T-Mobile’s Liverpool Street Station Dance

Watch the moment Liverpool Street Station danced to create this special T-Mobile Advert. How would you respond if everyone around you just broke out in the dance?

Take Me Out to the Ball Game

Sergio, who is Juan Pablo’s doctor in Guatemala, is a player and fan of baseball.  We often talk about stories from the game, but more focused around softball, which is very popular in Guatemala.  In the past, he told me about how he is a pitcher on a fast pitch softball team and described his ability to throw several types of pitches.  I always thought it would be neat to play with him in a game sometime, but never imagined that it would actually happen.  I checked in with him before our trip and sure enough, he and his team were playing Sunday morning and he wanted me to join them.  I was very excited about the opportunity to play ball in another country.

We arrived to the field early in the morning where there were several softball games taking place in the complex.  I could imagine what they were thinking, here comes a gringo onto our turf.  I began to realize that I was not prepared for the game as DSCF1110everyone had on pants and matching hats and shirts.  All I had were shorts, a t-shirt, and tennis shoes.  Running a little late, Sergio spotted me outside the fence and called me on to the field.  Since I was a friend of his, many on the team were very welcoming of me.  The coach explained that I couldn’t play in shorts, but needed pants.  Our driver, William, allowed me to borrow his jeans for the game.  Juan Pablo and Emily joined me in the dugout as a couple other wives and children were also there.  I observed the game and realized that everyone takes the game very seriously and are competitive.  The other team consisted of a bunch of young guys from Nicaragua.  I had never seen this before, but they had someone dedicated to beating a drum from their dugout throughout the game.  It was almost like World Series atmosphere.   Sergio was the starting pitcher and blew me away with his energy and abilities as a pitcher.  He proved himself to me as he was bringing about a 70 mph underhand pitch and some wicked breaking balls.  He ended up having 14 strikeouts that game!  Later, I learned that he has won several league awards for most strikeouts.  He disagreed when I referred to him as Cy Young. 

I came in about the 4th inning as catcher and was placed in the batting lineup.   Since this was fast pitch, I had to wear all of the gear and try to move around behind the plate in jeans that were two sizes too small.  I wasn’t allowed to call pitches for Sergio, but take signs from the coach in the dugout.  I figured there were going to be some differences in the gameplay, but I was just thrilled to be out there.  I hadn’t played any form of ball since summer, so I knew it may take a few minutes to shake the rust loose.  After taking a few pitches from Sergio, I felt as comfortable as I could be.  He struck out two batters and I threw out a runner at second to end the inning. 

When I approached the batter’s box and stepped in, the intensity was building up and the drummer was beating rapidly from the other dugout.  I was set and ready to rip anything that came near me.  I love playing in competitive games like this no matter if in the US or abroad.   I wanted so much to drive one out of the park, but after taking the count to 3-2, I grounded out to 1st.  The next inning, I went back into catch and the other team had a runner on with the score 1-0, our lead.  The runner attempted to steal second and my throw was to the bag well ahead of our shortstop and the ball went on to center field.  In baseball, I’m so used to just getting the ball to the bag and depend on the infielders to be there.  One of the differences in gameplay, I assume.  Eventually, the runner made it to third and the pressure was on to hold him there.  Sergio fired his targeted rising fastball, which got away from me and the runner crossed the plate.  When this happened, the spirit of the other dugout was released as they randomly lit up some firecrackers and began to bang the drum as if they had won the game.  Though I should have caught the ball, I had to laugh at their enthusiasm.  I didn’t really want to go into so much detail, but you just had to have been there :) 

I ended up going into centerfield the next inning, then hit a single up the middle in my last at bat, but as a team, we lost the game 2-1.  I had a great time being the only gringo in the park, aside from Emily.  I think JP had a fun time as well, but a majority of the time, he was just playing in the sand.   

DSCF1123DSCF1120

Guatemala – October 08

Tomorrow, we’re leaving for a short trip to Guatemala where we’ll be gone from October 29-Nov 2.  During this trip, we are going to spend time with Juan Pablo (of course) and the other children at the Buckner baby home.   A few friends of ours from eXchange will be joining us for this trip and will primarily focus their efforts on a couple boys orphanges in Guatemala City.

Please pray for us on this trip as we will also be meeting with the lawyer to discuss the status of the adoption case.  We will be keeping the blog up to date as usual.  Check out blogs from our friends on their sites:

Nate and Rachel Brown:  http://nateandrachael.wordpress.com/

Jody Elslager:  http://www.elslager.org/

Guatemala – August 2008

We will be leaving for Guatemala tomorrow morning to spend time with Juan Pablo and the other children.  Please pray for us in this journey.  You can check out blog updates throughout the trip at http://www.wiggsworld.com/juanpablo

Blessings,

John and Emily

Spiderman @ The Rock

Emily and I asked the Rock, our church in Portland, for donations of kids socks, underwear, and costumes for the trip to Guatemala.  This week, we spoke with the children who came to VBS and challenged them to bring in these same items.  We arranged individual suitcases for boys and girls donations during VBS and the kids filled them up!  Overall, there were 1,040 pairs of socks and underwear!  It was promised them that if the suitcases were filled, a special guest would come to see them at church on Sunday.  The promise was fulfilled as Spiderman dropped in to say a few words, pick up the donations, then visit with the children after church in the park.  Some didn’t know how to take Spidey, but most gave him hugs and high fives.  It was definitely rewarding to see the children’s faces light up to see one of their favorite super heroes.  Just glad I was the one in the tights :)  I told Pastor Jeff that this was probably the first time Spiderman has ever been in church.  Who knows, maybe he’ll swing back in one day, but next, it’s off to Guatemala!

