Mr. and Mrs. Hippenhammer

Home Again

“I think I’m ready for spring now,” Janice said this morning, “I’m tired of this winter stuff.”

Of course, she complains if it’s cooler than 75 degrees, but in this instance I agree with her. Once Christmas is over all you have to look forward to is a couple of bleak, miserable months where you sit inside, shiver, and argue about what the thermostat should be set at. Occasionally, so you don’t get too depressed and suffer from scurvy, you eat your kid’s gummy vitamins that are full of Vitamin C.

We just got back from ANOTHER trip to Pennsylvania and it’s good to be home even though being at home means sitting on a crooked toilet. I call it the “Leaning Tower of Pot” but I’m reconsidering the title because marijuana is legal in Michigan and I’m afraid people may get the wrong idea.

“Excuse me, I’m going to go use leaning tower of pot.” This causes our guests to gasp and murmur among themselves.

It’s good to be home even though our washer tries to jump out the back door every time it goes on spin cycle. As I write, it’s currently jumping up and down frantically like a toddler anticipating candy. I would fix it but we got the washer for free and we’ve had it for almost four years now and I’m scared if I mess with it’s delicate balance of malfunctioning parts, I might make one part malfunction more than another and it’ll fly to pieces and rip a hole in the laundry room. This would make the laundry room even more drafty than it is now and I want to avoid that. Obviously.

Anyway, it’s good to be home, even though we had a great trip to Pennsylvania. The purpose of the trip was two fold. First, we wanted to visit friends and family over the New Year (and score more loot by having a second Christmas with my parents) but we also wanted to have some support appointments as well. I don’t want to bore you with all the details but several cool things happened while we were meeting with folks.

Mr. and Mrs. Hippenhammer

First, we had a meeting with an awesome couple, let’s call them Mr. & Mrs. Hippenhammer. Mr. & Mrs. Hippenhammer have several businesses relating to fixing and selling cars and have done quite well for themselves. I strongly suspect they have God’s blessing on their business because of all their generosity and investment in God’s kingdom and God’s giving them a good return.

I’m going on a tangent here, but this is one thing I hate about support raising. It may surprise you but I’m not good at asking people for money. Now, support raising is more than money; I’ve been told that and I’m finding it’s very true. But it does come down to money, right? Let’s be honest. So when you’re going through your list of people you want to ask, your tendency is to find the people who will miss their money the least. You don’t want to be a burden, after all, so you gravitate towards the rich folk who won’t starve because they are supporting you. But, as we’ve been told by people with far more experience than us, we should not ask “Who has money?” but “Who needs to hear our story?” This turns out to be good advice. Mr. & Mrs. Hippenhammer were part of my story before I needed money to go on the mission field so I felt I had honest intentions about meeting them so I could tell them about what our family is up to currently.

As usual, they were very gracious and accommodating. After my little spiel was over, we began discussing tools I’ll need for the job. Mr. Hippenhammer asked if I need a tool chest.

“Why, yes, in fact. I need a rolling tool chest.” I had shopped around a bit earlier in the year but decided to skip buying one just yet. There was no hurry, after all, and those suckers are expensive! Maybe a good deal would pop up somewhere.

“I have an old one I can sell you.” He paused for a little bit, then reconsidered, “I’ll just give it to you. You can have it. I don’t need it anymore anyway.”

I was imagining an old dusty cabinet with dented drawers hanging out of it, barely managing to hold the weight of the cobwebs inside of them. Well… it’s free, so why not?

Mr. Hippenhammer pulled out his smartphone and swiped around the screen a little bit then handed the phone to me. “Here’s a picture of it.”

