Monday, December 31, 2007

Christmas with Frank and Chris

What a nice Christmas we had! Evan and Lori came in on the 20th with Riley and Kirsten, so we enjoyed having them with us. Of course, we live near Laura and Brent and their three sons, and we also have Frank's mother close by. So all of us had a good time together. On Friday morning we took our four youngest grandkids to the mall to have their picture taken with Santa. While we were waiting, I took this picture.

From left: Lance, 5 months; Brock, 5 years; Riley, 2 years in February; Kirsten, 3 years.

One of the highlights of the weekend was when Frank dedicated little Lance to the Lord on Sunday morning. Almost 20 relatives on both sides of the family were in the church for this special time. How fortunate our grandchildren are to have loving, Christian families who love them and want God's best for them! Another picture here is of Frank's mom with Laura and Lance. I love this picture!

One happy bit of news from our family is that Evan and Lori are expecting another baby in early July. Our motto is: The more the merrier!

Evan and Lori and their girls.

Laura and Brent and the boys.

As you can tell, we love our family. We praise the Lord that all of them love Him and are serving Him in the places where He has put them. Hope you enjoy our pictures.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Preparation for Ukraine!!!!

Most of you have seen on the news about the ice storm in Oklahoma. We had just gotten home last Saturday from Missionary Forum which is a retreat held every year in Indiana for WGM missionaries in the U.S. for Home Ministry Assignment (formerly known as furlough!) In Indiana we spent three days listening to good preachers (one a professional comedian), renewing friendships with other missionaries whom we hadn't seen in a long time, and generally having a good time. We woke up on Wednesday morning to a temperature of 1 degree above zero, wind chill -8! Actually, our temperatures these past two weeks have been lower than they are in Berdyansk, Ukraine. There was lots of snow and cold winds, which, by the way, did not chill the warmth of fellowship and spiritual renewal.

We left Indiana on Friday, Dec. 7, and got home to Yukon, Oklahoma, late that night. We started out in snow and ended in very cool rainy weather. Saturday night our storms started here. LOTS of ice. Church was cancelled on Sunday, so we stayed home and enjoyed a very quiet day with good books and TV. On Tuesday morning our electricity went off, so we headed over to our daughter's home which had already lost its power the day before. But her husband had a generator, so we were warm and able to have some light. Laura cooked on their propane camping stove. Our electricity came back on Wednesday late afternoon, but Laura and her family still do not have electricity today, which is Saturday, the 15th. They are with us in our home now, to have a change from their electricity-deprived house. We are praying that their electricity will return today sometime. Today it is snowing, but the temperatures are expected to rise tomorrow and melt it for the most part.

So, what has this taught us? Well, we did feel that God was just giving us a little preparation for winters in Ukraine! I wonder if He's chuckling at us now with all of our moans and groans. We have learnt about how He takes care of us during difficult environmental conditions. Of course, we had already learned this in India, but the temperatures were considerably different and there was no snow or ice. We know that He helped us get home before the major storm hit and He gave us fairly good traveling conditions for most of the day. He reminds us of our loving family and how we care about each other and help each other when necessary.

Monday, November 26, 2007

This picture was taken on Thanksgiving Day at our house. This is Frank's mother who will be 101 years old on February 8 holding her newest great-grandson, Lance, aged 4 months. With her and Lance are his big brothers. Brock (middle) is 5 years old, and Garrett is 14.

Immeasurably more

Sometimes Frank & I get discouraged thinking of all the support that we need to raise in the next ten months in order for us to get to Ukraine. It seems like a mountain and we really haven't had a great response to our message of need. People are always congratulating us on being brave and ready to make a big change from India to Ukraine at this stage of our lives, but when it comes down to the nitty-gritty, to where it hits them hardest, their pocketbooks, they back off. (Of course, the current financial markets haven't helped us out at all!)

Yesterday was the Sunday after Thanksgiving, so we didn't have a Home Ministry Assignment and were able to be at home in our own church. That's always a great treat for us. The pastor's message yesterday sorta hit home to these two missionaries. His text was Ephesians 3:20-21. "Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church . . . ." Immeasurably more . . . We are completely unable to fathom, much less measure what Jesus is able to do in our lives. The translation The Message says, " . . . far more that you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams . . . ."

Are we doing what God has called us to do? Yes.
Are we in God's will in going to Ukraine? Yes.
Is it God's will for Ukrainian Christians to take leadership in their churches? Yes.
Are we able to help them do that? Yes.
Will this bring glory to God in the Ukrainian church? Yes.
Is God able to bring in our support so we can get there and do our work? Yes.
Do we need more faith in His ability to provide? Yes

Pray with us that immeasurably more financial and prayer support than we could ever imagine will be in hand when it's time for us to go to Ukraine next September.

Friday, November 23, 2007

A New Blog by Chris and Frank

Friends, this is something totally new for us! But . . . we don't want to be old codgers who can't keep up with new trends. Communication has changed so much since we were young missionaries that just keeping up with everything new is a challenge. But we're willing to try.

Today is the day after Thanksgiving. We had a lovely day yesterday with our daughter and her family. Frank's mom was with us too. Laura and I collaborated on the food, and it was pretty good, even if I do say so myself. Turkey, etc. I noticed that in the prayer calender, My Utmost for His Highest, the verse for Thanksgiving Day was I Corinthians 10:31, "Whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God." A great verse for a day when we can count our blessings, and a reminder that we mustn't leave God out of any aspect of our lives.

What did we give thanks for? Our family, our warm home (it's been really cold outside here in Oklahoma, almost as cold as it is in Berdyansk in Ukraine), all the wonderful people who have supported us financially and prayerfully through our long years in India, our missionary friends and colleagues, our home church here in Oklahoma, good health . . . . . . This list could be endless because God has been so good to us.

We especially thank God for the leadership He has given in our lives as we change missionary fields from India to Ukraine. Our financial needs to get to Ukraine seem like a huge mountain, and sometimes we can get discouraged about ever getting there, but we're sure this is His will for us to make this change. Pray for us and ask the Lord to touch people's hearts for the needs of the church in Ukraine.