Matt and Uncle Don are safely home, much to everyone's delight, especially three little girlies.
Katie is safely back to her Canada home. Boooo. We would have rather she had stayed...what a servant-hearted woman with a firm-identity in Christ. I'm excited about the plans God has for Miss Katie!
Our film crew is back in KY and working through hours and hours of footage and interviews...we still have a few more things to translate and film (like a Matt interview) from here, and then will add to their pile! Hoping to have our "this is Emmaus" video by summer!
Speaking of summer...lots of people are asking what we're doing and when, and the short answer is that we'll mostly be staying HERE this summer, for the first time.
One, our life-time home-base is no longer ours, nor is our van, and so being Stateside for a longer period of time is just very bounce-around-y and stressful for a family of five (and all those housing us, you beautiful people!).
Two, both our neighbor community families are doing longer times out this summer, spanning Canada, Northern Ireland, California, the East Coast of the US and even Europe.
Also, Matt has been doing a lot more fundraising/preaching/speaking throughout the year this year, at better times for our churches than summer, making our summer speaking schedule far less heavy.
Also, there is a lot going on at Emmaus this summer, and also a lot that COULD be happening through Emmaus this summer if we were here...including five visiting teams, summer Masters classes (and maybe even an undergrad class or two), student/staff ministry support, and opportunities to be a part of student ministries that are too time-consuming to be possible during the already packed-out school year.
Also, traveling and speaking, especially now with three kiddos, is exhausting. I admit it. It just is! And our life here during the school year can also be a little (ok, more than a little) exhausting. We need a break this summer...and that is going to include more time staying home instead of more time on the road!
So, it's good...but there will also be lots of things we miss, of course. We are always gonna be missing something/someone :)
Matt will be in Indiana for one week in June at OMS, and then all of us are going to spend almost 3 weeks in the States (PA/DE/NJ) the end of July, both for a few speaking engagements (Seeds of Greatness, here we come!), for doctors appointments and dentists and vaccinations, for a long-weekend family vacation in the big apple, for Matt to be the "Evangelist" at Eaton Rapids camp meetings in Michigan, to visit some grandparents and aunts and uncles and cousins and nieces and nephew, for EBS board meetings, and to meet some precious new babies and to eat. ice. cream.
It will be very hard to gain our token 10 US pounds in only 2-3 weeks instead of 8-10.
What does this mean?
We will be here. You should come visit US this summer, and actually, several of you are considering it. Which will be AWESOME. And everyone knows summer is the best time to go to the Caribbean!! (or something like that :)
It also means that by this summer we'll have this awesome video into your hands, and hope and pray that you'll share with your churches and small groups and families and NOT FORGET US. Keep praying. Keep supporting. Keep encouraging. We need you now more than ever, and don't want to be out-of-sight, out-of-mind.
I'm also sending out our spring newsletter this week. If you don't already get it, and would like to, please email me your address and you'll have it next week!
Thank you for being a vital part of our school year, our summer, our day-to-day, no matter where we are! Being in His hands and in your prayers is one of the sweetest gifts.