Tuesday, April 28, 2009

On the Road Again

We are leaving tomorrow for another trip and will be gone for two weeks (Rusty will be gone for three). It is our first time to travel as a family since Stephen's birth, and I find myself a little overwhelmed by the task of packing for the four of us for the next couple of weeks.

We are traveling for a combination of personal and Angola-related reasons. May 1-2, we will be in Memphis for Rusty's graduation ceremony. On May 3, we will be in Nashville to present to a missions committee at a church that may be interested in becoming our sponsoring congregation. May 5-8, we will be in L.A. to attend the Pepperdine Lectureships. Our team will be teaching a class about the work in Angola as well as hosting an informational breakfast. May 9, we will be in Abilene to attend my brother's graduation ceremony at ACU. The boys and I will be back in Detroit by May 13. Rusty is staying in Texas an extra week to attend a church planting conference with our team in Dallas.

The blog will be on hiatus for a couple of weeks. However, I promise lots of pictures and updates after we return. We look forward to seeing many of you during our travels these next two weeks!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Easter, 2009

Our Easter this year was pretty low-key. The main reason for that being that I had given birth just six days prior. I did help Alex dye some Easter eggs on Saturday. He did it mostly by himself, and he liked turning the eggs different colors, but he quickly lost interest when it came to decorating them with stickers. My mom says I need a daughter to do craft projects with. Well, maybe next time!

On Sunday, we all went to church, Stephen for the first time. He was six days old. Everyone was surprised to see me there, and to be honest, I probably would not have gone had it not been Easter Sunday. The most special part of the service for me was that my dad was able to pray over Stephen. It's something he does for every new baby on their first Sunday at church. I don't think any of us expected that someday he would be able to do this for one of his grandkids. It will always be a precious memory of the events surrounding Stephen's arrival.

After the service, there was an Easter egg hunt for all the kids, and Alex had a great time with that. Then it was home for a yummy Easter lunch -- Mom's awesome chicken tetrazzini and homemade pies for dessert.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Family of Four

Here's the first picture we have of our family of four. My dad took this picture of us in the hospital on the day Stephen was born.

Things continue to go well. My recovery has been quicker this time than the last time (maybe that has to do with the fact that I had a quicker and easier labor and delivery). In fact, the thing that is bothering me most right now is my back. Pregnancy really messes with your posture! Stephen is also doing well and (so far) appears to be a pretty laid back baby. We took him to the doctor today to have him evaluated for jaundice. His levels are pretty high, so the doctor said if they go any higher, he will have to go under the lights. We will go back on Monday to have him checked out again.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Pictures of Stephen

About 4 hours old -- being weighed and measured

Getting his first bath -- he wasn't too happy about it!

Nyanya and Babu and their two grandsons

The L&D nurse who actually delivered Stephen

The other L&D nurse who was in the room when Stephen was born.

Both of the nurses were absolutely amazing and really kept their cool during the quick delivery! They told me later that I hold the record for the fastest delivery (so far) at this hospital. It's only been open a couple of weeks -- still, it would probably be difficult to break my record. They said I checked in at the front at 9:04, and Stephen was born at 9:12. I'm just glad they decided to bypass triage and took me straight to my room. I still find it hard to believe that my first labor lasted nearly 64 hours, and this one was only 4. I guess I am trying to set a record either way!

Stephen, Rusty, and I came home from the hospital yesterday afternoon. Alex has been enjoying having us all at home. So far, he seems very excited about his "baby brudder" and keeps saying, "He's so cute!" We'll see how it goes from here!

Monday, April 06, 2009

Baby Dois is Here!

Baby Dois, henceforth to be known as Stephen Thomas Campbell, arrived at about 9:15 this morning. He weighed 8 lbs. 5 oz. and was 20 3/4 inches long. He is healthy and perfect and already nursing like a champ.

In comparison to my labor with Alex, which went on for almost 3 days, this one was a piece of cake! In fact, we barely made it to the hospital in time. They were just getting us settled in our room, and they told me to go change into a gown in the bathroom. I sat down to use the toilet, and all of a sudden, I realized I was pushing. I yelled out, "I'm pushing!" Rusty and two L&D nurses managed to get me to the bed, and Stephen was born with the very next contraction, before the doctor on duty even had a chance to get there. No time for a labor check, IV, nothing. I'm just glad we left the house when we did, or he would have been born in the car!

Pictures will follow soon. Thanks to everyone who prayed for a short and easy delivery for me -- I'd say God really answered your prayers!

Wednesday, April 01, 2009


So much of our life right now seems to be about waiting. Waiting for Baby Dois to make his appearance... waiting for spring to come and the weather to warm up... waiting on God to provide a sponsoring church and the funds we need to go to Angola. This last is probably the hardest right now. I mean, I know I'm eventually going to have this baby. He'll come when he is ready, and I won't be pregnant forever. (Right?) And I know spring is just around the corner. I guess that's the hard part about waiting for all the pieces to come together for Angola -- we don't know how much longer we will have to wait.

We continue to pray, prepare, present to churches, network with an ever-growing list of contacts, and pray some more. Most churches we send our materials to say they just can't commit to taking on a new missionary right now, often because their funds are already committed to other missionaries or ministries, or because of budget cutbacks, a building project, or the "current economic situation." Others agree to take up a one-time contribution for us, which is certainly appreciated and helpful, especially right now with all of our preparation expenses, but won't sustain us long-term on the field. And then, there are those few churches who are actually in a position to be either a sponsoring congregation or to give monthly towards our salary or work-fund for the next few years. So we make our pitch to the missions committee... and then we wait.

Waiting is... agonizing, discouraging, demoralizing, frustrating. It is also faith-building. Throughout this whole process, I am trying to remember that. I know there have been other missionaries who have looked for support a lot longer than we have been looking, and they eventually found what they needed and went. I know that when God calls, he also enables. I know that God's timing is perfect and that I don't always see the big picture or understand why things happen (or don't happen) the way I think they should. I hope that in years to come, I can look back on this time in my life and see it as a time when my faith in God's providence and in his timing was really strengthened.

A few weeks ago, I saw the movie "Fireproof," a wonderful movie on the importance of commitment in marriage, even (or especially) when times are tough. There was a song in the movie called "While I'm Waiting," that really touched my heart and encouraged my soul during my own season of waiting. I'm posting links to the music video on Youtube and to the lyrics below. If you haven't yet seen the movie, then I highly recommend that you go rent it and watch it with your spouse (if you have one) tonight!

"While I'm Waiting" music video
"While I'm Waiting" lyrics