Thursday, 1 December 2011

Big Steps

Hello,

The Lord has blessed us these past few weeks. We were able to find a nice house at a very reasonable (for England) price. The irony is that the house is right next door to a house we had previously rented back in 2003-2005. The owners are doing a few things and we will be able to move in the week of the 12th. It is in a village a few miles outside of Liskeard and it is about a 15 minute drive into town. Does not seem much in American culture but that is a fair drive here. Petrol is a bit less than $9.00/gallon so we will need to get better at consolidating trips.

Part of living in a village and not in town are the occurrences of both adults needing a car to go different ways. We have a car that was given to us last year that we can use until June but we have been looking for another vehicle for Andrea to drive. After three weeks of looking we felt led to buy a 97 Accord. Less than 100,000, new tyres and a brand new safety inspection made it a perfect match for what we were after. We got a great price and so Andrea is mobile again.

We would ask for prayer as we need to find some items for the new house. It always seems to work better when you follow the Lord's guidance. It usually saves you money as well.

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Tie Up Some Loose Ends

Hello,
 
  Although we do not get many questions here at the blog, we have had a few that we can answer.

The bathroom.  In a few posts from the summer we displayed pictures of a bathroom renovation we were attempting on the boys house in Oklahoma. We would be out for 4-6 weeks on the road and then work on the bathroom for the week or so we were hanging out in OKC to "rest". We ended up tearing it down to the studs and floorboards and rebuilding from there. You might remember this picture..









It was a mad rush to the finish to complete the bath before we returned to England and we almost made it. It is quite functional but just needs a few cosmetic touches. Something to do on our next furlough. Here are a few pics of the finished room.
Another question we can answer is concerning our anniversary. This year Andrea and Kent celebrated their 25th anniversary. Way back on the honeymoon in 1986, Kent had promised Andrea that he would take her to Hawaii for their 25th. However, on their actual anniversary (Aug 16th) they were in the middle of a trip to the East coast reporting to some churches.  Soooooooo.....they crammed a trip in right at the end of their furlough. Thanks to some airline vouchers that were about to expire and some anniversary gift money, they were able to make it happen.  A few pics.

 


Tuesday, 15 November 2011

It's The Little Things In Life

Hello,

  What a great autumn we have been having. Relatively warm and dry days have made it quite pleasant to get out and about. Still waiting on a house although we have applied for one and should hear soon. Hoping to be moved in before Christmas. The cottage we are staying in is exactly 1 mile from the centre of Liskeard. Not really worth driving and parking so we walk in most days to take care of errands. The first week it was a bit of a chore as we had grown accustomed to driving everywhere while in the States. Now we are finding it quite pleasant. Watching that certain tree change shades as its leaves prepare to fall. Having 20 minutes of quiet time giving you time to think things through or even just turn off. Watching the leaves fall and be carried about by the breeze depositing them on the road so you can hear the crunch as you walk through the piles of leaves. It does take a bit more planning to ensure you get to where you are supposed to be on time but it makes the journey much more enjoyable. A newspaper here in England once held a contest to determine the best way to get to London. Numerous answers were submitted as to how to get there the quickest, most comfortable or the least expensive. The winning answer to the question of the best way to get to London was with good friends. We often spend so much time and energy stressing ourselves into illness trying to reach a destination, we neglect to enjoy the journey.

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

People Are Watching You!

Hello,

  Davis and I took the train into Plymouth today to get a few essentials. Still readjusting to the stores closing at 5:00PM here.  It was a cracking day and hard to believe it was Nov 1st. We have had good services these 4 weeks we have been back. The people remained faithful and we definitely see some growth in the spiritual lives thanks to the efforts of the men who spelled us.

  One of the most amazing and unexpected things we have encountered since returning is the number of people who have asked where we have been. These are not people whom we are particularly close to but just the people we encounter as we daily live our lives in the community. Kent spent 90 minutes at the gym today and only worked out for about 45 because several people came up and inquired where he had been. This story has repeated itself numerous times and has reinforced to us the need to walk circumspectly in the world. Many times we just think we are merely fulfilling the responsibilities of our life and do not even consider the interaction we have with people but over a period of time those people we interact with accept us as part of their life. As part of this acceptance they label us or categorize us based upon how we interact with them. They either like us, tolerate us or dislike us. Without even trying or even being conscious about it, we have made an impression on their life. The question then becomes whether it is a good impression or not.

