Sunday, September 25, 2011

Speaking To The First Graders at Middletown Christian School ~

Tom recently preached the mission's conference for Grace Baptist Church in Middletown, Ohio. It was a great conference! Dr. Roger Green is the gracious pastor and our spirits were refreshed by the graciousness of the church and staff. Below are a couple of pictures of our time in one of the first grade classes of their Christian School. I was telling the class how they could pray for our soldiers. Little Josiah, the son of the assistant pastor, Bro. Max Fernandez, helped me by wearing some "soldier gear".


FRUIT THAT REMAINS ~

A ministry to the U.S. military has its highs and lows. One of the lows is constantly having to say goodbye to people you love and in whom you have invested part of your life. We have seen thousands of soldiers and their families pass through Rhein River Baptist church in the twenty years we have been here. And in twenty years it has never gotten easier to say goodbye to families. But on the other hand one of the highs is seeing fruit that remains. There are couples serving the Lord all over the world who came to know the Lord and to find His will for their lives at Rhein River Baptist Church. We hear from our "children in the Lord" quite often, but it is rare that we get to see them often. But God has blessed us in the past three weeks to be able to see three couples who were saved and/or found direction for thier lives at RRBC.

John and Ulrika Coulliete were both saved at RRBC. John was a single soldier who was dating Ulrika, a German girl. The first Sunday they visited they were both saved. Uli had never been in a Baptist church before. They went on to Bible College and he is now an assistant pastor in Oregon. John and Uli and their two children were recently back in Germany to visit her mother and he preached for us twice. It was hard to hold back the tears of joy and thankfulness for how God has worked in their lives.

Larry and Kay Ferguson are missionaries to the U.S. military in South Korea. Larry came to know the Lord at RRBC. What a blessing they were to us in the early days of our ministry in Germany. When Larry retired from the army he and Kay went to Bible College and have now been doing a tremendous work in South Korea. Tom preaches for him almost every year and he just returned from preaching a conference for him.

David and Michelle Parker were a fine young couple who were part of RRBC when we first went to Germany. They were both saved, but struggling with God's will for their lives. It was at RRBC that they found direction. They got out of the army, went to Bible College and David is now the vice-president of the Biblical School of World Evangelism in Milford, Ohio. They came over while we were in the mission's conference in Middletown, OH. Their girls who were just tiny little things when they were in Germany are all grown up now. What a blessing to see them again.

These three couples are precious children in the Lord and we thank God for the opportunity to invest in their lives. They have certainly brought a lot of joy into our lives. FRUIT THAT REMAINS.......one of the blessings of ministry!!!

Larry and Kay Ferguson, missionaries to the U.S. military in South Korea. Larry was saved and called to the mission field at Rhein River Baptist Church. Kay did much of her growing at RRBC.

John Coulliete preached twice while they were back in Germany to visit Ulrika's mother.

David and Michelle Parker and their girls met us at Cracker Barrel for a lunch/reunion.

Our first building in Bobenheim-Roxheim, Germany. This is the building where all three of the couples above found the Lord or found direction in their life. We took John and Ulrika by the building when they were with us. Hundreds of soldiers and their families found new life in this building. Strangely enough, it is now a funeral home.

Monday, July 25, 2011

THE BEACHES OF NORMANDY 2011 ~


Tom and I have been to the beaches of Normandy five times and Tom has given tours two other times. It remains one of the most moving trips we ever take.

Tom at the grave of General Theodore Roosevelt, Jr.

One of the most amazing and moving sights I have ever seen..nearly 10,000 of our brave Americans laid to rest on foreign soil valiantly fighting for the freedom of another country. What price freedom!!

This says it all. I am proud to be an American!! And I am so thankful that God has called Tom and me to take the gospel to our military.

A moving display in the museum on Omaha Beach representing the fallen soldier.

Mark and Julie at Omaha Beach taking the long walk down to the actual beach where our men came ashore during WW2.

Tom praying after our group sang "God Bless America" in the American cemetery on Omaha Beach.

Dr. Randy King giving the devotion at the American cemetery on Omaha Beach.

One of the men in our group, a Vietnam veteran from Oshkosh, WI, was asked to participate in the retiring of the colors at Omaha Beach. What an honor and what a memory for him to take home.

Some Pictures of the Normandy Tour Bus Trip and French Country Side ~


I love the French country side and especially the country homes like this one.

Mark doing some computer work while traveling. Our bus was extremely comfortable.

Each morning we had devotions on the bus before beginning the tour of the day.

Dr. and Mrs. Randy King getting in some snoozes on the bus.

Our Good Friends - the Randy Kings ~


Dr. and Mrs. Randy King, dear friends and Pastor of Wyldewood Baptist Church in Oshkosh, WI, brought about a dozen folks over for our biennial tour of the beaches of Normandy. In addition Tom took them on a Rhein River cruise with a stop for coffee and kuchen at the Rheinfeld Castle in St. Goar, Germany.

