Saturday, December 21, 2019

2019 Christmas Letter


Merry Christmas to all our family and friends!

Our 2019 has been an wonderful year of recovery after last year, which had included Dan’s quad
bypass and rehab, then the sarcoma (cancer) on his arm with preventive radiation, as well as my
cataract surgery and torn meniscus repair. Medically, this year has included multiple follow-up
doctor visits, my bunion surgery in August (well-healed now) and I’ll have a laser “touch-up” on my
cataracts yet in December.

In April we drove out to North Carolina by way of the ridge drives
along the full length of the Blue Ridge Mountains, including a couple of national parks and a great B&B. We made an interesting discovery along the way. The purpose of the trip was for Darin’s 40th birthday. Darin is still happiest rebuilding motorcycles and autos in his free time as he now has an indoor manufacturing job to fund his “toys.” We saw Derick too, along with his girlfriend Nicole. Derick continues to keep busy in the rope access and safety industry.

We enjoyed planting and harvesting our vegetable garden this summer AND we had a bumper crop of thornless blackberries with lots of recipe experimentation – blackberry bread, cobbler, jam, chocolate-chip-blackberry ice cream... you get the picture! 

We’ve taken on more responsibilities at church besides singing on the worship team and my producing the weekly bulletin (no matter where we are) - Dan’s on the church board and teaches Sunday school. I’ve also picked up the bookkeeping duties temporarily. I’m on the planning team for ladies’ events; we had a Christmas craft night in December and will enjoy a ladies’ tea in January. We participate in the Wednesday night meals and ministry to church-neighborhood youth and kids; also on the “care” team, visiting with and praying for those in our small congregation with special needs.

It was nice, if strange, to be home for so long (18 months) before Dan went on a tech-team mission trip to the Dominican Republic the end of October. The project was to install WiFi at a Bible college there. He was only home 1 full day before we returned to Germany. Late in the summer we’d been invited to participate in a Nazarene Eurasia regional conference (and we insisted that we’d help, not just attend) so I was drafted to help with the database of participants for several weeks prior, coordinating attendees in hotel rooms along with their designated roommates/families. I worked with over 530 people’s records into 270 rooms! Dan was tapped to help with IT and AV needs in the workshops, of course. So we flew to Germany on Nov. 8 (hoping to get a jump on the jet lag) for a few days; then to Kyrenia, Cyprus, for 9 days for the conference!

It was a great time — and warm — as we met/reconnected with so many lovely people from Europe and British Isles, India, the Middle East, Russia and Eastern Europe, besides the American missionaries (many of which we’d already known). I was selfishly really glad to wear sandals again and take a dip in the Mediterranean too! Afterwards, we were able to stay in our usual guest apartment near the regional office in Büsingen to help out a few more days before flying home just in time for Thanksgiving!

While we were away, Erica had gone to our house to move our frozen turkey to the fridge to thaw so we could host the family meal. We had 8 around the table this year - Monica and Dylan (he’s had a difficult couple of years, now a senior), Caitlyn and her boyfriend John, Erica and her boyfriend Mike. Everyone volunteered to bring sides and desserts to go along with the turkey, so I didn’t have to do much besides cook the turkey; we didn’t even have much trouble staying awake!

You’ve probably heard about St. Louis’ high crime rate and we’ve finally been touched by it — Monica was car-jacked in the city early in November. She wasn’t hurt and her undamaged car was found and returned to her the next day. Also she only had to replace 1 credit card. God clearly had his hand on her but she was still badly shaken. So awful that she had to go through that! She’s grateful though, since it turned out better than anyone could have hoped. She also chaired the parent group of volunteers for this year’s madrigal dinner at the high school. We enjoyed the event once again; we’ve attended since Caitlyn was in the concert choir and now it’s Dylan’s last year.

Erica has returned to her previous job as food service purchaser at a 500-resident retirement village where she also gets to cook occasionally. Adam continues to live and work in the Peoria area.

