Tuesday, July 24, 2012

A Great Summer for Europe Teens ~

Euro-Youth Conference

Four years ago God laid on our son, Mark's, heart to begin a youth conference for the military and missionaries young people here in Europe.  It has been greatly used of God to impact the lives of many of these kids.  It is first class all the way!  The preaching is excellent, the standards are high, the music is fantastic and the program is jam-packed and fun-filled.  There are usually about 12 countries represented in the attendance.  Three teens were saved at this year's conference and 8 teens and 3 adults surrendered to full-time Christian service. Our granddaughter, Emily, a junior at Crown College, was here for the summer and served as a counselor.  She took these  pictures that give a great overview of the week.  The past three conferences were held at our church, Rhein River Baptist, which presented a good many challenges in accomodating and housing  75-100 teenagers.  But Mark was able to locate a beautiful camp ground in Bad Orb, Germany.  Bad Orb is a spa town in the Main-Kinzig district, in Hesse, Germany.  It is located 32 km east of Hanau.  Bad Orb is between forested hills in the Nature Park Spessart, on of the largest forested areas in Germany and it proved to be just perfect for a youth outing.   
The Main Services
 Mark does such a great job directing the conference and also speaking.
Bro. Kurt Skelly has preached at all 4 of the conference and is always a blessing.
 In the main service
 Beautiful special music.  Here is a trio from Crown College.  That is our Emily on the right.
Tom spoke at a morning session on "Getting the Dirt Out"



 Benita Willard (left) headed up the kitchen team.  Yvonne and Torsten Weigt were helpers.

 Tiffany Schultz helped in the kitchen as well

 Bro. Keith Klaus, the music director.  What would EYC be without him?
 And what would EYC be without Julie?  Her music adds so much!


Sunday, July 22, 2012

Mitch's Mission's Trip To Honduras ~

Out son-in-law Mitch just returned from a Honduras mission's trip with a team from his church.  His and Dawn's good friends, Rich and Lori Womack, are missionaries in Honduras and hosted the team.  Here are a few pictures of Mitch as he ministered.

Friday, July 20, 2012

A Simple Little Note ~

(Written to Dawn in 2004)

Today I found a simple little note.....just twelve little words, hastily written years before on a page of a small yellow note pad.  Written as I remember after college, before husband, before children....the year you spent with dad and me in Germany. 

Just a simple little note....tucked in my Bible.  Oh, I've read it dozens of times and more.  I keep it where you put it those many years before.  Every time I read it I find myself ..........REMEMBERING.

I remember when you were born... little round, jaundiced face.  I held you in my arms...still groggy from "laboring" for you to come into this world...and I silently remembered Psalm 100 and thanked God for such a precious gift.  I still have the Psalm underlined in one of my Bibles with the date 7/14/69 (your birthday) written beside it.  I remember how much fun I had dressing you up - my real live "baby doll".  I remember how much you were loved by family and friends.  I remember the times we sat and read Flicka, Ricka and Dicka and Snip, Snap and Snur.  You loved those books.  I remember when you discovered Super the cat had delivered kittens in our bedroom closet.  I remember your first day of kindergarten and your long, sad face when we would have to leave you in after school care.  I remember how you disliked doctors, dentists, clowns and photographers.  I remember helping you memorize your Bible verses from your BMA book, even before you could read.  I remember your first piano lessons and the struggles to get you to practice....and then one day it "clicked."  I remember a tearful cry from your bedroom one night.  You were distraught because you weren't sure of your salvation.  "I just went down with the other kids"....and then you got it settled. I remember cheerleading uniforms and practice and then basketball uniforms and practice.  I remember looking in amazement as my shy little girl was so aggressive on the basketball court.  I remember the tears because of hurt feelings and broken relationships at church and school.  I think it was at one of those times that dad and I decided that girls really were more complicated than guys.  I remember watching you blossom into an incredible pianist.  I remember times you dealt with feelings of inadequacy and I would think, "how can this beautiful, talented person feel inadequate?"  I remember Ray, Jessy, Winn, David, Ken and several others whose names I can't remember.  I remember HAC days and many, many tears of homesickness.  I remember our days at Parkview......that was a special time for you and me I thought.  Remember that old red clunker we drove?  I remember when you decided to go to PCC.  I remember how you tried so hard to be supportive of dad   and me when we went to Germany.  I remember it wasn't easy for you being so far from us.   I remember your visits to Germany.  I remember you telling our ladies on your first Christmas visit, "I just had to come and see if dad and mom were really O.K."  That touched me so much. 

