It begins

Today marks the first ending point for our time here in Austin. It's the last day of SonShine School, where I have worked for the past 2 years as Administrative Asst. Whenever I get the knot of sadness and nostalgia in my stomach, I just keep repeating in my head,"This is an adventure, this is an adventure..." So far it has worked; we'll see if I can keep it up for a month. Yesterday, May 20th, marked one month left until Clay's last day at WBC. Sigh. God's plan is perfect. He laid the path for us to come to Austin, and will continuing leading the way to our next destination. As hard as it will be to leave, it would be far worse to stay and be stepping out of God's plan. Pray for us during this season of transition!


A Landmark...

We just hit our first major support-raising landmark: 60%, the level required by UWM before signing up for training!

We're really excited. Yesterday we officially registered with the Center for Intercultural Training, otherwise know as CIT. In early September we'll fit what we can in the 4Runner and make the trek from Tomball, Texas to Union Mills, North Carolina, where we'll be for 11 weeks. From what we've heard, CIT should be great. We'll have the opportunity to go through training with some UWM folks as well as teams from other organizations. We'll be taking six classes during our time there:
-Equipping for Cross-Cultural Life and Ministry
-Language Acquisition (this is learning how to learn a language, not actually learning one - that comes later)
-Effective Teams and Team Leaders
-Sharpening Your Interpersonal Skills
-Spiritual Formation
-Facilitating Church Planting Movements

We've also heard that it's an encouraging time to be with lot's of others before they hit the field. It should be cool to see so many different individuals, couples, and families on their way overseas, all likely to have very different gifts, abilities, and interests. It's always exciting to see how God is using the unique qualities in others to make strides for the Kingdom.

And while lot's of exciting things are on the horizon, we're still surprised at how quickly our time here in Austin is coming to a close. We're just a little more than a month away from making our first of 4 upcoming moves (1. Austin to Tomball; 2. Tomball to NC; 3. NC to Tomball; 4. Tomball to BELGIUM!) It's going to be so tough to leave our friends and our church, but we have every intention of keeping in touch with both and we know that God has given us some incredible friendships that will last a lifetime.

Thank you to everyone who has been a part of our support team along the way. We truly can't do this without the team.

Please pray for us during this next month of big transition. We'll need peace, patience, and a lot of physical and emotional energy.

Until next time...


The Best Part of Wakin' Up

I'm not sure what the "best part of wakin' up" is, but it wasn't in our apartment this morning...

It actually started last night.  We had an awesome night in Tomball at a support raising meeting and didn't make it back home until about 1:30 am.  We were totally beat when we came in, but to make it even better, we noticed a funny smell in the kitchen.  We started digging around and found that a bag of chicken broth we'd put in the freezer the day before had spilled before freezing and was all over in the freezer, only now in a frozen state.  Wonderful.  It was about 3 hours past our bed time but we knew it wouldn't clean it self up, so we proceeded to unload the freezer, rinse off everything, take apart the insides of the freezer and clean all the frozen chicken broth out of the nether-regions. It seemed as if we'd fixed the problem.

Not so.  When we walked into the kitchen this morning we were hit with the all too familiar smell, only this time much stronger.  We finally figured out that the chicken broth had dripped down the condensation overflow tube and into the holding pan under the fridge, which was impossible to remove due to all the hefty components mounted on top of it.  Finally the source of the smell.  Not only had this collection of broth not frozen, but it was conveniently located next to the fan and cooling unit, which first warmed the broth, then blew it throughout the kitchen.  For the next two hours we crammed our hands in between all the fans and tubes and, with the assistance of about 2 rolls of paper towels and some bleach, cleaned the overflow tray. 

All of this, of course, on just a few hours of sleep, and all before breakfast and coffee.  What a way to start the day.

Fortunately, though, we laughed our heads off the whole way through.

And as an update, the meeting in Tomball was awesome.  So awesome, in fact, that we now have 100% of our outgoing funds raised!  How exiting!  Anything that continues to come in as a special gift will help offset some of our monthly costs in the years to come.  We are so thankful to see the Lord provide in such great ways!

Thank you all for your prayers and support.