Sunday May 22nd, after spending a wonderful morning/afternoon with one of our supporting churches in Courtland, KS, we packed up and headed out west to Palmer Lake, CO.
We decided to split the drive up a bit and make it fun for the boys. So we drove as far as Goodland, KS the first night then found a hotel with a pool and enjoyed the evening just us as a family.
Even our King Crabby enjoyed himself!! 🙂
Unfortunately I wasn’t able to take pics. of Casey in the pool cause that meant I was in there too… he LOVED it!! But I thought this picture was too funny to pass on posting!
(He really was stuck! 🙂 )
They really loved it, can you tell?
The next morning we packed up and headed 3 hours further west to our destination at MTI-Mission Training International in Palmer Lake.
Part of our preparation in leaving for the field was to take the SPLICE training at MTI.
SPLICE stands for…
SO…for the last three weeks we have been challenged, stretched, encouraged, and blessed in these seven ways (and more!), to help prepare us for living overseas in a different culture.
I keep thinking of what information I would like to pass on to you, but there was just SO much great information that we learned I’m not really sure how to start.
So in their words…”In a nutshell your SPLICE training is paving the way:”
- For you to gain a more accurate knowledge of your motives, drives, joys, fears, strengths and weaknesses.
- For your interacting with God and allowing Him to show His grace in the midst of both your current and anticipated pains and joys.
- For you to physically, mentally and emotionally leave your personal comfort zone and go wholeheartedly to the world of others who are different.
Exiting our world and Entering Theirs
We also had Growth groups that met a couple times a week. This was one of my favorite times, The girls God put in my group were wonderful! We had a great time sharing our highs and lows and just being with other ladies (and for Marshal with the men) who were going through similar situations. It was so helpful in making us feel normal in our thoughts and feelings as we are transitioning! 🙂
Rachel’s Growth group minus one lady
Marshal’s Growth group minus one man.
We made such good friends through our growth groups and everyone at MTI we know we’ll be prayed for and we’ll be praying for them for a LONG time!
The boys, after a while of adjusting, enjoyed their time as well. Their teachers were great and of course they loved playing with the kids all day!
Casey’s teacher Miss Sandy
Ryan’s teacher Miss Kari (lovely face Ryan!)
Danny’s teacher Miss Meredith
Our first weekend there we headed out as a family to see Garden of the Gods. This was also Ryan’s Birthday, and we were trying to do things to make the day fun for him!
It was a beautiful place, and their were no fences, no boundaries, you could just go anywhere and climb to your hearts content…which of course the boys LOVED!!!
The second weekend Marshal, along with eight others from MTI, headed off in the wee hours of the morning to climb Pikes Peak.
This is a picture taken at the top, then they turned right around and hiked back down! CRAZY boys!!! 🙂
The pictures make it seem all fun and games, but it really was a very stressful three weeks! The boys did not adjust very well for the first week and a half to being left without mama all day! Marshal and I had day after day of very serious conversations that challenged us to exhaustion.
One of the days there we talked about why God allows adversity in our lives and they gave us a list of verses to take strength from:
This is taken from 2 Cor. 1:8-9 (from the Message)
“It was so bad we didn’t think we were going to make it. We felt like we’d been sent to death row, that it was all over for us. (we didn’t feel quite that bad! 🙂 ) As it turned out it was the best thing that could have happened. Instead of trusting in our won strength or wits to get out of it, we were forced to trust God totally”
This is taken from Hebrews 10:36 (from the Message)
“You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what He as promised!”
I loved these verses and the promises they guaranteed through our adversity. I know these and other verses will stick with me in the next months as we transition from our home the USA to a VERY foreign Ethiopia!