Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Road Trip

People & Digital Gadgets

Coffee gets all 6 of us started!
My work consists of two primary elements:  People and plenty of administration.  I don't know what I would do without relationships or my laptop.  Last Friday night I said goodnight to my laptop for three days after I decided to leave it on my desk rather than take it with me on a business trip to northeastern Washington.  I've just powered it up this morning so that that I can begin writing this blog.  It's been asleep for three days ... although its seemed like three weeks to me!  I don't dare open up my email inbox yet.  That will be a medium sized administrative mountain for me to climb and would distract me enough that I would lose the words that are exercising randomly inside of my head from the road trip we have just experienced.

Thirty minutes down the highway Saturday morning I discovered that I have my Smart Phone on the charger in my office!  One more administrative device that would not be making the trip with me.  I've learned that these latest generation of phones don't only make calls, but have the capacity to retrieve, read, and respond to emails, keep a calendar updated and revised, take photos and videos, and notify me of posts my friends make on Facebook.  Without the phone and the laptop my focus really would be much better directed toward two major connections we would have with people ... first in Spokane and lastly in Newport.

The road trip not only included my best friend, Pam, but four teenage girls ... all of whom have been to Uganda.  I soon discovered that they would provide a third unplanned people connection!  Not only was our destination packed with people time, but both 8 hour journeys there and back were relationship intensive too.  It was so refreshing/stretching to be engaged in a 90 minute conversation with three young ladies around the celebration of who they are in Christ and and the exploration of what He may have in mind for their lives next.  You can get an impression of that discussion by reading My Uganda Days written by my oldest granddaughter (soon to be 19), Blair.

Bruce, Terry, Vicki, and Pam
Our first appointment was 2 PM Saturday at Mustard Seed Restaurant in Spokane.  We meet with seven people over Asian cuisine to talk about the completion of the recording project NGM has with The Dove Voice Band.  Eight English songs and one Swahili song had been recorded by the band in Kampala last summer.   We returned to the States the middle of September with the digitized data files for all nine songs.  Our media savvy son, Dawson, and a studio sound engineer have worked on final editing and remixing of the songs so they will be ready for printing.  Our meeting over lunch was to talk with people who had heard about this project and volunteered to print 1000 copies of the None Like You CD ... for FREE!  Before lunch was over they requested that we also send them the print ready files for the jacket back and front cover, along with liner notes, and they would see that the project would be finished before Christmas!

Our delightful time with these people was terminated when one of them noticed that it was snowing outside.  Vicki encouraged us to hit the road since we were driving even further north, towards the Canadian border, and darkness was soon falling. Adventure seems to be a way of life for us and I love it.

Tim & Denise
As I left the shelter of the parking garage for the snow filled streets I wondered if the limited visibility, and my memory of being on this road only one time before, would be adequate to get us to the home of our host ... which was up on a mountain as well.  I borrowed a cell phone from my granddaughter Blair and instructed her to dial 411 to retrieve the number of our host in order to get their street address.  I also instructed her to dig into the console, find, and turn on the GPS Pam and I were given (thank you so much James and Joetta Fort of Arvada, Colorado) on a road trip two years ago.  With the accurate assistance of this one and only piece of technological equipment  at our disposal, we drove to our location where Danny Pontius and his parents, Denise and Tim, were waiting to host us for the next two nights.

Bulletin Board featuring Sera's Caring Place
Danny, their second born son, responded to an invitation to come to Uganda which I gave at at a high school camp the summer  of 2009 and arrived in Jinja in December of that year to stay with us for a month.  This 21 year old has been in 21 countries in his young life already, but it was the first African nation for him.  Danny has never personally met Sera Kasonga, of Sera's Caring Place.  But after exposure to her story and work, shared with his church and family about the amazing work she does for her 20 off-the-street sons.  They requested photos and more information from Next Generation Ministries.  Their love for Sera and her work and their  relationship with her began without even one face to face connection with her.

Necessary Administration
Now Pam and I found ourselves at Dalkena Community Church to explore the possibility of and some specific plans for a short term mission trip for them to Uganda in 2012.  We .... Blair, Hannah, and I ... shared with the young people and adults in the Sunday School hour.  We showed our latest NGM video in the morning service and encouraged the church to become a part of the Lord's work in Sera's Caring Place.  A meal was shared after the service and then Pam and I fielded questions with the group interested in making the trip to Uganda for the congregation.  We had a delightful time with the church for the better part of Sunday.  At least one team will be coming next year and, who knows, possibly two.

Now it is back to administrative work for two days before Pam and I leave for another three day adventure ... this one in Tucson, Arizona.  People and administration ... working together as our means to discover and display the glory of Jesus.

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