As time goes by this page will have information about what's happening, travel dialogs, etc.
November 30, 2002
Another busy month has gone by. I have been working 6 days a week at the Post Office. Our staffing has been reduced to the bare minimum, mail volumes are up due to the pre-Christmas mailings, and we've had several folks on vacation. Needless to say, it's been quite the time.
We finally received our sofa and it is a relief to have everything under roof. Now for the final decorating which may take time locating "just the right things". Karen is anxious to complete the process. I am too, but a bit more patient.
We had the annual Thanksgiving Day gathering at Loren's in-laws, the Minors, at Wacahoota. This is a little place out in the country near McIntosh where they have their home and property in the woods. It's really nice in a rustic kind of way. I could get used to living there real easy. We had all the traditional Thanksgiving foods and then some, picnic style. Then hayrides, volleyball, choppin' wood, shooting and tomahawk throwin' contests and a bonfire with rosted weiners and smores. And of course, lots of friends and family. This has become quite a gathering with family coming from all over the state and several friends joining us to help make lots of memories. Of course there was a bit of a pall over the festivities with Kenneth gone, he really enjoyed going each year. Yet we know he would want us to go on with life and make the most of the opportunities we have as family.
Karen is in the middle of decorating the house for Christmas. We had to sell much of the decorations from the old house, yet still there is plenty to make our new home a "Christmas House". There'll be a few need items to add specifically to the decor here, but there be plenty of the things that bring the "warm fuzzies" of Christmas past too.
We had what may be our final garage sale, at least for a while, the third weekend of November when the community sponsored a neighborhood sale. We are getting close to "seeing" the walls of the garage. A small pile of things for Goodwill, the tools that will be organized soon, and the Christmas stuff that will be squared away soon now that the holidays are upon us.
First Assembly is reverting back to "A Gosple According to Scrooge" this year. Pastor Brunson felt the plot line lent itself better to the Gospel message than "It Really Is A Wonderful Life" There was also a strong reaction from the community as many people made "Scrooge" a part of their Christmas tradition.
Well, must go for now, we have Christmas to prepare for, and right around the corner is the up coming trip to Slovakia in January. Pray that the financial need will be met. I know He is able.
October 17, 2002
Much has happened since I last wrote. We have moved after a short misstart. We moved out of our old home on Sept. 3 and due to the power company's delay in setting the meter and turning on the power, it was Sept. 10 before we were able to spend our first night here. Thanks so much to good friends Robbie and Denise who put us up in their home for a week during this transition.
The move in process is moving along steadly, if not smoothly. We know have everything under roof and have closed out the rented storage room but we are still waiting delivery of our sofa. We ordered matching recliners and sofa and while the recliners were delivered some 3 weeks after we asked them to be released, the sofa somehow got lost. After many phone calls, being told the sofa was discontinued and a trip to Reidsville, NC, we have been assured it is not discontinued, it has been reordered and we will probably see delivery by Thanksgiving (we hope). We had an overall enjoyable week visiting my folks in Greenville and going to Dalton, GA to look for area rugs (with a side trip to NC for the aforementioned sofa debacle) which ended with a bang on I-85 in Commerce, GA when the A/C bracket and serpentine belt idler pully broke on the Jeep at 8pm Friday evening. The was a GA college football game going on there that weekend, the hotels were full and price high and all the shop, dealers, and junkyards were closed. After a frantic search and trip from Charleston to Greenville by brother Dan, and an all out effort by my parents to collect both Karen and the needed part in GA and bring both back to Greenville where I had the Jeep towed, and a noble gift by Dad's neighbor who created a part I didn't know I needed until every thing was shut down for the weekend, we were back on the road Sunday AM and home by the evening.
All this was tempered by some very sad news when Kenneth went to be with the Lord on Sept. 30 at 12:15 AM. We were visiting with friends after their mother's funeral Sunday afternoon when the phone rang and we were advised to rush to Kenneth's parent's home. He lingered for several hours and slipped quietly away after a valient battle with the cancer. The funeral the following Thursday spoke eloquently of Kenneth's life and impact on those around him. We will miss him deeply and know that Loren, Karen Elisa and Eric now have a vacuum in their lives that cannot be filled. Keep them in your prayers. Kenneth's website is still up, Kenneth Chapin Online! If you havn't visited it yet, do so. His documentation of his struggle will both inspire you and bring you back to center and you read his words and hear his courageous heart.
