Friday, January 9, 2009

Sandee's Pregnant!!!!

We found out a month ago and thought threw exactly how we wanted to let everything out. We figured we'd tell our parents the week before our conference, January 21. Then we'd tell all our co-workers at the conference and our students when we got back the next week.

It's funny how we make these great plans and God says "ah, that's nice. But it's not going to be anything like that". Sandee started getting really sick about three weeks ago. At first is was just occasional nausea but before long it was vomiting 3-10 times a day. Luckily, Christmas break came at that same time so it wasn't too hard to hide. We'd have to make up excuses why Sandee was not at the office occasionally or feeling tired at a friends house, but we made it work. Then the end of Christmas break came and she wasn't getting any better.

We looked at the calendar and figured out that if we wanted to stay the coarse for our plan, we'd have to wait two and a half weeks to tell everyone and at this pace it didn't seem possible. We decided late last week to tell our parents and then reveal to our students at club the next week.

So last night, we met for the first time at the JFK gym teen center (which was amazing) and held Nursery Club (aka Baby Club). I told students "If you miss this club, you'll be sorry" and posted the same message on my facebook. That night we played baby themed games all night and ended with a game called Body Spell. You have to spell letters to the word using your body kind of like charades. The last word we gave them was "Sandee's Pregnant". It took them all a few minutes since the word was so long but eventually someone guessed. One group yelled out "Ooooh, Sandee's pregnant! Wait, WHAT?!?!?! Sandee's Pregnant?!?!?! Oh my gosh Sandee's Pregnant!!!!!" and the whole room erupted in celebration.

I know we had this great elaborate plan that didn't work out and normally I'd be pretty disappointed but after the response from our students and the relief that comes with finally not having to hide anymore, I wouldn't have it any other way. Please keep praying for Sandee as she's still fighting morning sickness, pray for us both as we adjust our lives to fill it with love for our new family member and pray for our child as it grows inside of Sandee.

Monday, December 15, 2008


Recently, Sandee and I found out that there was going to be a second staff position in Bamberg. At first we were excited for the possibility of new staff here. Someone we could share the ministry with. But after a few minutes we realized that we are on a long list of communities in desperate need of staff. So we decided to suggest something to our supervisor Otis. Why not hire Sandee on as the second staff person? She's already working full time for Club Beyond as a volunteer. She doesn't need to be trained since she went through training with me. Plus, we could use of the contract money that would otherwise not get used by our community.
Quickly, the ball started rolling and within a month Sandee has been processed by Club Beyond. Then on Friday the 12th of December, Sandee got an email confirming she has been hired by Club Beyond to work in Bamberg. Otis has decided to supervise her so as to avoid any conflicts of interest coming from her husband acting as her boss.
It's been a challenge for Sandee these last 3 years to not have a paid position. I am forever grateful for all the work she's done as my right hand worker, but it's hard for her to not be contributing financially to our life in Germany. This should be a blessing in encouragement and finances so join us in thanking God.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Glow in the Dark Club

It hasn't happened yet, but as Sandee and I talk of vision for Bamberg we realize that there is a big opertunity to see that vision jump started. February 5th we'll have the assistant to the president of Young Life, Bill Paige, come and speak at our school. Our principle has generously allowed it to happen during school hours during a seminar period. Bill will speak about Character building and then invite kids to come to club that evening to hear more.

This all sounds fine, but why is it such a big deal? Bill Paige (pictured right) is one of the few speakers I have seen that can easily keep kids from different cultural backgrounds engaged. There is a large portion of our school that identifies with urban culture and have not been coming to club. Also, I've been wanting to get our chapel's Free Gospel congregation (mostly black men and women) involved in leading kids. Marry all these ideas with a really exciting club theme (Glow in the Dark) and I think we could be looking at an explosion in exposure with new students.
Of coarse this does not necissarily seal our success. Even if we do get these students to club, what's to say they might actually come back or even hear the gospel from us? If this event is to be successful, we need to marrinate this event in prayer. Please pray that new students are excited by this event. Pray that God touches their hearts and that what comes of this is not my vision or the Chapels vision, but God's. Pray that we represent Christ in a real way to our student body at Bamberg American High School.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Since We've Been Gone

The first week Sandee and I were in California, we had a club in Bamberg led by some staff and volunteers for our high schoolers. I called one of those leaders yesterday to ask how club went and she had some great news.

