Category Archives: Road trip

Arrival

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Well, we have made it to OK soil and I confess, when we crossed the border, there is still a sense of “home” to this place we love.  We have had a few days to get settled and rest since we have been busy and on the road since we arrived in the US three weeks ago!  We are so blessed to let you know that a family from Henderson Hills Baptist Church is allowing us to reside in their garage apartment on their property north of Edmond for the entire duration of our stay in OK!  It is a 2 bedroom apartment above their detached garage.  They also have a pool which we have already put to good use. We are really grateful for their heart for missionaries and that we were blessed to cross paths with them.

We started in Colorado seeing our parents, supporters and friends.  Since then, we have been to Utah to see my sister, Nevada to see college friends, Arizona to see Robert’s sister and visit the Frontier’s Home office, Texas to see the Dill family who will be joining us in Albania in a few months and we bought a car for our use this summer and to ship back to Albania at the end of our time in the US.  Whew!  We are really glad to be settling down.  We have unpacked our suitcases and are anxious to connect with YOU if you are in OK!

Here are our stateside cell phone numbers…. we are still working out some schedules but for the most part we are wide open so if you would like to see us please call and we will schedule a time!

THIS SUNDAY: We’re at Journey Church in Norman!

Jenny 405-401-7484

Robert 405-343-8908

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The new trend in furniture stores

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Outside of Tirana prices for just about anything you want come way down.  I guess it is that way in most big cities.  Those who are willing and able to drive out a little bit can find a better price on merchandice.

So a few weeks ago we took a road trip toward the mountain town of Kruja to see what was out that way.  Furniture stores.  For long stretches of road there is nothing but furniture stores.  But they have an interesting twist.  No doors.

This one has no doors at all... are they open 24/7? What happens when it rains?

There appear to be doors on the bottom but not on the top level. Maybe there are no stairs so it is secure. You may laugh... it could be true!

This one does have doors... and a mad cow to guard the place

Seriously, some things just make you wonder…

U2 Baby!

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One of Robert’s all time dreams has been to see U2 in concert.  Last summer when they came to Europe for the 360 Tour we had hoped we could travel to one of our neighboring countries to see them.  Those hopes were dashed when Robert ended up in the States for back surgery.

We are pretty blessed to have some amazing friends who knew about that dream and asked if they could buy us tickets to see U2 at their first US concert of the tour which will be in Salt Lake City.  It just so happens that the date coincides with our plans to be in Salt Lake to visit my sister, who has graciously agreed to watch the kids while we attend the concert!!  Who orchestrates those kinds of coincidences?  Only God!

The tickets arrived at the home of our friends this week.  U2 Baby… here we come!   We have some pretty amazing friends and not just because they gave us this gift but because they know us well enough to know it is a dream come true!  Thanks guys!  We love you and can’t wait to spend time with you this summer.

Are we there yet?

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Nope… we are at home. We are out for the count. The damage to the car was more than we thought. That is what we get for buying a car for $500. But even if we have to put $1000 into it we come out ahead! We know so many people who have spent much more on a car only to pay $1000 in repairs in the first year. Albania is just hard on cars!

Can I tell you what great friends we have though? Two friends met us Monday at the car, helped us get it all fixed. Von transported the family home and Scott spent the rest of the day with Robert getting the car repairs started. Special thanks to their WIVES and FAMILIES for allowing those great guys to come out and help us (Von on his day off and Scott missing his work day). And what a God thing, that Klodi, a mechanic from our church just happened to drive by. He fixed the car enough that Robert could drive it to the repair shop, saving us the danger of towing on these Albanian roads!

Other friends called on Tuesday and offered us their car for at least a day or overnight trip. Isn’t that amazing? We took a trip to the “mall” and then to the Kolonat (our version of McD’s minus the good hamburgers…) so the kids could play in the ball pit. And Jennifer has been with us here at the house so it has sort of felt like a mini vacation… Praises that we were not far out of Tirana when the car died… could have been much worse! Today we are headed out to the park to walk some paths, not great weather or much else to do but it will be good to be out of the house!

