Saturday, July 19, 2008

Home Again

If you didn't know I was back home all you would need to do is look and see if the Rays won last night, they did so I must be home.
I arrived back in Tampa at 11am on Thursday after leaving Kuwait on Wednesday 4pm EST.
Flight was uneventful with long lines at customs and security. Oh man is it good to be home.
I woke up on Friday feeling very refreshed after going to bed at 9:30pm and not waking up until 8am. Ten and a half hours the most I've slept in a long time. I went to work for a couple of hours just to check in and see how things are going. Came home and took Kathy out for lunch. If you want some good BBQ you should try "Bad to the Bone BBQ" in Brandon. Kathy and I wanted to try it because this is who is catering my son's Michael and his fiance' Krystal's wedding reception.
We came home and I got ready for the race Ben and I were going to run at 7pm. It was a cross country 5K in Fishhawk. I ran it last year and was looking forward to running it again. The race started and after about a half of mile I realized that this was a big mistake. I guess the jet lag back home took more of a toll on my body than I thought. It was a struggle just to get through the first mile, my time 9.30. During the second mile I had to walk for a couple of minutes. My time for the second mile 11.07. With the third mile in front I just settled for a slow pace and finished the that mile in 10.23. With one tenth of a mile left I was totally spent with nothing left to sprint. I crossed the finished line in a miserable 32.20. My worst finished in well over a year. Ben didn't have his best time either but didn't have the excuse I did. He try to come up with a lame story like he hasn't been able to train this whole semester of college, whatever.
We went home and had a great dinner with all the kids, except Nathan and Andrea who are in Texas. We had Kuwaiti steak and Kuwaiti chicken made with spices I brought back with me. I came out for dinner dressed in a traditional Kuwaiti attire. Everyone had a good laugh and I handed out presents, sorry Nate and Drea you'll have to wait for your's.
We played a new game called "In a Pickle" and watched the Rays win. Then off to bed.
Great to be home

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Just A Quick Note

Jonathan and I are at the airport waiting to board our flight. We had to be at the airport at 7:30pm for a flight that leaves at 11:45. I always get stressed out going through all the check in. We have gone through three so far and one more just before me board the plane.
Randy stayed with until 9pm but had to leave because of an early day tomorrow.
It is 2:15 your time in Florida and 9:15 Kuwaiti time.
Well I had better sign off before my battery dies.
See you in the states.

Last Day In Kuwait

I got this morning at 6:30, had some toast, coffee and read the paper. It amazes me how much they keep up with the US over here. From politics to sports. As I was getting done reading the door bell rang and Mohommed, Jonathan's friend had come by to take him out on the town.

When they left I was able to have my quite time. I read the last two chapters of Luke. I'm always in awe at what Jesus went through so that my sins might be forgiven.

After my prayer time I decided because of the sandstorm I would exercise indoors. So I put 52 minutes on Randy's NordicTrack. It wore me out.

After a shower I went to the local market without Randy. There is one problem at the local market they don't speak English. All went well until check out. Apparently I fail to pay for an item at the one of the little stands they have inside the market. I tried to pay the cashier but he kept carrying on at me as if I understood what he was saying. He finally hollered at a bag boy and the bag boy went and got the man in charge of the stand. (He wasn't at the stand when I picked the item up.) Anyway I paid that gentleman and I was able to go on my way. It was a little scary.

I then went back to the City Center to pick up something I saw the other day for Katelyn, my granddaughter. Can't wait to see her mother's expression when I give it to her.

I left and met Randy at a little French cafe for drinks. I had a strawberry bannana shake (nothing like those in the states. It was just favored milk shaken up.)

Afterwards I went up to the apartment to finish packing for the trip home.
We are getting ready to eat supper (my last Patricia's meal) then we will be off to the airport.
It's been a joy but it will be good to be home (so the Rays can win again) in my own bed.

