Sunday, September 11, 2011

We do remember...we will never forget!

As we get ready for church this morning, we are discussing the fact that it is 911. We reflected on where we were 10 years ago and what we have done in those 10 years. 911 is my generations "JFK assassination." Everyone remembers where they were and what they were doing.

10 years ago, we were waiting to meet our movers as we were settling into our home in Colorado Springs. 10 years ago, we sent our new middle schooler off to 6th grade at Challenger Middle School. 10 years ago, we were excited to see what doors God would open up for us in ministry as we began to look for a new church community.

As we were sitting in our driveway, waiting for our movers, we were listening to the radio. The unthinkable occurred....a second plane had hit the World Trade center. WHAT?! We didn't even know there was a first; was this a joke? Throughout the day, with no TV, we listened to a portable radio that one of our movers had. We listened to updates on the pentagon, New York City, Flight 93. We listened to local reports that our bases were being locked down. We were in a daze! What was going on, America was being attacked. Lord, protect our country was our cry!

As the years went by, we all returned to our "normal" lives. Katie continued in school, we continued to work and serve our church. We spent time with family, enjoyed wonderful vacations, life went back to "normal". But, just like every tragic event -- there is always an anniversary.

Now, here we are 10 years later: 9-11-11. Katie is no longer a cute 6th grader, but a senior at University of Northern Colorado. We are no longer living in our nice home in Colorado Springs, but in a ministry home in Kaiserslautern, Germany. We no longer minister to 20 somethings that are just getting ready to start their lives after college; but we minister to the US military as they continue to protect our borders and our freedom.

We are proud to be Americans. We are proud to see how our country has handled this act of war -- it has been a testament of our people's character and resolve. We are proud to be serving God and our country in a very unique way as we open our home to servicemen and women and their families. Despite the fact that our enemy meant harm to us as a nation, we have persevered. God is still in control, He still reigns and He continues to have a plan for the American people.

Pause today and pray for those people who lost loved ones 10 years ago. Pause today and thank God for our freedom. Pause today and pray for the men and women who are currently serving in the military and a special prayer for those who are in Iraq and Afghanistan. Pause today and remember.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

What do you do?

We get asked this question alot: What do you do? We explain to folks that we are military missionaries. We provide a home away from home to military personnel and their families, lead Bible studies in our home, meet one-on-one with people, basically, we just do life with folks, and pray that our lives glorify God in the process. After we answer, people look at us very strangely.

The next question, as they wrestle with trying to understand what we do, comes quickly. What does a typical day look like for you? Boy, that's quite a different question. It's different because it's not easy to answer. Lou was home in Colorado this summer for a family celebration and he was asked this question a lot. So, we have been pondering a good response.

The bottom line....we don't have a typical day. We study for four ministry nights. We study for our discipleship and mentoring relationships. We maintain a home that averages 100 people a week through its doors. We cook meals for our ministry nights. We have commitments for the military chapel that are part of our weekly tasks. To facilitate getting to know people better, we lead off-base excursions. It's amazing what you can learn about someone on a 2 hour car ride to see a church in a cute German town.

We then move into the non-recurring type of activities. Things that just crop up. Sometimes, they are major things -- like our basement flooding or rushing to the hospital to be with someone after their child has attempted suicide.

Two weeks ago was a perfect example. We got home from our vacation to learn that there was a going-away ice cream party for one of our guys who was deploying - THAT NIGHT! We spent some time eating ice cream and hanging out with Chris.

We woke up the next morning to have an email waiting for us from an old co-worker. Her son-in-law had been injured in Afghanistan and was at Landstuhl. We were able to visit him and meet with him a few times that week before he was sent back to the States.

We capped the week spending some time with some friends who were having some struggles.

We experience many joys, lots of laughter and some sorrows in our job. But, it is different every week, every day. We are so grateful for the opportunity do serve our U.S. military and the Lord. It is an honor and a priviledge. All we know is our lives are fun and fulfilled and NEVER DULL!