Friday, January 29, 2010

Meet Josephine ~


Over the years we have had many sweet Filipino women in our church. Josephine is one of the sweetest!!! She is married to a German man and has two beautiful little girls and one on the way. She has such a sensitive spirit toward spiritual things and always blesses me with her spiritual insight into situations in her life. She does a wonderful job of teaching our 4 and 5 year olds in Sunday School. No Sunday is complete until I have had a big hug from Josephine.

"We're Shoveled In"


Just answered the phone and it was our very excited Maddy in Chattanooga...."Oma, guess what? We're shoveled in!!" She just had to call to breathlessly tell me that "it is snowing in Chattanooga, we are "shoveled" in, schools are closed, daddy's car got stuck and he had to walk home from Target, Max (the puppy) loves the snow and we have started building a snowman". And she was even more excited when I told her that it was also snowing here in Germany....5000 miles away.

~ Snow, Snow, Snow ~


The past few days have been so beautiful! Snow, snow and more snow!!! In the seventeen years we have been in Germany I never remember this much snow for this long a period of time. We have at least eight inches on the ground now with the forecast of several more inches in the next few days. Glory be!! We have been watching it snow all day today from the comfort of our warm apartment, but this afternoon we just had to get out in it. Mark, Julie and Emmy joined us for a Greek dinner and then another stop at the little Italian restaurant in our village for tiramisu and latte macchiatos. When we left the restaurant we stepped out into the most beautiful snow fall. And the snow was just perfect for making snowballs. So we couldn't resist having a little snowball fight there in the parking lot. When we got home Emmy braved the elements and made a family of adorable little snowmen. Thanks to Opa for the hat and scarf.

~MEMORIES PAST (of people, places and events) ~

~ THE EURO-WIDE LADIES' RETREAT ~

I have so many memories to share of the seventeen years we have been in Germany. I am going to call this feature "Memories Past (of people, places and events)". Sometimes I will write about a special past event, or a special person from the past or some fantastic place we have visited during these years. The first special event of the past (and still going on in the present) that I want to share is our annual Euro-Wide Ladies' Retreat that our church began hosting about 15 years ago. It was born in my heart out of a burden for the missionary and military wives who live in Europe to be able to come aside and be spiritually and physically refreshed. Our sister church, Rheinland Baptist in Landstuhl, Germany has alternated hosting this 3 day special event for all these years. We have had as many as 225 women in attendance. My dear friend, Mina Oglesby has spoken at most of the retreats over the years, but in recent years Patti Appleby has also spoken on alternate years. They have been such a blessing to the women who have attended. Because of some other ministries that the Lord has led us into it has become necessary for us to turn all the reigns over to Rheinland Baptist but we look forward to many, many more wonderful retreats in the years to come. The 2010 Retreat begins next Thursday, February 4. Below are a few picture memories from the past.

Our 2006 Ladies' Retreat theme was "O Taste and See". Our ladies were dressed for the theme in chef's hats and aprons.

Our 2009 Retreat theme was "Finish the Game". Our ladies who hosted were all dressed in cheerleader outfits.

Our beloved Mina who has been such a blessing to the missionary and military wives in Europe.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Meet Jackie ~


Here is one of our "heroes" at Rhein River Baptist Church. She is just one of many! Jackie is one of the many women at RRBC who has kept the home fires burning while her husband was deployed on a very dangerous mission in Iraq. Jackie is one of the sweetest, most gentle ladies that you will ever meet. She has an amazing testimony of God's grace that brought her to salvation. Jackie and Nathan have three sweet children and she did an amazing job of being both mommy and daddy while Nathan was deployed, in spite of several bouts of sickness herself. I have their oldest girl, Morgan, in my Junior Sunday School class. Jackie serves as our Nursery Coordinator and does a fantastic job.

The "Nerve Center" is up and Going ~


Tom jokingly calls my office at home "the nerve center of the ministry". I have a cozy corner that is my little office at church, but most of my work is done at home: Tom's correspondence, answering email, doing publications, working on programs, studying, and anything else Tom asks me to do. Well, the "nerve center" was down for almost two weeks...no phone...no internet. Thank goodness we had our cell phones. And thank the Lord for Mark who got everything up and going again. First of all he discovered that it was our phone itself that was faulty ... so we bought a new phone, changed phone companies and he did the rest to get it set up! We changed internet servers and he did all the other work to get me set up with a wireless connection. And he did it all working with German instructions. Where did I get such a brilliant son? Thanks, Mark!

