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Our Family - click the pic below for more pictures

Our Family - click the pic below for more pictures
Click the picture above to see more pictures!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

To New York!

We arrived in New York (flew in to Jersey actually) late Tuesday night and made the 1.5 hour ride to Sarah's parents' house to make it there by 1:30am local time.  Since Sarah booked the trip this time, it only took about 13hrs, 2 stops, 1 plane change, Mcdonalds, TCBY and some free peanuts and pretzels to get here.  She actually had no choice, it was the only itinerary we could get with our free flights.  Anyway, it was a long day, but with the time change it was really only like 10:30pm for us (former) West Coasters, so not too bad.  Bad for Sarah's parents though who had to get up early the next morning for work...sorry, but we couldn't pass up the free flight.  They of course understood, Olivia was super excited to see grandma and grandpa, Sicily loved all the lights, and we are very appreciative!  Thanks again Brandts!  And the Reese's Klondike Bar I had while watching the thunderstorm at 2am was scandalous.  I now have something else I will miss while in Honduras.

A couple things I learned the last few days:
1. Moving a family to another country is hard (and I'm not even there yet!).  There are a lot of preparations and a lot of luggage.  6 checked bags (including the pack n play), 3 backpacks, 1 laptop, and another bag for Siciliy's and Olivia's toys...I might never move back from Honduras just to avoid moving all the stuff.  Thankfully we plan to leave a fair amount of things in Honduras whenever we return.
2. I have a lot of clothes.  I think I may have only taken about 1/4-1/3 of my shirts...ridiculous.  This after a trip to Goodwill also.
3. Saying goodbye is difficult, even when you're planning on making it temporary.  I love my family in Oregon and it was hard saying goodbye.  I kind of got a taste of what Sarah and her family do each time they visit for a few days then have to return for a few months.
4. We have a lot of friends and family that have been extremely generous in supporting us for this trip!  Thank you everyone who has helped in one way or another.

We are very excited for the couple weeks in NY and the next year or so in Honduras!  Glad you are along for the ride, at least in some vicarious way.

We'll also post some pictures of NY while we are here, but here are a couple pics we took with my family a week before we left for NY. 

 Uncle Chrissy
 Lady Lucias
Making sure the angle was right
 jump, jump, jump...jump around
 Our little family
My side of the family

Miss you guys already!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Final Preperations

We are about 2 weeks away from  leaving Oregon to visit Sarah's family in New York.  We are very excited to see Sarah's family and some old friends and also getting to the next step in getting to Honduras.  At this point we are just ready for our adventure to begin.  It's seems like it's been a long way coming, and then I remember that we still wont be there for another 4 weeks.  I'm sure it will go fast, but it seems a ways away.

Now that I am done working, I've been able to spend a lot of time with my wife and 2 daughters.  It's been a lot of fun.  Parks, parades and OMSI...kind of felt like a kid again!  BTW, OMSI is awesome!  I am seriously considering going back to see everything we missed.  I've also been able do some yard work at my parents and will be helping out a couple friends this week at their houses.  We would also like to squeeze a trip to Crater Lake in sometime before we leave.

We are hoping to see a lot of family and friends before we leave, most of them at our going away party this Saturday.  If you are in town and I didn't invite you already, please feel free to stop by.  Starts at 3!

Thanks for everyone's support!

Fundraising Update

It's been truly amazing to experience the generosity of others.  We've really been blessed by those around us. 

Let me provide an update on our fundraising...At first, donations were only trickling in and I was wondering if God would actually provide financially for the trip through people's donations.  I blogged previously  about being tested to trust in God providing for our trip.  I was already off to a bad start in this trust thing, but after a few weeks several donations started coming in, which was encouraging.  I was back to trusting!  Then it seemed like there was like this a lull, if you will, in donations...we reached $5k in donations towards our house goal of $10k about 2 or 3 weeks ago.  With only about a month left in Oregon, I was beginning to be very skeptical, back to doubting.  A few days later I received a Facebook message from a friend.  He said that he had been praying about donating and  felt led to match any amount up to $5k...very convenient, maybe even God inspired, since we had raised $5k already and we needed $5k to get to our house goal...Ok, now that God had provided for us, I was trusting again!  It is crazy to me how faithful God is even when we don't always trust Him.  The hard part is trusting before He provides.

Whether or not you trust in God or even believe in Him, it's a nice story of family and friends being generous.  We would like to thank everyone that has donated.  It's been really cool to see the generosity of our family and friends.  

We have another goal of raising about $7K for travelling cost, medical insurance, storage unit (here in the US).  We've been able to cut some of this cost by selling a lot of 'stuff' and going with a smaller storage unit (5ftx5ft!!) and finding a good, but lower cost insurance plan.  We are now aiming for $6,000, and are about $1500 short of this goal as of today.  These expenses cannot be provided by the organization or Solid Rock Church because we are not employees of either.  

If you are interested in helping out financially, we'd prefer that support be donated to us (ie check written to us) so that we can achieve our 2nd goal.  If you feel more comfortable donating to an actual organization, that's ok too.  Even though we've raised the $10k for our house, any additional money will almost entirely go towards our ministry of teaching/empowering the poor in Honduras.  The immediate needs of the college/farm are a new water storage tank, completion of building classrooms, bedrooms, school supplies, laptops. 

If you'd like to donate your time, we'd love to have any and all of you down for whatever amount of time to teach, build or just visit and relax!  Let us know if you are interested.