Our family continues to grow in so many ways. We’re looking forward to seeing Marcy and her family in the fall of 2020. Megan is now married and has 2 step-daughters; the wedding reception will be in October. Morgan is an RN working in Boston and Tucker is a junior in high school. Derick’s daughter, Tessie, who lives in Pennsylvania, is due to give birth to her 3rd child (our first great-grandson) in January. We hope to see them as we travel out East also. By the end of that trip – counting the 2 that live near us, we may actually get to be with all our 6 grandkids and 5 great-grandkids. Impossible! We are not that old… ;-}

Anyway, Dan and I are back at the Y 4 mornings each week. I’m still knitting, reading, and loving to cook while Dan deals with local and global missionary tech help requests as needed.
God is good and we are blessed in so many ways including family and friends like you. We pray that you too will enjoy His Blessings in the coming new year.

Monday, December 31, 2018

2018 Christmas Letter


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It’s been a very different year for us. Dan says his denial of the aging process has been challenged (but not broken). We’re grateful to have this one behind us and are looking forward to 2019!

January: Before heading out for almost 3 months in Germany Janet was able to gain some much needed cataract surgery to clear her vision.  It was mostly successful and we were on our way.

February-April: – Back to the Eurasia Regional Office for 10 weeks of work in Germany

May 1 - When we got to the Zurich airport to return home, Dan felt tightness in his chest while heaving suitcases. He didn’t mention it until a few days later when the pressure kept increasing at home, even though it would subside every time he relaxed for a while. After a few days of this, we started out on a walk in the neighborhood; we got only 3 houses away, and Dan’s smart watch told him that his pulse was over 140! SO, we saw our Dr who ordered blood work. The lab results came back the next day (May 9); we were directed to go to an ER as soon as possible! By the 14th, Dan underwent quadruple bypass surgery! The coronary artery blockages are hereditary; his overall health remains excellent. We’re just really grateful that he had warning signs!

June through August were full of Dan’s 3x/week cardiac physical rehab sessions, gardening, projects in the house and yard, trees and gardens. We returned to the Y several days a week for a couple of weeks….

But, Dan has had a lump on his upper right arm that has been growing over the last year, so he asked our family doctor to refer him to someone to remove it. In September, a general surgeon removed the (usually benign) fatty tumor from his upper right arm and was surprised when the lab reported it contained sarcoma cells (cancer). With the advise of a cancer specialist it took 2 more surgeries on the area to eliminate all physical evidence of the nasty critters.

October – In the meantime (you’d think I was jealous of all the attention on Dan), as I walked out the front sidewalk to get the mail, I felt my right knee *POP* painfully on the inside and I couldn’t put any weight on it, barely returning to the house. That evening, at the ER, I got X-rays and my leg was "immobilized" with a brace. The next morning, Dan went out and got me some crutches even before he made breakfast for me! The next Tuesday (same day as Dan’s #3 arm surgery), Erica spent her day off driving us around and Monica brought over 2 casseroles to last all week. The MRI showed a meniscus tear and my knee arthroscopy (3 small holes and lots of scraping inside) was on Oct. 26. It’s going to take a few months to heal but there’s progress each week!

We had planned to drive to Massachusetts to celebrate 2 granddaughters’ graduations (one with a BS in Nursing, one with an MS in social work/counseling) at the end of May, but that didn’t happen with Dan’s rehab schedule. We even missed the local granddaughter Caitlyn’s high school graduation, but we were able to watch it online while Dan was in the hospital. When we tried to reschedule a driving-to-the-East-Coast vacation for September, my knee problem surfaced!

Now, end of December, Dan is nearly finished with 30 daily, preventive, radiation treatments on his right arm and we’re SO ready for this medical stuff to be over! Hope it’s confined to 2018!

We’ve been back at the Y since early November and have stayed active at church. Looking forward to returning to the Eurasia Regional Office some time in 2019.

This certainly has not been the year we had planned by God has been faithful. In the midst of what could have been troubling physical challenges there has been a peace and as we look back and tell the story, we see his loving hand guiding in numerous ways. We pray that our friends and family also will seek and experience the same blessings.

We love hearing from you, especially at this time of year! Please let us hear what’s keeping your life busy and fulfilling! We wish you the best that God has for you in 2019!

