Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The last two weeks

I am thankful to feel much better than I did when I wrote the previous post. This should catch you up on what has happened since then.

The week of Nov 15, I spent much time packing and repacking for the move to Orlando. (This is a move into temporary housing; I didn't need to bring any furniture with me.) I also helped Mom prep to host 23 folks from our extended family on Saturday for Thanksgiving. Plus, I still slept a fair amount. I did feel a little better each day, thankfully.

Saturday's family gathering was a good day. Said some goodbyes then, but I knew I would see most of my immediate family again on Sunday.

Sunday was a big day at Faith Church. Most of the service was focused on Village Life Church, the coming church plant in the Broad Ripple area. It was exciting to be present for such a service and sense the commitment and excitement that is growing.

At the end of each service, there was a time of commissioning for me. Both were meaningful, reminding me of the faithfulness of God in leading me to Wycliffe Bible Translators, and of the faithfulness of God's people who are partnering with me as I go.

Most of my immediate family was at Mom's for the afternoon. We watched a heartbreaking Colts' loss (or Jared would say a stunning Patriots' victory) and enjoyed each other's company. The goodbyes came all too soon. I love my family and will miss seeing them as regularly as I was able to do in Indy. I am thankful for cell phones and text messages and FB.

Monday, I took off. The Jetta is loaded to the gills. (Really good I didn't need to bring furniture now!) I had two good travel days and a restful night in between. I arrived this afternoon at Treasure Island, FL, on the Gulf of Mexico, just north of the entrance to Tampa Bay.

Wait. I am moving to Orlando, right? Well, a friend recommended that it might be helpful to take a few days and rest and process things before jumping headlong into the next chapter. The cool part is, about the time my friend suggested this, I received a check from my previous employer for some unused vacation time. I had no idea it was coming! It was exciting to watch God provide!

Tonight, I took a walk on the beach, about ten minutes before the sun disappeared below the horizon. Totally cool to watch. This will be a good place to rest and reflect on the changes taking place in my life.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Then and Now

It was the spring of '75. We had been doing 2-a-day rehearsals for band and then, of course, school in between. We were prepping for the big trip to Orlando where we were to march at Disney World!

I remember going shopping for sandals the evening before we were to leave. I couldn't find any - either they didn't fit or I hated them. And I cried. NOT something that was a normal habit in my 17 year-old life!

I don't remember the trip down. I do remember going to Sea World and having a good time. Then I remember ending up in the ER in Kissimmee and being "quarantined" in a hotel room for the rest of the trip. My sis had to pitch a fit just to be allowed to see me! They told me I had scarlatina.

Back in Brownsburg, my doc said I most likely had mono. Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV)

Now, here I am getting ready to head to Orlando again, but this time, it's a move and not just a visit. And, EBV has chosen this time to reactivate, after being dormant in my body for the last 35 years. My 52 year-old bod is not recovering quite as fast this time. I am in week five of symptoms. But at least now I know what it is, and I know I am not crazy. There is actually something wrong.

And, now that I have a diagnosis, I know that it is unlikely that I could pass this to anyone through incidental contact. That helps a bunch, since I am in the phase of meeting with folks and saying goodbyes. I'm just not the kind of person who likes to do that by waving from across the room.

I am learning how much I have taken my health for granted. It is very humbling that I can take a 2-hr nap and then still have trouble making it through dinner. I am learning more and more that I must depend on God - yes, even for daily, physical strength. Good lessons to be learning at any time of life.

Friday, November 5, 2010

November Newsletter

Here is my November newsletter.

I am in the process of making lists and packing and getting ready for a move to Orlando. Wow! This has all been such an amazing process!

Friday, October 1, 2010

October Newsletter

Belated September Update

I am late in posting my September newsletter. Old news, but this will give you an idea of what I will be doing next. Click on the picture for a larger view.

October newsletter soon to come!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

How did it get to be August already?

I am sure you have noticed that I haven't figured out how to fit blogging into this part of my journey. Maybe it is because I am communicating through a number of other vehicles at this point, so there is not much more to say. My guess is I will get back here more regularly at a future time. Thanks for hanging in there with me!

I want to share my August Newsletter. The story of the Gamo children caught my heart when I found it, so I wanted to pass it on.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Monday, June 21, 2010

June Randomness

Time seems to be flying by as I prepare for the move to Orlando. Here is my June newsletter with more information.

