Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Neighbor's House Fire

Our neighbor's house burnt down today. There is absolutely nothing salvagable. It is a total loss. It was a two story house, now it is just a small pile of rubble. We aren't sure what further plans are. Just remember Dale and Krissy in prayer!

Here is a news article. 

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Remember our soldiers this Christmas!

As in freedom, today, we have celebrated the coming of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, let us not forget those who maintain this freedom for us. So many of them are away from their families. As you spend time with your family, remember those who can't be with their families! Also remember those who are going to be leaving overseas to pretect our freedoms in the coming year. For some, this will be their last Christmas with their families. 

Today, we received a phone call from David. He has been spending many long hours standing guard. He firgures he got 2 hours of sleep in the last 36 hours. In the midst of this he is really missing not being home. He has hardly any opportunity to be in contact with home. 

 Pray he and the rest of his platoon can stay alert in spite of the crazy schedule, so they don't get in trouble or make stupid mistakes becuase of being so tired. 

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Friday, December 19, 2008

I am in Cuba. The weather is beautiful but I do not have much time to enjoy it as we have been working long hours every day. I love the fresh fruits and vegetables. Iguanas and Banana rats are plentiful but you kill an Iguana and you have a $10000 fine coming. Any way that is my life as of yet. Hope you all have a Merry Christmas in the State side

Christ's Marine,

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Thanksgiving/Christmas 2008 Letter

Dear family and friends,

Change is a big part of this letter. We have realized that our children are becoming adults and the Lord is moving them on to places where He can use them. They are hearing God’s call as Isaiah did and responding in like manner too. (Isaiah 6:1-8) It is time to put revolving doors in this house with all the movement that is going on. Read on to see what Jesus is doing with each of our children.

Justo is 27 and has enjoyed his work at Industrial Automation Engineering. He is challenged and fulfilled in what he is able to do. Personally, he did get his cruise control working and is now hooking up a touch screen and computer with GPS for his car. Justo is a missionary under the Association of Free Lutheran Congregations and is serving in Ecuador for 9 months. A congregation in Ecuador has invited him to help set up a pioneer work in home schooling as well as work with the church and Christian school. He has shared his heart for the Lord in many ways here and is excited about this new opportunity in Ecuador. (See his prayer letter.) Justo is taking a new position and status at his company during this time and working remotely from Ecuador about 4 hours a week.

Jessica is 25 and serving the Lord right now in Ghana, Africa through Lutheran Bible Translators for 2 and ½ months. She is helping a family with 4 young children living in a very remote village. She will help them get started in home schooling and with other needs in the home and village. She hopes to start nursing school here in the New Year. She works at the Nursing Home in activities and as a CNA, and ministers to families in the area. She bought her first car as she is on the move so much.

Lucas is 23. He graduated in May from Patrick Henry College in Purcellville, VA. We praise God how He supplied work etc. to help him pay for all his expenses. We were blessed to be there as a whole family for his grad and to hear former Governor Mike Huckabee give the address. Lucas and Jessica went with a group from PHC to Mexico right after grad to serve in various capacities along side a missionary there. Lucas is now serving as a campaign manager for a conservative republican running for a U.S. congressional seat. He is recognizing the spiritual battle. He is living in Madison, WI at least through November.

David is 21 and has achieved well in the Marines. We are thankful for his witness for Jesus and the fruit from it. He has gotten 2 meritorious promotions so he is now Lance Corporal. In February, we were able to be with him for his graduation from boot camp in San Diego, CA. His Uncle Noel went with us and the Tonning family of 14 came from Apple Valley, CA. What a wonderful event for all of us. David is in the Fleet Antiterrorism Security Team (FAST) and has enjoyed the rigorous training. He has also taken scuba diving. He has had Christian fellowship with a fellow marine and at different churches off the base. He is in Norfolk, VA at present, but will be shipped out by the end of the year. He has been home a couple times, the last being Labor Day weekend. We hope to see him at U.S. Thanksgiving.

