Monday, January 31, 2011

Tucson shooting

The shooting took place on January 8, 2011, at 10am. A United States Representative from Arizona, Gabrielle Giffords, was holding a constituent meeting called "Congress on Your Corner" at the Safeway supermarket in La Toscana Village mall, which is in Casas Adobes. Giffords had set up a table outside the store and about 20 to 30 people were gathered around her when the gunman drew a pistol and shot Giffords in the head. He then allegedly proceeded to fire apparently randomly at other members of the crowd. A nearby store employee said he heard "15 to 20 gunshots". After the gunman ran out of ammunition in the first magazine, he stopped to reload, but dropped the loaded magazine from his pocket to the sidewalk, from where a bystander grabbed it. Another bystander clubbed the back of the assailant's head with a folding chair. The gunman was then tackled to the ground by 74-year-old retired colonel Bill Badger, who himself had been shot.

This is the news that we watched unfold on local and international news. Arizona, as was the rest of the US, was shocked that something like this happened. While visiting a supporting church in Tucson, and attending their missions conference, we took the opportunity to go visit the site of the shooting. We were happy to see that the memorial has been left untouched. As a matter of fact, Safeway has placed guard rails around it to protect it from cars. A somber moment, but one we felt we wanted to go see


Thursday, January 27, 2011

Body Scan

Mike took a picture of me while I was being scanned.

While departing from Atlanta airport today we came to the security check point. Got in line...and as we got closer we noticed that we were in the body scan line. I looked up and down the security lines, and noticed that only about every third line was a body scan line. Hmmm....I if I was a bad guy, and wanted to skirt around the body scan - I simply needed to go to the lines without body scans. Not all that secure, I'm thinking. We were asked to take everything out of our pockets - metal or not - didn't matter. We did...or so I thought. Mike went through, Madison went through, I went through. Unfortunately, I had left my ID in my back pocket. So the TSA agent told me, "I have to pat down your buttocks". after being patted down I collected all my belongings and we went on our merry way. All the way down to the end of the terminal to D-1. We put our things down, settled in and were immediately told that our flight was being moved to C-1. So...back down to the terminal train, next terminal down - and we came up the stairs and saw we were at LONG walk to the END of the other terminal, and we finally arrived.

The week was good - spent a few days with my friend Denise, then we had 3-day re-entry training with our mission agency, flying back today, and tomorrow starts a three day missions conference we will be participating in. No rest for the weary :-)

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Atlanta and more traveling

We are finishing up our last day of training in Atlanta. We fly back to Phoenix tomorrow, then will be participating in a 3-day Missions Conference. Then, the following week we will be driving to Utah to meet up with a supporting church there, and Mike will be speaking at Presbytery. Then, a few weeks after that we will be flying to Honduras to renew our Residency Cards. This is a mandatory requirement by the Honduran government - for us to physically be there to renew our cards - otherwise we have to start the application process all over again. Needless to say - we will be off to Honduras :-).

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Hanging out

We are in Georgia, hanging out with our dear friend Denise. It's cold here...I know...I know - everyone who has snow on the ground is thinking I'm crazy - but after living in Honduras for 2 1/2 years with an average temp of 95 degrees with a 95% humidity, and you SWEAT non-stop, a balmy 42 degrees is downright cold. To top it off, I did my 15 miles today in that cold weather. We are here to do some training at our headquarters for the week, but thought we would come spend some time with our friend. In a week and a half we will be in Utah spending some time with a supporting church there, and the average high will be 30 degrees - LOTS of snow around - not so sure how my Honduras body will do with a 17 miler while there - we shall see.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

We are climbing a mountain...or two

While we are in the beautiful states of Arizona, we thought we should see some of the sights! There is an annual event called the "Seven Summit Challenge". There are so many national parks around here that feature the incredible mountain ranges that all but surround Phoenix proper. So, we thought we would take the Seven Summit Challenge a mountain at a time. Once a week we are going to hike a peak, then the 8th week we are going to (attempt) to hike them all in one day! Here are some highlights from todays hike.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

1/2 marathon tomorrow...and injury

Well...after almost 4 months of training - I'll be walking the P.F. Chang's 1/2 marathon tomorrow. It's been a good road - a long road (walking takes a LONG time), but I've managed to get my times up from when I started. Initially I walked about 13:15 minutes mile, to now where I can walk about a 11:50 minute mile. So, I had planned on going 13 miles in 2 hours 36 minutes (that's 12 minute mile average). However, 2 days ago I pulled my hamstring pretty badly. So badly that on Friday I was hobbling my 4 miles just to get it done. Since then I've been icing, adviling, massaging, etc. my hamstring. I've tried not to walk much at all, and so we shall see. We shall see what tomorrow may bring. To say I'm not disappointed would be a lie. To have worked this hard to potentially "just finish" is disheartening. However, I will finish.

