Advent Week One

This week marks week one of Advent.  It seems so late this year starting in December and not November.  The Advent devotion we follow has the theme of Creation for week one.  I thought each week of Advent I would post pictures of our Christmas’ with the theme in mind.  We are so grateful and privileged to be the parents of two beautiful boys, below are pictures from their first Christmas.

Joshua’s First Christmas.

Jonah’s First Christmas.

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth….Then God said, “Let us make people in our image, to be like ourselves.”….so God created people in His own image.”  Genesis 1:1 & 26-27 (NLT)

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Joy and Sadness

Our last blog was full of joy and celebrating the Yambetta New Testament is certainly a time to celebrate, dance and be filled with joy.

Last Saturday the Yambetta New Testament was dedicated.  November 25th is also David’s birthday, which was a time to be born for him 42 years ago.  It was also for us, a day to weep and mourn.  DeAnna’s grandpa unexpectedly passed away on November 21st.  He was going about his day in his usual way – feeding cattle, repairing farm equipment and enjoying his environment.  We are grateful that he wasn’t ill, didn’t suffer and passed the way he would prefer – just sit down to relax and be called home.

His passing has been a shock wave in our family.  Although, he was a believer, had 85 years here and we have many reasons to celebrate his life; we are in a time of mourning.

This morning I was reminded of Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:  a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to dance, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear down and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.  Ecc 3:11 He has made everything beautiful in its time.  He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.”

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Yambetta New Testament Dedication

Over the years, we’ve shared stories on our blog about Leo and the Yambetta translation work.  David had the privilege to work with Leo in the deployment of a BGAN satellite at Leo’s house.

We are thrilled to share that the Yambetta New Testament is complete after 39 years!  It brought tears to our eyes seeing the picture of Leo beaming with joy, holding up the New Testament that has been his labor of love for 39 years.  Plus, the dedication happened on David’s birthday.  We wish we could have been there in person, but are rejoicing from afar.  We are also filled with joy that the Lord allowed David to be part of the translation puzzle in completing this New Testament.

Can you remember the last time you were that excited to hold your Bible?

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Cameroon Night

Recently I was asked if I missed Cameroon.  I said that I miss many people, food items and the pace, but I don’t necessarily miss the daily life stuff that takes much longer to accomplish.

Thursday night I had cleaned the house (at least where guests would see), had done all our errands (Thursday afternoons are crazy with errands) and was finishing the hand washed items from supper (those items I can’t put in the dishwasher).  I was draining the dish water and turned the garbage disposal on to help suck down the dish water when water started shooting up from the other side of the sink drain.  Yikes!  So this is all about 30 minutes before guests were to arrive.  David was working late and I needed to address the problem.

I ran downstairs to grab a sink plunger, when I found parts to a thing we gave away (I quickly snapped a picture of those parts and sent them to my friend), now back to the drain.  The plunger didn’t work at all.  Step two, drain the pipes under the sink.  Great, the water has went down, but I didn’t fix the problem, oh well – it will need to wait.

Friday the water seemed to kind of drain, at least it isn’t standing in the sink.

Saturday afternoon the water is standing in the sink and we decided to buy drain cleaner.  After two different brands and bottles, the drain wouldn’t drain the sink water.  Saturday night, we decided to let the drain cleaners sit overnight to hopefully open the drain.  In the meantime, I had a sink full of dishes and a dishwasher full of dishes because we didn’t want to run the dishwasher Friday night with the sink being sluggish to drain since the dishwasher shares the drain pipe with the sink.

I saw plantains in good condition and at a decent price at the store on Saturday afternoon, so I decided we were going to have Cameroon night and dine on peanut sauce with plantains.  I didn’t have in mind that not only would I be making a Cameroon dish, but I would need to wash our dishes in basins (or big bowls) like we did in Cameroon and dump the water outside, like we did in Cameroon.  I was thankful the power stayed on and we did have running water.

In case you are curious, after returning from church on Sunday afternoon, I cleaned out the clean out on the pipe downstairs.  I couldn’t reach the clog with our little drain snake, so after David returned home from a meeting, we rented an electric drain snake and with the help of our neighbor, got the drain opened. Yeah for being able to run the dishwasher again and use the kitchen sink!

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It’s a Small World After All

While David was interacting with others in Archie, Missouri (a rural town, population 1,200), a man overheard David speak French.  He inquired about David speaking French.  The two began a conversation and soon discovered that this other man had lived and worked in Yaoundé, Cameroon, as well as in other African countries.

Most of the time when we say Cameroon, we’re corrected by people around us and told no it’s Cameron, Missouri, not Cameroon, which we reply, we’re talking about the country in West Central Africa, not the town in northern Missouri.  It’s an encouragement to have these rare interactions in our small world.

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One Week of Applications

As I (David) work with the YouVersion Bible app, the team I work with is constantly looking at the quality of support that we provide to our users. Our team recently changed our goal of responding from 24 hours to 6 hours. This means that users who are having an issue with the app or are unable to figure something out get a response from a real live person within 6 hours no matter what time zone or region of the world they are in!

I think this is amazing for a FREE APP, I’d be happy to get this kind of support for services that I pay for!

This requires additional volunteers, and not just volunteers in the United States but all around the world. One of my jobs is to review the applications and see if the volunteer might be a good fit for our team. This week there were 44 applications to join the English Android Support team, normally I only get 2 to 3 a month.  Currently we only have 26 volunteers on the Android English team so this would be a huge increase if all of these applicants joined are team.