Peter is 17 and over 6’ 1”, equal to Dad’s height. He is still a permanent fixture at home taking his last year of studies, grade 12. He has been helping a lot at the Olson’s dairy farm, which he enjoys. He is still into hunting and has also been doing computer technical support for different people. He was fieldwork coordinator at the strawberry fields and many of us were out there as usual for the picking season. Peter is looking into Law Enforcement and has already done some ride-alongs with police. Again we are blessed that his life in Jesus has had a big part in his pursuits. He also got braces, which was a blessed gift. It has already made a big difference.

Matthew is 14 and stands at 5’ 9”. He is in 9th grade. He worked hard in the strawberries and in growing his own sweet corn again. It was a good year for both. Matthew has been enjoying baseball, along with Peter. We have gotten together with other families for all-ages baseball games. He finished Confirmation and gave testimony of his faith in Jesus at the church we attend. Matthew enjoys farming with the Olsons, hunting and is the most consistent in our Nursing Home ministry being the youngest. He flew with Jessica to CA to spend over a week with friends before meeting up with us for David’s grad.

Paul and Josie are challenged in their 50’s. Josie has just been diagnosed with a heart condition, atrial fibrillation, and is undergoing tests to see what needs to be done. We have other health issues too, but we are thankful for all we can still do. Volleyball is still our favorite family sport and we do get out camping once in a while. Paul with the three Nursing Homes and Josie with the home demands are kept quite busy. Josie flew up to Canada to visit her mother for about a week. Josie was pleased how well her mother did while she was there. It is hard to believe that we have lived in this house for over 10 years. It was an answer to prayer and continues to be a great blessing.

That reminds me of a favorite hymn we will often sing at the Nursing Home. It is a good reminder for us all. “When upon life’s billows you are tempest tossed; When you are discouraged thinking all is lost; Count your many blessings, name them one by one, And it will surprise you what the Lord has done.” The psalmist iterates a similar message: “I will sing of the mercies of the Lord forever. With my mouth will I make known Your faithfulness to all generations.” Psalm 89:1 This house to live in, our godly children, the continued family ministry, God’s provision in so many areas, His great salvation so rich and free are all blessings we can take for granted, but we acknowledge them here. As you communicate with us, please share some of the blessing God has given you. We will rejoice with you. And please be in prayer for us in all our locations and needs.
We will not be sending another letter that is usually sent between the two Thanksgivings. Therefore, have a blessed season of thanksgiving for Jesus into the New Year.

Because of Jesus,
Paul & Josie, Justo, Jessica, Lucas, David, Peter, Matthew

Friday, December 12, 2008

My Address in cuba

I am leaving for Cuba next Monday. It will be nice to be in a Caribbean climate for the next months of winter even though my job down there is a bit monotonous. any way any mail would be welcome but I will not promise to write back as I do not know how much extra time I will have between scuba diving and work.
Lcpl Pillman, David
Guantanamo Bay, Cuba
PSC1005 Box 32
FPO AE 09593-1005

Christ's marine
Pillman, David

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Jessica back from Ghana, Africa

We are thrilled to have Jessica back from Ghana, Africa. It was around 100F in Accra, Ghana where she was for the last couple days of her stay there. She developed close friendships with the Federwitz family. Here in WI it was around 6F when she returned, close to 100F difference. From swimming in the ocean to sliding down the snow within 48 hours. Such is our jet age. However, she is adjusting well. She brought back many interesting items, not knick knacks. Ask her about the rat trap? Burlap sacks, rubber ties, flour sack apron, Fonio, corn meal, ground nuts, dates, tie and dye, batik, peanut butter, cocoa, shea butter soaps. The language, race, culture, mucic, houses, food, climate, animals, foliage is all soo unique. We have a very Creative God. But, relationships, sin, forgiveness, sickness, grace, love, etc. transcends every culture and understanding God's gift of salvation and receiving Jesus as Savior is a universal need.
Today, Jessica is off to Eau Claire to prepare for entering Nursing classes in Jan.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Prayer for Healing

