Love the Lord your God, listen to His voice and hold fast to Him, for the Lord is your life! Deut. 30:20

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Uncle Harry

My Uncle Harry Wiens passed away this week. The funeral was in Mountain Lake, Minnesota. On Thursday, I drove my parents up there. 9 1/2 hours.

We ALWAYS have to stop in LeMars, Iowa at the Blue Bunny Ice-cream place!

Ice-cream is both my parents' favorite food!

Dad even worked in an ice-cream shop in Omaha when he was going to school at Grace! He says they could eat it whenever they wanted.

Mocha Chocolate Almond

When we got to Mountain Lake, we met our "shirt-tail" cousins, Dennis and Ciny Wiens. My mom's sister, Wava, married Dennis' uncle, Harry Wiens.

By the way, Dennis and Cindy plan to be at the Swiss church in Whitewater on Thursday evening (125 S. Oak). They are bringing with them Dr. Hanna Massad, a pastor from the Gaza Baptist church to speak about what God is doing in the Middle East among His people there. It should be quite interesting!

Uncle Mahlon, Aunt Wava, my mom, Uncle Wally

(Uncle Mahlon and Uncle Wally live in Pandora, Ohio)

When my mom went to Grace Bible Institute in Omaha, she showed her year book to Wava, who was still in high school. Wava saw Uncle Harry's picture in the yearbook and declared "I'm going to marry that man!" And guess what! That is just what happened! When Wava went to Grace, there was Harry and the rest is history.

Here is some interesting things about the Geiger and Wiens' families. Both families are very mission minded. My mom's sister, Aunt Treva (who has passed away) went to Mali, Africa as a missionary. My mom went to Japan as a missionary. Uncle Wally went to Paris, France as a missionary. Uncle Harry and Uncle Mahlon have both gone on many mission trips. Uncle Harry on 24 trips to Japan, Hawaii, Africa, Cuba, Russia, Siberia, Ukraine and the Philippines. Uncle Mahlon has gone on 10 mission trips.

The Wiens' family also were (and are) involved in missions. His oldest brother is in Italy. He is in his 80's and plans to live the remainder of his life there. Another brother was in Mali and worked alongside my Aunt Treva. Dennis (that was pictured above) is his son and Dennis and Cindy spent many years as missionaries in Mali also before joining the SAT-7 team. Uncle Harry's sister, Ruth, was a missionary in Japan where we were. My cousin, Amberly is now doing short-term missions in Japan too.

Aunt Wava and my cousins

As we were driving around Mountain Lake, I saw this building. My parents told me that Uncle Harry was part-owner of Balzer industries in Mountain Lake (his mother was a Balzer). So, Dave Balzer, any chance you have connections to my Mountain Lake relatives?
My cousins will not be able to celebrate Father's Day with their dad this year.

He was a very special Dad. Loved fishing.

Loved fishing for men too. A Gideon.

A deacon in their church.

Awana leader.

Sunday School teacher.

Loving husband, devoted Dad.

A story was told at the funeral about Uncle Harry. He was in the Navy in 1944. It was in the middle of the war with Japan. Their ship was on its way to the Philippines and would be landing on an island to fight the Japanese. The captain knew Uncle Harry was a Christian and he asked him if he would not lead the men in a word of prayer and reading of the Scriptures. Uncle Harry read to these men from Psalm 91. Many of these men would lose their lives.

"He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the lord,
'He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.
Surely He will save you from the fowler's snare
and from the deadly pestilence.
He will cover you with His feathers,
and under His wings you will find refuge;
His faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
You will not fear the terror of night
nor the arrow that flies by day......
He will call upon Me, and I will answer him.
I will be with him in trouble..."

This father's day we remember our Dads too.
Al's Dad
I took this picture many years ago, but it is one of my favorites of him.

My Dad.

Love you both!!!

Happy Father's Day!

And to my children's Daddy.

I love you much!!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

God bumps

Ever experience those times when there are so many "coincidences" that you know it can only be God? When you get goose bumps? Or as my friend calls them, "God bumps". Last night, I had an experience that was filled with one "coincidence" after another after another. I came home in tears, in awe of God who works in and through us, and in spite of us, to fulfill His purposes. He is in the very details of our lives!

