Saturday, December 4, 2010

Christmas Cards

We LOVE getting your Christmas cards!  Please send them to:
1801 Cove Rd.
San Angelo, TX 76904

And we can still get cards easily in West Africa like we did before.  The cards mean so much to us.  We love having them to look at throughout the year!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Same but Different by Joel

We ate at Whataburger the other night. Abigail wanted to eat outside, It was a nice evening so we agreed. I must confess, it was the first time I remember eating outside at Whataburger. It reminded me of a similar location in Ghana, Becky's Chop Bar. From Whataburger we could see the road, and also had a view of Community Hospital. From Becky's we also could sit outside with a view of Baptist medical center and the road thru Nalerigu. We could order food at both locations, Whataburger is sandwiched between two gas stations,  Becky's is down the road a ways from a gas station.  So things are pretty much the same, but ... at Becky's , you might could order one or two things but when the food is finished it is finished for the day, at Whataburger, you can keep on getting more food 24/7.  The view of the road at Whataburger shows 4 lanes of nice pavement crowded with SUV's and pickups ( this is Texas). In Nalerigu, the number of goats, pigs and donkeys on the road often times outnumber's the cars. At  Baptist Medical Center, in rainy season, we might have 3 or 4 children die a night from infectious diseases (malaria, meningitis etc), at Community, I doubt if 3 children die from an infectious disease a year. A trip to the gas station gets us gas 24/7 here in San Angelo. In Nalerigu, the gas is often times "finished" and you must return another day. 

Although our circumstances in the US are different from those in Northern Ghana, we have the same Lord, Jesus Christ. For some reason, we in the US have been materially blessed., I guess to be a blessing to those folks in Nalerigu and literally thousands of places like it in need of a touch of His hand. We've been learning a lot about that from reading the book "Radical"

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Ch 4 in Radical by David Platt

Our church is reading the book Radical by David Platt.  I highly recommend it.  On the last page of this chapter, a woman shares why she chose to go to Guatemala for a week to minister to the people there.  Her bottom-line answer was that it wasn't a passion for the Guatemalans or a heart for mission work.  Simply, it was obedience to God.

I can identify with her in many ways.  When Joel and I started praying about whether we were to go to West Africa for mission work, I was praying out of obedience.  I did not know if I wanted to do this and if I truly was called to do this.  We did talk about this even before marriage, but it was a "maybe, in the future" thing.  Joel found a place where a doctor was needed on-line.  We continued to pray over a year or longer.  We finally made plans to visit Ghana.  Our visit went well.  Joel worked in the hospital and Colt and I found things to do ourselves.

We went home and continued to pray.  The hospital there desperately needed help.  We finally believed God had called us to go there for a period of roughly two years.

Our time there was not easy in many ways.  Now, it wasn't what most people who live in 3rd world countries would call "hard."  From their perspective, it was just life.  Actually, compared to the majority of the people where we lived in Nalerigu, we had it so much better because we had three meals a day (though they were a bit sparse at times), a house with running water and electricity, a truck, computers and internet access, just to name a few of the luxuries we had there.  Yes, in that part of the world, those listed items are luxuries.

In the spring, Joel thought it was likely time to leave Ghana before long.  We just needed to hear from the Lord on when.  He was also thinking that we would not go back to the mission field but would stay home in the States after that.  That sure sounded good to me!

Then Joel learned of another opportunity to serve in another country in West Africa (Cameroon).  When he began talking to me about this, at first I was confused and certainly not happy about this change.  We both wanted to hear from the Lord, both wanted God's will.  Neither of us would want to do anything the other did not want to do.  We both believed the Lord would continue to call us as a couple and nothing less.

We spent several months praying and seeking the Lord.  It seemed much time had passed and we still had no answer.  We went to Cameroon as a family for a few days, continuing to seek the Lord.  More time passed and we finally both believed we'd heard from the Lord.  We believed we were to go to Cameroon for Joel to start a Christian OB/Gyn residency program for West Africans.

The easier choice would be to stay in the States-to be around family and long-time friends; to allow our children to experience organized sports, music lessons, American relationships (both with friends and family); to have easy access to a large variety of food that is healthy and easy to prepare; to have the safety and security of knowing you can call "911" in case of any emergency; and to have easy access to spiritual food in the form of Christian radio, Christian books, Bible studies, sermons in English, and well-known Christian friends.

Going back to the last page in Ch. 4 in Radical, it was not a passion for the people of West Africa that birthed this choice in me to live in West Africa.  Until I went to Ghana to visit for 10 days in 2006, I did not know what the living conditions were of the people there.  I did not know how they suffered for a lack of food and other basic living conditions.  Seeing the poverty and great need for myself touched my heart deeply.

