One week & counting...

This past week, we were in Monument, Colorado (about 10 miles north of Colorado Springs) along with 16 interns for our new staff and intern orientation. We stayed at a homestyle Christian retreat center The Hideaway that was very nice and quiet. The days were long, as we were busy from 7:30am to 11pm almost everyday of the week, but it was an excellent time of preparation and fellowship.
We sat in classes on the history of missions, cross-cultural adaptation, God's view on poverty and heard dozens of testimonies of each intern and eMi staff member from the Colorado Springs office. There were bible studies and small groups, as well as role plays and games that gave us a chance to meet and get to know each of the interns that will be heading out to all 5 of the eMi offices around the world.
We also got to go rock climbing at a climbing gym, play team building games at New Life Church (you may remember the church shooting that occurred here last month - our activities were in the exact location of the shootings), and go for a hike in the snow through some gorgeous rocky wilderness.
We missed the boys terribly, but Alisha's folks did an amazing job of watching them and keeping their minds off mommy and daddy being gone. On the last day, we were commissioned to head out into the mission field by the CEO Glen Woodruff and the other Colorado Springs office staff. We also had the chance to have lunch with Gary and Judylynn MacPhee, one of the eMi VP's and his wife whose story of coming to eMi 10 years ago has many similarities with ours.
After returning to the Bay Area, today we were brought before Alisha's home church from childhood here in Castro Valley that is also our 'Bay Area home church' whenever we're visiting. Mark Teyler, Alisha's Youth Pastor growing up and now the Pastor of adults and ministry development at Neighborhood Church, prayed for us in the main service and then interviewed us in the 'Home Builders' Sunday School class afterwards. They also filmed a short video of us telling our story that they will play in the main service sometime in the coming months. We were so encouraged by the outpouring of support from the people after the service, and also by the church standing with us as we head out. Since both sets of our parents were there with us, our cup was full and overflowing by day's end.
So one week from right now as I write this, we'll be flying over the North Atlantic Sea somewhere between Greenland and England on our way to Amsterdam. Alisha is going through the boys' suitcases now to pare down to 2 suitcases per person, weighing 50 lbs. each. We're finding the weight limit to be the most restrictive.
Overall we're feeling really good and excited to finally get the show on the road, though the reality of leaving home and everything we know to be 'normal' is staring us right in the eyes! But God has been so good to us we have full confidence that He is directing our path. Please pray for a safe trip, and for all the craziness of all our bags and dealing with the boys in the airports and on the planes - that it all goes smoother than we could even hope for. Pictures: (all from the hike at orientation) 1) the group hiking through the canyon; 2) Alisha and me mid-hike; 3) Me, Alisha and the 4 Uganda interns - (LtoR) Jill, Heather, Zach & Jeremy; 4) The whole group attending orientation.

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Kristen said…
Wow you guys, I can't believe it is only a week away! We prayed for you guys at link group on Thursday, and continue to pray for you daily. It's amazing how fast the time has gone from you guys first mentioning your plans to "possibly" go, and now it's just days away. How exciting!!!!
Brandy said…
Love lurking here.... I find myself getting nervous for you as it gets closer!!

We are moving to Minot North Dakota in 5 weeks and I am nervous about that but after reading your post today, it pales in comparison to what you are doing. I am very excited for you guys and look forward to reading all about it!
inWorship said…
Excited for you guys. I am so anxious to hear stories from Africa!!
Party of 5 said…
wowie week away. that's very exciting. looking forward to reading your updates. Blessings to you all, Kacie
joe said…
Loved the pictures, what fun weather changes for you guys, rain to sunny 70 degrees to snow and now on to 90's in Africa. The two day countdown, wow, this morning I came across Josh 1:9 and it is a word for you as you prepare to head out: "Be strong and courageous!Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go!"We love you guys, terri for all us la bries and bakers xoxooxoxoxxoxoxo
Good verse - Joshua chapters 1-4 were the highlighted texts during our orientation in Colorado - so perfect. -- Thanks for the thoughts and prayers everyone!
Love B&A

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