  We may think that we are not noticed and are anonymous in our dealings but it is not true. The people who touch are lives each and every day are watching and noticing.

Thursday, 20 October 2011

House Hunting

Hello,

Been back in country for almost two weeks and it has been good. We treated ourselves the first week and indulged in all of the treats we had missed while being gone. Barnecutt's pastys, scones with clotted cream, proper fish and chips, etc..... The second week started the "Time to lose all the weight we put on in the States" diet. Not near as much fun as the indulgent week. Kind of like when we sin. It always seems to take longer to get back to where we were in our relationship with God than it did to slip away.

We are also in the process of house hunting. Before we had always faced a limited number of possibilities in housing due to having the 5 children. Coming back with only two this time affords us a much greater selection of houses to choose from. We decided to take our time and find a house that not only meets our needs but also checks a few options boxes for us. We had a dog for 13 years in the States but have been unable to have one here. We would like to find a house that allows pets. We would also like to find a house that has a workshop or large garage for Kent's woodworking. These are in addition to the normal wants like more than one toilet, a large enough living room/dining room to have church fellowships in, central heating and the list goes on. We have a cottage to stay in while we look and though it is not a long term solution, it is a comfortable place to hang out while we scour the countryside for a permanent dwelling.

It has always been our desire to purchase a property here in Cornwall. It would make sense financially instead of wasting money on rent but more importantly it would serve as a sign to the folks here that this is home to us. Even after 9 years here most people think we are on a temporary assignment. With house prices here in Cornwall about 4 to 5 times higher than in Oklahoma, we will be content on God's timing to provide the miracle necessary to allow us to buy.

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Back To Life




Hello,




As we sit writing this from a small cottage nestled in the green countryside of England, we pause to reflect on our time in the States. Following is a summary of our summer.




Between the time we left England on Dec 15th and returned on Oct 7th, we travelled 34,628 miles by plane, 33,971 miles by automobile, visited 52 churches, slept in 61 different beds, visited 33 States, 3 foreign countries and only ate at McDonalds 3 times. The final stat is perhaps the most amazing and one we are quite happy about. We did eat at Subway approx 3 million times during this time period.


To sum furlough up, it was all good. God kept us safe, supplied and scheduled. We found furlough to be an amazing journey of going back to visit old friends and telling them what has been going on in England. We are glad to be back in Cornwall and are in the process of looking for a house, cars, beds and other sundry items to set up life again. We look forward to Lord willing, being in the same place for 5 years and seeing what God has in store for Liskeard Baptist Church.



In case you were wondering, that averages out to 236 miles each and every day we were back in the States. Think we will fire our scheduler before the next furlough!!

Friday, 9 September 2011

Way Behind







Hello,



We are so behind we do not know where to start. What a blessed time furlough has been, We have been in about 40 churches to report on the work in England. Amazing and encouraging to see the same people faithfully serving God ten years later.



We had a Spanish lad travel with us for a month. He normally comes to stay with us in England for a month each summer to work on his English. We invited him to fly over and see the States. He went over 7,000 miles in the 30 days he was with us and made it all the way to Vancouver, BC. We had a great time with him and hope he enjoyed his time.



We have been on the East Coast for the past 6 weeks. This is our last trip before we fly back to England on October 6th. Looking forward to getting back home and back to some semblance of a normal life.



We would ask you to pray as we look for a house, cars and other essentials when we return to Cornwall.

Monday, 25 July 2011

Amazing

Hello,

Writing this from the living room of our house in OKC. We got in last night at 2:00AM from an excellent 4 week trip to the Northwest. A Spanish young man who spends a month with us each summer in England flew into DFW on the 24th of July and we left that next Monday for Seattle. A few stops on the way at the Grand Canyon, Zions Natl Park and the place where the two railroads met in the 1860's, we made it north of Seattle for our first Sunday of services. A quick jaunbt up into Canada to see some friends and then it was on to Portland, OR for the second Sunday. We spent a few days with some friends right on the coast of Oregona and enjoyed just being still. It was then on to Salt Lake City for a Wed and a Sunday. Both good churches and we had a nice time. A swing through Southern Utah and Colorado on the way to SW Kansas for out last Sunday on this trip.
Over 6500 safe miles and we are grateful for God's protection.

