Thursday, September 13, 2007

Thoughts from Randy

On re-entry thoughts: in the past week, Kelly and I both have been blessed by opportunities to speak to churches regarding our experiences in Benin and how good God is! What a privilege to share all that God has done in us and through us. I know, too, that with all the preparation for speaking, our hearts have been more attune toward our friendships in Benin. ALL of us, including Tori and Timothy, have all been talking more about that life. We have no regrets about leaving Benin and we desire to embrace completely this life as we are experiencing it here in America. They are so drastically different, though! During my speaking last weekend, I related a piece that I caught on the PBS channel. It was on kids at NASA seeing what it was like to be an astronaut. Cool! The kids got their own suits, helmets and loved the weightless experience as they experienced what it was like to be without gravity. Then the part that caught my attention: as I watched this one kid, all giddy with excitement and a smile bigger than his face, the announcer said, “now for the re-entry simulator machine.” The kid was strapped in to this contraption with every cord, belt and harness they could find. Still, the 12-year old boy thought he was the coolest thing on the planet. Then all that changed. They turned on the simulator and it rocked him in every angle, flipped him randomly and vigorously, and then did it backwards! It was a very short moment, but when that young boy stumbled out of his seat, he was not a happy camper, quite a bit nauseous and so dizzy he couldn’t stand up straight. The astronaut coach told all the kids in a very unassuring voice, “we want our astronauts to feel the full affect of atmospheric re-entry. We purposely intend for this machine to disorient them.” I couldn’t help but relate as we have recently crashed through the wall of cultural re-entry. As one passes from the magical world of mission work where we are constantly in a land of new discoveries and experiences, in order to re-join our families and life back home, we have to break through that barrier. It is challenging, confusing, draining, and totally disorienting! But it is not impossible, as God is eager to walk us through each and every day, each experience of pain and every baby step of victory! We feel like kids learning how to walk! But we also enjoy a unique perspective having stepped foot on another world. We are different because for the past decade, we have poured ourselves into people much different than us, learned to communicate in 2 different languages nothing like our native English, and we did it all with our Savior by our side. He is walking through each step of re-entry with us! If you are soon to go through Mach15 explosion into American atmosphere, get ready! God is ready to go before you, go through it with you, and be at your back at every turn.

Tori is enjoying 3rd grade…tomorrow is school picture day! Tonight was her school’s annual Elementary School parade and carnival. We love Tori’s teacher and know confidently she is the one the Lord picked out for our 8-year-old. Thank you Ms. Goin for reaching out to Tori in such special ways. As the pictures show, when we got home, the kids were so hot and sweaty (plus sticky from the free popsicles), we decided “the car” needed a good washing. It was fun to get all wet (saved time on bathtime later!) and the car did get clean in the process.

At this time, I am enjoying much exploring from so many different angles and talking to a number of mentors and people involved in the marketing/graphic design/advertising industry. Ever since I was in high-school, I have loved this field (thus my degree in Marketing from Abilene Christian). It is fun and yet I know it is a field with many challenges, competition and so much new software out there! I am enjoying my new MAC (thanks MC for the encouragement down that road) and my Adobe CS3 software. I am getting to spend a good part of every day learning all this software can do. The more I learn, the more I can do freelance. If the Lord desires we be in business for ourselves, we will pursue this full-time. We are also sensitive to His guidance if we could find employment in this arena alongside others.


Kristen said...

What a great comparison! Did you know you must still be on Benin time in your blog because it's not Friday yet???

Brooks Inc. said...

great thoughts Randy...great pictures as well.

I am so glad that you guys chose to reentry the atmosphere right here...we are loving every moemnt we have with you all...praying for you all all of the time!


Becky Reeves said...


We will be PRAYING for you as you seek God's guidance in your future job opportunities. What a big change this is and God is so faithful to see you all through each step of the way! Please say Hi to Kelly for me. Love you all!

In His Love,

Anonymous said...

Once again, you've given Bryan and I lots to talk about! We are learning from you and Kelly! Love you!

Randy & Kelly Vaughn said...

Bryan & Tracey,
Kelly and I are glad you guys are having lots to talk about!! Please, if you have any thoughts, concerns, questions, ideas....please feel free to email us. Our experience is fresh so we might have some ideas that could be helpful. Please ask!! Anything!