I’m not sure what happened, but it seems that our summer evaporated. One minute it was here and the next it was gone! I don’t know how it happened, but it did. And now it is fall, or at least what passes as fall here in Southwest Florida!
Our summer involved a lot of travel, hard work & 2 weeks of vacation.
We traveled to Greenville, South Carolina to help one of my sisters and mom move into a new house. As a short sale, the closing date on the house was moved back and moved back until after we arrived. Since the closing was imminent they allowed my mom to sign an early occupancy agreement, which in turn allowed them to move in the day we arrived. When we got there, at 10 p.m., it was their first night in the house. The very first thing we had to do was to borrow a ladder from the neighbor so Dan could replace the batteries in all 8 smoke alarms. Yep – all 8 were chirping, all over the house! We unloaded a lot of things, set their refrigerator up, set up the air mattresses and fell into bed at midnight. It would have been a better night if my air mattresses hadn’t sprung a leak! I was so tired after our long trip from Florida and the unpacking that I just slept flat on the floor.
For the next 12 days we worked from sun up to way past sun down. Dan especially worked tirelessly. He installed a complete closet system, a workshop in the garage, fixed item after item around the house, retro-fitted the kitchen with rollout units, loaded and unloaded a 26 ft. U-Haul truck and a storage pod…and much more. I unpacked boxes, vacuumed and cleaned the house, cooked the meals, cleaned after meals, helped here and there.
In the meantime, Dawn was in Haiti for 5 weeks working with RMI. I hope you’ve been able to keep up to date on her blog. She’s written from the heart. You can find it here. She had a fantastic time. She hadn’t been back since we moved here 4 years ago. Going back as a short term missionary was different than being a missionary kid there. She was able to go outback with 3 teams, helped a new missionary unpack, helped in the Hope for Kidz Program as well as the Homes for Haiti Program. She found that being in full time ministry was hard work, that there were hard times, and fun times but that it was very rewarding.
When she returned to the states, she flew directly to South Carolina and we went for our annual trip to the dentist. We are so grateful for a dentist in Gastonia, NC who takes care of our dental needs as a service to the Lord. For us, it means a day getting our teeth cleaned and any and all work being done in one sitting! That’s a long time, but we are thankful for this dentist’s gift to us. It’s a real blessing!!
Dawn spent the rest of her summer in Tampa house sitting for her pastor & his family and picking up odd jobs here and there.
Her sophomore year of college started early with volleyball camp. Classes started in late August. She was able to get a part-time campus job, which will help her out. Take a look at the Trinity College of Florida web-site here. Trinity chose her to be one of the students pictured on their website. She’s the blond in the fuzzy brown sweater.
We’ve been able to get attend several of her volleyball games and have enjoyed the chance to see her in action. The team is doing well and hopes to go all the way to nationals in November.
Devon continues to be involved with Ultimate Frisbee. Recently his Naples team, Fatal, came in 2nd in the state of Florida. He & the team went to the regional competition in Austin, TX and even though they had a blast, they were knocked out of the competition. Nationals are in Sarasota at the end of October and he plans on being there.
Our fall has involved a lot of traveling, especially for Dan. He’s been to conferences in New York, South Carolina, Colorado and Florida. He’s also traveled to Haiti. Here is the most recent promotional video (http://www.vimeo.com/14437267) that was done for RMI’s Homes for Haiti program. Over 55 homes have been sponsored! Food for Haiti has been able to distribute thousands of meals. One Christian school class recently sent money for 11 cases of food! The students took on the challenge for 4 cases of food and raised money on their own. One young man set up a lemonade stand and earned $40! When they put the money together, it came to enough to buy 11 cases, not 4! That’s feeding 11 families for a month ($25 a case).
We’ve had a number of visitors already this fall, which we always enjoy. The entire RMI missionary staff and our Haitian administrator spent 4 days together in September in strategic planning meetings. It was a great time together, learning, sharing, planning, praying and eating together. Intense days, but excellent! Benjamin, our Haitian administrator, arrived several days early to spend time with us. His mother, Madame Camille, worked faithfully in our home for 25 years and was an integral part of our ministry. She was a fantastic cook, known especially for her bread. We’ve known Benjamin since he was a little kid. Dan took him deep sea fishing where he caught some good sized fish. We ate the catch with Devon, and all of Dan’s family (they’ve known him since he was little, too). They went to a movie, we went to church and generally showed him around town.
I’ve been kept busy with keeping the communications dept. of RMI going. It’s a lot of behind the scenes kinds of work, writing blogs and facebook entries, putting together brochures, flyers, re-doing the RMI display are just some of the things I’ve been doing. I was at Trinity College’s missionary conference for 3 days and held a workshop (while Dan was in NYC at a conference). I gave Dawn a part of the workshop time to share what she’d been involved with over the summer in Haiti.
Wow, I think that brings us up to date! The rest of the fall is going to be full of activities, travel, conference and a mini-vacation. Make sure you check out the RMI blog for more updates! There’s no slowing down for these stateside missionaries!!