One trip to the US.
7 days of school.
6 molds done.
1 board meeting.
4 visitors in the same day.
All of the above summarize the last couple of weeks around here.
Chris was in the US for a fundraising trip. I’m so thankful for good friends that set up a bunch of great opportunities for him to share, and who took good care of him.
Alex cut his first two teeth. I was seriously in shock. I was feeding him one day and thought, “Hey, he’s 4 months old. I wonder if his gums are starting to show signs of teeth?” When I put my finger in his mouth I was definitely not expecting to feel an actual tooth. And, apparently all he wants for Christmas is his three front teeth. Yes, three more on the way. I’m hoping he cuts them before we fly because that would be one sucky trip.
Olivia is still loving school. The kids are all starting to prepare for their Christmas program, so we’ve been hearing lots of “Away In A Manger” and “Joy To the World”. Miss Kendra is very proud of her diligence :) Little did Miss Kendra know that Olivia is a Christmas freak just like her Mommy. You should have seen her reaction when she saw a green table cloth and red place mats on the table. That’s my girl!
Our welders got 6 molds finished and into service while Chris was away, with another 6 almost done. They’re cruising and it makes me so happy.
Had our last board meeting of the year.
Welcomed 4 visitors, in two different groups, on Monday. Two were from Utah Valley University and are looking at bringing a group of students in who are part of a peace and justice program. Some of them are nursing students, and others will go on to work in international development settings. The aim of the trip is to expose them to different types of organizations so they can see what peaks their interest. Normally the group would be separated, with the nursing students visiting medical facilities and the others visiting other types of orgs. They really like what we’re doing here and if things pan out, will be bringing the whole group because not only are the filters a development tool, but they target one of the third world’s greatest issues – water borne disease. It would be a day of showing them what we do and answering questions. Chris and I love doing this kind of thing because it exposes people to something they often haven’t thought of before.
Yesterday was US Thanksgiving and we had a big gathering with our local missionary group. Our group is growing again because of several new people in the area. Our normal bi-monthly meetings have us worshiping and doing a bit of a study, then enjoying each others company. Yesterday it was all about fellowship and food. We had a potluck, and everyone thoroughly enjoyed themselves. Kendra planned some games, one of which had us learning all sorts of interesting, random facts about each other. Good times, good times.
On Tuesday Chris and I were in the house talking through a couple things when we all of the sudden heard a big cheer come from the work yard. We were totally confused until we looked at the clock and realized it was noon. We had plans to take our staff to Club Indigo for the afternoon and were quitting at 12:00 to get ready to leave. It made me laugh so hard. The workers were SO excited. We’ve done it a couple times and enjoyed it each time. They bring a soccer ball and have a game on the field there, and as part of our entrance fee, the Club gives each person $5 in snack bar tickets – the equivalent to a full days wages for a worker when they start with us. We really enjoyed the day. There was just a really good vibe in the air. I took a bunch of pictures during the soccer game, and when everyone came back to the pool to swim I got my camera out again. A couple years ago on our staff day there I took a bunch of pictures that became a calendar that we gave everyone on the last day of work before Christmas. At the time I wasn’t sure if they were really into it, but as soon as I got my camera out this time Richard said, “Les, you need to make another calendar for us!” And then the posing started :) It always cracks me up. What was really cool was this time around they were way more intentional about having Chris and I in the pictures. It was just a nice feeling of team, if you know what I mean.
I knew that once Chris got back from the US things would be moving forward full steam ahead until we left for Christmas. I was right :) In the upcoming weeks we have a certain director celebrating his birthday, we have two people coming from another organization for 4 days to shadow our staff so they can help out with their org’s filter project, we have a little girl going to school, a Christmas BBQ with our missionary friends that is now becoming a Rolling Family Tradition, and a staff Christmas party that I’m scheming and planning. I’m excited!
On top of that I feel like we’re just in a really good place right now. Chris and I have been talking a lot lately about feeling like we’re moving into a new phase of life and mission. The last few years have been hard. Between our adoption, the arson stuff, the earthquake, other smaller issues, and some hard stuff on an organizational level there have been times where we have felt totally spent, but God has carried us through and we’ve very clearly seen his hand leading and guiding us. Through those times his message has always been, “Stand firm, press on, this is where I want you.” And we’ve been obedient. We are feeling a sense of renewal, of blessing, of a new season coming in. And we’re excited about it.
There are some new developments at the mission. Something we’re excited about. They’ve come as a surprise to us, and we’re not quite ready to share yet because of that. We need time to let it settle, to process it a bit before we do that. Please pray for all of us here. We’ll share when we feel it’s appropriate.
Have a great weekend! I promise pictures from our calendar shoot soon :)