Camping at Burney Falls
We just returned from a week of camping with Alisha's folks at MacArthur-Burney Falls State Park (head to Mt. Shasta on I-5, then go 60 miles southeast). It was a great week and very fun - hiking, biking, swimming, boating (Alisha's dad has a motored canoe), reading, eating, napping, and having a great time. We even drove to a nearby cave that the boys loved.
We were totally out of cell phone range, and had no computer, so we truly got away. We returned to 8 cell phone messages, 18 home phone messages, 65 emails (not including spam) and a stack of mail. It's nice to be missed. :)
We're both working our way through the list of books eMi is having us read and thoroughly enjoying them. It is fun to learn more about what we're getting into. I can see that living there is going to be challenging in ways that I hadn't thought of. I had been expecting the typical 'doing without' kinds of things, but the more I learn, I think the cultural differences will be far more challenging. Things like how Africans view money and how it is spent or borrowed or given away - their whole attitude towards money management is worlds apart from Western principles (yes, I know, 'worlds apart' both philosophically and geographically). Not bad, just totally different. Their system works well for them (private system of money management, not necessarily governmental systems!), and ours works here. But to quote Alisha's dad, "never the 'tween shall they meet". Anyway, I'm realizing that we will need to be ready to give lots of grace in encountering many frustrating situations - incidentally, I am generally most excellent at this nearly 100% of the time, so we've got that going for us. (...um, I don't think so! :) )
Anyway, as for our support-raising, we feel so blessed and in awe of how God is working through our friends and family to make this become a reality. After just a few weeks, we are already at over 30% in our monthly commitments and over 50% in our start-up costs (including the 3-month budget reserve)! It's happening so fast that we were taken a little off-guard, so we've been scrambling to get our thank you's out. We hope to start sending them out this week - so we apologize that you haven't received one already. (So you know, we generally find out from eMi about 2 weeks after you submit your commitment sheet).
So thank you so much. We feel so blessed by the generosity of our family and friends. It is teaching us a lot in that department.
We go before the pastors at our church this coming Monday morning to share more about what we're doing. Our senior pastor is fully supportive, and wants to schedule us to come up front in the main service sometime in September. What a blessing - we just love our church (Tablerock Fellowship).