Not all of them are able to join our team, but I was reminded of why I do this when I read a few of their responses to the following question.

Tell us why you want to join the team.:

I believe I can contribute to the growth of the team which has been a blessing to me ever since I started using it and with my background education in computer science.

I enjoy being involved in the community, helping others in any way possible.

I love helping people with the word of God I have a passion for it.

Never join a support team before. I always think I probably can do better and can be the one on the other side of the conversation in a help and support situation. (English was not his primary language, his mother tongue was Chinese)

Help those seeking God’s word.

Help people understand the Bible more and, answer all their questions.

Nothing beats service in God’s kingdom to God’s people. To be great in God’s kingdom I have to be a servant to all

I’m joining this team because, I want to know more about God.

I am passionate about joining a team of individual who have the same vision for spreading God words.. .

I would love to join the team at YouVersion because I have a passion for spreading God’s Word and making it accessible for all people. I love connecting with people and I think that volunteering with YouVersion will be a great way to reach out to those in need. I have an extensive range of IT skills, which I have been eager to use! Helping on the tech support team would be a great way to find my calling.

I have dedicated my life to bring souls closer the word of God Almighty. I am drawn to every opportunity push the gospel. I am ready to support in every way possible, To push past my capabilities to make valuable contributions that influence growth.

I’ve had a lot of success using this app, and it has helped in my personal work with God. I’d like to help others in any small way I can to achieve same.

I love helping people with technical problems.

To direct attention of indigenous users to their heart languages.

When I read that last one I thought of “After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands.” Revelation 7:9

Will they first read this verse on their mobile phone? I don’t know, but if they do I want to make sure they have the assistance they need to access it.

God’s Word is currently available in 1,115 language on the YouVersion Bible app and we had volunteers apply to help on the English Android team last week from the following locations around the world.



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What If?

I think at some time in our lives we ask ourselves what if questions.  What if I would have gone down that road instead of this one?  What would my life have been like if I were born in a different country?  What if, what if, what if?  The list could go on and on.

Recently some of the new members, whom I serve by helping prepare them for leaving the USA to go to different places around the world, shared a story they heard first hand while at one of their training courses by a man named Nard.  I challenge you to watch his brief and incredible story by clicking on the link.

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The Great Eclipse, Charlie Brown

If you live or tune into news in North America, you have probably been bombarded with the Great American Eclipse news for several weeks now.  Today was the day…August 21, 2017.

I will admit, I didn’t get as excited as many others, but did want to see it.  I was grateful to a friend at church who shared the special viewing glasses with us.  (I’m not a selfie taker, so I stink at selfies and on another note – the pool belongs to our neighbor)

I had other things to do beside just watching the eclipse – a medical appointment, running a few errands and work.  While I was out and about it was raining and raining with clouds completely covering the skies, so I was thinking that the hype was going to be all for nothing if one can’t view the eclipse.  In our area, the clouds parted about a hour before the eclipse would pass, making it possible to view the 99% coverage that we were going to be experiencing in Pleasant Hill, Missouri.

Below are pictures of the eclipse as it passes by.  FYI – I put the glasses lens over the camera lens to try and capture the eclipse.

This picture I took of the neighbors because of the sky.  This is what the sky looked liked during the coverage phase – clouds that weren’t visible during the sunlight became visible and shades of pink like sunset colors were visible.

The sun’s back out and the clouds have disappeared that were visible during the “dark” portion – we didn’t have dark as in nighttime.

Fluffy wanted in on the eclipse action.


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Cameroon Near and Far

The last blog shared how we originally thought we would be in Cameroon for a long time, but things changed.  It was hard to leave because it felt like we weren’t following through and that a door was being closed, but a new door was opened – the internet.

My role as a Launch Coordinator has also been so encouraging about keeping Cameroon in our lives.  Instead of physically being in Cameroon, helping to orient new colleagues arriving to the country; I get to help prepare them on this end to go to, live and serve in Cameroon.  Since October, I’ve had the privilege to “launch” two single women and two families to Cameroon!

It’s so incredible that we get to continue to serve “in” Cameroon from Pleasant Hill, Missouri.

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Change of Plans

When our family left for Cameroon in 2009, we thought that would be our new permanent home.  David and I truly thought we would be Cameroon at least until the boys were ready for college.  When our health declined and the Lord made it clear it was time to leave Cameroon in 2015, we had mixed feelings.  Leaving Cameroon meant we weren’t going to be following through on what we thought would be our long term home and ministry.  We were happy to be reunited with family and friends in the US, but sad about leaving Cameroon.  We also questioned ourselves time and time again, especially while struggling throughout 2015 and 2016.

David started volunteering with the YouVersion Bible App immediately upon our arrival back to the US in 2015.  He began sharing some of the help tickets that he would receive with me.  We were amazed how many help tickets were coming from former colleagues in Cameroon and Cameroonians.  He not only could answer the help tickets that were in French or English, but he could also have that bond of continuing to serve Cameroon.

On Friday, David was answering help tickets and he received this ticket.  We are continually encouraged and amazed how God uses us no matter where we are planted and that the door to Cameroon wasn’t closed, it was just changed from actually physically being there to opening the door via the world wide web.

“Greetings  to u in the name of jesus . I will  be grateful  if I can have  a free bible. For now I don’t  have  one. I am in Africa .  Cameroon .  Douane . Bonaber. Thanks for understanding . “

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