Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Long time no chat....but alot has been happening!

Facebook, my new "excuse" for not blogging. I feel like I blog every day, but then I forget, not everyone is on my Facebook friends list! Sorry to leave you so very long.

To catch up:

Our house on Fort Benning....wonderful! We have so enjoyed living within hearing of revely and taps, of rifle and machine gun fire on the ranges, and the early morning platoon runs by our house. This old house, built in the 1920's is a trooper! The thick and sturdy plaster walls and wooden floors make me think that "if walls could talk" there'd be much this old house would have to share! I have participated in Spanish classes both last Fall and just this Spring. My Spanish is not yet near fluent, but I expect that as I pursue the language in Guatemala surrounded by speakers, it will improve quickly.

Ministry: I have continued to be involved in the work of Wycliffe, although part-time. I work half-days every day from my remote office in our house. The website has been my primary job, but I have been asked to speak and to develop some personnel guidelines for child safety and to support my boss in her new job. Last year we finished with the development of our Goals and Strategies for NextGen and this year we've seen those strategies begun and get settled in a good rythm.

Youth group: Michael and I have involved ourselves in the life of the youth group at our local church, Christ Community Church in Columbus. We chose to attend and lead the high-school "dig deeper" night on Sunday nights. After a few weeks, the youth pastor asked me to lead the study and teach the lessons. I was more than glad to do so. My first ministry love is youth ministry, and not having been involved last year (our first year of marriage) I was SO eager to get involved again. My spiritual gift is Exhorter, and this kind of position in a youth group is exactly what I love to do. Over the course of the last many months, we've had some great discussions and lively interaction. [The picture is of a trip I went on with some of the girls to the Revolve tour in Atlanta!] I have also continued to stay in contact with those students you know from Wisconsin. One in particular came to visit us here at Benning twice! Facebook has been an invaluable tool to me (and others in youth ministry) in keeping up with our students all over the country.

The Next move: Michael and I are expecting a baby! if you didn't already know from Facebook, the little boy is due to arrive July 10, here at the Army hospital at Fort Benning (Lord willing). We had to put off our move to Guatemala in order to await his arrival. Once he arrives it will be a week or two of rest (well, at least being home) and then we'll get packed up and move out. Michael will depart for Guatemala to report to his next assignment and I will go to CT temporarily to wait out the necessary vaccinations, then join Michael in Guatemala sometime in September.

I think that catches you up on the whole lot of subjects. Of course I missed telling you all the details, when the dates came and went. This overview misses alot. Calvary baby shower, spanish friends, work parties for Spanish ladies for the Christmas holidays, youth group comings and goings......Thank your for checking in again. there will definitely be pictures of the baby Stone when he arrives, as well as a few other announcements in the next few months.



Friday, June 25, 2010

Working on the website (again) and a new house!

So, during the time since we arrived at Ft. Benning, GA, we have been living first in Army Post lodging and then at a Residence Inn in Columbus. Although this house in the picture is not "THE" house (its one from our neighborhood) it shows you what our house basically looks like. All the houses on our street are the same, with different locations (obviously!) so as of Monday we have an address!
304 Miller Loop, Ft. Benning, GA 31905

Also, this week I traveled to Orlando, FL to meet with a summer intern that is helping us make our online presence better and with our contact for the MarketingDept. I have only met these folks on phone calls, and it was a great advantage to work with them in person. I got to Orlando Tuesday night and returned Wednesday night to Columbus (well, Atlanta airport actually!)
We have set a schedule of changes to our website in order to improve it and we have plans to connect better to Facebook and to Twitter. We are trying to improve our visibility. If you are interested in looking around our site a bit better, we've opened up the whole site (as opposed to just the main page) to visitors. So there's more to see!

