Packing, Peace and Provision!
As many of you would know, in 35 days we move out of our house in beautiful Tathra and in 47 days we fly out of Australia to begin what is already shaping up to be an amazing adventure.
Our family (minus Chloe) will be travelling to West Africa to spend three years volunteering on the Africa Mercy (a hospital ship off the West African coast.) We fly out of Australia on 4th June arriving in Dallas to begin five weeks of training, then fly to Haiti for two weeks of field service, before flying on to Las Palmas in the Canary Islands to meet the ship and our new home. From there we have a short six hour sail to Tenerife and then a two week sail down to Conakry in Guinea where we will be docked for 10 months, during which time Dave will start his position as Principal of the Academy.
You can probably imagine our house, and our lives are quite chaotic at the moment. Not only have we been selling most of our belongings, we have been packing up what we want to keep (photo albums and photos!) and giving away the rest of our “stuff” as we work on finishing up our lives in Australia. Packing … the first P.
In amongst all of this, life still happens. We sadly lost a friend two weeks ago to a shark attack just off the cliff in front of our house, and amidst the sadness, grief, total disbelief and Dave getting ready to lead the beautiful memorial service, Dave had a knee operation and developed a deep vein thrombosis. I photographed my last wedding (in pouring rain), Chloe continues to settle into University life, and we have had some family photos taken.
Life is life, a mixture of great stuff and tough stuff – and in and through it all, we have had an incredible sense of God given Peace. The most important P!
The last P … provision! We started this journey knowing that we had most of the income that we would need to pay our way whilst on board, but we didn’t have the up-front costs (of approximately $18,000 US) to land ourselves on the boat in Guinea. All along we were encouraged that it would be okay and “would we still do this if the money wasn’t an issue?” We have been receiving money, whether through the sale of our “stuff” or amazing gifts from people we know and some that we have never met, just at the right time that we have needed it. This is an amazing journey of faith!
If you would like to join us in this adventure by supporting us, you can do that through the Donor Page we have set up.
But wait there is more … I have also been contacted regarding an interview with the Communications Team about a part time photography position on board. More on that one later …
One last thing that happened today was that we went along to our Easter service at church where we met a young nurse who lives in Melbourne and is visiting her family in Tathra for the weekend. She had a Mercy Ships sweater on! Now you need to understand that our town is made up of just 1600 residents. It really is a little country town and this was nothing short of amazing!
It was great to talk with her about her experiences being on board for two months late last year. So many amazing stories and amazing photos. One of the stories she told me was that before she had even considered joining the Africa Mercy, she had a series of “random” encounters with people who had been on the ship. People from all walks of life that she kept meeting in a variety of countries as she travelled around the world – she is our first!