Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Christian Health Ambassadors (CHAs) receiving training from Dave Waines. Equip Liberia has 1,000s of CHAs working to bring physical and spiritual health to the Liberian people.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Car Dilemma

What are you doing with your car?
That is possibly the #1 question we get asked. No lie.

Well, the answer is simple. We're selling it. Yep, our Toyota Corolla is set to bring miles of smiles to someone else's face. A lot of people have asked us about the car and questioned why we would sell it since our current commitment in Liberia is only for a year. That is a great question and one that is going to be addressed further in a blog post later in the week. For now I am just going to say that we want to be able to minister freely while in Liberia. Selling the car is one of the many things that will allow us to do that.

All that to say if you know anyone in the market for a reliable vehicle. Let us know! It is a 2005, Toyota Corolla and has (or will have in a couple of weeks) approximately 120,000 miles on it. I'll try to put a picture up later. It's fantastic on gas mileage. We've gotten close to 40 mpg on the highway! So the benefit is twofold: someone gets a car, missionaries get helped out!

That leads us to this weeks prayer need: Pray that the Lord would send someone along to buy our car!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Monday Update

This past week in Hoover history...

We went on a little camp out at the East Fork of the Pigeon River with the Davis' family. It was great fun to go along on the OLD School backpacking resupply. Nothing like encountering 11 foul smelling guys and gals in the middle of the woods and loading them up with fresh food and snickers bars.

We're really starting to get into the nitty gritty details of getting to Liberia. We're waiting on our visas. We've started our series of oral typhoid vaccine. We're finishing up our sheet that lets everyone know how they can send us packages and letters. So much to do!

This next week we are heading back to High Point for a couple of days before heading to Marion for the water technologies courses. We're taking to the highway again, but we are ready to continue on this journey and finally be heading for Liberia on October 30th.

Here are few pictures from this past week:

Kyle (still not quite awake yet) awaiting his extra cheesy cheese grits.

I'm recalling all of my backcountry cooking skills. I love the MSR whisperlite!

Someone ate too many rocks and dirt then proceeded to fall asleep. Camping is tough.

The OLD School girls enjoying breakfast at the East Fork of the Pigeon River

OLD School boys pounding the nutella. It's like a nutella ad. Everyone looks so happy!

We've had a wonderful time visiting our SWO family. It's been fun to catch up with friends and share more about Liberia and the work ahead!

Friday, September 24, 2010

When God Tweaks Your Plans

I'm (Jessica) so thankful that all of you take the time to read this little blip on the radar of life. I don't know if I've said that this week, but I am. It's humbling to think that people sit down at their computers and click over to this blog to see what we're doing and even more so what God is doing.

We've had a more extended time in this "in between" than we had anticipated. We rest in God's sovereignty to bring all things about in His perfect timing. We've immensely enjoyed friends, family and rest during this time. We've also been encouraged and challenged personally as God prepares us for the ministry ahead. It's good, hard, encouraging, challenging, and just plain fun.

I can't help but think that God had this in mind when He rearranged our plans a month ago. Isn't that the way it goes though? We've got in mind what we want to do and how we want to do it and then God begins to tweak the plan...and our hearts...and it isn't comfortable, but it is needed.

We hope and pray that you'll embrace God's tweaking of your plans as we embrace God's tweaking of our own. Thanks for reading this week. Thanks for praying each day.

Blessings folks.

"Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer acceptable worship with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire." Hebrews 12:28

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Musu is a little girl who lost her arm during the war. The effects of Liberia's civil war are far reaching and life long for many.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

A Family Affair

How does your family feel about this journey?

This seems like an appropriate question given the prayer request for the week. We've been incredibly blessed to have support from both sides of our family. They've prayed for us, given to us and showered us with love and support. We've got to spend a good bit of time with them over the last month or so.

God has blessed us with a family that believes in the Gospel and the need to take it to the ends of the earth. We pray that those in our family that don't understand fully will be ministered to by our step of faith. Will you pray along with us that this would happen?

We've also spent a good bit of time realizing the sacrifice that our family is making as we head out for parts yet uknown. We will miss birthdays and holidays. We won't be able to come home for a weekend just to visit. Our nieces and nephews will get taller and do all kinds of things that we will miss out on. That's tough stuff.

We've been struck over and over again by the blessing that we are missionaries in the technological age. So many of those that have gone before us into foreign lands have not had the benefits of email, skype or even a reliable snail mail system. It's an amazing blessing to be 21st century missionaries and have access to ways of connecting even in a country with no consistent electricity. What does that mean? Grandma has to learn to email. Yep, we are dragging even the oldest members of the family into the information age kicking and screaming!

God sees this sacrifice and will sustain them and grow them through this process. What a joy to know that through our obedience God is growing not only us but also our friends and family. AWESOME!

Do you want to stay connected to the Hoovers? Send us your email address to receive email newsletters and subscribe to this blog to get our writings tucked in your reader every single day!

