Monday, December 24, 2007


To those of you who have spent the past month checking my blog hoping to find something witty and wonderful: I'm sorry; I've disappointed you on all counts. I haven't felt much "inspiration" for writing any entries.

Since Thanksgiving we have had a flurry of activities (about the only flurries we have here) between school and church. On December 1st, our youth group entered a float in the Hanahan Christmas Parade. Hanahan is one of the local communities. The teens prepare goodies bags that include tracts to hand out to the spectators. Abby is the angel on the left (like father, like daughter).

After Thanksgiving break, basketball season began in earnest, and Abby agreed to try cheerleading. The coach asked her if she would consider cheering. Three other girls besides Abby make up the squad, and it's not too high pressure. Here's Abby in her uniform getting a little encouragement from Elizabeth. The squad is leading a cheer at a pep rally.

Elizabeth's high school choir had the opportunity to sing at Chik-fil-A one evening prior to the school Christmas concert. Chik-fil-A sponsored a Fernadale Baptist School night, and the restaurant donated a certain percentage of all sales that evening to our school.

The school Christmas concert involved almost all students in grades 1-12. We had a good attendance by family and friends, and a clear gospel message was presented in song and speech. Abby played a guitar duet to accompany the 3rd-4th graders as they sang "Silent Night." Elizabeth and Abby played a 2-piano duet for the offertory. They also played for church.

The last performance event was the church cantata, "Herald the News." Elizabeth was the acccompaniast. We presented the cantata in the evening service (12/16) and afterwards had a wonderful time of food, folks, and fellowship.

Speaking of food, the past four weeks hasn't been all work and no play. We had our faculty/staff Christmas party on Dec. 1. We ate, played games, sang, and enjoyed great fellowship. A highlight of the party was decorating our principal, Milton Ashley.

The following Saturday evening, we had our adult Sunday School class party at the McCalls' house. Again we enjoyed excellent fellowship. The monthly teen Snac-attack was held at the Betancourts' house. The teens had a white elephant gift exchange which was quite hilarious.

Our school semester ends before Christmas which means that the high school spent the last three days of school taking exams. We had two exams each day (Wed.-Fri.), and the students left at noon each of those days. Students who had maintained an A average for the semester were exempt from the exams, so several of our students were able to begin Christmas break early. Teachers return for a work day on Jan. 4, and the students return on Jan. 7.

Our plans for the vacation involve resting and relaxing. Marti is arriving Christmas morning and spending a week with us. We will do some local sightseeing with her.

We want to wish you a wonderful, Christ-filled Christmas.

Saturday, November 24, 2007


This year's Thanksgiving celebration was different from the Thanksgivings we've had the past four years in Korea. The most notable difference was that we didn't pay $50 for a turkey. In fact, since we went to my sister's house, we didn't pay anything for a turkey. However,now that I think about it, maybe the turkey cost us more since we drove to Florida to eat it. Oh, well, it was worth it!

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving Day with my dad, my sister Loreen, brother-in-law Ron, and nephew Matthew. Ron was the chef and cooked both a delicious breakfast and a table-breaking dinner. We had ham, turkey, mashed potatoes, yams(my favorite!), green beans, rolls, dressing, salad, and gravy. (I might have missed a couple of items.) In the evening, we enjoyed the pumpkin pie that Loreen had baked.

Throughout the day (when we weren't officially eating), we played games, read the newspaper, watched a little football, worked on a jigsaw puzzle, and basically relaxed. Matthew is a pianist and enjoyed playing some duets with Aunt Elizabeth. After dark, some of us rode to Lake Eustis to stroll among the Christmas lights in the park. We needed some sort of exercise after the day's consumption.

We left my sister's on Friday afternoon. On our way back to South Carolina, we stopped in Jacksonville, to visit with Matthew and Monique Smith. They worked with us the past two years in Seoul. It was good to see them again. We also met seveal of their family members.

We arrived home just before 11:00 p.m. We unloaded the car, went into the apartment, and went to bed.

Saturday, November 3, 2007


Today we had our annual church picnic. I must confess that it's quite nice to live in a clime where one can have a picnic in November. The day was beautiful with blue skies, bright sunshine, and a high temperature around 70 degrees.

