here are growing. We are able to be in closer contact with our family members. We thank God for granting these good things.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

New Grandchild Arrives!

Sue says:
Children are such a blessing. And to see one's grandchildren is even more special. (We get to enjoy. The children do the hard work.) 

Last week our Number 2 and his wife had their Number 1. Yes, they look tired, don't they. Little One sleeps all day and wants to be awake all night. But we all are delighted he and his family are doing as well as can be expected.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Early Snowfall

Sue says: It's unusual that snow falls before the deciduous trees have dropped their leaves, but this year it happened. A couple of inches of snow came down in our area of Maryland. It was sunny the next day, and the snow disappeared. 

Sunday, October 30, 2011

An Intriguing CD

Sue says:
Working with college students, I need to be somewhat aware of the things going around. A friend brought this artist, Josh Garrels, and his latest CD to my notice recently. Josh is offering free downloads of this CD on the internet. The variety of his accompaniments, styles, and rhythms makes me think of Rich Mullins. Like him, Garrels creatively seeks to express the beauty of life, the conflicts being waged, and his faith in a powerful yet loving God. See what you think. 

Friday, October 28, 2011

Visiting Family on Fall Break

Sue says:
The fall semester was half complete. It was time for a week's break to enjoy the fantastic fall colors.

And time to catch up with our kids and grandkids. Our oldest grandson led the pack in 4-year-old soccer.

The guys enjoyed a Virginia Tech football game together.
The gals had a baby shower to celebrate the upcoming birth of a new addition to the family .

And we relaxed together with books. Our kind of mid-semester break!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Happy Birthday to Jeff!

Sue says: Isn't this a nice picture of Jeff? It was taken on his birthday yesterday. He's sitting in our apartment dining room with a few presents and PNG memorobilia.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Meeting More of Our Neighbors

Sue says:

The deans of men and women (seated right) invited the residents in our on-campus block of apartments to bring dessert to share with each other last night. What a delight to meet four neighbors we'd never seen before.

The couple with the most unique way of meeting were pen pals, and she's from Belarus (the couple next to the deans). They've been married six month now. Some of the others are students, employees of the college or they work at other locations. Like any other neighborhood, our schedules keep us from even seeing each other. A nice idea to share dessert together. 

At the missions conference planning meeting this week, we were happy to welcome three new attendees. We came up with themes and names of possible speakers. The new members inspired us!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Meeting with the Dorm Students

Sue says:

Jeff took on a challenging assignment and stayed up until 10 pm (that was the hard part) to attend the meeting of the students who live on campus.  They're a friendly bunch (see them on the right), and he talked with them about becoming involved with the planning of the upcoming missions conference on campus.

Speaking at another missions conference at Potomac Baptist Church in Northern Virginia this past week-end, we were able to pick up a number of exciting ideas to incorporate into our own conference. What a blessing it was to hear more about what God is doing to make Himself known around the world.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Missions Conference Committee Holds Initial Meeting

Sue says:

What a glad day! Today, with one faculty representative from Washington Bible College and another from Capital Bible Seminary, we began to plan the March 2012 missions conference. 

It is exciting that students, faculty and staff are volunteering ideas and help. Next week, we hope to have some students join us to pick a theme and a speaker and to discuss a few more items.

It has been a couple years since a three-day missions conference has been held on our campus. We look forward to hosting a number of representatives with displays from Christian missions agencies. Diverse worship music, international food, exposure trips, and break-out sessions are in the planning stage to inspire Christians to catch an expanded vision of our great God and to take the news of God's love to others.   

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Serving the College and Seminary

Sue says:
There are varied ways we serve the Bible college and seminary here in Maryland. This week I was able to join with employees and volunteers to collate, stamp, stuff and otherwise ready a newsletter to twenty-three hundred alumni who don't receive these by email. We pray alumni will join us in praising God for the many things that have gone well at the beginning of this new college year. Also, we ask them to help in making up a deficit here.

Testing to determine the cause of Jeff's headaches showed nothing unusual. However, the garlic and prayers have been a help. His headaches are much reduced. We thank the Lord. Jeff says he is able to concentrate on his studies much better when he doesn't have to battle a headache.   

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Building Bridges

Sue says:
Jeff was able to speak in chapel this week about how important it was to build bridges to the cultures of the people of Papua New Guinea to be able to understand their frame of reference better as we served in that country. The exercise continues as he and I teach in the missions class, eat meals with the students in the cafeteria and at our home, and hang out with the students in the student center. Back in the US now, we are being stretched as we attempt to build bridges to our students and family in response to the way culture has changed at home in our absence on the mission field.

It's a comfort to be able to talk to family members more on the telephone and just to remember the names of the birds that gather at our bird feeder. Years ago we taught our kids the names of these birds. (Who can name them? See below for the answers.) Remembering the birds' names brings back happy memories of those times.

(Answers: On the ground are three cardinals of different ages and sexes and a dove. On the feeder above is a chickadee and on the tree [in a head down silhouette] is a nuthatch.) 

Friday, September 16, 2011

Remembering Names

Sue says:

The Lord is blessing us with lots of students to get to know. The thing is, the second time we see them, we fail to match their faces with their names: Roland, Alina, Barrington, Sedeka, Richard, Shauntika, Bigs, Jin Mi, Jonvere, Alison... We pray we'll be able to put names with faces so we can grow in relationship with the students.