More Spiderman Photos….

Small Group Party @ the Inman’s

Since our small group had taken a break for the summer, we had a party at Kevin and Terri’s for all small groups at the rock.  We had a great turnout of those who are in small groups and even those who aren’t currently involved in one.   The Rock band came and played during the party in the Inman’s garage.  It was such a great time of fellowship with food, music, and games.  In the evening, a big screen with projector was placed outside where a few movies were played with the first being one of my all time favorite classics — Abbott and Costello meet Frankenstein. 

Photos from the Party

Check out the band with Colton playing on a random object:

 

Jeremy – 2008 Graduate

I’m proud to say that my brother is a 2008 high school graduate of West Vigo High School.  It’s been a long journey, but he has finally made it.  His hard work has certainly paid off as he finished his final 2 years with a near 4.0 GPA.  If there was a title for comeback student of the year or for a class, it would be awarded to him.  Jeremy is planning to attend Ivy Tech in the fall for general studies, but has long term goals to become a physician.  I know that it may be a difficult choice, but Jeremy has proven hard work and dedication, so with that, I don’t doubt his abilities.  Congratulations Bro! 

For more pictures, click the link below:

Jeremy – Graduation Gallery

Accepting diploma on stage:

Vikings come to town

This weekend, I thought I heard something on the radio that Jay County was hosting a baseball invitational.  Somewhere in the lineup annoucements, I thought I heard "West Vigo".  I kind of blew it off mainly because Terre Haute is 3 hours away and there’d be no chance they would come all the way to Portland, IN for a game.  I was wrong.

When I got confirmation that the Vikes, my old team, was coming to town, I became very excited.   After all, it has been exactly 10 years since my senior year and final season.  I threw on the old Viking baseball practice jersey and went to the game.   West Vigo and Jay County high schools both won their first games, which meant that they would play each other in the championship.  It was Emily’s high school vs. my high school, my hometown meeting my new hometown.  Sounded kind of nice to have a part of home here. 

As I headed up to the game, I saw a couple of familiar faces, then someone said that I should go in the dugout since "coach" would be glad to see you.  So, I went in and Coach DeGroote was definitely surprised to see me there.  "No, I didn’t drive 3 hours from Terre Haute to Jay County, but I live here", I explained.  I stayed in the dugout through the first couple of innings.  I looked out across the field and recognized some players as my brother had played with them in little league, but mainly, I was matching the jersey numbers to names and faces of those who wore that same uniform when I played.  It was certainly a great reflection down memory lane and an opportunity to watch two outstanding teams compete.  No, I wasn’t asked to pinch hit during this game :) 

Sadly, the Vikings lost 6-5 in a back and forth game.  You could attribute the loss on a bad call from the umpire, not scoring more runs, or playing better defensively, but it’s just baseball.

Here’s an article from the Portland Commercial Review newspaper:

http://www.thecr.com/main.asp?SectionID=4&SubSectionID=4&ArticleID=14553

Replanted

Life can be lived either comfortably or very risky and dangerous.  I think that God would like us to be the latter, though we must put Him first when moving into that territory.  Emily and I lived in Terre Haute for our first 4 years of marriage.  During that time, we were blessed to have a wonderful home on 4th street where we loved and ministered to children and others who the Lord sent our way.  We had jobs that we both loved which included Emily teaching kindergarten @ Community Christian School and I @ Union Hospital.  We enjoyed our location of being close to my family and the many dinners at Mom and Dad’s.  Our community at eXchange (Maryland Community Church) was a group of people that we grew to love, serve, and worship together.  Considering all of the items listed here, it’s obvious that we were very attached to our life in Terre Haute. 

We would occasionally talk about the future and where the Lord would have us move.  It was great to consider the opportunities, but we couldn’t focus on the future during the present moments where God was using us right where we were.  I remember praying every now and then for God’s dreams to be revealed to us so that we would see in His time when he might have us move on to a new place with different opportunities.  As I said, we were so happy in Terre Haute, but little did I know, the Lord was about to open a door in response to my prayer. 

