29 May 2012

Priceless treasures for our kids!!

We have such wonderful friends & an INCREDIBLE community that surrounds us and supports us (that is one of the understatements of the year!!!).  It would take quite a while to type ALLLLLLL of the ways we've been blessed over the course of the past few months (not to mention the past 10 years of living here in Columbus!).  From amazingly thoughtful gifts to words of encouragement and prayers to financial support to fabulous parties thrown in our honor, we have felt SO LOVED, so cared for, so celebrated during this process of preparing to leave for Mercy Ships! 

Friday night was one of those times...a potluck dinner was organized by some fabulous people. As part of the event, some activities were planned for the kids.  I'm not sure there is much that blesses me more than when my kids are thought of and blessed...My favorite part of the event were these books that were created for each of our kids...simply blank "golden books" that were decorated...

The children (and adults!) were invited to draw pictures, share words of encouragement, prayers, etc. in the books.


All 3 kids looked at their books the whole way home and slept with their books Friday night!  They've looked at them every day since.  I have no doubt these treasures will be kept accessible through this entire journey and poured over often. 

For as excited as we are to be going and doing exactly what we know God is calling us to go and do, it is still hard to think about leaving.  But it's so sweet to have tangible reminders, like these books, of the love, prayers and support that are going with us...

Surely there will be more to come.

21 May 2012

an invitation!

Once again, we're amazed by the kindness of generosity of our friends and church family....just wanted to share this invitation with all of you - please come if you can!!! And, if you need more incentive to come, Eli & Caroline will be baptized at the beginning of the event!

A Going Away Potluck For The Cash Crew
Friday, May 25  5:30 - 7:30 pm
the Milgen Room  at Christ Community Church

A time of fellowship, fun, and food is being planned for the Cash Family. Let’s share a meal and some laughs with them before they leave for Africa to serve with Mercy Ships.  There will be an activity or 2 for the kids as well!

Please use the last letter of your last name to determine what to bring to contribute to our meal:

A-J: Main dish
K-P: Side dish
Q-S: Salad (green, fruit or pasta)
T-Y: Dessert

Drinks, plates, etc. will be provided.  Do plan to come and send this beloved CCC family off well with lots of love and encouragement!  Any questions? email molly807@gmail.com

18 May 2012

wanted to share the gift God just gave us

A dear friend sent the link to this song...so very thankful for the Truth and promises of God for our family...and for YOU.

08 May 2012

newspaper article - disclaimers & other random stories

if you haven't seen it, our story was shared in our local newspaper this past Saturday...

ledger-enquirer article

though i MUST give a few disclaimers...not sure where the "they look forward to touring the countryside" comment came from.  i'm picturing us in a 1920s convertible with a scarf wrapped around my well done hair and nick wearing driving goggles.  we're just a laughing...and i'm wearing fabulous sunglasses. 

i THINK Mr. Gierer asked if we would be able to get off the ship and visit other places in the country/continent.  not sure what our response was - something like, "yes, we could do that if we wanted to during our time off."  who knows, maybe God will provide us with the opportunity to "tour the countryside."

AND, i didn't EXACTLY say the "This is a great country but people are spoiled." line the way it came across (or at least not the way i read it!!!).  i said something more along the lines of "i love our country...it really is a great place...but we are all so spoiled...i think being on the ship will give help break us of some of our selfishness."  (i certainly include myself in the "we" part of who is spoiled).

i know disclaimers are unnecessary...but it makes me feel a little better to explain. :)

one other fun story - i was in the post office today mailing some books to a friend (books that he let our family borrow YEARS ago...bet he never thought he was going to see those books again).  i was also hoping to get a money order to pay for our visas for our field service in Ghana.  the kids weren't exactly being perfect - especially emma...but i'll take some of the blame, i had her up past her nap time!  i was staying pretty patient....but i wasn't exactly being perfect either (am i ever? absolutely not.).  so we're interacting...emma is pushing a box that's under the counter and eli is trying to be responsible and put it back where it belongs...but his actions make emma scream...and she just pushes the box again...and then i am trying to get this box of books packaged up and keep emma from screaming and keep eli from doing the thing that is making emma scream and make sure caroline is staying close -- and the tape i brought (post office approved tape!) ran out as i tried to tape the box (something - or Someone! - told me to check it before i took it!  i didn't...)(i hadn't taped it prior to coming because i wasn't sure if sending it media mail in the box i had would be cheaper than buying a flat rate box)...so then i used the "priority mail" tape that was out and available...but the sweet lady said that wasn't the right tape since i was mailing the package using media mail (which was way cheaper than i thought it would be!!  quite a few books = heavy box). so i rip off the priority mail tape and in doing so, i begin to realize that i'm going to have to buy a new roll of post office approved tape...which just makes me cringe and wheeze and want to stomp my foot - because i know we have multiple rolls of post office approved tape at our disposal - it just wasn't with me...but i decided i would rather spend the money on the tape (which is actually good tape!!) than pack up the kids and haul them away only to have to haul them back another time.  so...(this story is much longer than i anticipated...and it really isn't that great of a story - just a heads up)  i finally get the books boxed up and taped up and addressed and we get back in line (rather short lines today, thankful for that!!!) and then it's my turn and she weighs the box and i go to request my money order...but realize that i don't have my lovely post-it where i wrote the exact name of who is getting the money order...i say it's for "um...ghana...embassy of ghana...umm...ghana..." (i'm still distracted by the fact that i'm buying more tape...and trying to keep my kids in some sort of decent order)...she says "oh, i don't need to know who it's for...just the amount."  ok!  whew.  that's good...at least i won't get it wrong and have rejected visas...and i hand her my credit card...and she swipes it and says "are you....are you the one that was in the newspaper?"  "why yes, yes i am."  and she is so excited to meet us (which is especially funny to me for some reason...maybe because of the unruliness of my children...or maybe because of how i came too close for comfort to not staying patient...or maybe how God is so kind to turn a routine trip to the post-office into an opportunity to talk about Him...).  so we chat for just a second...and then she says "is this a credit card?"  "yes, ma'm"  "i'm sorry but you can't buy a money order with a credit card...a debit card will work or cash."  i have neither.  oh well.  nice try.  i'll go back another day...and maybe i'll get to see my new friend who whispered that she's praying for us. 

