Monday, September 29, 2008

Promotion Pictures

Greetings everyone,

Here are the much anticipated promotion pictures as promised...

The pinning

Last pinning I put the pin on the wrong collar. This time the Master Chief made impressions on the collar for me to follow the pin wholes.

Taking the oath

Great... no chance of Harry getting fired and we get to go home?

Harry's boss Father Brown, me, Harry, & The Boss

"Team Souda"

Greatest RP's in Souda Bay

NSA Souda Bay Chapel family members

Blessings until next time,


Saturday, September 27, 2008

Last Day in London

Greetings everyone,

Today we checked out of the historic Hart Inn in Lewes England and made our way north to London. Yes, despite our previous ventures we decided against the train and decided to drive into the city.

First stop..... across London bridge and to London Tower and London Tower Bridge. London Tower, built by William the Conquer. The original stark square fortress was built by William the Conqueror in 1078. The tower's primary function was a fortress, a royal palace, and a prison. It has also served as a place of execution and torture, an armoury, a treasury, a zoo, the Royal Mint, a public records office, an observatory, and since 1303, the home of the Crown Jewels of the United Kingdom. William Hastings, 1st Baron Hastings (1483), Anne Boleyn (1536), Catherine Howard (1542), Jane Boleyn, Viscountess Rochford (1542), Lady Jane Grey (1554), are just a few of the execusions carried out at London Green. (Told you I had a mild obbession with Henry VIII and his wives.)

Tower Bridge. Tower Bridge is sometimes mistakenly referred to as London Bridge, which is actually the next bridge upstream.

Second stop.... this one a little harder to find parking in Trafalgar Square.... Scotland Yard, 10 Downing Street, Big Ben, and Westminster Abby.

Scotland Yard. Heard it was a nice place to visit, you just would not want to live there. Scotland Yard has become internationally famous as a symbol of policing. However, the term Scotland Yard has been used incorrectly instead of Metropolitan Police to describe the police force in London.

Scotland Yard

10 Downing Street. The residence and office of he Prime Minister. The infamous red door can no longer be seen by tourist. Security measures have been out in place for the safety of the Prime Minister and his guests.

Big Ben. We arrived, as you can see arrive at 1:50. The world's biggest four-faced, chiming clock. In 1859, the bells chimed for London for the first time and has since been known for its reliability.

Westminster Abby. It is the traditional place of coronation and burial site for English and later British monarchs. Anne of Cleves, William Wilberforce, Sir Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin, and many ... many more important people are buried within these walls. There is also a Poets' Corner for burial of such names as Charles Dickens, Chaucer, Thomas Hardy, Lord Tennyson, and so many others.

Third stop... Buckingham Palace. Harry and I refused to pay the 15 pound / $30 usd per person entry fee. So as you can see... all the pictures are from outside the Palace. $60 is a steep price to pay to see the official London residence of the British monarch. The palace is a setting for state occasions and royal entertaining.

Fourth and final stop.... Windsor Castle. Windsor Castle is an official residence of The Queen and the largest occupied castle in the world. The Castle has over 1,000 rooms making it the largest operating in the world. A Royal home and fortress for over 900 years, the majestic views of the castle are spectacular. Other than the overhead airplanes landing and taking off from Heathrow, which is our last stop.

Yes.... our trip has come to a close. Did we do everything we wanted to do? Did we see everything we wanted to see? No, but hopefully, we will return again.

God has blessed us immensely with the ability to travel and explore. Me more than Harry, but we are grateful for the opportunity to be able to visit foreign countries. To experience foreign cultures has always peeked an interest in both of us. We are fortunate to experience this adventure while we are still young and have the ability to bounce between time zones with little effort.

Blessings to those interested in our ministry and this week...(travels),


Sugary High

Greeting everyone,

From Portsmouth England. Please someone tell me why we pronounce Portsmouth – Portsmith? Where in time or geographical relocation did we completely change the enunciation of this ancient seaport town?

