We’re less than an hour and a half from our staff party. The END OF THE YEAR staff party. The mission has been a hive of activity this morning, and yesterday, as everyone is cleaning things up and working towards being DONE for this year. As of 2:30 pm today we are all on holidays until January 5. People, that’s 16 days off! I’ve heard a LOT of laughter, singing and joking around this morning. I think there’s just a general buzz of happiness in the air.
All our workers think we’re taking them somewhere today. We are. Sort of. We’re going to load everyone into the van, get them all buckled in, then do a little bit of backing up and going forward and turning around, and then unload – in front of the dorm. Yes, we’re lame, but it’ll be funny. Chris and I borrowed a movie projector from some other missionaries and we’re going to have a movie theater afternoon in the dorms with popcorn, pop and Christmas cookies. We think they’ll all get a kick out of it and that we’ll be able to have some fun with them. The afternoon will end with everyone getting their Christmas bonuses and last pay of the year. It’s a big day for everyone.
When I say we’re working towards being done, it’s truly that. Wednesday was the last load of filter deliveries. Wednesday we poured the last batch of filters for the year. Yesterday the last solar panel went up and the wiring got finished. Now all we have to do is plug in the controllers when they arrive. We’ve been working on this project since January. As I type the last pieces of plywood are coming off the building. The yard is being raked for the last time and the shop and storage areas are all getting cleaned up. The work yard is also being de-junked.
Personally, I’ve been crossing things off my list left, right and center. Really, after this afternoon the only things I really have to do are to clean Mom and Dad’s room (it’s where we’re having the party today) and make their bed. All my laundry is done. The house is clean. The baking is done. My Christmas gifts are pretty much done with the exception of the last bits the family will be bringing. I just have this sense of doneness, if that makes any sense? My goal for tomorrow is to have no schedule, for us to do whatever we want to. This week Chris and I have both been working towards today, making sure we had our stuff taken care of, and now it feels so good to be here. To know that the alarm clock doesn’t need to be set for 16 mornings. To know that we don’t have to think about all that other stuff for 16 days. To know that the next two weeks are for rest and fun.
Another thing that has happened that has left us on a bit of a high and is adding to the happiness of the day is that over the last couple of weeks we’ve been seeing just how crazily God has provided for the needs of the mission. Always at this time of year things are getting tight and we wonder what January will hold and how we should proceed, but just sense that we are to make plans and keep moving forward. This year has been no different. Many times in the last month we’ve had the “do we have the money for this?” conversation. We’ve kept moving forward with all of the projects to try and meet our end of the year goals, just feeling that’s what we were supposed to do, and hoping the money would be there.
Last week over a period of three days God provided an entire year’s operating expenses for the mission.
Three days. $100,000 – to give you numbers.
We were down to the last funds in the bank account and weren’t sure if it would get us through the end of the year. We had the last transfer done two weeks ago thinking it would be enough, then had to pay off the rental on all the equipment for the apartment roof pour, buy cement etc and were stressing because the money going out was more than we anticipated. Yesterday as we started doing bonuses and pay for the workers we were wondering if there would be enough money for groceries on Monday. As Chris started filling envelopes he noticed that there was way more money than he thought there was, AND we were still waiting for Yonese to get back from St. Marc with the money we needed to have changed. When all was said and done all of our workers had their bonuses, the last bills were paid off and there is still plenty of money for the needs of the mission and groceries over the next two weeks. Chris doesn’t know if he just missed seeing a wad of cash in the safe, or what. I kept saying it was like the loaves and fishes, but with Goudes. I share this because it’s been very encouraging to us and many of you are either donors to the mission or are keeping us in your prayers, or both. We have seen how God has provided very specifically in the last few weeks. I hope you find some hope and encouragement in that too.
Tonight we’ll be kicking our off the right way by having some friends over for dinner and games, which I’m looking forward to. It’s only three more sleeps too, until the family arrives. What could be more exciting than that?
Now I’m off to make popcorn. About 15 gallons of popcorn. If you could measure popcorn in gallons, that is.