Whirlwind Month


Over the course of 25 days, we…

…rode on 11 airplanes, anywhere from 1 hour to 7 1/2 hours.

…traveled through Balikpapan, Jakarta, Tokyo, Seattle, Boise, Denver, Raleigh, Charlotte, Jackson, Dallas, and ended up in Reno.

…slept in 6 different beds.

…visited/met with over 100 people.

…spoke at a new supporting church in Raleigh, NC.

…ate bacon…a lot of bacon!

…dedicated Solomon on our first Sunday back at our home church, Summit Christian Church.

…shared sickness as a family with a trip to Urgent Care and a trip to the ER.

…and found out we will be bringing our little baby boy into the light of day early because a pregnancy condition called cholestasis.

Our trip began with our annual MAF Family Conference. Our entire team traveled to Balikpapan, a city on the eastern side of Kalimantan, and spent 5 awesome days hanging out, worshipping God, getting spiritually fed from two awesome men of God who love our team, sent our kids to a rocking VBS led by a great team from Portland, and spending time together as a family. We even had our inaugural Daddy/Daughter Date night! Family Conference is our one of our family’s most favorite times of the year. It is a huge blessing for all of us and our kids spend half of the part of the next year asking when they get to go to VBS again!

Daddy Daughter Fun

After family conference ended, we hopped on a plane headed for the United States of America. It was a long travel day (over 24 hours) but the kids did great and we rolled into Boise, ID on April 20th. We spent 2 days seeing some of our friends at MAF HQ and getting to decompress and really process our first 20 months serving in Indonesia. We were really blessed to get to share our story with a group of people who can empathize and understand some of the highs and lows we have experienced.

Fun times with the cousins!

Then, we traveled to Raleigh, NC to spend some time with the Vana side of the family. It was great to spend time with the parents, grandparents, siblings, and cousins. Our kids had such a blast with their cousins and it blessed us to see them connecting. We celebrated Adelina’s birthday (the first of many celebrations for her), saw Duke gardens, saw plenty of white tail deer on nature walks, and learned how to roller skate! During our time in NC, Jessica realized that she was experiencing symptoms of cholestasis (similar to her pregnancy with Jeremiah) and we needed to get her and baby checked. Everything is going really well and baby looks great. It is because of this condition that we will be inducing labor early. This Thursday to be exact! So, please pray for a safe delivery and a healthy baby who is all ready to go!


After NC, we flew to Mississippi to spend time with Jessica’s Dad and his family. They live out in the country and it was a great way to unwind and just let the kids run free. Adelina spent almost every moment holding or walking their toy poodle, Alex, and feeding the miniature ponies they have. Jeremiah and Solomon just wanted to find sticks and poke at the fire ant hills. We also got ride on their boat, searched for (and find) an alligator, and feed some “wild” goats that live on a island in a secluded portion of the lake. We had so much fun spending time together and seeing more family.


Finally, we arrived at our home base in Reno. We were met at the airport by some close friends and I will tell you a little story about how God still cares about the little things. I told Jessica that very morning about how I know her mom made a great venison stew, but I could really go for some In-N-Out when we arrive in Reno. Well, what should happen but our best friends show up at the airport with a huge box of double-doubles and plenty of fries. That was awesome!


We are currently here in Reno and looking forward to spending time together as a family, seeing friends and family here in the US, enjoying the beauty of the US, resting, and inviting our new baby boy into the family. It kind of bumps up our plans and we have been scrambling to get everything bought and settled before baby arrives, but we are excited and ready! Thanks for being a part of our lives and we can’t wait to share pictures of our little blessing from God next week!



2 thoughts on “Whirlwind Month

  1. Let us know when you get home. Actually, that’s a trick question.
    Glad you’re town, trusting for a safe delivery.

  2. Hi Phil and Jessica. Just wanted to let you know how much I appreciate you and am keeping you and your family in my prayers. Glad you are experiencing time with friends and family. Especially being able to have your baby here in the U.S. it’s been good to see you. Blessings, Marie

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