Monday, May 21, 2012

Respite in Tampa

We just finished three days of resting and recharging our batteries in Tampa. My college friends, Cindy and Greg, opened their home to our family. We found that having a few days to breathe, adjust to the time zone and humidity is hugely helpful before arriving in Haiti.

Our kids enjoyed time with the Van Heysts' three kids. We dashed through sprinklers and swam in the YMCA pool. We created art. We rode bikes. We dipped our feet in the ocean at sunset. We indulged Indian food and gelato using Living Social coupons. Meilani and Mama even got a special birthday date to go see a Flamenco show and have a Spanish dinner with Cindy and Maya. The girls made memories when they were invited to dance on the stage after the show.

More than all this, we enjoyed some quality time as a family - such a gift after a busy, stressful month preparing for Haiti and our departure.

I have truly felt overwhelmed with gratitude this week as our family has been showered with blessings. In one short week, God provided the remaining $2,500 we needed for travel. We have found that the people who we least expect are the most generous. Additionally, the final $3,500 was given so we can begin our Solar Power Project at the mission complex in Pignon while we are there.

God also brought renters to take care of our house on Harrison for the 10 weeks we are away. (We didn't even have to move our furniture!)

Before we departed from Fresno, our friends Chris and Jen Schultz hosted a prayer night at their home. We believe in the power of prayer and we felt God's power and strength buoy us up as more than 20 friends plus their kids offered up prayers and encouragement on our behalf. It was like a blanket covering us as we go out.

I was reminded again that it truly "takes a village" to send a family of five to Haiti. We are so grateful for all of you - our sending team! We would appreciate your prayers as we depart for Port Au Prince today and head to our mountain home tomorrow.

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