Thursday, October 2, 2014

Come before Winter in Western Europe 2014

This morning the Come before Winter team is busy making last minute arrangements at home before heading to Austria to prepare for next week's renewal. Most of us are leaving today from various points in Texas...Lubbock, Austin, Abilene, Odessa and the DFW area; however, one will join us from Taiwan and our missionary ambassador from the Peru renewal is beginning her journey from Chile!  We will arrive in Sausburg well after dark Friday hours ahead of our Texas families!

Fourteen uniquely blessed women are ready to serve the forty six missionaries who will arrive next Monday from nineteen different countries!  Just imagine the preparations they are making today to travel from other parts of Austria, Scotland, Netherlands, Croatia, Poland, Czech Republic, Bosnia and Herzegonia, Russia, Italy, Germany, Albania, Switzerland, Slovenia, Romania, Belgium and Kenya!

You can follow our trek through Exodus on the Come before Winter Facebook page at

Tuesday, July 15, 2014


Today we set the beams and trusses in place and continued with mason work...

Then we worshipped!


We picnicked at the coffee farm...


Today Wendy, Kyle, Mitch and I headed out with Jared to tour the local workings of Mission Lazarus. We started the day in the warehouse with all of the staff gathered for an hour of Bible study. The group has recently progressed from devos in small groups to the large group in depth study. Bible memorization as well as memorization of every team member's name earns a gift card for a pizza or burger. To be certain each one was ready with background understanding, Jared pulled back to Genesis for the temptation of man before delving into the temptation of Christ. 

We toured the offices...

Next we went by the Refuge to check out the barn, houses and lands. 

The trade school was next with apprentices in royal blue...
To be continued...


Sunday was a wonderful day of worship and relaxation. We gathered with two of the four congregations that Jose serves in a house in a village...45 minutes by 4wheel dive trucks.  The worship flowed from vibrant song to verses to songs, preaching and communion.  We enjoyed singing a final song for them. I have really enjoyed worshipping, serving and fellowshipping in Spanish!

Lunch at the lodge 

with lots of recuperation for the short term stomach bug passing through the group gave a break before loading back into our five trucks for a long road trip. We gave the kids an afternoon in a secluded swimming hole. 

Friday, July 11, 2014


This morning we awoke early for delightful walks and time to reflect on the beauty of God's handiwork. Dawn comes an hour earlier in this country and yet at the same moment as back home.  While Honduras shares a time zone with Texas, this land does not use Daylight Savings Time.

We enjoyed the breeze  and the views then met back at the dining area for breakfast...pancakes, scrambled eggs, ham, cereal and fresh fruit!

By 7:30 we were loaded into trucks and heading out to the work site with warning to the drivers to keep the trucks in four wheel drive.

Everyone worked from 8:00 to 4:00 hauling bricks, sifting sand, mixing mortar, building forms, mixing concrete, pouring columns, hauling water, building mortar boards & scaffolds & water dippers...

Because a picture is worth a thousand words...

The day ended early with devos around the fireplace!


Up with the wind and ready to face the day!

Morning hikes and meditation....

Children's home meeting the day...

Breakfast and instructions...

Ready to roll at 7:30!

Thursday, July 10, 2014


Good morning!  We are boarded in Houston for a trip to Honduras with GCR youth to build a church building with Mission Lazarus. 

Wednesday, May 14, 2014


Wednesday we planned to use as a day of rest and reflexion. Mark is still under the weather.  He joined us at the breakfast table for toast and juice, but is planning another day of rest and recuperation.

The sun is already in full force by 7:30.  Without the rains of the monsoons, the heat is intense.  Even in my air conditioned hotel room, my laundry dries before I can return from a meal in the restaurant!  In Manikpur where the monsoons have only just  begun, clothes washed on Wednesday afternoon were packed wet Saturday morning for the train ride to Bagdogra!

Ray and I headed over to the school here in Bagdogra run by Naris, one of Ray's contacts.  They had planned for us to have a short visit at the school and lunch in their home.  The school houses grades nursery through class three.  In each of these schools the lower grades are larger as the school is gaining prestige in the neighborhood.  English medium school is an option these areas have not had before, so there were very few brave parents who took the chance five years ago to trust their children's education to a startup school.  This school has only six in grade three, but twenty nine in nursery!  The eight teachers rotate through the classes teaching various subject matter during the day.  While most classes are taught in English, the children also learn to read and write in Hindi (national language) and Bengali (state language)!  As we entered each class, the children rise and salute us with, "Good morning, Sir.  Good morning, Miss."  They only sit again when directed to do so.  We made our way to each classroom, shaking each hand with personal greetings.  Precious children and loving teachers!
This is a page from the copy book of a five year old child learning to read and write in four languages with four different scripts!

We visited in the home of Naris and Shamila and toured the chicken farm under construction.  When the children were dismissed early due to the intense heat (A child died from the heat in the southern part of the state this week.), we took the opportunity to visit with the teachers for a few minutes.  In India, it is not necessary to have formal training to become a teacher.  Teachers teach as they were taught.  They are eager to learn from anyone who is willing to share.

Lunch was delicious!  Rice, dahl, vegetables, chicken, cucumbers and carrots and warmed chips were followed by Sophna's signature dish...noodles, cashews and toasted coconut in sweet milk!  A small lunch by nobody's standards!

On the way back to the hotel, we dropped in on Joseph to learn of his current endeavors beginning a children's home called David's House.  He had a delightful family and a fairy tale love story that has produced precious little Jasmine currently in UKG.

Still no internet connections at the hotel! Still no peep from room 306!

This evening Ray and I walked to the home of Naris' in-laws.  Shamila and Naris met us there along with other church/family members.  We had a blessed time sharing with them.  Nine year old Grace sang a solo in English and shared right along with the adults in Bible discussions!  It was a day of refreshing joy and fellowship.

We returned for a light meal before bed and actually found the wifi had returned!

Tomorrow morning we expect a hotel visit from Mahendra and from Naris before we leave for the airport at 11:30 (1:00am in Texas!).  The journey home will be long and arduous.  We will arrive in Midland at 6:30 Friday night!