Ok, so many of you might know this already, and I really did mean to post sooner, but God has supplied us with more than we ever imagined! We had a fantastic time in Shelbyville, TN, and God could not have made it any clearer to us that this is where he wants us to go.
So, I know that I promised some Easter pictures a while ago…yeah, that is long gone, I know. So, here is one to entertain you, and you can click here to see the rest. Now, on to TN!
As I posted a few weeks ago, the Fairlane Church of Christ, in Shelbyville, TN, brought us to their town in order to visit and sort of interview with them in order to look at a possible partnership between us and their church for our mission to Peru. We were excited to go, but we really had no idea what to expect when we got there.
We were incredibly fortunate to have a wonderful family to stay with the entire time we were there, Jeff and Barbie Moon. Their girls have already moved away from home, so we had lots of space to stay in. It was nice. They could not have made our stay there any more welcoming. They even took their old baby crib down from their attic for Cailyn to sleep in! How wonderful is that?! Thanks to the Moon family!
We arrived on a Saturday, so the first full day we were there, we were able to go and meet their church family for their church services. It was great. They introduced us to the church, and we could tell right away that people were interested in why we were there, and they seemed excited to meet us. That felt good. Each evening after that, we got to have dinner with a family or families from their congregation. We even squeezed in a few breakfast and lunch visits. It was wonderful! We probably gained 5-10lbs. each just on the food they fed us. Their hospitality was amazing. We had the chance to meet with several Elders and their wives, and we had many times to meet and talk with their missions committee as well as members of their missions teams. Everyone asked so many questions about our plans for Lima, and it was just exciting to be able to share how we feel God is leading us. Finally, the last Sunday we were there, Justin had the opportunity to teach the adult class. He was asked to give them a sort of power point view of our timeline for leaving, our team members and who they are, and the work we hope to do while in Peru. He did a fantastic job, and many of the church members then had a better idea of who we were and what our plans are.
One of the days we were there, we had the blessing of meeting with another team of 2 families that plan on leaving this August to move to Arequipa, Peru to do mission work. We were so excited to meet them and share a meal with one another. Their team is being supported by two congregations, and one of them is in Tullahoma, TN, about 20 min. from where we will be living. So, we look forward to having the chance to meet with them again and connect with their families in order to build a relationship for the future when we are all in Peru. God is so good!
After a long and exciting week, we headed home two Mondays after we had flown there. By Wednesday night, we received a phone call from the preacher at Fairlane Church of Christ saying they had decided that evening that they wanted to support us fully! We could not have been more pleased with how God worked every little detail out. It is obvious to us that God’s plan is far greater than ours. We probably would never have put ourselves in Shelbyville, TN, but we see now that this is the place God has been preparing for us since day 1.
So, the plan now is…well.
I came back to Abilene and told my job (the nursing home I worked at 3 days a week) that I could only work 2 more weeks. They knew since January, when they rehired me, that I would probably be leaving sooner than later. I will just say that this nursing home, and the administration there, could not have treated me with more respect. They were excited for me and my plans, and they were so flexible with my schedule. It was a HUGE blessing to have had the chance to work there full-time before Cailyn was born and again for these last few months for just a few days a week. THANKS CORONADO NURSING CENTER!
This coming week marks the first week in a while that Justin and I will both be home together all day every day. AND WHAT DO WE PLAN ON DOING…? PACKING!!!
We will pack our entire house…well, let me first explain that we have had several corners of our home packed with boxes for months. Despite this, we totally have tons more to do. We had a garage sale last weekend, and we sold nearly every piece of furniture we own minus our bed, Cailyn’s crib, and our kitchen table. We are using a table from our church as an entertainment center for now, and another table from our church as a desk to keep our computer and printer on. Things are crazy! We did so well in the garage sale. It was such a blessing. We are now going through some of the boxes we already packed for Peru and trying to decide for real this time what we really need to take with us. This has been somewhat of an emotional experience. It is hard to look at our things and decide whether I need them or want them for the next several years. There have been some things I have just decided I cannot part with, and then there are other things I have decided to sell. And yet, there are still other things we own that we will store in College Station at our parent’s homes until we get back to the States some day. Yes, it is overwhelming as I said. I can’t complain really, though. It has been an eye opener to realize we have things that we just don’t use or need. It is nice to weed out some of that.
At the end of this next week, our team has one of our last team retreats together before we are all completely separated until August. We will head to Brownwood, TX for this final training session, and once that is over, WE ARE MOVING TO SHELBYVILLE! Say a small prayer for Cailyn and us. My parents plan to keep her in College Station for the 3 days of our retreat. We cannot take the kids with us, so we had to leave Cailyn. This will be the first time she is away from both of us overnight and for several days. I have full confidence that her Honey and Daddy-O will do a superb job at taking care of her. Probably, she will not remember she has a mommy and daddy, and your prayers will be for us as we are away from her. 🙂
We then plan to leave Abilene on May 16th to drive to Dallas. We are staying the night with some dear friends, Chris and Andrea Jackson, and the next day Justin will drive our U-haul to Shelbyville, and Cailyn and I will fly to Shelbyville to meet him when he arrives. We felt it was best for Cailyn and I to fly considering all of the traveling she has done lately. She really has been a trooper, but we are hoping this might make the move a little less stressful on her.
The Fairlane Church has found us a home to rent while we are there for the next few months, and they are also graciously finding some furniture (just what is necessary) for us to use since we have sold all of ours. We plan to spend time with them until August, and that is the expected departure date for our team to head to Costa Rica for Spanish language school. Is it really here?
Ok, so don’t think I would post about Tennessee and not share some pictures! Here are a couple, and the rest are here if you want to check them out.
“Welcome to Tennessee!” – Cailyn…
The grass was fun to play in…
Everywhere we drove, we saw neat farmland like this…
We couldn’t go to TN and not get a picture of Cailyn in a rocking chair on the porch…
Everything there was so beautiful!
Have a great week!