Apr 01

April Fool’s!

I’ve sat down to write several blogs over the past several weeks. And, while I have gotten a few written, I never got to the publishing stage. They’ve all been of the serious nature, with my starting work in the office at Compass Aviation, our trip to Ohio to visit supporters, and various other topics. So, maybe one day I will go back and revisit one of them with the intent to actually share them with you, but today will not be that day.

Today, I’m going to tell you a little bit about the fun we had in the hangar this morning. As you are aware, it is April 1st today, or April Fool’s Day. I had seen on Pinterest several weeks ago, a great idea I decided we needed to try.

So, here’s what we did.

Brown-Es

We made “Brown-E”s for break time.

It was a great trick. No one had a clue (well, except Sarah who had also seen the picture on Pinterest before, but she didn’t give us away). It’s been good for several more laughs, even after the initial one with the team at break time!

So, there you have it. Next year if you are looking for a good prank (or some other time when no one would expect it), here’s an idea. Of course, I can’t take credit for the original idea, but I can verify that it will get some chuckles if you try it.

It’s not all fun and games in the hangar. The team is busy stripping an airplane of its paint so they can repaint it in the coming days. It’s a big, messy, smelly process, but the end results will be worth all the trouble today.

Thank you for continuing to support us and pray for us. We are blessed to be part of Compass Aviation and look forward to many more fun days (and busy days) in the coming months.

Smile 

Esther

Feb 13

Winter wonderland

Notice

I started writing this post on Monday before Snowmageddon

5 years ago I moved to the US and experienced my first Ohio winter. Within a few weeks I’d seen the coldest temperatures I’d ever seen and enjoyed more snow than ever before.

IMG_0179see this post for more details:

Most people were surprised when I explained that English winters, particularly in Preston, are wet and the temperatures hover around freezing. Thus when we do have snow it doesn’t last and we end up with more wet.

Now that we have moved south to North Carolina I am experiencing another winter, this is more like an English winter. Let me show you 2 photo’s:

Snow first thing

This was taken first thing in the morning after a snowfall.

This was taken 4 hours later at midday!

This was taken 4 hours later at midday!

See winter snows in North Carolina are the same as Lancashire snows. They look pretty but blink and they have melted!

Important!

Ok so most of that is now irrelevant due to the past 24 hours and 8 inches of snow.

Here’s some photo’s from this round of snow:

IMG_0043IMG_0044We are staying warm and having fun, see our Facebook page for fun videos.

Feb 04

Homesickness

Being homesick really is a strange and funny thing. Not “ha ha” funny, but just plain weird. I mean, really, we have been here a year and a few months now, this should be “home,” right? I certainly feel like it should be. I hate that I STILL suffer from being homesick. I feel like at this point in my life, I should be past that. I should be better than that. But, here I am.

I thought I might share how homesickness affects me. It’s not been the same every time. Early on in our living in a new place, I found it affected me just in the frustration of not knowing where anything was. I no longer knew the best place to get meat or which doctors I should (or should not) see. Wal-Mart was different, and honestly it still is. I would see people who would remind me of friends back home. I knew no one. But, all those things I expected. I knew that stage would last a while, and I knew from Andy’s experience that it would come and go (especially around the 6-9 month mark).

What I didn’t know is that almost 16 months in, that there would be new things. In the past week, it has been that I have missed my Ohio kitchen. Andy worked so hard on it, completely gutting it and putting it back together, way better than the original. The worst part for me though has been that we did not take any photos of the completed room. I have searched for HOURS this week trying to find just a glimpse. Why? I have no good answer, except that I think it’s just part of this stage.

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My house in Ohio was special. I was 25 and bought my first house. On my own. As a young woman. It was a huge step in my life. It will always be special. I will always cherish the memories made with friends and family there. The gatherings, the fun, the laughter, the tears, the long talks with good friends. All of those mean more than the walls and floors that made up the structure.

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So, as I was searching for photos, I had the chance to go back and revisit some of those times. I found many photos with friends and smiles. While I didn’t necessarily find what I thought I was looking for, I found so much more. I had the opportunity to remember and thank God for the blessing that my little house was at that point in my life.

So, here I am. Still missing my kitchen a little. Yet, so thankful for all that God has blessed me with over the years. Thankful for memories. Thankful for friends. Thankful to be here in Shelby. Even thankful for homesickness, it helps me remember those blessings. It’s not always easy. Sometimes I want to pack up and move right back up north (well, not just now…it’s been a really rough winter there, and while I enjoy the snow, I’m glad not to have much of it). Sometimes I wonder if we are out of our minds to be here, serving with Compass (just keeping it real). But then, something happens that reminds me that we are exactly where God wants us to be, doing exactly what He has called us to do at this time in life.

