Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Story.... for real!

I know I promised The Story of our engagement, so I want to honor that promise! It's been a busy couple of weeks with initial wedding planning, planning a move to Appleton, finding an apartment, job hunting, Christmas with two families, and my favorite thing of all... spending time with Brent! I've been driving back and forth every couple of days, so I've literally been living out of my suitcase these last few weeks, and am excited to finally get to Appleton and figure out a more normal routine! It was fun to log onto Facebook today and have a couple of friends chat with me immediately saying they've missed me! Thanks for your patience with me, and please know that I've missed you too!

Back to the original story of our engagement... it's pretty sweet! With my work schedule in Mankato, I end up with one week a month where I have almost a week off. So, Brent had come over to Minneapolis for the weekend so that we could go to the Michael W. Smith Christmas concert together with my parents, but after that we headed back to Appleton since I was off for the week.

He took Tuesday off of work since I was going to be in town, so I started suspecting our engagement might happen on that day. But, I was really trying to work hard at not thinking about is so that it could be a surprise! In fact, when Brent once asked if I had ever thought about how I might be proposed to, I said that I had no specific thoughts about it, but that I hoped it would be a surprise!

So, that Monday I had spent the day doing some shopping with Brent's mom while he was at school. When he got home, I had gotten a little something for him since it was our dating anniversary. It turns out he had done the same for me, and when he said "don't come in here just yet, I'm getting something ready for you", I wondered if it might be an engagement ring! It turns out it wasn't, and I immediately thought "well that's okay, because it'll probably happen tomorrow, and if that's not the case, Christmas is just a short time away!"

I was really working hard at not expecting it, yet I was thinking about it often! I even started feeling a little bad for Brent, thinking "how is he ever going to surprise me if I'm thinking about it all the time?"

So, after we exchanged gifts, he said that he was going to make a cup of tea and asked if I wanted one as well. Since we're both big tea drinkers, it was a pretty normal question. He went to the kitchen to get things ready, and I followed him after a few minutes.

I walked over to the mug and picked up the tea bag string to swish it around and make sure the tea was steeped long enough. I looked down and was completely surprised to see a beautiful engagement ring strung on the tea bag!! I guess I even had the look of complete surprise!

Brent then got down on one knee, said some wonderful things, and asked me to marry him. I said "of course I will!" and he put the ring on my finger!

We were able to call my parents (who already knew it was coming since he had asked for their blessing) and my sister, and then went out for a celebration dinner at The Melting Pot, a new favorite restaurant. Seriously. If you haven't ever been there, check it out!!

It was so fun to be able to spend Tuesday, his day off, doing a bunch of random things around town with him, and also make a few key calls. It turned out to be a snow day in the area, so it was pretty fun trekking through huge snow piles in my 4-wheel drive!

So, that's the fun engagement story! It was so special to hear Brent describe to someone "well she always plays with the string of the tea bag so I knew that would work" and so special to be completely surprised by something I was completely expecting. He couldn't have pulled it off any better!


Now for the other updates.... I head back for my last two shifts of work in Mankato tomorrow and Thursday nights, and then I'll get all packed up on Friday. Brent will meet me there and we'll head to my parents so that I can get stuff from Burnsville, and then on Saturday morning Brent and I, along with my parents and their truck, will move me to Appleton! I am SOOOOOOOOOOO excited to finally live here!! We've been so fortunate to get to spend so many weekends together, but the drive is getting pretty old!

I have an apartment all lined up and then the good news is that I have two job interviews for Tuesday! There are three hospitals in the area, so I have an interview with two of them, run by the same organization, on Tuesday morning, and the other one in the afternoon! Please pray for me that I'll make the right decision for which specific job I should take -unit, salary, shifts, etc... all come into play with that decision. I'm so thankful that there are some options.

I really plan on spending a little more time online once I have internet access at my new place, so I'm hoping to do a better job of updating soon! I have great pictures from that concert, Christmas, etc, so I'll share soon!

Friday, December 12, 2008

The Story...

