Tuesday, February 27, 2007
Saturday, February 24, 2007
We were on a high from all help we received from our Kenyan Adventist family in getting all 27 bags weighing 70 lbs each off the baggage claim, through customs, and into a bus. Until you've managed that many bags you don't realize just how much of a project it really is . . . we really had to do very little.
Getting through the border into Tanzania was a bit more difficult. After 24 hours we now have all our things. We were hot, tired, hungry, and shedding tears of joy upon reuniting with our team members. The first thing we did after a lot of hugging, was to offer up prayers of thanksgiving. And, now as we write this note to you, we're on to the next the next phase of our project . . . training laypeople to use technology to win souls.
Thanks for your love and prayers . . . Continue to remember us!
Thursday, February 22, 2007
No worries for us, we just had breakfast and surfed the Internet. Meanwhile Carol and Curt were cooling their jets in a mini restaurant. Imagine occupying a booth for six hours. They finally arrived . . . one more team member to locate -- Tammy in Nairobi. She gets in 4 hours before we do, so she will be the anxious one looking for us.
As we made our way down the hall to the departing gate a young lady tried her best to get us to purchase tickets to win a Ferrari.
Meanwhile, we spent a few hours in the airport updating this blog. Viorel is as wicked with the camera as I am with the words on this blog.
In London we met a very nice chap, Tap Dong, an Adventist, on his way to the Sudan to work with one of the pastors to open schools and churches. Tap has done quite a bit of work in the United States, as well as some education. We discussed many people that we all knew, that he knew. Small world, isn't it. He was wondering why we were not on our way to the Sudan as the work is opening up there.
Wednesday, February 21, 2007
The unfortunate chap that met us at the airport didn't hesitate at his lot to help us with all those bags. He stayed patiently through the process with the TSA and even allowed us to get his photo.
BA has a new excess baggage system. For some reason they were not able to process the charge for one of our excess bags. (The others were paid for online). Anyway, Randy, sporting his mosquito net hat, enjoys the news from the attendent, "Because you have waited so long I've asked my supervisor to waive the charges." That was the best hourly wage Randy has earned in quite some time . . . over $200. Later I told him that the agent reported she could not find two charges in their system for the bags I paid for online. She was quite sure BA would have to"eat" the $924, as we had a receipt. I hadn't paid particular attention to the receipt, but upon closer look there were two charges of $924 with a total of $924.
Meanwhile, Viorel Catarama shows up with 7 bags to check in and get his seat assignment. His bags looked like ours. (They had asked if there was anyone else in our group, so knew he would be coming along.) We had been there some time dealing with the payment of the excess bag, so knowing he was with us, they didn't even weigh his bags! Unfortunately, however, not all the agents were having difficulty processing charges for excess bags. Here you see THE VERY NICE agent with his credit card. We didn't wait around to see if he got the same treatment we did. Will find out shortly whether or not his card gave their system a jolt like ours did!
Some of the things I bought for the kids were an Australian decorated pencil each, coloured pencils, pencil sharpeners, 5 soccer balls, and 5 rubber balls, with a pump and extra needles.
Also, the school my two boys attend had 2 big boxes of used school uniforms they were given for charity. They said I was welcome to have them if I wanted to pay for shipping them. There were tugs on my heart strings as I went through all of them and realised that there were not going to be enough for every child to have one. But some are better then none.
I found school exercise books for 5 cents each, as our “back to school” sales were on here in Australia, and I bought 420 of them. Two for each child and a few to spare. It just about broke my heart when my boys brought home over 10 exercise books each for me to cover for their school year. I knew there was no way I could manage buying, much less shipping, over 2,000 school exercise books for the little kids there. And then the reality of mission work hit me. If I only bring two books each, the kids will have only two books each. Every thing I do, or don’t do, makes a difference in these children’s lives. I started noticing all sorts of things that I would love for the little kids to have, like school backpacks and lunch boxes, school uniforms, little toys; all things that I would not think twice about buying for my kids just for fun. I often got teary eyed while shopping.
After I gathered all the gear I realised that I was not going to fit it all into my suitcase. I had four times the weight I was allowed. So, I had to call a shipping company that specialises in excess baggage. I sent three boxes last week, and after they had gone, I started to panic. I was definitely going now, or else the things I had so carefully packed would have no one to pick them up!
To take my mind off travelling internationally alone for the first time, I started planning the song services for the conference we are going to. First I asked the pastor there if the people sang in English or Swahili. He answered that they sing in Swahili, but I would lead out in English. This worried me a little. I was not interested in singing five solos before each meeting. So, I called my Grandmother who lived there for over 30 years, and asked her to give me a list of songs that people would know. We had a lovely chat, and she assured me that they sometimes sing in English as well.