Wannamaker Park is only 3 miles from our apartment. The park has paved trails/bike paths as well as nature paths (i. e. watch out for the tree roots, spider webs, and mud.) Our church reserved a pavilion which was next to a volleyball court, an open field, and a horseshoe pit.

After gathering in the pavilion around noon, we sang a hymn, and then Pastor Wheeler shared a devotion and gave thanks for the food. While most people started serving themselves with the main dishes, I stationed myself at the dessert end of the tables. I do this for the theological reason that the exact moment of the rapture is uncertain; perhaps I should start a "Dessert First" cult. (or maybe not!) From a more practical perspective, I was able to recommend particular desserts to those who were uncertain about their choices. I always like to help!

The church rented a jump castle especially for the children (although I did notice some bigger "kids" in there at times. Several pairs of men played a horseshoes tournament. There were several games of volleyball also. Some of us played bocce ball. Elizabeth tried walking on stilts.

The day was a nice time of fellowship and relaxation.

Monday, October 29, 2007


This weekend we took a trip to Greenville, SC, which is just over 200 miles away.The trip takes a law-abiding citizen about 3.5 hours (with one stop). The weather was lovely and cool.

We stopped first on the campus of Bob Jones University in order to make a delivery to one of our young ladies from Ferndale. Abby stayed on campus to visit a while. Elizabeth and I strolled to the bookstore and browsed. On our way back to the girls' dorms ("residence halls" in today's lingo), we met Bethany Panich and Anna Iorillo from Mentor.

We left campus and went to the Threlfall's house. They had invited several Koreans to come for supper. We saw Sumi, Jung Hyun, and Matthew from Seoul Bible Church. They are all studying at BJU. We also met Dennis and Chung Bu; they are from Seoul but weren't part of our ministry.

After eating supper, Andrew and Joshua Threlfall invited everyone to go outside to try out their tree swing. The swing is suspended from a tree limb that is at least 30 feet above the ground. The swing goes over a ravine behind the Threlfall's house. The swing has a wooden seat, and one may sit or stand on it. In order to get on the swing, the swing must be pulled back to the edge of the driveway which is 10-15 feet above the bottom of the ravine. Andrew and Joshua demonstrated for us the thrill and safety of this ride, but no one seemed brave or foolish enough to try.

Then Sumi decided to try it. She started to climb on but slipped and had to grab the swing by the ropes under the seat. She managed to hang on and suffered only some minor rope burns on her hands. She did go again with a bit more success.

After Sumi showed the rest of us that it could be done, Matthew (in coat and tie) decided he would do it too. He removed his coat, and went for a ride. He proclaimed it "very nice" and rode again. However, he managed to convince only Dennis to try it.

Around 8:30 p.m. we went to the BJ snack shop to meet Grace Park and David Park (not related), two former students from Seoul Christian School. Grace attends the university, and David is a sophomore in the academy. He and Abby were classmates at SCS.

Sunday found us attending morning services at Faith Baptist Church. This had been my church during my town-student days at BJU. The church was celebrating Pastor John Vaughn's 30th anniversary and his retirement as full-time pastor. It was a real blessing to be a part of the day's activities and to renew acquaintances from many years ago.

In the evening we went to Mt. Calvary Baptist Church to see their missions presentation. It was a multi-media presentation that included live interviews via internet with missionaries in Australia and the Philippines. Matthew from Seoul Bible Church shared his testimony. We met several friends we hadn't seen for a while including Dan Wiley, whom we met in Korea, and the Dan Dalhausen family from Ohio.

We arrived back in Charleston just a few minutes before midnight. The Lord gave us a wonderful day of preaching, fellowship, and spiritual refreshment.

Saturday, October 13, 2007



Looking at the date of my last entry, I see that I need to "ketchup" on our doings. I will a-"salt" you with the recent events. Now that I have "mustered" my thoughts, I will share them with you. I trust you will "relish" every word.

We enjoyed a day off from school thanks to Christopher Columbus (and our U.S. government). Since the next day was Abby's 16th birthday, we used the holiday to celebrate. Our pastor's daughter, Beth, shares the same birth date as Abby, so we included her; it was Beth's 18th.

