Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Preparing to Return to Africa

Tis Tuesday the 26th, and our flight to Monrovia (via Atlanta then Brussels) is Saturday. Its been a packed month, and we are ready to get back to Africa. People have been incredibly generous. A list of a few of the people we owe more than we can repay:

Kris and Nate Vanderstelt-- Put us up in their guest house for almost three weeks. The pool was Brrrrrrisk.

Norm and Mary Katerberg-- Threw a welcome party for us. Norm, even while living with a brain tumor-- grilled the meat. Always there for us. Norm visited us in Liberia last year.

Warren and Joanne Boer-- My mentor and friend. Key players in my life for almost twenty years. Would not be in Liberia if not for them.

Janette and Dale Vanderveen-- No one has served us more in the last ten years. They are our anchors here. Janette, Renita's sister, handles all our US affairs.

Henry and Marnie Kranenburg-- Pastor Kranenburg of partner church Emmanuel CRC, Renita's brother, and hosts. Henry visited us in April.

Pete and Marrie Kranenberg-- Renita's folks, and actively involved in getting others involved in the rebuilding of Liberia. Marrie has visited us twice, Pete once.

Lucille and Keith Mosher--- My mom and step-dad. She makes pies and potato salad. I make her cry.

Ev and Mary Vermeer-- Mary visited us in March and is always coming up with ideas on behalf of the people of Liberia. Ev is a sage and co-founder of the Nehemiah-Liberia Group, LEAD's US partner. (NLG)

Tom and Mary Steenwyk-- These old pals took Noah in for about two weeks of our stay. Gave him such a good time with sons Matt, Sam and Ben, he may not want to return with us.

Mary and Dave Vermuelen-- I've known Mary since she was a student at Calvin, Renita and she are old friends, and her daughter Anneke is Hannah's longest known and dearest friend. Hannah hung out at their place for a few days.

Pat and Perry Holden-- Hannah's other pal, Abbey, was her host a few other nights. They couldn't stop laughing.

Mary and Ron VanValkenberg-- part of the NLG, "Dr. Van" has visited Liberia at least twice and has provided a huge amount of supprt-- including our famous but ill-fated generator, the "VV 9500." Let us use their vehicle while here.

Judy King-- A long time supporter of Liberia, has been there a few times with late husband and friend Steve. Also let us use her vehicle.

Dave and Paula Graf-- Could not have made the trip without them. Dave is an idea-machine who works with the NLG.

Lloyd and Pat Cain-- Gave us three days of Bliss up in their summer home.

The folks at CRWRC and PWW: Mary Dykstra, Andy Ryskamp, Lou Haveman, and Ruth Majawa.

Last week at Renita's folks. Renita talking with sister Liz as Mom and Pop K look on.

After visiting her folks, and with Bliss just behind us, we head to Lake City for a gathering of my relatives.

Brothers Steve, Don and Bryan, sister Sandy with Mom behind us all-- as always.

We're outa here! Next stop Liberia!