So if you are going through a wave of homesickness, don’t give up. You will make it. If you need to talk, or would like me to pray with you, get in touch with me. I know that place. I still have those times. We may not suffer exactly the same, but I’d be happy to try to encourage you through.

If you know someone who may have moved (even if it’s not so recently), would you do me a favor and check in with them? They may be battling homesickness and you don’t even know it. Pray for them. Spend a little time with them. Offer to show them around or show them something new (a local restaurant they may not have tried otherwise, a store that has a great selection of _____________, you know…any of those things). You could be a huge blessing to them today.

Ok, I’ve rambled long enough for now. Thanks to those of you who have loved on me, even through the dark times. Thanks for praying for me and not letting me fly under the radar. You bless my life so very much.

Jan 15

The Holidays in Photos

So, I know we’ve been a bit absent on our blog over the past few months. Part of that is because we’ve been really busy with trying to keep water out of our crawl space in the new house, we traveled to Ohio for an extra-long weekend in December to celebrate Christmas with my family, we’ve been planning, attending and just “doing” all the holiday stuff; but part of it is we just haven’t made blogging a priority. Hopefully, we can change that going forward, but I know there is a good chance that may not happen. Thanks for sticking with us and reading our infrequent posts anyway.

So, enough of all that. I thought I would share with you what we’ve been up to over the past two or three months through photos.

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Early in November, the Compass family gathered at a friend of the mission’s for a bonfire evening. We had food, fellowship, music, laughter, and a short devotional thought. It was a blessing for all of us to get to be together for the evening.

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Also, November found us back at Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg, Tennessee, in the same cabin we had rented in April when we went with Andy’s parents. This time, my family met us there, and our good friends, Mark and Tina went with us. We had a great time exploring Gatlinburg, seeing Dollywood at Christmas, and enjoying good food and fun!

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Thanksgiving was spent with friends from church and a family that they are good friends with. We had only met those friends once, but they invited us in and shared Thanksgiving with us. We had a delicious dinner and enjoyed pouring over the “Black Friday” ads as well as playing a game together.

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We had a fabulous time playing in the snow while we were in Ohio mid-December. We were glad to have enough snow to play in (even though our snowman looks sad).

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We shared gifts with my parents while we were there, dad got his traditional TastyKakes, they got new luggage, and we got the start of a new aquarium for our new house (pictures of that will happen soon).

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We went to visit my brother, Mike. We had pizza (of course – it’s the only thing he ever wants when we see him), and we had even more gifts!

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Christmas Eve, we celebrated in North Carolina, with the traditional evening of Christmas Eve service and pizza for dinner. Some things will probably never change. Winking smile

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Christmas day was pretty relaxed. We had a few small gifts for each other (and one from Andy’s parents even arrived with a little help from an elf or two), and then worked together to prepare our first turkey! It was a bit strange just being on our own for Christmas, but we really did enjoy a little “down-time” as I had to work every other day that week.

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We rang 2014 in in style. We celebrated the New Year at 7pm our time, as it would be the New Year in the UK (and we did not really want to stay up til midnight). New Year’s Day, Andy cooked a roast for us after I got off work and once again, the Christmas Crackers made an appearance.

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Finally, we had a great visit with friends following the New Year. We hadn’t seen them much in 2013, even though they’re about an hour and a half away, so our visit was extra special. They are a wonderful family and we enjoyed our time together, though it was WAY too short!

Wow. Looking back, we really did get up to quite a lot over the past couple of months. I didn’t have any photos from the Compass Christmas Celebration, but that was in December as well.

Thank you all for continuing to pray for us, to encourage us, and to bless us with your friendship. We are so thankful for each of you. We are looking forward to seeing what 2014 brings for us personally, as well as for us here in Shelby and at Compass Aviation.

Oct 24

Leaving a Legacy

A couple of weeks ago, Andy and I had the privilege of attending a memorial service of a man we had never met. But, while we had never met him, we saw the legacy he left through his family. We are friends with his son and daughter-in-law and their family. And the things we heard about him that day struck a cord deep inside of me. It’s a thought I have not been able to get out of my head over the past couple of weeks. From the words we heard his family and friends share, he was a somewhat reserved man, but he worked hard, loved his family, and served the Lord. He was a man who truly lived a life that exemplified Jesus Christ.