Our interruptions that seem so disruptive and devastating are God's unexpected opportunities to be used of Him for purposes far beyond ourselves.

"Show the wonder of Your great love" Psalm 17:7

He is present and active in our lives and too often we miss Him.

"Earth's crammed with heaven. And every common bush afire with God; but only he who sees takes off his shoes - the rest sit round it and pluck blackberries." - Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Veda Hamill, a friend from church, wrote the following poem. I asked her if I could share it:

Arise! Rejoice!
Feel the sun's rays
Fall warm on your face.
And know
Our God is here.
Arise! Rejoice!
Let the gentle breeze
Blow through the tangle of your thoughts.
And know
Our God is here.
Arise! Rejoice!
Fill your lungs
With the sweet breath of the earth.
And know
Our God is here.
Hear His voice
In the whispering grasses.
See His footsteps
In the swaying trees.
Sense His presence
In the fragrance after the rain.
Glimpse His glory
In the rainbow's arch.
Arise! Rejoice!
Our God is here!
"You will fill me with joy in Your presence!" Psalm 16:11
Reveal Yourself to me daily, Jesus!

Monday, June 15, 2009

A crazy, busy, busy weekend (but fun!)

FRIDAY morning when I looked out the door, I noticed the rain.

We were supposed to have the young married's (and one old couple) garage sale. Would we get rained out?

Luckily, by 8:30, the rain had cleared out for the most part so we were still able to go ahead with the garage sale! We had 16 families going in on this sale.

Even a bunny for sale!

The kids played in the back yard while sales were being made.

Henry and Grace were selling muffins and lemonade.

More back yard fun.

On Friday evening after the garage sale, Jill, the girls and I went to Kidron Bethel for their big, annual pig roast. Adam was sick so he stayed in bed and Al was on route home from a meeting in Boston.

We rode a train. The driver was crazy doing all kinds of loops around the place. It was a blast!

We saw many people we knew, including the Andersons. Maybe you recall from an earlier blog that Rauley is going to be Hannah's future husband! Payton, Rauley's sister, once told Rauley that she was going to marry him when they grew up. "I'm sorry. I'm going to marry Hannah" he declared.

I got to have a surprise reunion of sorts with my MK (missionary kid) friends from Japan. We were all in the same mission family. Barb, who lives in Clearwater now, was my very first room-mate when I went to boarding school as a 1st grader. We were best of friends for many years. Her mother, "Aunt" Belva, was my first dorm-mother. Johnny (now called John, but to me he will always be Johnny) was older than us but he also was at our school before their family moved up to the Tokyo area. He lives in Calgary now.
My parents helped serve food.

The kids got to sit in a fire engine...

and be "bubbled".

On SATURDAY morning, we finished the garage sale and then in the afternoon ran to church to have a surprise anniversary party for our friends, Terry and Connie. Terry is part of the elder board and Pastor Dave called an "emergency" elder meeting. Wives were also to come discuss some sensitive issue. Tami, their daughter, said that they can never, ever surprise their father and that it would be a miracle to pull this off.
You should have seen Terry's jaw drop to the floor when they entered the room. And he was all red in the face. It felt so good to surprise them!
Then right after that party, we were off to a coaches' party at the Claassen home. (In our church, we have coaches who help small group leaders or Community Life groups. They pray for them and help them with any needs or direction.) The Claassen's have an amazing set up in the country and love to host parties for groups. Lots of good food and lots of fun! Unfortunately, Adam was sick and couldn't eat the great brisket and other delicious foods. He came, but only for a brief time. This whole weekend was disappointing for him as he missed all the parties and great food.

SUNDAY afternoon, Webers and us (we are both coaches)had our Community Life young married leaders together at "Uncle Tom's Cabin", out at Haven. Sarah's brother, Tom, owns this camp ground and so it was good to spend time together there. We missed Adam and Jill (who were not feeling well - we took Hannah with us) and Joel and Jess too.

If you go too fast on this slide, you will fly into the lake!

The fish weren't biting, but it was still fun. Hannah was not at all squirmish about holding the wiggly worms. (Too gross for this grandma!)
Thank you, Webers, for inviting us out to the campgrounds!
Now, to recoup from this very busy weekend!