Monday, June 27, 2011

A threefold cord is not quickly broken.

A word from Steven,

Helen and I wear matching engagement rings. I was going to make them, but I guess I was a little to slow and Helen made them. The symbolize that we have promised ourselves to each other. The rings not only symbolize that we are engaged, but there is meaning behind the design of the rings.

This is a flower that I picked for Helen, notice my ring.
The rings are made out of stainless steel aircraft safety wire. Safety wire is used on aircraft to tie bolts, nuts, screws, and other parts together. Safety wire is used to tie parts together so that they will not come apart. It guarantees with out any doubt that the parts will not come apart. Safety wire is made out of stainless steel so that it will not rust. Stainless steel wire also work hardens when it is bent. That is that the metal becomes stiffer when it is bent. Since the wire gets harder when the wire is bent, it is nearly impossible to unbend the wire back strait to the way it was before it was bent. This means in order to twist the wire how it needs to be it has to be done correctly the first time. This means that if the wire is untwisted, then it will never be able to be twisted as beautifully with another wire.

Notice the safety wire tying two blots together. The bolts are tied together in a way that they can not start loosening. These bolts mount the propeller in the crankshaft of an engine on an airplane. The safety wire prevents the propeller from coming apart from the engine as the propeller is pulling the airplane through the air.
 "Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up. Again, if two lie together, then they have heat: but how can one be warm alone? And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken." Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 If you look closely you can see that the rings are made of three pairs of wire woven together. The thing that will make marriage a taste of heaven on earth is the abiding presence of the love of Jesus. As people we both have a selfish nature, so in order for there to be love in marriage Jesus has to be the third person.

This is the first time that Helen held a starfish, notice her matching ring.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Bolivia 2009-2010 Some pictures of where Steven was.

These picture are a sample of where I was and what I was doing during 2009 and 2010. I will add captions later. I just wanted to upload pictures while I was still were there was fast internet.

A Word From Helen

    I guess it is time I start to learn how to use this blog! I want to give you an idea of where I am and what I am doing at the moment. Currently I am in Norway teaching at the Matteson Institute of World Mission. You can visit the school's page here:    I teach Organic Gardening (really playing in dirt), and am in charge of the practical work training (teaching people practical skills and then enjoying their help).

     Right now we are nearing the end of the school year. Graduation is June 19, and the students will then be going on a three week long mission trip to north Norway. It is a great way to end the school year. I will be staying to take care of the greenhouse and gardens.
      So what exactly does teaching gardening entail? Well, here at the Matteson School we do not just view the garden as a place to grow food, although having our own organic food is definitely a blessing, but it is a classroom where we meet with, and learn about, God. Honestly I don't know all that much, but I know that God does, and it is my job to put the
students where they can hear and see Him.  God works miracles every year, above and beyond just making things grow, and reveals some of His character and care. 
     Take for example last week. We have had problems with beetles eating the cabbage and turnip family. I thought that it was mostly the little plants they liked the most, the two first leaves that come up, so we started the turnips inside the greenhouse to protect them through the first part of their life. Kevin and Hugo transplanted them really nicely, and watered them well. All looked good. A few days later a student came and told me that there had been a war in the turnip row. The leaves were full of holes, as if a machine gun had blasted them. The beetles had attacked and were trying to make up for lost time. The plants looked bad. We started to pray, and I tried putting coffee grounds around them to scare away the beetles by the smell. It helped, but it wasn't going to be enough. It was up to God. Within a day it started to rain, and it was cool and wet for several days. The beetles don't like such conditions and went into hiding. The plants didn't mind the rain and began to look better and have started to grow again. It has been raining off and on ever since, just enough to keep the beetles in hiding. 

    Another example also happened last week. Friday there was a heavy rain storm. There was so much rain that many parts of Norway flooded. The water drains/ditches along the property and forest filled up, and instead of draining into the forest, the forest was draining into the area where the garden was. Lars saw it first and took a picture of it to show me what was happening. I went out with him and Kevin to see what we could do, and already the water had risen quite a bit. It was now entering into the walk ways between the rows of vegetables. There was not a whole lot we could do besides pray and build a dam of sod around the edge of the garden. Sabbath was coming, and so we quickly built the dam and left it to God. Soon the rain slowed and the water began to go down. Within hours the garden was out of danger and we lost nothing. Many people in Norway lost parts of their crops due to the water, but God preserved ours. It really gave us something more to be thankful for.

     Our garden gives us a classroom where we can learn about care, consistency, order, creativity, and awe. Each type of plant needs a different kind of care, and they can't ever be forgotten without consequences. Caring for the plants is very similar to caring for people. No two plants are the same, neither are two people the same. Careful, consistent care is needed in order for them to thrive. Their environment must be monitored and their surroundings cared for. Weeds must be removed, distractions avoided, and pruning done so that the plant or person will have clear direction, vision and purpose for their life. 
     I will add more pictures in a bit... I need to go and practice what I preach!      Helen