It’s 2:12am and I’m awake.
We’ve been back in Kandern for two days. Our first night was beautiful. We’d forced ourselves to stay up all day (we arrived at 8:30am) and slept the night through.
The last two nights have been a different story. I went to bed around 10:30pm tonight… and woke up at midnight when Hannah needed some water. My brain began spinning with, well, everything: My to-do list, my friendships, my children… I spent some of that time praying over those things. Now I’m up and attempting to be productive. At least for a little bit.
So it seemed like a good time to talk about our summer. Our 8 crazy weeks of Summer Home Assignment in California.
We spent our first handful of days with very dear and close friends of ours. We had originally planned this re-entry hide-a-way because our friends travel to Haiti each summer. This would likely be our only time to see them in four years. But God knew, when we arranged that cabin in the mountains with our friends, that the purpose of this get-a-way would be different from we thought. This family is bravely battling cancer. That, and a viral flu in Haiti, kept them in Fresno beyond our private time together. We were thankful to walk this painful journey with them face-to-face… at least eight weeks of it. Our lives have run big chunks together. Jeremy was there when Ericlee proposed to Dorina. We’ve shared child-bearing and rearing years together. Dorina taught me to cook. 🙂 They got us healthy and in-shape running marathons for orphans in Haiti. This whole post could easily be about them… but I’ll leave it to say that this was treasured time… time that went beyond that cabin and into the walls of their home and hearts as we helped juice, clean, watch kids, pray and weep… time we are grateful to have had.
If you read our newsletter, you will remember that over the course of 8 weeks, we shared over sixty meals with family and friends. We were able to connect with our new Mission pastor (who is AWESOME, by the way… we may have to devote a whole post to his awesomeness, actually) who has his finger firmly on the pulse of God’s heart for the world. We’ve heard some interesting stories about a church’s transition from one mission team or pastor to another… and we’ve experienced both in the last two years (and about to get a new pastor as well)… and we have to say… we just might have had the best experience possibly.
We shared what God is doing in and through our family in Kandern in a variety of venues… Sunday School classes for adults and children, over meals, in homes, with life-groups, with friends, with family, with strangers. Even over the cash register at Trader Joes. We tried to build in some margin for our family… but we were still exhausted by the end. It felt a little like pregnancy and birth… upon arrival we were nervous about where we would fit in… would people remember our names? Would we remember theirs? Then the excitement of having so many of our favorites back… people, food, stores, libraries. I cried a few sentimental tears (I’ll admit). And by the end… though we love and treasure it all… we were ready to come home. Our other home. The home that currently has our beds and work and routines. The same bed that jet lag is currently keeping me from.
One really awesome surprise came through Vacation Bible School. We signed our kids up for a 2-week long VBS at a different church, Riverpark Bible Church. Looking back, I’m not even sure why I chose this VBS, other than we had some good friends who go and it was a sign-up-now-or-never call out. Well, now I know why we picked this one… because God wanted to introduce us to the Rogers. They are a family being sent from their church to BFA beginning the 2015-2016 school year. They are about to have their third child and didn’t really know anyone else at BFA. Until we show up with our kids in tow for VBS. HOW COOL! We were able to share a meal with them and mutual friends to begin answering questions and getting to know them. They will be a huge asset to BFA and we are so excited to see them journey this next year of support-raising to get here. For sure, living this life on support, is an inside-peak at miracle after miracle. Ever arriving to serve at BFA is one of them.
During one week of family time, we visited my Italian cousin in his home in L.A. Other than blood, we are strangers… and it was so generous of them to invite us in to get to know us. We met them in December in Italy and have continued to stay in touch.
In our last newsletter, we mentioned that we need $500/month to reach our goal. Well, we have gained $270/month with new Support Heroes! We are excited to see God provide. We left on this Summer Assignment feeling great peace that as we focused on serving our church community, caring for friends and family, and reconnecting… that He would do the support-raising. This is very different from our first experience, when we felt a CLEAR guidance to participate with Him in a more direct and intentional way. And though it felt counter-intuitive to step back and let Him work… we did.
We still need about $230/month to reach our goal. We know He will bring it in. Will you be part of His provision? This is such a small amount to raise and we are excited to see in whose hearts He is working to do it. We’ve seen over and over how this sacrificial giving to His ministry isn’t really about us… but about a work that God is doing in each individual heart. Is He calling you to share in that? If so, join our Support Hero team today!
Thanks to everyone in California for making our time so special. We are sorry we couldn’t see everyone, or spend more time one-on-one. We love you all!