This weeks Prayer Need: Pray for our family. The reality of our leaving is beginning to become real and they need as much prayer as we do. It has really occurred to us lately that this is a huge sacrifice for them. Pray that we will be able to surround them with love and provide little things, i.e; emails, skype dates, letters, that will encourage them and keep them connected to us even though we are far away. Pray that our time with them in the remaining weeks would be sweet and a real blessing for all of us.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Monday Update in Pictures

The Monday Update is coming in pictorial form today. We've been enjoying life in Andrews this past week. It's been a change of pace and we have done a little of everything; work, preparation, relaxation, and enjoying our SWO framily. Here are a few shots comprised of the river (Nantahala), babies and applesauce.

Kyle reading by the Nanty. So smart.

The Falls- a good afternoon of entertainment and cool breezes.

a duck, as if you couldn't tell

I (Jessica) got some super cute shots of the Davis' kids while accompanying Amy to the Kid's Festival in Murphy.

Face painting- it's a blast

Future Fire Chief of America- look at those eyes!

Quilts, there were also chickens. How great is that? I wish I had a better picture.

Last but not least- APPLESAUCE! Homemade and delicious. I canned some which made my heart super happy. Helps me feel normal and not so detached. Although, I didn't have my canning pot and had to get creative. I have the scars to prove it. I managed to pinch my index finger in a pair of tongs and burn the tar out of myself a couple of times. All in a days work.

So that is a little glimpse into life right now. I wish I had a picture of Kyle covered in concrete dust. He was doing uber-manly work this week and has the splinters and cuts to prove it. Good prep for Liberia.

In other news: We are putting our Liberian visa application in the mail today. HOORAY! That means that when we show up in Liberia they will actually let us in the country!

This weeks Prayer Need: Pray for our family. The reality of our leaving is beginning to become real and they need as much prayer as we do. It has really occurred to us lately that this is a huge sacrifice for them. Pray that we will be able to surround them with love and provide little things, i.e; emails, skype dates, letters, that will encourage them and keep them connected to us even though we are far away. Pray that our time with them in the remaining weeks would be sweet and a real blessing for all of us.

Friday, September 17, 2010

It's About Time

It's been some time since I (Kyle) have had an opportunity to write for our blog. Jessica does an amazing job putting both her own thoughts as well as ours together for all of you following our move to Liberia. I am so very thankful for her and her heart. Without her - this blog wouldn't exist...and some say neither would I!

For the past few months....(let's be honest) for the past ten years or so I have struggled with Luke 14:25-34. For you skimmers, it is the passage where Christ outlines what it costs to be a true disciple. I first read this passage in conjunction with Dietrich Bonhoeffer's The Cost of Discipleship right before I went to work at Snowbird for my first summer. What a kick in the teeth!

What is it that He (Jesus) is after? Do we have to literally hate our families, spouses, any and everything on this earth? Do we each have to sell everything and live in abject poverty? No - HE goes beyond those things we see as so important and dear. He commands us to give up our most valued possession: ourselves.

What a risk - but oh, what joy! Please, do not envy nor pity us for what we do or do not have. We trivialize the blood of Christ when we think sacrifice is going without our well worn creature comforts. Pray for us that we continue to die daily to our ourselves and come to life more in Christ Jesus.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Malaria 101

Let's talk about malaria. In case you haven't heard Liberia has a serious malaria problem. Equip Liberia has done much to combat the disease, but it is still a serious consideration when traveling there from the Western world. We spent a lot of time learning about malaria and diagnosing case studies. Our conclusion is that if at all possible we would like to avoid having the nasty sickness.

A little malaria information...

1) Malaria is carried by mosquitoes. Specifically the anopheles mosquito- and only the anopheles mosquito.

2) Anopheles mosquitoes are dawn, dusk and night biters so we will have to take particular caution at those times of day.
3) There are several different types of malaria. Falciparum is the most dangerous type and yes, it is the primary type in Liberia.
4) There are a handful of drugs that can be used as malaria prophylaxis (big word for prevention), mefloquine, chloroquine, doxycycline, and malerone are the primary drugs.

What does that all mean for keeping the Hoovers healthy?

We'll be wearing long sleeves and pants if we are out when the anopheles is lurking about. We will also sleep under a permethrin treated net- nothing like romance under a mosquito net. We'll probably hang some mosquito coils around our home as an added precaution. Our prophylaxis of choice will be doxycycline. We chose doxy for a few reasons. Mefloquine can make you crazy- I (Jessica) don't need no more crazy. Chloroquine is not effective in some areas. Guess what? Liberia is one of those areas. Malerone will break the bank at $3-$4 per person per day.

Pray that we would be protected from disease- specifically malaria. Also, pray that the doxycycline wouldn't cause any unwanted side effects. I'm very sensitive- but you already knew that!

Now you know more than anyone not traveling to the third world really needs to know about malaria. Trust me I could say more, but I will save you the gory details.