Next week is our move-in week, and we will be having our first visitor! One of my Wisconsin girls is coming to visit, reason being for her to get out of town (she recently moved down South and lives in GA!) and to help me with our move-in. I don't really need the help, but its a good excuse for her and I to hang out and catch up and for Michael and I to be a testimony for Christ. She and I have been keeping up on Facebook, but this'll be our first time getting together for 3 years! Michael is excited to be involved in the life of a student I knew from before I knew him. I am looking forward to girl time and hang-out time and lots of talk time. She's staying for a week!!!
So pray for us, that the Lord would protect our attitudes during this time of transition, especially when we have another soul in our care.
See ya on the other side. Maybe with some good move-in pics!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Crossing the US for a new assignment

We started our move on June 24, as the moving truck arrived for the day 1 of 2, to get us packed and loaded. We prepared for them over the weekend, after going to Michaels cousins wedding in Santa Barbara on Saturday. On Tuesday of moving week, we held our last Bible study at our almost empty house. It was a bitter sweet time of visiting with our friends and enjoying pizza. For me, this group of people is particularly special because they knew Michael and I as we dated, got engaged and then married and as two of these couples also dated and got engaged and married last year. We all know each other as newlyweds. From now on, our new friends will not feel that same connection, having no idea of the newness of our life together. So there is something special with these CA friends.
After all the packing and cleaning, we headed out on Saturday June 29!
Our trip took us from Fresno, CA to Flagstaff, AZ; Sedona, AZ; Blanding, UT; Glenwood Springs, CO; Salina, KS; St.Louis, MO; Nashville, TN; and after a stop to see family in Oakridge, TN onto Columbus, GA where Fort Benning belongs.
For a few days, we stayed in Post lodging, but on Friday we moved to an extended stay hotel in Columbus where we will stay for a few weeks until our house is available on post at the end of the month.
Georgia is definitely hot and high humidity, but y'all know me!!! I like that! It is also very green and tree filled. It'll take me awhile to adjust to the culture shift. But I figure I'd better get used to that pretty quick, as Michael's job will require us to be good at culture shifts in the next many years!
I am now in the same timezone as my organizations headquarters, as well as my supervisor. Before I left CA, I attended the SouthWest recruiters retreat representing NextGen and gave an update on our activities, primarily giving them a tour of our new website. These were the colleagues that I spent time with in Temecula, so it was also a personally rewarding time for me being with them one more time.
Our organization is sending out three teams of students this summer to Guatemala, Papua New Guinea and Cameroon as well as internship participants to Ghana. Our website has been active and getting bigger. Please pray for our students traveling overseas this summer, that their health would hold up and their patience would be strong. Pray for their character, that they would learn to be flexible and open to new situations and new people. We are very excited to see the results of their time overseas! Thank you for your support of our ministry and thanks for continuing to check in with me!

Saturday, April 03, 2010

So...What about March?

So, we got the website up and going as you know, and now we have over 100 members! I've been working with my boss Tracy on tweaking our little "issues" such as what to do about adult members and how to create more activity. We got a new "face" the week after we opened and it has our organizations "branding" for our age group. We love it!

I have also been working on our Kenya missions trip, having a slow start of it in January setting dates and trying to get our team together. Unfortunately, because of lack of applications (we only had one) we had to cancel the trip and send that one student on another of our opportunities. She'll be going to Cameroon instead, which is cool! I am disappointed that we weren't able to make it fly, especially since it was a trial partnership with another organization, but so it is. I am a bit relieved as it free's my schedule up from complications as Michael and I move to Georgia.
So yeah, we are moving as of May 30th and taking the long drive East. We are due to the new job on June 8th.
In the meantime I'm leaving to see my brother and family in the Middle East, with my parents as of this Tuesday, returning April 26 to California. I've got a work conference to attend in Orlando May 9th-14 and then a couple days at the Southwest Regional recruiters retreat down in Southern California. Then it's one more weekend, attending a family wedding in Santa Barbara and then....leave Cayucos. I'll definitely miss the view, the West Coast culture and the constant growing season.
Last week Michael took me to Hawaii for a Christmas/early Anniversary present. We visited the island that I lived on 1987-1990, showing Michael my old house and my town and some of the activities I loved. We visited a ministry friend of his who now works and ministers to the military on Oahu and generally did the "Hawaii" tourist thing. It went so fast, Sunday to Friday. On Saturday we attended the wedding of a really good friend and youth ministry partner of mine in the Los Angeles area. It was really special to witness that event and I am so so happy for Doug. We both met our spouses on eHarmony!
I'll be away again for another few weeks, visiting my bro, but I ought to have some pretty cool pictures to show you when I get back!
Happy Easter!

