Monday, February 27, 2006

What a amazing last five days we have had. I anticipated a relatively mundane departure based on the fact that most of our clothes and essentials are back in Cambodia and that we could travel "lite"! Boy did I miscalculate this one.
It all began five days ago when I decided to check on some earlier grant request I had written and long ago assumed were dead. I had not heard from either of the two dental organizations I had requested help from and figured I was just a poor grant writter. To my great surprise, both of the organizations immediately responded with help! One had been trying to reach me for the last two months and felt our project was deserving. They had earlier granted our request for two full dental operatories of equipment. That may not sound like much but can you say 50K!!!!! The other group simply asked what we needed and when! I was so stunned I didn't know what to ask for. I requested that they help us with surgical instruments as they are very expensive but will last forever. I am waiting for a reply but feel relatively sure the answer will be yes. I guess I need to stop praying for God's help without believing He will provide! In His time! My faith at times is so weak and I pray for more each day. I have spent the last five days scrambling to provide purchase orders and lining up people to bring things to us when they come in.
We ended up bringing the maximum bags and were over the weight on one bag, requiring the ole $25 penalty. Felt just like a traffic stop in Phnom Penh! Even though the website said we could have 70 lbs per bag, we were strongly told it was 50 lbs!
There seemed like so many little nagging things over the last few days but the bottom line is we are in Los Angeles as I write this, and are preparing to return to Cambodia tonight! Boy does that sound good because this project has been my dream for many years. Thank you God for hearing our prayers and granting them in you due time.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Returning Soon

Thank you for being patient and continuing to check this site. We are still in HSV and have 7 days before our return flight to Cambodia. Our time here has been mixed with various emotions. I was happy to beable to stay here these weeks to finish up necessary family issues, but the feeling of "being out of joint" persisted even when I felt I was getting alot done. With no responsibilities here (job, school, kids), and not being in Cambodia long enough for that to feel at home, this feeling of not fitting in hung about. It was great working on household fixer uppers and personal finances. We certainly tried to see the kids as much as possible and visited with Rick's family. A drive down to Texas enabled a visit to Jim and Mandy in Marble Falls. People were so gracious to have us for dinner and visit about our work. Definitely another perk was to beable to watch the Oympics on TV. So many good things have happened these last two months. But throughout it all, the anticipation to get back to work was surrounding us like a blanket. Bill has emailed and said the boat should be launched at the end of March. If so, upon our return we will start working on stocking the boat and getting it prepared to launch. Now that is exciting! I hope to refresh my language skills with a tutor because I feel my lack of practice has caused a reversal in learning! I was glad to have the winter storm pass through this weekend and have the cold weather in contrast to the hot temperatures in Cambodia. When we return our bodies will have to acclimate again. Thank you for your prayers and thoughts. We are anxious and excited about continuing our posting of what's going on in our work. Hopefully in two weeks we will have some new news and good pictures!

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Letter of Love

As you can imagine this past month has been an emotional roller coaster. With many calls and cards of sympathy, we have all been touched by Dad’s life on others. But I do want to share one I just recently received from some very dear people. Buddy and Jo Childers lived in the Village until they decided to be missionaries. They haven’t left the United States but are Sojourners for Christ. This is a wonderful way for “retirees” to serve the Lord in their RV’s. Jo is very talented in writing and has written poems for many occasions. She did indeed write a beautiful one in memory of Dad, but that is not what I am going to share. I want to take some excerpts from the letter that she wrote because it is written as if from my heart also. She just says it better. Thanks Jo and Buddy for your love.

Dearest Gail, Rick, Brittany and Greg,
From experience I have learned when death takes away one so very dear to us, the reality comes intermittently over a long period of time. This has been for me, and I pray will be for you, a great blessing. Bro. Jim spent every waking minute making memories, making a difference, doing something worthwhile and for those of us who were near him, these memories won’t go away. I know you’ll find yourself turning to see if he’s in his pew at church or listening for his greeting to everyone he met. His voice singing praises in that big empty church building will be a void no one can fill. His leadership in the mission field has so many great memories, singing, preaching, teaching, walking, eating strange food, and laughing. The plane rides with his eye covers on when he was probably praying and not sleeping. The knocks on my back door – “Anybody home?” still ringing as he walked right in, the most welcomed quest we ever had. The boys he loved in Timothy class – the games he played. His constant attitude of prayer and thanksgiving, never taking credit for anything – to God be the glory – always his reply. I have to say Bro. Jim is still in HSV to me- he’s in Africa – on a bus, a plane – he’s in Guyana. Maybe he’s in Missouri or gone to the Inn for a swim in the pool. He’s visiting, teaching, looking for the lost. To me he is not far away. Realty has always been difficult for me and I’ve played these games in my mind with my family so far away for years- when the grief is overwhelming, I pray you can find this escape- it’s a faith and knowing we’ll all be together singing Majesty and it will be real.