Thursday, April 28, 2011

THERE IS SUNSHINE!

We have been asked repeatedly, "How are you and your family adjusting to the States?"  The hardest part has been the cold.  However, this morning there are so few clouds in the sky that the sun is actually able to shine, which finds me sitting right in the beam that is coming through the glass doors.

Today I will share several photos of where we have been on our travels.  Notice the coats in all but one photo - even inside buildings.

Our first meeting was at my dad's church in Gravette, Arkansas.  My dad took us around the countryside showing us the site of his childhood home and the schoolhouse he attended, which is still standing.

My dad, Willis Ward, with 6 of his 14 grandchildren.

We then headed north for two meetings in Canada and two meetings in New York.  We were surprised by the amount of ice still remaining at the base of Niagara Falls.  

A shivering pose in front of Niagara Falls

In New York City we visited the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, and Ground Zero.

Savannah & Shae-Lynn on the ferry

Everywhere we go, our children have made such great friends and are sorrowful to have to leave them.  Our visit to Narragansett Bay Baptist Church in Rhode Island was no exception.  However, this church gave our children friends they could take with them - BOOKS. Our children love reading and have asked repeatedly for something to read besides their school books.  They have now immersed themselves into the adventures of Paul White, Ed Dunlop, and Chuck Black.

Shiloh, Skyler & Savannah investigating their new books

 While staying in Rhode Island, we visited the First Baptist Church of America then traveled the short distance to Masachusettes and toured the USS Constitution, saw the Mayflower and Plymouth Rock replicas, and drove by Paul Revere's house and North Church.

Keith & I in front of The First Baptist Church of America


Shae-Lynn, Stanley, Skyler & Shiloh on board the USS Constitution

Traveling in Illinois we stayed several days with Gene & Bonita Sharp and met up with Eric & Tisa Damron for supper and, of course, ICE CREAM.  Gene & Eric just returned from Uganda, where they were helping several of us with Christian radio stations.

Eric, Gene, & Keith.  This was my first time to a ColdStone.
We will be in the Missouri area for the next month, basing out of Marshall and hopefully staying clear of the tornadoes.  Thank you for praying for us!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

WE'RE HERE!

In case you haven't yet heard, yes, we have arrived in the States.  Wow -- you Americans need to slow down!  April 11th will mark our one-month anniversary.  We have been going nonstop since arrival, hence, I have touched the computer only to pack it.  The kids are full of endless questions and fascinations.  "Who switches on the lights in the road?" - the reflectors in the road. "How does this faucet work?" - do you realize how many different types of faucets there?  "Is it safe to drink that water?" - hesitation in drinking from water fountains.  "We can get our own soda?" - from the fountain drink dispensers. They have experienced the world of automation in the form of toilets, sinks, soaps, paper towels, hand dryers, and doors.  Savannah seems to be stuck on the many types of toilets.  The automatic ones scared her to death until I made a game of it - "Wow - it flushed all by itself!" However, now she has observed that some toilets don't sit on the floor but come out of the wall, and she is very hesitant to use them. 

Thanks to all who prayed for Shiloh.  We were able to see an endocrinologist before leaving Austin who was extremely nice and helpful.  She had never heard of our Ugandan insulin and after some quick research discovered that America stopped using it 15 years ago.  Switching to the American system, we are seeing fewer fluctuations, but the American food is very tough to monitor.  It has been good for him to meet other children who regularly receive injections and realize he isn't alone in the world.

Since we left Austin, we have been to Oklahoma and Arkansas; through Missouri, Illiniois and Indiana; stayed in Ohio; through Pennsylvania; and stayed in New York and Canada.  We are really enjoying the smooth roads, although the 18 lanes of traffic is still a bit intimidating.  We have visited the Wal-mart Visitor Center in Bentonville, Arkansas and seen the Niagara Falls.  We have presented our ministry in 4 churches and been so blessed in each one.  Although we have had some cancellation in meetings, the empty spots have filled right up - one within a couple hour's time. 

Keith is doing awesome!  He is keeping himself within his desired weight allowance and still exercising every day.  It has been shocking to us to see how much Americans eat.  And seeing so many choices -- my children want to try everything.  On the flight over here, the kid's meals each contained an apple.  They were so delighted that they each got their very own to eat, since they have to share apples in Uganda due to the price.  Then our home church spoiled them with several more bags of apples, grapes, and mandarin oranges.  (Those Cuties oranges are SO good!)


This week we have been blessed by the opportunity to help out another family in the ministry.  The wife and I grew up together, but she has been having some tough health issues that resulted in surgery.  Being able to stay in their home and help out with their children has been a joy for us.  Truly, "it is more blessed to give than to receive."

I have tried to finish this post several times, so before I get interrupted again, I am going to send it out.  Thanks for your patience with me.  I will really try to write more than once a month!