Hello friends, family, and partners! Thanks for stopping by our blog. We don’t have a lot of new information to report today but I wanted to give everyone a quick update on where we are right now with fundraising and timing.
First, we are very close to being done with our monthly pledges! We only have about $700 left to raise to meet the minimum monthly income requirement for visa approval. This is a huge praise for us! I know a few of you have received partnership letters in the last couple of weeks and are still praying over those. We understand how tight monthly budgets are, but we are so appreciative of your prayerful consideration of our partnership request. We know that it will only take about twenty more people to partner with us to close this gap, so we’re praying and trusting the Lord for y’all.
For those of you who have not yet received a hot pink partnership letter from us please consider this our official request to you! We want you on our team and we would love to talk with you about the work we are planning to do in northern Scotland and how YOU can be a part of making that happen. Don’t be shy – just send me an email, text message, or give me a call and I will be happy to get you whatever information you need to help you make that decision and get you set up on our secure online giving page. Every single dollar helps us get to Scotland.
If you’re one of those people who have already said “yes” to monthly partnership and you have not yet signed up on our online giving page, please, please, please do that as soon as possible. The online giving platform is our way of verifying our monthly income to our UK sponsors. They have to see that we have our minimum monthly income covered by pledges and/or monthly gifts before they will agree to sponsor us. Without a sponsor we cannot apply for visas. If you have said “yes” to monthly partnership but aren’t able to begin your giving today, please set up your online giving profile and designate a future giving date so we, and our sponsors, can see that you are in fact a part of our monthly support team even if your gifts won’t begin until later in May, June, or even July. The website address to do this is: www.risegroup.us
We still have not settled on an exact travel date yet, but we have committed to the Buckie church to be back in Scotland by the middle of July, baring any unforeseen difficulties or delays with the visa process. Currently we are awaiting the return of our FBI background checks and the wheels of Government move like sap in February. We are anticipating these documents to return around the middle of June, although our prayer is they return much sooner. As soon as we have those documents in hand we will begin the visa application process, which takes about 3 – 4 weeks for approval. I’ve been watching airfare prices like a cat on a mouse and the sooner we can travel the better it will be for us financially. July is the absolute most expensive month to fly to the United Kingdom. We know God is in control of it all and He knows what we need and what we can afford.
In other news, we have been super busy around the farm getting things cleaned up and cleaned out. We have been sorting through books, journals, study materials, and personal memorabilia, deciding what to pack, what to ship, what to store. We do not intend to ship many things to Scotland as the shipping costs are outrageously high, but there are just some things that we cannot get in our suitcases and we don’t feel we can live without. It’s much harder than I thought it would be to sort though all the trappings of life and decide what’s genuinely worth keeping, and what’s just stuff. In all of the goodbyes the Lord is continuing to grow me and teach me about trust, faith, and what really matters.
I was blessed to have my parents, Mike & Connie, come up for about two weeks at the end of April and they got so much accomplished around the farm in the way of spring cleaning. Mom spent hours and hours in the garden, weeding beds, cleaning out containers, and getting old grass and weeds off the fenceline. Dad mowed all the pastures, repaired damage the pigs had done to the pastures, and ran the weed-eater all around the yard and house. We also managed to get a fence taken down and a ton of miscellaneous farm debris that had piled up in the last year taken to the dump. There’s still more work to do (it’s a farm, the work is never really done!) but it looks so much better already.
As our time begins to run down we are looking to plan a trip to the Omaha area in June to visit our friends and partners at East Side Christian Church in Council Bluffs, and Sam’s children in Lincoln. We’ll also be in North Carolina for a few days later this month visiting some dear friends and partners there. We hope to get back to Florida one more time for a visit with all our family before we hop on the plane and fly away as well. The list of goodbyes we want to say is rapidly growing, but that is another powerful reminder to us that we have been incredibly blessed with amazing friends, family, and a network of supporters that we are going to miss like crazy. July will be here before we know it! The next ten weeks or so are going to be super busy!
Thank you to each of you for your prayer support, your words of encouragement, and your financial partnership with us. We love you!