Warm Christmas Greetings and the
Best of 2003 to you all!
When we wrote our letter last year, we were about to go on a trip to Arizona, based on a seminar for nursing faculty in Scottsdale for Chris. We left early and stayed a few days in Sedona, home of the beautiful red rock formations. We also went to the Grand Canyon and saw it in beautiful winter splendor. We traveled on the Grand Canyon Railway from Williams to the Grand Canyon (and back).
In February, Kent attended a Transformational Ministries workshop sponsored by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) in Dallas. Pastor Eric and two other Light of Life members also attended.
Spring and early summer were relatively quiet in our household as we went about our regular lives. We are grateful for continued employment in jobs we enjoy. Chris continues as a Nursing Instructor at Cabrillo College (Aptos).
To meet the growing demand for nurses, Cabrillo increased the size of its nursing class by 25% this fall. In addition, Chris has taken on the pediatrics specialty and feels that has increased her job security. Kent continues as a manager in the Information Technology department of Sun Microsystems (Santa Clara). Sun is experiencing a challenging time in this era of “dot-com bust” and recession, undergoing its second major layoff in two years this fall.
In late summer we spent a few days at an inn in Big Sur, on the central coast about two hours south of our house. It is a fabulous place, and the relaxation helped us prepare for the increased pace of fall activities.
There were two lowlights in our lives this fall. The first is that Light of Life’s struggle intensified in late summer when we were forced to recognize that we could no longer afford to make the mortgage payment on the church property. The congregation voted to sell the property in order to move forward in ministry without the burden of the debt. As of this writing, the congregation is negotiating with a buyer and it looks as though the sale will go through. The future of Light of Life is uncertain as we prayerfully consider our options.
The second lowlight was the loss of our companion Bridget, one of our two Springer Spaniels, due to ill health at the age of 15 1/2. Moses continues to amuse us, delight us and keep us company.
The highlight of our fall was our November trip to our sister community in El Salvador, Guillermo Ungo. This was Chris’ sixth trip and Kent’s fifth trip; our first trip was in 1994. We were joined by five friends, two each from St. Stephen’s Lutheran Church (Santa Cruz) and Good Shepherd Lutheran Church (Salinas) and Rev. Larry Morkert, formerly of Santa Cruz but now in Chicago. We had a great time! Our communities have made tremendous progress since our last trip in November 2000, and we are so glad to be a part of their lives. A new tradition we started in 2000 is a craft project for the children. This year, the craft was a brightly colored mariposa (butterfly, see photo). It was happy chaos!
Our trip to Guillermo Ungo delayed our Thanksgiving somewhat, but we made up for that by having two Christmas celebrations, one with the Andersons (Dorothy and Susan) and one with the Madsens (Steve, Nancy, Scott and Shannon). Christmas was good!
We look forward to 2003 with a wary eye on the world situation. We encourage you to pray, harder than ever, for wisdom for our world leaders and for Peace.
Blessings to you,
Kent anc Chris