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Monthly Archives: October 2012

…saying “see you later”, Living Waters update, ministry transition!

(posted by Mindy)

See you later, Grandpa!

Whew!  What a whirlwind of a week.  It seems like forever ago since I last posted, but in actuality it has only been one week.  (As I see the reports on the news of the pounding New York City has been receiving from Hurricane Sandy, I am thanking the Lord that we were in New York last Monday night instead of yesterday.)  A lot has happened and a lot of emotional energy has been expended this week.  We got home from our trip to the Bahamas (via New York and Minneapolis) on Tuesday afternoon, hurried to unpack and repack, and then left Wednesday afternoon for my parent’s house in Indiana.  Along with the sadness of the occasion came the blessing of being with family.  My sisters and their families joined us at our parent’s house, and we had fun visiting, laughing, crying, eating, and enjoying one another’s company.

Zachary entertaining my cousin’s triplets at the visitation

Andrew, Garrett, Logan, and Zachary hanging out with a cousin’s boys

Being a World War II veteran, Grandpa was buried with full military honors.  I have never been to a funeral of a military veteran, and it was touching to say the least.  Grandpa LOVED trains; therefore it was a perfect, though unplanned, tribute to him when a train whistle blew its whistle just as the funeral service was ending.  That train whistle caused all of us to gasp, look at each other, and smile through our tears.

Mom, Uncle Raymond and Aunt Bonnie receiving condolences from the VFW

A special, final memorial to our Grandpa (After the granddaughter’s memorial speech, my sister’s, cousins and I each laid a bag of M&M’s in front of grandpa’s casket. When we were little girls, Grandpa would always bring us a bag of M&M’s. When we grew up, he would give us M&M’s at Christmas. Yes, the M&M’s were buried with him.)

We celebrated Tim’s birthday at a small cafe in West Lebanon, IN on Saturday.

Living Waters Update

It is hard to believe, but in less than a week, cooking at Living Waters Bible Camp will be over for us.  We are here for two more months, but since there are no guest groups coming and no camp sponsored events until Winterama and Winter Recharge after Christmas, Tim will not be cooking at camp.  He will still be busy though.  He plans on deep cleaning the camp kitchen, finishing up the dishwasher training video, and tying up loose ends for the new kitchen manager when he or she arrives.  Camp is working on hiring a replacement kitchen manager, and it is possible that Tim will be involved with training the new manager.

Ministry Transition

In preparation for moving, we continue to sort through things.  We sold our piano yesterday.  It has not been that difficult getting rid of our earthly possessions, but for some reason, when the piano left our house yesterday evening, I cried.  I have always  loved watching and listening to my boys play piano, and when that piano was loaded into the new owner’s truck, I felt like I was losing something very precious.  Speaking of selling tings, we are looking to sell a good sized air compressor, a snow blower, and a not-in-really-good-shape gas grill.  If you know of anyone who would want one of these things, please let us know.

The date of our final departure is starting to come in to view.  We are looking at the middle of January, but we are still not totally clear on how and when everything is going to play out.  We are waiting to hear back from two more movers/customs brokers/shippers before we finalize our plans.  We are praying we have a better idea of what we will be doing by the first of next week so we can secure a mover, buy plane tickets, and establish/publish a timeline.  We will let you all know when we have more definite plans.  Please pray that these pieces fall in to place according to God’s will and timing.

The final hard copy of our newsletter along with an updated prayer card and support flier are in the final stages of production.  We hope to have them in the mail in the next two weeks.

There is so much more we could say, but we will end this here.  Please feel free to contact us at any time.  We enjoy hearing from everyone.   Until next time, have a great week!

…trip update!

(posted by Mindy)

Sorry for not keeping you all posted and up to date on our trip, but we were so busy the whole time we were in the Bahamas (minus the few hours we took Sunday afternoon/evening to go to a beach and to the cliffs on the west side of the island to watch the sunset).  We took three of the young people from ALC with us on our Sunday afternoon/evening excursion, and we had a great time.  We actually found some semi open country side on the west side of the island.  We were able to drive faster than 40mph without the customary starting and stopping.  Now we know where to go when city life if wearing on our nerves (after 3 years of rural living, urban living is going to be quite an adjustment).

