Monday, January 28, 2008

Home Again

It's good to be home again for a few days. I have been gone the past two weekends, first to Wisconsin, and most recently in eastern Illinois. I spoke in three churches and met many kind people. It is a blessing to see the Lord at work in ministries in so many places. I've been doing quite a bit of driving beside the flat, empty fields of Illinois. It's amazing how even their barrenness has its own sort of beauty.

I'm taking a couple of days later this week just to get away. It's easy in my busyness to forget the reason behind it, and I wanted to just spend some time with the Lord and catch up on things. February is shaping up to be a very busy month, but I'm excited to see what the Lord will do.

Keep praying that the Lord will accomplish His perfect work in me and get me to New Guinea in His time.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Snowy Trip

Well, I had rather an interesting trip to Wisconsin. As planned, I drove to northern Illinois Saturday evening and had a wonderful time with the pastor and his wife as well as a missionary couple that was speaking in their church the following morning. I attended that presentation Sunday morning and then left immediately for Waupaca. 4.5 hours later, I arrived without incident. This was a church of about 100-150 with many kind people. I spent the night with a lady in the church and enjoyed fellowshipping with her.

The fun started the next morning. It had snowed a little during the night, but the roads were pretty clear. I was about 15 minutes south of Waupaca when I encountered a snow plow clearing the shoulder of the state route. I swung out a little bit to go around him and encountered the unplowed snow covering the center line. I can't completely describe what happened next. I only know that I fishtailed a good bit and then spun completely around and ended up in the snow on the far side of the opposite lane, facing back toward Waupaca. I am very grateful for the Lord's protection in that the car did not flip (as I fully expected it to), and neither I nor the car were hurt. I called 911 and they sent a wrecker to pull the car out of the ditch. I was back on my way in about 30 minutes. I had another bit of a scare when I got on the interstate though. Going over 50mph caused a severe vibration throughout the car. I was a bit concerned and so called my dad and brothers to solicit advice. We finally determined that I had probably gotten snow in my rims by sliding sideways into the snow bank. As I continued to drive, the snow melted and the vibration disappeared.

So, all in all, it was a rather eventful trip. I'm headed back up to Wisconsin this weekend and am praying for a bit more boring time. I will be speaking at one church on Sunday morning and in another church about ten minutes away for a 1:30pm service. (They adjusted their service because of the Packers playoff game that evening. They're passionate about the Packers in Wisconsin! Good thing I'm not a Bears fan or I'd never get any support up there:-)

Anyway, I'd appreciate your prayers as I continue on the deputation trail. Please join me in praising the Lord for His gracious protection.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Prayer Request

I hadn't intended on posting again so soon, but I just got a message that I wanted to share. The next paragraph came from an email sent by Randy Smith, the missionary with whom I will be working. He is discussing the road that links us to the nearest town of any size where we can get mail, visit the bank, and buy supplies.

"The road is presently thoroughly closed. Our options for getting ourselves and supplies in and out of the bush have dwindled to the point that walking 25km to Nomane to catch a New Tribes airplane or paying SIL quite a bit of money ($380 to over $900 depending on how many of us are going and from what base the chopper is coming) are our best two options. Two days ago Brother Sailas and I flew into Nomane and walked home to Kiari. We saw first-hand the condition of the road. Two areas are especially bad and really cannot be fixed adequately without a machine of some kind. I am checking into purchasing a strong motorcycle or a four-wheeler for ferrying passengers and supplies b/t the Nomane airstrip and Kiari when the road is closed. Of course, we're still trying to get the airstrip moving ahead, but things move slowly in PNG. We are still waiting to see the new regulations that the CAA is supposed to be writing re rural airstrips."

The road has always been a challenge, but it has become more of a problem in the last year or so. I would appreciate your prayers about the situation. To get a little bit of an idea what the issue is, click here. Note especially the position of the rear passenger tire:-) This picture was taken just a few weeks ago, but the road was still passable at that point. It apparently has deteriorated even further.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Back on the Trail

Well, the holidays are officially over, the Christmas decorations put away (at least mostly), and it's time to get back on the deputation trail. Seriously though, I had a wonderful Christmas in South Carolina with all of my family (dad, 2 brothers and wives, & 5 nephews). Now, it's back to traveling again. Lord willing, I will be spending Saturday night and Sunday morning in northern Illinois at a church I spoke at last year, then I will head up to central Wisconsin for the evening service.
I got word yesterday from GFA (my mission agency) that my support level has been increased to compensate for rising insurance costs and the dropping value of the US dollar. Unfortunately, that means that my support level is now 55.5% instead of 63%. But the Lord isn't surprised, and He will still get me to the field in His time!