Wednesday, June 1, 2011

HA Chronicle #4 - Our First and Only District Tour for 2011

Usually we have about 3 or 4 district tours during our home assignments, but this time we only have one.  We were scheduled to speak on the Pittsburgh District for seven days (twice on Sundays and every night of the week), April 10-17.  We had spoken on this district several furloughs ago, so we were excited about returning.  Jean Brake has been the district NMI deputation coordinator for many years and she does a great job!  Jean and her husband, Frank, invited us to stay at their lovely home near Confluence for the first 3 days of the tour.  One of the days they took us around to see some of the interesting sites:

the place where the UA flight #93 crashed on September 11, 2001,

and Fort Necessity in Maryland constructed by George Washington before he was president.

We enjoyed all the people that we met and enjoyed some fabulous potluck dinners too.  One of the churches had their children present a special bell choir.  Sylvia thought this would be a great idea for the kids in Vanuatu!
We are always delighted to be able to spend some time with missionary friends as we are traveling.  We were pleased to stay in Dale and Pat Stotler's home who were missionaries in Lesotho.  We also enjoyed lunch with our PNG missionary colleague, Carolyn Myatt.
This was a wonderful beginning for the next 3 months of speaking across America! 

HA Chronicle #3 - The Long-Awaited Meeting

While Sylvia (Abu) was enjoying the conference, David continued driving toward Buffalo, with an ETA of Monday, April 4th.  She had some fears that Dora and Sylvia might be afraid of her since they had only known her via a computer screen.  The first morning after Abu's arrival in Buffalo, the girls met the 3 dimensional version somewhat cautiously.  The road-weary Grandpa arrived later in the afternoon.  It seemed from their quick acceptance of Grandpa that Dora and Sylvia liked him best, but with some patience on Abu's part, both girls have come to offer their love and attention equally to both of the adoring grandparents.  April 9th rolled around all to quickly and we bid farewell to drive to our first district tour in Pittsburgh District.  We are so blessed to have had these days to get acquainted!  It is very gratifying to hold these dear girls in our arms again,
reading stories,
taking walks,
and stacking blocks...
after months of aching to do all those things but needing to be content to only know them through Skype and Facebook.

HA Chronicle #2 - The WHWC Conference

Sylvia had been looking forward to this conference for at least 6 months.  The North Central Ohio District granted her a district preacher's license for the first time in 2009.  Our DS, Rev. Steve Ward, and others have encouraged her to pursue ordination, so she is completing the required pastoral training courses through Nazarene Bible College's online program.  The Wesleyan Holiness Women's Clergy  Conference would be an opportunity for her to meet with other women who are also following God's call to be a minister of the Gospel.  Her prayer partner Mary Beth, joined her for these days of challenge and encouragement.  She was able to attend several workshops by her professor from NNU days, Dr. Diane LeClerc, and received some very helpful advice about preaching.

Some of her favorite memories from the conference were: lovely tulips in front of the hotel on her arrival and the lovely "warm" spring weather; the beautifully enacted, historical vignettes of significant women in the history of the holiness movement; uniting of the various holiness denominations in worship and fellowship; and the sometimes unexpected, but very delightful meetings with old friends and new from all around the world.