He left a legacy.

I want to leave a legacy.

I don’t need to be a super-star. But, I need to serve Jesus Christ in everything I do in this life. I want my life to be about more than the size of my bank account, retirement account, house, or jeans. I want this life I am living to matter. It’s not enough for me to just be saved and living in this world. I want to transform my world. One life at a time. I want to be willing. No matter what that may lead to in the future. I want to be available.

I haven’t gotten it right most of the time. I probably will still not get it right most of the time from now on, but I want to strive toward that goal. I want my life to reflect the Son. Today. Tomorrow. For as many days as I am given.

So here it is, a public declaration sharing that I want my life to count. I want to make a difference, even if it’s just a small one. I want to grow a little more every day into the person God is calling me to be.

Will you pray for me? It’s not always going to be easy. But, I know that it is so worth it.

I want to challenge you to strive to leave a legacy. You will get it wrong some days. But, others you will get it right. And, the One who created you knows that and loves you anyway. He’s asking you to transform your world, one life at a time.

 

 

 

 

Transformation has been the theme of the messages Pastor Rob has been sharing with us at Zoar Church (you can find those messages here).

Oct 19

Year In Review

Exactly one year ago today, we were arriving in Shelby after a long drive. Andy had been in a Penske 24 foot moving truck, and I had been driving our car. My dad was with Andy, my mom with me, and a couple from our church drove down with us. It was a hard day. I had left the house I bought on my own a few years before. Leaving all that I had known for just over 30 years. I was moving to a place where we really didn’t know anyone (except maybe a few people we had met in the previous trips to visit Compass).

It was a Friday we arrived. We unpacked only our bed and the air mattress for my parents to sleep on and maybe the sofa to sit on for Friday evening. The next day, we went up to the Shelby Fly-In, where Compass was serving lunches and spending time with the community sharing the ministry. My mom and I stayed maybe 20 minutes before I needed to go. I was overwhelmed. Stressed out. I had an apartment to clean so we could move everything in that afternoon.

Fast-forward one year. Today we were at the Shelby Airport Fly-In. We were involved in sharing about Compass Aviation. We are part of this team. Shelby has become “home”. We are settled into our new house. God has been so faithful.

We’ve put together a short clip of photos of some of the things we’ve done over the year. Take a few minutes to check it out.

 

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We could not be here doing what we are doing without you. We are so thankful for your prayers. Your encouragement. Your support. Thank you for blessing us and helping us to bless others. God is using each of you in vital ways in this ministry. We would greatly appreciate your prayers and support as we begin the next year of ministry here at Compass.

Jul 10

Moving House (Again…)

Well, if you took time to read our monthly update, you know that we are moving again. Not a far move, but this move will be into a home that will be a long-term place for us here in Shelby. When we moved here, we both believed that this would be “home” for us for the forseeable future. We also planned to purchase a house here, but at the time didn’t know anything about the area, making decisions about where to purchase a house very difficult.

We finally felt like we should begin house hunting a couple of months ago. I had been checking the Realtor app once a week or so since we arrived (and even before moving here). We visited three houses, the same number I saw before buying my home in Ohio five or six years ago. We were looking at foreclosures because it seemed like a great way to get more house for less money.

Anyway, here’s the one we found and are going to get to make our home together.

Webb Road Exterior

We are both so excited because this will finally be “Our House”. Let me explain. Andy owned his own home in the UK before moving to the US. I owned my own home in Ohio. He moved into my house after we got married, but it was still very much “My House”. Now, we have a chance to make a house our home together and we are both just super excited about that.

Moving to Shelby was very difficult for me. Just ask Andy. I was not in the best state of mind at the time. I was leaving everything I had loved since I was young. My hometown. My church. My friends. My first house. I was so unhappy about leaving all of those. It was one of the lowest moments of my life. Andy pretty much single-handedly had to pack up our house to make the move here. I could not have asked for a more patient and gracious husband. He walked with me during those days, never complaining, never being angry, just showing me love through every step. He was showing me Jesus each and every day and I will be forever grateful.

Now, as we look forward to our new home together, I am looking to the future with excitement and anticipation. I am still feeling a bit anxious as it is overwhelming to know that we will be homeowners again with all that that entails (think finances, repairs, renovations, etc.). But, we trust that God has brought us to Shelby and will continue to use us here as long as we continue to seek Him.