Where Has Time Flown?

We have had an incredibly busy schedule since the first of the year and my blog page has suffered terribly. I am going to try and catch up and stay caught up. I use my blog page not only as a little insight into our lives as a family and missionaries, but also as a personal journal. So.....I've gotta get busy!!!!!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

A Day At Luisen Park With the Clarks ~


The Walter Clark family, missionaries to the Germans in the Dresden area, spent the past few days in our Haven of Rest mission's apartment. We took them to beautiful Luisen Park for a day and we all had a grand time.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

EMMY'S NEW GERMAN DIRNDYL ~


Emmy fell in love with this beautiful German dirndyl that we found at a department store in Germany. Opa was with us......need I say more. She now has a pretty dirndyl to wear at mission's conference at college.

Our Estonia Mission's Trip ~



In February I received an email from Denise Graziano, a missionary wife in Estonia, inquiring about the possibility of coming to Estonia to conduct a ladies' retreat. The more we communicated it became obvious that a family retreat would be even better than a ladies' retreat. I talked to Tom about the possibility and he was all for it. So the planning began. We planned sessions for the family, ladies, men, couples, teens and children. We invited some of our own people to come along (at their own expense!!)to help. Bob and Jenny Richards, former members of RRBC, were visiting us when we committed to conduct the retreat. We casually asked them if they would like to come back over and help with the retreat and to our surprise they said, YES!!

So, on Wednesday, May 25, our team of 7 met at the church at 4:30 a.m. to drive to the airport in Frankfurt to fly to Tallin, Estonia. Bob and Jenny flew from San Antonia. Two days before we were to leave I came down with a terrible stomach virus and was unable to go. Needless to say there were many tears, but I know God makes no mistakes and so we just rested in Romans 8:28.

The retreat was blessed by God more than we could have imagined. God used each member of the team in a special way. The testimonies of the missionaries confirmed that the retreat was indeed in God's will. One of the missionaries told Tom, "This has been greatly needed....it has been a revival!" Another missionary sent this email to me:

"I wanted to give you an email with some feedback, but it would take all day to count all the blessings from the two days we had with your husband and the team. My husband and I were revived, recharged, and we repented. God also healed some hurts that had burdened our hearts for nearly two years. I haven’t felt what it is to have a burden lifted like that! Wow! The fire is once again burning within, and ever since Friday have been acutely aware of fanning those fires with edifying conversation, loving each other, and getting our spiritual priorities in sync".

TO GOD BE THE GLORY!!!
Miscellaneous pictures of the retreat activities.





Tony Mabbitt came along to help in any way he was needed. What a blessing he was! He assisted in the children's program, music and clean-up.

Dave and Shannon Panjwani and their two children, Alyssa and Jacob, were in charge of the children's classes. The Panjwani family has a heart for missions and missionaries and each of them has a servant's heart. Dave is an executive with John Deere, Shannon is a teacher and they are invaluable in the ministry of RRBC.

Robert Locklear, our summer intern from Crown College, was a tremendous blessing to the teenagers.

Bob and Jenny Richards, former members of RRBC, came all the way from San Antonia, TX to help. They were in charge of the music, taught a couple's class and Jenny filled in for me in a ladies' session.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

OUR 2011 LADIES' AND TEEN GIRL'S SPRING EVENT - "LADY BUG! LADY BUG!

We have one or two big events for our ladies each year. The theme for our 2011 Ladies' and Teen Girl's Spring Event was "Lady Bug! Lady Bug!. We emphasized being a godly lady in our walk, talk, dress, actions and thoughts. The first half of the program was lively singing, a fun time and a pasta and salad lunch. The teen girls presented a cute skit called, "What Not To Wear". After lunch we had testimonies and a devotion on "Being a Godly Lady". The turnout was great! We especially appreciated Mrs. Karen Pilalis and her daughter, Chelsea, coming over from Lighthouse Baptist Church in Heidelberg, Germany, to help with child care.











The Vierthalermarkt - Bacharach, Germany

We didn't realize when we decided to visit Bacharach, Germany, with our friends, the Johnsons, that they were having their bienniel midievel festival called Vierthälermarkt. It turned out to be the highlight of our trip. A midieval village is set up near the Rhein River with crafts, pigs roasting on spits, etc. The village occupants are dressed in midievel clothing, but here was the really interesting part of the festival - nearly everyone who came to visit the village were dressed in costume, too.



Monday, May 16, 2011

Our Trip To Bacharach, Germany ~

Gary and Sandy Johnson are sweet members of our church. Gary is getting ready to deploy to Iraq for six months and so we planned an overnight trip with them to spend a little time together before he leaves. We drove about an hour to the beautiful, quaint old river town of Bacharach, Germany. One of the buildings in the pictures below was erected in 1368. We enjoyed the time with Gary and Sandy and will tuck some very special memories away of this trip.