Elizabeth took the girls shopping after breakfast. They wanted to find matching accessories so that they could be "twins" at school on Tuesday. I was invited to join them on the excursion, but I opted out. I sent the checkbook in my place.

In the afternoon, we went to Fort Moultrie located at the entrance to the Charleston Harbor. We enjoyed being near the water. The fort has been the site of several significant military events since Revolutionary days.

We left Sullivan's Island and headed back into Charleston. We took the girls to California Dreaming for supper. The restaurant is located right beside the Ashley River, and we had a window view of the water.

After a yummy meal, we headed home. The girls went swimming and then finished their homework.

Saturday, September 29, 2007


Six weeks of school has elapsed, and October is about to begin. Here's what has happened (not in any particular order). We have taught classes, attended church, watched soccer and volleyball games, worked in the concession stand, graded papers, written lesson plans, talked to parents, made new friends, kept safe in travel, shopped, tried she-crab soup, gotten our South Carolina driver's licenses (even Abby--learner's permit), had company, been company, issued progress reports, sung in the choir (Larry), played the piano for choir (Liz), opened a checking account, joined the church, talked to our children in Nevada, Germany, and Japan, eaten out, eaten at home, gone to a fish fry for the 50-and-older group (just curious!), slept in comfortable beds, been encouraged by God's Word, received many blessings, and hopefully been a blessing.

Here comes October!


We returned to Charleston on August 8th. Our apartment was available on Friday the 10th, so we spent that day moving in. Through our new church family, God supplied many of the things we needed for our new home. In addition to the gifts of furniture and household goods, the church collected a love offering for us which was exactly the amount we needed to buy our beds. They also had a "pounding" for us which provided us with many grocery items.

Our apartment is 6.5 miles from school and has easy access to both major roads that lead to our school. Between our home and school, we have all the conveniences we need such as our bank and shopping.

Our apartment is upstairs and has 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, a kitchen, a utility room, and a large living/dining area with a skylight and a wood burning fireplace (although I'm not sure we'll have reason to use it). We especially enjoy the balcony/deck off the living room. The complex has a nice pool and an exercise room. The grounds are nicely landscaped and well maintained.

Friday, September 28, 2007


We did a lot of traveling in July and August. We started July by heading down to Charleston, SC. We wanted to meet in person the folks at our new place of ministry--Ferndale Baptist Church & School. We were warmly welcomed, both in spirit and temperature. We spent our days hunting for a suitable dwelling, while in the evenings various families hosted us for meals and fellowship.

Our principal scheduled a couple of sightseeing
trips--one by boat and one by land. (That sounds almost "Revere-esque, doesn't it?) On the 4th, we also enjoyed watching fireworks with a number of church families.

After our time in Charleston, we headed west to Memphis to spend time with Elizabeth's family. We had a wonderful time of recuperation thanks to their generosity and hospitality (and swimming pool).



We departed South Korea on June 12, and we arrived in Cleveland, Ohio the same day (17 hours later). We spent the next several days taking care of such things as renewing our driver's licenses, purchasing a vehicle, buying insurance, and basically getting adjusted to being back in the U.S.

Jerred, Joanna, and AJ were in Ohio for the month of June in order to participate in a couple of weddings. This enabled us to be active grandparents for a couple of weeks. We even took AJ camping for several days while his parents went away together. Martha was also in Ohio for a few days.

We enjoyed visiting with friends. A lot happens in a year, so it was good to get caught up with everyone.

Saturday, September 22, 2007


Since we are no longer in South Korea, I decided to make a new blog. "Chucktown" is a term of endearment (I think) that I have seen around here in Charleston. The name appealed to me, so I decided to use it.

As before, I will try to keep you informed of our activities. I'll also share humorous incidents as well as "cultural" tidbits that we discover. For instance, did you know another nickname for Charleston is "The Holy City"? The reason for the moniker is that as one views the skyline of old Charleston, the numerous steeples are prominent. I believe there is a law that prohibits any structure in town from being higher than the tallest steeple.