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December 2012 Update: Blessed Christmas Greetings!
I hope you are able to enjoy the season and not just rushing around!
My festive Christmas activities:
Serving again at Operation Christmas Child, JAARS goes yearly. Job this year was to load at least 15 shoe boxes into the shipping box. It can be a challenge with all the different sized boxes including boot sized. It's like a big puzzle.
Helping represent JAARS in the Waxhaw Christmas Parade where we once again won the Best Themed Presentation. The wagon pictured was restored by my interim boss, from the 1800's and those were the authentic colors. So, borrowing a John Deere tractor was a perfect match! Our only problem was getting the parking brake off and a Waxhaw fireman who knew the tractor's quirks, kicked it off and we happily took off. Interesting fact: The Waxhaw parades always have more entries than Charlotte parades.
Was interviewed by Alex and Kelly during the Metrolina Christian Academy's Christmas Party. The 5th graders come out yearly, put on program, decorate the tables with things for us to take home and bake lots of cookies that we enjoy while they interview us about missionary life.
Decorated and hosted a table with a Swedish Christmas village scene for the staff Christmas party last Friday night.
Laura and I managed to go back through all my paper files over the years and purge what was no longer needed. We also have been going through old files and particularly PowerPoint's on my computer as it costs server time to backup all these mega files from past Check-IT-Out's. I usually have up to 20 presentations for each conference on my computer and we have had 20 conferences. :-)
I've been contacting the university professors to speak in classrooms, where I will be for mission conferences in January and February. First up is Cedarville University in Ohio, January 7-10, 2013.
Starting to get more publicity and planning done for the March Check-IT-Out here at JAARS.
Years ago, a company gave us their old trade show exhibit and it was never really looked at. After I put some parts of it together we realized it can be used on JAARS Days and help us have a professional looking information booth!
Tuesday morning I leave for California, this time getting a cheaper flight into Sacramento instead of San Francisco. It's been 20 years or more since I have flown in to there and even being in the Sacramento Valley. It was a regular route when I went to Chico State University. Note Chico's in the top middle of the picture. Please pray as I leave home no later than 3:45 AM to get to the Charlotte airport, park, shuttle bus, check in, security, layover in Atlanta, then picking up the rental car and driving for less than four hours to Fort Bragg, after changing three time zones. It always takes a bit to get used to the rental car and back in the groove of driving curvy two-way roads when tired.
In Papua New Guinea, pray for Zacchaeus Oraro and Marilyn Kaji (a former Check-IT-Out Seattle attendee, now Wycliffe missionary) as they carry out recording Bible stories that people from the Oro and Milne Bay Province language communities crafted during their training in the Oral Bible Story telling courses over the past three years. Ask the Lord to give them strength. Pray too, that the recording equipment is protected and functions well during these recording sessions.
I know some of you send special gifts at Christmas, and I want to alert you that postal theft in NC is occurring again and I had a Christmas card with cash obviously opened (torn for peek, then slit on all four sides and it came as two pieces of envelope and the card) taken last week. I reported it to the Postal Inspector and warned fellow staff and others had suspicious mail too and are questioning their well wishers. Interestingly, the Postal Inspector doesn't investigate until a pattern is shown in an area. :-(
Thank you so much for your prayers and giving! May your Christmas be a blessing and have a wonderful New Year!
In His Joy,