That's such a big question! A question we could easily talk about for hours...but, in a cute little nutshell (being eaten by a cute little squirrel), the ship and our time there was... Incredible. Beautiful. Challenging. Eye-opening. Not without its frustrations. Amazing. We are thankful that we were able to serve on the Africa Mercy for the past 5 years, and we would love to talk more about our experiences...please feel to ask us questions (this may come as a shock, but I'm not so great at just talking for the sake of talking... but I love questions... feel free to ask anything, anytime!).
How has it been for y'all, returning home?
So far, so good. We have definitely had a bit of a "soft" re-entry as a result of traveling (what a gift that has been - the traveling and the progressive re-entry)...
We are going out of town once more this weekend, and then we will be back - and then the settling-in will really start. We will start to find our rhythms again and figure out what God has for us in the day-to-day and week-to-week schedules of our lives here in Columbus.
Where are you living?
Currently we're staying with Nick's parents (their kindness to let us invade their space has been fantastic). Over the last few weeks, we have been in-town and out-of-town and in-&-out again...
Then, on August 1st, we will move into our cottage (it's nearly twice the size of our cabin on the ship!) while some work is being done on the main house that we will be moving into. I am hoping hoping hoping the work on the house will be done by the end of August (trying to stay flexible as I know contractors are juggling lots and not always able to do things as quickly as I might like them done!). Once the work is done, we will move into the main house and then our cottage will be available to friends and family for visits (come see us!).
the view from our future front porchDo you need anything?
As cliche as it may sound, we need your prayers - seriously. We believe in the power of prayer and know that there is nothing better (even if the world might say otherwise!). Here are just a few specific ways you can pray:
- for all 5 of us as we continue to transition and settle in.
- for a successful supporter thank you event on August 6th (you are most welcome to attend!). We long for friends and family to know how grateful we are for the support that has been given these past 5 years. Come enjoy some desserts and hear about our time with Mercy Ships. 4 pm, Christ Community Church, Columbus, GA.
- for wisdom as we make a homeschooling plan and as Nick begins his job at Christ Community Church in September.
- for the Africa Mercy as it makes it way to Cameroon to start a new field service.
At this point, there is still plenty that we need to procure - cleaning supplies and ketchup and laundry detergent and flour and so many other random items... so the most useful item I can think of would be giftcards (Aldi, Wal-Mart, Chick-Fil-A :) would be the cards that would be used quickest!). If this is something you're interested in, feel free to email me - email@example.com. But please don't feel any pressure...
You are also more than welcome to give one last donation to us through Mercy Ships. Donations will continue to be processed on our behalf until August 31st.
What's been your favorite part of being back?
Caroline - spending time with people I have missed and jumping on trampolines
Emma - what she (caroline) said!
Eli - getting to be on vacation, being with friends, knowing our house will be ready soon
|White/Cash kids (or Cash\White kids)|
Dianna - going to aldi; sweet and wonderful time with family and good friends (I highly recommend good friends...and good family); reminders that we are right where we are supposed to be
|McMichael siblings and Meme|
- hardly being able to speak when I saw a girl wearing a UGA shirt in the London airport (those emotions just hit you out of nowhere sometimes).
- the anti-climatic re-entry through airport immigration. I was hoping for a meaningful "welcome home" or "glad to have you back." nope... nothing. ha.
- accidentally spending more on one meal than we would for a whole week of groceries (we are re-learning the skill of how to wisely order food in America)
There is so much more that can be said about this transition time - about the importance of preparation (and how wonderful Nick is at that - I [dianna] can say that since I am the one writing this blog!) and the similarities of this transition to the one we made 5 years ago. A whole blog could be written about how having just one good friend in the place you're transitioning to can make all the difference. We will see if/when the time comes to type more on these topics.
For now, please join us in thanking God for the peacefulness of this transition and His great faithfulness every step of the way!
Surely there will be more to come.