Friday, April 11, 2008

Our American Journey - Day 5

"What were we doing a week ago tonight?" I asked Kathy this evening.
"Ummm, give me a minute..." she said.
I gave her a subtle hint: "It involved feeding 90 people and doing a presentation."
She looked surprised. "Was that just a week ago?"

It's hard to believe that just a week ago, we were doing a presentation of "Welcome to Ouagadougou!" and then scrambling on the weekend to get ready for our trip through the States.

We arrived at the JAARS Center near Waxhaw, North Carolina, late on Thursday afternoon. JAARS (which stands for Jungle Aviation and Radio Service) is Wycliffe's aviation, transportation, communication, and technology arm, providing equipment and support in these areas for Wycliffe personnel all over the world. Here the trees are not merely budding and blossoming as they were further north. They are actually out in leaf! Earlier in the day, it had gotten warm enough in the car that we had to open the windows to cool things down. Finally, even that didn't do the trick and we had to turn on the air conditioning. We found it funny that when we left home, we had the heater turned on in the car, and now we're running the A/C!

We'll be spending the weekend with Ken & Katy Wienecke, friends and former colleagues from Burkina Faso, where Ken served in computer and technical support, and Katy ran the linguistic library. It was good to reminisce about old times, people we knew, and adventures we'd had. It was also good to talk about what was happening now. After leaving Burkina, Ken was heavily involved in recruiting computer personnel for Wycliffe for several years. Two areas of greatest need in Wycliffe right now are those of IT and teaching. We desperately need more computer people and school teachers all over the world.

Today, we made a tour of the Center and met a number of people we'd known in the past, or had gotten to know more recently through e-mail communication. It was good to meet some of these latter folks face to face for the first time and to be able to talk about some of the exciting work they are doing to further the work of language development and Bible translation. It helps us to see that we're part of something that is much bigger and exciting than just our little corner of it.

Tomorrow, we're planning to visit a few more people for fellowship and inspiration. But right now, we've got to get some sleep! Good night.

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