my Wheaton cousins

•September 28, 2008 • 1 Comment

in the Stupe at Wheaton: Seattle-born Javan Miner with girlfriend Jen, New Jersey-born Carol Miner

together again

•September 23, 2008 • Leave a Comment

Together with Nate & Naphtali Mitten (Craig’s fellow Engineering buddy from Messiah) and Tom & Betsy Gill (formerly with ECHO) at our 2 night stopover in Gainesville, FL.

Craig and I are globe trotting. Here are some snaps of our time together in these past weeks. Still wedding planning, still beginning stages of support raising & communicating as we learn more about Mozambique….

When we were with my siblings in Port Orchard, Washington in August, Craig said I wouldn’t shave my head in a million years. Well, to prove him wrong (and a couple other reasons!), my brother-in-law & I got to work fast….

Kenyan food with “Kenyans” at New Mission Systems International in Fort Myers, Florida.

We had time for Twister with my Five Cousins (+spouses) in Barnesville, Georgia – courtesy of Ginny & Bobby Passmore. And the ping pong ball game which no one has heard of but Hawkins.

My Five Georgia Cousins: Melinda, James, Kristy, Ashley, Jordan

ECHO Global Farm

•September 8, 2008 • Leave a Comment

Craig and I are in Fort Myers, Florida right now. We’ve been the past 8 days at New Mission Systems International at the Center for Global Outreach…meeting people (myself) & discussing future ideas about Mozambique. To be frank, it’s become a reaffiliation with NMSI after my disaffiliation from World Harvest. I’ve had a lot of exhaustive introductions, tours, meetings, discussions….I’m glad I’ve renamed the blog While in Transition because more than ever, my life seems to be consumed by this ‘in-limbo’ transitional phase that mainly consists of preparations. Craiggers too. Spiritual, emotional preparations for: leaving Uganda & WHM, for marriage, for missions in Mozambique, for the wedding & months following the wedding.

John 12:35-36, “The man who walks in the dark does not know where he is going. Put your trust in the light while you have it, so that you may become sons of light.”


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After a short afternoon Saturday here with Craig’s friends the Cotarelos (recently returned from 10 yrs in Senegal) which included a short tour for me of the Global Farm…Craig & I had lunch with Martin & Bonnie Price yesterday after church. Dr. Price and his wife were co-founders, sort of, of ECHO which is a global farm in Ft. Myers that exists to network & source solutions for world hunger. Craig spent a year & half here as an intern in 05-06; Echo being where he received the bulk of his agricultural knowledge. He worked in the tropical nursery.

Anyway, the Prices have a neat story, ECHO has a neat story.


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http://www.echonet.org/echostory.htm

It’s been fun to see here what I saw so commonly in Uganda: ebitooke (banana), soy beans, jackfruit, paw paw, mango, passion fruit, sugar cane…so much! The following is a year old post from the ECHO blog, but it’s a good example of why & how ECHO exists: ECHO Sends Fruit Trees to Ethiopia

Vancouver Island & Port Orchard, WA

•September 4, 2008 • Leave a Comment


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My uncle Bill builds boats. Snoopy is sleek, bright, and fast. I don’t know how fast Snoopy can go but my 23 cousins and I grew up fascinated by this aluminum model boat our Uncle built. It was good to my heart to see it still sitting outside the boat shop in Duncan, BC.


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Triple Treat is a trimaran. In this picture it is missing it’s hulls (or, amas), which look like wings. Pretty impressive boat it is. My grampa and Uncle Bill built it together. Hopefully my Aunt Joyce & Uncle Allen (Panama) will be able to get the Treat down to their seas so it can be in water.


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Uncle Bill follows my mom in age, #5 of 7.


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I don’t know what some of these machines are called but Uncle Bill uses them to bend & cut aluminum.


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I like to think of Uncle Bill as a craftsman. His craft is boat construction and he is skilled in building with aluminum materials. If you are fascinated by Uncle Bill and aluminum boats, check out Chief Lapstreak Aluminum Boats.


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Grampa takes care of his fruit trees and clematis at the ’40 acres’ in Duncan, BC.


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Your turn, Dad. Just like old times, Uncle Bill took us out for skiing at Lake Cowichan on Vancouver Island. Even brother-in-law Kyle got up. We enjoyed seeing Mom (I won’t publish her age but know that she is still a very ‘young’ Mom Hawkins) ski ‘one last time’; a throwback to her younger days with her 6 other siblings in Big Bay, BC.


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If you’re looking for a place to vacation/tour, I highly recommend Vancouver Island, BC. So much to discover there and I’m not just saying that because I had the pleasures of spending summers growing up there. It is truly truly beautiful and I much prefer it to NC in the summer.
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Uncle Bert follows my Aunt Joyce in age, #7 of 7 in my mom’s family and pictured here are 3 of his 4 children in Port Orchard, WA at their bay house. My cousin Jonathan who I got to see infrequently in Wheaton in 2006 was on his way out of Lusaka, Zambia during this time.  Rebekah, Javan, and Joel showed us their oysters they are harvesting. We walked on the pebbly/rocky beach and gasped in glee at big crabs (again, just like days of our youth).
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I didn’t get a snap next to beautiful Rebekah with her long hair after my head shave because that would’ve been too dramatic. She is working as a nurse in Tacoma.
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A picnic rendezvous with Karen Mulle Friesen and John in a park south of Puget Sound. Kyle ‘bumped’ into Karen at Regent College in Vancouver City. She says YES with fervor; she is coming to Durham in December.

