Friday, November 23, 2012

2012 - Weeks 34 - 47 Furlough Photo 'n Prayer Review

The Beards - November 2012

Our time visiting and resting in the United States is coming to a close 
and we wanted to share some highlights of our stay:

Our arrival to US Customs at the Miami Airport
Organized chaos at best!


Making Ice Cream - the old fashioned way with Jon's parents, David and Marsha.
Need some help, buy Mare's recipe book: Just Making Ice Cream

Our September birthday girls, Tabi (4) and Naomi (6), celebrate their "Labor Day" birthdays.

Our Rancho Oasis display at the church of my teen years: Bloomingdale Church

West Virginia

A "parallel" discipleship ministry in Morgantown WV, Chestnut Mountain Ranch,
sponsored a shoe drive for Rancho Oasis during their first "Mud Runner".
Maybe the girls and I will run in it next year!

L: Learning to make paper with grass accompanied by our friend, Kim.
R: Tabi & Nomi reconnect with their buddy and former RO4Y intern, Josy.

Believe it or not, they all started on the couch!

One of our heart's desires as parents was to be able to invest in our children during this break from Honduras. We've heard to many horror stories of MK's gone wild and want to do our best to show the love and truth of Christ to our four kids. I started spending individual time with each of the kids, going on walks and being an ear just to listen.

Calvary Chapel Morgantown - Rancho Oasis Reunion Prayer Party
Part of Jon's experience was not only sharing his heart to the body,
but doing a "reverse" missions trip and painting the fellowship's 
new sanctuary!

It was a joy to share with many of our supporting churches during this break. Relationships were rekindled and new friendships were formed. Though each guest teaching took on its own shape and emphasis, Jon stuck to the book of Joshua. Listen to Jon's furlough message: "Go Make Disciples" from their sending church, Calvary Chapel Des Moines (9/23/12)

Back-porch view of those West Virginian mountains: Thanks, Sheets!
Central Iowa

Quad Cities Walk - mid-September

L: Naomi teaches the kids a Spanish song during Wednesday night Kid's Club
R: Jon has some fun with the kids at the Cory Family Farm

L: Jon lead some Spanglish worship at Calvary Chapel Des Moines' new building.R: Naomi & Tabitha spend the night with their buddies: Jake, Pastor Brent and Katie


Friends in Fon du Lac: The Bachleitner's
(Combined we could be a complete soccer team with two subs!)
Pastor Landon, in Honduran Jersey, introduces the Beard family
Sunday morning at Freedom Church in Kaukana.

L: All my girl's marvel at our host's beautiful mare.
R: The girls enjoy some fishing with the Theyel family.

L: Appleton October fest wouldn't be the same without Freedom Church's:
"Meet Your Maker" Baker's Dozen Deep Fried Oreos
R: Enjoying the eats at the 2nd Annual "Beard-B-Q"

Britt, Iowa

Marillyn's parents home & our temporary home for 6 weeks;
L: Wayne preps the exterior for a new paint job.
R: Nearly finished painting project with Wayne & Brooke.

One of the joys of being in a small, Midwest-town for such an extended period of time was the opportunity to be a part of the community. Simple things like bike rides around town, working out at the local hospital's fitness room, getting a card at the Britt library and attending church activities throughout the week. Admittedly, in and of themselves these things don't amount to much, but when you've been absent from life in North America for nearly five years - it is kinda nice.

The girls were able to attend the weekly Awana's program at the Britt E-Free Church.

Poema Alizay, born October 21,2012
Of course, the birth of our fourth child was a hugely momentous occasion. Once again Mare showed her bravery and delivered Poema in less then 4 hours! To see more photos, check out the photo album on Jon's Facebook page.

L: Mare labors in a birth pool in the Goranson's kitchen
R: Admiration of the new born, Poema!

L: Brooke and Jon sign Poema's Live Birth Certificate Application with a notary
R: Papi and the grand-kids bury the placenta and plant some trees.

I was praying about ideas of how to cultivate a servant's heart with the kids during our extended stay in Britt and the Lord gave me an idea to visit the two local convalescent homes. 

The girls shared their artistic gifts and adopted a few new grandparents.

The girls and I enjoyed an evening of theatre as one of the local Christian schools performed "Jonah's Druthers" a Western spin-off of the Prophet to Ninevah.

We found a "greasy spoon" for dinner and got the actresses to pause for a photo.

While in Britt, Jon attended a Spanish speaking service during the week and was blessed to not only practice his Spanish, but to make some new amigos. Pastor Fernando and his wife, Dunia, were actually sent from Mexico to the US to be missionaries. Jon was asked to share about Rancho Oasis and the Beard family was even invited to their daughter's quinceanera celebration! (The 15 year-old Latino birthday party + coming of age ceremony) 
The girls hug their friend, Arely, during her Quinceanera celebration

Stuffed like sardines in Marillyn's grandfather, Al's, mini-van on our way back to Chicago
One tradition that was nice to celebrate in the United States was Thanksgiving. Christmas and Easter our celebrated around the world, but Thanksgiving is a uniquely North American holiday. However, one thing I do appreciate about the Spanish is the translation. I used to think the translation read "dia de gracias" or day of thanks. I've since learned that the proper translation is "dia de accion de gracias" or day of the action of thanks. I like that simple reminder that thankfulness is not a feeling, but an action. 

L: An early Goranson Thanksgiving meal in Britt.
R: Thanksgiving day meal with the Beards in Bloomingdale

So, to wrap up this long post, Marillyn and I want to thank you for your prayers, encouragement and financial support over the last three months. Overall our baby-birth-extended-stay furlough was a blessing for our family and we thank you for the wonderful reception and warmth we received from long-time friends and the openness and excitement from new friends.

Please keep us in prayer as we return to Honduras on Tuesday, November 27th.