Thursday, July 31, 2008

to 4 years of Marriage!

Happy Anniversary! It has been a great 4 years of marriage. Before we left Dallas we took a few pictures at some of the places where we have great memories in Dallas. Unfortunatly, 2 of our favorite Dallas restaraunts have burned down and the place we went for our first date is closed down. (You can see pictures of the hole-in-the-wall "Ben's Half Yard House" above.) Also, featured is the place we got married and our first apartment, (which is also where we first met on a blind that exact door step). "Awwww, how romantic..."

After 4 years, we have a son and a new country and now we finally feel like we can "settle down."

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Some cute pictures

We won't be able to download large pictures once we get to Ethiopia due to having dial-up internet connection. So we thought we would upload these recent pictures. My dad took these pictures of our little cutie.

Recent Newsletter

Below is an informational about us that was featured in the recent PAACS newsletter:


Paul & Becca Gray

Next month, Paul and Becca Gray will leave their home in Texas to travel to Soddo, Ethiopia, where Paul will become the new Program Director.

Paul wrote recently: “I first felt God's tug into medical missions during a college mission trip to a hospital in central India. Over the next several years God confirmed this as I finished college and attended medical school at the University of Louisville.

MPj03993320000[1] “I first learned of PAACS in a lecture given by Dr. Dave Thompson at the Global Missions Health Conference at Southeast Christian Church in Louisville during my second year of medical school. I was drawn to the idea of training others to multiply what a single missionary surgeon could do during his entire career. Furthermore, this was in keeping with Christ's example. While He ministered to a tremendous number of people in His lifetime, He mainly poured Himself into twelve men who carried on after He left.

“Following medical school, I attended a general surgical residency at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas, Texas. There I met and married my wife, Rebecca. During my third year of residency, I contacted PAACS by email and subsequently spent the month of May, 2007 at Bongolo Hospital in Gabon, working with Dave Thompson and his residents. This was a definite confirmation of God's plan to us. After asking where we might best contribute, Dave and Bruce Steffes suggested that we prayerfully consider Soddo Christian Hospital in Ethiopia.

“During our prayer and research about Ethiopia, we were visited by both the Andersons and the Adolphs. Once again, we felt confirmed in our decision. God directed to Global Outreach International as a sending agency, and after being accepted as missionaries we set about raising support.

“After graduating from residency in June, 2007, I worked for one year as a trauma/critical care surgeon at Baylor while raising support. At this point, we have liquidated life here in the USA and are excitedly anticipating the transition to a missionary life that is ten years in the making.

“We feel like we’re now on that part on a roller coaster ride where you are strapped in and chunking up the slope to the first drop. You have a dry mouth as you eyeball the height, but there's no turning back! We are confident in the Lord, though, and ready to trust in His grace and provision. The challenges that await us at Soddo are more than daunting, but we’re eager to get at it. May God be praised!”

Monday, July 28, 2008

Who loves Baby?

We have a book called "Who loves Baby" and several people have tried to read it to Nathan only to find the sad conclusion that no one is in the book. It is a book you have to put pictures into, so we have been taking pictures of Nathan with family and friends to be able to fill his book, with people who love him.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

to Andrew Wayne, "In the palm of His hand"

"Today is a day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it."

I always hear this phrase in the morning, when I don't yet know what that day holds. But what about yesterday? Yesterday, was a day the Lord had made as well, even when yesterday was blanketed with pain.

Yesterday was a day the Lord had made... Let me tell you about a few things that happened yesterday, July 22, 2008. Three of our close friends had babies yesterday. But July 22nd was not only filled with the joy of our friends and their families.

Mary Margaret was born to Mary Evelyn and Dan Fore in Memphis, Tennessee
Caden was born to Jen and Jeff Richardson in Austin, Texas
Andrew Wayne was born to Brooke and Scott Holliday in Houston, Texas.

