Friday, December 18, 2009

Must Go To Morocco

Thank you for your prayers for the trip to Morocco.  As you probably read in my last "Portugal Update," due to Portuguese laws, I along with some of my co-workers have to go outside of the European Union every 90 days because of the type of paperwork we have.  So, the nearest neighbor outside of the E.U. is Morocco.  Since we had a conference in Southern Portugal, getting to Morocco was much easier.  We left on a ferry from Tarifa, a port in Southern Spain, to Tangier, Morocco.  It was just a quick weekend trip - leaving one day and returning the next - but a memorable one!  Here are pictures from the trip:  (You would think that we stayed for a week by the number of pictures I took, but actually we were only there for less than 24 hours!  The culture was very fascinating!)

Waiting at the port with the Dubois', Nick, Noah and Krista (behind the camera).

While waiting for the ferry, we walked around the little Spanish town of Tarifa.

It was a little windy, so rather than try to fight it, might as well have fun with it!

 Getting a taxi in Tangier (not sure why the signs were so bright)

The younger daughter of our host and hostess.  She was just a doll!

International version of Dannon bottled water - don't forget - Arabic is read from right to left!

Kati, me, Nina standing on a hilltop with the coast of Morocco below us!

A man stopping Mike (or me?) to ask for money.

Ever have an itch you couldn't quite reach?

I didn't see any film for sale though. :-)

Muslim prayer tower that announces a call to prayer 5 times a day.

Preparing and selling produce

It wasn't until after I took the picture, that I realized the man in the background was trying to tell me he didn't want his picture taken.  Oops, sorry sir!

Keeping an eye on the oranges to make sure they don't fall out of the truck

Everything from bottled water to spices...even a kitchen knife set!

Moroccon version of Rack Room shoe store?

Such beautiful colors!

I wonder if there is a Starbucks, too?

While the color contrast caught my eye, the plight of humanity captured my heart.

Headed back to the dock

Special Friday Chapel with Miss McComb

Tammy McComb joined us on the Friday before Thanksgiving break.  She came to lead the children's program at the conference.  Tammy has taught at GLCA for the last two years, so the kids were thrilled to see her again!  She led chapel on Friday that was an introduction to the program she would be doing at the conference.  It was a VBS curriculum from LifeWay that had an Australian theme.

There were lots of fun songs with motions that the kids really enjoyed!

The train game!

Keegan & Joao waiting for one of the games to start.

The focus verse for the lesson

Miss McComb with some of her former students who are now in the 5th & 6th grade.

Miss McComb and Miss Peters with her kiddos.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Color Me Thankful

Friday before Thanksgiving break, we turned our white board into a collective list of things for which we are thankful.  We started the list in the morning and added to it throughout the day!


Friday, December 4, 2009

Our Conference and Celebrating American Thanksgiving in Portugal

Thank you all for your prayer support for our conference/retreat!  We had a wonderful time being refreshed through time in the Word and sessions with guest speaker, Pastor Dave Cortner, from Cherry Hill, New Jersey; through fellowship with our teammates, some of whom we do not get to see very often because the spread out locations of the 8 ABWE churches; and through the beauty of God's creation.

Jenny and Jeff Thomas led in worship throughout the week, and it was such a wonderful blessing!

Pastor Dave sharing with us on prayer.  It was such an encouragement!

Tammy leading the kids program of The Boomerang Express

Outback Jack welcoming everyone!

The hotel had a great kids' room that was perfect for their meetings.

It is a beautiful area.  I didn't know poinsettia trees existed!  Did you?

No bugle playing in the parking lot!

One night as a treat, a few of us went to an Irish restaurant.  The side of "Mushy Peas" made me laugh...and gag a little.

The view from our back door.  A little construction underway.

But turn to the right and what a sight!

Getting ready for Thanksgiving dinner!

Table decorations, complete with fall napkins and Chinet plates brought from the States.  (Thanks Tammy!)

Little Josiah hanging out with "Uncle" Doug (the MKs refer to the other missionaries as "Aunt" and "Uncle")

Three sweet MK girls - Luisa, Nina and Leah

Just as I was taking the picture, Noah did something to his sister, Ellen and friend, Keegan is caught in the middle.  Note the slightly mischievous look on Noah's face!  Hahaha :-)

Cal, me, and Joyce - sweet friends and respected boss :-)

New friend, Tammy McComb - praying she will raise all the funds she needs to come as a career missionary next year!!

 Kathy and Dave Cortner - our special guests!  (and John Rust enjoying conversation in the background :-)

And the feasting commenced!

Thank you, Kathy, for bringing these little packets of joy!!  (Starbucks on the go)

After the meal, field council director, Brian Dix, led us in a time of sharing and thanksgiving.

New friendships, new blessings - one of the many things for which I am thankful!!

The annual MKs  vs.  the Dads soccer game

There were two separate games, one with the younger kids and one with the teens.  Here, the teens waiting for their turn to take on the dads.  Dads, how did you last that long??

Little Noah, who so desperately wants to join in the game, dreams of when he can play with the big boys!

His favorite toy - bola!

Cheryl & Jack Shiflett - Sweet, sweet folks.  He serves as the head of  the Western Europe division at ABWE headquarters in PA, but it turns out he grew up in Birmingham, AL and is good friends with Frank Barker, pastor emeritus of Briarwood Presbyterian.  What a small world!

The skies looked promising for a beautiful sunset, so Tammy and I headed down to the beach.

And boy was it amazing!

Later that night we went to hang out with Chris, Catrina and Little Josiah.  We had frozen pizza and I found this soft drink in a grocery store there that carries some British products.  I'd never seen Dandelion & Burdock soda before.  It was interesting to try but probably won't do it again.  It was a cross between creme soda (which I like) and black licorice (which I am not a fan of).

They Skyped with their family and kindly let me use their computer to Skype with my folks who were in Indiana with other extended family.  It was neat to be able to do that!

He's a sweet little thing!

The next day I helped Tammy pack up her stuff from the children's program.  Do you know how hard it is to deflate a 5 foot kangaroo quickly???  Not easy!

It is team tradition to eat lunch at McDonalds on the last day on the way out of town.

Headed back home after a wonderful and refreshing week...some beautiful clouds on the horizon.

Thank you again for your prayer support for this week!  God really blessed, and it was a great time of encouragement for us all!