I am still trying to hang on to what God wanted wants to teach us by keeping us home. It was a disappointment not to be able to go. Robert has not been out of country since October and that can just wear you down. Please pray that we will feel rested after this week and rest in the One who knows it all!

Our trip to Dubrovnik, April ’08

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We were headed back to Dubrovnik today with the whole fam… (I was there a few weeks ago). Here’s a quick recap:

6:45am Jen’s up, shower, dressed, finish packing

7:30 Getting the rest of the fam ( and Jennifer) up, showers for some, packing breakfast: general chaos

8:30 Final departure, drop keys off to Egli so he can watch the dog, buy break fluid

9:15 Stop at automobile office (I have no idea which one) to get the final piece of paperwork so we can travel out of country with the car.

9:20 Discover that the car is registered in Fier (another city 2 hours away) and we have to get the paper from there.

9:25 Decide WHY NOT?! and hit the road for Fier (opposite direction from Dubrovnik). Worst case scenario: it takes all day and we drive back home, leave tomorrow. (WRONG)

9:35 Jenny says, “Do you smell that? What’s burning?” Robert says, “There was a fire on the hillside.” Jen, “Okay… I thought it might be the car.”

9:38 Robert says “Oh look, the car is overheating.”

9:39 We pull off to a gas station, the car is indeed overheating, oil has spurted everywhere in the engine.

The rest can be told in pictures:

What in the world is wrong with my $500 car?!!

“What is wrong with my $500 car?”  Step 1:  Call for help!

The owner/proprietor of the gas station (the one in the suit) offers advice… along with his four friends.

Jadyn takes a look to see if she can help her dad.

Everyone starts to get hungry so Jen passes out snacks after about an hour.

We decide to make the boys pull it home.  Once we were finally all loaded up and ready to go another man from our church who is a mechanic pulled up.

The second group of 5 men trying to diagnosis the car.  This is the beginning of hour #3.  I was very glad I packed lunch for my very hungry family!

This was really a God appointment.. Klodi, from our church, just happened by and saw us and stopped to help.  He was able to get the car running so Robert could drive it to a repair place

5 hours later: Exhausted family returns home, without car and without dad. Maybe tomorrow, stay tuned!

Women of the Harvest

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A couple of weeks ago I was privileged to attend the Women of the Harvest Conference (womenoftheharvest.com) in Dbrovnik, Croatia. If you are like me and every time a country is mentioned outside the US you need a geography lesson, know that you are not alone. Keep in mind when you look at this map that Albania is the size of Maryland.

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WOTH is an organization that provides support for North American women who are serving cross-culturally. The WOTH retreats are held in two international locations each year and take only 75 attendees. I attended with 16 other women who serve alongside me here in Albania.

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I made several new friends – there were 6 gals that I did not know at all that went in our bus load. One woman, Virginia, is 78 years old, a retired school teacher. She is here living for just one year, home schooling a Korean boy in a smaller town outside of Tirana. She is really something! She was married and divorced earlier in life, no children and this is the 12th year she has lived overseas helping missionaries school their children. I did not get nearly enough time to hear all of her stories and adventures. She is not sure if she will be back again. She has some heart problems and doesn’t want to be a burden to anyone. She is an inspiration. Amazing….

The conference speaker was Mimi Wilson, author of Holy Habits. She was wonderful and I learned so much. They had some great games – we did a white elephant gift exchange with gifts they brought us from the States. Things like pie filling, cake mixes, pecans, peanut butter, Lucky Charms… etc. It was quite a fight to see who got what! I came home with Lucky Charms and instant oatmeal which made all the family happy! We also had a funny story telling time which was hilarious to hear everyone’s crazy stories about things that have happened to them in the country where they serve. One lady told a story of her daughter falling in the sewer in India because the drain cover had been stolen. UGH! That could really happen to me here! I got a pedicure, a massage and a haircut! YEAH! And I slept like a baby. It was a truly blessed time.

My retreat was sponsored by someone I did not know who paid the $600 fee for me to attend. Isn’t that amazing? I can not tell you what a GIFT it was to have this time away to meet with other women who share my heart, my dreams and my struggles cross culturally and to just be pampered! If you want to learn more about how you could sponsor a missionary for this retreat, click here.

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