Monday, August 25, 2008


We're back together again! Last week the team arrived home from China and we've been enjoying family time, catching up on home life, and preparing for the full weeks ahead ever since! Oh how GOOD it is to be together again!

"Give to the LORD, O families of the peoples,
Give to the LORD glory and strength.
Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad;
And let them say among the nations, "The LORD reigns."
1 Ch 16:28&13

Saturday, August 16, 2008


Happy 25th Birthday Ruth!

To my dear sister from the faraway land of China -- I have been thinking about you all day today (as our time is ahead of yours) and my mind has been flooded with so many wonderful memories of our times together. Growing up as the 'big sisters', planning fun and crazy projects to keep the younger siblings entertained and happy, late night chats and sharing secrets, Scripture, and trials together. Watching you grow from a shy little girl to such an accomplished, beautiful, and self-sacrificing woman who truly loves Jesus with all her heart. You are an incredible jewel in our family but most of all, I'm so grateful to call you one of my very best friends! I love you so incredibly much and can't wait to see you soon!!

"Trust in the LORD, and do good;
Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness.
Delight yourself also in the LORD,
And He shall give you the desires of your heart."
Psalm 37:3-4

Here are a few of Ruth's favorite things....

  • Food -- Mexican
  • Activity -- Walking/hiking/riding in the great outdoors!
  • Fruit -- watermelon & all others!
  • Restaurant -- Amigos (You gotta love a filling mexican meal for $1.09!) or Olive Garden
  • Bible Character -- Ruth & Joseph
  • Dessert -- cheesecake
  • Color-- yellow, orange, red, green... autumn colors!
  • Music group -- (to be with? The Loren Wissmann Family of course!) for listening -- the John Marshall family
  • Sport - ultimate Frisbee or family football
  • Snack - Fruit
  • Place to stay - "wherever my family happens to be!"
  • Drink - Water or Cranberry Tea
  • Vegetable - Green leaf salads or variety of the others

28 years ago....

...God created a most blessed union as our Daddy and Mommy promised themselves to eachother for the rest of their lives. And we thirteen children can't imagine them being any more deeply in love than they've been ever since. Thank you, our dear parents, for giving us such a rich and tender legacy of being united in God's love! We are so grateful for you both!

"Abide in Me, and I in you.
As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine,
neither can you, unless you abide in Me.
"I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me,
and I in him, bears much fruit;
for without Me you can do nothing."
John 15:5-6

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

He's Back!

The long-awaited day has come -- we start welcoming our summer missionaries home! Andrew & Micah Nelson arrived home last evening after many hours of travel. Between the Nelson family & ours, we made quite a crowd while waiting for them to get off the plane in Omaha's airport!

Charissa got her hug -- and wouldn't leave her "ndew"!

Hugs all around

We are very thankful that they made it safely home. Unfortunately their luggage has not! Two pieces of luggage are on their way from Chicago, while the whereabouts of the other two pieces are still in question! The airline is doing their best to locate it.
Upon arriving home (and Andrew now having been up for 24 hours straight) we couldn't call it a night until the instruments came out and several songs had been played! What a joy!

"Bless the Lord, all you His hosts: you ministers of His,
that do His pleasure. Bless the Lord, O my soul!"
Psalm 103:21-22

Friday, August 08, 2008

China Update

Life has been full here in China, as you've probably guessed by the absence of recent blog activity! We have been treasuring these last few weeks here -- sharing our lives through classes, weekly "American Meal" hospitality nights, traveling, and just hanging out with our Chinese friends. Thank you all for your prayers and love.....we are so grateful for this opportunity and are looking forward to finishing strong these last 10 days in China!

And as we can hardly post without including some of Bethany's 5,000 pictures...... [smile]

Enroute to the Tai Hang mountains.

Climbing the in the awe-inspiring gorge.

Visiting the ancient walled city of Ping Yao.

For more pictures, visit Bethany's site here and here.

"Eye has not seen, nor ear heard,
Nor have entered into the heart of man
The things which God has prepared for those who love Him."

1 Cor. 2:9

Ukraine Update

This week can only be accurately described with the phrase: Adventures without end. From tourist daze …uh, days… to challenging days in the mountains it seems like things here never go as we planned. However, God is still always in control and always gives us more than we could ever have imagined!
The week actually began rather normally! Tuesday was a "get back in shape after spending a whole day moving" day and was full of shopping and running around for everyone. Amazingly the day actually did go as planned, which probably only worked because there were not any plans for it to deviate from.

Helping move a piano up 10 flights of stairs.

Wednesday was originally going to be a day trip to the mountains. However, because of complications we ended up spending the whole day tracting in L'viv. The weather was hot and sticky as opposed to rainy and cold. (L'viv only has two kinds of weather; convenient for the weatherman but not really for anybody else.) All in all the day was a very successful day of tracting and we were able to cover a great deal of territory.

For a more complete update and more pictures, please visit

Andrew is scheduled to return home th
is coming Tuesday -- and you can probably imagine the excitement building on the homefront!

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Summer Activities

The heat of our midwestern summer has brought the fresh garden produce in abundance this year! Last week a few of our days were filled with the sight and smell of sweet corn! With thanks to our farmer friends, we had piles and piles to transfer from the field, to the kitchen, to the freezer. Oh, the taste of fresh corn!


Our happy picker



Our outdoor kitchen

The little factory!
"And sow fields and plant vineyards,
That they may yield a fruitful harvest."
Psalm 107:37