Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Day That Never Comes Finally Came


Yes, I’ve always believed that you should never say never because about the moment you do you’re going to find out that never happens and before you know it you’re eating crow.  Today I picked up our new MacBook Pro.  We had our last laptop fail and had to do something before we headed abroad once again.  We had some money set aside and thought we’d bite the bullet and go ahead and try a Mac.  I guess we’ll see where this thing goes.  I’m familiar with things to a degree because of my i-Touch so it’s not totally new territory…we shall see how this goes!  Now we move on to the Chicago series and still ahead will be the return to Japan!


The day we left Chicago there had been a nasty freezing rain that coated our little trailer.  I still am fascinated by this phenomenon because we don’t get that all that often here in Montana.  We decided that on our way home we would stop and see the Mall of America. .  We had a very nice lunch and as usual I thought I’d go somewhere that Lovely and I would have gone to together.  The food was really excellent!  The food wasn’t as good as what we ate in Japan but still I was pleased with it.  Not everyone is fond of Asian food but there was a wide variety so the only challenge was to decide what we wanted to settle for!  Since Lovely and the kids weren’t with me I didn’t visit the same places as I would with them and rather looked for photo opportunities such as this one from a bead store.  If I was still into making my own necklaces I suppose I would have been in seventh heaven!  This place had everything from soup to nuts!  One of our friends is known for his sense of humor…weird as it is…he kept us quite entertained as he willingly tried on various things in the stores we were walking through.  I still smile at that picture!  One section of the mall opened up to a brightly lit area where the roof looked like a giant spider web!  Here’s a closer shot.  Oh how I wish Gabby could have seen this place!  Walking through the amusement park section of the mall brought me to a site that I think under other circumstances would have made me smile but I missed my family so much it made me really sad.  What a lonely sight.  Sponge Bob seemed happy none the less.  I couldn’t help but wish that the kids could come back here with me some day.  The size of the mall really is daunting but there’s maps everywhere.  I think it would have been better to have a couple days to see the sites but for now we were just seeing a slice of it all before heading back to the long road home .  The tables in the cinnamon bun factory made me think of a hypnotist mind trick.  Coming up on this fountain I thought I’d make a wish that someday I’d be here with Lovely and the children.  Someday we may drive this route again…I turned away from the fountainwalked out the doorsand shut the door on this adventure. 

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Japan and Libya…What a Week


I never thought that we’d be seeing one of the biggest quakes ever and America opening a third front in yet another war all in one week.  We have had some success in getting my mother in law prepared to leave Japan.  The good news is she has her ticket in hand but the bad news is that she has to wait until the 2nd of next month to get out because of the disrupted traffic in Tokyo just now.  I will let everyone know when she finally makes it back to her home in the Philippines.  In the face of all that’s going on right now it can be easy to be overwhelmed and go back to our lives as if nothing is going on but I really am going to hold onto things and remember to pray to the best of my ability.  Being selfish leaves us in a shallow and narrow minded world…difficulty makes us want to pull inward but it’s life to think outward.  Before I continue on with the Chicago pictures I’d like to say that I’m strongly considering reposting the pictures I have of our trips to Japan.  I still find myself being in shock over what’s happened.  Lovely and I are determined to go back someday.  We love that country so much and feel so strongly tied to it.


In Ghana you have a name for the day you were born.  I am Kofi there because I’m Friday born…Pastor Leeford is a Kofi as well.  Perhaps this is why we got along so well!  We hope to bring him with us to the Philippines.  We have had to hold on with all we have to Ireland and the coming trip to the Philippines…not easy but the people need to know that we are not surrendering the vision so we’ve tried to keep the theme in the church and held fast to our international vision.  The meetings in Chicago always had God doing great thingsand it was a blessing to be with those that were from other countries here in America praising God!  I love to see God move on people from all over the world and know that in spite of the differences there is still the same God over us all!  We were used to different ways to come before God but together we were able to join in and have a totally unique service.  Pastor Leeford is unusual in that he very much loves praise and worship…which we happen to love very much too!  This is Emmanuel the keyboard player in the music team.  I like to tease pastor Leeford and tell him that his shoes distracted me during the service!  I really love this picture of Pastor Leeford and his wife Joyce!  Sister Joyce was a true blessings and wasn’t just friendly but a very powerful minister in her own right!  This is Tricia who has been with us for many years…she’s about the only one I’d ever say was like a mother to me except my own mom…her she is with Pastor Leeford’s daughter who reminded me so much of my own daughter.  Here is Emmanuel and I posing for a picture.  One more of Emmanuel, his mother and I


