May 22, 2013

We're not the only ones moving...

... GOD is moving.  A LOT.

A lot of people have asked us the 'big' questions:
Where are you going to live?
You'd be surprised what people think when you say "moving to Africa" :)

What are you going to do with your house?
Our house after a freak snowfall in March of '09
What about your cat?
He's been a part of our family for 7 years!
When are you leaving?

What will you do while you're there?
Pretty sure O will be starting a band in Moshi... ;)

We didn't always have an answer for all these 'big' questions, you know, the things that kinda hafta be taken care of before up and leaving for Africa for nearly a year.

But God's been moving.

We had prayed and sought God's wisdom on whether or not we should sell the house or hang on to it so we'd have it when we returned, and we both clearly heard him say to give it up.  To sacrifice the comfort of having it here waiting.  So we talked to a realtor friend, and after crunching numbers and looking up comps we all decided it would be best to wait a little while before putting it on the market.  So we began praying for the perfect renters to come our way.  Ideally it would be someone we knew, so we wouldn't have to go through having to use a property management company, worry about the state our house would be in after we returned, etc.  But we didn't know anyone.  We went this route before when we were still clinging to the house being ours.  We asked the handful of couples we knew that may be in a position to rent our house, and they all said no.
But after committing to selling it and then finding out it wouldn't be financially wise... we found renters.  Literally the day after we decided to look for renters.  And we know them pretty well, too.  Just last night they agreed to a one year lease, and we could not be more thrilled with the prospect of them living in our home!  It was so fun to show them around and watch her dream about nesting and all the ways she could decorate.  It got me excited to house hunt for us in Africa :)

Oh.  But that's not all.

As much as I hated to do it (I cried, I'll admit it) I put up an ad on a local website called Charlotte Mommies describing our situation and the need to find Oliver a new home.  I know not everyone is a pet person, but we are.  Oliver was our kid before Owen came around and he is truly a part of our family.  He waits for us at the door, he snuggles with Owen on the couch, lets him push him around in boxes, he's one of us.  It was hard to put up a 'wanted' ad for him. :(
The first person that contacted me was a lady that lived about 30 minutes away.  She'd been looking for a cat to get their family but wanted one that was laid back, playful and liked attention - not a snooty, skiddish cat.  Well, those of you that know Oliver know that he is exactly what she described.  So their family came over to meet him on Mother's Day.  They're a family of three, with a 2 1/2 yr old daughter.  I love how similar that is to our family make-up.  Oh.  But that's not all.  Turns out she went to Harper Creek High (in Battle Creek,  where I went to Battle Creek Central High).  She knows my cousins.  We both went to the Math & Science Center together, graduated a year apart, and played tennis against each other.  It was seriously like the twilight zone up in here as we were figuring all this out.  CRA. Zy.  But that's not all that mattered, having all those cool connections, what I loved was how much Oliver loved them!  He was super chill around them, let them hold him, rub his belly and was even up in their faces asking for nuzzles by the time they were getting ready to leave.  He let their daughter play with him, pet him and cuddle him.  It was adorable.  And the best part (for me) is knowing that he will have a smooth transition, moving into a family that has such a similar dynamic and into such a loving home.  The family actually asked me if it was weird that they wanted to come over and play with him in the interim because they missed him. :)  I love that he's going into such a loving home!

So those are the BIG things that have happened lately!  We know the answers to the other questions already -
We'll be staying in a family's home in Moshi that will be on furlough in the States for 6 months. (not in a tent in the bush, as pictured above)  They have a 2yr old daughter so it's the perfect home for us to transition into. :)  Once February comes around and the family comes back from furlough, we're not sure what will happen.  But we have until February to either a) find a house of our own or b) ask someone else if we can bum around with them for a while - and with the community in Moshi as awesome as it is, we aren't worried at all about finding a place to stay come February.
We will be leaving in early August.  We don't have our tickets yet, so no exact dates, but our goal is around the 1st week.
While in Moshi, I will be teaching jr. high at the international school, while Bill stays home with Owen.  Our ministry focus will be serving others and bringing the spirit of excellence (doing the very best with what you have).  Bill also wants to get involved with Farming God's Way, and I'm sure I'll find some orphanages to love on some babies.  We'd both also love going back out to the Maasai tribe for some ministry.

We'd love it if you'd partner with us on this journey!  You can sign up for our newsletter by clicking HERE  We plan to do a monthly newsletter once we get settled in Moshi, right now we're sending one every couple weeks because so many things have been happening!

If you'd like to support us financially we're still looking for about 90 more people to commit to $25 a month, and we need about $4000 for start-up (visas, airfare, etc) but any amount helps!
You can give online by clicking HERE or the big donate button up at the top of the page.  Donations are given through Freedom House Church and can be set up to be recurring monthly so you don't have to worry about remembering!