Monday, October 27, 2008
I'll mention a few notable changes we are adjusting to: First, I (Kristi) got another job! I am now working part-time for World Vision in their microfinance division. WV has an office just 10 minutes from Pasadena, so I get the privilege of continuing to work in microfinance along with others who are passionate about serving the poor--and I get to work in 'cubicle-land'. I continue to work part-time with World Relief's microfinance program in Burundi, Turame, and will visit Burundi in November. So, now I have TWO part-time jobs, equaling one full-time job, which is an adjustment. :P (I'm not complaining, mind you, but it IS an adjustment!)
The second major change this month is that Kristi's grandmother passed away this week. A harder adjustment than the job, needless to say. I'm thankful that I got to see her just days before she died, and also thankful that she is free from pain now. At least I have the confidence that I will see her again in heaven, but it is still hard missing her now. Bob and I visited Illinois in June, and she showed us her flower garden and picked strawberries with us in the yard. She is one of the few people I know who lived her whole life in a very small town...a town that I always loved to visit because of that wonderful friendly small-town feel. The town and our family will not be the same without her!
Another new thing this fall is Bob's new internship at Christ Presbyterian Church. We have truly enjoyed getting to know this wonderful group of people and worshipping with them. Bob is leading the Sunday prayer meeting this week and preaching next week...it definitely keeps him busy!
Some good news we received this week--Bob passed his last ordination exam! We are very grateful for that...now he can focus on his internship and upcoming chaplaincy internship. One step at a time...
So, we have a lot to be grateful for. A fitting perspective, perhaps, for Thanksgiving season? :)
Saturday, September 27, 2008
Then, Wednesday I (Kristi) took the opportunity to attend a taping of Dancing with the Stars in Hollywood with my friend Lisa! It was somewhat of a surreal experience to me--getting dressed up, standing in line for a few hours, going through security, and being told when to clap, scream, stand, and sit! :) It was amazing to watch the whole production aspect, especially since we had heard recently from Bob's friend Mark about some of the complexities of operating their high-tech cameras. Definitely a fun experience, but I was surprised at how tired I was afterward!
I think that caps off the most noteworthy events of this past week. Now we gear up for tomorrow - Christ Church's annual picnic and Bob preaching at a retirement center in the afternoon. Should be fun! :)
Monday, September 22, 2008
Two of the goals that Bob and I set for this year are 1) to go jogging consistently (e.g. 2-3x/week) and 2) to memorize passages from the Bible regularly. This week we started memorizing Psalm 145 together, and decided that it might work well to work on it while we are jogging.
On Saturday as we were jogging for the third time in a week, I was reflecting on all the benefits of this system. First, since we jog together, I tend to push myself a little more than I would if I was jogging alone. And Bob goes jogging more frequently than he would otherwise. Also, since we work on memorizing the psalm while we jog, we get a concentrated patch of time to learn new verses, and since we are both hearing and speaking I think it might even sink in a little more! To top it all off, we get to speak about God's glory in creation ("They speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty, and I will meditate on your wonderful works.") while we are enjoying the trees, sun, and creation of God. What more could you ask for?? :)
Thursday, September 11, 2008
First, we had a short retreat at a monastery in the desert near Palmdale. It felt great to review our goals, set a plan for the next year, and be able to pray together in such a peaceful place. Here is a picture of us sitting by the pond there.
Then, we headed up north up 395 along the Sierra Mountains. We stopped to see my cousin Cara, who also lives in this beautiful but desolate desert. We camped for the night at the base of the mountains--our first time camping together! It was our first time using our new tent, so it was somewhat of an experiment...we didn't sleep to well on the hard ground, but it was still fun to be outside and have such a great view. We didn't bring supplies to make a fire, so we huddled in the tent and read Severe Mercy with our small flashlight till we were tired enough to go to bed. :)
As we headed north again the next day, we took the June Lake Loop and stopped to see Mono Lake along the way. We also stopped at a mysteriously famous restaurant at the road that goes into Yosemite from the East. The Mobile gas station restaurant. Their menu includes things like "Legendary Lobster Taquitos" and "Kansas City Steak Ceaser Salad", and it truly smelled delicious. Too bad it was only 10am when we went through!
We made it up to Lake Tahoe Friday afternoon to join Bob's family. We took in the beautiful views, played tennis, cooked together, watched The Man from Snowy River, and played Taboo...just to name a few things. :)
We could walk down to the lake from where we stayed, and there was a long pier for enjoying the views of the lake. People use rocks in the shallow water to write names and messages...a challenging task given how cold the water is!
Sunday night we had a barbeque to celebrate Bob's parents' anniversary. A scrumptious meal and an even better reason to celebrate. :)
On Monday we celebrated our 1st anniversary--how did a year go by already?? We went to beach with Tiffany and Jon and Bob's parents...Bob swam, but the water was a little cold for me.