Thanks for reading

Wednesday July 16, 2008

Oh my friends have you all gone to the dark side. Here I am all alone on foreign soil looking to my friends for strength and encouragement but what do I get. Grief!
Monday night not such a restful night.
Well after I tell you about this day I know more grief will be headed my way. I did a 5 mile run on the treadmill, because of the sand storm I was unable to run outside. After breakfast I hadn't heard from Randy so I called to see if I needed to pick up Jonathan. Jonathan answered and asked if I came and picked him up could I take him to the City Center at 3pm. I said sure. I brought him home and we had lunch. We left at 2:30pm for the City Center and arrived at 3pm even though I made a wrong turn and ended up in a Ministry Parking lot with no way out. Everything was one way and we kept going around in circles. Finally I spotted a local driving and told Jonathan we will follow him to find our way out. And true to the Kuwaiti way he went the wrong way on a one way and we followed suit. We were soon back on the correct road and at the City Center. We were getting supplies for the Filipino maids. We also met with a rep. of City Center, Gem. We were to discuss ordering new sleeping mats for the maids to sleep on, the ones from last year are worn out. Have I ever mentioned that time is not important here. We sat there for over an hour just talking about her family, our families, the weather, you name it we talked about it. (I guess that's way they do business and I don't think it is bad) We finally got to the mats and she is going to look into ordering us some. We went down stairs and loaded up a few more items for the maids and checked out.
With only one Kuwaiti experience on the way home we met Randy back at the apartment so we could ride together to go to a store that Talah told about where the locals shop. I was able to get the things I had been looking for; I may go back to that store today and get some more things. We then went and ate at Johnny Carino's. Jonathan wanted to eat here since the one in Brandon has closed down.
Home again for the last night’s sleep in Kuwait. I couldn't go to sleep right away so I watch the Billy Graham film "The Climb." It was really good to I think it would be a great movie for movie night at the church sometime.
I will try and post again before we leave for the airport.
Thanks for all your comments and I do mean all. It has been fun reading them. Ron you just make me laugh.
One day left.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Tuesday July 15 2008

Sunday night I didn't sleep well only about three hours. I got up at 6:30 eat breakfast and was so tired and when I looked outside and saw a sand storm blowing in so I went back to bed. I woke up when Randy called at 10:30. Took a shower and went to pick up Jonathan. Jonathan wanted to go see Grace, the maid they used to have when they lived here about five years ago. So with directions in hand off we went. We were told to go to the City Center (It's like a Sam’s Club) turn right at the road across the street. Well we found the City Center no problem; however have you ever gotten direction from an Indian that has never driven once in her life. I didn’t think so. Anyway we turn on the road across from the City Center and it was a parking lot. Not sure if this was the correct road Jonathan calls Grace to get clarification. After talking with Grace, Jonathan was sure we were where we were suppose to be. After circling the block a few times he call Grace again this time we think maybe we should go down another street on the other side of the City Center. Once again nothing. We do some driving and Jonathan calls Grace again this time she says something about a Ministry Building. We have now been driving for an hour. We head to where we saw a Ministry Building drive up and down that road and a few others looking for a bus stop with a sign laying the blocks by numbers. (Confused yet?)Jonathan calls Grace again this time she says she will meet us at the City Center in ten minutes. We head over and go in the round-about we had been in several times already and Jonathan says “Look I see the block sign with her number.” We go around the circle again, no small feat in Kuwait. We head down the street and see a lady walking I asked Jonathan is that her he says yes, I roll down the window and call to her. She gets in the car and we go to the house where she works and visit for about 20 minutes. I took us an hour and a half to find, but only stayed for a short time. I think she was nervous with me there. She would not sit down but, insisted that we sit.We left and made it back to the house in 15 minutes.I got ready to go to VBS. I explained to the counselors how to use the tracks and most seemed excited to have something to give the children.I hung around and helped with the music then headed back home to meet Randy and Jonathan for some shawarmas (sp). Shawarmas are lamb filled flat bread across between a burrito and a gyro. They are really good. We had that and some Kuwaiti chicken.After supper we turned in for the night.
Two more days then home

Monday, July 14, 2008

Videos Not Uploading

I have the said camera and I have tried to unload the said videos but this said computer tells me I have the wrong format. I have even tried "" to upload. Sorry said pictures and said videos will have to wait.
So Sorry

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Monday, July 14

Another day done and another couple of near misses. I always crack me up at way they drive over here. They never consider the other driver. I found out that the game I speak of often is real. There is usually at least one person a day hit by a car. Apparently some people are not staying on red.

I took the day off from running outside after that 9.25 miler the day before. I ran a 5K on the treadmill upstairs. Patricia came in to clean house and fix supper. We won't be eating what see fixed because we will eat at the Kuwaiti's house at 7pm. It was good to be able to catch my wife, Kathy at home and send e-mails back and forth for about an hour. She-shea' dear.

I left to go to VBS at the TLC and train them how to use the evangelcards. I got there at 3:45. (Have I mention the time thing yet) Anyway Sister Bobby introduced me and I was going to start the training but she said we didn't have time today, tomorrow would be better. She told everyone to be sure and be on time tomorrow for the training.I spent some time in the music room helping the children learn the moves to the songs. I kept hearing people behind me saying that's the pastor dancing. (Kathy I didn't do the Randall not once that will come later) At 6pm I went to the English speaking worship service to see Pastor Keith in action. I got some great video for you Pastor Mel. Although I'm not sure Pastor Mel would enjoy someone blowing the shofar at different times during the praise.

