2014 Year in Photos, Part Four

The final three months of 2014 were super busy with work, Janet visiting from Germany, and so many events my head is spinning a bit!


October was pretty much the busiest month of the year. Janet flew in from Germany on the last day of September, and we pretty much were always going somewhere, doing something for the next 18 days! We made the trip to Willmar and Sisseton one weekend, saw Hello Dolly at Chanhassen Dinner Theater with our friends Miriam and Kathy, and the tip-top highlight of the year: seeing Neil Byrne and Ryan Kelly at the Fine Line!oct

After Janet went home to Germany, things didn’t slow down! We made applesauce, the OCC Regional office moved to the Processing Center, and my church had a women’s retreat!


November was busy with setting up the PC, National Collection Week, Thanksgiving, and the start of volunteers streaming though our doors to start processing 706,000+ shoe boxes to be delivered to kids in Belize, Ecuador, India, Trinidad and Tobago, and Uganda! I also was privileged to see Celtic Thunder in concert with my friend Kathy.

nov10854403_10152345921631887_2139299824860671424_oMy OCC office cohorts, taken by Sinouane


December was full-steam ahead with PC time, Warehouse Crud floating around the office, not much snow, moving back to the office, job ending, Christmas and my birthday, making donuts, and then…the end of 2014 came and went silently while I slept.OCC

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{Janet} What Is A Missionary? pt. 2

Please welcome back Janet…

* * * * * * * * * * *

In August I was back home visiting friends and family after almost 2 years away. During that time I visited my dear home church in Minneapolis and was asked to speak for a few minutes Sunday morning. Since the service was geared towards kids, I prepared the typical 5-10 minutes talk about what was going on where I lived and so forth.

When I arrived at the church, my pastor’s wife looked at me and said, “I was praying and I really feel like you have something really important to say to the kids, so you have the service.”

{Gulp.}

Before the service started I asked one of the teenagers if he would give a definition of what he thought a missionary was. When the service started, he took the microphone and gave a very good definition. “A missionary is someone who goes to another country to share the Gospel.”

jj2As I started speaking, I perhaps solidified that notion of what a missionary is. I live in Germany, I left everything I knew behind, and had to learn a new culture and speak another language.

As I sat there with these kids sitting on the floor listening to my stories, I wanted them to see a different definition of what a missionary is. I felt so strongly to impress this on these young imaginative minds that were seated there in front, listening, so…

I told them there was more to being a missionary. I wanted them to see that they didn’t have to go to a different country and learn a new language. There is more to it than just that.

I asked one of the boys to come up and stand by me and as he did I pointed to him and said, “This is a missionary.” One by one, I had each child come up and join me and said, “This is a missionary.”

Then to the parents, I declared each of these precious children were in fact living breathing missionaries. They have the chance to touch the lives of kids at school and in their neighborhoods every. Single. Day.

jj1Being a missionary does not mean that we stand on the street corner preaching or go to Africa and care for dying children. {There are people whom God calls to do this and they really need our love, respect, and care…but today I have a different point to make.}

I challenge every one out there to be a missionary.

At work, that person who is just a jerk to you? They need Jesus.

That single mom who is struggling to make ends meet and raise her children as best she can? She needs you to touch her life, be a friend, love her.

That kid on the playground who is new and has no friends? The kids who know Jesus have the opportunity to shine the Light of Love to their friends.

That old man or lady you see at the bus stop or walking down the street or at the grocery store that always looks a little sad? LOVE THEM!!!
jj3Show them who Jesus really is, live it out to them.

Don’t wait, don’t think you can’t make a difference.

Redefine your thinking.

Be a missionary.

Germany – Janet = Happy Minneapolis

Waaaaay back in August, Janet was able to scrimp and save and get off work and fly from Germany to Minneapolis for a week. It had been two years since we had seen or hugged Janet. Two. Years. We packed SO MUCH into that week, I can hardly believe it! There was eating, driving and eating, talkign and eating, parties and eating, a wedding and eating, eating Juicy Lucy’s, shopping, eating, German chocolate eating….get the idea?janet1 janet2