[Side note: This is going to be an abbreviated version of the final post. I am struggling with not having enough time to finish all of what I want to accomplish -I know, we all struggle with that! So, because of all the requests for pictures, I'm going to just publish the post I've been working on, and then I promise to come back in and add in all the fun details! Thanks for your patience! :) ]

Thanks for all the fun well-wishes so far! Someone asked if my feet have touched the ground yet, and the truth is -NO! :) I feel like I'm flying high and I'm not sure when I'll land! I've been OVERWHELMED at all the amazing words of encouragement and congratulations here, on Facebook, and by phone. I got tears in my eyes realizing how loved and cared for I am by all of you. THANK YOU!!!!!!

Here are some fun pictures Brent and I have taken in the last couple of days. The first picture we took after our engagement is a little too dark without a flash, and a huge disappointment for me is that I didn't even think of taking a picture during the incredible celebration dinner we had at The Melting Pot that evening. So, here's a picture from Tuesday using Brent's tripod and my camera timer...

A picture so you can see what the ring looks like...

How it looks on my hand... (yup, it's that sparkly!)

And me being a big ol' dork in Brent's office at school on Wednesday, using the timer to see what everyone else sees when they look at me now! :)

[okay, more details and stories to come later! I've been trying to get a few small things pulled together for our wedding, but I also have to head back to Mankato today to work 6 out of the next 7 days in 12-hour shifts, and need to work on job hunting in Appleton. PLEASE PRAY for me with this! I'd love a travel job since my apartment and paperwork is all taken care of by someone else, but if that doesn't happen in the next 1-2 weeks, I'll look for a permanent job. Please pray that just the right thing will work out!]

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Goin' to the Chapel....

And we're gonna get married!

YES! You read that right! I am so thrilled to announce that on Monday night Brent asked me to marry him, and of course, I SAID YES!

I'm in Appleton with him right now, and today am hanging out at school with him (the principal invited me!) so I promise to post pictures later, but wanted to at least let you know about this super fun news!

He had taken the day off from work yesterday, so we were able to finish up our Christmas shopping and also made a bunch of phone calls. We'll obviously have a lot of other details to work on, but can at least let you know that the wedding will be July 11th at Bethel in Fergus. Save the date!

I am so excited to marry this amazing man, and am really looking forward to becoming his wife. God has absolutely brought the two of us together and fashioned us for one another. What an amazing blessing!!

More to come later... :)

Friday, December 5, 2008

New Look

I know, I know.... I usually wait until I move to a new location to change the look of my blog. But, it's gotten REALLY cold here in Mankato, there's snow all around, and I have to scrape my windows each morning. So, I realized that winter hit and it was time to get rid of fall colors and move on to the cool ones. I mean "cold" ones.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Thanksgiving Weekend

Happy Thanksgiving! I trust you were able to enjoy a great Thanksgiving weekend and contemplate the wonderful things in life to be thankful for. I was especially thinking about God's amazing love for us, and also the blessings of friendships and having a wonderful family.

I had to work both Wednesday and Thursday nights, so my Thanksgiving weekend started on Friday morning when I drove to Burnsville right after work. Brent met me there and we had a great weekend full of food, family, and fun!

On Friday night we were excited to welcome my 2nd cousin, Sara, for dinner. We had the full Thanksgiving meal with all the trimmings, and as you can see, there were lots of delicious dishes!

Since there was so much food, we repeated the meal on Saturday night when my cousin, Tim, was with us! :)

Before Saturday's meal, though, my boyfriend and my cousin helped my dad put up Christmas lights. What great guys! And it meant that my mom had lights on her house before December 23rd! If you've ever spent time with me at the house I owned in Fergus, you might remember that I'm a big fan of Christmas lights. I mean, who doesn't like Christmas lights up year round? They're so pretty!

As you can see, we had a lot of fun in the process!

The end result on the house was beautiful!

I'm so thankful Brent was able to come from Appleton, and you can see we had a great weekend laughing together!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Parisian Doors

I love the doors of Paris! When I live there someday, I'll pick my flat based greatly on the door that I'd use each day to enter and leave.

While we were still on the bus, I snapped a few pictures of doors, and it became my theme for the day as we walked around!

