Wednesday, November 11, 2015

On this Veteran's Day



I don't know too many people personally that have gone to war for me.

Although I do have some family members who have served in the armed forces.

Cousins.

Uncles.

Grandpa.



My dad.

I think that is that one that strikes me the most.  Even though my dad didn't know me yet as he signed up to go fight a war.

To leave family and security behind.

To trade it for nightmarish reminders and medical affliction that still plague him today.

I don't know all the reasons behind why he signed up.  But I believe he was wanting to see freedom for others who did not have it.  Freedom that he enjoyed here in America.

He went, along with many, many others to fight a controversial war.

I don't know many details.  As one could guess, my dad doesn't share too many of the stories of his time oversees in uniform.  But that's OK.  I've seen him suffer physically over the last 30+ years to know that all things were not pleasant.

My dad was exposed to disease and toxic gases while serving this country.  Things that followed him home.

I know there are countless other veterans who have and are suffering like my dad.  Their sacrifice for this country did not end when their feet once again touched this American soil.  Their sacrifice continues, follows them around daily.  Physically, mentally.

I don't say all this evoke pity.  I don't think my dad, or other veterans necessarily want that.

But I want to stir appreciation.

I know there are some who do not always agree with all that Armed Forces are doing or have done.  But regardless, these people sacrificed their lives, then and now, for each of our freedom.

The least we can do is say "Thank you."

*a repost from November 2012

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Tin for Tikes: helping out Zambians in need


 Our good friends in Zambia, Erik and Carrie, work closely with single mothers on their strawberry farm that they run.  Yesterday, they put out a plea for help.  To help these women have decent roofs over their heads and their childrens'.

 
Below is portions on their request:

"Boss, can I have this piece of plastic?"  "Sir, are you going to use that cardboard box?"

I can tell rainy season is right around the corner.  Every year, the ladies on the farm start patching up their roofs for rainy season.  And every year, I give them what the farm can spare so they can stay dry.  In the 4-5 months of rainy season, our area of Zambia will get OVER 3 FEET of rain.  We need it to get through the other months of hot, dry weather.  But, it presents some pretty big challenges for our workers.

In addition to the natural  increase in malaria in rainy season, they deal with wet houses.  Their roofs are a collection of tin sheets, asbestos tiles, cardboard, plastic, feed bags, or whatever might shed water.  Often, the kids go to bed wet and cold.

This year, God has put it on our hearts to start building proper roofs on their houses before rainy season really gets going.  We were talking about how they come every year trying to patch roofs that can't be patched any more.  Carrie and I want to provide a more permanent solution.

I have a Chinese friend who provides roofing sheets and has agreed to help me by providing them at a discount.  A few weeks ago, this young man came to church for the first time in his life and has since come back to hear more.  I am excited about the partnership with him and the opportunity it provides to share the Gospel with him.

I measured the house of one of our farm ladies and I estimated that we could completely replace her roof with new tin sheets for about $500.  Since most of the houses are roughly the same size, I think we can do them all for this amount.

Would you be willing to pray about helping to fund a roof for a widow and her family?  Our goal is to start with 8 houses and see if we can do more if possible.

An interesting note:  My Chinese friend, Ali. only has green roof sheets.  How interesting it will be in the future to get on Google Earth and see all the green roofs dotting the compound.  It should be an easy way to see where our workers live.

 
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There is a way you can help!  Click on the link below, give any amount small or large, and it all goes to roofs for these impoverished families.
  https://www.lifesongfororphans.org/give/donate/special-projects-donation-page/?project_choice=13


From the Wiegands and the Zambians: Thank you! 

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

October Lookback

It's no secret around here that October is my favorite month.

It does not contain my birthday or anniversary. 

But it contains the season I love the most.  Autumn: it appeals to all the senses.

In the midst of enjoying the beautiful fall weather and colors and smells and sounds, we managed to pack a lot into the 31 days.

And thankfully I had my camera out to catch quite a bit of it along the way...

 Though we had a few dips into freezing temperatures, we also had some pretty warm days.  Managed to make it through the month without having to fire up the furnace or woodstove.

 But the warm weather confused a few things and our crab apple started blooming again.  Don't know what that means for next spring.

 Owen did another season of Fall Baseball

 Enjoyed the way morning light comes in the side door window

 Got together for the Annual Columbus Day weekend bash.
A few birthdays were celebrated as well.


 The girls love holding the younger cousins, despite the fact that the younger cousins DO NOT want to be held


A few days later, celebrating Owen at home

 The kids' school has a semi-annual roller skating party.  Everyone else skates...and I take the pictures and try to keep my toes from getting run over.

October of course brings the Columbus Marathon.  It's looked forward to with much anticipation for a variety of reasons.  A weekend away with just Paul, plus the exhileration of finishing the race, as well as raising money and showing support for Nationwide Children's Hospital.

To top it all off, Paul ran a qualifying time for Boston.  Chances are slim that he will actually be able to run at Boston, but he qualified none the less!

October also brings Gandparents Day at the kids school.  The kids look forward to this for months beforehand.  Program in the morning, an entire afternoon spent doing whatever they want with grandparents - who wouldn't want to do that?!

With the pleasant weather we were able to do a few "campfires" and several evening walks.  
Soaking up Autumn.




 To end the month, we took a weekend road trip to Nashville, TN with some friends.
2 nights in a hotel with a pool, hiking in the hills, and hanging out in the hallway while our kids went tosleep (this led to us meeting a group of 11 year olds who were quite interested in our lives and ended with them doing a dance routine for us in the hallway at 10:30 at night...)



October didn't disappoint. 

And now we head into November and the beginning of family get-togethers, delicious food, cozy nights under lots of blankets.

Sounds delightful to me.