Sunday, March 22, 2009

A year of being one, continued

We are so grateful to God for the blessing-filled year of marriage he has given us. We look forward to knowing him more as we continue in him.

A year of being one

Saturday, January 17, 2009

winter adventures

We are surely appreciative of the car God has blessed us with to be able to get from A to B....recently, God has been helping us be more grateful for it.
Thursday, last week, I left work at 5pm, and had a random panic thought that the car might not start and I could be in trouble since my phone is currently not working- i can receive calls but the screen is blank.
I got in to the car, turned the key, and....nothing. I tried again...even more nothing. I pulled my phone out, thinking maybe i could figure out how to call Daryl since he was the last person to call me...and he happened to be calling me at that moment...and one of my supervisors happened to be driving by and gave me a ride home.
I'm not sure what other things could have gone wrong with trying to get the car started(my poor parents). We asked dad if he wouldn't mind bringing his van to jumpstart us in my work parking lot. He brought us over there in the van, pulled the lever to open the hood to get ready to jump our car and before he could open it, the lever broke. I might mention at this point that it was double digits below zero outside.
Our next thought was to plug the car in so that it could charge overnight. The electrical cord was unfortunately, not long enough to reach from the car to an outlet inside the Emergency door at my office. We tried pushing the car, but being that we were pushing mostly uphill, we gave that up and used the van to bump-push the car closer. By the time we got there, we started realizing that we couldn't leave the car plugged in because the E-door couldn't be shut all the way with the electric cord running through it.
We were beginning to run out of ideas and body heat, so the next thought was to use the tow rope to pull the car home with the van. Needless to say, it is illegal. But when its super cold, you figure cops have better things to mess with. We slowly pulled it home, Daryl steering it, on the icy roads through 4 stop lights.
The next day, the temperatures even lower than before, the car wouldn't start. That afternoon, Dad arrived his other car(the van was in the shop getting the lever fixed) to try to jump start us. During the course of running his car to start ours, smoke started coming out of his he decided to quick take it over to the shop. While he was at the shop, he managed to lock his keys in the car while it was running, so he called us to see if we could go get the spare key. We had no vehicle, as ours was still not running, but fortunately, a neighbor boy happened to be home next door, who let us borrow his car. When Daryl got to my parents house, he didn't have a key to get in, so he had to get the spare key, which was in a little plastic box, which was frozen shut. He and mom spent a fair bit of time trying to open it and ended up smashing it to get it open.
Our car finally started with a second attempt from dad jumpstarting it on day three. We are at this time, very grateful to have a running car and grateful that God shows His faithfulness through circumstances like this, regardless of how frustrating.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Its been a while

Its obvious that updating our blog hasn't been high on our list of priorities for the past 5 months or so, but we aren't trying to hide anything...just busy.
Our summer has been full of blessings, learning, bike riding, weddings, visiting friends and spending a lot of time together. We both worked more over the summer, since we had less classes with our internship, but made sure that we both had 3 day weekends and could do some traveling.
We did our first camping trip on the motorcycle- the rack suffered a bit with so much weight on it, Daryl got 9 ticks and it was pretty hot, but overall a good experience and a fun ride. We also rode the bike to MI for a friend's wedding. Six hours on the bike proved to be a little bit much. We may not try that again, or maybe we'll get softer seats.
More recently, we've been started up regular internship classes again, and preparing for the classes we'll be teaching in a few weeks. It seems to be the process of learning how to teach that is a challenge. It seems too that teaching is the best way to learn, and we have both come across things we wouldn't have unless we were intentionally looking for them.
Balancing Internship, work and home has been challenging, especially for Jodi. This is proving to be an opportunity to let go and trust God to help us see our time the way He sees it. Its hard to say no, but sometimes it gets to be hard to say yes. We want to be constantly surrendering ourselves to Him in this.
We're looking forward to a break in PA visiting family in a couple weeks. Daryl has been working on some songs, maybe he'll have a full album soon.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Nepal...a few more thoughts

Eleven hours in New Delhi Airport afforded us ample opportunity to spend time thinking about various aspects of our time in Nepal. Here are some attempts to type them out to share with you:

The feeling of residing so close to the snow-covered Himalayan Mountains is hard to describe in words. They remain breathtaking; it seems, no matter how many times you see them. Every time you look at them, your brain tries to imagine how big they must be and attempts to find a reference size to compare it to. Our God is good at often reminding us of how small we are and how great he is. I wonder so often how people who see these mountains so often can doubt the existence of an Almighty Creator God.