While living over there, did my passion greatly increase for the people?  My answer is both "yes" and "no."  I was growing a baby inside me while homeschooling Colt and chasing Abigail while getting food on the table-just living this precious life God has given me.  Did I always appreciate the produce sellers knocking on my door and demanding I buy something from them while my daughter was trying to sleep down the hall?  Not always.  Were there other situations that were frustrating to me while we were there?  Certainly.

But realizing these sweet people were simply trying to get a few carbohydrates in their bodies on a somewhat regular basis was very humbling.  Seeing the hard work so many of these people did daily-with a smile-was humbling.    People desiring to pay back their debts was humbling.  The sweet, kind nature of so many was endearing.

Am I just itching to get back over to West Africa-again, both "yes" and "no."  I will miss the relationships here so much.  It is hard to see the changes our absence has brought to so many relationships.  Life does move on for us all.  Life is also much easier here in a million ways.

But that is the very reason both Joel and I believe we, for this season, are not called back to the United States yet.  Life is easy here for so many.  I realize there is suffering also in the States.  But we believe we are called to a harder life for yet awhile longer so that we can help others both to know Jesus and know what it means to follow Him, as well as to train others to do the same partly through relieving physical suffering.

If you have been called, for any length of time, to minister to those in other countries, don't wait for the "passion" to come.  Obey first and the passion will follow.  Will it be a deep, moving passion that stays with you at all times?  Only God knows.  I know it's not about me and the amount of passion I may or may not have at any given moment.  It's simply about following my Father.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Wow.  It's been too long since we've posted anything. I went to Houston for a few days recently to help Dad and Nancy get Dad settled at home.  Yes, Dad is home and we are all so happy about his progress.  He will start chemo in a few weeks, from the way things look right now.  He is doing much on his own again and is eating lots of good food after so long of not having any.

My mom stayed with us for several days this week.  It was good to get a visit in with her and she enjoyed seeing the kids so much.  She arrived the day we learned of Joel's uncle's death.  Joel's uncle had been diagnosed with skin cancer a year ago and lost his battle to cancer last weekend.  There was a service for him in Abilene.  It was good to see family, though we wish it had been under different circumstances.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

The Hueys

These are our good friends, Jimmy & Sylvia Huey. They are missionaries in Accra, Ghana.  They have such a ministry to so many.  They run the Baptist guest house in Accra. Jimmy is a wonder at the Accra airport.  They help get food and other necessary items both for the hospital and missionaries in Nalerigu.  Sometimes I would send an empty ice chest down to Accra with a medical student or other medical volunteer who was leaving by plane.  Jimmy would make sure it got filled up with frozen chicken breasts and vegetables for us.  Sylvia does a great job with guest house details.  They are wonderful hosts who share themselves with their guests.

The Hueys are from Texas and have served on the mission field full time as career missionaries.  They have been a blessing to us and so many others.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

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July-Our first time back to Cheddar's restaurant in nearly two years.  We love their Cookie Monster dessert!
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Barnabas with Our Kids

Our kids are pictured here with Barnabas.  He helped us with our yard part-time.  He is such a wonderful Christian man with a sweet family of his own.  We miss him and other sweet people who shared their hearts with us while there.
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Dr. Bill Sims; his son, Joshua; & Dr. Jim Adams

Joel went to both college at Baylor University and medical school at Texas Tech with Bill.  He's a general surgeon.  It was great to have he and his son, Joshua, with us in Nalerigu our last days there.  We were also very blessed to have Dr. Jim Adams with us from Canada.  We always appreciate both the fellowship and help at the hospital from volunteers.
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Abigail In Our Yard in Naleirgu-June

June-The Girls in Naleigu

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June-Colt & Benton

Soon Before Benton Left Nalerigu

New Pictures

Hey.  Finally trying to get caught up on photos.  So, keep your eyes open for some dating back to June and moving forward!  We are enjoying our time at home but it is going by way too fast.  Colt starts school on Monday at Cornerstone Christian School. He is also playing flag football with Upwards.  Abigail is doing great.  She'll be three before long.  Annaleigh has been walking on her own for nearly a month now.

Let the photo posting begin!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Great Finds

We've been in our home in San Angelo for  a week now.  It's so nice to be home.  We are leaving the boxes in the garage as I unpack, for the most part.  I only want to bring in what we really need.  It's so nice to have such an uncluttered house!  I've discovered our dishes, pots, pans, silverware, glasses, kitchen utensils, and towels.  The kids are all enjoying playing with the unpacked toys we left here.  The girls like  the baby toys we had for Colt when he was young.  Colt is enjoying some of his legos and lincoln logs we left behind.

Joel found something special in his tool box in the garage-his wedding band!  He lost it just before leaving for Ghana in 2008.  Now he realizes it must have fallen off when he was digging for a tool.  What a nice surprise!

Dear friends put groceries in our kitchen for us before we arrived home.  Several meals have arrived on various nights, as well.  We love our friends and family!

