The air is clear, in more ways than one, and there's fun stuff to report.
I feel a bit like Steve Martin from the film, "The Jerk" saying, "The new phonebooks are here! The new phonebooks are here!"
However, we've got our passports! We actually received them a couple of weeks ago, I simply didn't have the time or the proper mood to write about it.
The photos are even fairly decent...keep in mind, you're not allowed to smile - I'm not sure why, maybe it's some type of security risk. I suppose Customs Agents could be lulled into letting some madman into the country if the nutcase had an alluring smile. Then again, they probably figure that after standing in security lines, crammed into tiny seats, having to carry your deodorant in a clear plastic bag for everyone to see, the odds are you're not going to be smiling coming off the aircraft.
We were appropriately dour.
On an even more positive note, I must tell you folks that you are amazing. The comments/emails Amy and I received from the blogosphere over the past week or so have been so encouraging, sympathetic, and uplifting that it's helped renew our spirit, more than I could ever adequately express.
God has an awe inspiring reach.
Along those lines, we're also "stunned" at the outpouring of donations for our CERI Christmas Moldova mission, both financial and spiritual. I was trying to come up with a little graphic - some tacky thermometer - representing the donations/pledges we've received in relation to our "goal." However, I could spend about
As I've mentioned, the trip to Moldova is going to cost us $3600.00, which covers most everything except whatever medications/elixirs/potions I'm going to need to ply Amy with to keep her from getting too freaked out by a 25 hour plane ride.
So far the tally of donations/pledges - strictly from people who read this blog (with a few shekels thrown in by us, which we've set up to do every two weeks) is..."Drumroll please!" $1325.00!!
I'm no math whiz but that's already more than a third of the costs...from blog readers...some of whom we've had no communication with before whatsoever! You people are astounding...I NEVER expected to raise that much money, and I haven't even tried doing my best 23rd hour Jerry Lewis impression!
Seriously...we are humbled and awed. There's no way to adequately thank you, but we're hoping to...by sharing your love with some kids who can really use it. I was going to save this information for another post, but it feels like the right time to me now.
We'll be in Moldova on January 7th...that's the day they celebrate Christmas in Moldova. So we will be sharing and celebrating the birth of our Savior, amid some kids who really need to know that they are His "beloved."
What a gift...for us!
I'm going to be thrilled to try to share that experience with you, if only through my meager words and as many photos as I can take.
Our first "Moldova team meeting" is Monday - 25 people from various churches - so we're very excited to learn more of what to expect.
"My old friend Harlan" sent me a link to a recent NPR report on Moldova. If you'd like to learn more click here.
By the way Harlan, old friend, I deeply appreciated your email and will answer soon...but, as you might expect, it's going to be a long one.
That leads me to the best news of this good day.
I heard from God.
It was actually last night, following a wonderful email exchange with Katy from fallible.com. I realized that the "spiritual crisis" Amy and I are facing pales in comparison to something else, a deep abiding friendship that I was putting at risk of getting bollixed up in our whirlpool of emotions.
We haven't solved our "crisis," but today great strides were made to insure, no matter what, that cherished relationship will not become "collateral damage."
And it didn't require a passport to take the first step.
Yeah, it's been a really good day.
The end of a matter is better than its beginning, and patience is better than pride. - Ecclesiastes 7:8