Anyway, that’s where our travels have taken us. Bring in the Navy, Harry has a deep rooted love for Naval history. So we took a leisurely scroll over to Portsmouth England.

We arrived late in the evening just after every tourist attraction had closed its doors. So all the sites we visited were through the gates, windows, bars, or just from afar.

In World War II, this strategically placed port received severe damage. German bombers leveled the city by hitting 90 percent of its buildings. Today, the city is a booming oasis of port life. The coastal resort area attracts vacationers near and far. Frequent ferries, large shopping centres, restaurants, and pubs line the present day landscape.

The British Navy has called this epic port centre home for the past 500 years. An important shipyard housing a vast part of military navy history. Portsmouth famously houses the oldest and greatest commissioned warship in the world. Lord Nelson’s HMS Victory. It resides behind a gated Museum that closes at the normal business hours of 6 pm. We were able to sneak a peek from the opening of the huge wooden gate. The 1860's HMS Warrior, was actually outside the gates and visible. Powered by steam and sail, she was the largest and fastest warship of her day. Her most radical innovation was her citadel - an armoured box housing her guns. Also within the museum gates lies the Mary Rose. Mary Rose is the flagship of Henry VIII.

HMS Victory

HMS Warrior

And for me…. Portsmouth is the birthplace of my favorite book’s author. (Notice I said favorite book, not favorite author. My favorite author is Agatha Christie.) But my favorite book of all time is Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens.

The greatest piece of nonfiction to encompass every single human emotion is Tale of Two Cities. I love it. I admire Dickens ability to construct characters and continue to develop with a complex story line throughout the book. To read the plot and grow ever increasingly engrossed with the outcome. And what a tragic time period with disastrous societal relations. Yet, Dickens allows the readers to admire and be devoted to various characters. Then there are the characters like Madame DeFarge. Mean old Madame DaFarge and her knitting.
Oddly in looks quite similar to our house in Atlanta.

Also, in Portsmouth…. D Day Museum, Southsea Castle built by Henry VIII as a coastal defense, and many naval monuments. Again…. All seen in the darkness of night.

Harry & Rob (the chaperon) D Day Museum

Before we actually found any of these sights…. we had to detour a little…. Harry was lost again.

Unlike our first driving venture….this time we had a chaperon. One of Harry’s classmates and a fellow Navy Chaplain tagged along with us. He had no idea what he was getting into!

We were enjoying the fellowship and the shared Chaplaincy stories… when we missed our exit. Once we realized we were traveling away from our destination we stopped. Where we stopped?….. A shopping complex!…. And in this complex? ….. Krispy Kreme Doughnuts! A Krispy Kreme right there in front of our eyes.

"Thank you Lord… for the little things in life!"

"Thank you Lord… for the sweet things in life!"

"Thank you Lord… for the scrumptious delicacies in life!"

"Thank you Lord…for the sugary coating of a Krispy Kreme doughnut!"

And yes Lord….

"Thank you for allowing Harry to get lost and find such an amazing treat!"

So not only was Harry on top of the world seeing such awe inspiring sights for a navy blooded bloke, but I was literally on a sugar high. As you can see... we ordered a dozen.

Blessings until next time,


Thursday, September 25, 2008

Lovely Rubbish


Today was supposed to be a day filled with adventuresome touring about the Kent countryside. However, I diverted, much to Harry’s dissatisfaction, towards a more modern site.


Before starting out my day towards Kent, which would include more castles, the castle of Anne Boleyn, the loveliest castle in the world Leed’s, Down’s House where Charles Darwin wrote On the Origin of Species, and Chartwell the childhood home of Winston Churchill. Full day huh?

Well, the day started with me popping across the street for a few snacks and directions from the tourism office. Remembering to look the opposite direction…cars are on the opposite side of the road, therefore oncoming traffic from the opposite direction. Did that make any sense? Anyway, I needed a map. Not that you nor I will ever tell Harry, but I did get “turned around” several times yesterday. Not lost. Turned around.

