Monday, March 24, 2014

A Needed Break from the Traveling

We have been at Lake Park in Lewisville since March 8th.  We have enjoyed a break from the constant travels.  Being in one location longer than a week is truly a blessing.  With different life styles, blessings come in different packages.  Little conveniences mean so much.  Never underestimate having a warm place to sleep or a hot shower.  As we walked in the park yesterday on a cold, windy afternoon, we saw several tent campers.  They are not homeless people; they chose to come and pay to camp in tents.  It made me very thankful that I have a warm RV.   

I know I am much more sensitive to these things than most people. 

I am like the man that was robbed.  When the police came, he told them how blessed he was.  They said, “How can you feel so blessed?   Your house was broken into and you were robbed of many possessions.”  The man said he was blessed for many reasons.  He was not harmed.  They could have broken in and beaten him.  He could be lying in a hospital or the morgue.  He said everything that was stolen would be paid for by the insurance company and he was just glad he was not the person that did the robbing.  Otherwise, he would be facing a prison sentence.  So, you see, we can find blessings in things we do not even count as blessings if we will just look for the best side of everything.   Often tragedies and misfortunes set up back for a little while but make us stronger in the long run.   Our travels and work is not easy but I really try hard to find all the treasures in whatever happens. 
When we left China on December 14th, it was already cold and the little children’s hands were cold to the touch.  I kept a warm coat on all day as we visited the care centers.  You can see from this picture of Ron with Ronald and Gigi, that we were wearing coats. 
In the back of my mind I thought that these children would be cold every day and night until spring came.  I always dread the winter months for the children and poor people. 

