Friday, August 17, 2012

Trips,trips, and more trips

Noah gets home today!
Can't wait!
And then we only have about 4 days before we head home to the states.

The past few weeks have been very busy for Noah with trips. He had two different churches here for a week a piece and a couple days of travel in between.
What is it with little brothers needing to go to great lengths to make everyone laugh?

I wasn't terribly excited about this long stretch without Noah. It's hard being here alone and without a vehicle to be able to get groceries easily if I run out,etc. But God amply provided, as I guessed he would, and we had a great time both weeks.

Noah's had a busy season of trips and we are looking forward to a time of rest,with no major trips for the rest of the year.
We are looking forward to the next phase of getting home, having a baby, and working on our support raising and communications, in preparation to head back next year.
With all of this in mind, Noah packed up for the last leg and said goodbye to the boys, while our buddy Emilio ( a motoconcho driver) waited.

First, Shep gets a talk and some lovin'...I love Noah's hand in this picture. I think it speaks volumes about what he might be saying to Shep. So much love, so much care and leadership..

Then, Haddon

Then, the big guy

And then he's off...

But not before Emilio wants a picture together...Emilio's our go -to-guy for  motorcycle taxi rides. Noah can call him on his cell and he usually is at the stand at the bottom of our hill and just heads right up. He'll also gets me water if I run out (they are large jugs that I can't lift,nor do I have transportation). We can pretty much trust him for anything we need, which is extra helpful to know when Noah is out of country.
Look at my quiet,thoughtful one. He's so gorgeous. One of those kids who I just sit and watch and wonder what he's thinking.
Then I ask him.
Then he gives me a one word answer.
Then I attack him with hugs and kisses cause I love him so much for being nothing like me.
Knowing him is such an adventure for this mom.
Girls are going to love him...the strong,silent type.
As long as they don't respond like I do ,we're safe.
Oh goodness.

Where was I ?
Oh,right. They're off! 

In between Noah's first and second trip, we had one last day with my niece, Kassie.
So we rode with our neighbor into town and ate the "best burger in town."
Their cheap,their good, we like the owner.
I LOVE a good burger.
But I am looking forward to a good burger from "Five Guys," not gonna lie.

We enjoyed our last couple of days together and then we took her to the airport and sent her home with hugs and kisses, grateful that all of our family congregates in one small area back in the states, and we were only a month away from enjoying "Joyner chicken," coleslaw, banana pudding and laughs with her and the rest of the Joyner clan. 

We then had about 4 days just me and the boys. Then Noah was home for 2 days and back out to get a team and take them to Haiti.

At this point, when the teams are in the Dominican portion of their trip, Noah has to stay with the teams in a hotel in Congrejo and I can neither be a part of the involvement with the team, nor can I see Noah.
Next year, we hope to have a home that will double as a place where teams can stay so that we can do more ministry as a family and don't have to do so much time without Noah.
Having a vehicle here will also help with my flexibility. 
I did take the gua-gua into Congrejo with all the kids by myself so that I could go to church and meet the team at the beginning of last week.

And now, it's all about over. 

The trips, the friendships,the no-car family, the view,the endless breeze, the quiet,the noise.
We've only got a few more days before we head back to the place we call home.
And we are terribly excited.
To be with friends,to be with family,to be surrounded by people who know us so well.
So well, that one of my dear friends sent out an email to try to get our fridge stocked and our house cleaned to welcome us home as a surprise. She accidentally sent it to me,thus eliminating the surprise element, but you wouldn't believe the detailed grocery list she sent out,thus blessing me. Coconut milk,air freshners,Oj with pulp,lots of produce and meat...she knew exactly what was in our fridge. And that's largely because this isn't the first time she's loved on us with groceries.
This is the kind of place we call home.
This is the place we are headed to when we get on a plane on Wednesday.
This makes saying good bye easier.

Friends we don't deserve, family we can't live without...

We will truly be welcomed home by folks who have shared so much of life with us and we cannot wait to join them in "life" again.
We have so many things coming up in this next season to look forward to.

But it is difficult to think of all of the investments we have made in the past couple of months, all of the fruit we've seen, all the momentum we have going, and then look in their eyes when we say that we won't see them until next year.
It seems odd.
And in some ways- an awkward fit.
In some ways, we grieve to pack up and walk
After this season has in some ways just begun.

For right now...we know we have to go home and have a baby.
We know we can't wait to enjoy the holidays with our families and friends.
We know we have work to do with HaitiLove and support raising.
We know we should leave.

But there are ways that it just won't fit well.
We had prayed that God would use this time to give us clarity for the future and to assure us of the work He is doing here.
He has done that abundantly.
And so we grieve to walk away.

But we are hopeful for the time we can spend back in the states meeting with folks,sharing, and advancing God's heart for His mission to make disciples in all nations. We are convinced that missions efforts should come out of local churches and partner with local churches. This partner element means we have much work to do in the states,too. So we look forward to these next months.

For now...we're packing up,spending time with people we've grown to love, looking forward to one last Sunday in Congrejo, and preparations for heading home.

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