Thursday, August 23, 2012

Family Vacation

A view of the cottage from the boat.
After 6 years, it was beyond time for our family to return to Dana's home in Indianapolis, and travel to her family's vacation destination of choice: a wonderful cottage north of Toronto in Canada.  This cottage is a rustic site on an island in the French River, with no electricity, access only by boat, and little to do but relax with family, cook, eat, and generally recharge.

With a couple of days to connect with Dana's brother and his family, and uninterrupted time with her dad, this was a great opportunity for our kids to connect with Dana's roots.  It was great seeing our kids experience so many new things, and build new relationships that will matter long into the future.

From learning to fish and swim, to sleeping together in a bunk bed, enjoying pancakes almost every morning, squealing with glee at the frogs, snakes and minnows, and spinning around in the "Sky Chair" (a canvas chair hanging from the ceiling), our kids definitely made the most of the experience.  It was a joy just seeing them have so much fun.

By the time Dana & I also got in, this was a full boat!
Since Dana grew up traveling here almost every summer, this location has many emotional ties for her, not the least of which is the fact that so many of her extended family also travel to this same location, resulting in numerous generations living all across the country continuing to have a personal connection.

As I think about our commitment to serving God in Bolivia, this wonderful extended family reminds me of the importance of relationships.  For me, it can be far too easy to get wrapped up in the race for success, the rules of engagement, the practicalities of each situation, and the search for continued improvement; that relationships can easily be lost in the process.  Yet, relationships are absolutely integral to serving God's kingdom.  We are to be known by our love, and without relationships that go beyond basic interaction, it's impossible to really exhibit such love.  Additionally, it's impossible to build solid relationships without putting some time into it.  Two weeks of almost constant time with my family did wonders for my relationship with my own daughter.  Stori has always been Mommy's girl, and probably always will be, but getting to spend so much time together really seemed to help her bond with me in new ways.  In the same way, we can't expect to have a true relationship with God if we don't prioritize spending time with Him.
Picnic and music.

I look forward to building new relationships in Bolivia, but for right now, I'm reveling in the wonderful relationships we have right where we are.  I look forward to seeing our kids grow and develop in wonderful new ways, but I sure enjoyed seeing them have fun and develop their own relationships in the meantime.

Sometimes I feel a bit narcissistic writing about myself in this blog.  But with looming distance and time constraints, I hope this helps build and maintain existing relationships.  If you have the time or inclination, feel free to drop us a note letting us know what is going on in your lives, or even comment below.  But in the meantime, I hope you enjoy some more photos from our vacation!
Happy Girls!

Dana's cousin and her husband. Truly great people!

Silly cousins!

McCoy cousins teach our kids to fish.
With some success!

Yes, it did rain a couple times, but it doesn't seem to have dampened the enthusiasm!
Breakfast on the porch.
Thanks McCoy family!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Business Conferences in Bolivia

An invitation to participate...
The Bolivian business outreach is moving forward.  We are starting a business conference series and would like to add an international component through international BAM (Business as Mission) teams.  Pray about whether you might have skills to share with business people in another culture.
Conference Dates
Sept. 20-22nd, 2012 “The power of ideas and entrepreneurial courage”
Feb. 14th–23rd, 2013
March 25th–31st, 2013 “Top Ten Leadership Commandments” with Hans Finzel
May 16th–25th, 2013
Sept. 19th–28th, 2013
Possible Topics (open to other ideas)
➢            Basic principles for business start-ups
➢            Finance trends and international markets
➢            Character qualities of a high level executive
➢            True stories of success and failure in business
➢            Aggressive innovation
➢            Technology use – do’s and don’ts
➢            Designing production systems
➢            Customer service principles
➢            The power of a logo/brand
➢            Due diligence and solid business plans
➢            Marketing strategies and publicity
Want to be a part? Contact us and we’ll get you signed up!