Here is the "Nerve Center". I am so glad to be back in business!!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Get Ready World...Emmy's Turning 18 ~


Just sending out the alert.....our Emmy is turning 18 this coming Tuesday.

A New Family at RRBC ~


It was a real blessing to welcome Steve, Bonita and their two teenage girls into our church fellowship on Sunday. Bonita is in the blue dress and Steve is in the background. Our folks always come by to welcome a new family into the church. Steve is a soldier and he and his family are on their first overseas deployment. They have only been in country for about three weeks. I'm so glad they found us and we found them. This is the "up side" of military ministry.

Meet Yvonne ~


Yvonne is one of our sweet German ladies who has been a member of Rhein River Baptist Church for about a year now. She and her German husband, Torsten, and two of her three girls have come to know the Lord since coming to our church. We have watched them grow in the Lord and now they are a vital, excited part of our RRBC family. I teach two of her girls in my Sunday School class. I look forward every service to seeing Yvonne's sweet smile.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

A Yummy Recipe from Yvonne~

Recently we had a finger food fellowship and Yvonne brought two pans of the most delicious PIZZA BROCHEN. They were scoffed up immediately! I asked Yvonne to share the recipe with me.

PIZZA BROCHEN

12 toasted brochen (brochen is a German roll - you could use a kaiser roll, english muffin or something similar.)
1 cup (250 g) sour cream
1 cup (250 g) creme fraiche
200 g salami (pepperoni)
200 g ham
250 g mozzarella cheese
diced tomatoes
salt, paprika, special spice called "pizzagewurz" - I think seasoned salt would work, also

Things you can add as well:
corn
mushrooms
peppers
olives

All ingredients need to be sliced into small pieces. Put everything in a bowl, mix it with sour cream and creme fraiche and cheese. Season to taste with salt (use salt lightly because the ham is salty), paprika and "Pizzagewurz". Cut the brotchen, or rolls, in half and spread the mixture on the rolls with a spoon. Bake at 350* for 10 - 15 minutes, depending on how crunchy you like them.

Wunderbar!!!! (wonderful) Thanks, Yvonne!

Monday, January 18, 2010

God is Good!

Dr. Frank Garlock and Mrs. Sarah Bennett are back safely with their families after an amazing few days in Haiti during the earthquack. Go to "Majesty Music" to read of their miraculous rescue. Also, here is a link to a television interview as they arrived at the Greenville, SC airport. http://www.wyff4.com/video/22262711/

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Meet Marie-Ange ~


I have so many precious sisters at RRBC. They are truly a gift to my life and I would like to feature them in my blog from time to time.

This is Marie-Ange, my dear friend from France. I love hearing her speak...the french language is so beautiful. She is an excellent,trained french cook and quite often has us over to enjoy some great cooking and fellowship. Marie-Ange is married to JoAa, who is from Angola. They have three beautiful girls. I had the privilege of opening up the Scripture and showing Marie-Ange how to be saved after she came forward in a service. She and her family are faithful members of our church. Please pray for Marie-Ange as she is battling cancer. She is handling it very couragously and is a blessing to many.

The Sad Side of Military Ministry - Good bye Vince and Sandy!


There are so many blessings of serving our U.S. military and their families on a foreign field, but one of the down sides -- and it is REALLY a down side -- is having to say goodbye to folks at the end of their tour of duty. You learn to love people, invest your life in their lives, and then they are gone. We not only have military families in our church, but international folks, contract workers, exhange students and government employees.

Tonight was one of those sad nights when we said goodbye to one of the finest couples to ever come to RRBC..Vince and Sandy Smith. Vince is a government worker and they have been with us three years now. Vince has been our song leader and teen Sunday School teacher. Sandy has been our kitchen hostess, assistant teen Sunday School teacher and cookie baker par excellence. Well, she is just a great cook, period. They are greatly loved and will be greatly missed.

Here are the words to a little chorus we always sing the night we say goodbye to a family. Tom will begin by saying something like this: "In a military church we are always saying hello to new people and goodbye to folks who have to leave us. Some folks come and some folks go......but because of Jesus..............