We have secular services for kids and teens in the Army, but they often have trouble getting more than a few students attending their events. The head of our teen center happened to drop in on our club two weeks ago and ask if he could witness how we lead club. Apparently, he was impressed with the scope of kids and how engaged we get them. He wanted Sara, the leader I spoke of, to pass on to me that he was interested in partnering together with us and might be willing to let us use the brand new teen center down the road. Our community has been praying that God would provide a suitable facility to host club and this one has everything we could ever dream of. Also, I've noticed that a lot of our communty's black students spend time at the JFK teen center and this could be the foot in the door to that group of kids we were looking for.

Please pray that as I go to meet with the teen center leader that God would guide both of our hearts in the right direction. Praise God that we have been getting the exposure we have recently. We've done little to advertise to anyone outside of our teens and yet this guy knew where and when club was being held.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Home From the Holidays

It was so hard to say goodbye to so many of you all knowing that we wouldn't be getting to see you for a year or so. Sandee and I are home now after a total of 30 hours of travel back to Bamberg Germany (car, train, flying and waiting to fly). We actually slept relatively soundly last night and got up at a reasonable hour. It probably had to do with hardly sleeping at all for 48 hours.

I want to say thank you to everyone who gave Sandee and I the time to share what God has been doing in Bamberg this last year. It's been an amazing experience and we love to brag about our teenage friends and what God's doing in their lives. I ran into Mrs. Taylor about an hour ago (mother of Josh Taylor who I gave the abdominal thrusts to) and it renewed my excitement yet again for what God has in store for us. She hadn't gotten to talk with me after Josh's choking incident and wanted to know what happened. I gave her some details and with tears in her eyes, she thanked me for saving her sons life. I reminded her that God had graciously put me in Josh's company that day and was simply doing what He had allowed me to do.

Life is a gift we do not deserve. Isn't it so wonderful that God continually shares it with us as we share it with others? We love you all. Thanks agian.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Shoulder Surgery

Update: Sorry I wasn't able to update the blog in the hospital. I was too busy feeling pain. This is me on Friday morning. I was released shortly after. I was in much better spirits that day. I'll post more pics further down this entry. The surgery went well, but there were some complications. Seems I did a lot more damage to my shoulder than they were expecting to find. I had torn a ligament and parts of my rotator cuff. After the surgery, I got sick from the anastesia and was generally loopy for the rest of Wednesday. Thursday I felt better and was able to keep food down but had a hard time sleeping because of the pain. Friday I was doing worlds better, but the ride home in the car was bumpier than I ever remember it being. Poor Sandee hates driving and has a terrible backseat driver for a husband. She's been so flexible and patient with me. Thank you all for praying for me. Please pray that Physical Therapy goes well these next few weeks and that I deal well with the pain. I didn't sleep very well last night because my shoulder hurt so much.
Pictures: (left) only three little incisions for all that pain; (right) they told me I was getting a pillow to hold my arm out... well it's more like a couch.

Please keep me in your prayers this week. I am having surgery on my right shoulder on Wednesday the 27th to tighten up the ligament. I will have to recover for the next few months with physical therapy and rest. The injury is the result of my pride. I got angry at my younger brother one day and tried to tackle him. As I did so, he braced himself on my shoulder, popping it out of place. Now, eight years later, it has come out countless times again and this most recent time at a water park with our students in Italy. One of the great things about doing the surgery over here is that it costs less and I am having it done by the best surgeon in Europe. This guy works on professional athletes. I'll keep you guys up to speed on how my recovery is going. It sounds like the hospital will have Internet.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


Today, we went with around 15 high school students to the paintball field on our post. We're friends with the guys who run our Outdoor Recreation activities so they set us up with a great deal. We had a fun time and a few of us came back with some sweet battle wounds. If I look too clean, don't worry. It got shot up in the last match as I was walking out. Sandee stayed pretty clean but don't think she didn't play hard.