August 31, 2002
Even as I write this we are packing to move this coming Monday. Our new home will be ready for closing next Thursday, September 5th and we must vacated our old home by the 3rd. So there will be a short transition of a few days where we will be staying with some friends. I sure am glad we got rid of all the things we did, still, there is much to pack and move. Wow! The house is rapidly coming to completion. Today they are installing the laminate floors. The tile work is done, the electrical, heating and air, cabinets, painting and driveway. The landscaping will go in Monday and the floors, trim and plumbing will be finished by Wednesday. All together just over 60 days start to finish! I'm really thankful for the builder God sent us to. He is patient, consceiencous, and very particular. The fact that he is a Christian makes all this that much better. Sadly it seems to be kinda rare to find those qualities in a Christian businessman.
Keep praying for Kenneth. He continues to deteriorate, all the while continuing to trust God for healing. We know God has a purpose, yet our hearts cry out as we watch his body being destroied by the cancer.
Check his web site, Kenneth Chapin Online!, for his personal perspective, and documentary pictures of the disease. He updates it regurarly. E-mail him to encourage and let him know you are praying for him.
I will need to sign off for now to finish packing and close this computer down. It may be a week or two before we are able to get back up. Till then..
August 7, 2002
Just a quick note. We closed on the home we sold on July 31 and are currently renting it back from the new owners for the remainder of August. Though I hold no hopes that our new home will be ready by that time, I'm praying it will be close enough that there will be little transition time. I will try to keep the site updated with photos of the progress of construction as things go up.
There are many decisions to make, as any one who has built a home knows, and the fact that this is a small home only lessens that a little. Karen continues to help orient the new librarian at First Assembly Christian School though that is starting to come to an end. She does look with some anticipation to the future regarding the Hearts of Praise Ensemble. Larry Noel, out minister of worship, has resigned and is heading to Ohio to a new position as church administrator. They are excited, as are we for them, but as in any transition, there is uncertainty about the future. Since Larry and his wife Geneva are both a part of Hearts of Praise, that will leave a sudden vacuum of voices. Just today Karen got a call from Larry asking her and the other members to meet with him and pastor this evening about the future of the group. We will keep you posted.
Kenneth, Karen's nephew, is not doing well. We continue to lift him to the Lord in prayer believeing for complete healing. Though we cannot see the evidence here in the natural and that can make us fearful, God is in control. If you wish, you can visit his website at Kenneth Chapin Online! He has lots of information there about his condition. Some of the pictures are intense. You will also see from his interests that he is not only a good kid, but totally committed to God. Please pray for him!
July 14, 2002
We are getting into the "preparing to move" state of mind. After getting back from Baja I became fully engaged in the task of preparing a presentation for Karen's parents 50th Wedding Anniversary. That involved scanning and processing old photos, then creating a presentation using those photos to depict their lives and that of their children over the years. It became a very interesting project as I learned more of them. It also became very involved and ended up with over 350 slides and all or parts of 11 songs to total over 335 megabites and 30 minutes of sight and sound. We ran it off to video for showing and actually was somewhat disappointing in that much of the detail was lost on the format change. Still, several folk wanted a copy, so Karen and I spent the next 3 days re-editing and installing updated video drivers on the computer. The end result was a much better to view presentation if not quite as cute in the graphics and fonts department. With that done, we took a bit of break and looked at furniture and fixtures for the home we are building. Starting Monday I will begin the minor fixups on the home we are selling, to close on July 31, start selling the furniture we are not goin to take with us, and begin packing. All in all it will be very busy over the next 1 1/2 to 2 months. We will both be glad when this phase is complete. In addition, I have committed to the church to be a part of the development team for our MAPS program. I will be doing the presentations both before and after one trip each year as well as going on that trip to where ever God send us. It is an exciting time, yet still I'm a bit apprehensive knowing the responsibility of it. But I also know God would not entrust me with this without providing the grace, inspiritation and annointing to do the job.
Karen is currently training a girl at her old job as librarian at First Assembly Christian School (FACS). Though it has been a year and a half, Karen is the only one around who knows the job. There have been a few changes but she is drawing from her knowledge and doing a good job. Between times she is doing leg work on the home building, scouting fixtures, flooring, furinture, appliances, and all the other stuff that is a necessary part of the process.
I want to be able to post progress photos as construction goes along. We currently have a slab and should begin framing Monday or Tuesday. It will be a lot of fun watching it come together, especially knowing God put it together. He held the last lot in the subdivision for us, even to the point of having someone else purchase it, then being unable to complete their project due to personal finances. In the meantime, the lot was kept off the market and returned to availability the same morning we went back to inquire. Amazing how He works!
We'll keep you posted along the way.
Kenneth, Karen's nephew, is still in need of much prayer. The cancer continues to progress and though this past Saturday was a better day for him, the spiral seems downward. But we remain committed to prayer for a complete restoration. God is in control and He will have the final say. He can restore legs, lungs, shoulders and anything else disease takes from us. Please keep him in your prayers.