Beside the tourism office was a cutesy little store called, The British Red Cross. Um, a blood drive? Not that I am a willing participate... needles scare me. The building is painted fire engine red and gleaming in the beautiful day today. Perfect driving weather I really should hurry and be on my way. Except as I pass by the window, I see what’s actually inside. Not blood. Thank God not blood or neddles. But stuff. Things. Lots and lots of things.

I decide to go inside to investigate further. The love of Agatha Christie coming out in me. And inside….. I find my favorite past time in the entire world….. “junk” store shopping. Second hand roundup. Thrift store heaven. Dumpster diving. Rubbish Gathering. Whatever you call it. I love the hunt of finding a hidden treasure amongst muck. The old cliché remains the same; “One mans junk is another man’s treasure. O, happy day!

Except here, the merchandise looks lovely. Does not have that rancid odor sometimes common with our junk. I see the store clerk in the back employees lounge steaming the clothes. What? Steaming junk clothes? That's when I realize this is not a normal US junkstore. This my friends, is a British version. And they do things the "proper" way. I see stacks and stacks of books.

My second love in this world is old books. Books that smell old. Books tarnished from their age. Books that need tender care just to turn the page and not damage the delicacy of aged paper. I love them. Love the smell, texture, and look of a finely aged bound cover. I also love foreign books. Or at least US books with foreign covers.

So it dawns on me I have seen several of these kinds of charity stores up and down the street. So I make my purchases and head up the street in search for a good cause. You see,…Harry hates junk stores. He hates everything about them. The most disturbing fact is that I would pay money for someone else’s discarded rubbish. But here in Britain….the junk stores are supporting a worthy cause… so how could he complain, right? I am doing it for charity!

I peruse the several different shops up and down High Street. (I think they call streets High like we use Main. They are in every town.) Buy a few things. Then decided I might need to stop before a second piece of return luggage is needed. I should stop but, we do not have these at home. Greece or at least Souda has no concept of thrift stores. It could be that Cretans never discard anything. They just toss it in their backyard?

Walking back towards the hotel I see another modern marvel in my eyes.

Flea Market.

Be still my beating heart. The Lewes Flea Market. More junk. Walls and walls of old junk. British junk. I walk through the aisles mesmerized by the wonderment I have stumbled upon. I touch trinket after trinket. Knick-knack after glorious knick-knack. I can barely contain myself. But I had to. I must find a Post Office… and soon. Too many Victorian and Edwardian pieces needing a good home.

My home.

** Idea given to me by my niece.** While on a shopping trip, she told my mother…

“Mammie, that baby looks lonely.”

“She does?”

“Yeah, but I think she would be okay if I took her home with me.”

“She would?”

“Yeah, see how sad she is without a girl to take her home.”

(Thanks Maddie for the idea.)

So as I write this…. There are several pieces of furniture and lost keepsakes lying lonely on the shelves of Lewes Flea Market. I will have to show them to Harry later and then find them a good home tomorrow. And a good shipping company. And a second roll bag.

Man, I have a new love for Lewes. I may never leave Lewes for the rest of our stay. Harry will be pleased I’m sure.

Blessings to those seeking hidden treasures,

(p.s. You like all the British terms I’ve been using!)

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Senior Attire?

Greetings from somewhere in south England,

Today I have been so many places I would not know where to start. Oh yeah, I will start with the fact that I drove today... everywhere along the south of England.... in the rental car... and made it back safely... much to Harry's doubt. The car is safe and in 1 piece. I had no problems navigating myself!

I know God does not like arrogance so I will stop now. I would not want tomorrows pictures to be of a scratched and dented rental.

I stopped at so many places along my day tour. I knew Harry had a late night session and was not wrapped up until 9 p.m..... so I took my time. And tried to visit some sites that would not interest Harry.

I have so many places of interest... however, I will not bore you with all. I did stubble across, merely by accident, Arundel Castle. I was stuck in traffic, which the Brits call in que. I call it a pain. And big semi's are called lorries. And I call it "Get out of the Way" truck. The weather was horrible which caused several accidents. Luckily, just fender benders... I saw them eventually beside the road. Nonetheless, I was tired from driving... left the hotel at 10 am and arrived back at 7 pm... so I stopped just to stretch my legs a bit.

