Sunday, May 24, 2009

Just Another Week...

We're headed into our last week in Jordan. The group pictures have begun in earnest!

It seems almost amazing that four months has passed so imperceptibly. There's been no shortage of projects and issues to devote our time toward... what we've produced only time will judge.

The weekend began innocently enough, although Jordanian traffic took one last swipe at us on Saturday. Thanks to Muteib, I've learned the power of rubbing compound and was able to clean up the worst of it.

Then the evening found me under the familiar grip of a sickness that's all too common in these parts of the world. Again, ending as I began this trip in 2008 (involuntary weight loss... what better way to go home)!

We've gone through the transition of finances, personnel, processes, etc with Linda Reed, our supervisor, who returned last week. The coming week will be full of last minute craziness, packing (which Suzi has already started) and more incoming personnel from the States.

This past week, I attended my last OWWA Bible Study. We had a great time and many of the girls were ministered to... This group of ladies is so special to us. We hope that when we return, they'll all be gone to their respective homes. While they're in this state of flux, we do what we can to provide some sense of balance, love and compassion. They're just precious, quick to laugh and, with soft hearts, to worship, as well.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Tuesdays are Days OFF

Several years ago Suzi and I realized that ministry was about balance and balance meant getting away from the crowds and going "up into the mountains"... sometimes to pray (ie Jesus himself) and sometimes just to take in the view and take a deep breath. At the time, we were working full-time secular jobs and staying up all night with ministry stuff. It's not unheard of. I think many ministers deal with some sort of workaholic syndrome driven by any number of issues. But I'm convinced that too many ministering families burn up because they don't take a sabbatical. Not the "month off to go on retreat" sabbatical... I'm talking about regular time off. Whether it's setting aside some time with the spouse for dinner out or a day with no calls or meetings just to read in the sun, we have to recharge our minds and spirits.

When we came back to Jordan this year, we decided, based on our work & service schedules, that Tuesdays would be our day off. We make no plans or meetings; if our phone rings, we answer, but, unless in the case of absolute emergencies, we ask to handle the issue later in the week. Our staff is aware of this and respects it. Sometimes we go out of the city and sometimes we veg on the couch. It gives us something to look forward to and keeps us focused on the task at hand. Most of the folks who attend our services only get Friday off. That means their day off is our day to minister ("work"). These are the concessions you make in our line of work... but to compromise on restoring yourself is a setup for burnout later on.
So, today we slept in and went to the King Hussein Mosque park for a picnic of PBJ on flatbread and walk in the gardens. It was a beautiful day and the views of the city from mosque were amazing. My phone did ring once with a request. And I set up a meeting. For Wednesday morning.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Another Band Concert!

If you check back in the annals of time, you'll find we've now attended three Baptist School band concerts in the past year... I think we officially qualify as Band Boosters! Sara plays trumpet and looks mighty spiffy in uniform. Thursday's Spring Concert performance included both Bands, but I've just captured Sara's side. Enjoy!