the new newest Johansson

September 16th, 2006

So Sam is the newest Johansson to be born…but Nicole and I just got word of another Johansson baby on the way!!! Cool your jets, it’s not ours…Dan and Jen are expecting #3 Feb 26!! how awesome…and so begins the newest round of “so when is it your turn?”

the newest Johansson

June 1st, 2006

Meet Sam…the newest nephew

Nana’s dancing with Gus…

April 22nd, 2006
Greta Anna Katherin (Dahlstrom) Nelson
May 7, 1914 – April 22, 2006

This is all pretty poor theology I guess but the way I am conceptualizing this in my mind…Nana is in heaven right now dancing on her new legs seeing with her new eyes, Gus and Nana have been waiting for this moment for 17 years (since May 2, 1989).

What I wish I could hear most though is my Jesus saying to Nana well done my good and faithful servant, enter into eternity with me….

The Children Do Not Smile

April 4th, 2006

Cambodia was not what I expected. Did I know it was third world, devastated by the Pol Pot regime, recovering from the loss of much of its population? Yes, I knew those things. I knew that child prostitution was a significant problem and that the educational system was in disarray. That corruption was the rule of the day. That Buddhism would have a heavy influence, although it would not be strictly adhered to. I expected all of that.

But I did not know that the smiles of the children would be few. That aggression would be common, spitting and hitting and pushing and shoving. Stealing books from the hands of a classmate. I did not know that the mark of this nation’s past would be displayed in the eyes of its children.

Cambodia is a broken nation and it was a great experience to see children receive their own copy of God’s Word. I was there 3 days, we spent one day in a school where about 500 children received the Book of Hope. The next day we traveled into rural Cambodia with a humanitarian agency. The villages we visited had no electricity and were separated from the more ‘developed’ part of Cambodia by the Mekong River, reached only by a rickety ferry. The group from the humanitarian agency are Christians. They go into the village every two weeks, teaching basic hygiene. We were allowed to do a Book of Hope presentation and the humanitarian team will continue to follow up with the children and their families.

My last day I visited Toul Sleng, the Khmer Rouge S-21 prison that used to be a school before it was turned into an interrogation center. Thousands of Cambodia people, including women & children, were tortured and killed in the facility. Before they were killed they were photographed, and their photographs are on display today . . . rows and rows of photos, lives lost at the hands of a brutal dictator.

The nation bears these scars, but there is healing as well. When the nation opened in the early 90’s, there were an estimated 200-1000 believers in the country – – now, there are over 100,000!

I left Cambodia for Thailand on Sunday. Since then, I’ve been in a hotel meeting room. Although I am not ‘seeing’ Thailand, the meetings have been informative and challenging and have given me insight that will be valuable as I return to work. This evening I leave for my trip home, it will take 4 planes – 5 airports – 36 hours. I’m glad Jon will be waiting for me when I arrive!

I’ll post photos when I return.

I miss my wife

March 30th, 2006

It is funny to think that I used to spend a high percentage of the year out of the country.  Now, I doubt I am traveling even 10% of the year and the same with Nicole.  But something has changed, neither of us like travel nearly as much…if it means we are apart.  Like now for instance, Nicole is in Cambodia and I miss her sooo much.  Over the past year we have traveled some, but this time was different.  This time leaving each other at the airport was the worst it has ever been.  Sigh…163 more hours….