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

A partner organization of ours!

I was just introduced to "banners" while creating our student website! So here's my favorite so far. We are hoping to hear from the website called for a banner from them. It would create a countdown of Bible Translation right on our website Very cool!

Support Bible Translation - Become a OneVerse Partner Today

Friday, February 26, 2010

Its about time!

Our new website is to be launched as of Monday morning! This site has been my "baby" for the last few months. It was a slow start but we slowly built momentum and I expect that it will only continue to improve. We decided to go ahead and announce the sites opening on February 28th. To do this we will send an email to the members of our current site and invite them to now join us "over here". On the new site we are able to give our members more options of video, chat and photo uploading. We have groups for them to join and events to be aware of. The benefit to this site over Facebook or our current site, is that we can allow our members to have their own pages but all unified under our own site. They can now post their own pictures, videos and start groups and discussion. We have the ability to post events and ask for RSVP. There are also a large number of other administrative benefits to this site as well as a good privacy control.
The video you see is the title video on our site and was produced by the folks at JAARS. JAARS is a partner organization and helps by enabling missionaries to get to their assignments, stay at the assignments, move around and get their work done faster!
Please click on the link above and check our main page. The look will be changing in the next month or so, to more closely tie us to our organization and give us a unique look. I'd ask that, unless you are a student please just enjoy our "Main" page and please don't ask to join. We are committed to keeping this site for students from 13-25 (ish) and not to have too many adults or "other" members. It allows for us to have better control of a safer environment for our students.
I am so excited that this almost done. Thanks for your prayers on our behalf!
The advant

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

NextGen retreat

To update you on all that's been happening here within NextGen, I'll start with the 2010 annual retreat. Held here in Cayucos, as you readers know, we had a regular 8 of us, and couple extra's a few days. Everyone loved being here at the Stone's house, the view for one is wonderful. We were able to rent a small place three streets away for sleeping quarters and the meetings happened here at the house, as well as most meals. By the end of the week, we felt like we knew where we were at as far as our strategies for this coming year, and we were moving forward in understanding each others jobs. We had discussed a marketing strategy and felt like we were finally all on board. We discussed the website I'm working on and everyone seemed to be ready and excited to use it.
We did a few fun things as well. We went canoeing in a large 12 person canoe and even did a little exploring in Morro Bay! Another evening after meetings we stopped to see "Gum Alley" in San Luis Obispo( a kind of gross alleyway covered in bubble gum) before heading our for our annual dinner "out" Overall, it was a successful and effective time as a team. We were able to accomplish discussions in person that, over the phone are either not possible or frustrating.
For the next week I was playing catchup and working on a few of the new ideas generated during the retreat. We're still working on the kinks for the new site, but the GetGlobal trips will begin to do their team planning and team meetings online there!
This week the challenge is the Kenya GG trip. We have hit a few snags as far as the trip dates, but we are also seeing the hand of God in it. My boss/friend Tracy will likely be able to make the new dates better than the old ones. We have seen God use the details of the trip and some new immovable barriers, as His way of making the details of the trip fit His plans. We see this particular trip as a "test trip" for our new partnership with Wycliffe Associates. We hope that this trip will help us work out the details so that next year and the coming years we will be able to facilitate more than one trip a summer and give student a broader range of opportunities to see the multitude of ways they can serve in Bible translation. My biggest concern personally is that I am to be the team leader, but also I will have been just moved to Georgia with Michaels new assignment. So, something to pray about. I really, really want to go to Africa with a team of students...but not sure if I "should" go. In the meantime, I'm the team if you know anyone interested in a summer trip to work alongside a community of people working on deaf translations in Kenya!??? Have 'em call me!