As we began to prepare this newsletter, it suddenly became apparent that this is the last day of 2008. We are in the North Georgia Mountains with our family vacationing and it has become easy to let the days pass by without realizing which day it is or the date. The cabin is about twelve miles out of the nearest town with no internet, so we are away from our email and calendars aside from looking at our watches. Kind of nice actually, and with all of the family members here we’ve plenty of catching up to do.
We sailed from Monrovia, Liberia on the twelfth of December for a six day sail to Tenerife, Canary Islands. As we actually released all of the mooring lines and the ship began to move away from the dock, we waved farewell to our friends with many emotions playing on our hearts all at the same time. We as a crew had finished well, many lives had been impacted, we have seen God move amongst His people bringing hope and healing. We pray as we sail away that the people of Liberia will continue on their road of recovery as a nation. We pray that through the love of Jesus they will continue to reconcile and heal the many wounds of their nation. We pray that as a nation they will continue to seek God and He will heal their land. We pray that President Ellen Johnson –Sirleaf will continue to guide her country with the vision she has, that through this vision the people of Liberia will prosper as a nation.
Our sail to Tenerife was pleasant, the technical crew managing all of the ship's systems and overcoming any technical difficulties with little of any impact to the crew. We praise God for the many skilled mariners He brings to Mercy Ships. Their skills and dedication provide a safe and comfortable home for our crew, and a stable platform from which life changing operations may be performed.
We travelled from Tenerife to St. Augustine, Florida via an overnight stay in Madrid, Spain to spend Christmas with our oldest son and his family. We were blessed to attend a cantata and candle light service on Christmas Eve at our home church. Denise especially enjoys the cantatas so it was an extra special treat for her.
We spent Christmas at our oldest son’s home and enjoyed being with him and his family to include our youngest granddaughter. It was very nice being Mom, Dad, Grammy and Poppy.
As planned on December 26th we all (19 of us from Florida, Delaware and Tennesee) travelled to our current location at the “cabin” in the mountains of North Georgia, for a week. It has been great fun catching-up with all of the brothers and sisters, nieces and nephews, cousins and grand-children. Sharing meals together, playing games, shopping, bonfires at night, roasting marshmellows and making smores. Watching the sun finally make it over the mountains into the valley at 0900 is fun, wonderful sunsets too. If you’d like to know where this little piece of heaven is, send us an email and we’ll send you the details on how to contact the owners Phil and Teresa. Well this is about all for now, we think we hear one of our grand-daughters calling…gotta go be Grammy and Poppy J
God’s Blessings to you now and in the New Year,
Rob (Poppy) and Denise (Grammy)