I needed to meet Randy at 6:50 so I left about 6:40 and told Sister Bobby I needed to meet Randy. We got to the Talah and Catherine’s at 6:55. Talah was not home yet but was on his way. There was a bad wreck backing up traffic. (Imagine that) When I last saw Talah he was in shorts and a t-shirt not your typical attire for a Kuwaiti. When he walked in the door he looked quite different. He was dressed in full Kuwaiti attire. I kind of took me off guard. I see the men walking around everywhere and they won't give you the time of day, but here I am eating and caring on a conversation with one of them. Catherine is a very artsy person and her house reflects that. Wall to wall and ceiling to floor art work everywhere. Not a blank spot on the walls anywhere. Talah showed me an antique chest with a drawer missing. He told me when Iraq invaded they came into his home and grabbed the drawer to carry out the things they were taking. He said it's a good thing they didn't know about antiques. Because he had a lot of them. After we eat the pork chop fried lamb chops, ground lamb, and chicken all Kuwaiti style, with some salad, chopped parsley salad, flat bread with humus (oh it was so good dear) and puréed eggplant, (sort of like humus and even better, sorry dear) We went into the living room to have our picture taken in front of super chicken. (That is a piece of art work that I can't explain to you in writing you'll have to wait for the pictures). We said our good night and made the uneventful trip home for the night.

We shall see what tomorrow holds


Smack to Ron

I know many of you read my blog and never post a comment and that is fine. But you have got to help with this Ron guy. He taking aim at me for the Rays losing. So don't be shy give him some smack. Here's the best I can do to try and hit back.

The outlook was brilliant for the TampaBay nine this season;
Four and half game lead with two weeks til the break no teasin'.
When the #1 fan few the coop for the reason Ron said was lame.
A pall-like silence fell upon the patrons of the game.
A straggling few said its okay no need for deep despair.
They thought, "It's only Randall gone could it be as bad as that",
As each game came and went with hits only a few.
And losing to the Yankees, then the Indians just ain't good news
But I have another thought
The losing I have not brought
What happens went you get a big head and lose focus of your game.
You look around for superstitions and someone else to take the blame
Bible teaches us clearly with no ifs, ands, or buts at all
That indeed pride doth come before the fall.
So to the TampaBay nine
Don't lose hope you still have time.
Take the humble pie you have eaten
And learn your lesson lest you get beaten
You're only half way through the season
There's still time for Ron you to be pleasin'
To you runron superstitions are a crock
I tell you the Rays yet will still rock.
So don't you worry there will still be joy in Tampa Bay for the playoffs they have a lock.