Jodi helped organize nutrition training for some new community staff in Humla. This was a good time for interacting with these ladies and helping them learn more. At the end, they were each given a tract and an explanation of the gospel, which most of them had never heard before. They seemed very interested and read the tracts carefully, trying to understand more. Please pray for the gospel to bring fruit in their lives.

We had a free afternoon during the training to go over to Kholsi village to meet Bibala, who had been out gathering firewood on our last visit. She told us that she had heard of our visit, and cried all night because she had missed seeing us and she was worried about whether or not Jodi had found a good husband. When we arrived at her house, she and her sons were finishing up their snack of bread, which she immediately offered to make more of for us. We assured her that we had just eaten a snack and that we were fine. Since Jodi’s last visit, Bibala had had another little boy, who she had named “Runi Bahadur” which means “crying brave man”. This seemed a little out of place for this little boy, who at the age of 6 months had a loud belly laugh that was probably the most beautiful sound I’ve ever heard. Bibala made it clear that she was very relieved to be assured that Jodi had gotten a good, loving husband, and she felt terrible for not giving us something in return for coming to visit her. She convinced us to eat some very unripe apricots, which were so small and unripe and green that it was hard to figure out what kind of fruit they really were. During the course of conversation, we started talking about our ages. On being asked her age, Bibala, who has had no education at all, suggested (in all seriousness) that she was eighty, to which we replied that it was more likely that she was twenty. It was hard to say goodbye to Bibala and her family, not knowing when we would see her again.

We both agree that our trip to Nepal seemed like the appropriate time to be reading a book like Jesus for President. Being outside of the USA made us better able to analyze our own response to the system we normally live in, and more clearly see ways that our lives need to change in order for us to be living only as citizens of the Kingdom of God, that is so much more eternal than any kingdom of this earth. We don’t want to go back to the situation in the USA and become more critical of the people and lifestyle there, but rather set out to demonstrate that it is possible to live differently and be less dependent on the world's economy.

We left Humla a couple days earlier than we had planned, and bought plane tickets to Surkhet, a city a bit closer and more scenic than Nepalgunj(not to mention that it was a cheaper flight too). We were informed on the runway right before getting on the plane that the plane would actually travel to Nepalgunj, as Surkhet Airport was closed from a strike. We were charged the rest of the airfare, and headed for the hot plains of Nepal”grunge” (Daryl would like to point out that God created this place). We were informed upon arrival in the hot, sticky weather that the road was closed because of some fighting and we would not be able to travel to Pokhara as we had planned. We tried, somewhat desperately, to figure out a way to go around the road block to get to a place where we could catch a vehicle. Our contact in Npj was trying to find a vehicle for us, and after an hour of asking around, came back to let us know that he had found two guys with motorcycles who were willing to take us around the block and through the jungle to reach the main road. They asked a high price, but in our desperation we agreed that getting out was better than staying. In the end, the guys decided that it was too risky, and changed their mind about taking us. We ended up staying the night and catching an “air conditioned” microbus. As we were climbing up the hills in the heavy heat, the driver decided to turn on the AC for a few minutes. We appreciated the cold air blowing on us in the front, but no one in the back of the vehicle could feel anything, along with the fact that it slowed the vehicle down considerably. We changed vehicles to head toward Pokhara, and boarded a real Nepali bus, that may have at one time had working shocks, but at that point they had not been functioning for quite some time. We arrived in Pokhara 11.5 hours later, very grateful to not be on a bouncing vehicle.

