Here We Go!

We take off tomorrow night (Wednesday, the 2nd) at 10:40. We arrive in Lima, Peru, around 6:40am Thursday. If all goes well, we’ll be back in our own house before 10am on Thursday. We’re just anxiously waiting to BE there. The whole packing/sorting/organizing/weighing/repacking/reorganizing/giving away/storing/repacking…. is getting really, really old! Elena has come down with a cold, too, so that’s slowing things down. Lisa slept on the couch with her last night so she could be propped up, otherwise she wakes up crying every little bit and nobody gets any sleep!

When we get back, our order of business will be (all subject to change, of course):
Brian: Checking on the maintenance, making up lists of what needs to be done, and getting started on getting the campus ready for school the beginning of April.

Lisa: Unpacking, reorganizing our house (we put everything into storage to protect from dust and spiders and to allow more room for our friends who lived there the last 3 months), prepping for school, and cleaning/organizing the classroom for school to begin the end of March.

We’ll both be helping Elena adapt to a new climate, new culture, new language. The girl that will be watching her in the afternoons will be coming over frequently so Elena can get used to her and so Lisa can show her how we’d like Elena to be taken care of since she’ll have her 15 hours a week.

We think our campus has internet – but there’s a chance it’s not fixed yet. If we have internet when we get home, we’ll send a little note letting you all know we got there safe. But, in case you don’t hear from us – don’t assume the worst. We may just not have internet at home.

Thanks for your prayers and for spending time with us over furlough! We loved our time here and honestly wish it could’ve been like a week or so longer… we’re trying hard to leave without any loose ends, but that’s really tough. Please keep in touch with us – we love hearing from you guys.

Our last Sunday in the States, Elena was dedicated to the Lord by her grandfather, Lisa's dad, Pastor Ribble

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Let the Countdown Begin!

We leave next Wednesday for our 2nd term in Peru. Has three months really gone by that quickly?? Well, considering what we’ve done these months, I’m actually not too surprised…

  • We made two trips to Vermont, one in December and one in February
  • December with Lisa’s family in Scranton, PA – Christmas with the whole family
  • One trip to Lancaster, PA, to headquarters
  • Trip to South Dakota, stopping in Iowa to see friends
  • One month in South Dakota
  • Trip back to PA, stopping in Wisconsin to visit family –just in time for the Superbowl! No better place to watch the Packers WIN than in Wisconsin. πŸ™‚
  • Spoke in 4 churches
  • Visited friends and family and ate way too much wonderful, fatty food.
  • Brian worked on like 4 different cars since we’ve been back – hours and hours outside in the cold (big difference from the last two years – working in the warm!).
  • Lisa got the school materials for 1st grade and has been getting that organized, ready to go.
  • Now, we’re packing! That should take up the last week and a half pretty easily.

We didn’t make it to the Missions Fest in Lancaster like we’d so been looking forward to. While we were in Vermont, the mother of one of Lisa’s closest friends from high school passed away unexpectedly. She passed away on Tuesday and there was just no way that Lisa could not be there for the memorial service on Saturday. It was a very hard, very sad week. However, we can see how God had His hand in allowing us to be in Vermont for it. We were originally scheduled to be in Vermont the previous week, but had to change it. Then, we were going to be already back in PA by Tuesday, but we got snowed in in South Dakota, so we arrived in VT later and so were going to leave later, which meant we were in VT when she passed away. We had wondered why God was not permitting us to leave SD when we’d planned. We were there four days longer than we’d planned to be. Now we know why. Without that storm, we probably wouldn’t have been in VT when all this took place. We are so thankful that we were able to be there. Lisa helped out her friend and her family and we both babysat for them. Lisa’s entire family (minus sister-in-law and niece) were in VT for the funeral. If you think of it, you can pray for the family, last name Achilles; there’s still a 10 year old at home, along with the other 3 (grown) kids and 6 grandchildren and her husband. It was an unexpected loss…to us. Glad to know it didn’t take God by surprise.

On a happier note – Elena is still traveling well. However, we feel so bad putting her in the car for any length of time now – seems like she’s lived in her carseat for awhile! Her milestones this month include finding her toes (endless entertainment – cheap, too!), laughing on a regular basis, rolling from front to back and just about from back to front, and just about sitting up on her own. She’s quite the friendly little girl and loves being the center of attention. If she doesn’t think you’re paying enough attention to her, she hits very high-pitched notes letting you know she’s still there.

This coming Sunday is our last Sunday in the States. Lisa’s dad will be dedicating Elena and we will be showing our 5 minute presentation and talking a little bit in the service.

As much as we’re looking forward to being back in Peru and we love our jobs and miss our home and our friends — it’s still going to be tough to say goodbye for another 2 years. You can be praying for us as we pack (again!) — seems like we have so much more to take back than we’d planned on (of course). Also pray for us as we say goodbye, fly overnight, and get settled back in Peru, this time with our baby girl.