Sunday, July 13

I rested well last night for the first time since I've been here, but I did wake up very sore and stiff. I can't believe its Sunday already. I've been 8 days and only 4 more left.Yesterday was a good day even though I did get my full 10 miles in. After I recovered from my run I answered e-mails and posted my blog. Randy came back from his breakfast with Mohamed and Jonathan around 11am. I was just finishing my blog. Mohamed took Jonathan out on the town. That gave Randy and me some time for coffee and just talk. Something we really hadn't been able to do since I got here. We were on a tight schedule in the afternoon so it was good to just relax.
We left the house at 1:30pm to meet Mohan at 1:50 so we could be at the doctor's house by 2:00. You remember what I said in Tuesday's blog time is only a suggestion here. We were at the meeting place at 1:45. (Randy is not going to be late) At 1:55 Randy calls Mohan to see where he was and he said he had not made it to Salmaliya yet. (Which means he is probably still out his house) Mohan finally arrive at 2:30. We had to wait on him because we didn't know where the good doctor lived.We enter her house where she lives with her sister to a wonderful aroma of spices in the air and spread out before us from one end of the table to the other was an amazing variety of food.We sat down, prayed and started to dig in, I like to take a bite of everything before I know what it is. Here's what we had: chicken legs in a brown garlic sauce, fruit cocktail, ginger shrimp, (I found out it was ginger when I ate a round circle looking water chestnut thing, not water chestnut, ginger WOW) stir fried mushrooms, (I thought this was some kind of leafy lettuce, I have never seen mushrooms like this), Chinese salad, (not like Kay Mills' but it was still good) boiled squid (I did say I take a bite of everything before I know what it is didn't I. It turns out that I like boiled squid.), stir fried green chilies (I cut these up and added them to the other dishes they were pretty hot. The host couldn't believe I ate so many, I had 8), a corn and pepper dish in a milk sauce, and mutton in a spicy brown gravy. There wasn't anything I didn't like. While we were eating I kept thinking boy I wish I had some rice to eat this on, well after about 30 minutes the host asked if we were ready for the rice. "What I'm almost stuffed no room for rice." (It is the custom to eat first then bring out the rice and eat again. If only I had known.) The next thing they brought out was the mango cake Randy had stopped and picked up on the way. I don't normally care for mango but this was really good. Then they brought out my favorite fruit, watermelon, NOT, then they brought out some peaches (there were from Lebanon and were really good). Now I am officially stuffed. We sat around and learned how to speak a little Chinese. They got a kick out of hearing me try to speak; Randy caught on very quickly and really impressed them, of course. Well it is 4pm and I have to be at the TLC at 4:30. We said she shea' (that's thank you) and headed to the TLC.
I didn't have a lot to do at VBS but was just there for an extra hand. I took lots of video and help with recreation in 112 degree heat. Sister Bobby asked me to come early tomorrow 3:45 and explain the track instead of waiting until Wed. That means another tight scheduled day. I'm meeting Randy at the Filipino Embassy at 3pm to hand out shampoo. I left the TLC at 7:30 and almost became another notch in someone belt in one of the round-abouts. I enter the round-about and was on the inside lane going around to my exit when someone enter from a side street attempted to shoot across all three lanes at once to get to the inside lane. I hit the brakes, with tires squealing and rubber burning. He also slammed on brakes. We both came to a stop, bumper to bumper. I hit the gas and swerved around him a bit shaken.
I needed some gas so I pulled in a station and filled up. I put in about 10 gals. for 2.350KD that's $8.69 which is about 86 cents a gal. That's for premium. (Oh the pain, that's more than I spent last year.)I finally make it back to the apartment safe and sound. Jonathan was still out with Mohamed so Randy and I had a cup of tea and chatted. Jonathan came home about 9pm and then we all turned in for the night.Randy is going to try and set up a movie night for the ladies at the Filipino Embassy. I brought the Billy Graham film "Last Flight Out" so we are going to show that. Pray we can work this out.
Well another day done and another beginning.
Until tomorrow God willing

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Saturday July 12, 2008

I got up at 5am this morning after not getting to sleep until about 11:30pm last night. I tried to do a 10 mile run this morning but when I reach the turn around point I went a different route back and it must have been shorter because when I got back to the apartment I had only gone 9.25 miles and I just didn't want to do another lap around the block so 9.25 will have to be close enough.
What a great day we had yesterday.
We started at the Fillipino Embassy at 7:15, lots of singing and dancing that's right dancing. Sorry Kathy, but they actually loved the Randall move. Every time we started a fast song they would all look to me for the move and I was glad to oblige. Jonathan sang and played "My Savior Lives" and did a great job. The ladies even joined him which was cool. After the singing we handed out some refreshments and some toiletries. What a humbling experience to hand one of these ladies a package of feminine hygiene products to see her bow her head and take it. It was something that they need yet to have a strange man who they have never met hand it to them was a little embrassing for them and very humbling for both of us. The good news is there are only about 90 ladies at the Embassy now with about 60 in attendance. Pastor Martin told me the number of women coming in is getting smaller each month. Praise the Lord. After the snack time Pastor Martin had Randy introduce me. Then I preached from Luke 17:3-6. I talked a lot about forgivness and building a bridge. When I was through Pastor Martin had a question and answer time. He would ask the ladies questions about the sermon and see if the remember it. His does this because of the language barrier. (I think maybe we should try this in Riverview) I was quite surprising to see the ladies answer all his questions. We then went into a annointing with oil time something Pastor Martin does once a month. The ladies made 6 lines and Randy, Jonathan, Pastor Martin, a lady from the TLC, another man and his wife, and myself got at the front of lines and started praying for and annointing all of the ladies. It was quite awesome to hear how they wanted to be prayed for. Most wanted to be back home quickly but, many ask that I pray for their employer, that they could forgive them and that the employer would come to know Jesus. It was a sweet time. We finished at 10:15 Then headed to the American Embassy.
We arrived at 10:40 and started worship at 11:00. We mostly sang older praise songs and hymns. (Nothing I could dance to) Jonathan played and sang "My Chains Are Gone" He did a most excellent job. I preach from Luke 17: 1-10. I gave them the whole message. I ended with the last verse telling them that we should not expect graditude for just doing what the Lord commands. I was able to use Boot Camp as an example. I said your drill sargent isn't going to thank you evertime you do what he asks. They all could relate to that. I met a young Kuwaiti man who became a Christian about 6 months ago. He had his fiance with him for the first time. He has to keep his conversion from his step-dad and his fiance's dad. I found out some good news. As long as a Kuwaiti approaches you about your God then you can share the gospel. However a Kuwaiti will be in some kind of trouble if the family finds out. Randy had some things to take care of so it was about 1:15 when we left.
We came back to the apartment to change and freshen up a bit then off to the Chinese Church. We made it by 2:20 and they had already started. Liang was leading them in their Bible memory verses and helping them understand what it means at least that's what I was told she was doing.
Jonathan play all the songs for worship. I would sing them first in English then they would sing them in Chinese. Liang is also helping them learn English this way. Then I would sing the song again then they would sing the song again. Sometimes Liang would ask me to do it again. The last song we did the same way except at the end we sang in English and Chinese at the same time. Talk about your speaking in tongues. Jonathan didn't know he could play in Chinese.
I preach from the same passage as I did at the American Embassy but had to change the illustrations to fit their culture. Some of the scripture references were even different. It was quite challenging. Some words we use they don't have words for. Like stumble, stack or fleas just to name a few. I told them the story of Besty and Corrie Tin Boon when they were infested with fleas in the concentration camp and how Besty thank God for the fleas. I had to use the word bedbugs for them to understand. After the service we meet a women who is a doctor and she invited us to lunch tomorrow at her house. That should be make for an interesting blog. After a sweet time with them we left at 4:30pm exhausted. We went back to the apartment to crash for a few minutes before we meet up with some friends of Randy's for dinner.
We rested for about an hour then went to meet this Kuwaiti man and his American wife. He is the Under Secretary of the Public Works Ministry and his wife is a director of some kind for the Kuwaiti's Artifacts Department. They took us to an Italian Restaurant. I had a Rocket salad with chicken livers and a mushroom, onion, eggplant pizza. (How does that sound Kathy) They have invited us to their house for supper on Sunday. Well we got home about 10pm completely worn out. I laid down at 10:30 but my mind would not shut off. I think I finally dosed off at 11:30.
And my day is finally done tomorrow we have a lunch at 2pm then I go to VBS at the TLC. It's going to be fun.
Until tomorrow then