 It’s too cold for them to take clothes off for a shower.  Even though there are solar panels at the care centers to warm the water, there is no heat in any of the buildings.  They sleep under warm comforters (in their clothes), get up and go to a cold school the next morning.  It is somewhat comforting to know that they have warm clothing and warm bedding, which is much more than they had when living in the countryside.  This is Gigi with some of the pretty girls. 
Here's our picture on our 56th anniversary.  I don't know why Ron's grey shirt looks this way but guess it was the lighting.  The shirt didn't have stripe!    We had a delightful dinner at Red Lobster with Nancy and Millard Smith, our good friends who live on a big ranch in Sanger, TX.  We parked our RV at their place during our last trip to China.   This past weekend, we enjoyed dinner with Cloyce and Teresa Titus, another couple at Lewisville. 
This past Saturday morning, we went to Sanger to the Smith’s house for Ron to help Millard with an electrical problem in connection with his carpentry shop.  They wanted to take us to a fish place for lunch.  Huck’s is famous in North Texas, serving Mississippi catfish.  Ron and I had no idea it was about an hour’s drive north, almost to the Oklahoma line.  We arrived there at 1:30 and there was a crowd waiting for a table.  After 30 minutes we were at a table but when we left the restaurant, there was still a crowd waiting to be seated.  That’s how famous this restaurant is and how good it is.  We arrived back at the Miller’s home and enjoyed coffee and a delicious apple cake that Nancy had made early that morning. 
Arriving back at the RV about 5:30 p.m., we found that we had an electrical problem with the RV.  Something appeared to be shorting out and the red warming light was coming on.  Ron spent the next few hours, checking the manual and everything he knew.   It appeared to be a faulty inverter switch (whatever that means).  I know nothing about electrical and mechanical stuff. 
We ended up just closing down everything electrical and going to bed Saturday night.  He turned it back on long enough to get ready for church Sunday morning, but there was still a problem.  The only thing he found as he tried to diagnose the problem was low water in batteries so he bought distilled water and filled them up.  It didn’t seem logical that this would cause the system to do this but he could not identify anything else.   We don’t know how people own these vehicles when they know much less than he knows about these things.   I guess they have to call someone for everything and pay the cost for repairs.
We still had a problem this Monday morning so we are sitting at this moment at an RV service place while they check the system out.   Ron may have found the problem with the batteries needing water.  We didn’t expect that to correct the problem but driving over here to the RV place recharged the batteries and it appears to be working perfectly right now.   We are happy that it isn’t a major problem so maybe it won’t cost us an arm and a leg!   It’s like going to the doctor and symptoms are better by the time you get there and you are told no surgery is needed. 
With an RV, no matter how perfect it may seem when we leave the last service place, there are always things going bad.   It’s like a car or anything else that is mechanical.  Even houses have electrical or plumbing problems so there’s no escape for very long until there are costly repairs to be done.
We have a busy week ahead of us.  Ron is preparing lessons for the second weekend in April at Harding University.  He is schedule to speak five times to different groups that weekend.  The next weekend (Easter weekend) he is conducting a leadership workshop for a Chinese group at the University of Mississippi (Oxford, MS, my hometown).  He is also working on that series of lessons and power point presentations.   He will be at Berry’s Chapel in Nashville, TN the middle of May for a special event.  We will continue to give an annual report to congregations along the way in Tennessee and Kentucky during the early summer months. 
Ron has completed our income tax returns and got them filed.  He also completes Ronald’s returns, even though he does not receive income in the U.S.  He told Ronald in an email that he had completed it but unfortunately he was going to have to pay this year because of Michelle Obama’s $12,000 dress and her trip to China.  He told Ronald he could meet her in China if he wanted to.  There was NO REPLY to Ron’s emails.  I expected Ronald to write me asking, “Has Dad completely lost his mind?” 
Ronald’s health has improved greatly but he’s been house-bound for almost two months.  By the time they changed his blood pressure medication and his feet and legs stopped swelling, he sprained his ankle.   Gigi’s father died so the past month has been very hard for all of her family. 
Ronald made a trip to another island to check with a local preacher of the church that has land to build a church building in hopes there might be enough space for an orphanage as well.  His lot is in a triangle so it’s not feasible for both buildings.   Ronald did not feel that he could work with the preacher to combine the two efforts.  He felt the preacher was a little overbearing and we know the church that supports him from the U.S. is also a very liberal congregation.  So, Ronald continues to search for the right place to build an orphanage as we continue to pursue funding for the project.
Here is the small house Ronald and Gigi rented. 
They have a garden growing well.  I think Gigi has been diligent to weed and water it due to Ronald’s limitations to get out with his swollen ankle and foot.   We continue to seek funding for them to build an orphanage in the Philippines.  They will do a great job there helping a lot of the little children without families and home due to the typhoon that occurred about six months (or less) ago.  There are more orphans now it the Philippines than there are in China, according to reports.

Judy Yang, one of the Chinese girls that worked with us in Georgia, will arrive March 30th to spend five days with us.  We are very excited about her visit for several reasons.  She wants to come back to work with us in the U.S. and the elders have approved her re-employment.  She and Ron will spend several days working on the paperwork to re-apply for the R1 VISA so she can work for us again. 
Judy did our bookkeeping for several years and did a great job.  The Chinese girl that now coordinates the children coming for surgeries in the U.S. tried to do the bookkeeping but she does not understand accounting procedures enough to do it well.  Ron has tried two different CPA’s and they struggle with our books because of the Chinese on the expense slips and reports coming to back up the funds transferred to China for the care centers.  We just have to employ a Chinese person to do it correctly so Judy will assume that job again when she returns.   She will live in Lewisville and be a member of the Lewisville C of C.  We look forward to working with her again. 
We have been busy transferring the incorporation of our 501 © 3 non-profit corporation from Tennessee (where it was first formed) to Texas.  Ron and I worked on the Bylaws and incorporation papers one day last week.  It’s in the hands of an attorney now for review.  With it being a Texas corporation, we will not undergo an audit every year which will be a great blessing to our work. 
Being with members at Lewisville and getting to sit in wonderful Bible classes has been very uplifting to Ron and me.  We will enjoy a few more times with everyone before we head east.  People encourage us everywhere we go and it’s truly a blessing to be with God’s people and get to know so many wonderful Christians. 

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