Sunday, January 16, 2011

...don't toss it out...send it and bless em!

Had a great thing happen on Saturday. I went to the mailbox! Now that is monumental around here! I haven't seen anyone in Jamaica with a mailbox outside their house. Post offices hold everybody's mail. You can rent a little space street side, accessible anytime, day or night, or if you don't rent a box you stand in line. A clerk pulls out your last name initial bundle and you can wait for a looooooong time for her to find your mail. The line will wind out the door most times of the day.

But the reason post office visits are few and far between is that finding a place to park is impossible. If I am alone I have to get at least somewhat close for other potential problems that I won't mention here, so, to say the least, I usually don't worry about the mail too much. Most of the time if we do get mail it is usually for the landlord!

But Saturday...well, the reason I went was to check and see if a Christmas card arrived that a friend sent from the states on December 7. That card wasn't there but something really special was!

We started our ministry in Illinois and that is where Den was licensed with the Assemblies of God, but shortly after that sojourn we found ourselves in a church that was meant for us! We Pennsylvanians, fit into New England and spent most of our ministry there.

Back to the Post Office. We received a letter from a dear friend who was part of the ministry of Christian Life Center. Joyce retired this past fall from her employment and found herself at home full time. Being home more now, she is going through things that have collected and instead of throwing out this treasure, she sent it to us! She wrote this for our farewell many years ago. When I look at even the paper it is copied on, my mind immediately traveled back to the CLC office, the copier room, the pink paper we used for so many things. My memory walked through the offices, the foyer, Den's "Snoopy" office, the sanctuary, the beautifully muraled nurseries. So many things drifted into my mind over a beautiful piece of mail.

For those of you who have heard about our CLC days you will laugh. For those of you who experienced those years with us, you will be brought back to those days when everything seemed so RIGHT. Enjoy and...thanks Joyce, you made our day!

Debby and Denny...
They're from CLC
She plays the piano
Youth Pastor is he.

We love them both so
They've been here five years
But now they must leave
We will shed many tears.

We've all been so blessed
By the things they have done
Their work with the youth
And the souls they have won.

They both went to Zion
A Rhode Island place
And before that, the Air Force
Was Denny's home base.

The state of Pennsylvanis
Was birthplace for the two
In small towns alike
They were raised in a pew.

Six brothers, Two sisters
Was Denny's large clan
With two each for Debby
The Hall household ran.

They came here to Walpole
From a town in Illinois
Their ministry since that time
Has truly been a joy.

They worked so very hard
For Speed the Light's big day
While Denny drove around
Deb walked the whole long way!

The Speed the Light Marathons
Were worth all the tears
Since First Place in District
Was ours for all five years.

The puppet group started
Under their watchful eye
Bringing joy to so many
On the very first try.

Those cute little puppets
So funny and bright
"A little bit of Sonshine"
Was shining His light.

Their first trip was special
To Sunbury, PA
Barbados came next
And led them to pray.

Their hearts were so touched
As their next trip was made
That Mexico sunshine
Seemed almost like shade.

And then came Jamaica
The puppets came too
Which all led to Belgium
And a world-wide review.

And speaking of talent
Which is all heaven-sent
Our Denny revised
The Teen Talent event.

As a pastor of youth
Denny sure made the grade
He counselled and nurtured
And perfected his trade.

He's known in the District
As the Youth Leader rep
With ideas and promotions
And energy and pep.

The Youth Staff will tell you
He trains them just right
He always looks forward
To "Youth Alive" night.

And Debby herself
Is quite special, ya know
Her musical talents
Have blessed our hearts so.

"His Own" is the group
Of singers she started
Made up of young teens
Who were so tender-hearted.

They sang for us here
And they traveled around
To nursing hones, churches
And toured with their "sound".

She once taught piano
But stopped such a pity
She then went to work
For our own Dr. Chitty.

She played for the choir
And accompanied them well
And taught little children
To sing clear as a bell.

Well, so much for that
We've told you enough
Of awards and achievements
And all that good stuff.

The time's finally come
To say "see you later"
We know in our hearts
That your next step is greater.

"We love you-We'll miss you"
We say through our tears
But we're praising the Lord
For the last great five years.

And we know He is wiser
For moving you on
To a far greater calling
Even though you'll be gone.

As missionaries now
To a world far away
Please know that our prayers
Will be with you each day.

And as you depart
To the vastness of Spain
We know that our loss
Is that country's gain.

"Good-by and God bless you"
As you tread foreign sod
We say "Vaya con Dios"
May you "Go thou with God".

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Cooking Class - #1

I'm not sure how it happened, but I gave my firstborn his first "Pennsylvania Dutch" cooking lesson. Maybe he has graduation on his mind. Maybe he is thinking of getting his own place soon, maybe he....well maybe he thought it was time to learn how to make a staple in our home for his almost 21 years of life!

