18 hours of Challenge and Provision…

Starting yesterday we had some major challenges and provisions. Chronological is the best way I can tell this. Probably should be 4 separate posts, but hang on…

Wow what a day. Yesterday I took a trip to the Post Office because the Hold order that I removed online still had not caused our mail to be delivered at the house. I found that the Post Office and the Carriers were no longer in the same building so I could not get the mail at that time. They will be delivering the mail on Thursday for me they said as they filled out a Red piece of paper.

Driving back home in the downpour, I heard a thump, thump, thump which at first I thought tire, but then realized it was coming from the engine compartment. It stopped as I drove. Car seemed OK to continue home. When I got home I discovered that the serpentine belt had missing portions on it. Ughhh. Not even our van, we are borrowing someone else’s Van! Our vehicles are in Indiana. I showed a friend and he said that it is not as difficult to change as I thought it could be so we decided to get it fixed instead of parking the van and not driving it the rest of the time here in Orlando. The friend even offered to pay for the repairs to bless us and the owner of the van. (Actually he said he was pretty sure God wanted him to pay so this is Provision 1 to Praise God for.)

I got up before 7 to go buy a belt for the van and take it to the repair shop. I took a shower and just as I was getting out Karlissa came in reguritating the meal of the night before. Looked like most volume yet in one throw up she has produced. Big streak in her bedroom, down the hall and all over the toilet and bathroom. We are pretty sure it is an intolerance to Onion of some sort. My grandmother, mother and cousin all have some intolerance of Onion. As mom said, “I like onions, but they don’t like me.” We thought Karlissa just had a problem with raw onions after an episode in January and had kept her off of them since then, however last night’s onions were grilled some first, perhaps not enough even though some were blackened. Perhaps it is a quantity of onions in a sitting, day or couple of days thing. Oh well, we will keep looking.

Around 9am a man showed up to work on the fireplace as it has not been safe to use since we moved into the house. The chimney sweep was here on Tuesday and he did a fabulous job. Today was the fireplace repairman especially here because the chimney on the house will come off in a tropical storm or hurricane. As he started to work, I took the van in to get fixed, while Crystal and a friend started packing up our books for storage or shipment.

The repairmain started in the firebox taking care of the steel that has started to turn color as a precursor to rust, by using a special high temperature black spray paint. Then something happened that had never happened to him before. He didn’t notice the downdraft in the fireplace or he would have placed fans on top of the chimney. My wife and friend needed to leave the room and attempted to seal off the kids hallway and opened up their windows. The next time she entered the room all she saw was a cloud of black in the room. She closed the door and talked to her friend and went back in to check. The cloud had settled on all of the surfaces in the room and in the foyer and in the kitchen and toward the front door, etc.

Fortunately the black paint dried in the air and it was dry paint that fell on everything. When I got home from getting the van fixed, Crystal was halfway through mopping the nearly black floor. The repair man was no where to be seen as he went to buy cleaning supplies. His father (the owner of the business) and he came back and started cleaning. They also called an upholstery cleaning company to come and clean the couch, loveseat and rocker.  I would say that now 98% of it has been removed. Our children’s feet were still quite black after they came through the house after dinner tonight amidst what we call a clean floor.

Crystal’s friend Julie that was here, was another wonderful Provision of God for both the emotional support, the herding of kids and the helping with cleanup efforts. Just her presence helped Crystal immensely.

Oh did I mention the other CCC staff that will be living in our house while we are in Australia, started bringing their stuff in while the cloud was settling. Fortunately we know that God is in charge and nothing like this is a suprise for him.  As Dr. Bright said since we are God’s servants, and God is in charge that we don’t have any problems, only God has the problems and we are just reponsible to follow his direction.

Now it is time to go to bed and see what tomorrow holds.  Hopefully it will be uneventful and productive.

Oh yeah the mail didn’t come either….but that should be a different story.

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Pray for Wisdom in Packing…

We are a bit overwhelmed…We are in Orlando for one week between house sitters, trying to make decisions on packing up the house. Do we take? Do we store? Do we pitch? Do we give away? Do we try to sell?  These questions over and over again for every possession.  The hardest part about this, really isn’t the questions, but the rest of life that continually interupts these questions.  Of course it is not really hard, we love our children, our friends and co-workers, so really it is just wonderful opportunities to connect.  But still please pray for wisdom as we pack.

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The smell of mold…the presence of God

Crystal has got a nose for noticing mold now, after we spent quite a bit of time repairing a room in the house we are in that had mold damage. Well in the room next to the one we repaired, we smelled something. Certainly it was mold. It came just after a rain (the first measurably rain in Orlando in months we have been told). We also had just replaced the window in this room. As each hour went on, the smell seemed to grow stronger.
After looking high and low, inside and outside, looking in the attic at the water pipes, and smelling the carpet and moving things around we stopped and prayed as we couldn’t find a water leak or obvious location of the smell.

Well immediately after praying if not slightly before finishing, I looked up and the first thing I saw, I thought, is this the answer, Lord?  I reached over and viola the source of the stench was made plain. Jaden’s tennis shoe stunk to beat the band.

Jaden’s shoes were drenched a week ago in a pool in Louisville. They were dried in the sun (at least part way) and then word again. His shoes were drenched again 3 times during the week. Prime candidate for something to start growing and it did.

Thank you God for helping us find it!!