Friday, December 22, 2017

2017 Christmas letter

Merry Christmas! We’re SO blessed to be home to spend the holidays with family again this year!  Every year, God continues to lead us to a variety of places to serve.
Home for the first 8 months of 2017, we returned to group classes at our local YMCA (sore muscles!), planted our vegetable garden, got more involved at church, and got some projects done at home. In April, we took a road trip to visit Dan’s cousins in Louisiana, to shop at Magnolia in Waco (TX), and to see Pioneer Woman’s Mercantile in Pawhuska, OK. In September, we took a 10-week volunteer assignment in our denominations Eurasia Regional Office in Büsingen, Germany.  That resulted in our being asked to join that team in a longer-term commitment on a 3-months-in-country, 3-months-at-home schedule for 2018 and maybe 2019. (See the previous post for details) Home for now, we are certainly looking forward to Christmas at home with our local family and friends.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Eurasia 2017

10/16/17 Five weeks into our 10-week assignment! We’re enjoying our jobs, keeping busy, and are very comfortable in our nice apartment in the “Pink Palace” in the charming 1500-resident village of Büsingen, Germany, on the Rhine River!

We’re here to work, even though it’s not what we’re posting on Facebook since photos of us at computers isn’t nearly as interesting. Except for one, the missionary staff is completely different from our last time here. The local staff people are the same. Dan has a long list of IT related tasks; addressing needs, investigating ‘things’ that don’t work, upgrades and improvement even before people bring him their laptops with questions.

So far, I’ve worked with the regional personnel coordinator, emailed the regional missionaries and updated spreadsheets with their current information, helped the finance guys with a couple of small projects, and inventoried the storage area (next, reorganizing and labeling!). I enjoy all the projects I get, usually connecting with lots of people and doing things I enjoy!

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

2016 Christmas Letter

To all our dear Family and Friends,
Merry Christmas! We’re SO blessed to be home to spend the holidays with family again this year!  Every year, God leads us to a different situation to be used. Last year at this time, we had just returned from 2 months in the Philippines serving in what was initially to be a short assignment on the campus of Asia-Pacific Nazarene Theological Seminary! 
In January, we returned to Manila and to the jobs we had been filling on an interim basis – Dan led the regions IT team, while Janet handled the role of Philippine Micronesia Field Treasurer.  Three months turned into 4 as we agreed to serve in these transitional roles through the year. We returned home to the States in early May, travelling to Marcy’s home a couple of weeks later to visit and to attend Megan’s graduation from the University of Rhode Island. On our drive home, we were thrilled to get to meet our granddaughter Tessie in Pennsylvania and her 2-year-old daughter Tatum! The rest of the summer went by too quickly as we returned again to Manila in August for 4 more months.  For our 20th anniversary, we took a special side trip to Okinawa for a week in September. (Dan had served there as a Marine 47 years ago.)
These were truly the most challenging assignments we’ve ever tackled! God sustained and guided us through as always. We left behind many great Filipino friendships that will continue on Facebook, as well as friendships with a special group of Chinese students and the U.S. and Canadian missionaries we served with there!     
Home now, we’ve started going back to group classes at our local YMCA (sore muscles!) and are really feeling the cold weather after being accustomed to temperatures in the 80s and 90s! One Sunday morning, we cheered Erica on as she ran her first 15K and, that afternoon, we enjoyed Caitlyn’s high school choir’s madrigal dinner! We are certainly looking forward to Christmas at home with Monica, Caitlyn, Dylan, and Erica.
Family news…
Marcy is a local police officer in Fairhaven, MA. Husband John is still with Samsonite (we benefit from his samples!). Megan is in grad school at Simmons College in Boston, working on a masters program in social work. Morgan is a junior at Curry College near Boston, majoring in Nursing. Tucker is an 8th grader enjoying life with both sisters away at school.
Monica is still enjoying her CPA job in Belleville at a local hospital, although she may relocate to a different office in the City in January. Dylan is a freshman and Caitlyn is a junior at Belleville East High School. Monica has spent lots of time training and ran a marathon this fall. Dylan is on the high school cross-country team. We love attending Caitlyn’s choir concerts and Monica’s church choir Christmas concert.
Derick and Nola live in New Jersey so Derick can work on the outsides of the skyscrapers in New York City, living his dream of “Life on a Rope” as a top-level-certified rope access technician. Nola continues to enjoy her work as a nanny for a local family. They are taking every opportunity to visit and grow in their relationship with Derick’s daughter Tessie, who lives in Pennsylvania, and her daughter Tatum, as they learn to be grandparents.
Darin still lives in Raleigh, NC, where he works to fund his passion for building custom motorcycles in his off-hours.
Adam does computer work. He and fiancée Dana Anderson (she works for Caterpillar) live in Peoria, IL.
Erica is enjoying her management position as purchaser at the Lutheran Senior Services facility where she still sometimes cooks. She moved to a cute apartment in St. Louis with her cats last year. When she’s not working, she’s been running in the large park across the street or going to St. Louis Blues hockey matches. Thankfully, she still enjoys spending time with her mom shopping or cooking.
God continues to provide rich experiences and wonderful people to work with in our retirement from paid careers. Along this pathway, there are a couple of important things we continue to learn (or relearn):
-  The special, never-ending value of family and friends like you. We are so blessed with your ongoing friendship, prayers, and support as we follow His leading. We so appreciate being able to keep in touch electronically when we can’t be with you in person!
-  “God’s Retirement Plan” is WAY better than any we might have ever dreamed of! He is keeping us active, useful, challenged, excited, and growing (see Romans 8:14-15 in The Message).
Our only plans for 2017 so far are to help with the global conventions before Nazarene General Assembly in June! We’re hoping to plant our own vegetable garden in the spring and settle into the community for a while!
May your Christmas season be blessed and your New Year filled with joy!

