Born in Alabama, raised in Virginia, and grown in Tennessee, I am a Southern girl. I like country cooking, enjoy a slower pace, and love me some warm weather. Doug may be a Michigander, but he is even more a warm weather fan. On research trips, he soaks up the humidity in the hot jungles of Panama, and even calls sticky August in Nashville his favorite month of the year.
Winter began early in Switzerland. October brought the first snow, followed by steadily colder temperatures, which held at 20*F for 6 weeks solid through Christmas. Another 3 months and still not a bud in sight. The sun hid behind the clouds for days and weeks. We missed her so much that we threw parties whenever she made even a brief appearance.
Such harsh conditions drove the Woodhams family into hibernation. We stayed home, our pace slowed. Now that spring has finally sprung, we emerge with new life, and a fresh breeze at our backs.
Here’s the update:
In March, Doug received a grant from the Swiss National Science Foundation. It was the much-anticipated mother-load, fully funding all of his research for 3 years. This past semester he taught Disease Ecology, and welcomed a new phD student and a masters student to his lab. He begins his Conservation Biology class this week, and travels to Innsbruck, Austria to give a talk in early May. The June edition of BioScience will feature Doug’s first op/ed piece entitled “Converting the Religious: Putting Amphibian Conservation in Context,” exploring the common goals and values between science and faith. Lately, he has been out in the field in Switzerland, catching frogs and collecting samples at all hours of the day and night.
In February, I became the Creative Director for ICF International Church. International Christian Fellowship (ICF) is a Swiss church with an international service full of dancers, singers, painters, and artists of all kinds from all over the world. God gave me a heart and a vision for the artist community and it's already quite the adventure. Bolivian dancers, a street singer from Spain, a playwright from Germany, a karaoke singer from the Philippines, a singer-songwriter from Ghana...do you get the picture? My own creative juices are still flowing as well, writing, singing and leading worship for ministries in our church and in Zurich. But I like to keep it all part time, since my favorite workplace is still at home or in the park with Abe.
Abe is awesome and into everything. These past few weeks he has hit a growth spurt; he eats everything we put in front of him and very morning we feel certain he is bigger. He loves throwing himself into piles of pillows and covers on the bed, smiles all the time and still surprises us with how much fun he is to have around.
We have enjoyed a steady stream of visitors, and we’re doing well in our efforts to see as much as we can of Europe. We marked our 3rd wedding anniversary in Paris (my, a lot has happened in 3 years!) and a trip to Italy is on the books for this summer.
We see God’s hand of provision and providence so much lately, and it’s a good thing, since we need Him so much. The challenges of life in another country are often overwhelming, and God is allowing us to be stretched more than ever. But though we are tested and refined, we have never been more thankful or happy.
We still miss you, our friends, our family, and Target. We’re beaming you lots of love over the oceans, and hope for a time soon when we can hug and catch up face to face.
For His glory…