Archive for the 'Friends' Category

Great visit with Stephen and Sarah!

Today we had an AWESOME (totally amazing, power of God, wonderful) church service, and after lunch, Stephen and Scott squared off in a ping pong match.  I guess I shouldn’t say who won, but it was close, there was a lot of spinning and slamming going on, and they both had enough fun to work up a sweat.  They played with the garage door open and a few of the shots rolled far enough that I called them “mailbox shots!”

Scott then took them to the bus station in Springfield for their ride to the training center in Kansas City, where they and other Chinese hours church leaders will be taught and equipped for two months.

We had a lot of great adventures in their three days here.

They were able to meet with quite a few of our local Mission China partners – in Springfield, in Nixa, and at Scott’s work.  When Stephen saw Larry’s guns, he shared that he has had a dream since childhood to shoot a gun.  It is illegal for citizens to have guns in China.  That dream set Scott’s wheels turning, and he borrowed one of Larry’s guns and some ammo, wit the intent of finding somewhere Stephen could shoot.

Friday afternoon, we were blessed with several tickets to “Joseph” at Sight and Sound, and we were all deeply touched by that production.  Of course, being Sight and Sound, everything is top-notch, and it was an outstanding performance.  Stephen and Sarah were amazed that there’s a CHRISTIAN theater that does the same CHRISTIAN show daily for six months at a time.  That evening, we played pool, and Stephen, Andrew, and I narrowly defeated Sarah and Scott.

Saturday, our life group went for a hike at Lost Valley, a place that’s always beautiful and a big hit with everyone.  As we drove in rain almost the whole way there, we visited the Elk center first (very interesting), and when we came out, the rain had stopped.  We began our hike, the rain resumed, and we trudged on.  As you know, Roberts never turn back.  We found big dry overhang to eat our lunch under, and then the rain really did finally stop.  We explored tunnels, waterfalls, and the rest of them went into the cave at the end of the trail.  I, having been in the cave once before and having not handled the claustrophobic environs very well, always stay out with the gear.

Leaving Lost Valley, we took them to see the Reunion Rendezvous and then to the home ogf our friend, J.R., who had graciously agreed to let Stephen do some shooting.  He had four or five different pistols, rifles, and semi-automatic weapons, and Stephen was an incredible shot!  I wish you could have seen the smile on his face.  He was truly thrilled to have that opportunity.  In fact, I think he was still grinning several hours later!

We went out to eat at our favorite Chinese restaurant.  It was, of course, American Chinese food, but they seemed to enjoy it.

So, all in all, we were blessed and they were blessed and Jesus was lifted up, and a good time was had by all.


Three and-a-half hours later

I went out for lunch with a friend from church today.  I have been wanting to get to know her, so I thought a little lunch meeting would be fun.  We met at Panera at 12 noon.  We started eating and talking, and she talked a lot, and I talked a LOT more, and eventually we started laughing uncontrollably.  I think the Panera staff was wondering what on earth our deal was.  We occupied that booth for an extended period of time, and when we left and I got in my car, it was THREE THIRTY PM!

I was actually starting to get hungry again!

Four friends

I asked four special ladies to meet with me from time to time for support, accountability, and encouragement.  Tonight we met for the first time, and it was fun.  We are getting to know each other a bit better, and although I didn’t really have any specific plan for our time, I think they all enjoyed laughing together and hearing some of the challenges various ones of us are dealing with.  The fact that all four of them were willing to take most of an evening to meet with me was very humbling. God is blessing me with special friends, and I am determined to be honest with them and obedient to him.

Got to see Cindy today!

Years ago. . . maybe four or five years ago, I “met” a lady online through a forum where we were both seeking answers for our then 12 or 13-year old sons.  We were both Christian, homeschooling moms, and we both had kids with interesting learning challenges.  This forum let us connect with each other – and with loads of other moms in similar situations.

We were both greatly encouraged, and Cindy and I became good friends.  She lives in Texas, and she has relatives in Delaware, so most summers she and her son make the long trek north, camping in state parks as they go.  A few years ago, they were coming through Springfield, and we met them for lunch.  It was so neat to finally put a face with her name!

