Making a transition from living out of bags all summer back to returning to our home has been nothing short of great, albeit a bit disorienting when we first walked in to the reality that other people had been living in our apartment. We took the first week to unpack, sleep, clean, unpack some more, and just breathe...breathe before the craziness of Fall begins.
This transition has felt sharp; returning to the stark reality that we have no vehicle to return to. Even when we have a working vehicle, we do a fair amount of biking and walking, so it's not like we're completely dependent on our car to live life here. I felt all excited the day after we got back because I was biking to the grocery store (something I'd really missed in the states). Just a basket on your bike and a backpack causes one to be choosy and thrifty in ways having a big car with a big trunk does not. As I felt the wind on my face, I thought, "Ah, who needs a car!?! A car is a luxury, not a necessity!" But then I remembered all the things we do need a vehicle for, and there are quite a lot.
Another stark reality is that we have left one culture and entered another, and you can feel it. I took that first week to talk about the transition with JJ, while we were on our bikes of course. I asked him what he liked about being in the States and what he liked about coming back. I asked him what differences he noticed between the two cultures, if any. I thought his observations were interesting, and I like to hear how he experiences these two worlds he is a part of in different ways.
And then there's the stark reminder of how hard it is to be a parent in a public school in another country where you are trying to stay afloat - as it was, on his very first day we missed his "back to school" performance. We just had no idea they were having one. I racked my brain thinking of the emails I looked at from his teacher, and I just must've missed something. And that is just part of our reality - sometimes we just miss stuff.
And then there was the stark reality that we were returning "home". That while we just left a country we were all born in, that this place is our home.
Pray with us as we approach important financial decisions - many of which we spoke to you about when we were with you this summer:
- We are close to putting an offer on a car. We will test it out this week, and there is a lot of comfort because we know the sellers. If we take it, it will be at the VERY top of our budget, and so there is a level of faith that is required that more funds will continue to come in or that partners who want to support us will. We continue to put faith in a God that has been faithful!
- Dave will sign up to take the next level of Croatian language learning at the University this Fall - this cost was not something we accounted for, but we know is needed. Pray for the provision of this.
- Betsy will sign up this week for 2 upcoming Ordination classes!