In obedience to the command in James 5:14 "Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven." . . .I, Josie, called for the elders of the church to pray for me for the healing of my heart. On Sat. Nov. 8, they came, anointed me with oil and prayed for my healing in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. I rested well Sat. night and felt less heart pain on Sun. I was able to walk a little farther without pain. Mon I continued to improve. Perhaps I am healed!! I am cautiously hopeful and praise the Lord for every bit of healing.

Monday, November 10, 2008

5 in the Household again!

Today Lucas got home! It is fun see him again, but you could not believe how pumped he is. He got home just in time for lunch so after unloading his car we sat down for the small meal. As some of you might know, Lucas has a very engaging way of presenting his views. He talked none stop once we had prayed for the food. After eating and listening alternately I finished lunch 45 minutes after starting. At the moment I finished I looked over at Lucas' plate. I figured that he had taken a total of maybe 3 spoonfuls. I asked mom to be excused and went to do my school. After another hour or so I had finished school for the day. I noticed that Lucas had gotten up from the table (after eating an amount, which would hardly sustain the beating of a mouse's heart till the next meal) and was washing dishes. He is still in the kitchen (35 minutes after I finished school) talking with mom about economics or something to that effect.

Yes, it is great to have Lucas home even though I am still wondering how he made it through the campaign season without shriveling up like a prune from lack of nourishment!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

News from Jessica

Jessica was just able to email us so here are some excerpts from emails that she wrote on Oct. 6th and 13th:

Valerie and I went to the Market a week ago Sunday. The market here runs every 6 days (the old African Calendar) so it is always a different day of the week. On Market Sundays there are always a lot more people in church as they come from all the surrounding villages and the evangelists that usually go out to preach at those villages don't go because they expect everyone to come in to Gbintiri for the market. The market was lots of fun. Pretty hot though. We both got sunburned. They have very low grass woven roofs on sticks that they sit under. So low that I would bump my head on them. Everyone just walks between them or bends under them. The market has a lot less variety than there is in most other countries I have been in. There just isn't a whole lot that they can grow here. They grow peanuts and yams similar to yucca, okra, and peppers, and tomatoes and we did find a few oranges. They also sell a few different grains and flowers, besides salt and soaps and other dry goods. There are some food items you can buy to eat at stands a fried bean dough and yams fried and they did have plantains deep fried that tasted just like Ecuador. There is some bread but I guess it is just one town that makes the bread so it just comes in on market day.

We actually have electricity here... it is solar powered but we don't have to conserve much. We will start having to conserve on water more when it stops raining here which will be any day now. It has been really hot and humid probably about 90-100F. Today we had a storm roll through about 5 pm which was sooo so nice. It cooled down and brought a breeze and it is very comfortable right now.

A girl comes and washes laundry and does a lot of the housework so I don't have to do too much of that. She also makes most lunches (she makes Ghanaian food). It is good but fairly different from other stuff I have eaten. Twice we have had a peanut soup poured over cornmeal mush that has been let sit until it sets. We also had kind of a yam stew thing. The yams that they have here are actually yucca or something very similar. They seem to be a bit less strong and less stringy than yucca was but have the same look. We eat more American food at supper so we have had tacos, pasta salad and sandwiches for supper

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Mom's Heart -Update

First of all I want to thank each and every one for their prayers. We really appreciate your concern!

Mom mainly had a consultation today with Dr. Schreiter. Thankfully Dad was able to fit it into his busy schedule as well, so both were there. First Dr. Schreiter determined that most likely, since it appears the heart has been slowly and insidiously deteriorating for some time, it wouldn't affect treatment to know whether the atrial fibrillation is causing or the result of the cardiomyopathy.

