A missionary has developed an FAA approved flying car (dune-buggy). This will be great for getting into hard to reach people groups.
During this career transition over the last six months, we’ve had to be super careful and even scale back in some areas. It has always been my opinion though that we Westerners don’t know how great we have it. I live in a 1,500 Sq Ft apartment with four girls, and some people would pity me for that. When I was in Mexico and later in India, I really got a sense for how spoiled we are, so my perspective is that I live in a mansion. Ran across this video a couple of weeks back and I can’t stop thinking about it. It reminds me that creativity and a healthy mindset go along way toward helping us be content in any living situation.
My buddy Blake Thompson has been inspiring me to keep blogging since around the time “blog” became a word, and his post of old yearbook pictures made me want to make fun of myself publicly. So, here are some fun photos of me through the decades. Because they look the least doctored, I think my favorites are 1952, 1970, and 1988.
We are having a fine time at East Texas Burger Company. This has been a regular stop for us for a number of years. Here is a photo of our oldest daughter’s first Gumball (courtesy of a nice patron).
If you have not tried the home-style fries at East Texas Burger Company in Mineola, you are missing something in life and are only now finding out.
I have a former employee at my current church who quit working for us to go on a one-year round the world missions excursion on a bare bones budget. Read his commentary on this trip blog.
The crazy news is that he was robbed at gunpoint in Johannesburg last night and all his possessions were taken. If you can send a few extra dollars his way, instructions are below on how to do it. Here is his story on the robbery:
James 1:2-3 “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.”
I am writing to tell about my experience last night. We have been working in Malawi with Harvest international ministries (HIM) for the past two weeks. Him is a ministry that plants churches in southern Africa and we were working with them in northern Malawi. God has been teaching and growing us there, and we have learned a lot about the history of Slavery, Islam, and Christianity in the region. Our teams have been able to share the gospel and help the Malawians in showing the Jesus film in the local Chichewa language. After they show the movie many people accept Christ and then a church is planted in that village. This month of ministry has been the best yet and I know the devil is trying (but failed) to steal our joy.
We arrived here in Johannesburg last night and were getting ready to leave for India on Friday and Saturday.
Then the unimaginable happened – we were robbed.
I was talking with a friend on another team here in the lobby area of the hostel when 4 gunmen busted in to the hostel saying that this is an armed robbery. At first I didn’t think this was serious, but it soon came to be. One man pointed a gun at my face and cocked it. We were all escorted into the billiard room / bar area and forced to lay face down on the ground. The gunmen said to give them all of our phones and other valuables. They also searched a lot of peoples pockets while we lay on the ground. They said that if we moved they would shoot us and it was a very intense situation. There is a dog that is here and it was barking and the gunmen would yell at it to shut up.
I was getting ready for the dog to get shot but it never was. The girls on our team were even more terrified because when the gunmen went into their room they asked for phones and money. When they said they didn’t have any phones the gunmen were like, “We will have to shoot someone then.” They then cocked their gun to prove the point. No one was shot though.
After about 15 minutes of laying on the ground the robbers left and everyone got up. A lot of the girls were obviously disturbed and we all pulled together. When it was happening we were on the floor praying. And I know God was with us. He always is. Psalm 139 says “Where can I go from your Spirit?” It’s true God is with us always. This robbery was not a surprise to Him and knew it would strengthen us in Him.
I had a lot stolen. My Bible, journal, laptop, camera, iPod, external hard drive, U.S. passport, foreign cash and a lot of other stuff that was in my backpack. They just took my backpack with everything in it. I am sad to lose the stuff, especially my hard drive because I have all the digital pictures I have ever taken since 2000 and all the ones from this year. Luckily they did not take my wallet, just all the cash in it. It was on my bed and they just grabbed the cash out of it. If anyone would like to help me out I would greatly appreciate it and your prayers would be great too for my entire squad. There are others on my team who lost this much and some even more. At least I still have some clothes, albeit a little dirty, but they had theirs taken.
I was able to get my passport replaced today praise God and I will be able to get my India visa tomorrow.
If you would like to send any money, please send checks made out to my father David who will deposit the money for me. If you are going to send any please e-mail me too. Please though, only send money if God leads you to.
4793 Suzette Ave NW
Massillon, OH 44647
Thank you for keeping up with me and supporting me this year. I appreciate you all and can’t wait to see you again. Stuff in life doesn’t matter much so I just want to say that I love you all. Stuff is replaceable but people aren’t. I could have been killed last night, but I have been blessed with life and am going to run after the prize even harder.
When mom and dad were over here in West Palm Beach a few weeks back, we went out to the South Florida Shooting Sports gun club where I am a member for some shooting. We took the whole family because Lily just loves to go out and watch me shoot. An incredible storm came up out of nowhere, so the shooting didn’t last long. We even were hailed on.
My buddy Jeff, the owner/operator of the club, had arranged a swamp buggy tour of the nearby 3,000 acre wild game ranch. Being right after a storm, the animals were out tending to whatever they saw fit to do. My two girls had an awesome time checking out the wild goats, blackbuck, red deer, fallow deer, sika deer, and water buffalo. We even saw a bobcat and a pheasant couple. It was really unreal.
I wasn’t familiar with swamp buggies before I moved to Florida, and just assumed everyone went around in airboats. Texas obviously has large vehicles that are very capable for off-roading, but this thing is more equivalent to a mini monster truck or a logging skidder. This isn’t the best photo, but it should give you a glimpse of the beast. My dad is about 6’0″ to give you some perspective.
After three days of travel, we crossed the Florida line on Friday and stayed in Pensacola Florida in a Howard Johnson Express Inn. Let me say, when they say 2 stars on Hotwire.com, they mean it. Don’t fall for the $57 special. While the room was clean, the area and parking lot were really rough. Some guns were left in the car with the things we didn’t unpack and some where in the room with us, that is all I am saying.
Hotwire.com did not let me down for last night though. We made it all the way to Orlando and the 3.5 star deal for $68 put us in a Sheraton Suites. When I booked it, I didn’t think about the last half of that company name. The Suite is a nice, two-room suite overlooking the pool. They should rename themselves to Sheraton Sweets… cause it is beautiful and we are having a great time. For 3.5 stars, this is about as nice as it comes. Free internet too (in the business center), so you know that makes me happy.
We are about to head to breakfast, but let me give you a short run down on what kind of trials have been involved in this trip:
- Ashley wasn’t feeling well
- Jason Has Pink Eye or an Eye Infection (so he can’t drive)
- Sydney Was Getting Motion Sickness and Vomiting
- Lily Wants to Go Home and is Vocal About It
Good times! We’ll be at our new home by 4 this afternoon though … so things will get better. We’ll see how things go with one blow-up mattress for two adults and two snugly little girls for the next two nights as we await our things to arrive.
It’s buses and buses and buses of people. It’s the craziest costumes you will hopefully ever see. It’s bike baptisms and Catholic worship. It’s trailers of Iowa corn on a stick, it’s having your picture made with a chicken. It’s Lance Armstrong struggling, it’s feisty grandmas to greet you in their town. It’s innovative bikes and innovative people. It’s mixing and mingling. It’s independence and teamwork. It’s getting down the road and not looking back. It’s a make shift water slide or it’s a make shift slip in slide, but not both. It’s time with friends, time alone, and time with old guys who get fat in winter. It is tent camps, and the towns you go through along the way. It’s a special memory you can’t forget.
And, you are invited. Here is even a RAGBRAI for Dummies to get you started. Get a bike and let’s go!