An American in Paris!

At the end of our trip, we had just under 24 hours in Paris. It was an amazing time! We stayed at this old convent-turned-hotel/hostel that's near Notre Dame. After a short bus tour in the morning where we saw all the "big" stuff, we all split up to do what we wanted for the day. A group of seven of us decided that we wanted to see "local" Paris, and walked all around the larger neighborhood surrounding our hotel. It was a PERFECT day!!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Traveling through Africa

Here's a slide show to let you see a little of what it was like to travel through Africa. We landed in N'Djamena, Chad and then drove to Garoua, Cameroon. I'm not sure the distance, but it took maybe 8+ hours. One of my teammates could probably help me out with that accuracy!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Team Cameroon

Team Cameroon had a lot of fun together! We were a great mix of personalities, ages, life experiences. I don't remember a single time where it seemed like someone was annoyed with someone else, and I find that just a blessing from God since we spent so much time together! Here you can see pictures of our team.

I'm so thankful for the amazing people I got to spend time with while serving the Lord in Africa! Thank you, Lord, for the lifelong friendships made!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

African Kids

The African kids we came in contact with were a highlight of the trip for me. Here's a slideshow that shows a little of what we encountered. They were at every turn, running to our vehicles the moment we arrived anywhere. I have a few favorites, but don't tell the rest of them that! Trisch and I kept trying to figure out which ones we could take home with us, but unfortunately we weren't able to do that in the end... We didn't think squeezing into our suitcases would be the most comfortable for them! -- Tell me, though, wouldn't you have had the same reaction?

Welcome Center in N'Djamena

Our team flew in and out of N'Djamena, Chad. This wasn't our original plan, but the first airline stopped working so I'm glad we chose the safer route! The huge blessing in this is that we got to see our missionaries in N'Djamena! There is a Welcome Center that has been built in the last few years, and since my uncle had quite a bit to do with the project, it was especially fun to see in person the thing I had only seen in pictures before!

The best part, though, was reconnecting with old friends!! There are three families living at the Welcome Center right now, and they all happen to be friends of mine. I've decided to make one slide show of just our time there, since families of these missionaries are checking here for pictures of their loved ones. I specifically didn't use any last names in my captions since I realized that I didn't ask them for permission -but I know they want their families to see these fun pictures.

Some of these pictures are from our first night in Africa, and the rest are from our last afternoon there. N'Djamena is located right on the border of Chad and Cameroon, so that last day we planned extra time in case the border crossing took longer, but if I remember right it was only about two hours. This meant we had some fun relaxation time before a wonderful dinner before our night flight back to Paris!

Lefse Fest 2008

Thanks to each of you checking back for Africa pictures! I think I'm about ready to post a few. I appreciate your patience! Monday was spent with Brent, on Tuesday I was hit hard with jet-lag, and today was Lefse Fest 2008. If you're in the area, my mom has 38, well, maybe 34..., pieces of lefse that are pretty tasty. :) If you're heading here for Thanksgiving, you'll be in luck!

The struggle for me has been deciding how to post my Africa pictures. I have a couple of hundred shots, and while I won't share every single one with you, I wanted to share as much as possible. I've decided on grouping them into themes, and sharing them via slide shows. It's not the most ideal way as the pictures are usually a bit smaller for you to see, but then I figured when I was done I'll probably pull a few of my favorites for a separate post all together.

So, I've been spending time uploading to slide.com, and I think I'm about ready to share a few. Check back later tonight still, and otherwise there should be more tomorrow. Thanks for sticking with me!

Monday, November 17, 2008

I'm Home!

Hello from Minnesota! I wanted to post a quick note to let you all know that I arrived safely back at home again. Team Cameroon 2008 was able to catch the regular flight from Paris to Seattle with no troubles and actually empty seats around us, and then I had two additional flights to get all the way home, but landed last night just before midnight.

My parents were waiting for me at the bottom of the escalator to baggage claim, and it turns out they had a surprise waiting for me.... Brent! I had so badly wanted to see him, but didn't think it would work until Thanksgiving weekend when he'll be here with my family. Little did I know that he's been planning for weeks that he'd take today off and be able to greet me off the plane and spend the day with me today. What a thoughtful guy!