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Experiment: Sheep’s Milk Cheese

While watching Giada on the Food Channel at my mom’s house, she mentioned sheep’s milk cheese.  I had just been pondering how Jaden will never have a Pizza because there wasn’t a cheese he could eat.  Well, perhaps this was the answer.  After a quick Google search, I found http://www.sheepdairying.com/Milk.htm which mentioned that many people allergic to cow and goat milk could safely consume sheep’s milk.  Well I found some Pecorino Romano cheese made with 100% Pure Sheeps Milk at a store in Louisville on Saturday (see post below) and we gave Jaden some about over an hour ago.

 I rubbed some on his arm at first.  His arm has shown no reaction.  If it had been Cow’s milk he would have had hives in that spot already.  Crystal came home with a watermelon and Jaden started grabbing it and some other foods and started eating.  Now his nose is running and he is coughing a little bit.  Uggh.  Was it the cheese or something else.  We will have to try again later.  I’ll report the conclusion and the progress as we test.

One hopeful thought was that Australia has a LOT of sheep so perhaps sheep’s milk cheese would be quite readily available in multiple types of cheeses.

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Ormsby Heights

When in Louisville, if you need a place to worship, I recommend Ormsby Heights. We were welcomed warmly today by many people. They were warm, inviting and sincere. Even though this was the first time we ever had been there, they brought us up front and prayed for our upcoming adventure to Australia. I was able to share with one Life Group about our heart for ministry and some of what we will be doing. I challenged them to allow God to use what is in their hands. Anyway we really enjoyed our time and will definitely need to make a trip there again someday in the future. Always fun to be at a church where God is visibly at work and the people embrace God’s movement.

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Collision of Worlds…

We went to Louisville for the weekend to visit some friends. We kicked the weekend off with fellow CCC Staff, Marc and Kim, who live near us in Florida. They were heading to Colorado as they will be working the myriad of summer conferences that Campus Crusade for Christ will have culminating in our all staff conference. Since we will be heading to Australia before the big conference this was the last chance to see them before we depart.

On Saturday we spent most of Saturday with Chris and Jeni, whom Crystal went to Marshall with. While partners in our minisitry we hadn’t seen them much in the past decade, and we think it may have been 8 years since we visited together. We had a wonderful time catching up and seeing how the family has grown and matured. Wonderful family. They did need to run to graduation parties so we headed to a hotel and a grocery store to purchase dinner.

While at Kroger, I hear someone say “hey Kent”. I turned to see Tim and his daughter Holly. Tim and I went to High School together and he lives in my hometown of Berne. While we have been in Berne living, Holly and Karlissa have become friends. I took Holly out to the van and said to Crystal and Karlissa that I found this girl wandering around and she claims to know us and wondered if they knew who she was. Crystal did a serious double-take and then smiled. Tim walked around the van and explained their presence. Pretty cool. I won’t even begin to calculate the odds of this “chance” meeting.

So in a 12 hour period in one location we spent time with friends from our ministry assignment life in Florida, friends from Crystals home area and friends from my home area. I guess the only thing that could have made this day even more crazy would have been to run into someone from Australia.

God glues all of these relationships together. In unity we could enjoy all of the friends.

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How is Mom?

The big question I am asked whenever I am out of the house is “How is your mom?”. Well she has been and is declining continually.  She has for the most part said her good-byes. She is tired, weak and ready to go be with Jesus and be out of the pain. Whether she goes home this week or next, I have no idea, but the time is short. We will just keep loving her while she is still with us. Even on a Death Bed in incredible pain, she has shown us the value of life. She is leaving a great legacy of influence in many around her. She said yesterday that she had no idea that she had influenced so many.  Yes she was a teacher, but it was the adults that she was more surprised with. Mom and Dad showed their love by meeting needs of those around them the best they could when many others didn’t. They never thought they were being Heroes, but they were. We love them and are proud to be their children.

Mom took my hand on Saturday and said that her condition should not hold us back. We should get going and go to Australia, not waiting on her. I wanted to cry on the spot. The blessing was real and the love was genuine. But for the emotional health of myself as well as the rest of my family we must wait here a little longer. God has ordained us to go, but we know that we must tarry.  We’ll see what He has in store while we are still around.

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Final Shay Heart rate Update

The word from the doctor is that everything came back normal. No physical or emotonal reason is known. God is at work in our family. We’ll keep watching Shay and let you know if there is any more reason of concern.

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Shay Update #7

Tiny update. I called the specialist today about her 24-hour heart monitor. The nurse on the phone said that the doctor needed to review the cardiologist’s findings before talking to us. That was this morning. Still no word now. I plan on calling again in hour or so.

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Oats and Gluten Contamination

Nearly all of the Coeliac / Celiac Sprue sites talk about Oats in the United States as being contaminated with Wheat. To date this has not been observed by us. Our son has had some quick reactions to wheat, barley and rye but never to a product that had Oats in it without declared wheat. In fact Jaden can eat Cap’n Crunch and Honeycomb cereal with no noted problems. I think the reason some Coeliacs have problems with Oats are based on the Avenin protein in Oats as opposed to any cross-contamination of wheat in the factory or field. Perhaps we have just been fortunate to not encounter contamination yet, but perhaps the contaminiation is not has likely as warned.  (Disclaimer: I would guess it is also possible a very minute amount of wheat gluten may not affect Jaden as much as a Coeliac.)

If you just recently found a problem with Gluten, you may consider experimenting with Oat containing products as long as you can recover from the reaction. Also there are some countries where wheat is not grown but oats are and in that case they are really sure of no contaminiation. Try a product of those countries to see if you react to the Avenin then you could try the USA Oats products. Reference.

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