Kevin, Chelsea and Cornelius (ALC facilitators) at Jaws Beach

Sitting on edge of the cliff while watching the sun set on the west side of the island.

Last sunset for this trip.

The Adventure Learning Centre board meeting went well on Saturday.  We had an awesome time meeting the three board members we had not yet met.  We were able to sit in on a majority of the meetings as guests and got to hear some of the news of the past year and the excitement of the plans for the time going forward.  We are so excited that we are on our way to being a part of this ministry as it seeks to teach Bahamian children the truths of God’s Word and to minister to foreign mission teams that come to the islands for short terms mission trips.  We have been told to expect the official acceptance letter from the board this week.  We are now in a position to move full speed forward in planning our move to The Bahamas to minister full time with the Adventure Learning Centre and Camp.  The staff at the ALC is excited to have us join the team and is eagerly anticipating our arrival sometime in January.  Yikes!  That is only 2½ months away.

Us with the ALC board

We will be heading to Indiana for grandpa’s funeral Wednesday evening or early Thursday morning this week.  It looks like instead of attending the Creation Conference at Living Waters this weekend, we will be attending two funerals instead.  One of a man who has lived a good long life (grandpa) and the other of a sweet little baby girl who barely lived a month.   My heart goes out to Terry and Autumn Swearingen and big sister Devyn in this time of great grief (I went to high school with Terry).

Just shed my first tears since hearing of my grandpa’s passing.  God providentially gave me a very full, busy day yesterday.  I did not shed a tear with the news of Grandpa’s passing-didn’t have time to dwell on it really.  Hearing my sister today tell me how the personnel at the VA hospital draped my grandpa’s body with a flag, played taps, and rolled him down the hallway of the VA while fellow veteran residents saluted him from their doorways as he passed was too much for me to hear as I sit in the quietness of this Minneapolis air terminal.  I miss him so much but would never ask him to return.  He is in the presence of his Creator!

We had a long two days of travelling again yesterday and today.  We left Nassau on Monday afternoon, arrived in New York at 6pm, wondered through Manhatten until midnight (it was neat getting to see New York), and then spent 4 hours “sleeping” in the terminal before boarding our 6am flight to Minneapolis.  We will be picking up a flight to La Crosse, WI soon.  Hopefully we will be home by around 4pm.  Of course tomorrow will be busy with travel preparations to go to Indiana.  What a week!

Staten Island Ferry to see the Statue of Liberty during our 12 hour layover in New York.

Essex Cafe at Ground Zero (Medic area during 9/11). Our mission group ate here when we were in New York in 2004.

Our late night supper at Ground Zero. The best Philly Cheese Steak Sandwich ever! (maybe we were just super hungry)

Times Square at about 1130pm. New York really never does sleep. I would hate to see the electric bill of this place. (Notice the back packs and bags we carried around New York with us.  We could not leave them at the airport.)

I will post again later in the week as time allows.  Have a great week everyone, and thank you for reading.

…absent from the body, present with the Lord!

Grandpa went to be with the Lord this morning.  He is standing tall and whole in the presence of His Creator and in fellowship with his dear wife, mother and others who have gone before him!

We will be flying out of Nassau today to head back home.  We will be staying in the La Guardia airport tonight and should be back in La Crosse, WI by tomorrow evening.  We will be reconnecting with the boys and travelling to Indiana for the funeral later in the week.  Please pray for the logistics of everything.

We were planning on updating everyone on our trip, the ministry and the board meeting here at the ALC, but under the circumstances, we feel like we should hold off on posting anything right now.  We will update everyone as time allows.


Tim and Mindy

Our last picture with grandpa- July 2012
Ralph Byers- absent from the body, present with the Lord! October 22, 2012


…made it to The Bahamas, grandpa update!

(posted by Mindy)

Logan, Garrett and Zachary- our send-off party at La Crosse airport!