Arundel Castle

Off their version of a Interstate was this quaint little village town of Arundel. It lies at the foothills of one of the most spectacular castles in England. Great families of England were housed here in Arundel. Notable which, the Howard's of Norfolk... I told you I was mildly obsessed with the wives of Henry VIII. the town and castle are sort of a hidden gem. The travel books tend to over look the beauty and tranquility of Arundel. The Arundel River port was a prosperous and considerable trade for commerce during its prime. The castle received worldwide exposure when chosen as the backdrop for The Madness of King George film. Arundel was pretending to be Windsor Castle for the film.

The castle is simply stunning. It has been remodeled several times. During the civil war, Cromwell's troops stormed its walls destroying much of the castle luster. Extensive renovations occurred during the Victorian era and has continued on today.

Just across the castle was the Arundel Bowling Greenes. While taking pictures of the castle I heard such a clatter of noise. Just on the other side were several Brits playing a game that closely resembled bowling. Yet, they were outside, on the lawn, and dressed all in white.

Arundel Bowling Greenes

I stopped to watch as these Brits were really having a sporting good time. It was sprinkling and misting a little, but they were having a blast. And hey were wearing all white. It's a good thing they were not running and sliding like we do in the US bowling alleys. It would have been awful for those white pants.

There were several lanes and people at each end of the field. Both ends were cheering on the others with so much enthusiasm. I wish I had taken a short video so you could hear how they were caring on.

The entire event was quite comical. It made me wonder what Harry and I will do when we are senior citizens. What will we do when we "retire"? Where will we live? Will we continue with some form of ministry? Will we be physically able to play sport?

Will we have to where the dreaded white pants of the elderly? Or will we still have style?

Blessings until next time,


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Rental Rage

Greetings from the UK,

This blog title should have read… “Greetings from the White Cliffs of Dover”…. But we had a diversion of sorts. We rented a car and tried to drive the southeast coast of England all the way over to Dover.

The problem started with The Hansen’s renting a car. I adore Harry and almost everything about him…. except his driving. It can be a little annoying! And that’s in normal circumstances…. toss in foreign land….foreign car….wrong side of the road driving…. Wrong side of the car steering! Not to mention manual car driving with your left hand instead of your right. I concede the fact that it takes a little while to get used to the difference.

I, of course, am the navigator (from the left seat this time). And I think I do pretty good job. Yet, if you were to ask Harry… he may not agree. But I think I do an excellent with the directions. Fortunately from my dad, I have an amazing sense of direction. If I have been there once, I can get back there again typically no problem. I can read a map. I can distinguish north, south, east, and west. Unfortunate for Harry, he does not.

You would think a pilot would have an acute sense of direction….let me tell you…NO. If those guys did not have GPS and wing walkers for their airplane …they would need their wives their to help guide them in!!!

I digress…back to the White Cliffs of Dover…. rented the car… waited over 1 ½ hours for Harry to finish his training that was way late…. difficulties with foreign automotives!
Picture this…. Harry driving, me navigating…

WOW car too close to my side!

“Wow”, I navigate back to the captain….

slam on brakes…

“What?, I saw it”, Harry says vehemently …

“Okay, then why did we come so close to hitting that car if you saw it?” I spat back …

And that is the first conversation we had out of the parking lot!

The first conversation started the tone for the entire evening. He wanted me to help with the signs. Every “turn” is actually a roundabout, an unfamiliar concept with Harry. So I helped him read the signs.
Picture this….

“Harry, there… sign to Hastings”….

“I SEE IT”, says Harry.

“Okay, I thought I was supposed to help you read the signs”, says a confused me.

“Yeah, help me when I cannot see them”, says Harry.

“Okay, how do I know what you can and cannot see?”, says a sarcastic Kristie.

