Showing posts from 2022

All Wasn’t Calm, But All Was Bright

Happy 2nd day of Christmas!  I'm supposed to be at the airport picking up fellow missionary Ashley (PR) right now - she's joining Tirzah & I on a multiday hike to the summit of the highest peak in the Caribbean starting tomorrow - but her flight's delayed (cancelled?!), so instead I'll give you a glimpse into what Christmas 2022 with my Dominican missionary family looked like.  Like much of the world, it started on Christmas Eve. I watched (most of) the livestream of my home church's 3 pm service until it was time to leave for dinner + Lessons & Carols at the Kreys'. After nibbling (can you call it that when you have multiple plates' worth?) on an impressive charcuterie spread, we set up for a service of nine Scripture readings and nine corresponding hymns, curated to guide our meditation on the birth of the Savior promised to Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden (c.f. Genesis 3:15). Often, we'd mix up the singing with selected verses sung by soloi

Do you remember this?

Thus was the text of a Facebook message I got last week from my now colleague Rev. Stephen Oliver , who has been serving as an LCMS missionary in Taiwan since 2000. He attached the below photo.  I couldn't NOT share, so this #tbt (Throwback Thursday), we're going way back. The "National Youth Gathering in Orlando, FL" that I reference would have been the one I went to as a 17 yr. old rising high school senior, in 2004.  Sadly, the answer to the title question is no, I do not, nor have I, consequently, been faithful in praying for Stephen & family all these years. To be fair, he didn't write back ;) When I asked WHY on earth he still had my postcard, he told me that in packing for an in-country move, he had run across a long-forgotten box of around 350 (!). It sounds like a weird thing to keep for 18 years, but from the flip side, I can relate. On reading through the stack, Stephen reports "Wow! It's been tremendous encouragement!"  I love so many

Thankful to be Here

Island tour! The Pauls' pickup turned into our own private hop-on-hop-off tour bus as we hit the road mid-morning on Friday to see the sights.  Stop #1 : A beach near where Heidi's cousin and her husband live to collect some of the conch shells the island is known for. I brought home a cute little one that fit in my palm and a sea fan, which somehow didn't disintegrate in my backpack on the plane.  Stop #2 : The Blowholes - a rocky outcropping that's been completely eroded away from underneath in spots such that when the surf crashes against it, water explodes upward like a geyser.  Wait for it... Stop #3 : Wreck of the Ten Sail - the site of the infamous wreck of 10 ships in February 1794. Nine disobeyed orders and left their port in Jamaica bound for Europe (wrong turn, anybody?) in the middle of the night and one, the Convert , had been assigned to watch over the fleet and went down in pursuit of the errant vessels. Locals did everything they could to save the crewm

Lift High the Cross

I went to the Cayman Islands!  I requested approval to go for three reasons:  help host a short-term individual volunteer;  "learn" Grand Cayman, so that next time a volunteer(s) serves there, I can take on the lion's share of the hosting duties; and  practice driving on the left .   The "volunteer" in #1 was my dad, and once I got the go ahead to book a ticket, my mom decided to come, too! We had enough time for a quick walk to the harbor before that evening's soup supper and Advent service.  And then...the unveiling. My dad's assignment had been to build an LCMS cross for the Safe Harbour Lutheran Church parsonage, which doubles as its sanctuary; worship is held in a glass-walled breezeway off the living room. The saga of said cross wouldn't be complete without including this picture my mom texted me in late October. My reaction: it's beautiful, but the LCMS logo has stripes of three  different colors, not two. After fretting over what their re