I spent Friday night with an excellent group of Middle School students who worked to reset Faith Church after Kids' Camp concluded. My first all-nighter in several years. I am mostly recovered. :-)

Indiana is getting a taste of Florida weather this week. Temps are supposed to hit the mid 90s. Air conditioning is a wonderful thing!

Yesterday I saw what appeared to be a whole group of blue herons at Eagle Creek, near the dam. Totally amazing creatures, and I haven't ever seen them before in a group; I see them one at a time, flying or feeding.

Oh, and my mom bakes amazing chocolate chip cookies, in case you wondered. How's that for random?

Monday, May 24, 2010

The Answers

Thanks for playing!

1984 - Saw her first tumbleweed (school teaching in KS during this phase)

1960 - First stitches (yep, 2 yr old; first head injury - see below)

1988 - Began teaching at Heritage Christian School

Nov 2009 - First visit to Wycliffe USA Mobilization Center

2004 - Became Business Administrator at Faith Church

1958 - Born (I figure this was a gimme)

1983 - Graduated from Wright State University (MM - Music Education)

2001 - Began working full-time at Faith Church

1981 - Graduated from Cedarville College (now University) (BME - Music Education)

1981 - 3rd set of stitches (another head injury; when you hear the story, it will explain all those things you wondered about me!)

July 1, 2010 - Target date for 100% of Partnership Team and assignment to Wycliffe USA office

Friday, May 14, 2010

A Brief Quiz on Lisa's Life

Someone with more HTML savvy could have figured out how to set this up way cool, I am sure. If you would prefer to print it off, here you go! I will post the correct answers next week.

First, the answers:

Nov 2009
July 1, 2010

Now, pick one of the above to answer these questions:

__________ Saw her first tumbleweed
__________ First stitches
__________ Began teaching at Heritage Christian School
__________ First visit to Wycliffe USA Mobilization Center
__________ Became Business Administrator at Faith Church
__________ Born
__________ Graduated from Wright State University
__________ Began working full-time at Faith Church
__________ Graduated from Cedarville College (now University)
__________ 3rd set of stitches (yes, we skipped the 2nd set!)
__________ Target date for 100% of Partnership Team and assignment to Wycliffe USA office

Friday, May 7, 2010

A New Chapter

The change from April to May happened so quickly! Here's a recap of the events since my last post.

The two weeks of orientation were amazing. Such a gifted and prepared staff; such incredible content; such cool fellow newbies. I had good opportunities to begin to get a feel for a few parts of Orlando during the weekends and could actually drive around a little without the GPS by the end of my time there. And, random observation - sandhill cranes are noisy but fun!!

I traveled home safely and uneventfully, passing through Nashville on Wednesday before their flooding this past weekend. I did encounter some small hail (and significant traffic!) in Atlanta, but nothing serious. Great visit with a friend in Marietta, GA. Only problem was that our time was too short.

Last Thursday and Friday, I completed my employment in the church office. The staff took me out for lunch at Squealer's (one of those great places with lots of big dinner napkins, since you may be up to your elbows in BBQ sauce before it is all over). It was a good time. I have had the privilege of working with great people at Faith - folks who were not only my co-workers, but also my friends.

There was a tremendous response Sunday from folks at Faith Church at an after-church luncheon. It was an encouragement to see so many out in support of the path on which God has been leading me. I love this church and will miss being here. But, as I have been reminding folks - Faith will always be my home church, so you can expect me back from time to time. :-)

This week, the transition to new things seems much more real. I am excited... and also am enjoying the different pace of life for these weeks, especially the time to connect with people. Today, I sent my first newsletter. I will be meeting with a Faith small group this evening and then have a couple of family events this weekend. More about those later!

(For those who might have wondered, I won't be walking the mini tomorrow... had a slight injury in March that has been slow to heal, so I just didn't get the long training walks done this year. I will miss doing it, but I understand there is a half-marathon in Orlando in the fall?)

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Psalm 83

I am sure I have read it before, but I didn't recall any part of Psalm 83 as I read it today. Most of the way through, I was thinking that this might not make my list of favorite passages. But as I got to the end, I changed my mind.