In other news, some of you have asked if it is still wet here. In answer, observe the orange mushrooms above. They are growing in the woods outside our apartment. Maryland has been drying out after two major rainy periods that caused local flooding. But the good news is that the temperature is forecast to drop tonight--into the 40s (8 C)  by night and into the 60s (15 C) for a high tomorrow. After not experiencing autumn for several years (because of living in the tropics), we look forward to seeing the fall leaves change color.

Other good news is Jeff's headaches are improved some. He's eating raw garlic to kill any extra things growing in his gut. Would that help headaches?

Monday, September 12, 2011

Headache Remedy

Sue says:

Jeff has been having migraine headaches. This week, the doctor has ordered some tests to find out what the trouble is. Please pray with us that the problem will be pinpointed and eliminated.

In other news, we are glad to report that, on examination by an expert, it was discovered that the recent Virginia-based earthquake didn't cause structural damage to the college library or chapel as feared. The two buildings are now open for usage.  

Friday, September 2, 2011

Convocation Chapel Held

Sue says:
This week the college and seminary met together to worship the Lord. The faculty and administrators wore their academic robes, and it was a time of  asking God to bless the coming year of study. The acting president led a devotion from the life of Gideon. Though Gideon wasn't brave naturally, God empowered him to be a leader. We at this Bible college and seminary need to trust God despite our fears too. You can see Jeff above giving the benedictiion.

Our Intercultural Studies class is up to 14 members this week. At the second meeting of the missions club five new students came to make a lively interaction about mission experiences.We thank the Lord we're getting introduced to more students.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Hurricane Irene Passes

Sue says:
Hurricane Irene passed by the Washington, DC, area last night with gusts of up to 54 miles per hour (90 km). It dropped about 5 inches (125 cm) of rain too.  This morning Jeff took some pictures of trees that fell on campus.
This pine tree's shallow roots couldn't hold on any longer after the ground became so saturated. The tarmac in the background is where the two college vans were parked before the tree fell. The dean of students felt he should move the vans to open space before the storm hit. He is so thankful he did.
This pine tree is just inside the campus fence. Power wires are what's propping it up. It's surprising that the campus still has power. Most places of worship canceled service today because they had no electricity.
This third fallen pine was healthy. The foliage sticking up in front of me still is alive.

Reports are still coming in about Irene's further progress. We're thankful it wasn't any worse in our area. By mid-afternoon the clouds have cleared and the sun is shining brightly. 

Friday, August 26, 2011

Bible College and Seminary Classes Begin

Sue says:
Here you see us standing before the front doors of Washington Bible College. The college and Capital Bible Seminary are located on the same 63-acre campus in Lanham, Maryland, just inside the Beltway around Washington, DC (at 2 o'clock if DC is the center of the clock face).

Classes are off to a strange start this week. Tuesday we experienced the Mineral, Virginia-centered earthquake. That event damaged our college library and chapel. Now Hurricane Irene is predicted to bring quite strong winds and rain. Beyond those things, though, everyone seems glad to get started with the new term.

The Intercultural Studies Seminar Jeff teaches contains students from both the college and seminary. There should be some lively interactions as we look at Christian missions in the modern world.

Tomorrow the Global Outreach Fellowship meets.This group of students will work with us this year to plan the week-long missions conference to raise student awareness of both short- and long-term missions opportunities within the US and abroad.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Hitting the Road Again

Sue says:
We're packing up our new-to-us used car to head to Maryland. We feel like freshmen setting off to their first year of college. We'll have many of our possessions packed in our car as we set off for new adventures.

It's been wonderful to visit family and friends the last six weeks. We look forward to new duties and relationships at our new assignment as missionaries-in-residence at Washington Bible College/Capitol Bible Seminary. 

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Back in the USA

Sue says:

What a joy it has been to be able to participate in family events and reconnect with church folks back in the US. In California, we were on hand to celebrate my dad's eightieth birthday with my parents and brother and his wife. It was great to be able to meet with supporters from different locations there too.

In Virginia too we have been meeting with family and supporters. It is often possible to get together with our sons and their wives on the week-ends. One recent week-end, it was fun to take our grandsons to the park.

We're thanking the Lord for His help in finding a car of our own. This week, we are finalizing buying a used Hyundai Elantra. It seems to be just the car to meet our needs. 

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Many Goodbyes!

Jeff writes:

The last two weeks of our final term in Papua New Guinea literally flew by. We send our apologies to those of you who regularly follow our blog, but to say the least we have been busy. It is no small feat to leave one home and get ready to move to another 10,000 miles away.

There were many heart-wrenching farewells. Our friends and neighbors hosted us for one fantastic meal after another. We reminisced, laughed, cried, hugged, shook hands, and laughed some more. We said our farewells, shared prayers, encouraged others and were encouraged ourselves. Five-and-a-half years had come suddenly to an end. My, oh my!

As I write this we are in Singapore. We came for a few days of R&R prior to a 22-hour airplane ride that will take us to Los Angeles. After a two-week stay in California, we head east where we will land in Washington, DC. After visiting our former pastor and his family there, we head for Blacksburg, VA, where our children live. Lord willing we will be able to continue our ministry for one more year as Missionaries in Residence at Washington Bible College/Capital Bible Seminary.

For now, enjoy some of our farewell photos.

Dinner with Andira's Family

Sue Received a Gift from Therese Kaetavara

Our Neighbors Give Us a Farewell Dinner

Farewell Meal at Warala Church

We  model presents given by Jennifer and Matthias Koim.