I remember the  year you stayed with us in Germany.  I remember the night we took the Oglesbys and a young lieutenant who dad led to the Lord out for Korean food.  I remember the many hours the young lieutenant spent at our home.  I remember you trying to cook him french fries and almost catching the kitchen on fire.  I remember many talks about "is he the right one?"  I remember a trip to the states for an engagement ring.  I remember the incredible shower by the ladies of the church.  I remember bridal books and long distance wedding planning.  I remember the trip back to the states for the wedding.  I remember the Opryland Hotel suite...what fun we had.  I remember how disappointed we were in the job the decorators did at the church.  I remember how difficult it was for us to talk about it, even today.  I remember how beautiful you were on your wedding day.  I remember being so sick for weeks with what we found out to be Cat Scratch Fever and how concerned you were, doing research, calling so many times a week to check on me.  I remember it made me realize how much you love me.  I remember the telephone call, "Guess what?.....I'm pregnant."  I remember the fear for your well being I carried for nine months.  I remember us all being in the hospital room...laughing...talking...joking.  Who would have ever known you were having a baby?  I remember being in the delivery room with you and Mitch thinking what an incredible daughter I have.  This daughter whose pain threshold has always been minus zero was having a baby like it was a piece of cake. I remember many hours on the phone answering questions, trying to help you be a good mommy.  I remember how hard you have tried to be the best mommy.  And you are a fantastic one!  I remember another call, "We're going to have another baby!"  I remember the night you went to the hospital and I knew you were anxious.  I remember holding you in my arms at midnight (what an AWFUL time to go to the hospital)  wishing I could take away your anxiety.  So many remembrances...and yet...my most precious ones are so simple.....a hug....a telephone call....an I love you....A SIMPLE LITTLE NOTE.
Of course all my memories haven't been pleasant ones.   After all we are all human.  But isn't it amazing how God seems to filter out unpleasant memories over time?

JUST A SIMPLE LITTLE NOTE....twelve little words.  What were the twelve little words that caused me to remember..........

I just wanted you to know that I love you.
I love you, too, Dawnie.

Happy Birthday, Mitch ~

The World's Greatest Son-in-Law
 Major Mitch Moss, US Army
Officer Mitch Moss, Chattanooga Police Force
Our son-in-law, Mitch, turns 45 today.  We are so thankful for the good man that God gave our daughter, Dawn,  They met here in Germany the year that Dawn came over to live and work with us and Mitch was a young lieutenant stationed on our military base here in Mannheim.  Tom actually led Mitch to the Lord and they have a very special bond.  Dawn and Mitch basically did all their dating in our living room and at church.  Mitch is a true American hero.  He is a modest, humble man and would never consider himself a hero but we think he is!  He has spent a good portion of his life defending our freedom and protecting his community.  Mitch has spent two tours of duty in Iraq.  One as a single man while on active duty in the army and one as an army reservist called to active duty while married and with children.  He continues to serve as a major in the army reserves.  Also for the past 15 or so years Mitch has served his community in Chattanooga, TN, as a police office.  This is a difficult job without many rewards, but he serves with honor.

Mitch is also an outstanding husband and father.  One of my favorite pictures of Mitch was taken in his police uniform while standing by Haley in the beauty shop getting her hair cut.  He is a total "hands on" dad with all three of our grandchildren.  He loves the Lord and he and Tom love having spiritual discussions about issues and theological subjects.  He is a faithful deacon in his church and just this past week returned from a mission's trip to Honduras.

