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Karen Sabbatical

11.15.17 | General, Children

    I am overwhelmed and grateful for my time of sabbatical which started with a trip to the Philippines to visit with our UBC missionaries, Troy and Thai Beaver. I have talked about going on this trip for several years. I arrived in Manila on Thursday, September 28, and the first stop was the Manila American Cemetery where US soldiers from WWII are buried. Over 34,000 names of MIA Allied troops are engraved on monuments along with every state seal of the United States. I stood in silent awe. 

    When I arrived at Troy and Thai’s house, I was greeted by Roland and MJ (The Beavers’ assistants). MJ had prepared fried bananas for us. WOW! 

    I stayed at Troy and Thai’s house the first three nights. During the day, we visited and went sightseeing, toured the mall, the “wet market,” and the school where the kids attend. I also participated in a one day VBS with the Beavers and about 65 kids. The Beavers led the kids in singing American songs and Thai’s nephew performed a mime to “I Pledge Alliance to the Lamb.” The kids then broke into teams and went through three different stations, one of which was a station where they were fed. Troy pulled out his Captain America costume and the kids loved it. It was humbling, inspiring, and enlightening to have the privilege of watching the Beavers in action. I had such a fantastic day with them. We wrapped the evening up with a “food fight” which is their term for a Philippine Feast. This was a cultural experience! 

    We spent our downtime talking about their ministry and sharing ideas. We are hoping to have the opportunity for Thai and her assistant to join me at the Children’s Pastor’s Conference next year. 

    On Sunday, along with the Beavers, I flew to the small island of Boracay and enjoyed seven nights of rest and refreshment. We hung out, read, snorkeled and enjoyed each other’s company. We also had some crazy cultural experiences like jumping in a cart attached to a motorcycle - and living to tell about it! The last three nights of the trip were in Manila sightseeing. 

    After arriving back in Houston, I headed to Dallas to spend a few days with my former interns, Mark and Lydia Padroza. Mark’s dad passed away suddenly so I wanted to spend some time with them. I also made a couple of trips to San Antonio to be with my mom. 

    While in town, I did a lot of reading and resting. I worked my way thru the book, Dangerous Calling by Paul David Tripp. I read it very slowly - as it was a time of introspection for me. A heart check for sure. I also had coffee, lunch, and dinner with various UBC families. 

    On the three Sundays I was in town, I visited three different churches: Second Baptist Baytown, FBC Pasadena and The Woodlands, FBC. It is always good having this opportunity! There were some very impressive things about each church, but overall, I walked away with a renewed appreciation for my church and my team. 

    I can honestly say that I MISSED MY CHURCH FAMILY while I was away. 

    Once again, thank you so very much for this incredible privilege and opportunity.