I sent out our family’s email version of the May work report a couple of days ago. And it was really long. So I’ve decided to break it up into sections here on the blog. Today’s installment is the “Family and Life” segment.
Also — and because I’ve shortened your reading for the day, my friends — I’m going to add in a few extra of life’s anecdotes.
Family and Life
- Baylor and Harper are happily growing girls. Baylor’s current favorite things are playing with her friends, practicing her letter sounds, and the Veggie Tales Jonah movie. Harper loves to ride around on her little blue car, say “cheers!” and eat pudding pops.
- A few days ago Baylor was going on and on about how great a mama Christie is. I agreed with her and echoed how lucky we both are to have the mama that we do in our family. That’s when she added, “Yeah, I’ve decided I don’t want a different mama.”
- Later that evening, when it was nearly time to go to sleep, Baylor asked — as she does every night — if mama could take her to bed. I told her it was my turn to tuck her in and that I was really looking forward to it. That’s when she told me she wanted a different baba. I sat with her a while to try and get to the bottom of this (I mean what’s not to like?), and it became clear that she didn’t actually want to replace me. ”No, baba, I DO want you to be my baba; I just want a different baba, too. I want TWO babas.” Trying to turn this into a teachable moment, I reminded her that she does have two babas — one here on earth (that’s me) and one Father in heaven. She said she already knew that, but “I want you to switch. I want God to be my regular baba.”
- Christie was not only accepted to Lincoln Christian University’s graduate program in TESOL, but she also received a full tuition scholarship! She’s in her second semester and will graduate August 2014.
- The McNeal family moved back to the US in March. We miss them a great deal, but are happy for the four years we were able to share with them here in Tanzania. We remain in Geita with the Groen family.
- Red Knot Racing Company, LLC, Brett’s running tourism agency is operating and has already made a couple of bucks. If you know a runner who might want to race the Kilimanjaro Marathon with us in March 2014, please direct them my way. I can promise them not only a marathon in the shadows of Africa’s highest mountain, but a pretty incredible wildlife viewing experience as well. Our goal is to be able to pay our own salary for mission work by the year 2020.
- The Harrison family is hosting two summer interns who will arrive on June 9. Will Ready is from Auburn University, and Daniel Arnette is from Troy University. We’re looking forward to having them with us for eight weeks to share in both life and work.
- We likely (nearly?) have great news concerning schooling for our girls! There is an international school in the nearby gold mine whose student population is about half Tanzanian and half expat (what we see as a great opportunity for our children). We’ve been interested in the school for some time, but it’s quite expensive and we weren’t sure if it would be possible for our family. The school, though, is interested in offering our mission team discounted (or even free) tuition if we can recruit and supply a teacher (or two) in the future. Many mission teams recruit teachers for the children on their team, but we see this as an incredible opportunity for our children to benefit from being part of a larger school (30 students) in which they can participate in sports and social activities while learning in classes with several kids their own ages.
- Please be praying that:
- Our team will indeed indeed come to an agreement with the school and mine administration.
- We will then be able to recruit a few teachers to start work in fall 2014.
- Our family will be able to figure out a situation for Baylor’s (and later Harper’s) transportation to the school each day.
- On August 6, we’ll board a plane for our second trip back to the US! We’re looking forward to seeing as many of you as possible during our furlough. [Only a small handful of you have gotten the chance to meet Harper.] Here’s a rough calendar of our time in the US:
- Aug 13 – 27 Middle Tennessee (Nashville, Murfreesboro)
- Aug 30 – Sep 10 Texas (Dallas, Abilene, San Antonio, Daingerfield)
- Sep 17 – Oct 2 South Alabama (Dothan, Andalusia)
- Oct 10 – 24 Richmond, Virginia
- Oct 31 – Nov 10 South Alabama (Montgomery, Dothan)
- Nov 11 – 14 Middle Tennessee
- And here are the specific dates on which I’ll be either teaching, preaching, or presenting (or some combination of the above) at our sponsoring churches:
- Sun, Aug 25 Stones River Church, Murfreesboro, TN
- Sun, Sep 8 Daingerfield Church, Daingerfield, TX
- Sun, Sep 22 Westgate Church, Dothan, AL
- Sun, Sep 29 Cedar Grove Church, Andalusia, AL
- Sun, Oct 20 Three Chopt Church, Richmond, VA