Tuesday, June 19, 2007

My French Adventure - June 07 cheville (french for ankle)

Hello everyone
Here is my June update. I currently have 56% of my monthly support. Thank you for your prayers. You can either download the version I designed to look nice or just read the text in this email.

To download this newsletter in color click here: http://home.comcast.net/~nwphillips/mfa0607.pdf
also here is a painting I have completed http://home.comcast.net/~nwphillips/TheMagicofMusic2.JPG

If you don't have Adobe Acrobat Reader you can download it for free here: http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep2_allversions.html

God bless
Nathan Phillips



Cheville(French for ankle)
When I last wrote a newsletter it was before I went to Florida for my friends’ wedding and to see my Dad and Grandma. Two days before going to Florida I sprained my ankle real bad while going down some stairs. My whole vacation in Florida was spent on crutches. I stayed with my grandma who lives near my dad, Lon. It was great seeing them as I haven’t seen them since 2003. It worked out great staying with my grandma while not being able to get around very well because her house is designed for someone who can’t get around easily. I went on a dolphin watching tour and to my dad’s church but mostly I just relaxed at my grandma’s house which is nice to be forced to relax instead of always doing something while on vacation. I had a little time to practice my French there with my grandma’s neighbors. She lives in a retirement park in Florida where many people come down from the cold winters in French-speaking Quebec, Canada.

Then on March 30th my dad dropped me off forty minutes south of where I was staying for the wedding rehearsal and wedding the next day. My friends’ Scott and Shannon had a beautiful wedding. Just before the wedding my ankle had healed to the point to where I could put some pressure on my foot so I was going to try to walk without the air-cast or my crutches. It was good until my right size seven and a half tuxedo shoe didn’t go on. The groom found another pair of nice shoes I ended up wearing his right ten and a half and my left seven and a half. The other groomsmen were great at showing support. They limped down the aisle behind me so I wouldn't be the only one walking funny.
The wedding was on March 31st which is the four year anniversary of my major M.S. attack when I woke up and my entire left side was numb and weak.

Due to a weak dollar, my support quota was readjusted and I now need to raise $1,958 per month instead of the $1,600 per month I was previously raising, so my support went from 52% in March to 66% in May and now it is 56%. I am still confident that God will provide all the resourses needed to get me across the Atlantic. Thanks to all of you who are helping me reach this goal.

Noon-day sun!
In the beginning of June I went outside to do a painting in the beautiful Seattle sun. I was out for 15 minutes when my skin got really irritated, and I became fatigued. I called an MS hotline and I found out this is a rare side effect from both my Multiple Sclerosis and the medicine I take for it.
I am ok now but I was told I should avoid being out during the 'noon-day sun'. Please pray for me as I stay more aware of the sun and how it effects me. I haven’t had it happen since I found out what it was. Praise God.
To the right is the painting that I started outside but had to finish inside. It is the first painting I have done since art school and probably the painting that I have had the most fun with. It is called “The Magic of Music” and it is an acrylic painting of a conductor I drew while I was in France.

The car that I drive now is a ‘stick shift’ ( or manual transmission). I really do enjoy it now and this feels great knowing that I will be confident to drive in Europe as the vast majority of cars in Europe have manual transmissions. I started driving a manual transmission car after the transmission died on the automatic car I had driven since coming back from France. Learning to drive a stick has been something I have wanted to do since I had trouble learning to do it in France. Now that I was forced to drive on a stick shift here in Seattle where there are lots of hills the French countryside should be easy.

Colleen & Jacob
For those of you who don’t know my sister, Colleen, and her husband, Jacob, are serving in Iraq with the US Army. They are in the same country but they haven’t been together very much and this is tough for them as they are still newly married, in fact they got married just before they were deployed. They were able to take their two week break from Iraq together. The plan was for them to visit his sister’s high school graduation in Kansas. They did what they said they would in Kansas but then they also surprised us in Seattle. Jaws fell, some were shocked and I was at a loss of words when they came by taxi to stay with us for their second week without giving us any notice. We were thrilled to see them and now they are back in the Middle East serving. Colleen will return to Seattle in late July, but Jacob will remain later toward the end of the year. When they are both back in the US they will have a large wedding ceremony. Please remember them in your prayers.

Fresh Bread:
Recently I’ve been following “My Utmost for His Highest” by Oswald Chambers and “Fresh Faith” by Jim Cymbala. Both of these books have encouraged me more to trust God in all circumstances and act on faith. These are lessons I can never learn too much because they involve getting to know Christ more.

Prayer and Praise points:
Praise God I’ve got 56% of my support of $1,958/month.
Pray that this percent will increase quickly so I can help in France.
Praise God that driving a manual transmission car is finally fun and not stressful.
Praise God my ankle is doing better.
Please pray that my ankle would continue to heal so I can run again.

Nathan Phillips

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Out with the old, in with the standard

I forget when I actually titled my newsletter "My French Adventure" but it seems to be true. Both here in Seattle and during my year in France; every day is an adventure. The last few days have remained as adventurous.

Yesterday, May 08 07, I met a friend for lunch at Whole Foods Market, an organic grocery store. The car I drive has been having trouble with its transmission. Many of you have seen the car either up close or in one of my newsletters (when the fuel pump went out near Stevens Pass). After a great lunch my red vehicle was acting worse that it has been but I figured driving from downtown I could just make it home like I have so many times recently and then I could figure out how bad it was. Well... it didn't go that way.

I broke down downtown next to a French restaurant called "Entre Nous" (between us) on Stewart St. between 3rd and 2nd Ave. I was blocking traffic and the drive gear wasn't doing its job, but thankfully the chef and waitress were outside to help me push my four wheels into the nearby alley. I during my wait for a friend and a tow the garbage man came by to collect the garbage bins in the alley I was blocking. He was nice though he helped me push the car out of his way and across the street where I was towed to a place to say goodbye to the car. The red Ford Tempo won't be driven anymore we knew the transmission was going out and another would cost more than it would be to replace the car.

So yesterday I had to leave the ease of 'automatic cars' behind. Thankfully my family knew that the car was dying so my brother-in-law found a $300 five speed Saturn. He also gave it a needed engine rebuild something that is still far beyond me. I've loved the idea of learning on a manual transmission and it has been one of my goals as in France all anyone has is standard cars. The year I was in France I wasn't able to get a hang of the manual, so going back full-time driving is a must.

Today I went out to practice the five speed with my friend Scott. We started and stopped to get the whole coordination thing down (coordination isn't something I pride myself on). I am getting it and this evening I stalled while on an errand. So if you are in Seattle and something maroon and stalled is in front of you please be patient with me. It takes practice.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Route 66

For my first blog I would like to praise God and say that I currently have 66% in monthly pledges and 100% of my start up costs. God is good!

Last Wednesday I shared my ministry through BLF in front of 400 students during the chapel time at Seattle Christian School in Seatac, WA. This is the largest group that I have spoken before. The students, from 13 to 18 years old, were very attentive and interactive.

Today I was able to speak about the French language and culture at the three French classes at Seattle Chrsitian School. The students had many prepared questions for me to get through. I really enjoyed giving a glimpse in to the French life.