last friday we folded our limbs into rows of funeral chairs while our pastor stood strong and shaky, remembering his dad. the whole thing was wonderfully honest and i bawled my eyeballs clean out of my head at several unsuspecting points. and in between, i thought please let them talk about me like this. don’t varnish me up; tell them i could be myopic and downright mulish, how i was allergic to being wrong, but also tell them that Jesus held on to me, and how i’d choose Him all over again because He picked me. He picks me.
He’s such a startling God.
then sunday we shared at a church todd grew up in, and it was my favorite thing. i got to hug people who poured into the teenage version of the mister, people who brought breakfast to class and adored Jesus and had todd in their living rooms and went to bat for him a time or twelve. folks who prayed big things into his life starting way back then. and all of that stuck around in his insides, pushing down roots that wouldn’t let go.
thank you, fmc.
so i’m becoming a tea drinker. rumor has it they won’t let you into kenya if you don’t know your way around chai, and anyway my coffee maker died. tea it is.
mostly i take my tea milky with a nice sludge of sugar at the bottom, which is probably cheating in multiple ways. but wow, if i’d known the stuff was this good, i’d have switched over decades ago.
we’re spinning down to our last couple months in the states. here’s our planned timeframe:
june 11: clearance.
our goal is have 100% pledged support by the 11th, so we’ll be cleared for departure in july. pledged support means that folks make a faith commitment to give monthly or yearly toward our ministry in africa. we’re about two-thirds of the way there, which snags my heart every time i think about it. thank you, friends. thank You, Jesus.
we still have room for others to team with us, and we’d love to have you join in. (also, if you’ve made a one-time gift this year and you’re planning to repeat it in the coming years, please let us know. that also counts toward our support.)
the rest of june: remain calm.
we’ll sell off or donate 99% of our stuff–furniture, vehicles, the whole works. then we’ll pack up life as we know it into 14 duffle bags. i have in my head that we are going to fit LOADS OF STUFF in those guys, but i suspect i shall have a rather rude awakening.
early july: truck out of indiana.
we’ll load up our people and our bags and head down to AIM headquarters in georgia. they’ll walk us through several days of sessions and forms and final clearance. i have just a hazy idea of what goes on in these days, so mostly i’m envisioning them handing me a map of the african continent and saying, here. don’t get lost. :)
july 11: goodbye, north america.
we’ll fly out of atlanta and hopefully wind up in nairobi some 30 hours and many airports later. then it’s three weeks of training at scott theological seminary, a move to kijabe, and we’ll dive into ministry with our students and kenyan neighbors.
where are we right now? two-parts giddy, one-part nervous, seventeen-parts amazed that God allows each one of us to join in on His redemptive work. His love is reckless and saving and uncommonly sweet, and it makes us whisper scared but sure: here am i, Lord. send me.