"We'll never say goodbye in glory,
In the morning, over yonder.
We'll never say goodbye in glory,
We'll never say goodbye up there."
(I have tears in my eyes now as I am typing this. But now they are part of our forever family)

Vince and Sandy listening to testimonies from people about the blessing they have been to their lives.

The final receiving line as our RRBC family each give a goodbye handshake or hug.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Our Telephone Saga ~


You know how in the states you contact the telephone company that you need a phone hook up, go to the telephone store, buy a telephone and plug it in? Not so in Germany! We have been experiencing telephone problems for several weeks. Mark came down today to try to help us solve the problem and get everything working again. I counted 4 sets of cords, two separate boxes for some purpose and, of course, a telephone....all necessary I am told. Hopefully it will be working properly soon. Mark can fix ANYTHING!

Praise God For Answered Prayer ~

A beloved brother, Dr. Frank Garlock, has just experienced Psalm 91:7 - "A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee." We received word Wednesday night through an email that Mark received from a friend that Dr. Garlock was in Haiti when the horrendous earthquake happened and that he had not been heard from since. Through the means of FaceBook, email and internet prayers began to go up for him immediately from all over the world. (This has made me more thankful for the good that can be done through these social networks.) Yesterday word came that Dr. Garlock had contacted his family and he is well, however, food and water are scarce. PRAISE THE LORD FOR HIS SAFETY!!!!

Tom and I have had the privilege of spending a week, two years straight, with the Garlocks at a mission's conference in Acupulco, Mexico. We have known the Garlocks for years, but our hearts were knit together with them during these special times. We enjoyed having several meals together with them on the beautiful beach at Acupulco talking about family, ministry and a host of other things. Both he and Mrs. Garlock are very choice servants of God who have been faithful and VERY influencial for the cause of Christ down through the years. Dr. Garlock is 79 and still full of stamina and excitement about serving the Lord. We are so grateful to the Lord for watching over this dear servant of His. To learn more about his ministry go online to "Majesty Music".

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Congratulations, Mitch!!!


We just received the news tonight that our wonderful son-in-law, Mitch, has been accepted into law school. This is a huge accomplishment in itself and we congratulate him and are very proud of him. Now comes the fun (smile) But he can do it!!! The above picture was made when he returned from his 2nd gulf war deployment last January.

The Younger Lancasters


Mark, Julie and Emmy were posing for someone else's camera but I couldn't resist taking a picture, too. I'm sorry, but I am just a proud and thankful mother and grandmother.

Gaby and Adina ~


Our church is a military church with an international congregation. Here are two of our sweetest little girls, Gaby(l) and Adina (r). Gaby is German and Adina is French/Angolan. They are just two of the many terrific children we have at RRBC.

A Wednesday Night Visit From WCBC Group~


Last night we hosted a group of folks from West Coast Baptist College in Lancaster, CA. Kendall, Carrie and April sang and Bro. John preached. It was a real treat to have them with us. April sang one of the most beautiful songs I have ever heard about the love, grace and power of Christ....and it turns out she wrote it.

Bro. John Goetsch, Jr. preached a great message on "The God of Impossibilities".

Emmy with Kendall and Carrie. The group spent the night in our "Haven of Rest" apartments and Emmy stayed over with the gals.

Tom and I with Bro. John, April, Carrie and Kendall.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Thanks, Debra!


Debra Allison, a sweet missionary friend from the Czech Republic, just sent me this picture that we will cherish. One of the highlights of the Missionary Christmas Retreat was a service where all the missionary children who felt God was calling them to full-time Christian service came forward as a public testimony. It was very moving. Thank you for sending it to us, Debra.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

What A Day At Church Today!

Today was a great day at RRBC starting with the Worker's Meeting at 9:30 a.m. all the way through to the surprise 25th anniversary reception for one of our fine couples. The music was beautiful and Tom's preaching was wonderful. I told him over lunch that he needed to put a star by that outline in his sermon file because it was a classic. The title of his message was "Catch Your Breath" and his text was Acts 3:19 which talks about when we repent, or turn from our sin, then refreshing will come from the Lord. The word "refresh" literally means "get your breath back". We had a little feathered friend that tried to interupt the service by flying into the auditorium from who knows where. Of course everything came to a halt until the bird was coaxed out of the church. But even the pretty little finch was used of the Lord as afterward Tom gave a moving illustration of an incident where a wild bird was used to help a man understand the incarnation of Christ. We had one man baptized this morning. Our special guests for the evening service were veteran missionaries, Roy and Ellen Smith, who are leaving the mission field after 25 plus years of service in Europe to return to the states to minister there. We were also so happy to be able to pull off a surprise 25th anniversary reception for two of our dearest members. It has been a good day!

