Military Ministry at The Lighthouse

Military Ministry at The Lighthouse
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Sunday, January 26, 2014

Great Weekend!

Saturday Night

We had a new sailor from the USS San Antonio, Robert Howell, come over Saturday evening. Kari Jorgenson joined us too. We ate hamburgers and chips. Then made Oreo cookie smoothies for dessert. Then we played Apples to Apples while we listened to Harry Connick Jr on Pandora radio. It was a fun evening.

Sunday Afternoon

Kari Jorgenson and Andrew Raffety came to Sunday school this morning and then the worship service, and then over to the house for lunch. Bob Kroeger and Robert Howell both had duty.

Yvonne made Creamy Chicken Alfredo Lasagna for lunch, with home made French bread, and salad, and then Apricot Lattice Coffee Cake for dessert. Yum!

Kari left early, and took some lunch to Bob Kroeger who had duty today.

Andrew and I started talking about his new relationship with the Lord and what that entailed, I shared some scriptures with him and answered some of his questions. It was a great conversation!

Then we went back to church in the evening. Dr. James Cossey spoke tonight. He is the USA Missions director for the Church of God. It was a good service.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Azalea Garden Church 2014 Mission Banquet

Every year in January Azalea Garden Church puts on the most awesome missions conference I have ever seen in forty three years of ministry! Missionaries come from all over the world and share their lives with us for five days. Everything begins on Wednesday afternoon when all of the missionaries set up their table displays. As missionaries to the military Yvonne and I always set up our military ministries display too.

This year Kari Jorgenson, Bob Kroeger and Andrew Raffety attended the conference. They were the best looking part of our display board this year!!! Looks way better with them in the picture than just the board - doesn't it?!

Bob Kroeger, Me, Yvonne, Kari Jorgenson, Andrew Raffety

Wednesday through Friday evenings included worship opportunities as well as testimonies and experiences the missionaries shared with us from the field. We had 25 missionaries here this year, from literally every continent!

Leading worship are Jennifer and Neal Lawrence - Missionaries from Kenya, Africa

Then Sunday night, the grand finale is an enormous missions banquet with international foods, international costumes, and global table centerpieces.

Yvonne made the little German house for the centerpiece on the German table

Yvonne and Kari

Kari and Bob

Kari, Bob, and Yvonne

Me and Andrew

One special treat during the week is hosting one of the missionaries or a missionary couple. This year we hosted Suzie and John Pickens, who are missionaries to Malaysia. We had so much fun laughing and talking story, and eating together. It's a wonderful experience to host a missionary. To get to know them and visit with them between conference sessions. This puts a really personal face to the idea of a "missionary"

Me and Yvonne, and Suzie and John Pickens - Missionaries to Malaysia

Welcoming Home the USS Bainbridge

Yvonne met a Navy mom on who wanted us to meet her son. So when his ship came back from deployment we were pier side to meet the ship.

It turned out to be a cold, rainy day, but the excitement and camaraderie among the family members on the pier were not dampened in the least!

There was the traditional tent set up for those of us less hardy folks...

and coffee and snacks for the families while they waited for the ship.

And of course there have to be flags and streamers to welcome the sons and daughters, and husbands and wives back from deployment.

The Navy fleet band was on hand to help liven things up too!

.Then you should have seen everyone when the ship came into view! You could feel the energy level skyrocket!

It always fascinates me to watch the little red tug boats push around those huge naval vessels.

I met a couple of brand new sailors, I mean so new their uniforms still had the original starch in them. When I said that, they sheepishly said, "Yea, this is only the second time we've worn them!" They were just reporting to the Bainbridge, their first duty station. I gave them each one of our brochures and invited them to the house whenever they could. They seemed pretty interested. I hope we'll see them again.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

New member added to the family!

What an awesome evening we had tonight! Andrew Raffety came over from the USS Abraham Lincoln. After eating hot dogs and chips I made us a cherry and banana and orange juice yogurt smoothie. It was good!

We played Settlers of Cataan (Yea, I won!) and then began talking about the world's problems. Jesus Christ being the only answer for those problems.

Andrew prayed and invited Jesus Christ into his life. Wow! What an unexpected blessing! Thank you Jesus! The angels in heaven are rejoicing! :)

Christmas was awesome this year!

OK, here they are...the pictures of our Christmas this year. What a wonderful time we had! Yvonne made the time really special by keeping us focused on Jesus as the reason for the season.

We were blessed by having friends of Jennifer and Carlton Shippee, Sgt. Alex Panos (Marine Corps), his wife Leah, and their daughter Zoe,  join us for our Christmas dinner. They were brand new in the area and hadn't even gotten their household goods delivered yet. As it turns out, They knew several of the Marines that had fellowshipped with us here over the years. I guess our reputation preceded us. While we were eating dinner Sgt. Randy Mayzak from New Orleans, LA. called. Alex and Randy knew each other too! All of them are in the Marine Corps bands around the country.

My younger daughter Elizabeth flew in from Minnesota to spend Christmas here. It was nice to see her again. She graduated from Fuller Theological Seminary with a doctorate in psychology. She's doing her residency now.

Brian and Sarah were here too with our grandson Jacob. And so was Bob Kroeger. It was an awesome family gathering!

After dinner we went into the living room and lit the candles on our Christmas tree. A German tradition we've practiced for the last thirty years. And no, we've never burned our house down! :)

The following week Todd Williams and Bob Kroeger came over for New Years Day. We had a ton of snack food and watched the Rose Bowl Parade and then football! One of my three football watching days of the year.