Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Some Rough Days

Last Sunday was Father's Day. It was the anniversary of the last conversation I had with my dad. I couldn't be with him on that Father's Day, because we were preaching in a town on the western border of Kentucky. We took the camper with us, which was our final camping trip. I remember only snippets of that final conversation with my father. Mostly, we talked about camping and the importance of problem solving in life. Dad was alert and in a good mood. I cried at the end of the conversation, because it was so sweet and so uncommon given his failing health. I told him that we'd be back home on Tuesday night and that I'd be over on Wednesday morning to give him his Father's Day gift. My father died that Wednesday morning before I made it to their house.

Father's Day, one year later, I find myself in a mall in Costa Rica. Colton's birthday was on Monday and we were desperately trying to find him a pair of "Heelys"--those shoes with the wheels in the heals. All the stores in Costa Rica are sold out of his size. I found myself getting more and more upset. We reached the end of our search and I sat down on a bench in despair. Lena asked me what I wanted and I burst into tears. I wanted my dad. The following 24 hours (i.e., Colton's birthday) were pretty rough. I couldn't stop crying. It's very hard to sit in a grammar class conjugating verbs when you're fighting back tears. People would ask how my Father's Day was and I responded by crying. It was a rough day. And, to make matters worse, I felt the need to be chipper and enthusiastic for my son.
We spent the rest of that afternoon looking for Heelys, which we never found. We ended up eating a very late dinner at Tony Romas (the rib joint). The food was great, but our entire meal was absconded by Mormon missionaries who were trying to witness to us. As such, Colton's 10th birthday is not one that will be remembered fondly, but may afford us a few laughs in the future. Colton will be able to say, "That was the day dad drove around the city crying, looking for shoes that I never got, capped off by a Mormon who ignored all our social cues."

Tomorrow is the anniversary of my Dad's passing. I feel sad about it, but at the same time, I suspect that there's a strong chance it'll be an improvement.

Please pray for my mom, myself, Lena and the kids, and my siblings. We all feel the loss of my father deeply.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Gestational Homesickness

We're at the half-way point of our time here and I have to admit that we're experiencing a lot of longing. One one hand we're definitely homesick--longing for familiar friends and flavors. On the other hand, we're Peru-sick--longing for the next step in God's awesome adventure. I recently e-mailed a friend in Peru about these emotions, saying that it feels like being stuck in an airport for a year, waiting for a connecting flight. I try to keep in mind that it’s like being a baby in gestation. As much as the mother wants the baby to pop out early, it is far better if the gestation time is completed. Please pray for us, for the grace to enjoy where the Lord has us for today, while looking forward to the promises and mission that lies ahead.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Family Update & learning Spanish

To my blog-reading buddies and buddettes, my apology for the delay in updates. I've decided that it's easy to see where I am with Spanish, based upon my blog posts. Since the last update was three weeks ago, it's safe to say that I'm in the thick of it.

Good news: Hannah and Colton passed onto their respective grades (7th & 4th) and are now on summer break. The really good news is that they still go to school! They do get home an hour earlier and their classes don't give homework. It's like attending an academic summer camp. Their classes include science (mostly fun experiments), drama and (of course) Spanish. Recently, Colton confessed that Spanish is his favorite subject. That's a big jump from his previous favorites: Gym and recess. Today I was very proud when one of our Spanish teachers said that Colton asked her a question yesterday (in Spanish) and understood her answer. The irony is that this professor speaks perfect English. Don't tell Colton.