So, I was going to post this a little earlier today, but... well... I'm sure you understand! :) I needed to tell him stories and show him pictures first. Now I'll spend the evening showing my family the pictures and telling stories, and I'm sure there's some laundry that needs to get done. There's a bit of African sand on everything in my suitcase!

I'll leave you with these two pictures, and the promise to post a bunch more. I have hundreds of photos (not the thousands like some thought I might!) to sort through, and can't wait to share them with you.

The kids were amazing, and my favorite part of the trip. They would run to our vehicles in any neighborhood we entered and especially loved having their pictures taken. I just love their faces!

Here's my one shot of our whole group. I can't wait until we all share our pictures and I can get a few more. This was taken just before leaving Africa, and is at the Welcome Center in N'Djamena, Chad.

Don't worry, there's lots more to come! I'm a little overwhelmed at the moment, trying to think of how to process all that happened, and then figure out ways to tell you about it, but I'm looking forward to that as well.

THANK YOU so much for your prayers!! There's no way we all could've gone without them, and there were definite times I knew people were praying for us right then. THANK YOU to Brent for being such a great shadow-blogger for me while I was gone, and for handling all sorts of details I'm sure I don't even fully understand yet. WELCOME to the new readers we've picked up because of this trip -I'm so glad you've joined in on the fun! I'm excited to have you stick around!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

To Seattle then ... Home! - Day 13

Ephesians 4:11-16 (New International Version)

It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.

Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.

  • Pray for continued travel mercies.
  • Pray for us as we return home, that we will be able to process all that God has done, that we will be able to express to our family, friends, and church what the Lord has done, and that we will be changed by this experience.
  • Pray for a heart of thankfulness and gratitude.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

1/2 Way Home!

I nodded off this morning watching live airport updates from Paris and awoke to a text message from Kari.

They were delayed in leaving Chad, but did take off around 2:00 a.m. Africa time. They then touched down in Paris around 1:30 a.m. central US time. She said they had a nice flight and found out that they are confirmed for their regularly scheduled flight to Seattle on Sunday.

Praise the Lord! Thank you for all your prayer and for putting up with my babbling along the way. I promise I will be handing over the reins to the original blog-mistress Monday. :)

The team doesn't seem any worse for wear as Kari said they were on their way to take a bus tour of Paris. What a trip!

Have a blessed day and please continue to not only pray them all safely home, but do remember to continue lifting up the efforts in Cameroon. I know I am looking forward to hearing and seeing what God not only did in their time there, but what He continues to do in Africa in the days, months and years to come.


An "American in Paris" :) - Day 12

Psalm 91 (New International Version)

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, "He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust." Surely he will save you from the fowler's snare and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday. A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you. You will only observe with your eyes and see the punishment of the wicked. If you make the Most High your dwelling— even the LORD, who is my refuge- then no harm will befall you, no disaster will come near your tent. For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone. You will tread upon the lion and the cobra; you will trample the great lion and the serpent. "Because he loves me," says the LORD, "I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. With long life will I satisfy him and show him my salvation."

  • Pray for us to process all that God has done.
  • Pray for those we left behind who have just heard the gospel for the first time, that they will understand the Lord is continuing to draw them to Himself.
  • Rejoice in the Lord!

Friday, November 14, 2008

On to N'djamena... then Paris - Day 11

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (New International Version)

Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.

  • Pray for travel mercies as we move through Chad and later on an evening flight to Paris.
  • Pray that the Joy of the Lord continues to penetrate all involved in this mission.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

The French Airline Pilot Union Strike set for this weekend


Information has come to bear that we must pray for the safe and timely return of the Cameroon Team with the advent of the French Pilots' Union strike.

The official statement I have found says the following:

"French airline pilots´ unions have unanimously called a four-day strike from Friday 14 November at one minute past midnight to Monday 17 November at midnight, to protest against changes to the retirement age currently under discussion in the French Parliament (changing from 60 to 65)" [From Flight Operation News on the Air France website]

The flight from N'Djamena to Paris leaves Chad at 11:50 PM Chad time tomorrow (Friday). According to airline reports, this flight is still listed as on-time.