lessons learned:
when the Holy Spirit prompts you to check the roll of tape, check it.
the goal is to stay patient with your kids - regardless of who is or is not looking
you cannot buy a money order with a credit card
don't keep emma up past her naptime if at all possible

fun fact:
this is the THIRD post office worker that has been super excited about what the Lord is leading us to...we've got a lady at the Milgen Road PO, one at the Wynnton Road PO and now one at the Double Churches Road PO praying for us. i like it.

other fun fact:
most of the "stuff" in the picture from the article isn't at all what we're taking to africa with us...it was just the "pile" that came in as we moved all of our stuff from 19th ave...it was waiting to be sorted. 

one last random thought:
it would have been extremely cool if the "space" between me and nick had made the shape of africa...it almost does backwards...but not really.  oh well. maybe next time.

thanks for hanging in there for this rambling post. 

surely there will be more to come. 

Read more here: http://www.ledger-enquirer.com/2012/05/05/2036881/cash-family-sells-home-belongings.html#storylink=cpy

05 May 2012

"Wow." About all she could say was, "Wow!"

Any Lily’s Purple Plastic Purse fans out there?  (a book we’ve read and enjoyed – it’s got fun vocabulary words and pretty good moral – but we do have to change some of the phrases.  I’m pretty picky about some things).  A couple of times in the book, in reaction to whatever is going on, different characters say   “Wow.” About all she could say was “Wow!”
That’s how we feel about last Friday nights’ fundraiser.  "Wow."  About all we can say is “Wow!”  We had such a wonderful evening…full of laughter & sharing & kind words & incredible generosity. 

To give the background – and to fully explain the faithfulness of God in and through this event – we need to go back to January. As you probably know, in January, we went to Texas to “check out” Mercy Ships.  We spent 5 days in “Foundations of Mercy Ships.”  The entire time we were asking God “is this what you want us to do?” (phrased in dozens of different ways).  As we left there we still weren’t certain…but were certainly feeling like it was probably going to happen…and on the way home, through conversations (10 hours of kid-less conversation.  Beautiful.),  one of the main concerns that surfaced was the raising of support (that's never the most exciting thing to think about!).

Fast forward a few hours to Sunday morning at church.  In passing, Joy Crumpton asked how our adoption was going – innocent question, right?  Well…."let me tell you what all is going on Joy….not sure about what the adoption process is going to end up looking like…we’re thinking we may be called to go join Mercy Ships…" fill in a little more information.  And then Joy says “if you do end up going to Mercy Ships, I’d love to help you with your fundraising.”

What?!!  God sends someone to say “I’d like to help you with the very thing you’re most concerned about.”

That’s just like our God. 

So fast forward a little more…We’re definitely going to Mercy Ships.  No doubt.  Lee McBride and Nick are having a conversation about something unrelated to us and Mercy Ships…the conversation moves to that…Lee says “I’d like to do a Clergy Collar Comedy Tour” fundraiser for you. 

What?!  A free fundraiser?!

That’s just like our God. 

So we have someone who is willing to help in support raising and we have a fundraiser.  We ask Joy if she’d be willing to help organize the event (knowing that she is the QUEEN of organized…the QUEEN of doing what she says she’s going to do..the QUEEN of putting on a fantastic event.)(but also knowing that her offer to help with fundraising may not necessarily mean she's willing to completely orchestrate an event!).  She says “yes.”  Amazing. That's just like our God to put all the puzzle pieces together.

So Joy does all the work (though she says she didn’t do much.  she says that Nick did a lot…Nick says he didn’t do much…) and we show up to Christ Community last Friday night, April 27…

The event comes.  People show up!  (for some silly reason I had this idea that no one would come…)

At the end of the night, Joy gave Lee a piece of paper and Lee shares that over $8,000 was given to go towards our Mercy Ships cost.  

 $8000?!?!  AMAZING.   

My hope was something like $3,000 or $4,000 – so more than double what I had hoped for came in.

But THEN, maybe 10 minutes later, Joy came up and said “we have a new total…” Apparently there were some other gifts that were not included in the original total...some gifts were given directly to Joy, some were in the "collection bucket" at the booth we set up…so there was a new total...over $17,000!!!!! 

$17,000?!  “Wow.”  About all she could say was “Wow!”

Through the thoughtfulness & generosity of Lee McBride, the generosity & amazing organizational skills of Joy Crumpton, the willingness of dozens of people to serve and the HUGE generosity of our God through hundreds of individuals more than $17,000 was given.  Our God keeps going above and beyond – but what I’m realizing is that He’s not going above and beyond – He’s just being God.

Amazed. Grateful. Awed.

Surely there will be more to come.