We pulled into Union Mills around 2:30 this afternoon. Our trip actually went really well. God provided a nice motel at a wonderful rate which actually turned out to be a miracle! We found out after we got there that there had been major storms that passed through Sunday sometime that left huge power outages in Virginia and even started some wildfires and they got freezing rain – sounded really nasty. Thanks to all that, most of the motels were booked up with people who didn’t have power! One hotel had about 15 power company trucks-worth of men staying there. Crazy. So, we were lucky to find a motel at all, much less, one that would take the coupon we found in a mag on our way into Virginia! Whew!
We got up this morning to find out that more freezing rain was forecasted, as I’m sure you all know. It looked like we were going to hit at least some of it, but nope – it hardly even sprinkled during our whole 5 hour trip here. Thankfully.
Okay, so, we can finally answer all the questions we’ve been getting about the campus and housing – at least to an extent! The campus is really nice. They own quite a bit of land and there’s quite a few apartments and houses. The way the modules are set up, it seems like there will be people coming and going all throughout this spring semester. Right now, there’s about 12 people taking classes, some will go all the way through to April, a few are leaving earlier than that (singles and couples). Sounds like more families will be arriving sometime later this semester.
Our apartment is really, really close to the classroom building (the main building). We were put in a 2-bedroom since we’ll be here for all 9 weeks. Part of the idea of this training is to help prepare us to a degree of “living without”, so the apartment is quite small. Give me a couple days and I’ll post some pictures on here. We have a nice kitchen with a dining room table, 2 bedrooms, 1 bathroom, and a living room area with 2 desks, a recliner, and a loveseat. It’s quite comfortable, actually. They provided most of the furnishings; we ran out tonight to get basic food staples and a few other things. We only had to bring whatever “extra” kitchen stuff we wanted (crockpot, etc). We even have a crib in the 2nd bedroom. Hmm… Take a little more than 9 weeks to fill that thing, though…
We got to meet pretty much everybody tonight. Looks like we are the only ones going to South America, but I’m not really sure. One is going to someplace I’ve never heard of in Africa, another to Romania, another to Kazakstan (yes, I spelled that wrong – sorry), and another to Namibia. That’s as much as I know right now.
We are about 20 minutes from Forest City, which has turned out to be quite a nice size! The only issue we’ve had so far is getting locked out of our room (1 apparently is not an extra; it’s to another building! oops – not leaving keys inside anymore…) and the fact that our “heater” is blowing cold air constantly. At least it’s pushing 50 outside, so it’s not as cold as PA was when we left. We’ll survive.
Classes start tomorrow morning at 8:30 and we’ll go pretty much all day every day this week. This week is a lot of orientation, explanations, getting into a routine, etc. We don’t have to start making our own meals until Friday evening. The only thing we’re really aware of right now that we have to do starting this week is attend a church that’s completely different from what we’re used to – doctrine and all. I will fill you in on details as we find out, but we are to basically choose one of the literally 100’s of churches in this area (no joke – “church on every corner” is a HUGE understatement!! We stopped counting after 50) and attend regularly, get involved even – but basically observe how they do things and be completely out of our comfort zone for, in our case, 9 weeks. They told us to not plan on church being the place where we get “fed” during this time. We’ll have daily devos and meetings here on campus. Crazy, huh?? I told Brian we should just tell them we’ve been attending a Weslyan church so maybe we should try out a Baptist one… partial truth, but hey, you never know.
Keep writing comments! It’s nice to see people actually want to know how we’re doing.
We covet your prayers. Will write again soon.