Although we had only seen each other that one time, she and I have been prayer partners through a number of challenges.  Her family supports our ministry regularly and she prays faithfully when our folks are abroad on mission trips.  She’s also the one who helped us navigate the treacherous waters of insurance when Scott had his ski accident, giving us detailed tips that ended up saving us LOTS of money on his medical bills.

So, Cindy and her son, Chris, came through Springfield again today, and Andrew and I met them for lunch in Ozark.  It was great to catch up in person.  What a neat lady she is, and what an inspiration to me.  Maybe I’ll be a little bit like Cindy when I grow up.   = )

Awesome Amy

Katie’s roommate, Amy, was here with us for several day.  She flew down to have fun with Katie and also to help her with the two-day drive back to school.  To say that we all enjoyed her visit would be a vast understatement.  Here are some special memories for various ones of us.

> Silver Dollar City in the rain – Wilderness Church service, Homestead Pickers, meeting their college friend from Florida, KATIE ON WILDFIRE!!!

> swimming in soup-warm water at Big Rock

> Golden Glazed Chicken with Noodles

> painting faces at the Reeds Spring school readiness fair

> teaching Amy to play Bridge

> riding behind Miriam on the four-wheeler

> the Ernests’ totally amazing tree!!!

> riding home from church in a sweltering van

> Apples to Apples

> Amy’s ankle  = (

> the meteor shower on the playroom roof

Now Katie and Amy are back in Virginia, and I am officially registering my vote for paper maps.

At long last

My friend, Danette, lives with her missionary family in Niger (sub-Saharan Africa).  She has a blog where she writes the most wonderful, interesting, and amazing posts.  BUT, she and her family had been in the States for the past six months, getting their oldest son situated in college, visiting their family, friends, and partners, raising support for their ministry, and vacationing.

Before this trip, she used to post maybe every week or two, but in the past nine months, her blog has been very lonely.  I knew that once she was back in Niger and semi-settled, she’d resume writing, so I’ve been checking her blog every few days.  Guess what?  DANETTE POSTED!!!  Join me in enjoying her wonderful writing here.

Blessed beyond belief – and sheep head

Scott and I have known Rick and Colleen for almost 20 years.  We met them when we attended the same church in Little Rock and we have stayed in touch through their many 20+ and our two moves.  They have served as missionaries in Panama, Switzerland, and South Africa, and are now living in Louisiana, where Rick is working as a pharmacist, and Colleen is enjoying being a grandma!

For three days, they are gracing our family in person with their friendship, wisdom, and experience – all of which are in the superlative category.  We are honored to be able to “sit at their feet” and learn, consider, and be challenged.  Wow!  What God has put into these two people is really amazing.

On a significantly less spriritual note, I mention Sheep Head.  It’s a Swiss card game that is extremely cerebral.  In fact, it makes Bridge look simplistic.  Imagine a game in which four people play with only the 7s, 8, 9s, 10, Js, Qs, Ks, and Aces.  All queens, all jacks, and all diamonds are trump.   10s are higher than Ks.  Clubs are highest, them spades, diamonds, and hearts.  Trump cards aren’t necessarily the highest point cards.  Partners are re-determined each hand, but some hands there are no partners.  You never know till the hand starts.

I wrote out a brief chart to cheat with, and even in a trial hand where we all showed all our cards (for teaching purposes), I was still hopelessly confused.  I think if I played it repeatedly, I could probably get it, but I confess that something in my brain rebels at the idea of four different suits being trump at the same time.

Andrew’s been in seventh heaven, having Mr. Rick and especially Ms. Colleen here.  He thrives on adult attention, interest, and hugs.  He wants to cook breakfast with Ms. Colleen tomorrow.  “Would you like scrambled eggs and biscuits?  Would you like to make them?  I’ll be glad to help you!”  It’s his way of making her feel welcome.  = )

I’m so glad they were willing to come stay with us.  We are blessed beyond belief.