My husband reminded me yesterday that this is a training day only. I'm actually training for a full marathon in April, the weekend before we leave back to Honduras. So, perhaps if I keep that in mind, I won't be too disappointed at my time. But I endeavor on...I will persevere...and will do it to God's glory - because without Him - there is no way I would have even started out on this adventure to begin with.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


This week marks the one-year anniversary of the tragedy in Haiti. Trying to wrap my head around my experiences is very difficult. When I responded to the tragedy in Sri Lanka after the tsunami, then to the tragedy in Haiti, they seemed very different indeed. In one city alone, Port au Prince, more people were killed then were collectively killed in all the countries during the tsunami. This is not to belittle the anguish that was caused in either situation, just puts things into perspective for me. Sri Lanka had a profound effect on me, but Haiti stuck down deep into my soul. It was a long "recovery" when I returned from Haiti. Mike would often find me staring off into the distance as I remembered specific faces and events.

Of one of our translators yelled to me as we were driving off our last day, "remember me...please remember me." Of the pregnant woman we had to stick tubesinto her stomach to suction out the blood that was accumulating there, and all she kept saying was "merci beaucoup, merci beaucoup. (thank you very much, thank you very much)." To the 18 month old who died while I was doing CPR on her, to the old woman who never had a chance. But also to the young woman who came into the hospital in active labor, and on the dirt floor, by myself, I delivered new life into the world. During all this time I was able to pray with people, love on people, and bring some hope into this dark place. It was hard, emotionally draining, and I would do it again without thinking about it.

The baby I delivered.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

My road to a 1/2 marathon

I've shared a little bit about my exercise routine in the past, and some goals I've had. I want to share with everyone a little of that. When I arrived in California in September, I found out that my friend, Mindy, was going to run the Nike 1/2 marathon in San Francisco. I've been walking for exercise for quite some time now, but never have trained for anything. So my friend running the half marathon inspired me to actually train for something. 12+ weeks into my training, I've been able to accomplish quite a bit. My longest training walk has been 12-miles. I've walked two 10K runs, and have less than a week for the 1/2 marathon here in Phoenix. Now training to walk is slightly different than training to run. The distance is the same - so imagine how long it takes to WALK 12 miles - well...If I average a 12-minute mile (or less), it takes about 2 hours and 24 minutes. So - that's about what I'm hoping to walk my 1/2 marathon - in 2 hours and 30 minutes. So - you can imagine what it's going to take to WALK the marathon I'm training for...

I've really enjoyed the training, and look forward to see how things go.

The 10K walk in Tempe, Arizona

Thursday, January 6, 2011

God will Provide

I am re-posting Mike's blog post:

In downtown La Ceiba, in the neighborhood of La Isla, we are building a ministry center that will address the needs of the surrounding neighborhoods. On the property there will be a church, medical clinic, high school, seminary, a center for homeless kids and a dorm that will sleep over 60 short-term missionaries.

We recently ran the electric cable in from the meter to the breaker main box. Our Honduran workers are pouring the foundations on half of the dorm building Thursday. The plumbing is already in for one of the bathrooms and for the washing machines.

Fabian directing his menUnfortunately, we are running out of money to fund this project. A week or so ago we had the conversation with Fabian (pictured in the orange shirt), our job foreman, about the funds drying up and the possibility of the workers having to stop work very soon. Thursday morning Fabian told our teammate John, “I don’t think we’ll have to stop work here…I have faith in God that He will provide.” Please be praying that these men will see God’s hand and come to grow in a relationship with Him.

Help us show Fabian that his faith in God is not misguided. If you would like to be an answer to prayers you can contribute to this project online by clicking HERE. Please make sure you enter 92412 as the designation. Or, you can mail a check to: Mission to the World, P.O. Box 116284, Atlanta, GA 30368-6284. Please put 92412 in the memo section.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Traveling to Arizona

After our 3+ months in California, we started the drive to Arizona two days ago. On our way down we found out that the Grapevine was closed. As this is the primary route to get where we were going, we had to try and figure out an alternate route. We stopped at the In-N-Out in Kettleman City and as we were bringing our food back to our car, they made the announcement that the Grapevine was back open! It was so beautiful driving over the grapevine! Enjoy some pics we took along the way!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Dedicated to Mindy

Last day in California - tomorrow morning we start the drive to Arizona.

There are so many things that are NOT constant with being a missionary. A place to call "home", mail, electricity, finding clothes that are your size, milk at the grocery store, etc. You get the drift. One thing that IS constant is saying hello and goodbye ALL THE TIME! Teams coming and going, interns coming and going, other missionaries in the area coming and going, team mates coming and going. Being in California has been so incredible! Our home church is here, my best friend is here, my family is here - it was an incredible time! But let's just face's only temporary. As our physical home (earth) is only temporary as well - we are all passing through - to finally come to the place where we can officially call home. The beauty in knowing that my best friend - Mindy Hertzell, will always be there for me on this earth and this life is incredible, but more importantly - in the life to come we will be eternal friends.

What do you say to someone you call sister? Who is a role model in your life? Who has truly been there for me through thick and thin. Who prays for me when I don't ask, and "somehow" is praying for the exact thing that I need in that moment. What do you say to someone who calls you "just because" and leaves goodie bags on my front porch waiting for me to find the next morning? Who drives across town to jump start your car because you are an idiot and leave the lights on while you are away on a week trip. You do your best - and fumble with words - and hope that the feelings and emotions do justice to what is in my heart. Or you dedicate this blog to her - to let her know how special she is to me. My friend, my sister.

I love you Mindy. And it's only goodbye for now...