Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Between Iraq and a Fireplace

Good morning from sunny Irbil, Iraq. You know you're not in Kansas anymore when your flight from Jordan to Iraq leaves at 1:00AM, the man taking your boarding pass is busy puffing on a cigarette as he tears your ticket stub, and you arrive at 3:00 AM with the temperature at a balmy 95 degrees. At least the dead grass here reminds me of home and my own front yard. One other interesting travel note - I'm not sure if it's a cultural thing, but people on our flights seemed to have very little interest in locking the door when they went to the restroom, which led to some spectacularly awkward encounters and priceless facial expressions.

With the flying out of the way, we've got a full week of teaching sessions scheduled with the Kurdzman church, and later on in the week we'll be distributing Bibles, shoes, and Story of Jesus booklets to children at the local schools. All is going well so far, and I'm blessed to be traveling with such experienced older brothers in Christ.

Well, it's 8:00 AM now and I'm going to get a few z's in before things get going this afternoon. I'll let you know of any other amusing intercultural exchanges that take place. Please keep Adrienne and the Benjamite in your prayers these next two weeks.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Baby Circles

Today we're home a day early and happy to be sleeping in our own beds this evening. Unfortunately, we're home early because Ben wasn't able to breathe well through the new trach so they put the old one back in this morning and sent us on our way. This leaves us back at the same point we were at back in March with the decision on whether to use the laser to remove part of Ben's vocal cord, widen Ben's airway by grafting some rib cartilage into the cartilage ring around his voice box, or just wait and see what happens.

The doctor said that he has recently started using Botox on patients who need a cartilage graft so that the muscles won't compress the cartilage that is being inserted. I always thought I still had a few more years before I had to give the Botoxing talk to my son.

In other news, we celebrated 7 years of marriage last week by bypassing Bartlesville and heading on up to Kansas City for the weekend. Since the name Kansas comes from an Indian word which means "Free Art Museums", our photos will center around this theme.

This picture combines two things I hate - giant spiders and staged photographs that take way too long to set up. (I believe this was take four).

Yes, those really are 20-foot-tall shuttlecocks that you see in the distance.

And my new favorite sculpture - it's kinda like Thinking Man meets Salvador Dali.

One other interesting bit of news - it's time for World Compassion's periodic trip to check up on our overseas projects. Our media guy is not able to go this time so at the end of the month I'll be off on a two week trip to film the work that our ministry supports in northern Iraq and Afghanistan. God has blessed me with this fantastic opportunity so please pray that all goes well and that time flies for Adrienne and Ben while I'm gone.