I know we are not the only ones to experience this. I know we probably aren’t even handling it as well as some others have.
The idea of looking forward to what is next, preparing for it, planning (as best we can) for it, while still trying to focus on making sure the gains that were made over the past four years are not lost when we move on. The pain of goodbyes yet to come are a constant weight bringing tears to my eyes as I type these words. Perhaps not goodbyes, but rather “Nos vemos pronto” (See you soon).
The struggle with how our impact and involvement in this ministry is shifting. The struggle with trying to come to terms with the potential for a larger impact at the cost of losing (as much) direct contact and connection with those we are called to serve. I know there are at least 40-some other people who share this same struggle already giving their time and talents in our U.S. office that I am excited to work with daily. Perhaps their stores of grace are greater, or their vision for the bigger picture clearer. I’m sure it is emotional at this stage, but it is a struggle nonetheless.
Sharing this vision and the shift in our calling and what our future roles will be has gone so well with our supporters. I am very thankful for that. Many fully understand the larger impact and the reason for the shift. Still, the idea of supporting a missionary that lives stateside has a stigma about it. As we have seen before, we know the Lord will provide and we are excited to see how he does it once we are there in the states.
So now that you know where we stand emotionally, I wanted to share a little about where we are and what is to come (along with some neat things happening over the past few months).
If you haven’t heard already, our little princess made her arrival precisely on her due date of July 17th at 2:55am weighing 7lb 3oz and a hair under 19″ tall. We were so grateful Anna was able to have her naturally (Kael was a C-Section) so she was only in labor at the hospital for about 3 hours. Recovery has been swift and Mommy and Analise Victoria are doing great.
Our lives this summer have been made sane through an angel who came to live with us. Her name is Shirley Suarez.
Shirley has been a God-send and we can not imagine not having her here with us. She has become a wonderful part of our family and we will miss her dearly when she returns to Monterrey on August 5th to start her third year at University.
You can read a little bit more about Shirley and her awesome testimony here: http://back2back.org/2014/02/meet-shirley
We have spent a lot of great time with the kids out at Casa Hogar San Jose and are working hard to figure out a transition strategy for this home and the kids we love so dearly there.
The summer has been great and full with lots of teams serving here in Cancun. Here are a few pictures of some of the fun we have been having with them:
Things have also been moving along swiftly with the Judy Morand Center for Hope at the Centro Comunitario de Tres Reyes (CCTR). Here is a recent update video on construction progress that I just did this week for the project donors:
In less visually exciting news, we have started on the paperwork process for birth certificates, US passports renewals and Mexican passport renewals for all of our family to make the trip home in September. Along with this, we are going to be purchasing a home (Lord-willing) in August/September in the Cincinnati area. We are under a time crunch (accepted offer with inspections done by September 15) and because the baby cannot yet travel, neither can Anna which means I will have to find a house and purchase it without her seeing it (SCARY!).
We are lining up selling our suburban here in Mexico, thanks to someone anonymously buying a minivan for us back in the states, (PRAISE THE LORD!!!) and working on getting quotes to move our belongings from Cancun to Cincinnati. We have one week of summer teams left and then starts the August/September “gauntlet” of family visiting us to see the baby and packing our lives up and saying
goodbye nos vemos.
Depending on government agencies and how fast they can process various paperwork, our plan is to fly to South Bend the last week of September and then be in Cincinnati sometime the first week of October moving into our new home and starting my work in the U.S. office and Anna starting homeschooling with Kai and Kael.
Seems improbable for all of this to happen, but the more improbable the task is for us, the more glory God gets when He makes it happen, so we are going to lean in to Him a little more these next few months and try to live every last moment we have here in Mexico to the fullest before moving through the next open door He has provided.
Thank you to each one of you for continuing to pray for us, support us financially and encourage us along this journey.