It was near the beginning of March when I received a phone call from a guy at the hospital in Marion, IN.  I had known him by several conversations we had in the past because of the systems we supported at our hospitals.   It just so happened they he was looking to fill a position at his hospital whose job description matched that which I was doing at Union Hospital in Terre Haute.  He basically wanted to know what it would take to get me to Marion.  This was actually the second offer for me to join that team, but I had turned down the first months ago as we didn’t feel it was the right time for us to move.  After discussing this opportunity with Emily, we were more opened to it now though were still questioning it in our minds.  I again considered the comfort we had in Terre Haute, but put that aside to seek the Lord at this door that again was opened to us.  As we prayed and searched the Word of God, the following scripture came to us:

‘These things says He who is holy, He who is true, “He who has the key of David, He who opens and no one shuts, and shuts and no one opens”: “I know your works. See, I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it; for you have a little strength, have kept My word, and have not denied My name. ( Revelation 3:7-8)

Having received this word, we felt that this was a door that the Lord had kept open, so we proceeded to walk closer to the entrance.  We drove up to Marion one day in late February for an interview, which would hopefully give more clarity regarding the job itself, the hospital, and benefits.  After the interview, I had a very good feeling about the prospect of working there, but wondered how we would move from our place in Terre Haute.  We stayed the weekend with Emily’s parents in Portland and continued discussing and praying about the whole situation.  As we contemplated a location to live, if we were to move, an ironic home jumped to Emily’s attention as she browsed the internet for houses between Portland and Marion.  Of the many she had looked at, there was only 1 that caught her eye.  She asked her mom Kim whose house she was interested in and it was Pastor Doane’s.  The reason this is so ironic is because we looked at his house 2 years ago and the door had closed on that opportunity as it became obvious to us that it wasn’t the Lord’s timing.  Two years ago, we were very disappointed that we didn’t get Pastor Doane’s house, but moved on and thanked God that he had revealed the truth in that decision for our lives.  Had we moved sooner, we would have missed the opportunities to serve in His cause in Terre Haute. 

We called the realtor in Portland to look at the house that weekend.  As we pulled into the driveway and saw the 2 story blue house sitting on an acre of land, the assurance of relocating to this place seemed more appealing. 

As we walked through the house, we recalled the last time we spent with the Pastor and his wife Pauline in prayer in their living room regarding the decision for us to purchase their home.  Walking from room to room, a sense of God’s presence was there just knowing that He had been served many years in that house.  That was the kind of home we wanted to dwell in.  Confirmation came when we walked through the larger upper room and came across a picture that had the verse from Joshua 24:15 — "But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.”  This meant so much to us as it was the same verse that we saw in our house in Terre Haute when we went to purchase it 4 years prior. 

We left that day with peace in our hearts about a decision to move.  We began the process of paperwork with the realtor and near the end of March had closed on the house in Portland.  My first day at the hospital in Marion was March 10, but Emily continued to work in Terre Haute at CCS as she didn’t want to leave the children after months of teaching them.   So, I proceeded to work and live with Bill and Kim until everything at the new house was finalized.  It was a difficult period for us as we were so far apart through the week and not being able to spend time with one another, but until the weekend.  It was almost like the time we first started dating.  Because of the difficulty in distance and the priority of our marriage, Emily left the year early at CCS and moved to Portland.

We officially moved all our items on April 28 from Terre Haute to Portland.  We had a Uhaul truck filled completely from top to bottom and front to back.  

It took a while to get all of our items from boxes to the places we wanted them in the house, but the most important thing was that we were together, in a new place, for a new season.  The Lord had challenged us to accept His plan for our lives and we accepted by allowing him to re-plant us.  

A final miracle to add to this story is that we were making the decision to move to Portland without having sold our home in Terre Haute.  A couple obstacles stood in our way as the housing market was poor and our neighborhood was being renovating leaving little traffic through if we were to sell it on the market.  God answered our concern with this as our friends Dan and Bethany were about to be married and were in need of a home.  They chose to rent our home on 4th street until the felt the calling to move in the way the Lord would lead them.  See, isn’t God’s timing so much better than our own? :)

The Bible tells us that "we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them" (Ephesians 2:10).  Our walk with Him doesn’t necessarily mean that our work will always be done in our current location.  Rather, it may be that God has prepared many places for us to be used for His purposes.  We just need to be ready to walk through the doors He opens to us, which nobody can close with Jesus standing on the other side.

MORE PHOTOS ::

Leaving Terre HauteMove to Portland

Erase

Geoff Moore, a Christian music artist, went on a mission trip to Guatemala and Honduras.  During his trip there, he too became so connected to the children and the mission of Christ  that he desired for everything different between the orphans and himself to be erased.  Myself along with many friends that have gone to Guatemala could agree that we want to love as God loves them and never be separated.  Below is the video and lyrics of Geoff’s song titled "Erase," which was written after his experience with the children in Central America.

 

Erase all that’s different between us
Until nothing ever separates us

And we love like You love
And we ache when you ache
And our heart is undone
By what makes Your heart break.
And we hear what You hear
And we see what you see
And the difference is erased

Erase all the distance between us
Replace all the space with Your presence

Until we love like You love
And we ache when you ache
And our hearts are undone
By what makes Your heart break.
And we hear what You hear
And we see what You see
And the distance is erased

So build me up
Or tear me down
Until Your heart is all that’s found.

I want to love like You love
I want to ache when you ache
I want my heart to be undone
By what makes Your heart break
I want to hear what You hear
I want to see what You see
Until the difference is erased
Between us

Powered by WordPress | Visit BestInCellPhones.com for Free Verizon Cell Phones | Thanks to iCellPhoneDeals.com, MMORPG Games and Conveyancing