I didn't grow up on Pot Pie but as soon as I became a Seler I had to learn fast! My motherinlaw taught me how to make a Seler favorite. I was making pot pie for a long time before I became acquainted with the Cracker Barrel Restaurant where you can get really good Pot Pie. I was making Pot Pie long before I ever had my first dinner in Lancaster where they serve really good Pot Pie.

I have to say I am really proud that I can make it as good as my motherinlaw! At least that's what they tell me! Since I have been a Seler I am forbidden to put pineapple and cloves on my Christmas or Easter baked ham because if I do that I can't make Ham Pot Pie the next day! One can make chicken, turkey, beef Pot Pie, but the all time favorite in our house is ham Pot Pie.

For all of his life, Ryan has watched me make the pot pie squares, but this time I got to watch him and it was a treat! I must say, it sure was delicious and turned out just like Nana Seler would have wanted, not too thick and not too thin! Just right little Bear!

As a matter of fact, during the lesson we talked about Nana alot and sent some messages heavenward hoping that she could see her #14 grandchild receiving his Pot Pie lesson.

Ryan has a few dishes in his repertoire so it was time to have his own apron instead of using his dads!

Monday, January 10, 2011 the Ryan fund.....depleted!

Coming to live in Jamaica in 2008 without Ryan was tough. I have to say going to live anywhere without out one of your "God" gifts is tough. He was in our every thought, our communications, our dreams, and most of all our intercession. The three of us missed him so much, at times it was almost debilitating. You know like times you can't get your breath for the tears of missing someone so much. We have managed with God's help and have grown accustomed to celebrating his accomplishments from afar.

One of the things we did upon moving here was to start a "save the Ryan fund." We began collecting our silver coins in a little piggy bank and every now and then when it got full we would transfer it to the big glass jar. Sometimes when missing Ryan we would pull out the big, glass jar from its' secret hiding place and count it. Little did Ryan know that we were saving and little did he know that he was going to tell us what he wanted to do with it upon his last student vacation here!

One time during one of his VFCC breaks, we told Ryan about the fund and asked him to think about what he would like to do with it. It didn't take him long to tell us that he wanted to go to "The Ruins" in Ocho Rios with it and have a special dinner. After that announcement we knew we would have to get serious about our fund! We saved with intention and discipline. We all couldn't wait to go to "The Ruins." Even missionary friends have contributed to the "save the Ryan fund!"

The first time Denny and I went to "The Ruins" was in 1984 when we brought an AIM team to Jamaica and for our day off took the team to Dunns River Falls and ate dinner at "The Ruins." I remember it being a very special time and the team saying this is where they wanted to either be married or at least honeymoon! It was one of those very special teams and memories in my mind. Funny thing, I never heard that anyone of them returned to "The Ruins" except us!

When we were here in 1984, we would have never imagined moving here in 2008! This was not a place that was on the radar screen of our lives. To think that one of our children would have her high school career here would have really been quite unimaginable but here we are!

This past Christmas break for Ryan was the planned time for us to celebrate and use the "save the Ryan fund." We anticipate him coming back to Jamaica, but the timing will be different. Ryan graduates VFCC in May and will change his status from college student to full time employee, wherever and however God orchestrates. We will not be able to claim him for holidays and school breaks! Seeing him for our last 18 months here could turn out to be this was the appointed time! Oh we were so excited!

On December 27th we loaded up the car with beach paraphernalia, our bags and the "save the Ryan fund." On to Ocho Rios! The second day of our stay found us at "The Ruins" with its cascading falls and beautiful outdoor atmosphere!

Steak is not something that is easily found in Jamaica. We have tried to eat it even at an American establishment like T.G.I.F and it is horrible. We have tried to purchase it from a meat supplier and that is not something we will try again. We stick with chicken. But at "The Ruins," you find none better. Chef Sam Shum knows how to do steak! So Ryan and Den had steak and Renee and I shared the surf and turf. Renee had the turf and I enjoyed my favorite surf..lobster. What a treat. We dined like royalty. From appetizers to desserts and it was all scrumptious!

Ryan has gone back to college and we are into January. I guess as is typical, one ties up all the loose ends from Christmas and gets life back in order! So today we went to the bank to pay our rent and while there Den asked about all this silver! Now that we have spent it we need to make it usable cash! Since we don't have an account here in Jamaica we were finding it impossible to find a bank that would take these coins, might I say, a whole lot of coins! Eventually we found ourselves asking a man in town that sells us watch batteries. "Do you have need of silver, can I sell it to you?" He said that he has so much from people buying things at Christmas time that he couldn't help us. So that got Den to thinking, I guess we could bag it and use it at the grocery store or to get gasoline or even Renee to buy her lunch at school! Oh boy I was thinking, you can use it to go to the store, but I'm not pulling out a baggie of coins, no way! I have too much pride for that!

So tonight we found ourselves bagging coins! We have one more place to check and see if they will take it, if they don't....well let's just say, Den is going to be doing the shopping!

I was just thinking, next time I go out the door, Den will say, Debby, do ya have your wallet? I can respond. Yup, stuck my driver's license in my baggie!

..all for you Ryan.....all for you!