Prequel

I’m not sure when I signed up for the bush living prep course but the day has arrived. And while this is certainly not an exhaustive list of supplies, these are some of the Bear Grylls approved essentials plus a few of my own:

“Little House in the Big Woods” experience

  • toilet paper
  • shovel
  • hand sanitizer
  • bug spray
  • fire starter
  • hatchet
  • rice, rice, rice
  • trail mix
  • sunscreen
  • clean clothes
  • Water filtration system
  • biodegradable soap
  • sleeping bag
  • a tent!

Coming off a rustic two-day cabin stay in the north woods near Herbster, Wisconsin (Never heard of it? Neither had I!) we are now embarking on a 3 day/night camping trip in Boundary Waters Wilderness Area near the Minnesota-Canada border. By the time we return I will be grateful for running water, electricity, a soft bed complete with pillow and a flushing toilet! But… for the record I’ll know if I prefer an established “long drop” to digging my own hole.

Before I come off sounding totally prissy I am looking forward to time in the beautiful great outdoors, communing with nature, (exceeeept for the mosquitoes, wolves and possible bears) bonding with family as well as stretching myself physically.

Did I mention we’re CANOEING to our campsite?

Sounds like a pretty good “welcome to South Sudan” prequel trip to me!

Toilets

I told you about the plastic chairs and tents but you haven’t heard about the toilet!

In Doro it’s better known as an outhouse, latrine or the long drop. You know…the kind your great-grandfather used back in the day on the farm? It’s that small wooden building falling down out behind the house.

The thought of stepping outside the safety of my tent after dark, to walk down a path littered with bugs, scorpions and snakes, just to make a pit stop at the privy makes me nervous! Maybe The Boy will install some solar-powered garden lights to direct me safely down the path to the throne room. Maybe they could even be in shape of flowers or colorful butterflies.

Hmmm… That might have some potential. At least if I can’t have a porcelain potty I can have pretty lights!

No Place Like Home

Nigeria, Ghana, America, Ivory Coast, Kenya, South Sudan…

“You’re from… Where?” This is a hard question to answer growing up as a missionary kid. Born in one country, mission boarding school in another, college in the US, and now living and working as a missionary in yet another country.

My wife and I are on home assignment and are traveling across the country (from Florida to Washington State) visiting many friends, supporters and churches, sharing about what we have done and where the Lord is leading us. As we drove though the Midwest last week, Michelle exclaimed, “This is more corn than I’ve ever seen in my life!” Her fascination with electricity generating windmills that now dot the fields was also entertaining to see. She is obviously far from home.

As we drove along I reflected on how this sort of feels like home. We are staying in a small town of about four and a half thousand people where my family lived while on home assignments. I also spent a few Christmases and summers here with extended family members during college. My parents live here and I have quite a few friends in the area. The familiarity makes this place kind of feel like home but it’s not where I’m from.

As a missionary, calling one place home is difficult. But for me that makes it easier to remember that my real home is in heaven and that all of us are “just passing through”.

Pace (“pache”)

Skyline seen reflected in “The Bean”

Peace – in Romanian

Amidst many hugs, we sadly take our leave of Chicago. Its not the city we will miss, although the architecture and skyline view are beautiful. Rather it’s the people we came in contact with while there.

Our hosts are friends we met and served with in Kenya. They are proudly Romanian and enjoy a rich cultural heritage. We were welcomed into their community of friends, many of whom are also Romanian. Some might notice all our differences; our traditions, our foods, our language even how we look.

But because of our commonality in Christ what matters most is the same.

Threaded through all our conversations was a love of Christ and a desire to spread His name and glory. We talked about things that mattered. We laughed and joked. We ate! Still, Christ was always evident.

When our focus is right our differences fade.

We shared what the Lord is doing through us with the Logos Baptist Ministries and were overwhelmingly blessed by their outpouring of love! We could tell you individual stories yet they wish to remain anonymous. Instead we will leave a tribute to them here, knowing that their ultimate reward is in heaven.

Thank you!

Much Needed Rest

On the road again. Stopping for a night. Dinner. Breakfast with a friend. On the road again. Training. On the road again. Speaking in church. Meeting new people. On the road again.

Our cross country trip is well underway and although loads of fun, it is hard finding time to rest.

Generally that means I take naps while The Boy drives.

But rest isn’t always about sleep for me. Sometimes I just need a quiet place to read or relax; away from the demands of conversation and meeting new people. Don’t get me wrong; I LOVE spending time with others but in the end I’m still a bit of an introvert.

So when we finally arrived in Indiana it was a sweet retreat! We stayed with a woman who uses her home to bless those that need a place of rest. Located a bit in the countryside it was quiet, comfortable and relaxing. Each day I enjoyed a delicious cup of coffee and unrushed time in Scripture.

Despite only staying two nights it was enough to rejuvenate my soul and allow me to enjoy the next steps of our journey!