Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas 2009

December 2009
Dear Friends,

For us, this has been a Not-in-our-Wildest-Dreams kind of year!! On February 2, as Mission Corps volunteers, we flew to Ethiopia where we spent 6 weeks living and working in Addis Ababa in the Nazarene Field Offices there - Dan with computers and me with accounting software. We met some amazing people; the experience was so much more meaningful since we lived and worked with Anbessu Tolla and his family. We kept a journal of our experiences on the Internet - you can access it at!

Back home on March 19, we jumped right back into working at JoyFM, officiating at NYI Bible quizzes (got to go to Nashville and Boston this year!), and being involved in our local church. Dan had an awesome experience helping with YIM (Youth in Mission) training in El Paso, TX, preparing college students for
summer mission assignments. Nazarene Global Convention was this summer as well - so we spent a week working with NYI Bible Quiz Ministry (BQM) in Orlando. Since we were there, we had built in a few days to reconnect with (and to introduce Dan to) my cousin Steve Marr and his family and to cousin Beth Ann Schulenberg Grant and her dad and siblings!

Our previous home in Oakville, MO, sold at the end of June; we’re glad to be owners now of just one house - we’re having a great time living in Columbia, IL, for over 2 years already!

Dan made 2 platform beds this year - one for a spare bedroom and one for Erica, who’s still enjoying her job as a cook at a retirement complex in metro St. Louis. She took several days off to spend with Megan and Morgan, granddaughters from Massachusetts, when they came to visit for a week. We revisited the Gateway Arch and wowed them with a day at Elephant Rocks/ Johnson Shut-Ins. Caitlyn and Dylan visited for a week as well at the end of July and got to tour a firehouse and visit the St Louis Zoo and Science Center!

We lost Dan’s mom on August 1st. She was a Godly example to both of us, to the rest of her family and anyone she met! Dan officiated at her funeral celebration; what a beautiful service and time of remembrance!

From the Global Convention, Dan received an invitation from John Kim to do some Bible Quiz training in Korea! Networking created more invitations, so we traveled there in September, with Dan presenting 4 workshops in and around Seoul, Korea. From there, we flew to Manila and traveled in and out of Manila to Cebu, Legazpi, and Baguio - in one week, just missing an encounter with Typhoon “Ondoy.“ We were treated like royalty in all locations and made so many new friends!

Dan was thrilled to hear about interest in BQM training in Australia as well, so a trip was planned “Down Under” as well! In October, we were privileged to go to Australia, staying with Cameron & Jo Batkin and 2-year-old Max in Brisbane. We tried “Vegemite” and Pavlova and got to see kangaroos and koalas up close! They took us to the beach on the Gold Coast and we loved a day-trip around the countryside between Brisbane and Maroochy. From there we flew to Auckland, New Zealand, where we’d planned a couple of days of tourism (the “Hobbit” movie site, hot springs pools, a Maori cultural site) and Dan got to drive on the “wrong” side of the road through gorgeous, rolling, green countryside covered with sheep and cattle.

Four of our six kids were able to join us for Thanksgiving before Derick & Nola moved to Raleigh, NC. Life continues to be busy with fundraisers at JoyFM for a full-strength broadcasting signal.

We’re enjoying keeping in touch on Facebook and through e-mails. While we like being able to share our experiences, we love hearing what our friends are doing too! Please let us know what you’re up to! And when you’re in the St. Louis area, let us know so we can get together and share a meal or an overnight. We’ve got room!

God has such exciting plans for all of us!
Blessings to you for 2010!!

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