We love you, Mitch.  Happy birthday!!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Rhein River Baptist Church Votes To Call Their New Pastor ~

On Sunday night, July 15, Rhein River Baptist Church voted to call Walter Clark as their new pastor, effective Monday, July 30 (the day we leave Germany).  Bro. Clark previously served about ten years as an assistant pastor in  German works in  northern Germany.   They actually have a past with Rhein River Baptist Church as he attended RRBC in 1997  when he came to Germany for training with his army reserve unit.  Here we are with the Clark family as we enjoyed a day together in Luisen Park in Mannheim several months ago.  We could not be more thrilled at how God has  been working in this transition.  The Clarks have been with us for almost a year now serving as the director of German ministries. Bro. Clark's wife, Dalene,  is a dedicated Christian lady with many gifts that will compliment his ministry and benefit our people.  They have five sweet children.  We love the Clarks and our people love them, too.  We are so excited about the future of  Rhein River as it transitions to a German/International church under the leadership of Bro. Walter Clark.

The Movers Have Come ~

On Thursday, July 12,  the movers came to pick up our things that we are taking back to America.  We will be sharing the smallest container with another couple of  unknown families or individuals.  We packed 108 medium boxes and three special pieces of furniture.  They will deliver our things to our home outside of Chattanooga in about 4 weeks.  

When God Closes One Door He Always Opens Another ~

It is a wonderful thing to know you are in God's perfect will.  The Bible says in Psalm 37:23,  "The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord:  and he delighteth in his way."  When we are right with the Lord, when our motives are right, when we are listening to Him through His Word, communicating with Him through prayer and have a submissive spirit then we can KNOW He is ordering our steps.  Tom and I are beginning a new journey with the Lord and we KNOW that we are in His perfect will.   After pastoring in the states for over 22 years, in 1992 God called us to take the gospel to our U.S. military  through Rhein River Baptist Church in Mannheim, Germany.   We have never doubted that we were in God's will and He has confirmed that in many, many ways over the twenty years we have been in Germany.  We thought we would surely  be at Rhein River Baptist Church ministering to our U.S. military in Germany until God took us home.  But GOD decided to close our military base and so HE made the decision to leave Germany for us.  We are sad that the base is closing after all these years,  we are sad to leave our precious German/International congregation that is a by- product of our ministry here, but we KNOW that God has called us to serve our U.S. military and we KNOW that while this door is closing God has opened a new door that is going to broaden our ministry to our troops and we couldn't be more excited.  I'll be trying to share our journey in my blog and hope that our friends will pray for us.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Spaghetti Eis ~

One of our favorite desserts in Germany is spaghetti eis.  Most of the guests we have had from America in the twenty years that we have been in Germany have been treated to a bowl of spaghetti eis at a local eis cafe.  We are definitely going to miss our spaghetti eis when we leave Germany.  And I can guarantee that when we come back to Germany for visits one of the first things we will do is have a bowl of spaghetti eis.  Here is a description of this scrumptious treat.  Read it and drool...............

Spaghetti eis (pronounced 'ice') is a German ice cream specialty that looks like a plate of spaghetti.  It was invented by Dario Fontanella in the late 1960s in Mannheim, Germany.  In the dish, vanilla ice cream is pressed through a modified Spatzle press or potato ricer, giving it the appearance of spaghetti.  It is then placed over whipped cream and topped with strawberry sauce (to simulate tomato sauce) and either coconut flakes, grated almonds, or white chocolate shavings to represent the parmesan cheese.  Although it is not well known outside Germany, it can be found at some gelaterias and specialty ice cream parlors, at special events and at some hotels and restaurants around the world.

A Favorite Village ~


Tom and I took some time off today to go strolling through one of our favorite villages in Germany - beautiful and quaint Ladenburg.  We found a quite little area with a wrought iron bench and sat for a while and just reminisced.  We heard the sound of a pipe organ coming from the nearby church of St. Gallus and so we stopped in and listened to the organist practice for a while.  We finished our little visit with a stop at an eis (ice cream) cafe and treated ourselves to spaghetti eis.  Below are a few pictures we took with Tom's phone.

I thought the front of this home was so pretty.
Tom in front of the Kartoffeln Haus where we have eaten
many, many times.
A pretty well near the Kartoffeln Haus
A fountain in the center of the village