Monday, August 19, 2013

Getting Settled

We've moved into the visiting missionary house just across the street from OC's campus. We've only gotten lost inside a couple of times!

The missionary-in-residence at OC, Kent Hartman, is a longtime friend and he has made our adjustment much easier.  We've met tons of people and been around campus a time or two. We are going to be a part of the Edmond Church of Christ while we are here, which is where my brother and his family are.  It's been fun to be with them, and we have been encouraged by the church there as well.

Alexis had a sleepover at her cousin's house, and Titus went to Arlington with BB and JJ (my parents) for an overnight trip...primarily to see a Ranger's game.  Both of the kids think they are hot stuff!

We had a dessert get-together with several of the Bible faculty last Friday night, which gave us an opportunity to get to know some of the people we will be working with over the next couple of months.  OC is very missions-minded and everyone shows a great interest in us and what we have been doing in Vanuatu. It's a very encouraging place.

The students will be arriving throughout the week, and then classes will begin next Monday.  Currently I am scheduled to teach 6 class sessions, with the promise of a few more to come. It's all a bit overwhelming, but I think it's going to be a great semester.

We will continue to keep you updated, and thank you for your prayers and support.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Malekula Farewell Song

Here's the song one of the youth wrote for our departure, as sung by several of the Christians during our going away party. While we will, Lord willing, continue to work with them, our departure marks the end of our being based in the village.  Here are the lyrics (precisely as written by Bronsly, age 13)...

Mr. Eric you are about to leave us now and go back to your home sweet home. We thank you for the works that you have done. For your kindness and loves for us all. Our lifes will not before gotten. Will meed again someday. Please take our loves with you for you living us behind, will sing a song with broken heart, good bye and good bless you.

video

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Stateside

We're going to keep the blog going while stateside, and this will serve as our first post. We invite you to keep up with our reporting and "visiting missionary-ing."

Our travel from Vanuatu was event-free. We ended up finding a shipping container to rent in Vila to store our Vanuatu things. After one last trip to the storage container, we headed for the airport. Several from the church in Vila, as well as a friend from Ambae that I've been studying with all came to see us off at the airport. It's encouraging to see those whose lives have been changed, and it's always nice to be missed.

We boarded our plane in Vila about 1:20pm on Saturday, and believe it or not, we arrived in Los Angeles about 1:20pm Saturday - the international dateline is a funny thing! Our six hour layover in the Nadi, Fiji airport was a bit tedious, but besides that our intercontinental flights went well. The kids slept several hours each on the 10 hour flight from Fiji to LA.

Our 3 hour layover in LA was filled with Immigration, Customs, baggage, walking from international terminal to domestic, checking in, and eating lunch (old McDonald's, as our kids say). There are two families in Ripon, CA who have been supporting us financially for several years, so we had a quick flight over to Oakland and a two drive to get there for a long weekend. We always enjoy starting our furlough time with the O'Hara family because they are good friends and very easy going (it takes us a few days to get our bearings). The congregation where Caleb preaches asked me to share a presentation on the Vanuatu work during Bible class, and then preach during the AM assembly. Having arrived at their house the night before about 9:30pm, I wasn't sure how coherent I would be on Sunday morning, but it worked out fine. There are some exciting things happening among that congregation, and it was a pleasure to be with them.

We were up super early Tuesday morning for an 8:30am departure, in order to contend with the San Francisco Bay Area traffic. After another uneventful flight, we made it to Denver. It has been a pleasure to be back together with Shawnda's family. Mema and Auntie Leesha took Titus and Alexis to the zoo today, while Shawnda and I stayed at the house and tried to get our things organized.

We are scheduled to be in Denver for a week, and Lord willing will head on to OKC next Tuesday. School starts at OC on the 26th, and we have a few activities planned for the weeks leading up to that.

Please keep us in your prayers as we travel and adjust, and we look forward to seeing many of you in the coming months!