family, friends, farewells...and we're off!

Wow, an amazing and busy past few days!!!  Thanks to all our friends and family who offered their support and encouragement over the past week.  We felt incredibly blessed to spend a intensive weekend with friends in our home and then were honored with a farewell party hosted by friends and family.  It was such a privilege to see so many of you before leaving the area!  Thank you for your interest and involvement in our journey.

Here's the breakdown of the week:

Monday: We moved out of the apartment that had been our home for the past few months.  It was an odd feeling to pack up all our possessions and put everything in storage except our packed luggage!  We almost felt homeless for a bit...but Jason's parents graciously welcomed us into their home for a few days while we completed last-minute preparations for the trip.

Tuesday: Jason spent the day wrapping up responsibilities at The Fence Experts while I did some shopping and spent the afternoon at Mom's.  Jason joined us in the evening and, together with my parents, we had dinner with my sister and her family.

Wednesday ("Travel Day 0"): Left just before midday to drive to OH to spend an evening and night with my brother, his wife, and their family (kids and guinea pigs).  It was a flying trip, but worth every moment to catch up with them a bit before heading west.  As always, the food and accommodations were amazing, and the conversations delightful.  We will greatly miss you, John, Rachal, and kiddos!

Thursday ("Travel Day 1"): Travelled from Ohio to PA from Ohio in time to get the 1:52pm train from Lancaster to Pittsburg for the first leg of our Amtrak journey west.  Our dear parents surprised us by meeting us at the train station when we arrived!  The train pulled up as we walked down to the platform, so with some quick waves and goodbyes, we were on our way...to California (several days hence).

And so it is.  It's still rather hard to believe, even aboard this train, that we're abandoning life as we know it and venturing into the great unknown.  But it's incredible, really, that we have the opportunity to dedicate a period of our lives to study, learn, grow, and serve.  We are ready to be changed by our experiences, to network with others, and to develop an understanding of ways in which to remain involved in ministry on a greater level (whether we are at home or abroad).

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