The flight from Paris to Seattle on November 16th is the leg of the trip that is of greatest concern. At this time there is no information available to give any definitive decision on the status of that Air France flight 40. According to the airline website,

The flight schedule to be operated each day will be published the evening before at about 8 pm. Air France cannot however rule out the risk of last-minute cancellations, i.e. at the time of departure."

The airline has gone on record stating they will make arrangements to transfer individuals to other airlines, if possible and available, to facilitate a timely return to their original destination.

  • Please be in prayer for the continued safety of the team.
  • Pray that the stress of this potential change will not be overwhelming or troubling and that God's peace be upon all of the team members.
  • Pray that any needed arrangements will be made in a timely fashion in order to return all our loved ones back home safely.
I will attempt to update with responsible facts as they are made available to me.


Begin Return Trip Home, Maroua & the Harvester School - Day 10

Romans 15:5-6 (New International Version)

May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus, so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

  • Pray for travel mercies.
  • Pray for the Harvester School and the work being done there.
  • Pray for the health, strength and stamina of the entire team.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Evangelism & Discipleship, part 3 - Day 9

1 Timothy 2:8 (New International Version)

I want men everywhere to lift up holy hands in prayer, without anger or disputing.

  • Pray for today's afternoon Celebration Worship Service.
  • Pray that lives will be changed by the message of Jesus Christ.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Evangelism & Discipleship, part 2 - Day 8

Ephesians 6:10-20 (New International Version)

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.
Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.

  • Pray for perseverence in warfare.
  • Pray that all will be filled with an expectation that the Lord will only be able to fulfill.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Morning & Afternoon Evangelism and Discipleship - Day 7

Ephesians 6:19-20 (New International Version)

Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.

  • Pray for boldness.
  • Pray for the people we meet to have their hearts prepared to hear the message of Jesus.
  • Pray that the Lord would speak through us, giving us the words He would have us use.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Worship with the Local Church - Day 6

Ephesians 4:1-6 (New International Version)

As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to one hope when you were called— one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.

  • Pray for the afternoon training with the Camaroon Christians.
  • Pray that the Lord's presence be in all the details.

Saturday, November 8, 2008


[telatype] dit, dit, dit....dit, dit, dit......dit, dit..... (whew! that's a lot of dits :D)


A little bit ago I received a text message from Kari that the team just arrived in Garoua. It was getting too late to drive so they decided to wait a bit before leaving Chad. All is well, actually as she put it, "great!" and they were on their way to the church for the day.

Oh yes, she pointed out that it is HOT there too!!!

(I type this smiling as snowflakes are fluttering down outside my window.)


In-Country Orientation and Training - Day 5

Ephesians 6:19-20 (New International Version)

Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.

  • Pray for the door-to-door afternoon evangelism.
  • Pray that God will empower the group in Africa and those going with His word.
  • Pray for our translators that they too would be receptive to the gospel.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Travel to Garoua - Day 4

1 Corinthians 15:58 (New International Version)

Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.

  • Pray that the Cameroonian Christians commit to the work of disciple-making.
  • Pray for safety on our bus ride from N'Djamena to Garoua.
  • Pray that there is no problem crossing the Chad/Cameroon border.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Arrival in Chad - Day 3

Ephesians 1:15-21 (New International Version)

For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength, which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come.

Pray for focus, vision and that God would be glorified.
Pray for the complete peace of Jesus throughout the mission trip, that there is no confusion.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Leaving Seattle - Day 2

Psalm 27

The LORD is my light and my salvation— whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life— of whom shall I be afraid? When evil men advance against me to devour my flesh, when my enemies and my foes attack me, they will stumble and fall. Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then will I be confident. One thing I ask of the LORD, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple. For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his tabernacle and set me high upon a rock. Then my head will be exalted above the enemies who surround me; at his tabernacle will I sacrifice with shouts of joy; I will sing and make music to the LORD. Hear my voice when I call, O LORD; be merciful to me and answer me. My heart says of you, "Seek his face!" Your face, LORD, I will seek. Do not hide your face from me, do not turn your servant away in anger; you have been my helper. Do not reject me or forsake me, O God my Savior. Though my father and mother forsake me, the LORD will receive me. Teach me your way, O LORD; lead me in a straight path because of my oppressors. Do not turn me over to the desire of my foes, for false witnesses rise up against me, breathing out violence. I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD.

