Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Christmas time is Here

Christmas has come and gone and heckticly as always. In the Borba house, we celebrate 5 time (Just the two of us, Kat's Dad, Kat's Mom, Steve's Mom, and Steve's Dad), and that doesn't even include all the work, and church parties. 

After a week of celebrating it feels nice to finally be home and resting up from our vacation. 
It was great to see family. 
My sister flew home from Boston where she is attending law school. And Steve's sister drove up from Newport Beach, followed by her Fiance, who flew in two days later. 
So, I wanted to leave you with some pictures and videos of our week-o-celebration. Perhaps our last one in the states for a while. 

Kathryn's Mom's house:

Steve's Mom's house:

After opening these new hats, we started wondering if it was a sign we were going to be placed in Hokaido. :)

At Steve's cousin's house, Steve and his sister, Jen duked it out with foam bats. Ahh, siblings.

Then Kendall, challenged Jen to a battle. Don't you just love the helmet. 
The day after Christmas we headed off to the city (San Francisco) to pick Jeff up from the airport. Since, my mom lives near the city, I got to be the tour guide. 

Union square:
We walked through China Town to North Beach (think little Italy) to have lunch at the Stinking rose, a garlic restaurant. Just be thankful smell-o-vision has yet to be invented. 

Saturday, December 19, 2009

feeling more real all the time

Our staff profile was recently added to the Asian Access web page.
I know it's silly, but it made my day when I saw it.  It makes this whole crazy thing seem so real. 

check it out, and while you're there, check out the profiles of the other amazing people on staff.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

What a week!

What an eventful few days it has been! Filled with joy, panic, crying, and the realization that God is in control no matter what.

First, Joy:
This Sunday Stephen and I decided to get our house into the Christmas spirit. We stopped by the tree lot on the way home from church to get our traditional "Charlie Brown" tree. At this point in our lives, we have so few ornaments, and so little space, a tiny tree is just perfect. We also decided to get a wreath for the first time. (wow, we sure felt grown up! :) )

I was so proud of our tiny tree, and Christmas decorations that I wanted to sit down and blog. After pouring myself a glass of water, I sat down to my computer and proceeded to knock the FULL glass of water onto my laptop keyboard!

Panic! :
Immediately, I flipped my lappy over and screamed for a towel. water was dripping from it as I tried to wipe down the keys. In the confusion, I am pretty sure I hit the power button one or two times (something in hindsight, I should have avoided).

Stephen was sent to research my predicament on his computer, while I tended to mine. sure enough, DON'T TURN IT ON while it's wet! was the number on piece of advice on the internet.

I ended up flipping mine on a towel with paper towels shoved under the keys to wick out the water for 48 hours, to avoid shorting anything any further.
Check out my lovely paper-towel-strip work under the keys. Nice huh!?

I'm not sure if you have ever lost, crashed, or shorted a computer, but it is a stressful thing to do. In this modern age my life is on my laptop: my files, my music, my photos, everything. So I did what any one would do ( or at least anyone who cries as much as I do). I cried for 2 hours.

God is in control no matter what! :

Over the last two days, God has been working on my heart that computer or no computer He is my sustenance, and my portion. Though His Spirit, and a loving husband, I came to remember that "life does not consist in the abundance of our possessions."

Well, 48 hours of drying on the desk was up tonight. After prayer and a reminder that if it is dead, it's ok, I put the battery back in, and pressed the power button.
I am glad to say, my computer is alive. There is no damage to be seen, except the light is out on my keyboard, but I can deal with not typing in the dark. :)

The LORD is good.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Does God have a sense of Humor ?

I believe yes.

Kathryn and I had taken some friends of ours out for a support appointment at a thai food restaurant. We asked them if they would like to partner with us in our ministry by financially supporting us. They very graciously decided to support us and then to our surprise opened their fortune cookie and got this fortune.


hahaha, God placed that fortune cookie in that cookie that would be served to us on that day. wow :) .

Monday, November 23, 2009

Wrath Mercy Grace: Episode 2

Stephen and Conner (the High Schooler he tutors) have made the next installment of Wrath Mercy Grace. Hope you enjoy it!

Monday, November 16, 2009

My Husband the Film maker.

I've been begging Stephen to post the videos he made for our High School group to youtube, so I could share them on here. 

Stephen made this with a student he tutors. He wanted to make sure everyone knew that it was just Henry Weinhards rootbeer.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Physical Change Vs. Chemical Change

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!

Recently at school I have been teaching a cooking class for 5th and 6th graders. It has been a great chance for me to pretend like I can cook. :P 
In these first few weeks we have been discussing the definitions of Physical changes and Chemical changes as it relates to cooking. We have made Vinaigrette and fruit salad to show a physical change; and mayonnaise, veggie chips and soon chocolate chip cookies to show a Chemical change. Each week I reinforce the concept from their science standards by asking "Is this recipe a physical or chemical change?" And each week, they let me know. 

