2 and ½ year-old first grandbaby Grace will be welcoming a baby brother in April. Heidi, Ryan and Grace joined us for two weeks over the holidays and we enjoyed many wonderful times together, including lots of singing and dancing! In other exciting news, we learned that younger daughter Lisa and her husband Jonathan, currently serving in Central Asia, are also expecting and they will welcome TWINS in May!!!
On November 8th, I was picked up from my Milwaukee Airport motel at 5 a.m. by Pastor Raymond Olson, a dear friend and pastor of Harbor Missionary Church (a Grace Communion congregation in Juneau WI.) Ray also serves full-time as a Prison Chaplain at Dodge Correctional Institution in nearby Waupun WI. After driving some 55 miles, we arrived at the facility, went through multiple levels of security and set up in the chapel for the 7:30 and 9:00 a.m. worship services.
Uganda, and Kenya for Heidi’s role as External Relations Manager for Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA). In each country, there is an IPA office, and Heidi visited fieldwork, trained staff, and attended conferences throughout the four weeks. In this time, Ryan was also able to finish and submit for publishing his new book with Miroslav Volf, A Public Faith in Action: How to Think Carefully, Engage Wisely, and Vote with Integrity, due out early next year.
Tammy’s dear mother, Grace, passed away on March 20, the first day of Spring, in her 85th year. Grace had lived with us in Southern California for more than 10 years before moving up to Washington state a few years ago to be closer to Tammy’s sister, Linda and her family. Since my “Mum” died way back in 1980, “Granny,” as Grace was affectionately known, was like a mother to me as well these past few decades, and dearly loved by our daughters, Heidi and Lisa. We held a “Celebration of Life” at our home a few weeks ago, connected by Face Time with family and friends in Washington and Texas. In addition to sharing fond memories of Grace, we also sang some of her favorite songs.
This family “selfie” was taken at our home on Thanksgiving Day 2014 – Grace is fresh out of the bath and not too amazed at the adults’ carrying on! What a delight it was to have all the family home over this special holiday. With Grace now at eighteen months, Tammy and I look forward to several “Face Time” calls each week and, of course, we sing some of her favorite songs at the piano and she is quick to call out “more, please” before each song is quite finished!
The picture on the left was taken last December in our back yard when Grace was 5 months old. Now she is 15 months old, and her current favorite fruit is a banana – hence the costume in the middle picture just last week for a church family gathering! Proud father Ryan has several chapters completed on his doctoral dissertation at Yale University.
June 28, 2014 was a wonderful day of celebration as Lisa and Jonathan were united in marriage. It was a great treat to have family and friends from Australia and all over the U.S. join us for this very happy occasion. The newly wedded couple will be living in Pasadena CA for at least the next twelve months while they both pursue their Master’s degrees in Inter-Cultural Studies at Fuller Seminary. We are delighted that they will be close by! “Everything beautiful in its own time,” indeed!!!
Younger daughter, Lisa, and her fiancé, Jonathan, have less than two weeks of service left with Samaritan’s Purse and Mission Aviation Fellowship in the DRC before they come home to Southern California and make final plans for their June 28th wedding. We are so pleased and excited for them – they have secured their first apartment in Pasadena CA and Jonathan will stay there for a month or so, while Lisa is at home with us making final preparations for their June wedding.
Lisa came home to California for a break from her strenuous work in the Congo (DRC) with Samaritan’s Purse, and brought with her a very special friend, Jonathan (pictured above with the family.) Jonathan is a pilot in the Eastern Congo and for the past two years has been working together with Lisa, often taking her to some of most challenging and dangerous field sites.
Tammy and I thoroughly enjoyed a 5-day visit in early September to New Haven CT to meet our first grand-child, Grace Victoria (born July 21st) Proud parents, Heidi and Ryan, scheduled the dedication of baby Grace to coincide with our visit. (Aunt Lisa arrived from the Congo a couple of weeks later to spend her R and R getting to know here new niece.)