Chicago is a city of diversity…sometimes a little too much I think…yikes!  Finally we were about to head home to Montana but before we left we knew we had to have some of Chicago’s famous pizza!  We found a place that was nominated last year for the best pizza in Chicago and we go some…oh my gosh was it the best ever or what!  I had to leave you with your mouth watering!  Good things to come!  I will finish up with Chicago and then return to the pictures from Japan…I’m really looking forward to it!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Earthquakes, Tsunami and Nuclear Meltdowns

This has been a week that I figure has been one of the most difficult I can remember.  Tragedies have been something that has become almost routine in the world here lately but the mess in Japan transcends even the terrible trouble in the Middle East…at least for us it’s more personal.  Many of you may know that my wife’s mother is in a suburb of Tokyo and we have been to Japan twice and have many people we love there.  My wife lived in Japan with her mother for some time before we were married carrying for her mother when she had a major surgical procedure. The current situation is that we are attempting to transfer money to my MIL’s account so she can return to the Philippines.  She has been preparing to retire and return to the Philippines for some time…fact is she planned to be back there by the end of next month.  Her finances were tied up in this process and who could have predicted this happening in the middle of all her plans?  The trouble now is most getting her to the airport.  We saw just how difficult it was to get back and forth from the airport on our trips there…many hours by train and bus and now with the rolling black outs and damaged roads this is much more complex not to mention the long lines of people trying to get out of Japan.  Please remember this in prayer and do not forget the people of Japan…the situation with the nuclear plants is a problem that we cannot ignore.  I intend to put up pictures of our trips to Japan as soon as I finish the ones I have for Chicago…I still am struggling to comprehend this disaster.


One of the best things I think I have experienced from our travels is meeting new friends.  One of my favorite on this last trip was Kwami.  This guy has about as much charisma as you could ever have!  He graciously drove us to see the sights in Chicago…one of them being the pier…if you think it looks cold you’re quite right!  Fortunately there was plenty to see inside so we occupied ourselves with the things they had where it was warm!  There was a large old bell that I thought was amazing to see.  With a final glance at the cold sight outside we pressed on.  The stained glass inside was so beautiful!  It actually reminded me of some of the sites we saw in Irelandbut this had a flavor all its own..the details was remarkable and the colors shown so beautifully as the sun shined through them.  I have to admit I didn’t know what to think of the modern stained glass artbut some things that were new had spectacular meaning and I liked it a lot.  Once again an opportunity arose to take some pictures outside so I stepped out and took a few more shotsThe buildings were shrouded in a frosty fog…it was time to head back inside!  The stained glass windows in this section of the building spoke of a spring that’s now much closer to us!  These are flowers even my black thumb couldn’t kill!  I had to smile at some of the old pictures they had on the wall!  At this point we were hungry so Pastor Leeford brought us to “Bubba Gumps”.  The food was really good but I thought it was overpriced.  The Africans all had coconut shrimp…it figures!  My Canadian friend Rick had a shrimp smorgasbord !  On the way home I only got one lousy picture of the famous Chicago Bean though the window of the car in the middle of heavy traffic.  We were headed home at that point and I’m bringing this blog home for now!  I continue to thank those of you that are praying for us.  Good thoughts sound good but don’t do much…these are times when we must remember God who delivers.  Blessings to you all!