Category Archives: Family

A Year In Transition (and Photos!)

What a YEAR God had for us! A new ministry, multiple surgeries, living in two separate states, buying a house, losing a brother, finishing out a school year and raising fifty-four chickens!

My (Lynne) eyes were only part of the reason this blog was on hold and they still limit the time I can stare at a screen. With Chris working flat-out at Mercer Christian Academy as their new administrator and me flat on my back after 4 surgeries we failed all of you with our sad lack of communication!

But, NO MORE EXCUSES! Please forgive us and allow these photos to cause praise to the Lord for all He has done in our lives that we failed to share.

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Please pray for us:

  • to keep our focus on Christ
  • trust Him in difficult situations ahead
  • strive for better relationships
  • to do better at communication
  • to be open to new ministry opportunities
  • for Chris in planning for the new school year

We so appreciate those of you who have kept in touch and prayed with us through the hardships and transitions we faced. We praise and thank the Lord for each and every one of you!


A little Blip

Yikes! Ignore the hair!

Yikes! Ignore the hair!

Firstly, thanks so much for praying for the latest eye surgery… things went very well – until a tiny blip recorded on my heart monitor. I heard them say, “she’s quickly converted; we’ll continue.” which never registered since the shot they gave me truly allowed me to care nothing about what they said or did.

In the recovery room a nurse began to ask what I assumed were normal questions after surgery; “Who was my local doctor?” “Who prescribed my one and only prescription?” “Who was my cardiologist?” and  “When was my last physical?”

My answers like, “I guess my local doctor would be in Radford, VA.”, and “Oh that was from my doctor in the Philippines.” drew more and more nurses over to my little curtained cubicle until there wasn’t room for any one else. One outside the curtain fairly gasped, “She has no local doctor!” and I couldn’t yet focus enough to decide her attitude, but it was there. After my answer about a cardiologist,  “(snicker)… cardiOLOgist?” and the following one going something like, “Oh, I think maybe about 15 years ago or maybe not.”

That was the answer that dashed them over the precipice.

I am grateful I regained the presence of mind to actually NOT say, “I don’t think I’ve ever had one.”

They rushed to get the surgeon. He already left. Phones came out and doctor names bounced in the air until one landed a rushed appointment the day later. He’s a cardiologist.

I arrived at his office and couldn’t imagine being there. I never go to the doctor! Refer my apparent disturbing answer to the nurses’ last question. I hadn’t been back in the states a year and already had two surgeries and now a cardiology appointment. (The sixties are not being nice to me.)

The extremely tall (I so miss normal-sized Filipinos) but very nice doctor explained my blip is atrial fibrillation and is the most common cardiac arrhythmia…(heart rhythm disorder). It may cause no symptoms, (which was true for me) but it is often associated with palpitations, fainting, chest pain, or congestive heart failure. Then he looked at me and said in a very thick accent, “Most likely it was anesthesia, but we will make sure.”

I’m wearing a heart monitor for 24 hours and will eventually have an echocardiogram of my heart’s beat.

All this to say, he was very supportive of my calm attitude about it all as I was still amazed to even be in a cardiologist’s office.

Oh, and a nice receptionist penciled my name into a slot with my local doctor (at least he’s stateside!) next week in Radford, VA.

An Added Joy – FOLKS!

A huge part of our joy in Home Assignment is the same as our joy in Field Assignment – PEOPLE!  (and a couple of animals)

Here are just a few of the faces in our family and travels through forty-plus meetings and ten states thus far (added photos of family inserted without shame 🙂:

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(some photos borrowed  😉 Thanks much!)

There are still so many missing ones of YOU! We look forward to visiting those that are in the future as the Lord wills!


On the Road Again…

We passed along our family tradition of MOVING!

Brent and Tonia had a move this year and God allowed us to help! We are so grateful to be in the States during family times of need. We travel so much for meetings we miss some of the events in our family, but this time we passed on an organizational retreat for some muscle-building.