Today we leave Seattle and spend the rest of the day on the plane.

  • Pray for travel safety and good connections.
  • Pray for the blessing of peace for the family and friends of those that are going.
  • Please pray especially for my Mom as I travel to the place that evokes so many memories and feelings for her.

My introduction into the blogger world.

Good Morning everyone!

This post is from that ever so "cleverly" hidden boyfriend, Brent. :) I will make this short and sweet as I have been "blogging" for many hours now attempting to help Kari prep for her trip by preparing prayer requests and update posts. Check back each day for specific ways to pray for Kari and her teammates.

I would like to thank all of you for your warm welcome into the world of Kari. :) I especially would like to express my personal gratitude and appreciation to all the friends and family of Fergus Falls and the Cities who have been wonderfully inviting, warmly hospitable and incredibly gracious to me these past weeks.

I once was told that the companions you keep say a lot about your own character, and I can say without a doubt that this statement is completely accurate about Kari and all of you that I have had the pleasure to meet in person. God be praised for the blessing of friends and family.

Until we meet again... or for the first time!


Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Leaving for Africa!

Can you believe it? I sure can't!!! The day is finally here, I'm leaving for Africa! Actually, I fly to Seattle today and then will be meeting the rest of our group in the morning at the airport. We'll be flying to Paris and then on to N'Djamena, Chad.

While I'm gone, I won't be able to update anything in real time since I'm not bringing my computer. I can't wait to get back and tell you all about the amazing experiences I'll have! I'm already thinking about the fact that there's no way I'll get to portray all of what we'll have done, but I'll do my best to give you a taste of the trip.

In the meantime, will you pray for us? Pray for our team? Pray for the Cameroonian church members we'll be working with? Pray for the missionaries we'll get to visit on our way through Chad? Pray for the people we'll be trying to reach with the Gospel?

THANK YOU! I know I can count on you!

To help you out a bit, I've added some things from our team's Prayer Calendar. I also have a little surprise for you. Check back tomorrow and each day while I'm gone to see what it is!

Ephesians 3:16-19 (New International Version)

I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

  • Pray for campaign preparation, both for us and the nationals.
  • Continue to pray that all travel preparations and paperwork have been completed and that there will be "smooth sailing" from here on out.

Introducing Brent to Fergus Falls

So it's past midnight and I should be either finishing packing or sleeping, but decided that it was much more fun to look at pictures! Actually, I've really wanted to post these, but have been pretty busy the last few days, with working and wrapping things up for my trip to Africa. I can hardly believe the day is now officially here! It seems like just yesterday was springtime and I was making the decision to go...

This past Thursday I had the great joy of going to Fergus Falls! Brent had the idea that since he had a few days off from school for conferences that he wasn't required to attend, we should head to Fergus so he could meet a few of the people I talk about so often! What a lovely idea! He ended up getting to meet quite a few people, and yet there are always more for another time. If we missed you during this trip, know that we'll be back again and would look forward to our visit!

We made a quick stop in Alexandria, just in time for a pirate-sighting. Luckily even with one eye covered with our patches, we were able to stop the pirates from doing any damage...

Here you see some of my favorite kiddos checking out a fun program on the computer.

Brooke and H were able to come by for a visit,
Along with Kevin and E!

