Saturday, October 18, 2008

Training at ECHO in Florida

We just got back from a week at ECHO (Educational Concerns for Hunger Organization) in Ft. Myers, FL. We were involved in a conference that confronted issues such as health, culture, agriculture, and community.

Upon arrival, Heath's Uncle Carl picked us up from the airport and as you can see there was no doubt as to who our ride was. We could see the AMOS sign from halfway down the terminal and laughed heartily about it. Uncle Carl and Aunt Becky live just about 80 miles away from Ft. Myers, so we were able to visit with them for the day before the conference started. It was a special time together and we definately were fed like kings.

As you see in the pictures above, some of our time was spent in the classroom with, Dr. Daniel Fountain, 30+ year missionary to the Congo. He shared much with us about cross-cultural communication and teaching. His experience was phenominal and we gleaned much from his interactive class during the week. Many of his thoughts will stay with and influence our work in Rwanda.

Also, we spent a lot of time out on the global farm at ECHO. They grow and experiment with numerous types of farming and plants, that are used in tropical environments or third world cultures. Their study is devoted to improving or supporting practices that are already happening on the field. They also do much reasearch with appropriate technology that will improve the lifestyle, health and culture of third world countries. We were so impressed by this farm project, that we are planning to have Heath go back for two weeks in November to have more hands on training with agriculture. We see this as a wonderful avenue to reach people in Rwanda, as the small subsistant village farm is a daily part of most everyone's lives.

The picture that has Rebecca eating a leaf, was typical of the week on the farm. We learned so much about new plants they are discovering that have phenominal nutritional value and can be easily grown year round in the tropics. I had no idea so many leaves of plans could be eaten!

Also, you see me just over 5 months pregnant. Getting a bit bigger and loving little Pete, with all his kicking and twisting around. We are counting down the days until February 13th! We are doing well and love you all.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

The Days of Our Lives (Random info and pics)

We had a fun few days in Lubbock! We did spend time in two sessions learning about finances and development work in Africa, but we also spent time dove hunting (slow hunts) and prairie dog hunting. You can see the excitement of our team's kiddos! It was nice to get away from Fort Worth and relax a bit at the Dahlstrom ranch. Green Lawn cofC also gave our team a blessing at the end of each morning service on Sunday. They introduced and prayed a special prayer on us. It is a blessing to have this special church support in this work.

At the beginning of Sept. we went to Houston and bought appliances at a 220V store. Rwandan electricity is twice the voltage of ours so we thought we'd ship a few items in our container. Plus Rwandan prices are EXPENSIVE due to everything being shipped there thru Kenya or Tanzania. It was a fun filled day buying a few needed items. We also were blessed to be part of a blessing ceremony at Bammel Rd. cofC where Chris Shelby grew up. What a blessing having all of these churches partnering in our ministry in Rwanda.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Baby _____? and Dove Season

We have big news for anyone who doesn't know already...we are expecting a baby in February. That makes me almost 19 weeks pregnant and feeling great still. We will find out next week whether it is a boy or girl, but either way we are thrilled to have a healthy little one on the way. We have moved to Roanoke, TX, just north of Ft. Worth, to work with our supporting congretation in Richland Hills. We are joined by our whole team, except Sam and Nandy Shewmaker, who are already in Rwanda. We are having a great time and staying really busy with training, visiting church members and going to many home Bible study groups to get to know folks. We are preparing to send our container with our things overseas at the first of October, so that has filled up our days too. It has been fun preparing for a baby in Africa too! We plan to have the baby in Lubbock and leave for Rwanda soon after in March of 2009.
As you can see from the picture, we have enjoyed some time back in Lubbock since moving, as Heath got to join in on the opening of dove season. Hunting out at the Dahlstrom Farm is great fun and I have no doubt that Heath will get in all the hunting he can before hanging up the guns to go to Rwanda. God has been good to us and we are thankful to Him each day.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Glacier National Park

We had a great time in Calgary visiting with Jordan and Kari Clark and their family. We spent most of our time catching up with them and meeting their kids, Peyton and Drew for the first time. Jordan took us to this tower overlooking most of the city and they just installed a glass floor in it, where you can look all the way down. It was slightly terrifying, but really pretty amazing. We included some pictures. We also were able to see where the Olympics were held here a few years ago and where The Stampede (I think the world's largest rodeo) is held. It was really neat and very encouraging to visit with the Clark's.Then we headed to Glacier National Park on Tuesday and spent some time driving around the park and did a little hiking. We thoght we were lost for a moment, when we saw the St. Mary sign - did we take a wrong turn to WV??!! Thankfully no.
It is still really cold up here! It was 36 degrees last night, so we decided to car camp for the night. It was much warmer and we got a lot more sleep that way. Most of the passes are closed now and so we were a little limited in what we got to see, but it was still beautiful and worthwhile. We saw some mountain goats way up on a mountain and a wolf trotting in an open field and the glaciers were amazing. The drive through Big Sky Country in Montana is AWESOME! God's glory is everywhere.
Tomorrow we head to West Yellowstone to visit with the Loomis family for a few days.
Hope you are all doing well and we are excited to see you all again soon. Take care and God bless you all.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Banff, Canada

Well, we are in Canada for a brief visit to the beautiful Rockie Mountains and to Calgary to visit one of Heath's good friends, Jordan & Kari Clark. We have done some beautiful hiking and seen some amazing sites. If you can tell how amazingly blue/green the water is in the pictures, I only wish you could see it in person. We have had great weather and are truly enjoying ourselves. We've been to Lake Louise, Emerald Lake and have climbed several other mountains. What joy to be out in God's awesome creation!

We are here for one more day, then we go to Calgary to spend some time with the Clark's. Then down to Montana for a few days to do some more hiking and visiting friends. I hope you are all well and enjoy seeing some pictures. As always, pictures don't do God's creation justice, but we thought you might like a glimpse! One of the pictures is of our gondola ride down Sulphor Mountain - we hiked up and got to ride down for free!! Very fun!