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Friday July 11

I need to make this brief today.
I'm up at 5am and need to be at the Filipino Embassy at 7:15am then to the American Embassy at 10:30am then a quick bite to eat and to the Chinese Church at 2pm. That's not to bad except there's 30 to 45 minute drive between each place.
Yesterday was pretty much bland until we went to Mohan and Liang's for dinner and worship planning. Liang served a nice spicy veggetable dish of several kinds of squash and peppers, a lamb and potato noodles dish, a very spicy ostridge and pepper dish, with some steamed peanut butter rolls and of course steamed riced. As we sat down to eat, we had all fixed our plate and Liang remembered she forgot a dish, kimchi (sp), thats the cabbage dish they usually ferment in the ground. As she was getting it Mohan asked me if I had ever had kimchi before, I said once and wasn't to crazy about it. He said I maust of had the fermented kind. He said Liang's was not like that nasty stuff. Okay I'll give it a shot.
Liang came back and because I was next to her she pur some on my plate so I couldn't portion control. Let me just say if you like anchovies with salt and spicy poured on top you would love kimchi. I did my best to smile and finish every bit that was on my plate. (Now you are feeling sorry for me aren't you)
My favorite dish was the ostridge. it tasted alot like beef. Not sure what kind of beef just beef.
Randy stopped off and picked up dessert on the way, I didn't know what it was until Liang brought it out with some tea. Sorry dear but you're not going to like it when I tell you what it was. It was a huge plate of all different kinds of baklava, some with nuts, some with chocolate. Wow where they ever good.
Well, we sang the songs for worship and got a plan. We left and came home. I looked over my sermon then made a few changes then off to bed.
I got to go.
As for the Rays sorry Ron they won't let me out the country yet. They need to just hold on till the Allstar break then I'll be back home. I trust my wife is watching them for me.

Thursday July 10, 2008

Slept great last night. Didn't get up until 6:30 though. I did speed work this morning 3X16oo + 1600 warmup and a 800 cool down, if you can call it a cool down. Yesterday I did an easy 5 mile run and got it on video. I hope to put it on my blog we'll see.
Just as I got cooled down and had a shower Randy called and asked me to come pick up Jonathan. I did and the trip was uneventful, sorry.
Great news I went to the TLC and spoke with Sister Bobby the Children's Minister again. I showed her the Evangelcube and tracks and she loved them. I will be teaching the counselors how to use them on Wed. She invited me to come to VBS every night and just hang out and help wherever I made be needed. She gave me a schedule and a T-shirt. They are doing SonWorld the same one we did. This is going to be great. VBS starts Sat at 4:30pm - 7:30pm and ends on Wed the same night I fly back home. My flight leaves at midninght so I will be able to stay for the closing then off to the airport.
I went to a meeting the the elders from the American Embassy Church to discuss some problems in the church. Imagine that problems in a church. I have come to the conclusion that as long as there are people in the church there is going to be problems. But that's okay because when we over come problems it makes us stronger.
The Lord has confirmed my messages for Friday. The finally conformation was the elder meeting.
I will preach from Luke 17:1-10 in all three services with an emphasis from the "Unforgiving Servant" out of Matthew 18.
That's it for now ya'll have a great day.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Wed. July 9, 2008

