Friday, July 30, 2010

Save the Date

We’re having such a wonderful time in California this summer.  We’ve been able to see a lot of people and do a lot of things.  But now it’s all drawing to a close.  We’re preparing to leave for Africa in a little over a week.  But before we go, we’d like to see as many people as possible.   We’re planning a beach party for Saturday night, August 7th.  It’s going to be a combination good-bye party and Birthday party for Cole.  We hope you can join us.  Please watch our blog for more details on the time and location.  And please contact us with ANY questions and/or if you’d like to arrange a time to get together before we go.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Smiling From Ear to Ear

John took a good blow to the face in our car accident back in 2003.  As a result, he broke his jaw and lost most of his front teeth.  He has been wearing a partial denture since then, but with time, the damages have spread and John has lost more teeth.  One of the goals on this trip was for John to receive extensive dental care and reconstruction.  He has been visiting the dentist for several weeks and yesterday, he had several tooth extractions done and received a new upper denture.  He is still a little sore from all of the work, but not in much pain…especially considering the work he had done.  He is so happy to be able to smile again and expose a full set of teeth.  In a few days after the healing is done, he’s really looking forward to eating many things that have been difficult for him to eat over the past couple of years.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

On Pins and Needles

The other day on the way home, John noticed a medical office close to our house that specializes in deep tissue massage.  For years he has been suffering periodic pain in his left bicep as the result of our accident a few years ago.  He decided to stop in and have them look at it and see if they could soften a hard lump in his arm.  He received both a deep tissue massage along with a recommended acupuncture treatment.  This came as a surprise but John decided to give it a try.  Amazingly, despite having 30-40 needles inserted, he didn’t feel a thing!  It is a very interesting therapy.  We’ll wait and see what the ultimate results are.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Sailing Takes Me Away

Captain Cole Wow. Things just seem to be getting better and better. Yesterday, friends took us sailing out of Newport Harbor. We spent over 5 hours cruising the harbor then took a short trip out to sea. It was a most relaxing afternoon. Cole enjoyed helping with the rigging and trimming the sails. He had an extra special treat when he was invited to pilot the boat for 45 minutes or so. He was beaming from ear to ear and has been talking about it ever since.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Star Gazing

Observatory Yesterday we went to Olvera Street (the oldest street and buildings in Los Angeles) followed by a trip to the Griffith Park Observatory. We had a wonderful time at both – especially the observatory. We ended up spending most of the day at the observatory and extended our stay so we could look through the telescope once it got dark. We also enjoyed a show in the planetarium. The observatory underwent a total renovation a couple of years ago and a lot of new exhibits were added. One of the most interesting is a wall called The Big Picture. At 152 x 20 feet, it represents the largest photograph of space and contains over one-and-a-half million stars, galaxies and other objects. As massive as the picture is, it only represents a tiny slice of the universe – roughly the small amount of sky that your index finger would cover if you held it a foot from your eyes. One can’t help leaving an exhibit like this in total awe of how big and powerful God is. Even more astounding is pondering the expanse of the universe and realizing that in all that is out there, God’s complete and full attention is focused on a tiny speck in space called Earth.

Friday, July 09, 2010

Viva Mexico

We had a fantastic trip to Mexico this week. We arrived at the YWAM San Diego base on Tuesday morning. It is in an office complex and serves mainly as a support office for the Baja, Mexico bases. We toured the offices and met the staff. We then loaded in a van with 3 other YWAMers and they drove us south of the border to the Tijuana base in Baja Mexico. The Tijuana base recently relocated. It is brand new and still in several phases of construction. It is on a hill with ocean views and within walking distance of the beach.

We were escorted to our room which turned out to be their VIP speaker suite overlooking the ocean. Everything was brand new and it is one of the nicest places we’ve stayed. It included a full kitchen, living room, bedroom, and bathroom. We then shared lunch with the staff and a few short term mission teams. After lunch, we were given a tour of the base including an overview of the existing and future construction.

Baja - Djembe Presentation The YWAM San Diego/Baja bases played an important part in our recent 50th anniversary celebration in Mali. They donated a substantial gift which helped with the finances for our event. The purpose of this trip to Mexico was to share the highlights of our anniversary and personally thank them for their support. On Wednesday morning, we had a chance to participate in a staff meeting with all three bases - both live and via teleconference. John did a presentation on YWAM's ministry in Mali and our anniversary celebration. You can view the meeting which is in two parts by clicking Part 1 and Part 2. We also presented them with a djembe (African drum) from Mali.

Baja - Homes of Hope YWAM’s main ministry in Baja is a house building program called Homes of Hope. Through this program, teams of people come to Mexico to help YWAM build houses for homeless Mexican families. The teams range anywhere from church youth groups to corporations like the Walt Disney Company. The teams provide the funding and manpower necessary to build a house which is constructed from start to finish in just 2 days. We had a chance to visit some of the homes and families that are benefiting from them. What an exciting project this is. To date, Homes of Hope has built over 3,000 houses! We are planning on returning on one of our future visits to the States to participate in building a house. We have become big fans and proponents of this ministry. If you would like more information, you can visit the Homes of Hope website.

Baja - Ensenada Base On Wednesday afternoon, we were taken to the YWAM base in Ensenada, Mexico about an hour away. This base is a converted beachfront hotel. Again, we were not prepared for the blessing of our surroundings and a room overlooking the beach. There were several short term youth teams at the base working on various evangelism projects. It was exciting to see so much activity. After a tour of the base, our host took us down to the harbor for fish tacos - the origin and inspiration for the Rubio’s and Wahoo’s restaurant chains. We had a chance to tour the waterfront and fish market and do a little shopping. We finished the day at a wonderful Mexican restaurant.

On Thursday, sadly our stay in Mexico came to a close. In the morning, our family took a walk along the beach collecting seashells and sand dollars. Our host then drove us back to San Diego. It took over an 1-1/2 hours at the border crossing which is the busiest international land border in the world.

Monday, July 05, 2010

Red, White, and New

We had a busy and satisfying Fourth of July.  We started the day by going to church with John’s dad at Voyage Calvary Chapel in Fountain Valley.  We enjoyed worshiping and sharing with John’s dad.  After church, we visited Julie’s mom at the nursing home where she is living in Yorba Linda.  It is a small and very attentive facility situated in a regular house in a quite neighborhood.  There are 5 other people living in the house.   The caregivers invited all the families to come and celebrate at a special July 4th BBQ at the house.  Three of Julie’s sisters also attended.

Our Independence Day family tradition is to celebrate and watch fireworks somewhere different each year.  This year, we were invited to a party at the home one of our supporters on Balboa Island.  We LOVE Balboa and this was an extra special treat for us.  We celebrated and had a good time of sharing and socializing with several friends from one of our supporting churches who were at the party with us.  We finished by watching fireworks from a couple of different shows reflecting off of Balboa Harbor.

Friday, July 02, 2010

Stop the Presses

We were working on getting our new newsletter out when our printer quit halfway through the printing.  :-(  We’re actually glad it' happened while we were here so we can get it repaired or get a new one in place before we leave.  John’s mom has been so faithful in printing, assembling, and sending our newsletters for us.  Her service is a real blessing to us and we want to make sure she has everything she needs to help us.