Thursday, March 29, 2012

Together again!

Those of you who follow my blog might have noticed that I haven't been blogging the last couple weeks. Instead, I've enjoyed some special time with extended family back in the US.

And now, for the first time since Christmas, our family is all together again. It's a huge blessing to have Gabe back to us from boarding school. For the next couple weeks, we will be visiting friends and family and simply enjoy this time together.

We're also looking forward to celebrating Scott's parents' 50th anniversary this week, the main reason that we are back for this trip.

I probably won't post until I get home, but wanted to share this latest photo of our family.

Be a blessing today!


Sunday, March 11, 2012

The long way home. . .

We spent the last three--long--days traveling. Five countries, four border crossings, and more security checks than I care to remember. Since we used frequent flyer points to return, we didn't have a lot of choice as to the route and ended up driving to Joburg, then catching flights to Frankfurt, Brussels, Chicago, then a last flight to see family. As crazy as that seems, it's amazing to me that I can travel halfway around the world in just a couple days.

While part of me feels like I've stepped into a completely different world (and really I have) I can't wait to spend time with family, friends, sponsoring churches, doing some shopping, and eating Mexican food.

Here are a few things that always stand out to me:

*Driving on the right side of the road. (It still scares me sometimes)

*The huge drop in temperature. (After a Mozambique summer, it is cold here!)

*Pumping your own gas.

*Swiping your credit card instead of giving it to the clerk.

*The vast selection of everything from hair spray to yogurt to cereal.

*Gas prices. (South Africa is about $6 a gallon right now)

*Central heat/air and closed windows

*The fact that I can fix my glasses, computer, eat lunch, and buy new shoes by simply driving down the road.

On another note, if you have an ebook reader and haven't read Adam's Bride, one of my earlier romance novels, it's now on sale at Amazon during the month of March for only $1.99!

Be blessed,


Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Change for Children Challenge!

First, let me thank all of you who took the time to leave a comment on my Skype Interview with Kathi Macias. Congratulations to Judy who won a copy of Kathi's latest book, Special Delivery!

For those of you who have been following my blog, you probably know about The ECHO Project, a non-profit we set up to help with all the physical needs of those we work with here in Mozambique. God has been so good, and honestly, we have been able to do more than I ever imagined in the last year. You can visit our website to see what God has been doing including building homes for the homeless, giving out school supplies, vitamins, food packets, small business loans (including financial training) dental care, school uniforms for orphans, and more.

One of the things that has worked very well as a fundraiser is to have children's classes and youth groups collect change for us. To help with this, we have put together ten short (2-3 minutes each) fun videos that show life in Africa.

Your part would be so simple and yet so vital for this ministry!

1. Share the 10 short videos on "Life in Africa" to your children or youth classes over a period of 6-10 weeks.

2. Have the children collect change during this time. (Make it a competition to see what age group can bring in the most!)

3. Turn in the collected change to The ECHO Project and impact the lives of children here in Africa.

That's it!

If you are a children's leader or teacher or if you know one who might be interested, would you please drop me an email? You can learn more about the videos here, including samples of what we are offering.

My goal is to get at least twenty children's classes/churches involved with this project this year. You really can make a huge difference by collecting Change for Children!

Below is a video of what we were able to do with money the kids from the Fellowship @ Cinco Ranch raised last summer.



Friday, March 02, 2012

A tribute to 50 years of marriage!

For the past several years, we've been collecting frequent flyer points in order to return to the States to celebrate with my in-laws their 50th anniversary this month, and the time is finally here! It has been such a blessing and honor for me to have been a part of their lives over the past twenty-four years, and I am grateful for the strong spiritual example that they have shown me through their lives.

It's been fun for me to look back over so many memories we have shared together: Motorcycle trips, Disney World, long evenings playing Mexican train, dinner along San Antonio's river walk, Brazil's Hippie Fair, and their visit to Africa in 2006. They've also helped me personally in so many ways like keeping up with my book inventory, record keeping, and making it possible for me to have book giveaways. For all of this, I am so thankful!

I'm leaving next week with my two youngest in order to spend some time with my family, then will join up with Scott and Gabe to celebrate Sandy and Farrel's fifty years of marriage on March 30th. In the meantime, I thought you might like this short tribute put together by my brother and sister-in-law.