I won't quote it for you here, but if you are a Bible reader, I would encourage you to follow this link to read all of it and see if you don't fall in love with the last verse. If you aren't a Bible reader, check it out. It helped me put "me" and everything else in a more correct perspective.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Meet my new friends!

Wednesday morning I was part of the newbie group as we introduced ourselves during EnterMission, the weekly gathering of the Orlando staff of Wycliffe Bible Translators. Then we each had an opportunity to share more in detail with groups gathered around tables all across the room.

I have truly enjoyed getting to know these folks who are from everywhere and are headed just about everywhere we we leave here. We are a vivacious bunch who seem to be getting more and more rambunctious as the days go along. Our training staff is being very patient and helpful as we learn and stumble and giggle and reach toward the goal.

I look forward to keeping up with these folks after we leave here. So glad to be on the same team.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Hello, Muddah...

Hello from Camp Equip!

Saturday evening, I joined 39 other folks who are in Orlando to complete a two-week orientation program with Wycliffe Bible Translators. There are folks from all over the US who are headed to places all over the world at some point in the near future. We range in age from early 20s to early 60s. We are a pretty diverse group, but it has been fascinating to hear the stories as they have all converged in a calling to join the cause of Bible translation around the world. We are learning lots about each other, lots about Bible translation, and lots about our role as we come on board.

I am technically "on vacation" from Faith. I will return for two more days at the end of the month. Josh is doing a super job in his new role there.

Ill try to keep you posted as we go along. Having truly an amazing time.

[Couldn't resist. If you have no idea about the title reference, you can hear it here - sorry, no video. And, there is no camp resemblance implied!]

Saturday, April 10, 2010

All Safe and Sound

The trip down was fine. I had opportunity to visit a friend in Memphis, so I got to spend time Thursday in Illinois, Missouri, and Arkansas before heading into western Tennessee. Great drive. Then on Friday, I tooled through Mississippi and Alabama before going across the panhandle of Florida and then heading south. Slept well and had a great walk this morning.

Really thankful for all the prayers on my behalf for smooth and alert travel. Somehow lost a hubcap on Thursday, but other than that, the trip was without incident!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Headed South!

Things have been happening wonderfully and crazy fast in the past few weeks. The online portion of "Equip" orientation is complete. I have packed up my personal things from the office and added those boxes to the stack in Mom's garage (bless her heart!). The new Business Administrator for Faith began on Tuesday. The tasks have been handed over, as much as is possible.

This morning, I leave for Florida. Won't be back in Indy until Apr 28. I will have lots of great drive time (in this glorious spring!) and some good time to visit friends on the way down and back. I will be learning TONS and being challenged to grow in new ways, I am sure. I am excited and scared and nervous and quiet-hearted, all at the same time.

I'll do my best to keep you updated some during the trip. Catch you later!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Psalm 68:19 (NLT)

"Praise the Lord; praise God our savior!
For each day he carries us in his arms."

Just too cool not to share.

Sunday, March 14, 2010


I can't believe it has been more than two weeks since I last posted. The days (and weeks) are whirling by. Not much has changed since then. Still doing online orientation. Still working full-time at church. But the pace of just about everything seems to have sped up, even though I wasn't sure that was possible.

Working on being "in the present" for everything. Helps me to focus and not be distracted. Fully present when I am at work; fully present when I am online in orientation; fully present in relationships when I am with folks. Savoring the moments w/ people, in particular.

I am currently on week 4 of 6 for online orientation, and have something like 19 work days remaining. See what I mean? Flying by!

Sunday, February 28, 2010


Last week, I began official orientation for Wycliffe USA. The process includes 6 weeks of online assignments and then 2 weeks on site in Orlando, April 10-24. I am learning lots - some things just related to "life" and many things related to the history, organization, and vision of Wycliffe. It's good stuff to know! The lessons are all mapped out so that a reasonable number are due each week.

Then, today, I did 4 miles in preparation for the Indianapolis 500 Festival Mini-Marathon. I do "normal" workout stuff during the week and then longer walks on the weekend. Next weekend, I will do five miles; six, the following weekend; and... you get the picture, so that I am ready to do 13.1 miles on May 8. It will be my sixth Mini.

It struck me that both of these activities are related. Not only do they involve some good disciplines, they are designed to help me towards a future goal, and they are both set up in a way that fits how I am wired. They will be accomplished one chunk at a time.