For those not in the science vocabulary loop, in a physical change nothing new is made. The parts are mixed together, or rearranged, but all the parts remain the same. This type of change is able to be changed back to it's original state (like Vinaigrette dressing, or fruit salad)
A chemical change on the other hand is a change of the very substance. In this reaction, something new is made. It no longer resembles it's old self (like mayonnaise, or cookies). This type of change is not reversible. 

Even more recently, I was reminded of a "chemical change" that took place in Stephen's best friend. Within the last year, this friend dedicated his life to Christ. Since then, everything about this man is different: his attitude, his priorities, his speech, and his actions. To paraphrase another friend, "All he does is talk about Christ." His transformation has been just that, he has been transformed into a new creation. And as with science and cooking, this type of transformational change can not be changed back. 
"The old has gone, and the new has come."

I sometimes forget that Christ has this transforming power over those who put their trust in Him. I confess, I sometimes am looking just for the outward, Physical change of new actions, or appearance. 
Praise God for the work He is doing within each of us. May we each seek to be transformed in our entirety. 

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Adventures in camping

Stephen and I spent Labor Day weekend at Florence Lake, in the high sierra, with my Dad. The theme of the weekend seemed to be, Stephen doing manly things, and me documenting them.
Here he is building a fire with out matches. 
(It helped that my Dad teaches wilderness survival)

By far the funniest part of the weekend was when Stephen caught a fish with a willow branch, and line. 

I don't think I have ever tasted such a delicious trout before. 

It was nice to spend some time away from our everyday lives. Stephen really enjoyed learning all about camping from my dad and I enjoyed curling up with a book by the creak. it was almost a shame to drive back down again on Monday. 

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

supported in So Cal

Stephen and I just got back from Southern California. We had the blessing of reconnecting with family and meeting our brand new family face to face. 

It all started with a BBQ with our new A2 family. By divine providence an extra-ordinary amount of A2 alumni, staff, current missionaries, and missionary candidates we going to be in So Cal on the same weekend. So, we made the drive down to meet our new ministry family at the BBQ that was being held in honor of this freak occurrence. 
We were encouraged by warm greetings and conversations. 
Some of our A2 family

Since we realized driving all the way from Fresno to Diamond Bar just for dinner would be a bit unusual, we decided to make the most of our time down south and visit Steve's sister Jenn, and her new fiance, Jeff. It was great to hear how the Lord is working in their lives and has been providing for their needs. 

(Sorry for the lack of pictures, I kept leaving my camera in my purse. I'll post what I can steel. :P )

Our final stop was to hang out with our friends Christian and Marie and their super sweet baby. It has been awhile since we had seen either of them, and we had not been able to meet their daughter yet, so being down south gave us a good excuse. It was a joy to witness their new ministry as full time church employees. We lucked out and came down during VBS week and got to see Christian in action as Festus Augustus the "famous" shot-putter (maybe you have heard of him, cuz I sure hadn't :P ). The kids, along with Stephen and I, got a kick out of watching him ham it up in his role. 

The weekend was a whirl-wind of a vacation. And we were surprised to find out God desired to minister to us through our friends and family (we thought we were just getting a break from the valley heat). Each stop along the trip we heard different stories of God providing in ridiculously perfect ways. We were touched by the hospitality and generosity of our hosts. One more than one occasion, I found myself thanking God for such a great community of supporters that He is building around us. 

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

One Year

On July 11, 2009, Stephen and I celebrated our one year anniversary. One of the perks of getting married on 7-11 (July 11) is the free slurpees :-D. 

It's been a great year. Here's looking forward to many, many more. 

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Photo update

It's taken me a while, by I am finally motivated to update pictures from our week with E. It might have something to do with summer vacation starting, and me not having to teach for a couple months, or it might have to do with the wonderful reminder of our time together Stephen and I got in the mail today. 

Here we are in front of our house in Fresno, before leaving for San Francisco

While we were there we wandered around the Warf and Pier 39. The plan was to visit Alcatraz, but by the time we actually found the right pier to buy tickets, we found out that the next available tickets were for the next day. :/
So, we did some other weird touristy things  like...

... The Rocket Boat! 
I think our favorite part was when the giant tidal wave drenched us all. 


...Ripley's Believe It or Not Museum!
Now this is a place I have walked by before with never so much as a second glance. I only
 considered going because E thought it would be fun. But you know what, it was really fun. I was pleasantly surprised. 

That evening over a ridiculously large Pizzokie (the best dessert known to man), Stephen tried to get some last minute language study out of our friend. The result was riotous laughter from us all. Stephen decided he wanted to fill out the hotel evaluation, in Japanese. 
If I remember correctly, we complained that there was an octopus in the bathtub. 
It was signed by someone who lived on the moon in a tree. 

