However, I consider my life worth nothing to me if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus Christ has given me - the task of testifying to the Gospel of God's grace. ~ Acts 20:24
We are in a whirlwind right now. I feel my heart rate quickening as the final mile of this marathon is in sight. The end of this journey of downsizing and waiting and packing is so close. June 1 was the official start date for us as we commit to serving one year with Christian Friendship Ministries - connecting resources to Haiti. We will be living June through August in Haiti and then September through the new year in Fresno. Our third baby girl is due appropriately at Thanksgiving time. We hope to return to Haiti sometime in January or February with our three girls.
This weekend we will complete the packing and storage of all of our things. We are shipping off all our furniture to different friends in town. We hope to be signing papers Saturday with a family who will start their own journey of memories in our beloved Fresno home. Sunday we will be commissioned at our church, The Bridge, during the 9:30 a.m. Cafe service and 11 a.m. Main service.
On Monday, we depart for our "extended summer adventure" living in the mountain town of Pignon, Haiti. When we arrive in Haiti, a new journey commences, a new race will begin as we immerse ourselves in the culture, attempt to the learn the Haitian Kreyol language and host several short-term mission teams this summer. We are excited but we know we have a hard transition before us.
I hope when I get on the airplane that I will have time to blog about some of the myriad miracles God has performed over the last year on this journey to Haiti. I can't begin to highlight how many times He has provided the funds, the food, the community of people we needed at just the right time to care for us through our trials. I've sometimes wondered if God was a little behind schedule, but in my heart I knew He was always just on time with His plans. I've learned to trust this. And I've learned so much about His faithfulness.
Ericlee and I were up most of last night with our youngest, Giada, who caught a 24-hour flu bug in the midst of our crazy week. As we were taking turns changing soiled sheets and running her to the toilet, I couldn't help but ask myself how I could possibly be ready for all that is ahead. I'm not. Lord, give me the strength. Of course this is nothing compared to what our Haitian brothers and sisters endure daily. I know God is calling us to that place.
This morning we read one of our favorite devotionals, Streams in the Desert, by L.B. Cowman. This quote from the missionary George Mueller just lept off the page: "The only way to know strong faith is to endure great trials. I have learned my faith by standing firm through severe testings." Mueller's astounding faith in God's provision helped him start an orphanage in China decades ago. His story always buoys me up in my resolve to follow this wild call to Haiti.
We are so deeply grateful for each one of you. Now we covet your prayers.
Will you pray over these final details with us?
-Continued fundraising. We are still $13,000 short of our final goal so we can buy our vehicle in Port Au Prince next week. We already have put a $10,000 down payment on the vehicle. We know God can provide the exact need!
-Packing up everything in our house to be out by Saturday and transporting it to storage and friends' homes
-Paperwork and details to be covered with new renters of our Fresno home
-Last-minute errands and gathering of supplies for Haiti
-Packing our 8 family bags, 4 carry-ons, that we might not forget anything important
-Departure on Monday at 1:30 p.m. from the Fresno airport arriving later that day in Tampa at the home of dear friends in Tampa, Florida
-For our three days of rest and retreat in Florida before we fly to Port au Prince on Friday, June 10
-That all our bags will arrive safely in Haiti with items undamaged
-For our meeting with our Haitian Director Peter Constanatin and the bumpy truck to our mountain home in Pignon
-For the transition to a new home, a new life for the next three months
-That we might see the light to our path as God guides each step
Thank you for praying for us and with us. We know we could never run this race without the support of so many friends & family!