In Pokhara, we were happy to have food with a little more variety and more familiar for Daryl. We rented bikes for a very cheap price and biked around the lake, went up to the top of a nearby mountain early one morning to watch the sun rise on the Himalayas and hiked down the mountain, took a paddle boat out on the Lake. We celebrated our 3 month anniversary and talked about the wrong expectations we had of each other….and the things or ways of thinking we needed to change. It was good toshare our perspectives with each other and to be able to see what ways we weren’t treating each other rightly, but also to be grateful for the incredible relationship God has given us and how grateful we are for each other.

We biked out of the Kathmandu valley to a friend’s church that Jodi had attended before. We arrived a few minutes before the service was to begin and we sat down to rest after our ride. The pastor asked us if we would be willing to preach for the service that morning, to which we declined and decided instead to share about the Lord’s blessings to us and sing a song. During the service, the pastor asked if we would be willing to teach Sunday school. We declined again, feeling a bit sorry for not wanting to spontaneously take these responsibilities. The pastor asked a little later if Jodi would be willing to teach the class for women after church to which she agreed, feeling it would be unwise to refuse three times. The teaching went well and the fellowship with the women was good. We stayed out at the church until 4pm and returned pretty exhausted.

We were asked to share at the youth group meeting with kids ages 13-18. We felt it would be good to share about the importance of being in the Word and making it a habit. We enjoyed getting ideas for what to share from scripture and praying through the things we felt we should share. It was a good first experience of teaching together. We felt it a good reminder to ourselves too, of the value in our own lives of reading the Word.

We were walking along the road one day when a kid came up behind us and said “hello”. We usually feel a bit annoyed at the kids that always say hello to us, but this kid seemed different. We walked and talked for a while and learned that he spoke pretty good English. He told us that his father is a very prominent politician, so they do not get to spend much time together. We shared about Jesus with him, to which he had many questions about the gospel. We met him again later, gave him a Nepali bible and invited him to go to church with us. He, along with two of his cousins, attended church with us the next Saturday. They all were eager to meet our friends at the church and were very bold in approaching people they didn’t know and introducing themselves. We were impressed with how much they seemed to enjoy their time at church. Please pray that he and his family would be convinced of the truth of the gospel.

We are so grateful for the time and experiences we could have over our 6 weeks in Nepal. We want to see more ways God will use this time in the future. Thanks for your prayers and support along the way.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Its been a while since we've posted on here....not for lack of things to post. We have had some neat opportunities and good fellowship with people here. We've been able to share the gospel with some different people, give out tracks and Bibles, etc. Pretty much every evening, and often throughout the day we are meeting with friends. Its been good fellowship, but please pray that we wouldn't get overwhelmed in it all.
We've spent some time talking about our time in Humla, and debriefing each other on how we were impacted through that experience. Some experienced missionary friends have offered to spend some time talking and praying with us and debriefing us on that time...and our time in Nepal. We're thankful for people who are willing to take the time to do that with us.
Tomorrow we are planning to go to a friend's village church and spend some time with the believers there. On Sunday, we've been invited to speak at the youth group I used to be a part of here.
Random thoughts
- last week we celebrated being married for three months and realized that with the Honeymoon and this trip, we've spent more of our marriage out of the USA than in. Maybe its a precursor to what the rest of our marriage will be like...who knows?
- We had mango-flavored cornflakes for breakfast this morning. They were actually pretty good. - Yesterday we went biking around in Kathmandu for the first time. We are really excited to have bikes to use now- thanks to some generous friends. Daryl would say he actually likes riding around in the traffic here, as long as he can see what the vehicle in front of him is doing( Jodi would say she feels much more at home on a bike in crazy traffic here than in a car on a freeway in the States).

More to come....thanks again for your prayers.

Sunday, May 18, 2008


I'm currently uploading a bunch of pics from our past month onto PicasaWeb. Take a look here.