Friday, January 30, 2009

Pray for My Friend Kris Mullis

Kris Mullis is one of my best friends. His father found out last week that he has cancer. The doctors say he only has with chemo 18 months to live without chemo 3 months to live. Pray for Kris' father Marvin Mullis as he faces some very scary things.
Kris is also faceing a major change in life and ministry. Kris is a Fedral Prison Chaplain in South Georgia. He is going in view of a call to First Baptist Church Elba in Alabama. This is going to be a great place for Kris to be a pastor again. Elba is only 12 miles from his parents. Pray that both Kris and First Baptist Church Elba will seek God's will.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

We moved into our "triad" on Monday. We live in a three bedroom apartment in a building with three other families, and we all share a common family area. We have 10 kids in our building ranging from 19 months to 14 years! Christian and Preston are enjoying having playmates all the time!

Our first day Preston had to go to the doctor. He has a double ear infection. He is much better and has stopped complaining about his ears and started complaining about having to take the medication

We started our meetings today, and the kids began school. The youth class consists of 7 students, which is the smallest of all the classes. All the children had a good day as they are getting used to their new schedules, new friends, and new teachers. The overall makeup of the population here is 78 couples, 70 singles, and 104 children for a total of 330 people. We know quite a few people already, but are meeting many new people.

We don't have very reliable internet access from our apartment, so we will post as we have opportunity. We can not take pictures because of secreity protection but we will try to keep everyone update.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Update from Mechanicsville, Virginia

We are now in Mechanicsville, Virginia. We arrived yesterday and are staying with my aunt and uncle - Fonceil and David Blake. We are having a great time spending time with them. We have also been able to hang out with my cousins Nicky and Jenny and Jenny's little boy Jack. Tomorrow some more family will be coming to visit who live in various parts of Virginia.

We will be moving into the ILC on Monday and will begin FPO on Wednesday. The IMB is known for all of their acronyms! ILC = International Learning Center; FPO = Field Personnel Orientation; IMB = International Mission Board... And their are many more where these came from!

We have had a little bit of discouragement this week. We have learned that we will be a little later than expected leaving for Costa Rica. We had been told during Appointment Week in Houston that we would be leaving on April 9th; but due to a lack of housing availability at that time, we will now be leaving on April 27th. It's just another lesson in patience, and we are learning to be very flexible. God is in control!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Roanoke Family

Tonight we went to Brambleton Baptist Church in Roanoke, VA. My uncle Tim Spear is the pastor. I had an opportunity to share about our calling and the work that we will be doing in Costa Rica in their evening service. Many of my family members were there: Tim (Uncle), Pat (Aunt), Hannah (Cousin), and Jordan (Cousin) Spear, Noot Kohen (Aunt), Clint Townsend (Cousin), and Heather Myers(Aunt).

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Snow in Charlotte, NC

Nick, Kay, George and Kate Valaoras - Charlotte's cousin Kay and her family.  They live in Charlotte, NC.  When we woke up on Tuesday morning at their house, there was snow!

The group below are friends from Greenville, SC we visited on Monday at Krispy Kreme.  Sammy Clary is on the right. He is a pastor of Stonebridge Church.   We have been friends for more than 15 years.  The couple in the middle are fellow missionaries Michael and Amanda Hodge and kids - Alexis and Jerrett.  They are going to Argentina.   Brain Reese is on the left. He is a pastor at Marathon Church. He is holding his new son Reese.

Glenn, Laura, Sarah, Austin and David Williams

Sunday, January 18, 2009

A Great Day!

Today has been a wonderful day.  We were blessed to be able to share with Paper Mill Road Baptist Church in their morning service.  This is a very loving church with a passion for missions.  I can not say enough positive things about this church and about Glenn and Laura Williams.  They were so kind to us and made us feel so welcome.  Glenn is doing  a great job in leading this congregation.  We had a great time reconnecting with Glenn and Laura and their three children - Sarah, Austin and David.  They are a sweet family and God is using them at Paper Mill Road Baptist Church.  We have a photo to post of their family soon but have not been able to download it.

Tonight we went to First Baptist Woodstock with David and Jessica Bello.  David served with me at Olive Springs, and we went on several mission trips together.  He was the Hispanic Pastor.  It was great to see them and spend time catching up with them.  We also enjoyed FBC Woodstock.  Johnny Hunt is a ball of fire!

This week will be a week of traveling, as we are on our way to Richmond, Virginia.  We will be moving into our apartment at the International Learning Center on January 26th, and will begin orientation on the 28th.  Along the way, we will be stopping to visit with family and friends.  It will be a great week to see some special people, but also very tiring.  Please keep us in your prayers.  Pray for our safety and also pray for our children as we are in the midst of so much change.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Clarification of last blog

For those who don't know what a "naked dog" is - it's a hotdog with nothing on it!  

We're still having fun in Atlanta!  We shopped at Atlantic Station today, and tonight we ate supper with Glenn and Laura Williams and their sons Austin and David.  Now we're heading to the indoor pool for Christian and Preston to swim.

Friday, January 16, 2009

"What'll ya have?"

We are in Atlanta!  We left Brewton this morning to start our next great adventure.  We will be in Atlanta until Monday morning.   We got checked into the hotel around 6:30 and needed to eat so we went to the Varsity for chili dogs.  We got there around 8:30 and ate until 9:30.  IT WAS SOOOO GOOD!  It brought a tear to my eye as I ate! Here is a picture of all of us in our Varsity hats.  For those who may not know as you walk to the counter the workers yell out, "What'll ya have?"  Christian had a "naked dog"!  