While we would loved seeing everyone at the New Tribes Mission Refresher course, it was a case of “Home Assignment Calendar Madness” so the family won out (and GRANDdaughter time was had) in order to help Brent’s family hit the road to the mountains.

Please pray  for them as they seek housing and employment in their new area! We so appreciate YOU, our partners’, for  praying for our family.

Thank you!

A few photos from the day:

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A Time for Healing

No doubt of need

no doubt of need

We arrived early all smiling and without nerves on my part. At a friend’s suggestion, I found google-ly glasses so while I waited in the patient waiting area with Chris and Doris (my cousin/more like sister), we had a bit of fun before I headed back for preparations for my surgery. Once things began to move forward, it seemed a bit like the normal “hurry up and wait” hospital scene until they actually wheeled me back to the OR. I must add here that God wonderfully answered the prayers for my nerves as I felt absolutely calm the whole time. Thank you all praying friends so very much.

The nurse anesthetist asked me all about the Philippines which might have been a mistake because I stayed very awake in order to answer all his questions. Perhaps he should have picked a less favorite subject as he said, “Why are you so awake? You need to feel very sleepy and go on out for about two minutes so we can give you this shot in your eye. I’m giving you a bit more.” I remember seeing all sorts of colors and lights and also them asking me to stop moving my feet. After that I concentrated on keeping very still.

In recovery, the doctor came in and explained what he found: the membrane was clearly seen and a macular hole.  He explained after he used tiny instruments to remove the membrane, he inserted a gas bubble into the eye to press against the retina so the hole would heal. This would change my next week as I had to remain face down to keep the bubble in the correct position until my next appointment. He also explained a guaranteed second surgery as this surgery damages the natural lens to my eye meaning cataract surgery is absolutely in my future. He then gave us prescriptions and a phone number for medical equipment rental to keep me in the face-down position.

Chris and Doris helped me dress and wheeled me to the car and home. I continually asked the Lord for the strength to properly hold my ever-increasing heavy head face down. Once home, with Chris’ help, we worked several pillows that kept me stay face down on the bed but sitting and walking around was murder as my muscles had to do that task alone. To say those muscles ached is truly an understatement. When the chair arrived that night I’m sure I heard my neck and shoulders shout for joy. The next day allowed for removal of the patch and antibiotic drops to begin. Pain relievers did their duty and I have not really had pain in my eye even after I stopped taking them – a praise! The bubble is slowly growing smaller and my only complaint is the bubble’s constant moving inside the eye makes me a bit sea-sick.

At this writing I had my first exam where he explained things are looking good and I expect to have the next exam on the 14th – Happy Valentine’s Day for me!

Here are a few of the photos from my experience so far:

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Praises to God for:

  • praying friends and His answers to all the prayers 
  • guiding the surgeon’s hands
  • the gift of the wonderful doctors and staff involved  in finding my need (three offices in two states!)
  • the gift of an excellent surgeon and medical staff
  • urging the prayers
  • providing funds in advance for all the appointments
  • providing great caregivers in Chris and Doris
  • continued healing with very little discomfort
  • chairs and sleeping devices designed for keeping one face-down

Prayer Requests:

  • continued healing inside the eye
  • appointment on the 14th
  • complete absorption of the air bubble very soon
  • macular hole to heal completely and restored vision to same as before
  • for the upcoming cataract surgery to go smoothly

We are blessed. God is our almighty and loving Father. He works His plan in our lives for our good and continues to forgive and mold us into the image of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

All praises to Him,


Precious Gifts from the Lord


I woke up this morning to check email and found this friendly photo in my inbox. It did my heart good to see these smiling faces of the missionary ladies on Mindanao. They shared that during their prayer time they prayed for my upcoming surgery and for me. No photo, but our co-workers in our village shared that our brothers and sisters there are praying too!

How precious is the gift of friends – rather, family – brothers and sisters in the Lord. I thank the Lord for each of you.

Taste of Heaven?

