Monday, September 2, 2013

Labor Day brings in September

September 2nd – our son’s birthday.  I wrote Ronald a long letter this week talking a lot about things that I remember from his childhood that are so very special in my memory.  I am so glad Gigi is with him in China to share his birthday.  She told me she didn’t have any money to buy him a gift so I wrote and told her that he completely understands.  She is the best gift he could have. 
Leigh Ann leaves on September 5th to go to the same orphanage where Ronald and Gigi are now.  Ronald is repairing some plumbing problems in the restrooms.   This will be the first time for Leigh Ann and Gigi to meet.  I know they will really have a good time together.  Leigh Ann’s birthday will be the day after she returns to the U.S.  We will visit with her about the middle of October and take her out to eat to celebrate.    Here is Leigh Ann with her Dad and her cousin Angela. 

We had a good three weeks in the Nashville area but did not get to see all the people we would have liked to have visited.   We were parked at Poole Knobs at La Verne, TN (southeast of Nashville).   We were able to convince them to let us stay an extra week so we did not have to move the RV further away to another park.   We had two different senior discount cards, having lost one and then found it later after getting a second one.  They logged us in with that card and our other phone number so the computer system accepted us.   The park will be closing in September for the winter.  It was never completely full while we were there but this weekend, Labor Day,  
I’m sure it is full. 

While in Nashville, we got to have dinner with Gayle (Ron’s sister) and some of her children and grand-children.   Pictures of two of her daughters and her son and their families are posted here.  We always enjoy this reunion once a year so we can catch up on what’s happening in each family.  Leigh Ann drove up from Woodstock, GA and spent that weekend with us so she could be with the rest of the family.    We had a very good time.   

Ron spoke nine or ten times while we were in the Nashville area.  We tried to visit with as many sponsors and friends as we had time but did not get to see everyone.  Trips from the campground into the city were expensive because of the distance.  We tried to combine trips and do as much as we could each time we went out. 

We had dinner one night in Franklin with a young couple that has adopted a Chinese boy.  He had surgery on his legs in Hong Kong before they got him so he’s still wearing braces on his legs.  They have a little blonde-headed boy so it was so precious to see the two children playing together.  What a joy this little boy will be to this sweet family.  And what a great blessing they will be to him.  He’s adjusting extremely well after being with them for only three months.   I think he’s a little over two years old.  He can understand things they ask him and he’s learning to eat a lot of new foods. 

Rippaville Plantation, Spring Hill, Tennessee:    I took the picture of the Board of Directors from a picture posted in a glass covered case so it's blurry but you can tell who they are!
We relocated to Rippa Villa Plantation in Spring Hill, TN on August 20.   At the large old barn where they have antique farm equipment on display for tours, they have several RV hook ups.  There is one other RV parked here.  This weekend, distant relatives from the original owners of this plantation have met here for a family reunion.   The people in the RV are part of the group. 

On Wednesday, we went by the nursing home to see Ron’s 96 year-old aunt.  She is looking about the same as last year.  We could see very little difference in her condition.  She knew us and remembered a lot but had many questions that she asked over and over.   She has always been a pleasant person.  She was smiling and joking with Ron throughout our visit.  We had some good times at her home.   We will see Ron’s other aunt this Sunday night at the church where she attends.  She is the youngest aunt of all of his relatives. 
We drove almost an hour to Pulaski Street Church of Christ in Lawrenceburg, TN on Wednesday night.  It was the first time we had visited this church.  We received a very warm welcome and they showed good interest in our work in China. 

Thursday night we had an elder and his wife for dinner.  We have known them for a very long time so it was a joy to have them eat with us.  We have been to their home many times.
Ron has seven more appointments before we leave here to go to Florence, AL.   We were just looking at our schedule this morning.  He is booked for speaking engagements until the middle of November.   We hope to get back to our home congregation in Lewisville, TX about the middle of November. 

We are so blessed with sponsors, friends, family and safe travels.   Our lives are fragile but we have been blessed with reasonably good health and so far, our minds and bodies are able to do the work we set out to do.   Plans are underway for others to train and begin to learn the mission work in an effort for it to continue after we are unable to travel and oversee the work.  No one knows how long we can do it but we will do whatever we can for as long as we can. 
The work in China always has some ups and downs.  The minister at the Beijing church resigned last week, giving only a two-week notice before they return to the U.S.   Ron is searching for a minister through preaching schools although we feel that these young men with no experience may find it very hard to live and work in China.  It all depends on their dedication and desire to make it work.  We also need an administrator for the new charity hospital that should be ready to open by early next year.  We moved one of our care center directors there temporarily but it does not appear that he and his wife want to stay permanently.  It will not be easy to find anyone to go there.  The man needs to be well-educated and have the ability to run a hospital. 

Our greatest problem in China is finding qualified and dedicated workers.   We have red tape and legal obstacles to overcome with the government but usually those problems can be worked through.  Finding good people is really our greatest need.
Please pray for our work, especially for the precious children we care for as well as the children we help with medical conditions.  The children are dear to our hearts and make the hard work worthwhile.

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