So I pouted and refused to help him read any of the signs! That will show him! Or so I thought. Have you ever been stuck in a roundabout? Think, National Lampoon’s European Vacation. “Look kids it’s Big Ben.”

Another complication: Harry drives a manual car in Souda. However the manual car in Souda is not the same manual car rented in England. I understand this fact! It takes a while to adjust. All clutches are different… have a different touch… different finesse to them. Key words there: finesse! I had to do the walk around with the rental agent (Harry was still in class remember). He pointed out several dings and scratches on the exterior of the car. Thank God the clutch is not part of the walk around. If so… we would need to buy a new one. Poor clutch! And for the life of me I have no clue why Harry could not find 3 or 4th gear. I mean sure… after the first few times….but 3 hours later? Grinding gears and jerking the car in 1st instead of 3rd? Or 2nd instead of 4th? (Harry’s might be upset when he reads this …but good grief already)

I should have known better…. we do not play well together in the car. Seven years ago, on our honeymoon, we rented a car in Czech Republic. Same problems: foreign car, foreign land, foreign language, foreign characters. We were used to at least the same letters in the alphabet, not foreign symbols we had never seen before. We were both surprised the marriage lasted past the honeymoon. I think that was the last time we have rented a car in a foreign country? Yelp, it was…. how soon we forget our rental rage?

Needless to say… we never made it to Dover last night. We could have continued on, but it was dark. I was not sure if Dover lights up the cliffs at night. We American capitalist would defiantly have the entire seaport lit up like the Empire State Building at night, taking the last tourist up around midnight. Have you ever been to Niagara Falls? It’s beautiful at night.

So instead of beautiful pictures of Hastings, Dover, and the amazing White Cliffs… we have nothing. We did not want to stop until we reached Dover. We were running against the sunlight clock. We did make a pit stop to fuel up grab a small bite to eat. I had prawns and Harry had steak and onions….

We did not even stop to eat a real meal. Although, Harry said his tasted like onions and mine had the distinct taste of cocktail sauce and ketchup! "Yummy" The hotel stay includes meals, so we came back here to eat. It’s good food, but it would have been nice to eat along the coast somewhere. We did not make it back here until 10 pm. Tired and frustrated. We have had better days.

So tonight I do not have any picturesque sights captured for you…no words of wisdom…not even a applicable Bible verse to go along with my frustrations… and definitely no marriage tips. Or maybe I do…. If you and your husband do not play well together in the car….do not rent one unless you have supervision!

Blessings until the next excursion,

p.s. (Harry read this before I posted and thought maybe I should not… he thought it was too negative….so of course I m going to post it!.. remember I am in Lewes, land of nonconformist!) .... (and to show as Chaplain and spouse has its issues as well)

Monday, September 22, 2008

Lewes England

Greetings from Lewes England,

Harry and I are here in England. Harry will be in training all week. So I am here to relax and tour around the countryside. We are located about an hour south of London in the quaint little historic region of Sussex.

Lewes alleyway called "twittens"

Our hotel is this fabulous famous historic 16th century Tudor building in the centre of town. The town is famous for the Lewes Castle, The Ann of Cleves House or cottage, Virginia Wolf, John Harvard, and Thomas Paine. Oh, also their bonfires and money!

Following the Norman Conquest of 1066, William the Conqueror’s son-in-law built The Lewes Castle and priory. Henry VIII had the priory ransacked in 1537 along with the destruction of so many beautiful monasteries spanning the entire United Kingdom.

Lewes Castle

Lewes Castle Garden

Recently, I have acquired a mild fascination bordering on obsession with the House of Tudors and the rein of Henry VIII. Or more precise his various marriages and beheadings and how these women through their influence with the temperamental king helped shape the religious affairs in England.

Anne of Cleves the 4th wife of Henry VIII was very fortunate for annulled her marriage. It allowed her to keep her head, unlike other wives of Henry VIII. Here in Lewes her cottage was acquired in 1541 as part of their “divorce” settlement.