I have learned that I do best when I have tasks arranged in a manner that they can be completed one chunk at a time, or if I can see progress in definitive steps along the way. That helps even the biggest goals feel more attainable.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

February 14

I had opportunity on Sunday to share about my journey with the Faith Church family. Here it is, for those of you who weren't able to be there.

Monday, February 8, 2010

A Gentleman's Game

Yes, I was disappointed. But, wow, what a game. And, as I thought more about it, it was quite the gentleman's game last night. It was a game of strategy and athleticism. It wasn't a game of hot-dogging or braggadocio. It wasn't a game of cheap shots or questionable, borderline-legal tactics. When all was said and done, two teams with a great respect for each other walked off the field, knowing that the team that had played the better game yesterday, won.

It's enough to make you even more proud of a great program and an honorable group of men. Glad to be a Colts fan.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Community Group

I have had the privilege of being a part of great small groups through the years. The current group is no exception. It has been such a blessing to get to know these dear folks. I am thankful for the ways we can share and laugh and pray and study and serve... together. It's been a good glimpse of how the Body of Christ is supposed to operate, I think.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Where I am now

In December and January, I began to walk through the steps that must be completed before I begin my assignment in Orlando. There have been applications and assessments and interviews, all of which have helped me know more about the priorities of Wycliffe. There was also time with the Faith Church missions committee, completing the process for acceptance into the Global Outreach family.

As we move into February, I will be working with a Wycliffe Personnel Administrator to establish a timeline for the remaining steps and to confirm my assignment. Mid-month, online orientation sessions will begin.

I am also working to organize information regarding my current role at Faith and beginning to communicate it to others. I would invite you to pray that God will continue to make next steps clear, not only for me, but also for Faith Church.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Psalm 115:1

Not to us, O LORD, not to us,
but to your name goes all the glory
for your unfailing love and faithfulness.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Which way to go?

November was a month of investigating -- talking with those who know me and with those who know both of the organizations and both of the roles that were before me. And, I kept reading. I was particularly struck by two quotes from The Missionary Call: Find Your Place in God's Plan for the World by M. David Sills.

"God calls every Christian in the way He knows is best. He made our ears and knows the call we will hear the best. He also made out hearts and filled them with desires that He longs to fulfill." (p. 195)

"[God's call] is a recognition of the gifts and abilities that God has given you mixed with the desire to go where your life can best be spent 'to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of you.' (Philippians 3:12 NIV) It is at once more subtle and overpowering, sudden and growing, understood and yet becoming clearer all your life." (p. 201)

I was struck by Psalm 77:19 "Your road led through the sea, your pathway through the mighty waters — a pathway no one knew was there!" and by the conclusion to Psalm 107 - "Those who are wise will take all this to heart; they will see in our history the faithful love of the LORD."

As I went through the month, it became more and more clear to me that God was leading me away from my role at Faith Church. And, I was beginning to get a sense that one of the two new roles might be a better fit for me than the other. By the first week in December, I made a decision.

I love Ukraine. I love the people with whom I would have worked there. God is doing an amazing thing in Ukraine and it would have been a privilege to be a direct part of it. But God has prepared me to go another direction. As a part of the Operations Department with Wycliffe, I will join a staff that is wired like I am to do “background” work... to help advance Bible translation.

Evan McBroom said, "Never underestimate how God connects-the-dots to accomplish His will." If you choose almost any circumstance or influence on my life, I can tell you how God used it to play a part in preparing me for this step -- my great-grandfather's settling in Tippecanoe county; transferring colleges; a parent who helped in my classroom; hauling 6' tables around for a week one summer; agreeing to fill in at the church "until I found another job..." All of those things and myriad others helped set the stage for this move.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


I will be on vacation from now through Monday evening. I may or may not blog during my time away. Thanks for your comments and thanks most of all for your ongoing prayers. I will be back later to post the rest of the story.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

September and October

September was all about settling into Mom's and new routines. When folks asked about my situation, I told them I was planning to live there for a while as I evaluated some options. There was nothing else conclusive to say about what was on my mind.

I was convinced that God intended for me to consider whether or not I was called to Ukraine, full-time. I sought counsel, read books, and prayed about it.

Also during September, I was thankful to receive all of my earnest money from the failed house offer and to be released from any obligation or penalties connected with it. What a gift!

