Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Vintage Generation

I have had some precious moments in Trinidad, but one of the most precious so far happened in church a week ago...

We had our first missions team in service with us for the worship time before heading to the ocean for a water baptism...during worship an elderly woman walked forward to worship at the altar. She was walking very slowly and a bit unsteady so I took her arm in mine and went up to the altar with her, helped her kneel and stayed with her worshiping alongside her. I motioned for Nate to help me get her up and she continued to pray and praise during which time she took my hand and kissed my palm a few times. She looked at me and told me how much she loved me. Our team needed to leave so I got someone else to help her. That experience will last me awhile.

Marabella Open Bible calls the elderly at their church the "Vintage Generation." I like that. When I think of Vintage, I think of rare, priceless, in many cases "one of a kind." I am not there yet...(although some would disagree:) but I want to be up at the altar in my Vintage years, whatever it takes!

So much has happened since my last blog...

We have a Van! Thank you to those who have been praying...We still have some paperwork to get done, but we have keys in hand! Thank You Jesus!

We have had our first missions team here from Oregon. They were here for 9 days of amazing ministry. It is our heart to help shape the missions culture in our American Churches. I believe we were able to show a realistic picture of the heart of God for the World to the team. They were a blessing and we have made new friendships which will last a lifetime!

It was hard to be away from family for Thanksgiving. We were able to skype, but nothing is as good as a real hug and having my granddaughters on my lap! It was still a very special Thanksgiving, with the Oregon Team here with us. We did the best we could to put a traditional Thanksgiving meal together. Either we couldn't find the "normal" things or had to get creative with ingredients, but we pulled it off and got as stuffed as past Thanksgivings:)
One Thanksgiving Tradition that Melanie brought to our day was chasing everyone with a can of whipped cream...oh my:) My big disappointment was not having pumpkin pie. I may make one from scratch for Christmas!

Our weary bodies have reminded us about our firm conviction that we must set a realistic pace here in Trinidad, so our work is sustainable. While it is necessary to put many experiences into a missions trip, we know that we can't live that 24/7. So we have intentionally taken it a bit easier since the team left.

We just celebrated Ashleigh's adoption day...She is our party girl so from early on she wanted to celebrate the day she legally became a "Lumbard" Our tradition is ice cream so we had the SGL team and two of Ashleigh's Trini friends over for the celebration.

The team goes back to Immigration this Friday. The Missionary Permits are in for everyone, so now the process for multi-entry visas is next. Pray that all will go smoothly for this process.

We haven't had any of our personal things shipped from the states yet which included our Christmas Decorations. We were blessed to receive money specifically to decorate for Christmas. We have been able to put some decorations up to give our home a festive atmosphere! We are making new memories!

That's it for now...Until next time, That's my take on it!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Hurry Up and Wait!!!

Add my type A personality and my western mindset and you get frustration!!! I could mention many "hurry up and wait" moments while living in Trinidad, but the one at the forefront of my mind is a 12 passenger van we are waiting to get possession of so our team can travel at the same time to ANY PLACE!!! We have heard later today, tonight and tomorrow so many times that you have to laugh or cry. I am not laughing...

I realize all this is the making of "missionaries", but let's move on to the next lesson...sigh...

We had a wonderful time with the TT National Board this last week. Their support is vital to what we are doing here and we are excited about our partnership with them.

We have our first missions team from Oregon coming at the end of this week. We have a full itinerary of ministry planned. They will experience a water baptism at the ocean, Caribbean style worship services, preaching in services, prayer meetings, they will sit in on a class of perspectives, visit a crisis center, a children's home, soup kitchen, children's outreach and evangelism at a church outpost (church plant) and a traditional Thanksgiving meal with our team (with perhaps a Trini flair)!

Christmas is BIG in Trinidad! We heard our first Christmas music in a store in September, Sang our first Christmas song in Church in October. We will have Christmas dinners to attend, special Christmas services and a huge Christmas Village event put on by First Church that goes for several days. The School of Global Leadership is also putting on a Christmas Open House on our top patio to say thank you to many!

We are still in the rainy season, in fact, the team played football (that is soccer here in Trinidad) in the rain and mud last Saturday at Operation Smile Children's Home. We are told it will start drying out and getting hot in December/January. That is when it is really getting cold and snowy back home:) I do miss Fall. I won't miss ice. There is something soothing about staying inside with a cup of hot cocoa and looking out at a blanket of white...getting out in it is a different story. Here, the only thing that might keep you home is torrential downpours that lead to flooding, mudslides and horrific traffic jams.

It won't be a "white" Christmas for us, but Jesus is Celebrated all over the world in every type of climate... Hot or Cold, Wet, Dry or Snowy. From grass huts, to dilapidated shanties, under trees and in mansions. From Turkey to lamb, Roti to rolls, a clear broth with little else, food purchased, grown or donated...believers will worship the same Christ this Christmas. I encourage you to "shake up" your Christmas a little this year. Do something outside of your normal routine, do without so someone else does with. Christmas is about Christ, not about our traditions, comfort or presents. Celebrate Christ. Do whatever you have to do, to make this happen!

Until next time, that's my take on it!