Golden Goodbyes

Preparing our home, letting go, telling our story, and treasuring the beauty around us; life has been rich and full this month as we continue to get ready for the next chapter.

Two weeks ago, the time arrived for us to say goodbye to our sweet golden retriever, Zuma. The story of how we found a family for her is but another example of seeing God provide for the details in life.  A five year old boy is “beyond happy” to have a new buddy and our hearts are assured of the love Zuma will receive in her new home.

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We barely had time to ponder the future of our piano when a dear friend with nine children contacted us and asked if she could “store” our piano for us. Turns out that they could use another one with so many little ones eager to practice!

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Then I recognized the need to let go of what remained of the library of resources I had collected over the past 15 years of homeschooling. Amazing how fast the word got out when I posted this photo on Facebook! What a delight to greet the young moms eager to find items to help them enrich their supplies as they begin another year educating their children.

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Frequently I searched for my calendar in order to pencil in another date to share our story with others. We have thoroughly been blessed by the kindness of family and friends organizing dessert nights for us.

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We have been in the midst of projects around the house. What a gift we received when John’s brother offered to drive 40 hours round trip just so he could paint for us! A task that seemed so monumental to us, he cheerfully completed working from morning ’til night for several days.

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We traveled to Idaho for a brief but joy-filled reunion with family members; treasuring the moments together while enjoying the simplicity of country life.

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When possible, we took breaks from the daily demands of life to drive to our favorite local beaches. The beauty of the ocean brings peace and calm when so much is changing around us. Our hearts are full of gratitude for today and excitement for all that God has planned in the days and months to come.

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Next delivery…Africa!

Next delivery...Africa!

After fifteen years of taking call for OB at Ventura County Medical Center a few times each month, I just finished my last night of call. The next baby I deliver will be a Liberian baby!

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by | July 22, 2013 · 10:00 pm

Containers Sent With Love

Being born into a family doing cross-cultural ministry in the Philippines, I was very familiar with freighter ships, containers, and oil barrels. Before the wide use of commercial trans-Pacific flights, travelers could make reservations on the American President Lines. I can still remember those early days on the wide open sea for up to 30 days. I proudly carried my little white purse with the freighter ship’s American eagle logo. Back in those days, oil barrels carried our most precious belongings. It wasn’t until later in life that I realized most kids don’t feel nostalgia for these 55 gallon steel “suitcases”. One of my favorite childhood memories takes me back to those moments when we unpacked handmade quilts we had received from church sewing circles. Regardless of which continent we called “home”, these checkered pieces of cloth became lasting symbols of love and support.
Fast forward and once again, I am becoming familiar with freighter ships and containers. When we attended our two-week training back in North Carolina we had the pleasure of meeting many of the hard-working, detail-oriented individuals who spend hours preparing containers for shipment around the globe, all the while following each country’s requirements for port entry and customs. I share this video with you today as it has special meaning to us: it’s headed to our new home. We look forward to being “on the other end” to receive these precious supplies.
Please take a moment, give thanks, and pray for continued provision and wisdom for all those involved in this wonderful ministry.   Beth

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by | July 15, 2013 · 9:59 am

Transition

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Recently I was at a train depot in Berwyn Illinois and saw this bench. I thought to myself, “Oh the stories this old resting stop could tell…” The bench has become a symbol for the current chapter of my family’s life: transition and waiting. Preparing for a home in a faraway land and saying goodbye to what is known occupies our days. Excitement and sadness intermingle. Thankful for the wonderful training we have received from SIM that explained transition with the analogy of a trapeze. We must let go of that first trapeze before we can fully grip the next. Sometimes we feel only the sense of the gap mid-flight. Then we are reminded of the richness and hope of each phase: past, present, and future. My mind finds peace gazing at the bench, imagining fellow travelers waiting and transitioning, thankful for the journey.

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Questions and Resolve – Liberia

This is a compelling video by Cissie Graham, granddaughter of Billy Graham. Watch as she expresses her heart for Liberia.

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by | June 3, 2013 · 11:07 pm

Third Culture Kids

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(Above Photo: Sweet times with Beth’s new friends, Purity and Patrice.)

I am so excited to be in Wheaton, IL with Patrice Miles for 4 days! We will be attending an educational planning seminar addressing issues such as:

What educational option is best for our children?
How can we help our children learn a second language?
How can we develop a workable educational plan for our family that fits our goals, values, and ministry?
How do we choose a homeschooling curriculum?
How can we prepare our children for the transitions they will make in leaving this culture and entering a new one?

I’m thankful for this great organization that is looking out for families living overseas:

http://www.interactionintl.org/home.aspImage

What or who is a TCK or Third Culture Kid?

“An individual who, having spent a significant part of the developmental years in a culture other than the parent’s culture, develops a sense of relationship to all of the cultures, while not having full ownership in any. Elements from each culture are incorporated into the life experience,

but the sense of belonging is in relationship to others of similar experience.”
David C. Pollock, Interaction International

(This applies to Missions, International Business, Diplomatic Corps, and Military)

I am a TCK and am so thankful for all the work that has been done the last thirty years to define this unique experience.

-Beth

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Preparing to Serve in Liberia

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The people of Liberia have suffered through fourteen years of civil war.  In a country of 3 million, nearly a tenth of the population lost their lives and 800,000 were displaced as refugees.  Now in the midst of recovery, the Liberians have renewed hope.  We will be partnering with the local church to serve those in need.

John is joining the staff at ELWA hospital in Monrovia, caring for those who have lived through this difficult chapter.  He will be involved in establishing a Family Medicine residency program.  Beth will homeschool Rebekah and seek opportunities to serve in the healthcare, youth or orphanage ministries.  Bethany will use her passion for photography to help communicate the ministry at ELWA.   Josh will be our anchor in the States continuing his studies in physics.

In this country where so many have experienced such intense pain, the hope of the gospel is providing joy in place of despair.

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