I woke up at 5:22am after not sleeping very well last night, Randy told me this morning he had trouble sleeping also. He said it was still the effects of jet lag.
Yesterday was pretty much uneventful. I stayed here at the house all day. I ran 5.5 miles came home spent some time in the pool. Then came in for lunch. (Are you feeling sorry for me yet?)
Made me a cajun chicken breast sandwich, which was the first thing I had eaten all day. Patirica, Randy's maid, came in to do the laundry, ironing, and cook supper. (Now you're feeling sorry for me aren't you.)

I did some studying in the afternoon trying to figure out what I should preach on Friday and Sat. I think I will speak to the American Embassy about Luke 17:1-10 "We Shouldn't Expect a Thank for Doing What God Command Us" at the Filipino Embassy I'm praying about preaching on forgivness. I'll keep praying and studying to find out what God would have me say.
I didn't get to the TLC so I will go there today.
I went to my facebook this morning and found this ode that Jonathan Williams wrote and thought it was pretty good so here it is. Notice pedestrian polo that's the same as Hit the Crazy Ammerican Game I think I like pedestrian polo better.

"Oh, beloved Kuwait, how I've missed you so. As I gazed upon the beautiful scenery of your piles of sand, I can't help but think of what a wonderful country I am in.A country where humidity blinds any who wears glasses upon leaving a building. A country where we are overjoyed when temperatures reach a nice and cool 100 degrees. A country where citizens are serenaded early in the morning by those wonderfully talented, and tone deaf prayer singers. A country where pedestrian polo is the biggest national sport. A country where traffic laws are made for somebody else to follow. A country where it takes no more than half an hour to get anywhere as long as you actually know where you're going.Yes, I've missed you, Kuwait. Your unique sense of style. Who would have thought of using cars, or their remains, as decorations scattered throughout the roadways and in the middle of traffic circles? Only you, Kuwait. So, here's to you, oh great country no bigger than Rhode Island. You will always be "precious" to me."

Well that's it for now. I wonder what adventure awaits today.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

