Thursday, May 31, 2007

T Minus 21 Days

Well, we are 21 days from boarding 'the big airplane' - as Bethany now says 50 times a day - to head back to the States. Everyone is pretty excited. We have about 12 suitcases packed already. Although they are not up to the 50 lb limit - they are getting full. I think we are bringing back about '2 weeks' worth of clothes for everyone - looking to hit all the sales in the next 6 months. I am not sure how many bags we'll be able to bring back. The Board allowed an extra piece for everyone and one for the family - so we came over with 16 bags. I don't know if they will make the same allowance - if not we won't have as many.

Josiah and Caleb have 2 weeks of school left. They get out for a long weekend the weekend that we leave here. We are going to leave and spend a couple of days in Johannesburg before we leave. I will finish with Andy tomorrow - he has a cumulative History test and just a regular math test.

One of the saddest parts about leaving is saying good-bye to Dale and Ann Beighle. They live just 3 doors down from us and have been like grand parents. They have been on the field for the last 32 years and they are going on home to Kentucky in August. It's not going to be pleasant to return here and not have them here. However, there is another couple with another organization that should take their place and they have some children the same age as ours. So it is not all bad. We also have some other people that will be coming in January and June of next year - so that will be good also.

I am excited about returning to South Africa because I see all the possibilities. When we came here, there was so much uncertainty about everything. But now I see, just a glimpse of what can happen.

Here is our speaking schedule thus far.

July 23-30: Richmond,VA
August 1: OHBC - FLC - Longview, TX
August 12: Onion Creek Baptist Church - Austin, TX (AM)
August 12: FBC, Sequin, TX (PM)
August 17-21: Immanuel BC, Ridgecrest, CA
September 1-3: FBC, Stonewall, OK
September 26-29: Missions Conference, FBC, Fairfield,TX
October 13-18: Missions Celebration, FBC, Hot Springs, AR
November 8-11: Missions Conference, North Central BaptistAssociation, Loves Park, Illinois
December 3: Oakland Heights Baptist Church, Longview, TX

I am in contact with several churches in Oklahoma finalizing other speaking engagements.

We sent out some prayer requests a couple of weeks ago asking prayer for someone to stay in our house. Within 3 days, the Lord answered our prayer and we found someone to stay in the house while we are gone. We are so thankful for what the Lord continues to do. It was important in our morning family devotions to allow the boys to see this answer to prayer.

I will share later our travel itinerary when we come home.