Sunday, December 28, 2008

Military wives get glamorous

By TOMIE LUNSFORD
Telegram Staff Writer

Being the Belle of the Ball is a tall order for a military wife in a tough economy.
To help them out, the Enlisted Spouses Club of Fort Hood has stocked a community closet full of dresses they can use for free.
'So many military balls take place each year that it doesn't make sense to buy a gown that you're going to wear just once,' said Rachel Dean of the Enlisted Spouses Club. 'Especially when money is tight.'
The community closet will have its official start on Jan. 2 at the Montague Community Life Building on the base at Fort Hood. Military women, wives and daughters will be able to come browse through the dresses and check one out.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Couple reflects on mission trip

By TOMIE LUNSFORD
Telegram Staff Writer

As soon as he got off the plane, he knew he was in the right place.
'I felt like I was coming home,' said Roger Russell, a career missionary with the Southern Baptist International Board. 'It's like I was being called there. I'm supposed to do this; we're supposed to do this.'
It was the June of 1998, and it was Russell's first mission trip to Bucharest, Romania. By February of 1999, his wife Melinda, also a career missionary, and their three sons had joined him.
Their first task was to build chapels for the area's evangelical Christians. It was manual labor, but it never grew tiring or bothersome.
'Each finished chapel was a success,' Russell said. 'People had a place to go worship when we finished. They didn't before. You could see the results, and that kept us going.'
Having returned home to Central Texas this summer, the Russells worked on chapels for about half of the 10 years they were in Bucharest.
'These last years have been about nurturing their individual relationships with Christ,' Russell said. 'We hosted Bible studies and tried to lead by example. We wanted to show that you could live a life of Christ.'
And that proved to be their biggest challenge.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

A gift that gives back: Couple sends cow to orphans

By TOMIE LUNSFORD
Telegram Staff Writer

This year's Christmas gift will not fit under a tree.
'But it's the best gift we could ever get for someone,' said Michael Fortson, pastor at Canyon Creek Church of Christ in Temple.
He and his wife, Doris, are purchasing a milk cow for an African orphanage in Nairobi, Kenya.
The Heritage of Faith and Hope Children's Home houses 90 children and educates an additional 50 in its school. But it can't give them their daily serving of milk.
'They have just one cow,' Fortson said. 'It produces 18 liters of milk a day, but that's only enough for each child to have a glass of milk once every three days.'
With their gift of a second cow, the Fortsons hope to double that amount.
'The theory is that there'll be milk every other day from here on out,' Fortson said.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Stained glass makes royal gift

By TOMIE LUNSFORD
Telegram Staff Writer

Six bridge players took a stab at making a piece of stained glass, and what they got was the Chucker of Spears.
'Actually, it's the Queen of Hearts,' said Paul Rothaus of Temple. 'But the scepter she's holding looks like a spear, so I had to make fun of it. I mean, come on, it looks like she's flinging the thing.'
His teasing was constant but good-natured. Everyone was laughing and smiling as they talked about their project.
They made the Queen of Hearts in honor of Ann Wallace, owner of the Temple Duplicate Bridge Studio on the corner of Third and Royal.
'She's done so much for area bridge players,' said Judy Dayton, one of the artists. 'The studio is a beautiful, warm place to come and play. We're very grateful to her.'
Having opened Sept. 26, the studio's a relatively new addition to Temple. Two bridge clubs, Golden Rule and Bluebonnet, play there now, but come January another two clubs will add their cards to the mix.
'So the Queen of Hearts is a housewarming gift, a gesture of appreciation,' Rothaus said. 'We presented it to her the Friday before Thanksgiving.'

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Group makes pillows to soften patients' lives

By TOMIE LUNSFORD
Telegram Staff Writer

Here an oink, there an oink, everywhere an oink, oink.
The ladies of Soft Touch Ministry at Belton Church of Christ make pig pillows.
If you stand one on its feet, the pig looks like it's walking. The snout leads the way, and the tail wags behind.
'But when you lay it down, it becomes a neck pillow,' said Georgia Seals, the ministry coordinator. Its stomach becomes support for your head, and the two legs rest the shoulder.
This Tuesday the Belton seamstresses delivered 175 of them to Scott & White for distribution among cancer patients.
Chaplains from Lifeline Chaplaincy, the statewide parent group of the Soft Touch Ministry, will be making the deliveries.
'The pillows are great gift items,' said Tom Nuckels, director of spiritual care for Lifeline's Austin-area branch. 'No matter how old they are, people always smile when they get them. And they're useful too.'
Nuckels said he's received several thank-you cards for them.
'Those pillows never get left behind,' Nuckels said. 'People use them on the car ride home from the hospital.'