Also for the same reasons, most likely it wouldn't be possible to shock the heart back into normal rhythm, so the course of action is to treat the symptoms.

She will be on aspirin to keep the blood thin, and will continue on the beta blocker. She will also be put on an ACE inhibitor to slow the heart rate. Hopefully this second drug will allow her heart to get some rest, and also allow some healing. The ACE inhibitor will lower her heart rate and also lower her blood pressure. Hopefully this will help the heart to start pumping more efficiently.

Basically she has to limit her activity, as she has already been doing. Hopefully resting her heart can allow her to start doing more activity. Right now she is limited from walking any inclines, except at a very slow pace, and is pretty much unable to lift more than 20 or 30 pounds. Walking while carrying any weight is pretty much out of the question.

Pray for Mom that she can know how much she can do, and to know how much is too much.

Pray for all of us as we adjust to this new development, that we can know how to best help her out! Also to know how to adjust our schedule to accommodate her.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Justo in Ecuador

As most of you should know, Justo is in Ecuador for 9 months. So far he has done a good job keeping his blog updated, so be sure to keep up with him there!

Jessica in Ghana

Yes, you read it right, Jessica is in Ghana Africa at this time. No, I can't hold her down. She has now spent extended periods of time in five continents (only Australia and Antarctica left!), but that isn't her main focus. Her main focus has been to be what the Lord wants her to be, and to follow his guidance wherever that may taker her.

In the past year she has spent a lot of her time helping out mothers with young children, particularly those without older children to help. Now that calling has taken her to Africa where she is helping out the David Federwitz family for 3 months. As you can see (if you checked out their page) the Lord has blessed them with 4 small children of their own. Now this may seem like a busy household in civilized America, but realize this family is called to primitive Africa. Where they serve, there is no running water, no electricity (unless you count the power gathered off their small solar panels), and no indoor plumbing. We are so glad that she was available and willing to go and spend this time to cheer and encourage them in their ministry.

Due to how far she is out in the booneys in Africa, communication is limited, so we will not have any regular updates on how she is doing. We have received word that she arrived safely in Ghana, and is now with the Federwitz family. At this time she is living with them in a guest room that they have in their house. We will try and keep you posted with any updates we can, and we would still appreciate your prayers for her as well.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Mom's Heart

Hello all,

We are in the midst of great flux in our family. Jessica Just arrived in Ghana Monday (she will be there for 3 months) and Justo is leaving for Ecuador on the 30th (for 9 months). At the same time, we found out just a couple of weeks ago that Mom has heart problems.

She started having pain when walking or doing activity last November. Since then it has steadily gotten worse. On Labor Day when David was home, she was having difficulty walking even slowly for any distances when we tried to do a walk. This led to going in to the Dr. about two weeks ago. They discovered she has Atrial Fibrillation.

She had an echo cardiogram done, and they discovered her heart is functioning at only 20%, which is very low. They did an angiogram today and confirmed no blocked vessels. The doctor suggested that most likely the heart has been in atrial fibrillation for a long time, and thus has accommodated somewhat by enlarging. At this point that is about all we know. Due to the time this has seemed to be going on and how poorly it is functioning, there is definitely a need for some treatment.

The main prayer requests:

Wisdom for the doctors, which tests are necessary, exact treatment procedures to suggest when the problems are pinned down.

Wisdom for Mom, what things she can do, how much to cut out of her schedule.

Wisdom for Dad, balancing Dr.'s appointments with his work.


So far there is no new news. Mom's next appointment is on this coming Tuesday, October 7. About a week ago we felt led to switch cardiologists. Mom continues to feel pretty good, despite being a little low on energy. Pray for real wisdom in diagnosing the cause. At this point the biggest concern is whether the atrial fibrillation is causing or caused by the cardiaticmyopathy. We covet your prayers!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Family Pictures

Yes we had a bit of fun while we were at it. Enjoy!