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

This and That!

This has been a week of going to the YMCA to work out and swim with the kids, spending time with Charlotte's family, and getting Flu shots. While it has been relaxing for the most part, we are anxious to get to Richmond and begin FPO (Field Personnel Orientation).

Brewton has a YMCA and we have been blessed by being able to have a guest membership during our time here. The kids have enjoyed swimming, and I have been needing to get back into an exercise routine.

Monday morning, Charlotte's uncle from Andalusia, AL called and wanted to come visit. We all met at the Pizza Hut and had a very enjoyable lunch. Roy and Sybil Weaver came from Andalusia, and Charlotte's other uncle - Lawrence Weaver who lives in Brewton came. It was a great time to see family that we don't get to see very often.

We had been putting off getting our Flu shots, but were told we all needed to have one before arriving in Richmond. The last thing they want there is a Flu epedimic! The nurse at the health department did a great job! We could hardly even feel the needle! I hope it's that easy in Richmond! While in Richmond, we will all have to get shots almost every Friday. Preston has really been dreading this part of going to Costa Rica.

We will be leaving Brewton on Friday morning and will spend the weekend in Atlanta. I will be preaching at Paper Mill Road Baptist Church in Marietta. We are looking forward to spending time with Glenn and Laura Williams and their family. Glenn is the pastor of the church and we served together at Olive Springs Baptist Church in Marietta.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

A Weekend of Friends

Over the last several days we have been visiting and reconnecting with friends and family.  We went to lunch with Jeff and Jeanine Fields of Friday and had a great time catching up with them.    We also were able to spend some time with Charlotte's aunt - Flossie Martin.  She stopped by Charlotte's parents home to visit and brought a delicious homemade blueberry pie!  Saturday we spent some time with Holly and Parrish Dalrymple and their boys, and also got to see Doug and Ann Dalrymple.  It was a great time fellowshipping with them.  

Somewhat unexpectedly, we were able to see Kris and Shana Mullis and their family of three girls.  Kris is a very close friend of mine.  I was with Kris when he accepted Christ and had the joy of baptizing him.  I have seen him grow in spiritual maturity.  He surrendered to the ministry several years ago, and God has been using Kris and his family in a great way.  Presently, Kris is a Chaplin with the Bureau of Federal Prisons in Jessup, Georgia.

Today, I preached at Pleasant Hill Baptist Church in Bluff Springs, Florida - about 45 minutes from Pensacola, Florida.  This is the church that Charlotte's mother - June Martin - plays the piano for.  We had a great time getting to know this sweet congregation.

After church this morning, we drove down to Pensacola.  We went by Sharon and Steve Register's home.  I have known the Registers for many years. They are good friends of my parents, and have always extended their love for us.  They even attended Charlotte and my wedding 17 years ago.  We had fun catching up with them, and then went to their church with them at Olive Baptist Church.  Ted Traylor is the pastor at Olive.  He is a godly man, which is evident in talking with him and hearing him preach.  I had the privilege of sharing briefly with the congregation at Olive about how God is leading our family to Costa Rica.

After the service, I met a young woman who is from Costa Rica.  Her name is Susana Mendoza-Kepner.  She shared with me that her father and grandfather are pastors in Costa Rica.  I hope to be able to meet these men when I arrive in Costa Rica.

Tonight I got a call from a good friend of mine who is currently going through the process to be an IMB missionary.  Please pray for Kenny and Lesley Vines.  God is leading them to serve in Zambia.  Pray for them as they are trying to sell their home in difficult economic times. 

The time is drawing near for us to go to Richmond.  It's hard to believe that the time is here.  We will begin our two months of orientation on January 26th.  

Thank you so much for all the prayers that have been lifted up for us.  This means more to us than you could ever know.  We also appreciate the comments that have been left on the blog.  These are very encouraging to us. 

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Just a Day at the Beach

Yesterday, we all went to Pensacola, FL.  It was more than just a day at the beach.  Christian has been sick for the past several days. We went down to the Baptist Hospital walk-in clinic.  I thought they would have seen her for free because we are Southern Baptist Missionaries (yeah right!).  They think she has a bladder infection.  After a war of trying to get her to take her medicine, she is doing better.  
We had to excite the others in going to take Christian by telling them we were going to the beach.  At the end of the day, we went to the beach for about an hour.  It was 72 degrees and the water was cold.  We did not swim - even though Preston sure wanted to.  
While going and coming to Pensacola all we ate was fast food.  I think I ate enough french fries to fill a small horse.  The problem is now l feel like a large horse.  
Please pray for me as I try to get in contact with the Costa Rican Consulate. I have been trying for 3 weeks with no results.  We need our visas so that we can live in Costa Rica. 

Friday, January 2, 2009

Greetings from Brewton, Alabama

We have now left White House, Tennessee and are in Brewton, Alabama where Charlotte's parents live. We will be here for over two weeks until we leave for Richmond. On the drive down to Brewton we stopped by Birmingham to visit some good friends of ours - Stephen and Donna Stair and their two children Caroline (age 10) and Sarah Beth (age 7). Charlotte and Donna have been friends since the first grade and went all through high school together. It was great to spend some time with them. The kids all enjoyed playing together, too.

2009 is sure to be a year of changes, challenges and adeventure as we embark on our journey to Costa Rica. Yesterday we talked about how much things have changed since this time last year. God has been with us every step of the way, and He is sure to be with us during 2009 and beyond.

From our family to yours - we hope and pray 2009 is a year of growing closer to God and experiencing Him as never before.