Saturday, 11 June 2011

Tales From the Trail











Hello,














What an amazing ride this time in the States has been. We are having quite an enjoyable furlough. God has made himself very evident and has been incredibly good to us.







We last left you in Illinois. We made our way to Oklahoma and spent about 9 days there. Most of that was spent on the bathroom project. Progress is being made but it is amazing how long things take when you do not know what you are doing. We left May 20th for a trip to the Southeast. We stopped in Mississippi to visit some friends and be in their missions conference. We then left for Florida. A few alternators later we made it to Miami. Had a great weekend with a supporting church and then headed north to Orlando. We had a place to stay there for a week so we based out of there to visit a few churches in Central Florida. Our neighbors from Cornwall flew in for their holiday and we were able to meet up with them a few times and visit. Made us a bit homesick to get back to England. We are now on our way to South Carolina, Georgia and then on to Oklahoma for a few days before we head west.



Monday, 16 May 2011

Where is Spring?

Hello,

when we last left you we were in Texas enjoying the great fellowship and warm temperatures. We stopped off in Oklahoma City for a week and then headed north to Illinois. Since it was May and spring had sprung, we only took light springtime clothes. We froze! We did have great meetings with some of our supporting churches there and it was a blessing to see them again. It is amazing to not see someone for ten years and be able to pick up as if you had never been apart.
We also got to take in a few baseball games including a day game at Wrigley Field. Very cool. We are back in OKC for 10 days before we head out to the southeast. We are making progress on the bathroom remodel and the other projects at the new house. We are in the States until early October but know we are running out of time.

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Texas Pics

Saturn 5 booster rocket at NASA























The Alamo















Hello,





A few pics from our last trip.




















Thursday, 14 April 2011

Texas

Hello, Still down in Texas. God has blessed us in a big way through the State of Texas through the years. We spent the past week in Alvin and stayed in a very nice missions apartment. These apartments are such a blessing when you are on the road. Received word while we were there that the church in Edinburgh where we had been in a conference the week before had a 24% increase in their faith promise. Great news! We had two good services on Sunday. Actually three. The church we were at in the AM had dinner on the grounds and then an afternoon service. We then scampered back to Alvin to be in the evening service there. Such a blessing to see the faithfulness of pastors and to hear of people who have been praying for you all these years. Very humbling. We have another reporting appointment this Sunday and then back to OKC for about a week and then off to Illinois for two weeks. Not much time in OKC from this point on. We will post some pics from our trip as soon as we get back home to where Kent left the card reader for the camera. :)

Friday, 8 April 2011

Hot and dry or Hot and humid??

Hello, We write from Texas. Home of the heat. Well, when you live in a cool climate like England, almost everywhere is warmer. We left last week to drive south to Edinburg on the southern border for a missions conference. We left on a Wednesday and stopped in Waxahatchie, Texas for a Wed evening service at a supporting church. They were in a new building and it was a blessing to see them all again. We left Thursday morning and stopped off at the Dr. Pepper museum in Waco. Nice museum but really, no free samples at a soda museum? On to San Antonio and a walk on the Riverwalk and a tour of the Alamo. Makes you think standing there. They kept sending out messages asking for help and hoping someone would come. A group of 18 snuck in one night but that is all that ever came. What a blessing to be saved and know that Christ is coming to get us some day. On Friday, we went to the Sea World park in San Antonio. Fed the dolphins, watched the shows, rode the roller coasters and baked a nice shade of red. Drove south on Sat. to the town of Edinburg which is right at the border of Mexico. Due to the violence in Mexico, we were unable to cross over and take the kids. We had a great conference at the church there but it sure was hot. It hit 100 degrees on Monday and it is only April. A cold front came through and it was still 85 on Tuesday. At least it was a dry heat. The conference was on Sun-Thursday and we were able to see some dear friends who are missionaries there at the border. The Gibson's have faithfully served for over 40 years and it was good to see them again. Thursday morning we packed up and headed for Houston. Still hot here but now there is humidity in the air. Makes you long for those dry heat days and it is only April!! When do we go back to England?