Sending Church, Calvary Baptist

Some places on this earth feel as good as comfortable socks on a cool day.

These places are gifts of God for rest and refreshment for the soul. For our family, it’s Radford, Virginia.

To be honest, God gives our family a few of these places and we dearly love each of them, but maybe the one that we reach for the most from that “sock drawer” of spots on this side of heaven is Radford. We had the great privilege for an impromptu visit just last weekend. There was a bit of time before doctor visits take over our schedule. It took a last minute call to see if it would work out for us to pop in for just a day’s visit! A wonderful family keeps a room ready for us and once again they opened their doors for us where we crashed into the room we call “ours.”

Sunday morning we learned from God’s Word and croaked our songs out in English with beloved folk.

During evening service we shared of God’s work in the Philippines that we’ve had a part of for the past ten years – and gratefully accepted the prayers, hugs and ice cream afterwards.

Good ole Radford!

These moments are our faint glimpses into Heaven. His children gathering around the living Word, praising and worshipping God together.

If this feels so good here, can you even imagine Heaven?

Birthday Girl

God gives His children Joy!

Barely over jet lag, we piled stuff into the new car and made the trek to a very special birthday celebration. Our granddaughter, Jaiden, celebrated her ninth birthday and we were there!

I know there are fortunate ones that do this every year with their grandchildren but, for those of us serving overseas, it’s a rare and wonderous occasion. Your inner being gnaws with hunger for family. So it’s pure JOY to live in the moment right there with family.

We felt like we were living Jeremiah 31:12.

We thank the Lord for the timing of our Home Assignment and the gift of celebrating this special day with Jaiden and 4 other days just lapping up family time.  For our wonderful friends separated from family, we took the time to pray for your family-sized hunger pains and that God would grant you this gift in the future so you might sing songs to the heights of your home.

For the rest of us, REJOICE!

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Despidida Times Three


Party is Pinoy!

Chris says, “Goodbyes are GOOD, because it’s always about people and that’s good.” No matter if make-up runs down the cheeks. No matter if the nose must be wiped with your shirt because there is no tissue. No matter that your face looks all screwed up with emotion.

So of course here, in the Philippines, goodbyes are a great reason for a party! That’s the despidida.

We have had a few. We cry at each. We hug. We laugh and eat. We fellowship. And Lord, please bless our dear neighbors with protected ears, because we sing. We sing of the Lord and how wonderful He is to bring us together as family. We’ve said “townie” good-byes in Manila, Butuan and Malaybalay.

Join the parties through these photos (had to borrow a few) of beautiful family God has joined by heart strings:

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Last Visit into the Jungle (Goodbyes)

Amay Disi prayed for our flight.

The day came for our last flight out of the village before home assignment.

Silently the group moved to the landing and waited on the plane. The time had come. It was time to say good-bye.

Amay Disi, the main Bible teacher, prayed a sweet prayer for our flight.

Tears flowed.

We thank God that He gave us that time with the Banwaon. We thank God for the way He makes us all family. We thank God for allowing us to get back into the village together before we head to America. It’s a standing prayer that He might allow us to return.

Please pray for the Banwaon believers as they continue growing in the Lord and sharing the Gospel all throughout the jungle. Pray that the young ones who never worshiped the evil spirits catch the urgency of their parents’ and grandparents’ who easily remember the bondage, fear and lies of the evil one. Pray for the translation of the Banwaon Bible and for our partners, the Castelijn’s, and the tribal translators, Amay Duduy, Amay Isil, and Amay Tim, as they strive to finish the New Testament.

Pray for us as we make the adjustments back to America. We know there will be moments feeling dreadful loss mingled with the incredible joy of being back with dear family and friends in the States. We are already aware of feeling out of sync in our own culture as our home nation has changed so much.

We are changed.

Our pilot, Joel, was kind enough to take photos and give us these to remember and share. We have to grab a kleenex when we look at them. (Be glad there is no audio!)

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