Friday, November 2, 2007

Larson Update - for those of you without snail mail

Greetings from Pennsylvania! That’s right, I said Pennsylvania – but I will get to that in a minute.

What a super busy year this last year has been! First, we had Ruth on June 15th of 2006, and then sailed to Israel two and a half months later. That was a strange time for the Larson family. At first it was tough, because Josh worked the 12 to 4 watch – which meant he would come home at 4am and go right to bed, and Ruth would wake up two hours later and we would have to leave the room. I would start working (doing the laundry and watching Ruth) at 8am and finish just in time for Josh to go back to work at noon. Basically, we never really saw each other. Upon reaching Israel, we were welcomed with tours of the Holy Land! It was a lot of fun to watch Josh see all that I had seen a few years before when I went to Israel without him. We got to see Jerusalem several times, the Sea of Galilee, the Dead Sea, and we traveled around Ashdod (where we were docked) quite a few times. On the way home, we stopped to float around the island of Malta for Thanksgiving. The seas were super-calm, yet the writer of this letter (me, Rebekah) was feeling quite seasick – or so I thought. When we stopped by Tenerife, in the Canary Islands we found out on December 10th that Ruth was going to be a big sister! We arrived back in the States on January 2nd.

We did some traveling after the Israel trip. Ruth got to take her first airplane ride, outside of Mama, to meet her Grandpa and Grandma Larson (and their dog, Kelly). She also met her Uncle Aaron, Aunt Rachel and her cousin Sam. I got to take my first-ever ride on a snow machine (a super-slow one, just for me!) with Josh. Ruth had her first experience in a bathtub, AND a hot tub…we were amazed at how buoyant her diaper became! From Alaska, we then flew to Ohio to meet Big Papa, Grammy, Great-Grama Taylor, Great-Grama Carr and Great-Grampa Carr. We also took a side trip to Pennsylvania and met Uncle Chris, Aunt Allison and her cousin Matthew – and don’t forget, Captain!

After those three weeks of travel and meeting new people, we went back to the “humdrum” of everyday life. Mama started working cleaning the office at Friend Ships everyday for two hours. Papa (Josh) started the fun job of making things with his welder and rebuilding some machinery. He then transferred to the Mechanic Shop.

In June, Ruth turned one. She didn’t even notice! Then, about a month later, Mama went to the hospital and at 1:35 in the morning, on the 17th of July, after 3 hours of intense work, she delivered Shalom Elkanah. We came home on the afternoon of the 18th.

While all of this had been taking place, there was something happening behind the scenes. Mama made a friend on a forum that she frequents called This friend told her about the ministry that she and her husband worked for called Christian Missionary Technical Services. When Mama told Papa about CMTS, neither really thought anything of it, until a couple days later when God told Papa we would be moving to Pennsylvania, and we would be leaving on the 11th of August! By the way, all of this took place in six (6) weeks. God was amazing. When Josh and I were talking about moving to PA, someone decided that they would lump all of their support for us into one payment…just when we were wondering how we would rent a vehicle. By the way, no one really knew we were even considering a move. Guess what, you can’t rent a vehicle without a credit card. Guess who happened to have a credit card sitting around, and decided to add us to their account? Mom and Dad Larson! Therefore we were able to rent a vehicle, and Josh packed almost ALL of our stuff into a Trailblazer!!!! Do you know how pathetic it sounds when two missionaries who own nothing keep telling each other they need to downsize?!?!?

So that is the story. Josh, Rebekah, Ruth and Shalom have begun life in Pennsylvania as of August 15th. At first we lived in a 3rd floor apartment, but within a month moved to a mobile home (that’s right, we are in a REAL house for the first time as a family!).

Just a quick preview of what CMTS does (I will write more on this later). First, they work on cars for missionaries to use when they come home on furlough. They also have a trade school in Mexico that does roughly the same thing, and they would like to start another school in Belize and one in Liberia too. They go on missions trips twice a year to Mexico to work on the property down there (around Thanksgiving and the week before Easter). CMTS also gives their services to missionaries who wish to send containers overseas, they serve as a place to collect stuff from and bring stuff to, and the staff will pack the container for free. This is what I know so far, since I get to be a STAY-AT-HOME MAMA (yes, that would be God’s answer to a dream of mine!) I don’t get to know the ministry as well as Josh. So I will get him to explain more in the next letter!


Josh, Rebekah, Ruth and Shalom