Sunday, 27 March 2011

Furlough from Furlough










Hello,

We have been back in the States for about three months now. We do not think we have stopped moving since we landed. Relief is in site. We hit the road this next week for our first road trip. We will be gone for three weeks to Texas and think we might get a bit of rest. The house is almost completely painted and Ben has moved in. Austin will move over at the end of the month. The bathroom project will have to wait a few weeks until we are between trips.

We have also included a few pics of the other project from this week. Kent was asked to buiold a mailbox for the church and this is what resulted.

Friday, 18 March 2011

Busy March







Hello,






So the plan for March was to go to churches around OKC and report on Sundays and be around during the week to work on the house and prepare for the road trips to come. So far, so mediocre. There are just so many things that pop up to do that we struggle to get to our to do list each day. Compounded by the fact we do not have all the things we are used to having or do not know where they are in the house we are staying in and you end up making many trips for supplies. We are almost done painting the house and have declared it move in ready. We will kick Ben out this weekend and get him settled and then work on Austin. As he is firmly entrenched at the grandparents it may be a little more difficult. We have destroyed one the bathrooms and are planning its rebuild as we speak.
This past Saturday we celebrated Kent's parents 50th Wedding Anniversary. What a great testimony, There have been some hard times in their life but they did not quit. We went to eat at a really nice steakhouse and then had some cake at their house. They flew off for Hawaii yesterday for a cruise. Good stuff.






The meetings have gone really well. Still seems weird to be in the States.

Saturday, 12 March 2011

Out Of Shape

It is quite amazing how tired you can get by basically not doing much. Explain how sitting in a car for 8 hours can make one so weary. We were in our first Missions Conference other than the one at our home church in January. This one had morning services, afternoon shopping and then evening services. Alot of sitting around, eating and being in services and when it was over we were shattered. It might have something to do with the dozens of people who wanted to talk with you each service or possibly we are just getting old(er).
We had a great time and look forward to getting back into road shape. Perhaps we will just stay away from too many conferences.

The house that we have purchased for the boys to line in is coming right along. We are in the process if painting and acquiring bargain furniture. The house has been dubbed "The Ogre Refuge" in honour of the boys.

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

God's Provision

Hello,

So, lets get caught up all the way. We got back to Oklahoma in the middle of a snow storm. Just after it melted, we had another snow storm. In the midst of that we closed on a house here in Oklahoma City. We are back in the US to get a couple of our children settled. Our family has always been our first ministry and we needed to get them re acclimated to a foreign culture (the US). Long story short, we were able to buy a really nice house with no down. In fact, we received a check at the closing. Praise God! We have also been given a fridge, washer, drier, some furniture, dishes and alot of other bits for the house. We are in the process of getting the house painted so the two boys can move in. This house will also be a place for Andrea should anything happen to Kent.
We were in our first missions conference of this furlough this past week. It was great but exhausting. So many things going on but it was well worth it. The Gossmeyer boys are back in the necktie business and did a smashing business at this quite large church. Their eyes are full of dollar signs as they think of the travels ahead this summer.
We are in the OKC area for the month of March. We will keep working on the house during the week and hitting churches on the weekends. The first of April we head to south Texas for about 3 weeks.

Sunday, 27 February 2011

Week 2 Cont......

Hello,

We each preached 20 times during our trip. The conference on Bohol had around 35 Filipino pastors that attended and we even had the opportunity to preach on the radio on a neighboring island on night. I preached for 45 minutes on the radio and walked straight to the pulpit and preached an hour on Baptist history. By the time Friday came, our voices were worn and our bodies were tired. We preached out at another mission church on Sunday and this one was in the boondocks. Mud floors and bamboo logs split in half for seats.
On Monday we flew back up to Manila and made it to the American Cemetery. Over 17,000 graves from WW2. Quite sobering. Tuesday, Andrea and I climbed to a volcanic crater and took a dinner cruise around Manila Bay. We left Manila and flew 23 hours back to OKC. When we left Manila it was 85, when we arrived in OKC it was 15 with strong winds and 4 foot snowdrifts. It took us a few weeks to get back on a proper sleep schedule but the trip was a huge blessing to us and we pray that we were a blessing to the folks there.

