Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Missionary Merrill

The USA side of Children's Cup celebrated Christy Merrill's commissioning with a cookout (okay, barbeque, for you NC'ers) and all the grandkids too.

(back row:Pat Conti, Dave, Josh, Dan, Ty VanRensburg; next row: Tori, Christy, Shannon, Vicki, JD; next row: Lincoln, Vaughn, Rhodes or maybe it's Rhett; front row: Monet, Monroe. One of the R twins wouldn't come get in the photo.)

Christy just fit right in with our crazy crew--and the grands love her for reading the storybooks she brought and the sidewalk chalk drawing she did for them.

She's gonna make a great missionary.

Welcome on board, Christy. Your life is about to change...

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

A Ponderable

If 4 out of 5 people suffer from diarrhea, does that mean that one actually enjoys it?

Monday, June 18, 2007

And Now You are Five!

Happy Birthday, pretty ladies. You are loved! (Monroe, top, is 9 minutes older than Monet.)

Saturday, June 16, 2007

How Old?

You know you are getting old, when everything either dries up or leaks.

Thursday, June 14, 2007


Grandson, Vaughn
Happy Birthday to you
Happy Birthday to you
Happy Birthday dear Vaughn
Happy Birthday to you!

We love you.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Camp Emmaus

This is the way they do summer family camp in Northfield, Minnesota.

We were blessed to be a part of a great family camp in Northfield, Minnesota Sunday evening. The camp is being held for four evenings in a row for moms, dads, and the kids to come learn about Jesus and just do fun stuff together.

The families were divided into three groups: graham crackers, marshmallows, and chocolate. (Aren’t those the proper ingredients for a great camp snack?) Dave and I were on the marshmallow team!

The craft section was our assigned spot. As the different groups came to the craft, the campers did the special craft, Dave and I shared about ‘Cup.

The craft was each one designing his own quilt square to be later sewn together into quilts for our Swazi kids who have no covers for the cold nights.

The pictures are worth a thousand words.

Thanks, Heather and Doug, for inviting us to participate in Emmaus Baptist Church's summer family camp. Such a cool event.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

PK to Missionary?

Connor Ketterling, PK* with an incredible heart for missions, shown here presenting to Ben Rodgers, ‘Cup’s Africa Director, the funds he gathered for Children’s Cup to help the kids in Swaziland.

Is Connor a future Children's Cup missionary? I sure hope so!

*PK=preacher's kid

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Question of the Day

If lawyers are disbarred and clergymen defrocked, then doesn't it follow that electricians can be delighted, musicians denoted, cowboys deranged, models deposed, tree surgeons debarked, and dry cleaners depressed? (Thanks Ramona.)

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

St Luke's Blessing

(Pastor Noren presents Dave with the offering for Children's Cup at a coffee following the Sunday morning service)

St Luke's Church in Faribault, Minnesota, blessed Children's Cup this past Sunday. They are making it possible for one of our precious carepoint children (who suffering with several illnesses) to have a new, safe place to live. Her former caretaker, Sisana, recently passed away, leaving her without a home. Now, thanks to the caring, loving people at St Luke's church, a little one in a land far away will have the shelter, love and care she needs at this critical time of her life, as the church sponsors the construction of an added on room at the home of a loving teacher who will take this needy child into her home.

Thanks, St Lukes! You are awesome.

Pastor Mark and Gail Noren are old friends of Children's Cup (and of Dave and me). So we enjoyed being with them as well.

(This is Buddy. He's the one in charge at the parsonage.)

Friday, June 01, 2007

My Dad

Just recently I was with my 93-year-old dad who is suffering with memory problems, tentatively diagnosed as Alzheimers. He's living in a care center in Norwalk, Iowa.

My sis-in-law, Barbara Bougher, visited with me. We stopped at Walgreens first to get a few prizes for him: snickers candy, an I-love-you card, some reading glasses, a pen and pad of paper, tucked in a colorful gift bag. Oh, and one of those fun rubber balls with fringe-like stuff all over it, and very squishy. He loved it.

We laughed as Dad tossed the fuzzy ball to Barb. He was teasing her. This was a spark of the dad I know...

He laughed and we laughed.

Then he suddenly got a blank look on his face and stopped, just sat there and stared into nothingness.

Alzheimers is a thief. It has stolen my dad from me. My once funny, smart, very loving father who never hurt a soul, is lost in a fuzzy world with only momentary flashes of memory.

Although he doesn't always know at first who I am when I visit, when it does click in his dimming mind, it's a huge treasure for me.

One of those gems was handed to me this week. He looked into my eyes for a long time and finally spoke some broken words: "I used to carry you..." I cried then.

Then he spoke these struggling words, "I'm in bad shape." He knows he can't remember. He knows things are fuzzy. He feels out of control. Then Barb and I both cried.

He was quite attentive to the scripture as I read to him. We prayed and hugged his neck and kissed his cheeks and wiped his eyes for him... And promised we'd be back.

I hope he still knows me when I return.