Y2K Hanly Newsletter

7 January 2001

Dear Friends and Family, 

Happy 2001! God has blessed us with another productive year.  In April and May we aided in the ministries of the Kwai River Christian Mission in the rural Sangklaburi District of Thailand.  Eric spent the majority of his time at the Mission’s hospital (KRCH) where he put to use the knowledge and skills he had acquired over the previous four years in medical school.  He did everything from treating patients with malaria to performing minor surgical procedures to delivering babies to “preaching” at chapel.  Jennifier primarily worked with Melodie McDaniel (the daughter of the American missionaries there, Dr Phil and Melba), a delightful but sometimes difficult 12-year-old girl who is developmentally disabled.  Jennifier relieved Melba of the duty of supervising Melodie’s daily physical therapy routine, instructed Melodie in the art of bike riding, and developed a Behavioral Management Plan to help Phil and Melba guide Melodie into better behavior patterns.  Our two-month stay in Thailand was time well spent that stretched, tested, encouraged, and grew our faith in Jesus Christ, the ultimate minister to the sick and needy.  Before returning to the United States we celebrated our third wedding anniversary on the island of Pee Pee, a remote tropical island off the west coast of Thailand (where Leonardo DeCaprio filmed The Beach), where we relaxed on the beach, did much snorkeling, and even saw a tiger shark while SCUBA diving!

Back in Baltimore, Jennifier had resigned as the Harford County Regional Director for Community Services of Maryland (to be able to travel to Thailand) and Eric had completed his graduation requirements at Johns Hopkins medical school.  Upon our return to Baltimore we were busy “graduating” Eric from medical school, packing up all of our stuff, and saying “goodbye” to all of our dear friends in Baltimore in anticipation of our move to the Mississippi Gulf Coast where the Air Force assigned Eric as a general surgery intern at Keesler AFB.  Living in southern Mississippi has been another broadening experience for us where the summer was even hotter than our time in Thailand during the Thai “hot” season.  The Mississippi Gulf Coast has it’s own unique culture.  We are becoming accustomed to drinking sweet tea, eating fried catfish and po’ boys, and deciphering the thick southern accent.

Eric is even busier than ever.  So far in his general surgery internship he has been able to perform many cases such as appendectomies, breast biopsies, and hernia repairs.  A few months ago, he even sewed up the earlobe of one of Jenn’s co-workers.  During the past six months, Eric has rotated through four different surgical services (laparosopic, vascular, oncologic, and cardiothoracic) and spent a month in the E.R.  In January he began a three-month general surgery rotation at the Biloxi Veterans’ Administration hospital.  Eric has somehow managed to maintain involvement in a few surgical research projects and was recently asked to author a manuscript on disseminated intravascular coagulation for his residency program director that will be published sometime in 2001.

Jennifier’s transition to Mississippi went well.  She was able to land a job right away at the South Mississippi Child Advocacy Center where she helps felony child abuse victims go through the court process.  Her job allows her to get “down and dirty” in the lives of her clients.  She has felt very blessed by God to have been able to do so well with her career having only one year of post-graduate education in a Masters of Divinity program since completing her B.S. in psychology.  Jennifier spends the majority of her free time trying to keep Eric alive (bringing dinners to the hospital, keeping the household running, etc).

After a two-month search, we finally found and joined a church we feel comfortable ministering in.  We really enjoy Bayou View Baptist Church’s contemporary morning worship service, its married couples Sunday school class, and its intercessory prayer ministry, and we have begun to develop a great friendship with another “new” couple there.  We are very grateful that God has provided this excellent place for us to plant our feet, but it is hard not to occasionally miss Grace Fellowship Church, our old House Churches, our Missions Discipleship group, and the many wonderful friends therein.

In addition to working hard, we have had a little time to do some fun things.  We have visited some local sites like Ship Island and the casinos (no gambling though), we have canoed down the Wolf river, and, during Eric’s week off in December, we traveled to New Orleans with Eric’s parents to visit the infamous Burbon street, tour a swamp on an airboat, and sample some great Louisianna cuisine.

Among all of the changes in our lives this year, the biggest news of all for us was learning of Jennifier’s career change.  Jenn will be a stay-at-home mom starting on August 4, 2001 (plus or minus a week or so)!  Yes, we will be expecting our first baby this summer!!!  We are very excited and cannot wait for the challenges that God will have for us as parents.  We hope that this letter reaches you in good health.  Our prayer for all of our friends and family (and ourselves) is that 2001 will be a year in which we get to know Jesus better – whether for the very first time, or in a deeper, more intimate way.

Love in Christ,

Eric, Jennifier, and soon-to-be Baby Hanly

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