Saturday, February 14, 2009

This is something we've wanted to do, literally for years. It took a visit from Keith and Carolyn, the pastors of our home church in Milk River and Sunburst, to put the planning into action.

We took all the staff from the little children`s home and Shiphrah Bahay Paanakan (Birthing Home) to Mary Hill for a half-day retreat.

It is Valentine`s Day today, so we reflected on the power of love. It is not only romantic love that gives our live meaning--but also communal love, parental love, and--ultimately--God`s love.

Of course, Deborah was our main planner and organizer. She arranged volunteers to cover our responsi- bilities at the two mission homes, and enough food to feed a troop.

I led worship and gave a reflection on Song of Solomon 8:6-7, In Praise of Love (

Aubrey took most of these pictures.

We love to sing, so we did a lot of that. And we had workshop type questions that included activities like...

Draw a picture (or a symbol) of someone who loves you.

Find an object that reminds you of a time you felt loved. (This is Dina, drawing a picture of a cell-phone, because the way she communicates with her husband who is working abroad, is by text message.)

As a way to symbolize how we are growing in love, we each hung a colorful piece of fruit on a tree, writing on it one way we are or want to grow in love. It was like watching our love blossom (fructify).

And, of course, we just enjoyed the outdoors, the food, and one another.

A huge thank you to everyone who made this special day possible.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

One of Aubrey's school assign- ments for today was to take pictures of the babies downstairs at the little children's home with his new camera.

A new camera is a lot of fun, but Aubrey has also done a good job of really working on it as an art form. A little bias here: I think these pictures are outstanding.

Roy was in Wendy's home for Christmas care over the holidays. So she and another friend from the US Embassy Club were out to visit today. She's one of those really special volunteers who make care at the little children's home...tlc.

In the background you can see a mural painted by another group of volunteers that wraps all the way around the nursery reading: "He will give his angels charge over you, and they will bear you up" (Psalm 91).

Aubrey is seven years old, but our hope would be that he will learn to see in orphaned and abandoned children the very apple of God's eye.