Saturday, October 19, 2013

A Summary Of Deputation.

Since we began deputation 19 months ago, with 12 of the months actually being on the road, we've traveled 30,000+ miles (glad that's behind us), presented our ministry in 72 churches in 28 states, drove through 34 different states, had one car accident, stayed in all kinds of places and in all kinds of situations and met some of the sweetest people out there. Friendships were developed and strengthened, kindness was shown to us many, many times over, and our desire to get to the mission field intensified each time we presented our burden.

But now? Deputation is officially behind us. We were done at the end of June, but had two last commitments to complete in October, so now we can say we're done for sure. :-) As evidenced by this blog, I have a great love for travel, but after being on the road for a year and living out of a suitcase, I'll admit the novelty of traveling has worn off a bit. Add into the mix traveling with a newborn baby and that really puts a whole new spin on things! When we went to Texas for this last trip, Paul and I flew down while Nat spent four days driving (poor guy). So I missed out on the first leg of the road trip, but we experienced it full force the rest of the way! Paul did fairly well during the days, but nights were just a mess. In fact, one night he was up from 1 am - 6 am for no apparent reason (like teething, flu, etc). That one really baffled us and the next day we had a 6.5 hour drive to make. Thankfully he finally slept. ;) Since we've been home though, he's been doing very well and going to his bed with zero fuss. I guess he really does sense all the upheaval and chaos and reacts to that.

So now starts the mad dash to the finish line, so to speak. We hit the ground running with commitments and people to see and this next week looks pretty full. In between spending time with people, we have lots of packing to finish and things to put into storage. I thought I did a pretty good job of downsizing our stuff until I came home Thursday (after living out of a suitcase for three weeks) and realized things just multiplied while we were gone! So now it's time to get ruthless again. :-) In the end, it's all just things and I have to keep reminding myself of that. 

17 days before take-off!!!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Exciting Times!

We just ended our first of two missions conferences Sunday evening and it was exciting and sad all rolled into one. Exciting because this was the first missions conference of this church and we know the Lord is going to do great things as long as this church stays yielded to Him. But it was sad to say good-bye to the other four missionary families, knowing that we won't see them for a very long time or ever again until eternity. Unless we have layovers in Australia, Mexico, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island that is! I told Nat we could take a different route to and from Thailand every time because we have so many friends in so many countries. Can you imagine a trip that includes stops in South Africa, Scotland, and Canada? That would be a looong trip home!

One of the missionary families was quite delayed in getting to Texas from Oklahoma City (4 hours away). Last week someone tried to steal their diesel from their truck and made a real mess of some hoses. They got that fixed and then were on the way down to Texas when their transmission died. They finally got here Saturday by borrowing a church van. This morning the pastor was sharing their story and said a couple of people gave him checks to go towards the transmission repair. He then mentioned if anyone else wanted to give, they could. I was so thrilled and excited for this missionary family as this little country church took up a free-will offering of several hundred dollars. I know how it feels to have an overwhelming car problem that you have no idea how it will all sort out and then the Lord uses people to meet that need. God is so good and I'm thankful this family got to be on the receiving end of His goodness!

We have now entered the "under one month" mark for Thailand! That is to say, Lord willing, this time next month we should be in Thailand, travel weary and bone tired. Ahh, but before that month finishes out, we have exciting things in store. Birthdays to celebrate, an early Thanksgiving with my family, dinners, lunch dates, packing, more family time, a special sending service at our home church and yes, tearful hugs and goodbyes for now. I'm not a huge fan of long, drawn out goodbyes but there's something sweet about those teary goodbyes too. I know that God will give much grace to make this big move halfway around the world!

Friday, October 4, 2013

Texas Travel.

We've been hanging out in the middle of nowhere Texas for the last couple of days, but it has been nice to have a comfortable trailer to stay in! We're taking part in a little country church's first missions conference and we are glad to be here, along with a few other families we've crossed paths with while on deputation. If we can't see a missionary when they come to our home church, then we'll just have to meet up with them at a conference!

Yesterday we drove about 45 minutes to a nearby town (yes, that is nearby for Texas!) to what is considered the world's largest flea market ( If it's not the largest, it's certainly a close second! We walked around for a couple of hours and gazed longingly at everything we couldn't buy. We did pick up two small Christmas items, and kept telling ourselves the day is coming when we will be able to purchase things again. For now, we wait until Thailand! 

The market we were at reminded us a lot of Thailand, with the exception of the booths having space between them and wide aisles to walk through. The day was hot and the sun seemed to be just above our head. It was a good reminder of what's in our future! Thankfully the humidity was low. :-)

From here we move on to Louisiana, a state I've not been to yet. I'm surprised the tourist in me hasn't started checking out things to do in Shreeveport and Baton Rouge. :-) I'll gladly take suggestions!

I can tell that we've been out of the traveling mode for a while, because we're all slightly off our groove and what little schedule/routine Paul had is gone.  I'm very grateful our deputation days are over because I'm not as big of a fan of traveling anymore. I'm ready to make the one last big trip to Thailand and then be done for a little bit. :-)