Leaving Tuesday afternoon from La Crosse airport

It was a long two days of travelling, but praise the Lord we made it to The Bahamas safely yesterday at about 430pm. Even though Tuesday night’s 15 hour overnight layover in Atlanta meant we got to see our good friends Joe and Angela Underwood, we have decided that we don’t particularly like breaking the trip up in to two day.  It made it feel like a very long trip.  We will pray the next trip we make here is all in one day.  Please pray that God does something to make our trip back next Monday and Tuesday (we have a  12 hour overnight layover at New York’s LaGuardia airport on Monday night) either enjoyable or miraculously changed (to Atlanta perhaps) or cut down to a single day.  We do not know anyone in LaGuardia and will probably just be sleeping in the terminal while we wait for our 6am flight to Minneapolis on Tuesday morning.

Picture with Angela Underwood where we stayed on Tuesday night

Tim with the Underwood’s dog Mocha. Mocha is litter mate to our former dog Maddie. (This picture is for you, Andrew, Garret, Logan and Zachary!)

As we drove to the ALC from the airport, it seemed like we had never left.  We knew where everything was and could have probably found our way back here by ourselves.  It was fun being reunited with a few of the staff we had met in August when we were here.  We will get to see everyone else later this morning when we go over to the Centre for morning devotions.  We will find out more at that meeting what the Centre’s expectation of us for this trip.  Our goal is to get out and do some shopping this afternoon.

Our hearts are heavy and torn right now.  We got word from my mom today that Grandpa is starting to show signs of mottling in his extremities (shows poor oxygenation status), and he is not really waking up.  Part of the sedation is from the morphine they are giving him to calm his breathing which has become quite labored, but some of it is probably from the disease process.  The nurses have said his condition has been downgraded.  It won’t be long now.   We have decided that we will be staying here through the weekend regardless of whether God chooses to take him home in the next day or two.  We feel we need to be at the ALC board meeting on Saturday, and our being back in Indiana with the family is something that can be done at a later time.  Please pray for me, I really want to be with my family right now, but I know I need to be here too.

That is it for now.  We need to get to the ALC.  We will post again in a couple of days!  Have a great day!

…departure day!

(posted by Mindy)

I know this is not Friday, but I said we probably would be keeping everyone up dated on our trip back to the Bahamas.  We leave today.  In anticipation of that, we thought we would share a few prayer requests that we have, so you know how to pray for us.  We are not nervous or anxious, only excited to see what God has in store for us this week.

Our flight leaves today at 345pm from La Crosse, WI.  We have a 3 hour layover in Minneapolis before heading to Atlanta for the night.  Our good friends, the Underwoods, will rescue us from the Atlanta airport tonight at 1050pm, and we will stay with them for the night.  They will take us back to the airport tomorrow afternoon to catch our flight to Nassau.  Please pray for safety in our travels and for everything to work out smoothly (as the Lord allows of course).

Logan and Garrett will be taking us to the airport today.  Some friends of ours will be staying here at the house tonight with Zachary and Logan.  Tim’s mom will be coming tomorrow evening to stay with them through the weekend.  Logan will go back to the Twin Cities with Grandma Seeley (he has an orthodontist appointment in the Cities on Monday), and Erv and Marion Jung will keep an eye on Zachary for us on Sunday-Tuesday next week.  Please pray for the boys as they are here at home and that they will make wise decisions.  They have soccer games, Logan will taking his PSAT test tomorrow morning, and Zachary has a lot of school work to get caught up on.  (This is my biggest concern with my leaving at this time, and my mother/homeschool teacher heart is a little anxious.)

Grandpa is being medicated with morphine to help with the labored breathing and is very groggy.  My mom said this morning that he remains week.  Please pray that he does not die this week, and if he does, please pray that we are able to make it back for the funeral.  We did buy the trip insurance for this purpose and will reroute our flight to Indianapolis if we have to.

Finally, could you please pray for us as we are at the ALC and “shopping” for household items/vehicle this week?  Please pray for wisdom and guidance with the board meeting and that we are wise and discerning.

Thank you for taking the time to read this.  We will keep you posted throughout the week.  Until next time, have a great day!

Tim and Mindy

…the past and coming week, grandpa update, blog changes!

