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She’s home!

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It’s Sunday night after 9:30 p.m., the boys are settled, and my beloved is on the dark side of the moon.

Not literally, but you may be old enough to remember the Apollo lunar missions where the space capsule went to the dark side of the moon and was temporarily out of radio contact – there was always the tension as they awaited re-establishment of contact.

Although Maureen has been 10,000 miles away from home for the last two weeks, we have been able to have frequent contact. Every day—including today—we have talked twice. (Thanks http://www.tel3advantage.com/ for 2.2 cents/minute phone calls.) But now she has left Singapore on Singapore Airlines and is headed toward Tokyo. (Jeremy kept wondering why we couldn’t call her on her cell phone.) After a brief stop there, her plane will continue on with a ten hour flight to Los Angeles. There she’ll have to go through immigration and customs and catch an American Airlines flight to DFW and then the puddle jumper to Abilene, arriving – we hope and pray – at 9:35 Monday night.

In other news…

We’ve done OK here the past two weeks. We’ve had our moments – good and bad – but I’ve grown even closer to my sons by being alone with them for so long. I’ve also grown closer to my wife, as I’ve been reminded how much she does and how much I take for granted. I’ve grown closer to our church here in Albany; they have more than amply supplied us with meals and have shown their genuine concern for me, Maureen, and the boys. And not just the church – everyone in town seems to know that she is gone and near strangers will ask when she is coming back.

At this point, it looks like I’ll be going to the airport alone tomorrow (Monday) night. We realized that Jeremy has to take his TAKS (Texas achievement) test on Tuesday and will need a good night’s sleep. A friend from church offered to come and stay with them while I went to get Maureen. Jeremy was pretty upset when he found out he wouldn’t be able to go to the airport, but I think he has accepted it now. Sometimes it’s tough to know the right thing to do as a parent.

We had a good day today with our family here in Albany. There were quite a few rarely seen faces at church this morning and several stayed around to visit, which I took as a good sign.

When I stood up to preach and I saw them there, I felt my voice trembling as I was overwhelmed with the responsibility to speak a word from God to them—a word that reflected both the call to discipleship and the call to embrace God’s grace.

Tonight we had a men-included baby shower for a new family at church, and we took advantage of the occasion to have a time of baby-blessing for this family and one other recent arrival. It was not a highly ritualized occasion, but it was a chance to speak words of blessing and encouragement over these babies and their families, and to pray God’s blessing on them. I hope this tradition can evolve and mature into a regular feature of our church life. If your church has a particularly meaningful ways to bless children who come into the world, I’d love to hear about it.

(This isn’t getting published until Monday morning because Blogger was having issues last night–and they’ve taken out the thing where you can modify the date/time stamp to make it look like I posted last night. Anyway, Maureen is still on the dark side of the moon, but I was able to check her flight (Singapore Airlines 12 ) and they have left Tokyo, but still have almost 7 hours to go to L.A. Feel free to pray her safely across the ocean with me.)



Lawrence Lee with his family–May 2006
My father-in-law, Maureen’s dad, Lawrence Lee, left this life last night — from my perspective — Saturday morning Singpore time. Those left behind — Maureen’s mom, her sister, her brother, and his three grandchildren — will miss him. He was 85 and had was in a coma following a stroke a couple of days before.
During all the time that I knew him, “Dad” always seemed a kind, old man. Maureen was nervous about our first meeting. She wasn’t sure how he would receive me. But he welcomed me–a stranger and a foreigner–into his family.
The joy of his life was his grandchildren. He wasn’t able to do a lot with them, but he longed for their visits and mourned their absence. And they loved him. When I asked Jeremy what he remembered about his grandfather he said — “not a whole lot, but I loved him.”
I’ll always be grateful to Ah Kong (grandfather). He is the father of the love of my life. And he took his kids to church. It was through the church that Maureen’s beautiful character and molded in the image of Jesus Christ. I don’t know if that could have happened without Ah Kong seeing that his children got to church.
Good bye, Ah Kong. We’ll miss you.
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Maureen left tonight (Saturday) to join her family in Singapore. She plans to fly back into Abilene on Feb. 19.