As for the piece of mail that reminded me to post some photos...
E sent us a package filled with Japanese snack foods. So far my favorite are the green tea chocolate chip cookie. 

I can't wait 'til next year when we get to see E again. 

Thursday, May 14, 2009

The Joys of Hospitality

Our world has been turned upside down this week as a friend from Japan has been staying in our spare room. I first met E. when she came to my college for a month to study English, a few months later, during my trip to Japan, her family hosted a bbq party for my traveling group. So, when I heard that she would be in Fresno for a week I offered up our pull out sofa in our spare room. 

Stephen has been enjoying our guest more than he thought he would. He is taking advantage of the situation to show off the 20 words he now knows in Japanese, and even learn a few more. It has been a fun week for me too, especially since she cooked us Okinomiyaki (one of my favorite foods) and chicken teriyaki on Tuesday. 

This weekend we are driving her back to San Francisco so she can catch her plane on Sunday.  
We are defiantly going to miss having her around.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Photo Shoot

This last weekend, Stephen and I were blessed to hang out with his sister, Jen, and her boyfriend, Jeff. We all made the trip up to the hills above oakdale, Ca to celebrate Steve and Jen's grandfather's 85 birthday. Partying with the relatives wasn't the only highlight of the trip. Jeff, being a photographer, wanted to do a photo shoot with us. 

Here are some of our favorites:
(and yes, Stephen is riding a horse, and wearing a cowboy hat. His step-brother let him borrow the horse and the hat, thankfully we left both safely at his dad's house. )

By the looks of this picture, you would think Steve knew what he was doing. :)
Too bad, I don't have the ones where he was chasing 6 long horn cows around the field.

Monday, April 6, 2009

It's official

Stephen and I just returned from a whirl-wind trip to southern California where we were asked to become part of the Asian Access family. We left last night, and got back about 5 minutes ago. The trip consisted of an interview, and invitation, then a few hours of next steps orientations which was referred to as "drinking from a fire hose". Although I would agree with this analogy, it was helpful to have the big picture laid out for us. Steve and I went home with a game plan, a time line, and a whole bunch of reading materials (one of which we finished on the drive home). Without remembering who is really in charge, this next step (and all the others to follow them) might begin to seem overwhelming and impossible. Praise God, that He has used these last months to be reminding us who He is and that He is faithful. Pray that we would not loose sight of who we are in God's kingdom.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Peace signs up

recently our school had a performance group come and teach our student all about conflict resolution and peace-making. My students absolutely loved the actors and the play, I even had one student bragging that she hugged "mr. H" 4 times at recess. By the end of the program, these community workers had my student's eating out of their hands. One of the more silly, but long lasting things these men and women taught my students was to put their "peace signs up". Whenever they asked for peace signs up, the students were to stop, raise their fingers like peace-signs,  and focus on the person giving instructions. 
Since the program, most of my students have forgotten how to resolve conflict, but they still remember to put their peace signs up and listen when I ask them to. (Go figure.)

A little closer to my own heart, God has finally got me to put my own peace-signs up as it were. After so long of asking for peace, I finally realized that I needed to give up so He could work. God has set my heart at peace in regards to ministry, the future, and the present. It's amazing what can happen when I stop and let God talk for a change. 

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

off to camp we go

Stephen and I are heading to church camp this weekend. It seems like we just got back from High school winter camp and already it's time to go with the college-age/ young adult group. We had so much fun with our high schoolers last month, but it will be nice to go in the capacity of a camper and not a counseler this time. there is just something nice about being able to sit back and listen to the message with out wondering how you are you to talk to students about it in a few minutes. Stephen has a plan to win all the trivia games since he knows the answers already. I'm sure I'll have to hold down his arm when they are looking for contestants.

Hopefully this time we will come back down the mountain without a new souvenier. Last trip, Stephen and I both came back with a horrible flu that I am still battling a month later.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Catching up

It's been a few months since I last posted so I thought I would give and update of what has been happening on our journey.

The theme for the last few months has been more of the same: patience.

It seems ever sermon; every bible study; every conversation has circled around the same topic. Whether is was intentional or God is trying to tell me something I have been trying to get my mind wrapped around the concept of waiting on the LORD.

At this point we are 5 months into our application process to be missionaries to Japan. It can become so easy to get frustrated with the pace, yet God is faithful and has not left us alone. It seems each time I am at my wits end, God sends someone to remind me that we are not forgotten, we are still in His plans.

Recently God has given us some perspective on the wait. We were reminded of the long journey ahead. Being missionaries to Japan does not bear instant results. We will need this practice in being patient and waiting on the LORD if we are to be effective.

That said, Please pray that we hear a yes or a no soon, and that God gives us the patience to wait on Him.
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