Dan & Janet Reinhart         
835 Autumn Rise Lane, Columbia, IL 62236       home: 618-722-5114
Reinhart47@aol.com - cell: 314-484-1898       JanetM52@aol.com - cell: 314-484-1906

Friday, December 18, 2015

2015 - Christmas Letter

December 2015
To all our dear Family and Friends,

Merry Christmas! We’re SO blessed to be home to spend the holidays with family again this year! Every year, God leads us to a different situation in which to serve. Early this year, we spent 3 months at the Nazarene Eurasia Regional Office and now we have just returned from 2 months in the Philippines!

In Europe, Dan assisted Brad Firestone with IT projects including a quick trip to South Africa, while Janet helped with digitizing publications to upload into the Wesleyan Holiness Digital Library. The snow was gorgeous, just like a Christmas card! We had the opportunity to visit Berlin, Germany – SO much history! We also got to spend a long weekend in Rotterdam with Erik and Petra Groeneveld, native Dutch friends who we met in 2014 in Australia!

We returned to the States in early April and thoroughly enjoyed almost 6 months at home! We joined the Y, used the local library, planted and harvested our vegetable garden, and sang in our local church choir. Dan got to ride his motorcycle, installed a “French drain” in the back yard and added some landscape edging around the house.

During that time, we became aware of needs matching our skills in the Asia-Pacific region so, in October and November; we served in Manila on the campus of Asia-Pacific Nazarene Theological Seminary (APNTS). We renewed friendships and made some awesome new friends among the
nationals, students and missionaries there. While we were there, the WMC (Nazarene World Missions Communications) office on campus wrote an article about us! Here is the link to it: The Reinharts and their call to missions.

Home now for the holidays, we’re even (almost) enjoying the cold weather since leaving the warmth of Manila. Christmas will be special this year when we travel to Massachusetts to be with Marcy & John and family and Derick & Nola! We’ll celebrate with Erica and Monica on another day and with Darin by Skype.

Family news…

Marcy is a local police officer in Fairhaven, MA. Husband John is still with Samsonite (we still benefit from his samples!). Megan is a senior RA at University of Rhode Island, studying Human Development and Family studies with a Psych minor, and she’s applying for masters programs in social work. Morgan is a sophomore at Curry College near Boston, majoring in Nursing. Both girls work at a local seafood restaurant when they’re at home! Tucker is an 8th grader enjoying life with both sisters away at school.

Monica is still enjoying her CPA job in Belleville at a local hospital. Dylan is an 8th grader at Zion Lutheran School (he was so good as one of the leads in the school Christmas play!) and Caitlyn is a sophomore at Belleville East High School. We have enjoyed seeing her in a holiday madrigal dinner and their Christmas choral concert! Monica’s choir concert is this weekend.

Both of our 8th grade grandsons have grown A LOT this past year in both height and maturity.