June 4, 2002
Just got back Sunday, 10:00pm from Baha. Had a great trip and completed the basic church building for the folks there. It was really great to be a part of this project! I'll post more later along with pictures, but one quick note. When we were headed down from Tiajuana missionary Art Stoneking told us we needed to be much in prayer about the weather. Specifically, the Bahia de Los Angeles area is known for sudden, fierce westerly winds that come often, unannounced and make outdoor work impossible. We worked and prayed through the week and just as we nailed down the final sheet of 4X8 roof decking, the winds hit! He wasn't kidding! I had to be on the roof to finish a few small jobs and there is no way we could have put up those walls or set the trusses and decked the roof if the wind had been blowing before. Even the windows and doors would have been impossible to work with. It one of those "Red Sea" experiences where it seems God is saying, "I just want you to know that I've been here protecting you so you can complete the work you began. I held back the Red Sea for the children of Israel, and I held back the winds for you". Wow! More Later!
April 27, 2002
The news of the month is that Lori, Jonathan's wife is expecting and we discovered on the 6th it is going to be a girl! We are all excited, but especially Jonathan and Lori. They really wanted a boy and a girl and though would have been happy with another boy, having a girl now means they are finished! Needless to say Lori is happy on several counts.
We had the 1st monthly Chapin family gathering on the 27th. One of Loren and Karen's (Karen's brother and sister-in-law) dreams was to have their home and propery available for family gatherings and they built their home in part to that purpose. It was a good time of family fellowship and food.
More importantly, a time to draw together as we begin to face more fully the battle Kenneth (L & K's oldest son) has been waging for the past 2 years. Tthe cancer is aggressively growing with a large , fast growing tumor on his right shoulder along with a lot of swelling. His shoulder area looks as though he is wearing a football shoulder pad. In addition, there are several tumors growing in his chest and Loren told us that in the past few days Kenneth has begun to cough up blood.
Next week, around April 30, Kenneth is going to Shands Hospital in Gainesville for a round of radiation therapy in an attempt to reduce the growth in his shoulder and give him some relief from the pain. The doctors have already told him they have used their best stuff and have no real answers, no hope. Kenneth is following the regimen begun in February when they went to the Oasis of Hope in Tijuana, Mexico. This is a combination of natural and traditional medical therapy focusing on nutrition. Of course, no healing can take place without God, He is the source of all healing. Despite the current situation and what appears to be, we continue to trust Him for complete recovery.
I continue to prepare for my trip to Baja, Mexico on May 25th. God has been gracious to provide funding. I am working of the basic structure of the Power Point presentation to report to the church when we return and it is beginnig to take shape. I plan shortly after returning on June 2nd to post photos on this web site.
We are also bringing things together for Karen's parent's 50th anniversary. The details are fleshing out, but the biggest project for me is pulling that Power Point presentation together. Bit by bit it's coming together. That's all for this month, should any late breaking news of importance occur, I'll update here.
March 30, 2002
At this Easter Season there is a lot going on around our home. Karen and the Hearts of Praise Ensemble are performing at Ocala 1st Assembly of God Sunday morning along with the Sanctuary Choir. Practice has been long and productive and we anticipate a wonderful time Sunday.
Our home is on the market and though we are in no rush to sell, we are looking forward to the opportunity to start fresh as we purchase, decorate and furnish a home we can call "ours". This home has been a joy to live in and own over the years for me, but now it is time to move forward, in His time.
Karen and her siblings are making plans for her parent's 50th wedding anniversary this summer. They are planning on a small but very nice reception dinner with family. Karen and I will be working on a PowerPoint presentation for that event.
I will also be working on the preparation of a PowerPoint presentation for the MAPS missions trip in May. I felt led of God to volunteer to participate in the trip to Bahia de Los Angeles, Baja California, Mexico. A group of about 20 of us will be constructing a church building in this little town where there is no church in a 150 mile radius. The only draw to the area is the fishing, watersports (including Windsurfing) and off-roading in just about any kind of vehicle. Of course we will no have time to do these kind of things since we plan to erect this small church building (36'x48') in 5 days.
But I have always found these trips to be a joyful experience and the people we go to help are more of a blessing to me than I to them.
One of our more recent assignments is becoming group leaders for one of the Home Group Fellowships at our church. This has been a really neat opportunity to meet other folks in a more intimate setting not possible in a large church service. This allows everyone to share and discover areas of understanding where we can find answers to questions we may have as we develop relationships with other believers. I hope the others in the fellowship have enjoyed the time as much as we have.
Outside of getting this site up, the day to day of work at the Post Office, the normal activities of running a house, practice and singing in the Quartet, and umpteen other things, that's about all that's going on here.