Anne of Cleves House

One of England's most distinguished writers of the middle part of the twentieth century, Virginia Wolf has made Lewes infamous. Wolf, author of about 15 books, is familiar to the US with Nicole Kidman’s portrayal of her in the movie The Hours. Mrs. Dalloway represents one of Wolf’s major achievements. In 1941, here in Lewes Virginia Wolf died. Her suicide by drowning seems to be the symptoms of a mental breakdown, which she feared would be permanent.

Lewes is also known for John Harvard, the founder of Harvard University. Lewes is known for its free thinkers and intellectual nonconformists. It is a trademark here in Lewes. I guess that’s why I like it…. Harry calls me a “post modern… anti authority…. Nonconformist”. Whatever that means?

Also, two mints existed in Lewes from 925, mainly to provide money to pay off Danish marauders. The Normans minted coins there for some years after the Conquest, but the tradition stuck. The town had its own currency in local circulation until 1895, and in 2008 the Lewes pound has been revived. I love to collect $$ from other countries. (To date my favorite…Aruba… it has square coins… and Japan… it has holes in its coins….neat uh?)

As for the town’s infamous bonfire parties….When England beat off the Spanish Armada they celebrated with two barrels of gunpowder in the castle gun, shaking the town to its foundations. Now, they hold one of the wildest bonfire parties in Britain.

Bonfire societies from neighboring towns join the Lewes celebrations, which commemorate not only the foiling of the Gunpowder Plot, but the 17 Protestant martyrs burned at the stake in Lewes during the reign of Mary I. It was at the height of Mary Tudors militant revival of Catholicism. Today 17 flaming crosses are carried through the streets in their honor. A flaming tar barrel is thrown into the river Ouse.

And last but certainly not least….. Tom Paine, author of 'Common Sense' and 'The Rights of Man', worked in Lewes as an excise officer for six years before leaving for America in 1774. The radical humanist Tom Paine, whose works inspired and supported the revolutions in both France and America, coined many of his “traitorous” works of literature here in Lewes.

So off to another site…. I am touring alone again… Harry in class. Tomorrow I think I am renting a car (they call it hire a car here!…. took a while to translate… we both speak English… you would think it would not be so hard? … I think my “accent” throws them off!)

Blessings until next time,


Saturday, September 20, 2008

Barnacles Away

Greetings everyone,

Both Harry and I are back in Greece, but not for long. Tomorrow we leave for London, England. Work related for Harry, of course. For me… just tagging along to tour around and shop.

As for this past week…. It has been a busy one. First, trying to clean the house, unpack, wash all the 3 weeks worth of laundry, repack, gather all pet supplies for another week gone from home. And of course give Kayne, Oliver, and Miss Peabody the much-needed attention they desire.

Also, we have friends of friends in town or should I say in port. A retired Admiral and his family, a great God loving family that sailed into Souda for a bit before heading to Israel. Must be the life. Retired and sailing around the world.

We are so excited for them to be able to experience life in such a solitude atmosphere.

(Marathi Beach)

Harry arranged for the kids… I say kids (they are 18-mid 20’s) to help our friends with some cleaning on the sailboat. It was a real treat for the kids to be able to hang out and relax on a sailboat. And an even greater blessing for the Admiral and his family to clean the barnacles and seaweed off the bottom of his boat. And all for the price of a cookout.

The kids had no problem working all day to helping our newfound friends. I am proud of Harry’s ministry for so many things… but Harry has instilled in our kids the importance lending a helping hand to a brother or sister in need.

“If one falls down,

His friend can help him up!”

Ecc 4: 10 (NIV)

We were so proud of our kids…. it was hard work. Trying to clean and scrub away sea junk while treading water. Then when the sides are clean the kids had to snorkel under water and clean and chip away more. Then they had to totally submerge to clean and chip away more sea gunk…. while constantly kicking their fins to keep themselves against the catamaran. The kids had fun though.

Kids hard at work

I think it’s the fellowship that we all enjoy. Hard work or not… when we are fellowshipping it just makes it fun. And Christian fellowship is the best. You cannot beat a day out to sea working and fellowshipping with others of like faith.