My Sunday morning always starts out with this great group of kids....my Junior Sunday School class. I love these energetic guys and I love teaching them.

This is our Patch Club singing in church this morning. They sing two times a month and are always a blessing with their songs and skits.

I just had to get a close up of adorable little Isa singing his heart out. He always has the most precious expression on his face when he sings.

We are blessed at every service by Julie's beautiful talent on the piano. I enjoy playing the organ with her....she makes me sound so much better!!! I especially enjoy her beautiful offertory arrangements. This morning was no exception.

Our Julie and Emily sang the most heart touching song before the message today. They sing so beautifully together! We have been thrilled to hear Emily's voice mature and just get stronger and more beautiful as she gets older.

Honoring our dear friends, Bro. Roy and Ellen Smith, veteran missionaries to the military in Germany and Spain. They are leaving Europe after more than 25 years of service to return to the states for ministry there. Flowers were presented to Ellen and they were given the "highest honor" our church bestows....making them "honorary marines". (My gung ho MARINE husband started this special "honor" in our ARMY church many years ago and now it is a fun tradition and presented to those who give outstanding service to the Lord.

A Surprise 25th Anniversary Reception For Gary and Sandy


We have been working for a couple of months on this surprise 25th anniversary reception for Gary and Sandy, two of our sweet members. Unbeknown to us they planned an out of town trip for the very weekend the reception was planned. And on top of that it was snowing to beat the ban. We not only had to indiscreetly make them promise to be back by Sunday night, we also had to pray that the snow would not prevent them from getting back. They made it and were surprised and overwhelmed!! Here is Tom asking Gary and Sandy to exchange these 25th anniversary vows to each other. I thought they were so sweet and appropriate.

"I Gary,thank you, Sandy, for being my loving wife. I thank God that you are mine. All of our days I will hold you, cherish you and love you. I will remain faithful to you in good days and bad days. I will honor you because of your position in my life and because you have stood by me. With the help of God I will love you more in the future than I have in the past. Thank you for loving me. I will forsake all others and continue to give myself only to you."

"THE CAKE!!" Sandy's sister, Danene, helped us get everything together even though she lives in the states. What a great sister!

The happy couple cutting the cake

Sandy feeding Gary the first piece of cake.

What is a reception without scrumptious food. Our ladies prepared Mexican because it is Gary and Sandy's favorite.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Another Beautiful Snowfall


We woke up this morning to another beautiful day from the Lord. In Job 38:22 it speaks of "the treasures of the snow" and I, for one, think the snow IS a treasure from the Lord. He gives us so many changes in nature and weather to remind us of His love. Here are some pictures we took this morning. The first one is a view down the street in our little German village. The others are other views from our village.

Friday, January 8, 2010

The Puzzle Challenge


Emmy and I worked on a 1000 piece Ann Geddes puzzle tonight. Emily actually did most of the work and I gave lots of moral support. I actually did put together a few pieces which is an accomplishment for me (crossword puzzles are my thing.) Emily found a roll up puzzle mat at the mall which lets you roll up your puzzle each time you finish working. A neat idea! It was a lot of fun and we enjoyed spending time with Emmy. I will post a picture of the finished puzzle when it is completed.

Saying Goodbye to Dawn and Maddy at the Frankfurt Airport


It was a very early morning trip to the Frankfurt airport today to send Dawn and Madison back to Chattanooga. We enjoyed them being with us for a week and hated to see them go - but both of them were ready to get back home to see Mitch, Bradley and Haley.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Dawn Playing and Singing in Church on Sunday


It was such a blessing to have Dawn sing and play in the services yesterday. We rarely get to hear her so it was a real treat.

Trip to Heidelberg with Dawn and Madison


We took a trip to Heidelberg on Saturday for Madison to see the Castle. Here is Opa giving her a history lesson about the Castle. I have to say she listened very patiently as Opa explained it all to her and even repeated some of the details in her journal.