Things are starting to get rolling in our preparation for the greatest adventure we’ve ever experienced (besides getting married, that was pretty cool stuff too!)! God is very clearly blessing as we get geared up and ready to go. Sarah just posted a packing list that we got from Gary and Wendy in Chad, and so now we have some direction to our prep work even more.
A couple months ago, we found out that the Parkers, a family from Tennessee who have been living in Béré the last couple years, were back in the States and were going to present at their home church, so we decided to drive down to meet them. We stayed around after their meeting and talked with them for hours. They’re really great people, and we can’t wait to be out there with them and everyone else! They gave us a bunch of insight about what to expect, and it helped us to be better prepared, both physically and emotionally, for when we move.
About a month ago, we went around to our home churches in New York and Colorado to try to encourage our church families. The support they responded with has been incredible! A ton of them have promised to pray for us while we’re over there, which we really appreciate. Some gave donations to help us gather the supplies we need. Still others have committed to giving monthly to help cover costs. God puts people around us to hear about what we’re doing, and they offer support in their various ways. One family got really excited, and the father offered to get us solar panels and super-strength rechargeable batteries that he configured himself. And he’s giving us fans that will work with these batteries!!!
Another lady has been watching David Gates’ video blogs, podcasts, and other things, and somewhere in there (we’re not quite sure where exactly), she heard our names and it caught her attention. The next week she heard that we were going to be at church in Franktown, CO, so she drove up to hear us, then was at a presentation we made that evening, back in Denver. She promised prayers and monetary support when she was able. Our church here in Ohio (the members who know we are going, at least) have all gotten excited about us going, and we’ll hopefully be doing a presentation here soon as well. We’ve had elders from the church invite us over for lunch, and spent very nice afternoons with them!
God’s goodness is shown to us in so many ways!
Now, just more than a month before my last official day at work (Aug 9), we are getting into the serious work of preparing. We have sent Sarah’s passport back to get her name officially changed on it, and we’re starting to buy stuff that we need. This afternoon we’re going shopping to find a camping stove that we can use, plus cooking utensils and general food stuff. My sister and her husband have said they will get us water bottles with a really good filtration system in it. We’re looking at getting a large, ceramic Berkie water filter for use when we’re at home. I keep thinking how cool it would be if one of the 182s that are destined to join us were to be ready by the time we are, but I think that’s wishful, nerdy thinking for now.
Our 1-year anniversary is coming up in 11 days too, so we’re planning to go camping to get away, and then we can try out some of the equipment that we’ll be getting between now and then!
Above it all, though, God has been teaching us of His goodness and His grace more and more, preparing us for the trials we will inevitably face in the mission field. I don’t think my relationship with Him has ever been stronger! Please continue to keep Sarah in your prayers as she’s preparing to take her RD Exam. That’s the last major hurdle God has to get us through before we cross the finish line that is us leaving for Chad.
“Show me Your ways, O Lord;
Teach me Your paths.
Lead me in Your truth and teach me,
For You are the God of my salvation;
On You I wait all the day.”