Last week I began to say goodbyes. First to the regulars at the Master's Kitchen at Bethany Baptist Church where I help serve lunch each Friday. Then to my Turkish friends who graciously allow me to join them for late night soccer on Friday nights. In both cases it will be several months before I can rejoin them. Some people will not be here when I return. That makes the reality of this departure begin to sink in.
This week my Community Group will send us off with a pot-luck celebration. Next Monday evening (May 2) our church community is invited to join us for a send off celebration hosted by Jerrod and Steph Poe. You can get directions from Steph if you are interested. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
As we move closer people are often interested in hearing more about our schedule and in knowing how to pray for us. I thought it would be helpful to answer both of those questions here.
1.) The sabbatical officially starts May 2 and will end Saturday Aug 13.
2.) We will spend the first week of sabbatical catching our breath, packing and preparing for our adventures. I will chaperone the boys on a overnight field trip to Gettysburg and then we will take a quick trip with my mom for the Mother's Day weekend.
3.) We will be heading to Cooks Forest to stay in a cabin for the next 4-5 weeks. During that time I will be working on some reading and writing projects.
(a.) I am planning to write about my father, following his death last summer. He made an impact on people in his home community and I believe that it could be helpful to explore the ways in which his faith in Christ shaped his service to others. Several years before his death he reflected on his life in a journal. He recognized the connections that God had opened for him through his legal work and soccer advocacy. But he pondered whether or not people could see the connection between Christ and his service to others. I want to write about that connection.
(b.) I have also been reading about a 19th century abolitionist named Rev. William King. He did some tremendous things, but is not recognized today. Realizing that he doesn't even have a Wikipedia page, I hope to write a summary of his life which could be accessible through something like Wikipedia.
4.) On June 11 we will fly to Athens (via Moscow) and begin a two month missions trip.
5.) In Athens we will be working with a local church to help their ministry to refugees in their city. We are planning to help with ESL classes and it appears that they are developing a wonderful meal ministry which Chrissie hopes to assist. More on this will be posted soon.
6.) We will return from Athens on Aug 10, catch our breath for a few days and then... jump back into the three-ringed circus of ministry in Oakland!
1.) That our time in Cooks Forest would be restful.
2.) That we would be able to deepen relationships with our children.
3.) That my writing projects would be fruitful.
4.) That our children would be grow in their love for God and service to people through our trip to Athens.
5.) That our time in Athens would be safe and helpful to the local church and the the refugees.