Grace and Peace to You, our Friends and Family,
Well, here we are, trying once again to get this letter out before Epiphany when this year we should have had it out by Thanksgiving. That is because we have a new address. But we are hoping that those of you who know (and love?) us will understand that we are just slow at these things, and forgive us.
So first the move, which took place in June. It all started with needing bigger office space at home (what with His and Hers computers, and the modem, and the printer, and the scanner, and the books and… sounding familiar to anyone?) and Kent’s long-time dream of “some land”. Knowing the price of things out here, Chris (naively) suggested we look at homes and then when Kent was satisfied that there was nothing out there that we could afford, we would remodel. That was in November. In April, we found a house that fit most of the specifications – one-level (the knees are not getting younger), a big office, a roomy master bathroom, and fairly easy access to the freeway. Kent did not get his ten acres, but our 1/2-acre is surrounded by other people’s acreage – and they get to pay the taxes! Anyway, we have two guest rooms, and you are all welcome anytime – so come and visit.
Of course, we never do things the easy way. A week after we moved, we went on a long-planned trip to Germany with a group organized by a pastor friend of ours in Palo Alto. It was a tour of “Lutherland” (that would be Martin Luther), which included Eiseleben (village of Luther’s birth and death), Wartburg, Augsburg and Wittenberg (see “theses doors” at left). The trip ended in Oberammergau, where we experienced the Passion Play presented by the people of that village every ten years since the 1400s. The Play was very impressive, moving, and just beautiful. Chris was especially satisfied that her mom Dorothy also went–a special time for us all.
Thanksgiving week was another special trip for us, as we again visited “our” sister communities in El Salvador. Another Lutheran church in our area has joined us in this sister relationship, so there were 12 of us on this trip – six people who had never been before, and six “old-timers”. We had an
absolutely wonderful time – we are truly developing relationships with many of the people there. The highlight had to be this craft project with the children that Chris dreamed up (where does she come up with these crazy ideas?); we took Polaroid pictures of the kids, and then had these cardboard frames for them to decorate. Glitter-glue and stickers were a big hit. It was 3 hours of the most rewarding chaos either of us have experienced in a long time.
Our churches are sponsoring scholarships for individuals in our communities–anything past 8th grade at this point requires travel and is very costly. Padrina and Sandra (pictured at right) are two health-care workers that want to go to nursing school–a dream that Chris is determined will come true. So if any of you would like to donate to the El Salvador Scholarship fund, money can be sent to Light of Life Lutheran Church, 360 Kings Village Road, Scotts Valley, CA 95066.
Oh, yes – we both still have jobs. Chris is now full-time tenure-track faculty at the Cabrillo College Department of Nursing, and finding it quite a challenge. She’s hoping that in a few years she’ll have most of her lectures done, and they will only need some touch-ups. In the Spring (as in, starting in February) she will be assuming the duties of teaching the pediatric component – which means she’s got a lot of studying to do herself. Kent is still at Sun Microsystems – enduring various reorganizations, but still a project manager in Information Technology.
We still have our two Springer Spaniels – Moses and Bridget. Moses had a run-in with a buck, but after some surgery he is fine. While Bridget is a little gimpy, she’s pretty amazing for a 13 year old. They love our new house – complete with two doggie doors!
In response to God’s many blessings in our lives, we remain active in the church – both on the Light of Life council and Kent on the Sierra Pacific Synod council. Light of Life is going through some challenging financial times; we’re anxious to see what God has in store for us!
May you have health, happiness and God’s richest blessings in the new year!
Kent and Chris