Summer / early Fall 2017

Summer kicked into gear with our niece Holli's
wedding to new nephew James in Southern
California.
So if you haven’t been tracking very closely, we generally try to post an update every 2-3 months. Sometimes, given the normal rhythms of how EMI works with its project cycles and so forth, on top of the bigger picture things we’re undertaking (like starting new offices, etc.), two months seems like a tad too close together since I’m acutely aware of the potential for those of us working in missions to be overly focused on and excited about every last detail of our work!

Don’t get me wrong – we feel so loved and supported by our team of prayer and financial supporters who are every bit as much a part of our work with EMI as we are and we have never been given the ‘vibe’ that we’re annoying anyone (well done on hiding it if that’s ever been the case!). But nonetheless, I am always thinking about what to communicate and strive to do that in as concise a manner as possible!
The boys enjoyed dressing up for the occasion and seeing many of
their cousins (Henry and Will pictured here). Graysen went
with the Bruno Mars look.





Having said that, the last three months have been a blur…and there’s a fair amount to update on. So, I think instead of trying to write everything out long-hand (which would probably mean few would make it past this current paragraph), I think I will switch to a bullet list. Feel free to follow up with us if you are interested in hearing more about any of these bullets!

Family
Wedding selfie, just before 'kickoff'.
  • Summer is over here in Colorado and the boys are already over a month into the new school year – Brodie is a sophomore (gulp), Jonah a freshman (also gulp) and Graysen is in 7th grade (not quite so gulpy).
  • The bigger news in our family is that Alisha has taken a full-time Kindergarten job this year at the elementary school located on the Air Force Academy base. It’s a regular public school, but 97% of the student body come from military families. They loved her cross-cultural living experience…and generally loved her all around! What’s not to love about Alisha?! (Apologies for this editorial comment.)
  • Brodie made the high school JV soccer team, Jonah made the freshman team, and I am once again coaching Graysen’s competitive U14 soccer team. The games started this week so life after 4pm is basically described in 3 words: soccer, soccer, and soccer.
  • Graysen is also running Cross Country for his school. We knew he was a decent runner, but he has surprised us given how small he is compared to the other runners! But so far, after three meets (the same 7 schools compete, with 7th and 8th grade boys running together), he’s finished 1st amongst the 7th graders and 4th overall twice. Definitely a chip off his mom’s block!
  • The rabbits are feeling slightly abandoned, but otherwise content as long as we keep them well fed.

At least they have each other!

We did get a better picture a few days later. Kind of sad how brother
Bret struggles to deal with his youngest brother 'towering' over him.
Terrible back-lighting, but these 7 original Crawfords don't
get together very often, so it's better than nothing. Fortunately,
we put the tallest of the group in the middle so most of the
back-lights are blocked.
EMI
  • This summer, we decided to replace the carpet and paint our office here in Colorado. We also did some minor remodel work to divide up some of our bigger offices into smaller offices to make room for more staff. The project ended up taking 3 times as long as we thought, so most of us had to work from home for much of the summer due to not having a place to sit.
  • During the summer trip cycle, EMI teams traveled to complete a total of 12 design projects in:  Haiti, Kenya, Zambia, Rwanda, Uganda, Niger, India, Mexico, and Nicaragua.
  • Construction work on the Amazima church and school buildings near Jinja, Uganda (where Alisha and I visited in April) has continued for the EMI Construction team. The church is almost built and other buildings are moving along as well.
  • I’ve been working a lot lately on our ‘Internationalization’ process, whereby we’re setting up a new Global EMI entity and board. We hope this will set EMI up well for the future as we look to become a truly international organization, with people from all nations able to be a part of the work of EMI.
  • Our Cambodia Office launch team has now completed 6 of 8 modules in Phnom Penh as they learn the Khmer (said ‘Kuh-My’) language in preparation of starting the office there in 2018!
  • An American couple (who are both engineers) is spending the fall term in the office here in Colorado before moving to Cape Town, South Africa to help open the office there in early 2018.
  • I am travelling to Nicaragua on Sunday, along with all of the worldwide EMI office directors, for our annual Director’s Conference. We have some big initiatives to discuss and decide on so please keep these important strategic meetings in your prayers.
    • One of the things we’ll be discussing is the prospect of doing Business at Mission in some countries, and how that could dramatically expand our ability to train and disciple local design professionals around the world.
  • Coming up in November, Alisha and I will be traveling to Egypt!
Summer continued with long-time friends visiting...
...and a broken finger for Graysen...

...and a trip to Vail, CO with grandparents, which very
coincidentally coincide with my men's soccer
team's tournament (we lost all 3 games)...

...next up was a visit with sister Traci's family, that led us to our
very first elementary school nearly 40 years after attending as students.
We used to catch the bus about 20 feet in front of this sign!
...Then a visit up to our other grandparents, with
more cousins (Bradley and Joey)...



...back home, a ridiculous number of intense thunderstorms
hammered Colorado this summer...

...while we were out West with family, taking more family
pictures with the 5 of us siblings (clockwise from left, Terri,
then Bart, me, Bret and Traci)...

...and visiting more family in Oregon...

...before heading back to Colorado for the first day of school.

It was the first day in a long time for some.

Soccer season has started...

...in a fun way - we won a tournament!

It turns out this pip-squeak can run (more than just when we say
it's time to do chores).

He's in the middle, looking down because he's nervous...but not
half as nervous as we were when about 10 seconds before the
gun was about to go off, he bends down and starts tying his shoe!

The moon blocked most of the sun here one day.
Most nights, our house looks something like this...4 people
crammed into the room doing homework.





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