Shortly after Andrew was born, he died. I do not know all of the details, but I do know that there are many family members and friends who are grieving for this small life. Many people who are feeling the pain of losing such an innocent soul. We don't always know why the Lord chooses such painful situations and I don't pretend to know here. I am just a mother grieving for another mother.

to Andrew Wayne Holliday: I know you were such a special blessing to your parents and your sister. Although you knew this world for a short time, the love and prayers that surrounded you were abundant. The way your mom and dad prayed for you even before you were created was so gracious. You have traveled to so many places and have been to parts of the world that other American children will only hear about. You have a bond with your mother that only a mother can know. You brought so much joy to your parents as you grew and as you kicked around. You are such a special boy and although I never knew you, you have made me remember how big our God is. How God is so powerful and so mighty that he can love us and forgive us. That He can grant us the kind of grace and love that is even more powerful than a parents love. Andrew, in the midst of the pain and longing I feel, you have made me reflect on how God has all of us in the palm of His hand. And there is no other place I would rather be.

As we rejoice in the Lord for these new lives we rejoice Him for our own. As Paul and I are 12 days from moving to Ethiopia with Nathan, we have to realize that no matter where we go we are not in control, but we are in the palm of God's hand.

Please pray for my friends Brooke and Scott during this time. And may we pray for all parents who have dealt with the loss of a child. Earlier this week I was reading a mother's blog who recently lost a daughter after 2 short hours of life. Please pray for her as well (Her blog is here).

Lord, my prayers to you are such a small offering of love for those who are hurting. I pray tonight for Brooke and for Scott and how they must be on their knees, filled with sorrow. I pray that you would give them glimpses of your peace and comfort. And that you would help them through this day and then through tomorrow and then the next. Amen.

love, Becca

Friday, July 18, 2008

Traveling Around

We have been having a great time traveling to see family and friends. We are currently in Atlanta and have driven almost 2000 miles! Only 1000 miles to go... Nathan's favorite thing has been his Baby Einstein DVD. That is a road trip life saver! And we figure he won't see TV for a while so few hours of Baby Mozart over and over again won't hurt. Also, a friend gave us a sign language DVD, so we are starting to teach him a few simple things, in order to increase the communication beyond grunting and crying. (Thanks Beth!)

You can see Nathan chillin' with his paci and DVD here. He uses the DVD holder as a foot rest as well. He is such a cutie!

Things went pretty well as we wrapped up in Dallas. This is a picture of our garage give-away! That picture doesn't even begin to describe the stuff we got rid of.
We were happy that some friends came by and took a piece of our Dallas life to their own homes. We know they will think of us in Ethiopia as they use the items.
Thanks to all of our friends for tons of help moving and storing and cleaning! You have no idea how much you helped.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

A Busy Week...

We have been busy this week packing up the apartment. Here are some pictures to show just a few of the things we have been up to in prepartion to saying goodbye to Dallas.

Nathan started eating rice cereal. My parents took this picture while they were in Dallas helping us move some furniture.

The dietitians at Baylor had a little get together where we could hang out and Nathan and I could say goodbye. Of course at a dietitian party the babies are the only boys allowed...(Nathan is in the back and the other little guy is Pierce in the car seat.)

We put some of our things in storage. This was Paul's last trip of a million, he has worked so hard. Nathan was taking a ride on the dolly. Oh...and Paul shaved his head. It was part of a celebration of one phase of his life and he has been talking about forever and since he was done working at Baylor he decided it was time. I like it!

This is our storage space. It is 5' by 5' and 8' tall. And we used every inch. Nathan was a big help, so we decided not to store him, but to continue to raise him. He is so cute and has been so much fun as he turned 6 months.

And to top off our very exciting and busy week... Nathan started rolling over. He had been rolling from stomach to back. But for the first time in his crib he rolled from back to stomach. We all of a sudden heard him crying very loud...and then the cry got muffled and we ran in there and he was on his tummy. So he is figuring out how to sleep on his stomach when he ends up on his belly. He is also very ambitious and goal oriented (like his parents) and only rolls over when there is something to reach for. We love him so much and he is developing such a cute and sweet personality. Paul prayed for him last night and when Paul opened his eyes Nathan was just looking at him and smiling. When Nathan looks back at me like that I always think he is saying, "I love you too!"