(posted by Mindy)

Looking back and forward…

It is hard to believe another week has come and gone.  These Fridays seem to be coming quicker and quicker.  Fortunately this one brings a huge relief with it (for me anyway).  I finished my nursing research class yesterday.  I feel like a huge weight has been lifted off of my shoulders.  Now I can start focusing on what really matters:  my boys’ education and our changing life.  Tim’s class will be completed sometime within the next couple of days.

Those of you who know me know how organized I can be and what a neat freak I am.  No one would dare accuse me of that now with the way my house is looking these days.  God must be working a miracle in me (seriously).  I am amazed that I am not anxious or feeling unsettled.  Normally I would not be able to rest with piles on my counters and tables, boxes and and bins cluttering the floors in every room, and unorganized piles of files and papers on my bedroom floor.  Thank you, Lord, for the grace to deal with messiness while I get things done a little at a time!

Our bedroom with boxes, bins, files and paper work to be sorted (not in the picture), and loose items waiting to be packed or discarded. (At least the bed is made)

The view that greets you as you enter the house (and this is after I did some straightening).

We are putting the finishing touches to a power point presentation we will be using to present our ministry to churches (and anyone who wishes to listen).  We will be sharing the presentation with our assembly at Grace Church this Sunday, the first opportunity of what we hope is many opportunities to present the ministry to others.  Our goal is not only to fund the work we will be doing but also let everyone know what the ALC is and how it can benefit American churches.

It is the middle of October already, and that means one month until Thanksgiving and two months until Christmas, but more importantly, that means it is less than a week until Tim and I fly back down to the Bahamas to meet with the ALC board for the board meeting.  We leave on Tuesday, October 16th from La Crosse and return to La Crosse on Tuesday, October 23rd. (Yes, we are looking forward to experiencing warm weather again.)


My grandpa is getting weaker and is having some incoherent days mixed with lucid days.  From what he is telling my parents, he is getting tired of the suffering and would like to see it end soon.  He is a believer and knows he will be in heaven when he dies.  I can totally understand his desire to be absent from the body and present with his Lord.  We will miss him, but I hate to hear of his suffering.  This may sound bad, but I would love to see him relieved of his suffering.

Blog Changes…

In the side bar to the right, you will notice a logo shaped like an “S”.  This logo is a link to our Shepherd’s Staff Mission Facilitators donation page.  Shepherd’s Staff Mission Facilitators is the organization that will be handling the financial details of our ministry so we can focus on what really matters, and that is ministry work.  They have been a huge blessing already!

In the upper right corner of our site (and in the side bar to the right), you will notice there is a tab labelled “Newsletter Sign-up and Contact Information.”  Clicking on this tab (or the link in the side bar) will take you to a form where you can enter your email and subscribe to receive our newsletters email.  As we move forward with our ministry transition, we are anticipating that we will be doing away with snail mail in the future.   We do plan on getting one more mass mailing out before Christmas this year.  With the mailing we will be sending our new prayer card and letting everyone know about the new format.  If you would like to receive our ministry newsletters (they will have information that we won’t post on our blog), please submit your email address to us.  We promise to keep your email private and not sell it to anyone.

I am sure we will be posting more next week as we travel to, through, and from the Bahamas.  That way we will be able to keep everyone updated with what is going on.  We might even share a few more pictures.  Until then, have a great weekend and God bless you all!

How you can pray for us:

  1. That God opens doors and opportunities to share our ministry with others
  2. Safety as we travel next week to the Bahamas to meet with the ALC board
  3. Mindy’s grandpa- pray that God gives him grace as he faces these last days of his life here on this earth
  4. Transition from LWBC to the work God has in store for us to do
  5. For Zachary and Logan next week as they remain home and work on school work and enjoy time with Grandma Seeley
  6. Garrett needs a job
  7. Wisdom and discernment for decisions that need to be made

…Wausau Conference, ”About Us” tab, update on Grandpa and ministry transition!

(posted by Mindy)

The trip to the Wausau Youth Conference was a blessing.  We had a great time of fellowship with friends we don’t see often as well those we see on a more regular basis.  We were able to connect and talk with many people who have had a history with the Adventure Learning Centre over the years.  It was neat getting to hear their stories.