There was no Bible Study… no sermon… just fellowship. And sometimes that is just what we need as Christians. Time to relax and enjoy each other’s company. Friendship amongst other believers regardless of race, rank, gender, or denominational affiliations is such a blessing here in Crete. Companionship with believers is extremely important to our Christian walk. Here in Greece our main concern is whether or not one speaks English… and sometimes we do not worry with that too much.

Fellowship while taking a rest

Souda Bay being a transient spot… we often have visitors from all over. From ships coming into port, airplanes landing at the base to the many civilians vacation or just passing through here. From the Scandinavian tourist to our friends in ministry from South Africa we are privileged to be geographically situated to meet some pretty amazing people. Friendships have been acquired by the oddest means. Most of the time… simply by accident.

3 Pilots: 2 Vietman and 1 Commercial
(Guess which one not Vietnam?)

I would say that is true… other than there are no accidents with God or His timing. I think He has strategically places us in the precise place at His precise time. It is up to us to figure out how to work for Him after that. Everything works for the good of those who work for His glory.

Blessings until next time,

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Peak of Mount Whitney

Greetings friends and family,

With everyone home again... things are beginning to feel like home again! Though Harry and I soon (work related) will leave again. I wanted to share a few photos with everyone. Some candid moments from the guys and gals aboard USS Mount Whitney.

USS Mount Whitney

The USS Mount Whitney, Harry's home from a brief while. I should add, Harry resided in the Admiral's quarters while aboard. Two days after his promotion to Lieutenant he sets sail for Georgia and lands in the Admiral's stateroom. Not normal for a O 3, so he loved every minute of his voyage. Even the living quarters.

The ship was named after the highest peak in the continental United States.

At 14,505 feet elevation, Mount Whitney is the highest peak in the lower 48 states. The peak lies within the John Muir Wilderness and the Sequoia National Park Wilderness. Mount Whitney is just 76 miles west of the lowest point in North America in Death Valley National Park which is 282 feet below sea level.

Highest Peak Mount Whitney

The Mount Whitney's mission to Georgia represented the highest ideals of the US Navy and The United States. The Navy has traditionally been at the forefront of national policy. One can scarcely think of a international crisis where the Navy was not present, ready, and actively eager to serve our country and it's principles. The principals of freedom, liberty and democracy have sailed within the hearts of our young men and women. So the humanitarian mission to Georgia represented our tradition.

It truly was the highest peak of what our country represents. The aide and liberation of the down trodden, the oppressed, and the widows and orphans is not only part of our national beliefs and policy, but also core Christian principals taught by Christ. The crew, by delivering aide to the widows, the homeless and orphans of Georgia were living out a Christian principal. A principal ingrained into the hearts of our sailors, soldiers, airmen, and marines.

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,

because he hath anointed me to preach good news to the poor;

He hath sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners,

and recovering of sight for the blind,

to release the oppressed,"

Luke 4:18 (NIV)

Mount Whitney, the mountain peak, is an extremely popular wilderness destination. These areas were set aside by Congress and the President to provide opportunities for solitude and unconfined, primitive types of recreation. Wilderness areas are places where the earth and its communities of life are untrammeled by man, where man himself is a visitor who does not remain. To preserve its wilderness character, all who choose to visit Mt. Whitney must adhere to very high standards of conduct. Practices that are appropriate in other areas might not be acceptable at Mt. Whitney.

When the USS Mount Whitney traveled to Georgia to practice the principals of helping the oppressed and proclaiming freedom they met with their own type of wilderness. Yet, the Georgian wilderness is tramped by man. Trampled by an oppressor. A visitor who should not have remained, but has. One that through destruction and death refused to adhere to high standards of conduct. An oppressor that has killed families and torched villages. Leaving behind refugees longing for the proclaimation of freedom and desiring recovery.