Packing, Sorting, Packing, Storing…

This week has been quite the whirlwind!! We’ve been asking you to pray this summer for wisdom for us while we sort and repack and store our household possessions. A year ago, we sold not only our house, but pretty much all of our furniture and most of our belongings. We kept what seemed to be essential at the time. We knew after going through cultural training that we needed to re-evaluate what is truly “essential” and do some sorting, tossing, organizing, and selling. Again. We weren’t sure how hard this was going to be since last year, it was excruciating (the 114 degree weather didn’t help the yard sale, either!).

Well, I am pleased to say that your prayers were greatly answered! After 5 days of serious work, everything is safely repacked, well organized (including a nice typed up sheet to coincide with our numbered boxes…I LOVE organizing πŸ™‚ ), and safely stored in my parent’s basement. It was nowhere near as emotional as I thought it would be. It was actually freeing! We can now honestly say that we only own things that mean something to us and things that will genuinely be used in the future. I have two half-full boxes of things that I would like to someday end up in Peru with us…and that’s it. I must admit…most of it is Christmas stuff. πŸ™‚ Have I mentioned I also like decorating almost as much as organizing?

We realize that not everyone is called to the lifestyle that we are living. We don’t consider ourselves “minimalists” by any stretch of the imagination. But, we do realize that hanging onto all of our “stuff” also means hanging onto our life that we had in South Dakota. We loved it there. If God hadn’t called us on, we’d still be there. So, to hang onto all of that would just keep our hearts and minds back there. And to ship it all down to Peru would immediately ostracize us and help us stand out even more than blonde hair, blue eyes, and American accents will anyway. It feels good to have a fresh start. We look forward to furnishing our new home in Peru in a completely different way than we did here. We look forward to a new life and all that entails. We also look forward to the day either we or our children will open those boxes and pull out old memories.

I guess I’m just so full of the feeling of being honestly blessed. I mean, really, how many people will get to experience this kind of life?? It’s actually really exciting.

Brian didn’t want me posting too many pictures of our stuff, but here’s a couple. And a few of Gunther. He gets really nervous when he sees boxes and packing supplies, but he consoled himself by dragging stuff out of our trash pile and finding new toys…including four old stuffed animals! One of which is almost bigger than he is. We’re sure gonna miss our puppy.

Thanks for your prayers! The REAL countdown begins now. Just a little over a month…

Brian packing all of our dishes.

Some of our pretty decorations that will be in storage. I’m not sure the French motif we had in SD would go well in South American anyway! πŸ™‚

Gunther and his new toy! Silly dog.

Everybody else will post cute pics of their kids…You guys get to see cute pics of our dog! πŸ™‚ He conked out on the couch last week…his tail was wagging and he was snoring…so funny.

Brian’s other job this week was chopping up logs for my father. My parents had five trees taken down two weeks ago and Brian has worked diligently to get them chopped, split, and stacked before cold weather hits.

This was a stump he worked on getting down, but discovered the roots were far too deep. Only took him two long hours of digging to find that out! Poor guy.

Home?

Hello everyone –

For those of you who were wondering…we did make it back to Moscow, PA, this evening. We had a wonderful, relaxing trip home. We stayed in the Williamsburg, VA, area Sunday and Monday night, did sight-seeing Monday and Tuesday morning, drove up to Lancaster, PA, Tuesday afternoon, and stayed with a friend. This morning, we visited our headquarters (the “IMC” – International Ministry Center) and spoke with the Personnel Director and spoke to the candidates going through Candidate Orientation right nowΒ and other staff at the IMC for a few minutes about our time at CIT.

While talking withour personnel director, he informed us that he has had to up our support need because of the drop in the U.S. dollar over the past year. So, please be praying for us! We thought we had about 1/4 left to raise; now it seems like we have about 2/3 left to raise.

We’re glad to be back with my folks; Gunther (our dog) remembered us which was a wonderful plus for me!! πŸ™‚ We’ll be here til probably the second week of May and then we’ll head out to SD.

We’ll keep you posted on “life” here while we raise support!

CIT

Well, it’s Thursday morning and we are in preparation mode for packing to go to the Center for Intercultural Training. Well, let me rephrase that. I am preparing…Brian is finishing up the bathroom. He’s remodeling my parents’ bathroom and he’s still in the process. So, we shall see when he actually ends up helping me out with the whole packing thing!

We will be at CIT until the middle of April and right now, that seems so far away! We know the classes are going to be intense and it’s going to be some critical study time. But, that’s pretty much all we know. Brian is looking at it like a huge adventure. I am looking at it like the planner that I am and wondering how in the world canΒ I be prepared for something I know nothing about?? The whole point is to prepare us for cultural shock. I think it’s working.

So – this is our first blog! I really hope this will keep everybody up to date and informed on our life at CIT for the next 9 weeks without having to write mass emails every week. Leave us comments – PLEASE – so we can feel connected and loved. πŸ™‚

Thanks for visiting!

-Lisa