So--that was our big road trip for the year! We were very grateful that our car made it the 1000+ miles without any trouble, and that we got to spend time with people that we don't see very often. Now we are catching up on things like laundry and paying bills, and glad to be home again. :)
Friday, August 22, 2008
While they were here, Bob's parents helped us with one of the things parents do best...projects around the house. :) We've been wanting to hang pictures in our bedroom all year, but never had the right inspiration and motivation--Bob's parents helped us finally get that done. Now we really feel domesticated!
Our next stop was the Getty, an incredible and beautiful art museum. One of my favorite parts was their garden, which was in full bloom despite it being the end of summer! I really appreciate that you can balance the indoor art with the outside beauty of the garden and the architecture--helps to delay the museum fatigue.
Thursday, August 7, 2008
Monday, July 14, 2008
I'll post a few pictures from a trip to Illinois we took a few weeks ago. We had lots of fun reconnecting with friends and family and doing things that we can't do in California--like see fireflies. :)
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
Partying with Narcissis and friends
with Joy, in her traditional Korean dress
Vijay and Laura--celebrating graduation AND engagement!
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
Then, Saturday night we had a gathering of people at our apartment that we are calling "Passion for Africa". We want to meet with others who have a love for Africa and share and pray together for how God could use us on that great continent. It was a wonderful and encouraging time, and we look forward to doing it again next month!
Sunday, June 1, 2008
There were over 100 runners and it was an interesting cross-country course that looks and feels like a course for dirt-bikes. We did better than I expected with a time of about 27:30, including some steep hills that we weren't used to. The run was a fundraiser for Project Cuddle, an organization that rescues abandoned babies, and we were very impressed with the amount of community support they have!
Our adventure last weekend was our first Dodger game of the season. We enjoyed the game until it started pouring in the bottom of the 9th inning and they stopped the game. We went home and were sitting in our living room with hot chocolate at 11:30 pm when they resumed the game.
And, to finish off our spectrum of activities, 2 weeks ago we got to go see the California Philharmonic Symphony! I don't think I've heard a symphony orchestra live since before I went to Rwanda 5 years ago, and thought the music was absolutely amazing. They played Holst's "The Planets", and since JPL is in Pasadena, we were also treated to some amazing photos of the planets while we listened! :) Here's a photo from the lobby:
Saturday, May 17, 2008
Sunday, May 4, 2008
We didn't take too many pictures, but it was a beautiful place, so I have to post a few.
Friday, April 18, 2008
My role was to help connect the team from Mars Hill church to Turame, and be a cultural and language interpreter as needed. The team was very impressed with the work that Turame is doing, and there is great potential for this partnership. After the team left, I stayed an additional week to work on other issues with Turame. I really enjoyed the chance to reconnect with the staff of Turame and work “in-person” rather than by myself at home!
Me with the team from Mars Hill,
eating lunch near the shore of Lake Tanganyika
Ron showing some kids the picture he took of them on his camera
Outside of work at Turame, I got the chance to reconnect with several friends and colleagues. I had fun playing with kids when I spent the night with some missionary friends, and when I visited a few Burundian families. I visited some new churches, and enjoyed the African worship style (one hour is too short for a service! J) I was really encouraged by some of the things that are happening in
Another thing I did was read. I don’t read for fun very often, but traveling is one time when I do. I read 4 books on this trip, each of which was really excellent. Here they are, in the order that I read them:
- For What It’s Worth: a call to no-holds barred discipleship, by Simon Guillebaud. Simon is a missionary in
Burundi, and the book is sprinkled with illustrations from ministry in . It is a challenging and inspiring book, and I recommend it. I even got to visit with Simon and his wife on this trip. Burundi
- With Justice for All, by John Perkins: This is mainly about the need and method of community development in
. I thought it was very insightful, and that many of his insights are applicable to America Africa, as well. I never thought I would hear and African American speak about the negative effects of the American welfare system so vehemently!
- The Alchemist, by Paulo Coehlo. A short novel that I read in one day at the beach, upon Trina’s recommendation. I was really glad I did! The story is amazing, and I think anyone would find it inspiring and intriguing.
- The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini. I had been somewhat-wanting to read this for awhile, but was scared of it (if you know how well I deal with any violence in movies, you will understand). A stirring, but very somber story. I’m glad I read it, but really hate the thought that such evil and pain do exist in our world.
Friday, April 11, 2008
Sunday, April 6, 2008
We also had the blessing of meeting with our care team from Menlo Park. Everyone was able to attend, and the gathering was a real encouragement to us! Here's everyone at breakfast:
Those are just a few of the fun highlights. We're so glad to have loving friends and family to go home to! I'll post a few pictures from Burundi in a few days when I have a few more minutes...things are still busy here!