After only about 4 hours sleep Sunday night I got up at 5am wrote my blog and then went for a 5 mile run. Nothing much exciting happened just a typical 5 mile run in the early morning temperature of 105, I'm glad I went early. They say it is hotter this year than last because of the lack of rain. It is suppose to get up to near 130 degrees, unless the wind is blowing then the wind chill makes it feel like 140 degrees. That's right the wind increases the feel like temperature. But hey no problem because of the lack of rain no humidity.
Well I get back and to help recover I go for a swim. There were two ladies by the pool sun bathing. They however, did not get the memo about the sun and cancer. They looked like turkeys lathered in butter waiting to be put in the oven. I wanted to tell them what they looked like but I was afraid it might get lost in the translation. So I just did a quick dip and headed downs stairs.
I wanted to go to the TLC (The Lighthouse Church) and see when VBS was starting and offer my assistance. I asked Jonathan if he would like to go so off we went.
I met with Pastor Keith, the Worship Pastor. Much to my surprise he remembered me. Pastor Keith told me the Pastor Dave told him that I would be preaching at the American Embassy. That was news to me, he said with so many pastors away on vacation the schedule was really messed up. I told him whatever he needed from me just let me know. I then talked with Sister Bobby who is the Children's Minister. She is going to let me know if I can help in VBS. I asked her if I can hand out tracks to the children she said yes but needed to approve them first. I'm taking them to her today.
I was so proud of myself for making it to the TCL and back with out getting lost. You know what's coming next don't you. Pride goeth before the fall.
Jonathan and I were suppose to meet Randy at a McDonalds on 60 at 4pm so he could take us to Mohan's for a Bible Study with the Chinese Church. We left the house at 3:30 to give us plenty of time. All we had to do was go down 30 made a u-turn at the Third Ring, take 30 to the Fourth Ring then to 60 and McDonald's. Sounds simple? Not. We turned on what we thought was the Fourth Ring because we saw the number 4. Unlike the Third Ring which plainly said "Third Ring" this had some word in Arabic and the number 4. As we travel I realized I had left the cell phone at the house, not good. But hey no need we will be late if we turn around. I soon got the feeling that we weren't going on the right road. We got down to 50 and I told Jonathan we had better tun around go back to the house and get the cell phone. Did I mention that Randy had a meeting at 4:30 at the Embassy? At this point all I wanted to do was called Randy and tell him to call Mohan and make it next Monday. One problem what's the name of the road we need to take. "Oh Jonathan look the road we just passed is 30 the road we need to take." We had to go all the way to the end before we could turn around. As we make the u-turn Jonathan says "Oh look the sign says 'Fourth Ring' we are on the right road the whole time." We may have time to make it if we don't get the cell phone. (Bad idea) Off we go back down the 4th Ring. We make it to 60 at about 4:10 we are probably to late but let's continue. Now which way on 60 right yeah that's it right. Wrong! "Jonathan do you see a McDonalds" "There's one over there but it's not on 60" Well that can't be the right one, let's turn around and go back the other direction" "Hey Jonathan do you see a McDonalds" "Just that one we can't get to on some other road." Well after going down 60 a little ways and still no McDonalds we decide to get back on the 4th Ring and try and find the McDonald's we keep seeing. Oh look right past 60 on the right is the right McDonalds we have been looking for. (This is going to be something to write about) It is now 4:37 and no Randy. Only one thing to do go back to the apartment and call Randy to let him know we are safe.
We make it back no other problems. I check the phone and there were 4 missed calls. I call Randy back and no answer. (His phone is off because he's in a meeting, duh!) I noticed a missed call from Mohan. I call him back and he said he would come pick us up no problem. He said he would be here at 5:30pm. Let me remind you of something I had forgotten. They don't think of time as we do, 5:30 is merely a suggestion. Jonathan and I head down stairs at 5:15 to be ready when he arrives. We decide to wait outside to not delay Mohan any more than we already had. I thought the Bible Study started at 6, but I found out later it starts when Lee Lang (Mohan's wife) calls the men and tells them what time to meet us at the park. Anyway we are waiting outside and trying to stay behind the columns to keeps the wind off of us and making us hotter. Mohan arrives at 5:58 not too much later than he said he would be here. I asked Mohan if he wanted me to follow him (Randy suggested we do that so we can excuse ourselves if things run late) Mohan said, "No, you ride with me!"I said "Yes sir." and off we went back to pick up his wife and children. We head out to the Bible Study with everyone on board. Mohan needs to stop at Ace Hardware and pick up some bed bug spray for the Chinese men because their apartment is invested with the little creatures also a Florida problem roaches. (I learned how to say roaches in Chinese "roaches") Well the road was closed to take us to Ace so Mohan said they would have to suffer a few more days. Lee Lang got a call from one of the men and she told him we would be there at 7:00.
On the way Mohan decide a few more days of suffering would not be good so he said he would drop us off at the park and let us start the study and he would go by the spray. We arrived at the park at 7:03 and no men. We find at spot to sit down and spread out our mats. The men start arriving a few minutes later. Lee Lang found out that Jonathan and I knew music and asked us to lead in some songs she had written the words to in Chinese and a couple in English. (The men want to learn English so she is trying to help through songs) We sing; "This Is the Day," "Give Thanks," "I Worship You," and "Because He Lives." They try a sing in English then decide to sing in Chinese while Jonathan and I sing in English. It was great sitting their in the park singing with these men who could be anywhere else but chose to be here to worship God. Wow, how awesome is that.
Lee Lang told me to do my Bible study now. I did it on the parable of the "Unforgiving Servant". I never know how much to say before I stop and let Lee Lang translate. The men were so focused on what was being said and that always amazes me. After the study I asked for question. They wanted to know the difference between forgetting and forgiving. I shared my thoughts and then one man asked why some believers are blessed and some suffer. Whoa I wanted to say we are talking about forgiveness, where did this question come from. Anyway I shared that God never promised us a life of no suffering just that He would never give us any more than me can handle. I then refered to the life of Job. There were about half of the men that were new Christians so they didn't know anything about Job. So Lee Lang shared with them who Job was and all that had happened to him in the Bible. Then one man asked me to explain the Trinty. Man this is a tough crowd. Well I did my best to explain in a way they could understand. It is now 8:15 and the last man arrives to the study. They all started talking to him and laughing. I told Lee Lang that he must have needed the study the most. She said you must understand Chinese because that was what they were all talking about. I asked the men how could I pray for them and they told me some problems they were having but mostly wanted me to pray that they could learn how to forgive. (Their story is a long one for another time) We had a time of prayer. when we were finished Mohan gets back and tells them how to use the bed bug killer. They leave then Mohan takes his family, Jonathan and me to an Indian restaurant for some really great eating. Mohan did all the ordering, it was spicy and great.
We arrived back home by 10:30 and were completed wiped out and boy did I sleep good.
Until tomorrow.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Monday July 7 5am, The Game Is On

