This weekend Sharon and I went to “family camp” with Trinity families. Had a great time of food, fellowship, food, games, food, chapel and sharing with the kids. It was everything I remember family camp to be from growing up and more: flubbing on the blob, swimming in the lake, sports, go-carts, high ropes and zip lines were among the activities for the kids. Our time in the states is quickly drawing to a close: we leave on Tuesday for Oklahoma (stopping to share several places on the way there and on the way back) and then we’re back in Michigan for a short time before we head back to Thailand. Thank-you for your prayers for safety as we travel.
Posts Tagged ‘Family’
Sharon and I are breathing a sigh of relief this week as our second set of intensive language evaluations drew to a close yesterday. Virtually all we’ve done for the past two weeks since Sharon’s family left was prepare for the evaluation by doubling our language sessions, spending hours reviewing and answering in-depth culture questions that our consultant reviewed before our language check.
It’s good news. We’re both on track to achieve our goal of reaching a “highly capable” language level by the end of our second year of study (a year from now). We feel grateful to our consultant for conducting a thorough check and spending days processing the raw data we’ve provided her into a set of recommendations to help streamline our study time. I can’t imagine doing this alone.
You can help by praying for us as we study this difficult language and learn more about this complex culture. (more…)
We’ve had a great couple of weeks with Sharon’s family. They came to experience a different culture, try new things and enjoy time with us and our new friends. As Sharon’s father Dave pointed out today, “We’ve certainly run the gamut of experiences here in Thailand.” It’s true. We pretty much tried to give them a taste of every aspect of life here from our daily language sessions and everyday cuisine to tourist attractions and special “jungle” restaurants.
Showing Dave, Kathie and Michelle around these past two weeks has made us realize just how comfortable we have become here in this new culture and language. It has also exposed areas we need to continue digging into as they ask questions we have no idea how to answer. Pray for safety as they travel back this week and look at the pictures embedded below: (more…)
We’re enjoying a special treat for the next few weeks: Sharon’s parents and sister. On the first day of their visit we covered a lot of ground and tried to keep them running around so they could adjust to the time zone quickly. We’ve got an ambitious agenda for the next few weeks together so we’re praying for safety as we drive our borrowed truck and try to show them what life is like on the other side of the world. It’s been fun to see Thailand through fresh eyes again.
Five years ago this weekend we celebrated the beginning of a new life together with our friends and family. Our wedding centerpieces included maps of different parts of the world and bibles illustrating our commitment to missions as well as to each other. We’re holding tightly to both commitments five years later. Each day we look to the Lord for wisdom in balancing our commitment to one another and our commitment to the work He’s given us to do. (more…)
Yesterday we took a second four+ hour trip down to Chicago to pick up our completed visas and made the four hour trip home a few hours later. While we were there we saw a lot of the city. Check out our pictures from Chicago:
Below are some pictures from our time in Traverse City, Michigan. We enjoyed a brief get-away there to mark our birthdays (Sharon’s is June 10 and mine is June 27). It will probably be our last opportunity before we head to Thailand.
We love spending time with our families and want to spend as much time as we can with them before we move. Yesterday was a day we’ll remember while we’re in Thailand spending hours learning language and culture. We went to a Tigers/Yankees game with Sharon’s family in the afternoon and an Art/Music concert with mine in the evening. Both were an incredible treat! Definitely something we’ll remember. To see some of the baseball game check out our pictures. For a taste of what the concert was like check out Christian Thomas Lee’s photos.
One thing that’s always fun is getting to hang out with my Dad. Today we did a bit of drywall work in the garage. Here’s some pictures of the process for those who have no idea what that entails:
Today we celebrated our fourth anniversary. Four years sounds like a long time. It feels lke a long time too actually.
In the last four years we’ve:
-Finished four years of missionary training.
-Visited Asia twice
-Worked two grueling summers in Alaska
-Hiked over 1000 miles
Among many other things. Marking this milestone in our lives is exciting. We can’t wait to see what God does in another four years.
This Easter we spent some time with my Grandma and family in New York! During this time of partnership development before we move to Thailand we are enjoying some quality time with family. Although we are so excited to start our ministry overseas the fact that we will be moving half-way around the globe away from family and friends is daunting. I always have to remind myself of why it is so important to reach those people who live so far away with the good news of Jesus Christ. God desires all to have a relationship with Him and there are many peoples who do not have that opportunity. The chance of the people groups that we are planning to work with of hearing about Christ and what He did for them is little to none unless someone goes to them. So with my mind fixed on that purpose, I can cherish the time spent with family and pray for the unreached peoples who may someday join the family of God!
Meet the team!
Kevin and Emily Bertram are two of the people we’re excited to work with in Thailand. We met them while at the Missionary Training Center in Missouri and graduated with them at the same time.
Kevin grew up in a Christian home and was challenged into missions shortly after high school. He attended New Tribes Bible Institute in 2004 where he met and married Emily. His heart has been focused on Southeast Asia since he spent a summer teaching English in there.
Emily grew up as a missionary kid in Papua New Guinea. She lived on an island where her parents served as church planters. She and Kevin were in the same class in Bible School. Their son’s name is Logan.
Kevin and Emily come from very different backgrounds but they compliment each other well. We get along with them well and can’t wait to work with them in Thailand. We will both arrive on the field about the same time: late August 2010.
The past few days we’ve been spending time with my family down in Jackson. Sam and Kari are here visiting from Virginia and our latest family addition, Stephen, is up from Cleaveland. Here are some photos from the past few days:
This was a special holiday season for us. We enjoyed time with friends and family. During December we had the unique chance to see all our living grandparents (they live in New York, Oklahoma, and Arizona), many of our aunts and uncles, cousins and old high school friends. We feel enriched, refreshed, and ready for our next adventure.
It’s special for another reason too: Lord willing, our next Christmas and New Year will be spent in Chiang Mai, Thailand where we will begin learning the Thai language and culture.
A recurring theme in our lives: Missouri. It’s good to be back for a couple days.
Tomorrow we’ll spend the day with some wonderful friends at Prosperine Baptist Church, the church we attended here for the past two years. Afterward we’ll head to the airport in Springfield and take off for Phoenix, Arizona where we will spend Thankgiving with family. A few months ago we scored $35.00 tickets with Allegiant Air, a discount airline mostly flying in the south.
On the road finding internet is always a problem and when we do get it we snatch every precious second of it we can get. I’m in the process of adding pictures to our online albums, checking our email, updating our website, downloading important files and updates for my computer, and managing our contact lists from the churches we’ve visited. The most important thing I’m doing, though, is sending Sharons paper off to the grader’s. Here’s how it came in:
Sharon is SOOO happy to be done. Now we party. We’re going to the beach and then shopping. Wednesday we will go to the aquarium here in town.
We have been in Virginia with my brother Sam and his wife Kari since Thursday. This morning we presented our ministry at South Norfolk Congregational Community Church, the church they attend here. Tuesday is Sam’s 23rd birthday, so we’re very excited to be here for that as well. While here we’re doing what we do on the road: talking to people about our ministry, handing out our prayer cards, spending time with family, and Sharon is stealing as much time as possible to work on her Cherokee write-up which is due TOMORROW!!! She will likely be pulling an all-nighter tonight and then be exhausted in the morning.
This coming Friday we head to central Virginia to visit some very good friends and then will drive on to Tennessee on Friday. Please pray for Sharon as she finishes up her paper and for safety as we travel. Thank-you.
Here are some funny comics that have been in the past few editions of our local newspaper. Sharon’s mom cut them out for us, so I thought I’d post them for everyone to read.