Way back in October, we had some very special guests. Neil called up a few months earlier saying that he wanted to come visit us. He said that maybe Michael would want to come along too.
We met Neil and Michael back in our Phoenix days. Joel and I visited a church a few times (had great friends there already...Kara and Gabrielle...both girls were part of my accountable group while there in Phoenix) before we found Hope Chapel (our home church in Phoenix...we also spent time at another fantastic church there, Vineyard Christian Church). We met Neil and Michael there.
Michael was the worship leader there. He is seriously our favorite worship leader of all time. We felt an immediate connection with him and his wife, Karen, even before we ever met. It was amazing.
Neil and his wife, Teresa, were always on the front row with their son, Jacob. Such sweet, generous, loving hearts they have. We felt a special bond with them too.
When Neil called to say that they were interested in coming, we were thrilled. Very, very excited!!
They were such an encouragement to us!!!! It was so wonderful having them here. At first, I wasn't sure what to expect. There were no mission trips, no projects going on with Asas. What were we going to do with them? :) But, it all happened just as it should and everything fell into place. They both went to Asas a few times to help Joel and the guys there. Neil spoke at the seminary here once...and also at our home group. Michael led worship at the Asas devotional meeting...and also led me, Joel, and Neil in some worship at our house one night...in ENGLISH! :) It was SO VERY refreshing and needed.
We were in the middle of packing up to move and these guys just jumped right in to do whatever was needed. They helped move boxes and furniture. They helped build things. They even fed the children and cleaned up the kitchen...alot! And the kids adored them (Neil is the father of 4 himself and Michael has 7 (!) children).
Anyway, it was such a great, great time...we loved every minute and hated to see them leave. You know how sometimes when people come to visit, you love it, but then after a while, you know that it's time for everyone to get back to their routines and daily lives...and for your visitors to go. Not the case with Neil and Michael (or, Uncle Chu Chu...the kids' nickname for him)...seriously, they could've stayed forever.
We had such a great time with you guys! Karen and Teresa...thanks for letting them come to help and encourage us...mission accomplished! Kiddos at home...thanks for giving up your dads for a while. And ALL of you need to come next time, right? ;)
Here are some pictures and video of their time here. Unfortunately, remember when our computer crashed right after we moved to the apartment and we lost some of our pictures? Some of the Neil and Michael pictures and videos were lost, including when Neil spoke, when Michael led worship, when we took them to Salto Corumba, when we went to the churrascaria, when they went flying with Joel, helping to remodel our bed, helping to build some bookshelves, a group shot of us at the airport, and a really sweet picture of Neil and his favorite Ebersole (Cass). ;) But, here is what we do have. Enjoy!
1. The morning after they arrived.
2. Michael was a tad bit jet-lagged.
3. Helping turn wrenches at the hangar.
4. Michael repairing Joel's guitar.
5. He had lots of help. :)
7. Helping move the kids' gargantuan bunk bed.
8. At the churrasco we had while they were here. I think they liked churrasco.
Video #1: 10-16-08 Michael was fixing Joel's guitar for him. He got lots of help. I'm thinking he's used to it though...he's a father of 7. He told the kids to say, 'Come on, Baby' in order for the parts to come off the guitar...that's what you hear them saying.
Video #2: 10-17-08 After a churrasco the night before, we scrubbed down the porch really good. The kids got a kick out of the suds on the tile. Joel and his siblings used to do this when they were little too...fun.
And now, just for you, Michael...LOTS AND LOTS of pictures (just thought your family might enjoy the play by play since they weren't here)...of ALL FOUR of your slides. To view the picture bigger, just click on it. If you want to save it to your computer, just right click on it. Fun stuff, right?