We were half of us (Hawkins immediate family) in Port Orchard, WA for a week or so to see Matt & Hannah’s new house and laugh at 12 month old nephew Phillip growling and walking. Matt works in Bremerton, WA at the naval base.

from my English student

•July 21, 2008 • Leave a Comment
Dear Miss Rachel,
Here are two Haiku’s for you that I did in school.

Wind
Whipping my hair back,
Swirling my skirts around me,
Wind lifts my spirits.

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When I wrote this haiku, I thought of that day when you and I stood on the compound with the wind swirling around us. Our faces lifted to the sky. The leaves, swirling around our legs. You, with that great big smile on your face.

Tree

Swaying in the breeze,
Bringing shade on a hot day,
Beautiful green tree.

This one I wrote just looking out the window and thinking about a tree.

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When did I become misled?

•July 18, 2008 • 2 Comments

Somewhere between Uganda and America, I became misled. Maybe it was British Airways. Maybe it was me.

I’m enduring a hard week. My life is shifted upside down with being back in North Carolina, traveling everywhere, planning a wedding, pre-marital counseling with Craig, doctor visits, family responsibilities, scheduling week to week between now & December with Craig, more wedding planning. Kevin Bartkovich, fellow missionary, and I struggled a few minutes this afternoon trying to recall the term for a missionary returning stateside (not repatriation)…A healthy “re-entry” has been pushed to the wayside. It’s all been much for me and I don’t hesitate to confess how hard my heart has been.

Every day I miss Uganda. My friend & old roommate Katy updated her blog a day or so ago and wrote this, “I am overwhelmed and sinking with all that I have yet to deal with and grieve.” I echo those sentiments. A lot of what I feel seems to be so deep deep deep that if this common question were posed one more time, “How is it being back?” a fiery dragon breath would strike that questioner fiercely. This morning I spent a solid hour begging God to restore me. Faced with changes and after recent days of upheaval in my heart, I thought I’d force myself into a place of rest where I might feel. I read Psalm 52-58. It’s taken a lot of conviction by and through the Spirit to see where and why my heart has been hard…the lack of joy….sadly, how it is manifested in relationships with people who are close to me and receive the hurt of my stubbornness. I want to say that it was easier to live a life of steady goodness in Uganda. But that isn’t the truth, as, if anything, my time there aided in revealing all the ways that I am a steady sinner.

I find, however, that it makes me feel better to say that life in Uganda was richer, fuller, better, than life in America.
So, this is where I am just now. Still in need of restoration, slowly stretching my brown branches towards the light of the sun for warmth and life. I thought I’d try a new version this morning (meaning other than NLT or The Message):

“But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God; I trust in and confidently rely on the loving-kindness and the mercy of God forever and ever. I will thank You and confide in You forever, because You have done it [delivered me and kept me safe]. I will wait on, hope in and expect in Your name, for it is good, in the presence of Your saints (Your kind and pious ones).” Psalm 52:8-9, Amplified Bible.

This boast of David became the words of a prayer I prayed this morning…praying that my eyes would not be deluded from seeing God’s mercies in these heavy & hard days.

Below is a poem by Denise Levertov, The Broken Sandal. I first loved it because I have broken the thongs of my sandals before while walking in Fort Portal, once in the market where I hobbled to the nearest motorcycle to ride back home. In Uganda, walking barefoot would have meant admitting to the country my poverty. I fell into that cultural viewpoint easily, wanting to escape shame rather than continue with where I was going, to the beans or zucchini. But I think Levertov’s point is that without the thong on the sandal, one cannot walk. Without my constant-rejoicing-reliance on God’s mercies, I sink. Just now I’d rather not remain sunk, either at a stand-still or dangerously close to obstructing the path of others on their way to the bright light of joy in their day.

The Broken Sandal

Dreamed the thong of my sandal broke.
Nothing to hold it to my foot.
How shall I walk?
Barefoot?
The sharp stones, the dirt. I would
hobble.
And–
Where was I going?
Where was I going I can’t
go to now, unless hurting?
Where am I standing, if I’m
to stand still now?

By Denise Levertov

“Whatever is good and perfect comes down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in theheavens. He never changes or casts a shifting shadow. He chose to give birth to us by giving us his true word. And we, out of all creation, became his prized possession.” James 1:16-18

baltimore friends

•July 10, 2008 • Leave a Comment

the beautiful Wilsons dropped by for several hours enroute from Beaufort back to Towson. And beautiful they are, as well as funny & talented. what can I say…they’re extended family!!

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