Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Where is Jolene?

Brianna, my 3 1/2 year old, walking through a mall with her "Mimi"

For a quick answer, we are in a hotel in St. Louis, Missouri, on our way to Lawrence, Kansas. The kids are playing, David is watching basketball, and I am enjoying our second time to have internet access since we have been back in America.

My heart is very full of blessings. On Saturday I celebrated my 32nd birthday with my little family and dear mother-in-law. Loving family and friends flew Mom from Mexico to be with me so that the two of us could enjoy a Ladies' Conference together. We were both blessed to have our hearts refreshed and spend special time fellowshipping and catching up. She has returned to Mexico, and we will be joining her there in about 3 weeks, for her annual Ladies' Banquet, where my hubby will be the special speaker. Thank you, my sweet David, for making this birthday such an unforgettable, special treat!

My other birthday gifts included money to buy books and CDs from the church bookstore as well as $100 from a Spanish pastor and his wife who also took us out to eat. I used the money to buy myself a new camera since my other one has been steadily losing quality and life. Thank you, dear friends, for blessing me this way! I know that you, my blog friends, will enjoy the pictures I am able to share here in the future.

I am now 6 months pregnant and certainly "showing" now. And the beautiful name we have chosen for our 3rd son is Micah James. Ahhh, I love it!

I do not know when you will hear from me again. My "Missionary Mondays," posts, and personal e-mails will be "randomly rare" over the next 5 months, but I know you understand. Please keep us in your prayers as we steadily travel, visiting supporting churches to report on our ministry. David has preached 16-17 times already in the three weeks we have been back, and I have even taught a couple of times and given my testimony on a few occasions. We are certainly staying busy! Unless Micah James decides to make plans of his own, we will be traveling until his arrival, at which time we will settle down in Decatur, Texas, for a couple of weeks.

And, to you new readers who found my blog address on the back of our prayer card, WELCOME! It is an exciting journey when you are serving the Lord!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Missionary Monday - Safely on Shore

My three young 'uns, in our Ukrainian village, just a week before our departure to America

After 5 flights, one day of non-stop driving for 12 hours, and other go-get-'em days, I have finally found a minute to let you know we safely landed in America. Thank you to all of you who wrote to let me know you were praying. I am overwhelmed at the thought of how many of you there are that read this blog and have written to let me know you are out there praying!

After two years of being away from America, let me tell ya... we are going through culture shock in our own land. I expected it from the kids, but even I myself am feeling a little like a stranger in my home country. It is hitting me that I really don't belong anywhere. I'll never be 100% Ukrainian. But the more I try to fit in there, the more I lose of my own "identity" here.

I look forward to sharing more with you later about some of the things that we are re-adjusting to. Just know, though, that some of those adjustments have certainly been very pleasant... like Wal-Mart, Starbucks, Wal-Mart, Target, and, oh yes... did I mention Wal-Mart?!

Because of all of the traveling and time changes, David's and my immune systems have faltered. Even though the kids are tired and have missed way too many naps, they are doing fabulous.

There is so, so much to share. But for now, I need to get this pregnant lady (whose tummy has doubled in size this week... could it be the yummy food?!) to bed.

So, good night, dear friends... from your misplaced missionary friend who will be sleeping soundly tonight in the gorgeous state of Kentucky. ZZZZZZzzzzzz.....

Monday, October 4, 2010

Missionary Monday - Leaving Ukraine

... but not for good.
Tomorrow we leave for our 5-month "furlough" to America. We laugh at the word "furlough" because we really are NOT going back to relax from the ministry!

It will take us 5 flights to reach our final destination in Kansas City. From there we will have another hour to travel to pick up our van that we are renting from a Missionary Transportation Service. No worries, though... we will be staying in a hotel 1 1/2 nights in New York, after the third flight. With three kids and one on the way, we will need that break from traveling, I'm sure. And my sweet hubby was smart enough and so thoughtful to think about that!

When we arrived home from church last night we had an "alert" in our inbox. There is some type of undisclosed terrorist threat in Europe, and all Americans are being cautioned. That is all we know, but we are trusting God to keep us safe and keep our flights on track.

We will be flying from here to the capital city, Kiev. From Kiev to London. London to New York. New York to Atlanta. Atlanta to Kansas City.

Suitcases are packed. Prayer cards printed. Display table prepared. Video presentation finished. Schedule filled. Just need a good night of rest before we leave our house at 6am tomorrow morning.

Please keep this missionary family in your prayers, especially over the next couple of days!