Now, what is wrong with this picture?

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Working on the railroad

After a day of working on the railroad, I came home to an enjoyable visit with the Nelsons. They had a fun time trying on my PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) I use while on the job. Courtney, as promised, here are some of the pictures. (Cute kids by the way) -Justo

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Sunday, August 10, 2008

Dear Friends,
Life finally is getting back to the way it is supposed to go as my full Plt is finally at camp Allen. Last week was basically a lot of weapon cleaning and I moved rooms to be with my friend Tony Ward and another guy from my Plt, Bret Holmes. Last Thursday I BZOed my rifle which is basically sighting it in with both iron sights and A Cog which is a 4x scope. Other then that I had periodical medical lab work done Friday morning and Then cleaned weapons the rest of Friday and got off at 1330. To day we went to Church at a church of Christ Church service. I enjoyed the Church service with all Capella singing and the sermon from Col. 3. Well that is what I have been up to.

Christ's Marine


Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Coates twins update

Ashlee Coates, the mother of the twins writes:

"hey everyone!!! our family was officially complete on July 29!! austin came home and everyone is very glad to have him here! some recent weights...Ellyssa 6lbs 6 1/2oz, and austin is 7lbs 9oz. they are both about 20in long."

Austin is still on oxygen, but they hope he will soon be off that. Praise God for these precious little miracles! Thanks to everyone for praying.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Canada visit

Josie took a trip to Canada to see her 89 year old mother. Granny was having a very good spell which made it more special. So, Josie took Granny to visit friends and relatives young and old. She was able to use Harry's car which made things easier. The skies and people of this part of Canada have a feel all their own. Oil, agriculture and harsh climate shape the people. Lloydminster, where Granny lives, is a border city claiming both Alberta and Saskatchewan as its own province. Broken people need the Lord and the spiritual needs are as great as anywhere.

Canada visit

Living skies in Saskatchewan: Oil, Canola, Skies
Josie and Granny with Carsten

Granny, Uncle Rupert, Aunty Liz

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Camping with Laura

Taking down camp
On our way home
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Dad and Jessica cooking supper
Unexpected visitors
Karaoke with Lucas' MP3 player
Lucas resting
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Best Friends
Lucas taking in the beauty
Preparing supper
Campsite by the water
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Saturday, August 2, 2008

Now in Norfolk

Well time keeps marching on. I am now based on camp Allen. It is great to finally be in some sort of permanent base. This is to be a base of operation for the next two years as long as I am not over seas. Life for the last week was all bases around preparation for the change of command ceremony from Lt. Gen. Weber to Lt. Gen. Natonski. This ceremony took place yesterday. It took a lot of marching and drilling to get ready and every one was a little stressed out about it as the Commandant of the Marine corps ( Gen. Conway) and the Sgt Maj of the marine Corps was present, Sgt Maj Kent, as well as close to 30 other flag officers. The ceremony went fine with just a few mess ups and with my chuck getting soaked with sweat as it was over 90 deg. and we had to stand stationary in the sun doing rifle manual for close to an hour. Any way this is all part of the job even though it is not the fun part. I would much rather be out in the field shooting and sleeping out under the stars then drilling and doing rifle manual.
you can pray for me as I continue looking for a church in the area. It is a hard balance to find the "Perfect" church and spend the next 2 years looking or to just find a church with good doctrine and just try to fit in with it even though it might not be Lutheran or exactly what I am looking for. I will try to keep you posted!!!

Christ's Marine
David Pillman

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Summer Beauty

We had a thunderstorm roll through and the lighting was beautiful afterwords. Perfect for pictures...

Friday, July 11, 2008

Strawberry Daze

Here are some pictures from our 4th of July. Strawberries were in full swing, but this didn't keep us from celebrating. We just celebrated at the strawberry patch. Most of us guys wore American flag ties and feathers in our caps. It was a fun time. Below are some pictures.

Strawberry Daze2