Showing posts from August, 2023

Scratch Everything

I had an hourlong meeting on Tuesday to discuss how the lack of a missionary host would impact this week's Jamaica VBS team.  Wednesday, I walked the team leader through the schedule and handed off all my contacts (driver, cook, etc.).  Later that afternoon, I made a WhatsApp group with the two of us, both Jamaican missionary pastors, and the LCMS's Manager of Global Safety & Security.  And yesterday at 3:53 pm, I sent the following message in said group: "Scratch Everything."  By some ACT OF GOD, I'm at the Santo Domingo airport waiting to check in for a 4:45 pm flight to Kingston that arrives a mere 2 hours after I was originally scheduled to get in had I left at 6:20 am with my new passport in hand.  Backing up just over three weeks, I ran into some... passport issues . When Tropical Storm Franklin added insult to injury by closing the US Embassy for a day and a half, I thought my fate was sealed; there was no way on God's green earth I was getting to J


LAC's annual conference is the one week when ....everyone returns from vacation and home service;  ....missionary friends who live thousands of miles apart get to share hugs instead of heart emojis;  ...we English speakers get our fill of worship in our heart language;  ...our minds are stretched as we noodle through the Scriptural context of the theme verse together;  ...a team of volunteers who've maybe never met comes together to make sure missionary kids from infants to teens hear of their Savior's great love for them in age-appropriate ways;  ...and the whole lot of us takes over the "quiet" pool that's like bathwater buuuuuuuuuuut has a swim-up bar! It was my 5th conference, and my 5th time to Memories Splash, an all-inclusive resort in Punta Cana, DR.  Lynae, a long-term short-term volunteer in the regional business office, rode with me. Her husband came to visit for the week, which they spent at a neighboring resort.  That team of volunteers? I'm i

New House, Same Tradition

I'm on vacation!  That probably means I shouldn't be blogging, but this is a non-work-related post. Plus, I jumped off some waterfalls this morning and am about to make Reese's stuffed Oreo balls , so I'll allow it.  The Davis family & I squeezed in YEAR FIVE of Chopped between my return from Panama and last week's regional missionary conference. They had recently moved into a new house, but if anything, it was even better suited to three teams of two cooking at once and eating between rounds.  The flowers were for church the next day but really made it look like we'd stepped up our game! As with last year , I shopped for the basket ingredients. In the appetizer round, canned chicken, palermo peppers, and dhal powder loomed. Abigail, my teammate since the beginning, and I made an Indian-inspired chicken salad...stuffed inside a tomato half! The entrĂ©e round challenged us to be creative with carnita ahumada , white asparagus, and ginger beer.  Abigail immed


I'm grounded! I sent my passport off to be renewed on Monday. I don't have plans  to leave the country again until August 25 (short-term team in Jamaica), but even if I wanted to, I couldn't. It's unsettling, and I'm not  a fan.  My passport is valid for 4+ more years, but when TWO immigration agents comment on how full it is and the second proceeds to stamp this page...! I started Googling the renewal process while I waited for my bags at SDQ Saturday morning and did a fuller investigation once I'd made it home that night. I spent the weekend thinking I'd need to make a trip to one of the consular agencies in the DR and prepared to snag the first available appointment, but when I called the Puerto Plata branch Monday morning, I learned there's no longer an in-person requirement. I filled out an online application and printed it, paid online and printed the confirmation, and attached two of the extra photos from last time I'd had headshots taken for