Monday, April 17, 2006

ASIA...saying good-bye - but not for too long

Today finally arrived. At 9:30 this morning I placed my wife, Michelle, on a plane that would start a journey ending in Shanghai, China. She took a jumper flight from Milwaukee to O’Hare, and then at 16 hour flight from O’Hare to Shanghai. This is the start of a 6 -7 month assignment in the Asia/Pacific region with her company.

Michelle has been traveling a lot lately, so I have gotten quite used to dropping her off at the airport, but normally I pick her up again in a few days. It is never more than a week (and that is rare). But this will be 6 weeks until we see each other again. I cannot even begin to explain how strange this feels. I am alone in bed tonight, I will be eating more by myself, and the house is eerily quiet. Marriage brings two people so close, so intimate, and for that to just fly away is quite bizarre, surreal even.

The parting at the airport seemed like I was living a movie, even more like I was viewing a movie. It was emotional, but did not feel like it was really happening. Life’s most dramatic moves occur in the simplest and smallest of maneuvers. We hugged and kissed, embraced each other, and then again; the whole time fighting off the tears. I just wanted to walk away at that point, while Michelle walked through the security check, but I couldn’t leave. I watched her as long as I could until she walked beyond my eyesight. I finally made the hard turn to begin exiting the terminal, and then the tears came. I took a few deep breaths, and pressed on in life; reminding myself, “it is really more like five weeks”.

While the distance may be hard, I am really excited for her. Michelle dreams of traveling, and this will bring travel. While she will be living in Shanghai, she will be traveling all over the region: Tokyo, Seoul, New Delhi, Bangkok, Sydney, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Auckland. What husband would not let his wife take such a trip? She is helping the Asia/Pacific market get up to speed on their marketing strategy and implementation. So, this is also a great career move. If you want to keep up with her adventure, she will be keeping a blog, I am sure she would love it if you dropped a comments from time to time.

Michelle will be back in the states at the end of May for a wedding, and then a conference in Chicago, and then back to China. I will be living in Shanghai with her from mid June to mid August, so we will not be separate the whole 6 months. Michelle will come home mid the end of October.

We are excited about the work God will do through this, both within us and our marriage, as well as the ministry we will have as individuals during this time. Please pray for us, this will obviously be stressful on our marriage, but also a great time for growth. We know there is a lot to be learned. We’ve been praying that distance truly makes the heart grow fonder, that we would find time for ministry we would not have being together; strengthening of our marriage, and a deeper appreciation for our yearning for Christ and being fully united to Him.

Thanks for the support from all of you, we would appreciate the prayers.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Spiritual Formation Forum May 17-20

I am really excited to announce I will be attending the Spiritual Formation Forum in CA this May.

The forum seeks to bring together a great collection of pastors, scholars, theologians, and most importantly, practitioners of Spiritual formation to gather and discuss the church’s role in spiritual formation. Some of the people who have ministered to me the most will be there. Even Dave Johnson and the Open Door worship team will be there this year; I used to attend Church of the Open Door when I lived in Minneapolis. This is an awesome oppourtuinty and I wanted to promote it on my blog. Check it out!

If you are a student like me, you can even get 3 hours of credit from Trinity.

I hope some of you can make it.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

In response to Aaron's comment

Sorry to all, especially Aaron. Where am I you might ask?

Well Michelle leaves for Asia in two weeks (was supposed to leave today originally), it is a 6 month stint.

I am taking advanced Greek Exegesis. All I have done for the last two days, is attend a conference on pain management to the dying, and tranlate Greek, lots of Greek.

Sorry about the lack of posts. Just swamped trying to graduate, find a job, send my wife to Asia, and stay healthy.

More to come soon - I promise