We would like to say a public thank you to Bill and Fayette Van Ryn for their hospitality.  We, along with Ian and Barb Taylor from Kenosha, WI, were guests in their home Friday and Saturday evening.  We visited and laughed together each evening after the conference.  Also, thank you to the Ledgisters for housing Zachary and Steve and Suzi Richetto for housing Logan.

At the Wausau Youth Conference at Bible Truth Chapel

Zachary with his best friend, Granton Ledgister, at the Wausau Youth Conference

Logan and his friends at the Wausau Youth Conference

Have you noticed how beautiful the leaves are this year?  As I look at them, I find myself trying to appreciate them more than usual because this may be the last fall we get to spend amongst the yellow, red, and orange foliage.  This happens to be my favorite time of year, and I have always said that I would never want to live where the trees did not change colors in the fall (in other words, I never wanted to live outside the Midwest).  I love my four seasons.  Needless to say, that is one thing I am going to have to relinquish if we end up in the Bahamas.  There is one season in the Bahamas, and that is “summer.”

Beautiful Fall Colors

A display of our Creator’s creativity!

View while walking down the road from our house to camp

More on the road down to camp

“About Us” tab

If you have visited this site before and had clicked on any of the tabs in the upper right corner of the page, you may have noticed that we had a note on the “About Us” tab that said “content coming soon.”  Well, soon has arrived.  We updated the content on that page, and you may read it if you so desire.  It is a brief synopsis of who we are, where we have come from, how God has directed our lives, and where we are headed.


We got a call from my mom last weekend saying that Grandpa has seemed to rally a bit.  They admitted him on Friday to the VA home where it looks like he will live out the remaining days of his life.  It is sad for me to think that he had to be put in there instead of getting to be at home, but it is just too much work for anyone to take care of him at home.   He has resigned himself to the fact that this is the way things are going to have to be.  I sure wish I could be there for him, but that is not realistic.

The calming before the storm

My nursing research class and Tim’s hermeneutics class drop off our schedules in a little over a week.  We are so excited that we each will have one less time consumer to deal with.  Zachary and Logan have only 2 weeks of soccer left, and they too will have one less responsibility.  Of course, as December approaches, so does more work in packing, sorting and purging.

One of the trailer loads of to-be-donated items

Speaking of purging, on Tuesday and Wednesday, we went through the garage and the house again and added to our pile of to-be-donated items.   On Wednesday, we took two trailers full of the earthly possessions to the garage sale our church mission team to Haiti is having this week.  It was not as hard to let those things go as I had anticipated.  Several wedding presents and the baby bedding that all four of our babies used were left at the sale amongst the other garage sale treasures, and I was no worse for the wear when we pulled away. The fact of the matter is, we cannot take those things with us, the Haiti mission team can use the money from the sale of those items, and those items can be used again by someone else (better than sending all those things to storage or a landfill).

Ministry transition update

Last Friday’s skype interview with Pastor Jackson, the pastor of Shepherd’s Staff Mission Facilitators, went very well.  We received word from our mission committee at church and our pastor that they have heard from Pastor Jackson and have given their approval to our ministry plans.  We are now waiting for Shepherd’s Staff to send us the email with the contract that we need to electronically sign, and when we receive it and sign it, we will be officially able to start raising support and accepting funds to help support our ministry in the Bahamas.

Two weeks from tomorrow is the ALC board meeting, and we are excited that we get to go to the Bahamas again to see our new friends and to meet the rest of the ALC board.   We leave La Crosse, WI on Tuesday, October 16th and arrive in Nassau on Wednesday afternoon, October 17th.  (We have a 15 hour overnight layover in Atlanta on Tuesday and will be staying with our friends, the Underwoods.)  Besides the board meeting, our goal for this trip is to shop around for prices on items we will need to buy once we get there (vehicle, furniture, household items, etc).  We return to the states on Monday, October 22 and get to experience an eleven hour overnight layover in LaGuardia airport before arriving home via Minneapolis in La Crosse on Tuesday afternoon of the 23rd.  Please pray for safety and for strength and stamina on the trips and for wisdom as we make preparations for what lies ahead for us as it relates to the Bahamas.

Have a great weekend!

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