Sunday, February 24, 2013

Hellos, Farewells, and The Videos No One Wants To See

This month we were excited to welcome our friends, Kat and Burton, back home to San Diego!  They spent a year in Japan leading ministries for the victims of the 2011 tsunami.  In addition to helping meet the peoples' physical and emotional needs, they also led creative arts activities for them. Kat is a talented hula dancer, and she choreographed and taught dances to Christian worship songs. Burton is a gifted artist and photographer, so he taught art classes for all age groups.  They have many stories of people professing faith in Christ, wanting to learn more about the Bible, and being blessed by the opportunity to express themselves and create something beautiful in the midst of a devastated area.

Almost simultaneously, we said farewell to our friends, Ray and Peggy, who moved to Zambia, Africa to work with African Christian University.  ACU's purpose is to educate and raise up strong Christian leaders who will make an impact for Christ throughout Africa.  Both Ray and Peggy have worked in Christian schools for many years, and they'll offer a wealth of wisdom as this brand-new ministry grows. From talking with them and Kat and Burton, we've learned that there is an extremely steep learning curve for U.S. missionaries who need to learn the language and culture of the people they're working with.  We know that God will use them in a powerful way, and we're praying for them as they transition to an entirely new life.

In other news, Dan and I have started attending childbirth classes once a week. They were pretty gentle on us the first week with get-to-know-you games and general information about the last trimester of pregnancy.  Then wham! They hit us between the eyes the second week with the nitty-gritty of labor and delivery, including The Videos No One Wants To See.  Dan took a strategic bathroom break right before they started one of the videos and then acted like it was just a coincidence. Heh. 
It makes sense that they get right to point, though, since out of the 20 couples in the class, you know a few of us will probably go into labor early.  At the end of Week 2, I was even more convinced that no one except the necessary medical professionals and Dan should witness this event in my life.  Dan on the other hand, is now ready to call in the troops in case the front line (I will not name names) passes out or panics.  My favorite quote from him is "I need to be able to divide my body in half, so my torso can stay with you giving you support while my legs pace non-stop around the room." I just reminded him that they have very strong, helpful drugs, and I'm sure they'll give him some. :)  I have no doubt at all he'll be incredible that day, since he's always been my most amazing, steady supporter.  I'm not going to lie, though, I'm pretty excited about those strong, helpful drugs myself.
Anyway, we decided that surviving The Videos called for a celebration at the Happiest Place on Earth. They still had decorations up for Valentine's Day, and the weather was in the high 80s that day, which was awesome!  I'm pretty much limited to riding the kiddie rides, but we always love going and soaking in the fun atmosphere.  We also walked to a nearby Cheesecake Factory for a belated Valentine's Day dinner before heading back to watch Disney's nighttime fireworks show.

A (dark) picture in front of the "True Love" heart on Main Street

Dan carrying his backpack pregnancy-style :)

And me carrying my belly pregnancy-style at 32 weeks!