Well, the first one at least!
Monday afternoon we completed packing and left Santa Barbara. By Tuesday evening the truck was unpacked, with our few remaining belongings in a storage unit and access to where we’ll be staying for the next three months accomplished. We’re grateful that the massive sell-off and give away of most of our belongings is behind us. While it’s very hot in Phoenix (106 yesterday!) it’s the first tangible step towards what lies ahead. Good byes are never easy and our time in Santa Barbara was such a blessing, but as we seek to follow the Holy Spirit’s leading it’s good to have tangible milemarkers.
We’re grateful for so many things along the way. All our community in Santa Barbara who helped us finish the push to leave, the support and encouragement of the Office of International Mission (and my new boss!) during this transition, and the prayers of friends old and new.
Of our several moves as a couple and family this is the smallest of our moving trucks. Included are 30 boxes that comprise my theological library (which I hope to have somewhat less than half of with me when we deploy to Southeast Asia), as well as some furniture going to family members. Different people have different levels of need or comfort in terms of what they hold on to in life, and we’re grateful as a family that we were pretty painlessly able to distill the things that were important to us down to a remarkably small number of boxes and a few pieces of furniture worth storing for the next 5-20 years.
Now we turn our eyes more fully towards a summer of sharing the opportunity for partnership with as many congregations as possible. Our first big trip will be to Nebraska/Iowa/South Dakota in a few weeks and we’re looking forward to that. In the meantime we’ll work to set up visits with congregations in the greater Phoenix area and beyond. Much to do, but excited to be doing it!