Saturday, January 31, 2009

Albert Lea Tribune

Recently, the local newspaper did an article on our mission work. Please visit this link to view it!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Thursday Update

This coming Monday, we will be taking the next big step toward becoming AIM missionaries. We will go to the New York headquarters of AIM for stateside orientation. We are so excited to finally meet the people we've emailed and talked to all this time.

Our support is coming along-Praise the Lord! We still have quite a ways to go, but we are now at around 83%, and 2.5 weeks away from assessment. Please keep this in your prayers.

We were so blessed this past weekend to spend time with the new pastor of Calvary (my family's church) and his wife. They have been missionaries overseas for about 10 years, and just moved back to the states in 2008. They were full of great advice and encouragement; they are a blessing to us!

Sunday, January 25, 2009


It has been cold outside, people. Anyone south of the Mason-Dixon line, stop agreeing with me. You don't even know. I hibernated in the house for 3 days (along with 5 others, so that was peaceful... or something). They have closed school. Many people have spent their yearly vacation budget on snowplowing and antifreeze. After being stuck inside, everyone seems to be sick. That's okay though, because when you go outside your nasal passages freeze, so you can't feel a thing anyway. Seasonal Affective Disorder is rearing it's ugly head, and it seems to be contagious.

I am of the mindset that winter should be a steady 30 degrees (cold enough for snow, but not 40 degrees below zero) and only last 2 months. Call me an optimist.

But I woke up the other day to find the payoff for our misery:
Um, wow. That's all I have to say.

Christmas Pictures

As I am updating the blog, I want to include a few of the Gilbertson side Christmas pictures. Yes, my parents are insane.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

For the Newbies

Because there are several new subscribers to this blog, I want to quickly highlight a few of the important posts that tell the story of our mission experience.
  1. The Call
  2. The Organization
  3. The Situation
  4. Our Missions History
  5. The Assignment
  6. The Burden
Hope this helps, and welcome to Called to Love Africa! Please don't hesitate to add your comments.

Quick update

Well, here's what we know:
  1. We are going to Rehoboth, Namibia
  2. We are most likely leaving sometime in March. We will get our official leave date on January 26th (just 2 days!)
  3. The amount of money we have in our account (or pledged-those count, too!) on February 13th will determine the amount of time we will be gone for. Support coming in after that time is still SUPER important, it just won't determine how long we go for.
  4. We are approximately 71% of where we would like to be by February 13th.
  5. We will be going to a 3-day stateside orientation in New York at the beginning of February. Our main orientation is in Namibia, but this will give us some insight into AIM and what we will be doing.

Thursday, January 22, 2009


I have blogged much for quite a while, so I must catch up.

First, in early December, we were blessed to take a road trip with two of our best friends to visit another close friend who has recently moved out to Colorado. It was wonderful to see him (and his teensy-weensy apartment), and it was a great reason to go skiing and hiking in Rocky Mountain National Park. However, 2 days (of 4) into it, my SD card died. I almost cried. It had ALL of our skiing pictures, and some great pictures of reindeer in RMNP. I LOVE to take pictures, so there were between 4oo and 500 pictures on it. When we got back, I took it to the computer shop, and they said it was trashed. It was only three months old. (It kind of sounds like I am writing an obituary for my SD card. Or maybe for my $25 : P ). When bad technology happens to good people...

Anyway, we still have the memories...and these other pictures.

So, the first picture is RMNP. Not bad, huh? It was beautiful, and not too cold that day, at least in comparison to Minnesota. Well, I should say it wasn't too cold when we started. When we hiked into the semi-dense forest and gained altitude, the temperature dropped. A lot.

Picture 2 (taken by Liz) is of Amanda and I taking pictures of Josh and David. You'll notice that they are wearing an unlined jacket and a fleece, respectively. We three girls wore long underwear, pants, two pairs of socks, snow boots, thermal shirts, t-shirts, fleece or sweatshirt, ski coats with hoods, scarves, and gloves. And we were cold. They were, too- but they can't say we didn't warn them.

So, long story short: we were supposed to take a trail that the guide said was easy and relatively flat and approximately 1.5 miles long (I think. This was supposed to be a leisurely half-day hike where we just took pictures and hung out and enjoyed God's creation). The boys decided to take another trail that shared the trailhead, a minor detour. It turned out to be more that 6 miles long and rated moderate (to challenging in some parts). They even thought it was a little long. In addition, I had an allergic reaction to something about halfway up, with no cell phone reception. It was grand.

But, in the end, it was beautiful. Had we been more prepared (we brought only one bottle of water each), it would have been highly enjoyable. As it was, we still ended up having some great bonding time, and taking some really cool pictures. Oh, half of which we lost. C'est la vie.

Skiing was incredible. We went on one run that took 15 minutes - just to get up the ski lift. Let's just say our elevation changed dramatically. I would show you pictures but... well, you know.

So, to sooth my wounds over the SD card, the group agreed we should go take pictures somewhere else the day before we left. There is this amazing river that winds along the road into RMNP, so we parked and started snapping away. Typically speaking, I love taking candid shots rather than being in them, but I once took a 3- week trip in which I made it into only one picture (of thousands) and it is now my policy I must have proof each of us was there : ).

Picture 3 is of Josh and David. It seemed like every time I tried to take a picture of the 2 of them, they were standing 4 feet apart, so I told them to do something interactive. Apparently, in man-speak that means "beat on each other."

Picture 4 is the girls showing our massive muscles to rub in the fact that we climbed to the ice-covered rock in the center of a freezing river when the boys wouldn't. "I am woman, hear me roar" : )

Picture 5: Two of my best friends and me.

Picture 6: All of us.

Picture 7: Just the two of us.

Picture 8: In the hot tub we took refuge in every night

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

They fill me with Joy

A peak into how we spent the first weekend of 2009. We had a pirate-color party with the Lovewell kids (check out some former posts here and here). It's complicated kid stuff- you wouldn't understand : )