 

Thank you for your continued support, encouragement and prayers. We have been blessed beyond measure by those who continue to stand alongside us on this journey.

Jun 14

A Surprise Visit!

Last weekend some of our friends from Ohio hit the road, heading toward a beach in Georgia. That meant, they were traveling straight down I-77! You might be wondering why that might make us excited, well…let me tell you. We live about 45 minutes from I-77 in Charlotte, North Carolina. That’s just a quick trip, that last Saturday meant we were able to visit with our good friends from Coshocton! How exciting.

Thankfully, I had a Saturday off work, so we decided where we would meet and shortly after, we were headed out to see friends that we hadn’t seen in over 6 months! And they as a family, have had a lot going on in life. We have been praying for Tom as he’s had surgery to remove some cancer just a few weeks ago. We were so glad to see him looking so well after all he’s been through!

Warner Visit

Tom and Andy

Esther and Liedtke Girls

Esther and the girls

Warners 2Warners

Us with the whole crew

(well, Leslie isn’t in the left picture because she was taking it and Chelle isn’t in the right one for the same reason)

This group of people have been very special to us. I have known these young ladies since they were just 18 months old and now they’re 10 and 5th graders! It was great to just sit and chat almost as though no time had passed. It was a great encouragement to us to have the chance to see them and to see just how God has been continuing to work in their lives. Thankful that God continues to restore health to Tom and that they had the opportunity to spend some time away together as a family.

We are thankful for impromptu visits with friends. If you ever travel down Interstate 77, please get in touch with us! We can give you a place to stop over for a few nights or just meet up for a quick meal or coffee. We’d love to see you!

May 09

The Six-Month Blues?

It’s hard to believe we’ve been living in Shelby for just over six months now. It has been a transition with ups and downs, good times and hard times, but for the most part things have gone well. Or they were, until the last week or so.

I was expecting the slump. I remember Andy going through some of these feelings after he had been in Ohio for about six months. Even though I had seen someone else go through it, and was expecting it, this last week it has hit me pretty hard. I’ve wanted to go “home”, even though this really is home now. I’m not really missing friends (I am missing my parents a lot), but more just the feelings of things being “normal”. In Ohio, I knew where to go for almost anything I needed – even if it meant I had to drive a long way to get those things – I still knew where they were. Here, I am still learning. Trying to figure out where we should go to the doctor, how to get meats and other grocery items, where to take the car to get repairs done, etc. It’s been challenging. It makes me tired.

Why do I tell you all this today? Maybe you are not facing a big move, but maybe you know someone who is? Maybe you have met a new neighbor who has moved several states with their family and are now in a brand new town? Know that there might be a time when they face these same feelings and emotions. Pray for them. Hug them. Send a note to encourage them. Offer to be the friend they can call and ask questions and find out all the important things about their new town. Just be sensitive. Hug them. Let them cry if they need to. Hug them. Let them express their frustration. Have I mentioned, hug them?

I am so thankful for the friends God has put in my life here in Shelby. I’m thankful for my friends across the world. Those who have sent notes (mailed hugs), called to encourage me, helped with this transition process. So, if you have the chance, give the new person in your life a hug today.

Feb 21

Mission Aviation : who does it?

Sorry for the delay in the next in the series on mission, I’ve been busy in the hangar.

Over the past month I’ve been blogging about Mission Aviation, what is it and why use planes. So who would do that then? Pilot’s of course! But it involves more than just the drivers of the plane.

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Like cars planes breakdown and need fixing, that’s where mechanics or engineers come in!

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But then you need someone to check the work, a chief inspector.

You also need to make sure you are following best procedures, a quality manager.

With so many parts inside an aircraft you may also need a parts or inventory specialist.

 

That’s just the list of jobs it takes to maintain the aircraft.

What about putting fuel and cargo in the plane, ground handling personnel.

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Then there’s the place that  you operate from, that needs a base manager.

Everyone knows that computers are vital now, so you will need an IT support officer.

How do you know the location of the planes while they are out flying, that’s flight following’s job.

Also people can’t just turn up and expect a flight to their destination, that’s the bookings manager.

Finally you will need to get people to and from the plane so you’ll probably need a transport mechanic for the trucks.

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I think that all the jobs are like the workings of an aero engine. The propeller won’t turn unless all the parts are there. The same for Mission Aviation, unless there is a vast array of skilled and talented people the Gospel will not be taken to the end of the earth.

So how do you become a part of this amazing work? That’s the next topic!

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