We all arrived in Kuwait safe and sound but a little tired at 4:30 yesterday afternoon. Everything went smooth. But that's too boring to talk about so let me refresh your memory about the game I played last year here in Kuwait. It's call hit the crazy American. Last year when I would go jogging it was as if I was in a game with the Kuwaitis where as long as I stayed on the red part of the road I was safe but if I went on the black part I was free game. My wife asked me not to jog outside because she didn't like me playing this game.
Well last night after we unpacked and made a shopping list we headed out to Johnny Rocket's for a bite to eat and to the Sultan Center for some groceries. Randy said we would park at Johnny Rocket's, eat then walk to the Sutan center. (You know where this is headed don't you) I said to Randy "We are going to walk to the store, Hey Randy we are GOING to walk to the store, are you sure we are going to WALK to the store" I wasn't sure that Randy was aware of the game. After we ate and head down on the Red (safe) I shared with Randy and Jonathan about the game even though Randy has lived here for some time he soon discovered very quickly the reality of the game as we had several roads to cross to get to the Sutan Center. Nights at 7pm are crazy because it is when the temperature drops to a cool 92 degrees and people start coming out. (Randy said he didn't usually come out after dark)
As we made our way to the store Randy tells us to cross as soon as we can. I see an opening and take off not realizing Randy and Jonathan did not follow. As I quickly made it to the red I looked back and saw that they were still on the other side. I thought "What are they waiting for, the cars to stop, a bigger opening or what?" Neither of which never came. They finally made it across and I told the game is on. When I say we made it across we were only half way. You see in the middle of the road is red (safe) and that is where we were. Randy took the lead this time and saw an opening and we all took off making it to the red just before a BMW comes racing by just missing our heels. We are now on the correct side of the street but had several more side streets to cross before we were at the Sultan Center. We were getting ready to cross the last street when what appeared to look like an easy crossing no traffic coming our direction. We stepped on to the black (unsafe) and here comes a car making a turn right for us. Then something unusal happens the driver must have been unaware of how the game is played because he stops and motions for us to continue to cross. My thoughts were he probably knows the game and wants us out in the middle for a better shot at us. But no he waits and then goes about his merry way. Now I'm thinking are the drivers in this together and are trying to get us to let down our guard so they can get us when we least expect it.
We got our stuff and headed back to car with no more last calls until (you knew there was an until coming didn't you) we were crossing the last road. There we were on red and getting ready to step on to the black were several cars were stopped and beeping their horns trying to get through as fast as they could. As we quickly weaved our way through I looked down and to my suprise the road was RED. How can this be, this totally changes the rules of the game. What will happen now if red is no longer safe. Well we made it to the car and back home.
Now I had to try and adjust to the new time my body said it was only 2pm but it was really 9pm and I needed to sleep. I need to be fresh and clear headed to preach at the Chinese Church on Monday afternoon.
I could talk a lot more but I need to get my day started.
I want to thank Mike and Krystal for the card, it made me cry.
I also want to thank the Littles for the note on the convertor they let me borrow.
And thank all of you for your prayers
But mostly I thank my wife, Kathy for the sacrifice she has made to allow me to come over here to minister.
I ask you to pray that God will once again open doors for His Word to be spread.

Stay on the RED (I think that's the safest)

Thursday, July 3, 2008

My Itinerary

Saturday, July 05, 2008
Depart 6:44PM Tampa (TPA)
Arrive 9:01PM Washington (IAD)
14C, Economy/Coach Class, Ted Flight 1578 2 Hr 17 Min

Depart 9:54PM Washington (IAD)
Arrive 5:05PM +1 day Kuwait (KWI)
36H, Economy/Coach Class, United Flight 982 12 Hr 11 Min

Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Depart 11:45PM Kuwait (KWI)
Arrive 6:47AM +1 day Washington (IAD)
34B, Economy/Coach Class, United Flight 981 14 Hr 2 Min

Thursday, July 17, 2008
Depart 8:35AM Washington (IAD)
Arrive 10:51AM Tampa (TPA)
12D, Economy/Coach Class, Ted Flight 1571 2 Hr 16 Min

To Kuwait Again

I haven't blogged since December 2007 mainly because I have been busy with work and stuff that is not very interesting. But on Sat. July 5 I head to Kuwait for another adventure-filled two weeks. I will do my best to give a daily account of my adventures.
This is all for now, I will post my itinerary later tonight.
See you on the web