Derick and Nola live in New Jersey so Derick can work on the outsides of the skyscrapers in New York City, living his dream of “Life on a Rope” as a top-level-certified rope access technician. Nola continues enjoying her work as a nanny for a local family. They both also have been enjoying opportunities to visit and grow in their relationship with Derick’s adult daughter Tessie, who lives in Pennsylvania, with her daughter Tatum. So now he is getting used to being a Grandpa…

Darin still lives in Raleigh, NC, where he has just taken a new job installing security systems in businesses, while building custom motorcycles in his off-hours.

Adam does computer work. His and fiancée Dana’s home in Washington, IL, was destroyed in a tornado in October 2013, but they were not injured, and have a new home in Peoria, IL.

Erica is enjoying her management position as purchaser at the Lutheran Senior Services facility where she still sometimes cooks. She’s moved to a cute apartment in St. Louis with her cats this year. Her boyfriend Matt is a pilot; when they have the same days off, they are active outdoors people – hiking, running, biking, camping.

God continues to provide rich experiences and wonderful people to work with in our retirement from paid careers. Along this pathway there are a couple of important things we continue to learn (or relearn):

• The special, never-ending value of family and friends like you. We are truly blessed with your ongoing friendship, prayers, and support as we follow His leading. We so appreciate being able to keep in touch electronically when we can’t be with you in person!

• God’s Retirement plan is WAY better than any we might have ever dreamed of! He is keeping us active, useful, challenged, excited and growing (see Romans 8:14-15 in The Message).

We’re headed back to the Philippines-Micronesia Field Office in Taytay (Manila), Philippines, in January for 3 months to assist with technology projects and in the finance office with the awesome teams there. And we’ll wait to see what He will do next!!

May your Christmas season be blessed and your New Year filled with joy!

Dan & Janet Reinhart 835 Autumn Rise Lane, Columbia, IL 62236 home: 618-722-5114

Reinhart47@aol.com cell: 314-484-1898 JanetM52@aol.com cell: 314-484-1906

reinhartsroad.blogspot.com

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

2014 Christmas Letter

December 2014
To all our dear Family and Friends,
Merry Christmas! We’re SO blessed to be home to spend the holidays with family again this year!  Every year, God leads us to a different situation in which to serve and, this year, we spent almost 7 months at Nazarene Theological Seminary outside of Brisbane, Queensland, Australia! 
We flew Down Under in early February, and started work just before 2014 Semester 1 began, after several emails and Skype sessions to determine some of the details of our assignment.  We quickly settled into a suite in one of the dorms (a bedroom and a kitchen separated by a bathroom).  The campus is “in the bush” (wooded) and “chockers” with (full of) wildlife, especially wallabies!  We could see wallabies every day, as we’d walk round the campus after work.  Found a koala too! We were wakened each day by kookaburras, curlews, magpies, and crows.  And we soon fell in love with the Aussies’ accent and their quirky colloquialisms.  The weather was wonderful as well; the suburb of Thornlands is coastal and has a sub-tropical climate!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Aussie language lesson

The Aussies’ language is SO interesting! Of course, it’s English and we’re grateful that we can recognize a good deal of it. But, after a couple of months of tuning our ears to the Aussie accent, we’ve only begun to understand the differences in everyday terms! And, yes, they do actually say, “G’day, mate!”

Tah = thanks
Bench = kitchen counter
Morning Tea = coffee/tea break
Tea or Afternoon Tea = supper in the evening
“How ya going?” = How are you?
“Fair dinkum?” = Are you telling the truth?
Lounge room = living room
Lounge = couch

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Settling in...

Living on a small college campus is SO interesting! We have work routines, of course, working 8AM to 5PM, but there’s a built-in social system, living in “the same neighborhood” as the other staff. And then, there’s the element of enjoying “the bush”, the wooded 28 acres of the campus.

On Mondays, we often have a staff meeting to bring everyone up-to-date with classes, IT concerns, accreditation processes, and other information.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Adjusting Down under.

When we’d been in Australia about a week, we borrowed the college van and, using a street directory, we drove to Wellington Point, where there’s a large park at the beach.  It was a crowded Sunday afternoon and, after we finally found a spot, Dan parked parallel – accomplished with ease on the left side of the street after having driven on the left side of all the roads!