When we had finished our talk she told me, “Thank you so much for calling, please do it as often as you can because it doesn’t cost me a cent.” Then she giggled. She is a funny lady. So then I got one of my dear friends, Leah, to record backings to the hymns. We had a good time trying to work out how to get midi files off the electric keyboard and into my computer. After they were done I had 17 hymns to make power points for. That took me a while as I had no experience in using power point. I do now!
So…it is the day before I go. I will miss my husband and my boys so much, and I worry about whether or not they will wear the right uniforms on the right days, and whether or not they get their homework done and handed in on Fridays, and whether or not they remember to take their swimming gear on the right day. Good thing my mother in law is coming to help Luke out. But I am excited as well.
Can’t wait to meet you in Nairobi, Mom!
Sunday, February 18, 2007
Friday, February 16, 2007
All our cares have been placed on Him. Those cares include concern for good weather after the frigid temperatures and the relentless snow this past week; concerns over getting 20 excess bags of 70 lbs each to the airport and checked on their way (weight-size limitations, etc.); our concerns over potential health issues while on our trip; making our connections on time; meeting those we are scheduled to meet along the way and at our destination; presenting materials we've never presented before; conversing with people of a different language; and the list goes on.
Yes, we're thankful for this awesome journey . . . while we rest on the Sabbath, here are a few photos of some of the blessings we expect to receive in Tanzania.
We've learned one thing in preparing for this trip. There are some surprising challenges each step of the way. We'll be better off because of them . . . and do appreciate the counsel of those who have gone before us.
Thursday, February 15, 2007
Screen printing 200 t-shirts is a lot of work, so while visiting my son, James A, Twing, II, in Houston, Texas at Christmas, I searched online for printed t-shirts. Unfortunately everything I found started at close to $6.00. Well, I thought, perhaps if I could get them from someone in Chicago, they would be a bit cheaper. So I Googled "Chicago screen printers" and called a few companies. I told them about the school and my desire to take T-Shirts for the children. The price was the same at the first number I called. At the second number it sounded like I interrupted a luncheon appointment, but I continued with my story. "Oh, I have some t-shirts in my warehouse," came the reply. "I'll give them to you for the cost of printing them."
What a deal! I sent her some photos and over the next few weeks we kept in touch via e-mail. Yesterday my sister picked them up for me. They are beautiful to say the least. It turns out we needed them for more than just the kids. We're placing them on the top of our luggage to discourage theft at the other end of our journey.
How can we say thank you enough for this love gift? This woman didn't know us, but responded to the need. Please, please, if you need t-shirts for any event, contact Nancy Pierce at tshirtbroker.com. Here is a photo of mys sis, Soni Macy, packing T-shirts on the top of our luggage.
This morning I packed all the sprayed things . . . and more. Hopefully they will all arrive with us! Pastor Musa says it is very hot . . . and at one of the places we want to visit it is raining. Here in Chicago it is 10 degrees below zero with a foot of snow on the ground. Global warming????
Even though we now have 6 bags carefully packed and weighed . . . there's many more to do. Friday we'll go at it again.
Ingrid helped for four hours on Friday. Bless those helping hands! Here she is unpacking to re-pack one of our many bags.
Tuesday, February 13, 2007
It is because of the service of my in-laws that I inquired about the possibility of serving on a mission trip there. We've been invited to come to Africa to train laypeople in Tanzania in the use of DVD players to give the New Beginnings Bible lessons. A joint project with Adventist-Laymen's Services & Industries (ASI), there are six of us on this team.
- Viorel Catarama, vice president for evangelism, is in charge of this part of the project.
- Rachel Terwillegar, that's me, development director for the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Illinois, Viorel's assistant.
- Randal Terwillegar, my husband, a high voltage test technician for MCL in Bolingbrook, my very able assistant.
- Carol Frembling, charge nurse in the emergency department of Huguley Hospital in Dallas, TX, keeping us all well.
- Curtis Frembling, Carol's husband, a retired physical therapist, who along with Randy will do the hefty stuff. Curt may also do some welcome physical therapy should our adventures include exercise of which we are unacustomed!
- Tammy Twing Pannekoek, granddaughter of Dr. & Mrs. James Twing, joins us from Sydney, Australia. Tammy will sing for our meetings.
The rest of us will travel on to Twing Memorial School. We plan to have a ton of fun there with the children at the school. We will be bringing supplies for the school and personal items for the kids. After our visit to the school we plan to spend some time in several of the game parks, shooting the animals with digital cameras (still and video)!
All along the way Tammy will be interviewing the more than 100 people who have been educated by Ethel Twing. Tammy will be collecting all this data to begin her first book about a little woman who has done so much.