~Dr. Hoover

Monday, September 13, 2010

Monday Update

We enjoyed a relaxing weekend in Andrews. We've dug up all our old haunts, i.e; Monte Alban, Decker's flea market, the Murphy Wal-Mart, the Burger Basket, and the Andrew's cemetery. Don't ask about that last one- date spots are hard to find in Andrews, we had to make do with what we had. We're looking forward to the rest of our time here. Pray for the OLD School semester course that is beginning this week. Check the link if you just said to yourself, "huh?"

Kyle is busily doing math trying to decipher how to use his solar panel (a small one-not a ginormous one that you mount to the top of your house) to charge a 12v battery so that we can have a little light in Liberia. Did I marry the right guy or what?

So that is about it for this Monday morning. We are continuing to make plans for Liberia and tie up loose ends. It just seems like so much of what we have to do can't be done until the last minute. Anyways, we're in Andrews visiting our SWO family if you need us. We'll head out at the end of the month to Marion, NC. As usual we ask for your prayers.

This weeks prayer need: Pray that our marriage would be encouraged and strengthened in every aspect during this time of preparation. Pray that we would be like-minded and love and serve each other with pure hearts.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Where We're At

Post from late in the day. Schedules are out the window for us at this point.

We're in Andrews, NC and are excited to spend an extended period with our friends here. God is using this time of preparation. Today I (Jessica) was reading through my regular blog reads. I came upon one particular blog that really spoke to where Kyle and I are right now and where it is that we are headed.

Read Grandma's Letters from Africa to see what I mean. Linda's words minister to my heart and I am so thankful for her precious (albeit "virtual', but undoubtedly real) encouragement over the course of the last few months. The part about degrees of willingness cuts right to the heart of the matter for me. I'm there. I hope it will give you a glimpse into our lives right now, but also challenge your spirit to reach beyond the comfortable so that Christ might be known.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Wiped Out

So we're watching Wipeout on our last night in High Point, NC (at least until the end of October). Kyle and I have decided that we will eventually be trying out for Wipeout. Wouldn't we be great? Personality, blind stupidity, enthusiasm...we've got it! We could really use 50 grand...then again who couldn't?

On another note... I'd like to take this moment to commit to providing everyone with a few more pictures on this blog. So there you go-our commitment to provide you with more play by play of this journey from here to there- otherwise known as Liberia. It will be wonderful to have pictures of the real thing in less than two months. We'll be back next week with a Wordless Wednesday post.

In the meantime- read her blog and pray for our friend Melanie who just returned to Thailand for four years. God's given her such a beautiful heart for Thai people and we just know that God is going to do mighty things through her obedience.

Later folks, we're headed for Andrews...

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Packed to the Gills

How's the packing going? Wait, I thought ya'll weren't leaving until the end of October?

I'm assuming some of ya'll are reading this blog day after day and wondering why we are packing now when we aren't leaving for another few weeks. Good question. Well, we are going to be hitting the road here in another day or so. We won't be back to High Point until after the classes at Equip. That means that we best get to packing. This is our first time packing for the long term (semi-long term) in another country. That means lots to think about and much to pack.

So here are a few of the things that we are taking to Liberia (This is not a complete list):

Linen pants/shirts
Doula supplies
Kyle's crazy water findin' tools
Wide-brimmed packable hat (with UPF protection in it)
Pictures of friends and family
Camping stove
Malaria meds- yahoo.

Those are but a few items we will be cramming into 4 maxed out suitcases and our carry-ons. Anything else we should think about bringing along? It better be small, cuz we're runnin' out of room!

Keep praying for all the details-including the packing.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Monday Update

Happy Labor Day! We're celebrating by not doing a whole heck of a lot. We're working on getting all of our belongings in order because we will only be back around High Point for a couple of days before we cross the Atlantic. We're heading to Andrews, NC on Wednesday making a stop in the AVL to do a few errands.

Yesterday, we were able to go down to Charlotte for a few hours to see all of the Charlotte Hoovers. Good times at the China Buffet!

This weeks prayer need: Pray that we would have an easy time taking care of all of the details. Packing, purchasing, gathering, planning, get the picture!

We're gonna have a great time at SWO and will take pictures so that this blog once again becomes a bit more interactive!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Sickness, SWO and Suitcases

Life is a little low key for the Hoovers right now. We aren't just makes for boring blogging. I've (Jessica) been a bit under the weather this week. Not so fun, but on the brightside I've been taking doxycycline...which just happens to be our choice of meds for malaria prophylaxis. No, I don't have malaria. Don't ask. Kyle has been doing everything possible to keep himself busy, but we are slowly running out of things to do and we still have the month of September before we head to Equip for the water technology classes. So we've decided to go to Snowbird...don't know what a Snowbird is (among other things it is the ministry where we met and got married)? Check the links...then round up your church's youth group and make plans to bring em' on up!

So after the Labor Day holiday has passed us by we will head up to Andrews, NC.

As for right now we are trying to gather suitcases and narrow down what is going to Liberia from what is...well...not...One word on my behalf- LINEN. Nope, it's not just for elderly ladies that are in to gardening. I'm growing my very on collection. Thankfully Kyle's parents have tolerated our small scale takeover of their house in recent weeks.
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