Dear friends and followers,

PLEASE note that we are transitioning from BlogSpot to http://jasonandsarahurst.theworldrace.org/  We would love to have you subscribe to get our updates if you're interested.  Thank you SO MUCH for showing your interest and support in this way.  It encourages us more than you know!

Jason & Sara



Yep!  We are currently en route to Georgia in the midst of a deluge of rain.  Perhaps the weather forecast of daily rain for Gainesville, GA this week is an answer to Jason’s prayer for cooler-than-average temperatures.  (Somehow he hasn't been too excited about tenting in Georgia for a week in late July :-P.)

Today marks the start of the 8-days of training camp for The World Race.  Our body backpacks are packed; this is a bit of a trial-run for the 11 countries/11 months we will be starting in September.  (My pack weighed in at a record 25 lbs.!  Maybe traveling is finally teaching me to pack light…) We are excited to meet the rest of our team, spend the week together, try out our new camping gear, and participate in team activities (what exactly, we have no idea!).  We are thankful for this upcoming time of preparation and learning more about what to expect in the coming year as it will make the actual packing and final preparation much simpler. 

What’s been happening?  We recently spent a delightful week in Ohio, helping my brother and his wife renovate a home to move into.  We helped with things like stripping and sanding floors, installing lights and doors, a bit of fencing repair and gate installation, and other minor projects.  It was really fun to see progress throughout the week and to give them a boost for their upcoming move.  We returned to PA in time to attend an employee’s wedding Saturday evening.

This past week we were actually home!  I sound surprised, because it was the first few days in the past 3 weeks that weren’t preplanned.  Jason was able to catch up with a few business-related meetings and such, and we finally had time for lots of shopping, packing, and preparing for training camp.  We also got to spend a bit of relaxed time with the Hurst family as well, which was a nice break from prep.
So, that’s the past few weeks in a nutshell, and what we’re moving into this week.  As we transition forward, we will also be changing completely over to our World Race blog site: jasonandsarahurst.theworldrace.org  You will find this post (and others) posted on both blogs, but from now on, we will be updating only one site (yay!).  A shout out to all our readers and followers!  Your support, interest, and care mean so much to us!  THANK YOU!!!



Jason's brother's wedding
The past 10 days have been a flurry of activity.  It’s hard to believe that we celebrated graduation from our 6-month training program with YWAM San Francisco just over a week ago.  Since then we’ve had a family wedding, a week-long “staycation” with the Hurst family, and a trip to Ohio. 
And then there are the transitions:

Eating potatoes instead of pasta.  Trading the cool San Francisco weather for an East Coast summer.  Learning to appreciate American coffee again after 3 months of Italian espresso.  Actually speaking a common language with everyone.  Living with family in rural Lancaster County instead of in community in urban centers in California and Italy.  Shifting from intense focus on personal life/development, ministry, and community living, to busy schedules, demands, checklists, and deadlines.  For Jason, moving into the next decade!

YWAM San Francisco Winter DTS 2014.  Our AMAZING team!!!
And then there’s the team.  Being apart from the dozen or so people we lived with, worked with, learned with, and grew with for the past 6 months.  The people who we shared life with in close proximity, who became like family.  I miss you guys.  You encouraged, fostered growth, challenged, supported well, were incredibly fun to hang out with, and were so full of life, love, and deeply cared for all.  You’re the best team ever!  (You’ve set the bar awfully high for our fellow racers on The World Race in September…)

Now that we’re back, the past 6 months almost feels like a different life entirely.  It is like I have changed, deepened, been challenged, and grown so much, then was plopped back into a former life.  A life that seems SO familiar, despite an extended absence.  So familiar, in fact, that it feels like I too should be unchanged.  Yet I cannot deny what has happened within and around me.  How do I reconcile this tension?  This quandary makes me realize how much I miss my team: those who have walked through the same challenges, experiences, and have grown alongside of me.  At the same time, it makes me SO THANKFUL to have done all this in tandem with Jason and to have one person who is in the same transition period with whom I can process my questions and challenges.

So, there is my attempt to encapsulate these transitions. 

Now it is time to close the YWAM chapter, while retaining what we have learned, and move into the next phase: preparing for World Race and, of course, reconnecting with friends and family while we are home this summer.  Thank you all so much for your interest and support!  We have missed you and look forward to spending time with many of you in the coming weeks and months.