The 3 US ships with their crews and supplies that passed through the Bosporus Straights and into the Black Sea... whether they knew it or not... were apart of something much greater than a US Navy mission. Their were a part of Christ's mission given to us.

Bosporus Straight's

Entry into Black Sea

The principal of releasing the oppressed. A principal not so popular with current society. Not so popular for those who believe in isolation. Isolationist. Those who want the US to stay within its borders and forget about the suffering of those in our midst.

Yet, it is in these times... when we adhere to these Christ given principals... directives from we find ourselves in close fellowship with Him. Obeying Christ with what He has called us to do.

Proclaim freedom.

Recovery of sight.


In my walk, which involves foreign missions, I have found such fulfillment in these few directives. Releasing the oppressed is my "fight song" so to speak. By that I mean... you know when a high school / college team has a "fight song"... you know... the one that gets them all pumped and ready to go out and fight. Win the game. Well.. that's what releasing the oppressed does to my soul. Everything within me feels energized. Give me a good oppression and I am ready to take on the world.

From low income neighborhoods with drug problems and the cyclical nature of poverty to the primitive communties in obscure parts of the world... I love it. It is a ministry that is so rewarding for me. I love it... did I say that? I love the diversity of cultures. I love the challenges involved. (You are wondering why I whine and complain about Greece???... Simple... back when I did this I still had my "home" in Atlanta. trust me it was just different!)

If I can leave you tonight with one thought..... Find what makes you tick. Find that God given directive in your life that makes you want to conquer the world for Him. Your "Fight song".

Blessings to those finding their "fight song" tonight,


Sunday, September 14, 2008

Proud Relationship: Spouse

Greetings everyone,

Home again. Just wanted to share a few pictures from the US Mount Whitney.

I am so proud of our United States Armed Forces.

I am so proud of our United States Navy.

And I am so proud of my husband!

On my military id card, which is needed to access the base and it's facilities, it reads "Identification and Privileges Card." It has been our privilege to be a part of the US Navy family. What a blessing to be able to serve God in such a diverse atmosphere!

My id card goes everywhere with me! It is the only way on the base, the only way to shop at the NEX (our base supermarket / convenient store), post office, fuel, movie rentals, anything and everything you could possible need requires verification from the id card.

Such an important card, our life line here in Souda Bay. While waiting for my flight yesterday I really looked at my id card. I sat and pondered the identification and privileged part, (sometimes I do not feel so privileged to live outside the 48 contiguous states.... oh how I miss US soil) then scanned the remaining sections of the card.

What I saw....

Name: Kristie Hansen

Social: XXX-XX-XXXX I blacked it out for security reasons... ha, like anyone would want it!

Date of birth: 30 Dec. 1977 not scared to tell my age...or Harry's...HE TURNS 40 Next month!

Weight: *** (they ask you and do not actually weigh you on the spot... so my weight is a weight I did have about 2 years ago) ... so technically not a lie!

Height, hair color, eye color, etc.

Also, there are other tidbits of info...
civilian: yes
medical: yes
exchange: yes
commissary: yes
MWR: yes

Then the card refers to my sponsor: Harry Hansen

Sponsor rank and pay grade (reminds me.. get a new card.... we have had a promotion and a pay grade increase!!).

Then oddly it asks...

Relationship: SP
SP of course meaning spouse... I think?

I am a relationship: spouse!

A card I frequently forget and have to turn around and drive the 15 minutes back home to find, a card that has made me late to Chapel more than a few times, a card that has a horrible picture... not a good representation of me.... or maybe it does represent the "me" at the time (Harry, for pay reasons, had to register me into the base ASAP.... so the picture is the "me" after a 30+ flight and 8 hour time change), a card that allows me to shop til I drop on base, a card that says "I am a military dependent"... says I have a sponsor.... says that I am a relationship: spouse. A card that says a lot about me. Defines who I am within the military sphere.

So tonight I say ... how I define myself, "I am a proud relationship spouse" and "I am proud to be a part of God's hand in military ministry!"

Blessings until next time,

blogger templates | Make Money Online