It's been amazing to see all the fresh fruit and vegetables at the store.  We made one shopping trip together at the grocery store-all five of us.  We went through the store in 1 1/2 hours, looking and picking out things we'd not had in 1 1/2 years.  We really are a country with so much.

We enjoyed church on Sunday.  We thought we'd break the girls in slowly to being away from us as they really have never been away from us much at all.  When Abigail saw her class at church, she wanted to stay with the other children and seemed to love every minute of it.  She says, "Mama no stay," for the next time she goes!  So far, so good there!  Annaleigh seemed to enjoy playing with the toys in her room while we were in there, as well.

Colt has enjoyed play time with one friend, Nathan, already, and enjoyed seeing others at church Sunday.  He is loving so many things about being home.  He and Abigail will start swim lessons tomorrow.  They did not get many opportunities to swim in Ghana.

My dad is doing really well.  Physical therapy has him up and walking a bit and also sitting up a lot, leaving his room.  He has also started eating solid foods today.  These are huge steps of progress in his recovery from the surgery he had two months ago now.

I will start posting photos again soon.  I'm still working on getting everything functional here at the house.  We had to have our hard drive replaced recently, so still working on getting things back to normal there.

Just a little about us.  Til next time...

Friday, July 16, 2010


After being in the States for several weeks, we plan to be home in San Angelo in just a few days now.  We are all excited about this.  We will keep you updated on things as we are able.

Dad continues to make slow improvements.  He has been moved to a rehab facility to help him gain his strength back as his wound from surgery continues to heal and as his systems get back in order.

For any of you who have just started checking our blog and would like to see what we have been up to, our old blog address while we were in Ghana is:

I hope to start adding more photos soon.  We are still in such a time of transition right now.

Thanks for your comments!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Well, we've been stateside for awhile now. Joel joined us on Tuesday. Yesterday he took the kids up to Colorado.

Dad is doing ok. He had been so sick with so many complications after the inital surgery. Then he had to have another surgery. He's had problems with infection, breathing, severe nausea, and on and on. He's not on his feet much at all and is still extremely weak. He's not eating any real foods yet. His kidneys have improved a lot and is not connected to nearly as many machines as he was a few weeks ago. We take the small steps of progress in stride.
He's still at Methodist Hospital for now.

We are all adjusting to being back in America. Abigail wonders where home is, where we will live. She doesn't really remember much about our San Angelo house. When we stop at stop lights, she says, "Why Momma stop?" She is used to stopping for a goat or donkey crossing the road, but not a light up in the sky!

Colt is enjoying American food again-strawberries, corn dogs, LETTUCE salad (with ranch dressing, of course), to name a few current favorites.

Annaleigh gets around anyway she can. Then she has times when she wants to be a cuddle bug. I love those times!

Thanks again for your continued prayers for us and for Dad and Nancy. She is looking after him tirelessly. We will keep you posted as we can. So nice to have great internet again now.

Friday, June 18, 2010

New Blog

Our new blog will be under construction for awhile. I should be able to get more done with it once we get back to the States and better internet.

We have been in much prayer trying to determine the Lord's will for when we are to leave Nalerigu and also if we are to go to Cameroon to start an OB/Gyn program for West African trainees. We have also been looking at the schedule of voluneer doctors coming here to Nalerigu in the next few months. It sounded like two different West African surgeons would come here long-term and that still may happen. Not as fast as some of us thought originally, however. It also looked, for awhile, like an American doctor would come this fall for a year. That will not happen now. Joel has been trying to see when there would be the least amount of time without a surgeon here for the people when we leave.

We believe we now have direction. We are coming to the States early in July. We plan to settle into our house again in San Angelo for the majority of the time.

We also both believe we are to go on to Cameroon the end of December. There are so many people in such need all over the world. Joel and I both simply don't believe it's time yet for us to go back to our more convenient life in America. Joel being able to multiply himself, as such, by starting a residency program in West Africa is an incredible opportunity. He would also lead his residents in regular Bible study. We would likely stay f0r around five years, coming home for a couple of months each summer.

The decision/call to go to Cameroon is not an easy one. We are certainly countinng the cost of what we will continue to miss in America. The only thing that really matters to us is the relationships with you all. We cannot tell you how much we have missed you while we have been over here in Ghana. We believe coming home each summer will help. This is not an easy decision in many ways.

Mbingo is in a truly beautiful tropical area in the mountains. Their rainy season is about eight months long. The temperatures are generally not nearly as high here in Nalerigu. We would enjoy going on hikes together.

Thanks again to those who have been praying for my dad. He is recovering well from his pancreatic cancer surgery. When he has recovered fully he will start chemo.

We wanted to let you know how we are being led and about the plans we are making. Thank you for your continued love, support, and prayers. We look forward to seeing you all very soon.