Then, October 1, my next surprise came along. While she was up for the Women's Fall Retreat, Ruth Hubbard encouraged me to investigate Wycliffe as I looked at God's direction for my future.

Wow. Now there was even more to think about. How are you supposed to know God's plan when there are two incredibly good things in front of you?

Monday, January 18, 2010

In the interim...

Somewhere along the way, Mom asked why I didn't just move things into her garage and live with her until I got things figured out. So, on Sep 12, some family and friends who are VERY gifted packers helped me load and move everything from the condo and somehow fit it into Mom's garage. Stuff is floor to ceiling with one small path around the edges!

Mom has lived in this house since I started 1st grade. I am staying in the room where I grew up. How's that for things coming full circle? It is still uncertain how long I will be living here, but I am getting ahead of myself in the story.

Just wanted to say a public "thank you" to Mom for her graciousness, not only in allowing me to stay here, and for all the "fringe benefits" of living with her, but also for giving up her garage, particularly during this cold, messy winter we are having.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

The house

As I thought through the last two episodes of my life, I knew I needed to at least pray about whether God might be leading me to change direction. I began to seek counsel and ask for prayer from folks who know me well.

On August 25, I got a call from my realtor. She was excited to tell me our offer on the house was accepted! Imagine my surprise when the first "feeling" I had was one of disappointment. Wow. Not what I expected at all.

The next day, we had an inspection done, and though there were cosmetic issues, there was nothing significant that should cause me not to take the house. The day after that, my realtor called again. The sale of the house was being suspended indefinitely (long story!). Suddenly, I might not have a house at all, or wouldn't have it for a very long time.

By Aug 31, I was convinced I should investigate the role in Ukraine that Steve mentioned. I met with my realtor and decided to withdraw the offer on the house rather than wait on it, even though it meant I might loose the earnest money I had put down. There were other potential financial penalties, too.

Meanwhile, my condo had sold and was set to close on Sep 8. I was about to be without a home. But, I would be in a much better position to evaluate any future changes that God might have in store.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

The Next Surprise

Mom picked me up at the airport and we headed to her house. The plan was to stay there for the night, get my car the next morning, and then head on into work, back to my normal life. Since the flight was very late, I was especially glad. As we stood in her kitchen at 1 in the morning, with me fresh off the plane from Ukraine, my dear Mom made a comment that released me to go, if God should ever call me somewhere else.

Wow. She had no idea of Steve's challenge to me. But, I told myself, I still had an offer out on a house! Too late to think more. Time to sleep and get over jet lag!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Let's start at the very beginning...

Here's where the recent journey towards Wycliffe Bible Translators began.

God was so gracious to us on the trip to Ukraine in August. Our travels were smooth, all luggage arrived, we were generally healthy enough to do all we intended to do. The conference went well, we interacted with such wonderful folks who have made Ukraine their home and place of ministry, and everything seemed to be going just fine on my fifth visit there.

One afternoon during the conference, I had opportunity to take a walk with Steve & Nancy Wooden in the city center of Lviv. We reached Veronika (wonderful place, but that's another story for another day!) and stopped for a break. During our chat, Steve challenged me to consider coming to Ukraine long-term to do behind-the-scenes work, similar to my role now at Faith Church.

Wow. From my perspective, that question came out of nowhere! I told Steve & Nancy it just felt like the "wrong time." After all, I had my plans already made.

You see, right before heading to Ukraine, I had sold my condo that had been on the market for a year and put an offer on another house. I knew things were on hold because of some complications, but there was every indication the offer would be accepted. Having a new house that I would need to sell just didn't make sense to me. "Besides," I told them, "I am getting too old." (Yes, I said that.)

So, I did make a mental note of Steve's challenge, and I did keep thinking about it, but had basically ruled it out. The trip concluded smoothly with only one flight delay on the last leg. We arrived home late on August 18.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

I'm back!

If you followed this blog before, you probably thought I had abandoned it.

No. There just weren't enough details in place to share with you about how God answered your prayers for the trip to Ukraine in August. Now, there is plenty to tell!

This week, I have been approved as a candidate for membership with Wycliffe Bible Translators. I am in the process of pursuing approval to join the Global Outreach family of Faith Church.

The past five months have been an amazing journey. I am excited to share it with you. And, I have a feeling the journey is just beginning.