Sunday, 13 February 2011

Week 2

So, we were on the island of Bohol and we were starting the second Pastors Conference. On Monday and Tuesday, there were only evening services so we took off to see the sights on Monday. We stopped by the Blood Compact monument where the Spanish made a pact with the locals only to end up enslaving them. We then stopped at the second oldest church in the Philippines which was built by the natives after they were enslaved. (Yes, it is a Catholic church). It was then off to the Loboc River Cruise for lunch as we toured the river. We then headed for the Chocolate Hills to see this natural phenomenon that only occurred on this island in the world. Then the highlight of the day. An almost 1/3 mile zipline over a 600 foot deep river gorge. And then back on another zipline. All at the low Filipino price of $7.00.
We then rushed back to Tagbileran City and arrived just in time for the evening service. I preached first on the AV and then Pastor Carter preached on the local church. A late dinner of grilled chicken and mango shakes was most welcome. We were shattered by the time we went to bed.

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Philippines Cont..............

So, after almost a week north of Manila, we drove back to the airport and flew 500 miles south to the island of Bohol. The church in Tagbileran City was the one Pastor Carter came and preached for last year. We arrived on Friday and on Saturday, the church took us snorkeling. It was absolutely incredible. The water was warm and crystal clear. The little island we went to is a refuge and one of the top scuba sites in the world. Most stayed on the boat but Kent spent almost every minute in the water. He even saw a sea turtle and swam for quite a bit to stay in sight of it. The lasting result of a day in the sun was an excruciating sunburn on the back of his legs and arms. Even now, two weeks later he is still peeling.
On the Sunday, Kent and Andrea were sent to Ubay for Sunday services. Ubay was about two hours from Tagbileran City. Kent preached the morning service, then Andrea did a ladies meeting and then Kent preached the afternoon service. It was a rush to catch the last van back to where their hotel was. They were shattered by the time the got to bed that night.

Saturday, 5 February 2011

January

Routines are a blessed thing. You know where you are supposed to be and what you are supposed to be doing. That gets more important as you get older and find yourself somewhere and not knowing why you are there or what you are supposed to be doing.
Kent & Andrea flew out on Jan 13th with our home church pastor and his family to the Philippines to conduct two one week pastors conferences. The kids were left at home with the grandparents on speed dial in case of problems. The travel to Manila went well with us being bumped in Tokyo and being upgraded to first class for the Tokyo-Manila leg of the flight. Now first class is the way an Ambassador for Christ should always travel!! It was quite nice after a long day of travelling. We arrived in Manila around 5:00AM and traveled a few hours north to Tarlac City. Kent preached at a mission work that first Sunday while Pastor Carter preached at the church where the conference was to be held. Monday we did a bit of sightseeing although that part of Luzon does not have much to see. We visited a Bible college and camp and also visited a few shops to get some essentials. On Tuesday-Thursday nights, we had services with both Pastor Carter and Kent preaching. The Filipinos are not real interested in short services. Most nights we would start before 7:00 and not finish until close to 10:00. On Tuesday and Wednesday, we all went out visiting in the villages they are starting works in. This would often result in several preaching opportunities each afternoon. In a land where people are quite short, Kent would create quite a stir walking through town. It was not unusual to have 30 children following us all through the village.

More to follow.......

Monday, 10 January 2011

How Do Peope Live Like This

Hello,

Not sure how people survive in this American culture. Go, go, go seems to be the mantra and the home life gets the leftovers. We are struggling to adapt but are making progress.

It was really nice to spend Christmas with all the grandparents. Lots of good memories. This first week of January, we were in our home church's missions conference. Good services and good fellowship. Andrea and Kent leave for the Philippines this Thursday for three weeks. Kent will be preaching on two Bible conferences and Andrea will be speaking to the ladies. We are looking forward to the warm temperatures.

Ben is doing well in getting his life set up here. He has his learners permit and is almost ready to get his license. We have been able to find him a little pickup truck and he had a good job interview today. Now we just need to find him a wife and our work here is done :)