In case you don’t know, that’s a Snap-on tool chest. If you would buy one brand new like that, you’d spend several thousand dollars! I’m blown away by this gift and I’ll use it all the time once I’m at MMS Aviation. I can’t believe all the ways God has been providing our needs lately. Thank you Mr. and Mrs. Hippenhammer! (Of course, their real names aren’t Mr. and Mrs. Hippenhammer but I wouldn’t want all kinds of people knocking on their door asking for free tool chests and so I modified their name just slightly. It’s amazing what people will do for Snap-on tools. After all, you have to sell your first born just to buy an adjustable Snap-on wrench.)

New Year’s Party

Monday evening we had a New Year’s Eve party at my cousin Adam’s house. Our New Year’s parties typically involve AR-15’s, exploding targets, uproarious card games, fireworks, Amish bombs, and whatever else you loud things you can imagine (except a tap dancing elephant shooting a cannon, we didn’t have that). A few months ago Adam moved into Akron city limits where apparently Kim Jong Un runs the show. No discharging firearms in the city limits! Not even if there was a fox in the hen house. Actually, you aren’t allowed to have a hen house either, come to think of it. I was surprised we were allowed to gather without a permit since large gatherings can lead to uprisings. Anyway, the lack of exciting, earth shaking explosions led me to get tired very early in the evening. It had to be that since it obviously has nothing to do with my age or ambition level whatsoever. The only exploding thing there was Exploding Kittens, a card game where you try to defuse exploding kittens while sabotaging other players. Granted, that is a fun game!

Adam and Tony (Adam’s brother and both of which are my cousins) fried up thirty pounds of chicken wings in ten different flavors one of which caused considerable sweating, gasping, and red faced, muffled swearing. Even Suni, Adam’s wife who is from Mexico, had small droplets of sweat forming on her upper cheeks after eating only one wing. The irony is that Scott, the pasty white American, ate ten of the spicy wings without breaking a sweat or even stifling a wheeze. When I asked him if he was in any pain, he simply said, “Oh, don’t worry. I’ll pay for it later.” He also bragged about sucking on Satan’s toe. After some judgemental reactions flickered across my face, Scott explained that Satan’s toe is a really hot lollipop. Who knew there was such a thing? What a crazy world we live in.

Adi’s Getting Organized

Adi is getting older, which is good. Not getting older means you’re dead, so I’ll settle for getting older. As she develops, more of her personality starts showing and one thing Janice and I noticed is that she’s really organized. Adi will separate and organize the vegetables on her plate. Today she got really, really mad when Janice moved her pile of beans to the other side of the plate. Later, she was crashing around the kitchen on her little yellow car and when she was done, she parked the car beside the kitchen counter exactly where she had found it earlier. Not only that, but she hates when things are broken. She brought a broken crayon to me and said, “Fik it.” I super glued a crayon back together at the request of my toddler. That doesn’t seem normal to me. Maybe Adi will be an airplane mechanic. Goodness knows I’ll try my best to convince her. The mission field needs more airplane mechanics!

When Adi’s cousin Ezekiel comes to visit, it’s like opening all the doors and windows as a tornado rips through the trailer park. It’s like a bear broke into the trailer and is digging through the cupboards for marshmallows. A remarkable amount of things get rearranged in a very little amount of time. I have no idea how a two foot human being with tiny little hands can move so much material in so little time. I’m told that’s how normal kids act. I have this feeling that the little boy on the way is going to be much more like Ezekiel and will push all our buttons, especially Adi’s!

Note to Steph: Ezekiel is a fine, young man full of ambition and we’re lucky to have him visit.


We decided to send out newsletters every month. If we are to raise 100% of our support by the end of May this year, we need to raise (on average) 15% more support every month, or every newsletter. We’ve been praying specifically for that and so we were delighted when Phil, the CEO at MMS Aviation, emailed us and said that we are now 37.99% supported! This is around 13.69% increase from last newsletter. We still have about two weeks to go so pray with us that we can raise at least another 1.31% before we send out the next newsletter! If you feel led to help us reach our goals, get support details by clicking here. If you want to know more about what we’re doing, click here.

With Gratitude,