Christines's little guy with the big blue eyes...After our time in Fergus, Brent and I got to the Twin Cities so that we could be there for little David's Halloween party while his own parents couldn't be there. As a surprise, Grandma got to come as well!
Tigger enjoying his frosted cookie with the bright orange frosting and black sprinkles (which turned his lips black for a bit!).
This little kid was too cute to not take a picture of!
Some of the teachers and moms/grandmas with the kiddos at the party.
My mom took these next few pictures of Auntie Kari and Tigger.
One of my new favorite pictures. He's just so cute!!
It was so fun to have Brent there with me!
Group shot of all the little kiddos. There were some really great costumes!
It was such a fun few days, showing Brent my hometown, introducing him to friends, and getting to see David all dressed up as Tigger. It's going to be so hard to be gone from him for the next few days/weeks so if you think of saying a quick prayer for us, we'd both appreciate it!

Thanks to all of you that were able to spend time with us, and THANK YOU to Wally and Candis for hosting us in Fergus. Check out their blog for a fun, cozy picture by the fireplace.

I'll miss getting to stay in touch with you while I'm in Africa! Take care!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Weekend Fun

These last couple of weekends have been quite a bit of fun! Actually, mostly all these weekends while I've been back in the midwest have been fun, but I'm just going to post pictures from the last two. A week ago I was able to hang out in LaCrosse, WI for the weekend, spending time with my boyfriend and his parents. I know... I haven't said much (or anything) about Brent on this blog yet, wanting to wait until we got to spend time with each other's parents and friends. Well, that's gotten to happen now so here are a few pictures!

Last weekend, we went to one of my favorite parks in LaCrosse on Saturday morning, and it was fun to see the trees with leaves on them, versus all the snow that defined my assignment in LaCrosse last winter. You can see it was also a pretty foggy morning.

I love the fog through the trees.

We laugh together - A LOT!

I love this bench. Wouldn't it be fun to sit and just watch the river a while from this bench?

I think this bridge is really pretty.

After spending the afternoon hanging out at his parent's house, we all went out to dinner together, and then Brent and I went to the LaCrosse Symphony's opening performance for the season. Brent used to play cello in that same symphony, so it was an especially fun treat. It was a beautiful concert, by the way! Fun pieces by Debussey, George Gershwin's "An American in Paris" and others. Here we are all dressed up for the symphony.

After church on Sunday with his parents (where we happened to run into my friend, Stacy!!!), Brent and I went up to Grandad's Bluff to look around. We saw some beautiful colors:

and I was able to see LaCrosse without all the snow piles and white! Can you remember what the winter was like for me? :) It was great to finally see THIS view from the bluff:

Here's a closeup of my old hospital:

And one of my favorite bridges.

Practicing the self-portraits. :)

This past weekend, Brent was able to come this direction. We checked out a State Park only a few miles from Mankato that I had wanted to visit. It looks like it would've been perfect a few weeks ago, but it was still very beautiful. Minneopa State Park has a great "falls" I guess, but this weekend it was only a small trickle. In fact, many leaves just fell to the water and never moved again!

Another wonderful bridge.

After driving to the Twin Cities, we had to make sure our first stop was seeing this amazing little guy! I know he looks pretty mad in this picture, but it's actually that he has a cold and was stuffed up and having a hard time breathing. He was in a great mood, and let me sit and read to him a while. Cute kid! Even tonight when he and his parents came over, he seemed to be feeling better.

After Julie and David and David headed to the other grandparents house, Brent and I went to my parents house. We were able to sit and chat a bit with them, and then my dad took us on a small tour of The Cities. Here we are at the park by Minnehaha Falls.

At the pavillion right by Minnehaha Falls, there was some big Halloween festival going on. They had all sorts of food, games, mostly kid-stuff. But, they also had Dracula come by for a visit with his princess.

My mom snapped this picture overlooking the falls. It was also just a trickle of a stream, so I look forward to getting back there again in the spring with the huge falls that I remember.

After Minnehaha Falls, we also went down by the Locks and Dam on the Mississippi River. I guess bridges and parks are the themes of these two weekends!

They were a couple of terrific weekends! We get to head to Fergus together on Thursday, and of course it will be wonderful to introduce him to friends there. It's nice to have a few days off with my 12-hour shifts, and Brent works for a local school district and it's their conference weekend. He's a really great guy, so I'm excited for more of my friends to get to meet him. If you're in Fergus, see you soon! :)