Jenny and Keila and Annika and I are in Nicaragua. We arrived this afternoon at 1:30 PM and our friend, Douglas Orbaker picked us up. This is the next to the last leg of our jounies before arriving in the Dominican Republic to start our new assignments as mission co-workers with the Presbyterian Church (USA). Jenny has been assigned to use her health worker and other skills with the Evangelical Church of the Dominican Republic (Iglesia Evangelica Dominicana), and I will be traveling half of each month to Haiti to begin sharing ideas learned in the Central Plateau with MPP with other Farmer Movements throughout the country, beginning in the Leogane area, where the communities are still struggling to fully recover after the 2010 earthquake.
This part of our journey began January 3rd, when we flew to Toronto, Canada, for Jenny to begin the ecumenical portion of her PC(USA) World Missions orientation. Jenny's orientation continued in Louisvile for two weeks and ended January 27th, with a poignant ceremony welcoming Jenny and three other mission workers into new appointments. Jenny is now officially a member of the mission worker team. As one the members of my church in Amesivlle, Ohio noted: "That wonderful! But what in heavens name was she before?"
I served as the childcare "expert" during these four weeks. Let me tell you something. I thought coordinating a team of between 14 and 20 independent-minded Haitian farmers was a tough job. But trying to coordinate two independent-minded little girls, 6 months and 2 1/2, pretty much beats it. I wish I could say that I got good at it in the four weeks. I do remember one day I got both Annika and Keila taking their naps more or less at the same time.
The best I can say is that I did well enough to give Jenny a a good number of days when she could fully participate in the orientation for several hours at a time. She has graciously told me she appreciates the job I did.
We also had help from Sarah, my niece from Granville, Ohio. She drove down to Louisville a few days after we arrived there (January 17th) and stayed until the 28th, when she drove us home to Amesville. And she, her mother, Priscilla and her brother Keegan, helped Jenny with the girls for a week, while I was in Haiti with a group from First Presbyterian Church of Royal Oak (near Detroit, Michigan).
Managua-Houston-Toronto, Toronto-Atlanta-Louisville, Amesville,Granville, Columbus-Atlanta-Managua. From family and friends in Managua, to friends and work in Toronto to friends and family in Louisville, to family in Amesville and Granville and now, back to family and friends here in Managua. (If you needed anything crazier, a chunk of my family is coming down here to Nicaragua on Wedenesday to spend 11 or 12 days working at Rancho Ebenezer, where I served as a PC(USA) mission volunteer from 1998-2004. This will be my family's 11th trip.)
Tie up loose ends here for the next two weeks, then get on the plane one more time, for a good while, and go to the DR, look for a home in Barahona in the southwest, and begin settling in. March is the month for that--no other work, just find a house, and figure out the basics.
Thank you all again for your support. Continue to be with us in your thoughts and prayers, and let us know how we can keep you all in prayer as well.
Jenny and the girls and I then got to spend