Monday, May 7, 2012

400 Days Underground

Welcome to S.T.U.B.
Shepherd Transitional Underground Bunker
(AKA my parent's basement)

We are now under a week from walking away from our house. We have long understood that this is not our home, but home is where we are all together as family. 4 days of garage sale and a mound at the curb have reduced our belongings to a manageable amount for the coming 13 months. We are lean.

5 members of our family, each sorting belongs down to what can be held in 5 large totes. It has been an incredible journey through time. Especially for Kel and I. We have touched each piece of memorabilia from our past, reaching back to our elementary days. We are both very sentimental people. We had many boxes of programs, and jerseys, and pictures, and possessions that each held powerful memories. These are items that have no financial value to anyone else... but hold priceless worth to us.

And yet... it is time to let go of the past. And so, we have reduced these mounds of boxes to a couple of small chests that will be held in the basements of our parents. My first tee-ball jersey, my hat from Disney, my diploma's, special cards from those closest to me, a book from my pop, a knife from my grandfather, a couple of old friends (Kermit & Tigger), and videos from our wedding fill my box.

The money gained from selling our belongings has been spent on plane tickets to get us to training classes and anticipated journeys to Guatemala for our family this summer. Debts are being paid off, and support is sought. Several families have already come on board with monthly support. This is crucial to getting us to Guatemala. We are so thankful to those who have already said yes to God's mission that we are on.

Today, Caleb and I worked on installing the shelves that once stood in the basement of our home. They will be our bedroom walls for the next 13 months. They will also be our dressers and closets. They will hold our stuff and provide some privacy as we bunker down in my parent's basement. We have a full bathroom, our washer and dryer, a full kitchen, 3 makeshift bedrooms, and a common area. It will be an incredible year with my parents. We are exited to begin the transition!

It is not always easy for me to tell people that I am following the will of God. I worry about what they will think. And, at times... the worries become manifest. Folks wonder who we think we are? They scoff at our plans and accuse us of doing this for purely personal gain. I try to explain to them that to a degree, they are correct.

We are compelled by our belief to do this. We feel that we have no other choice. This is our heart's desire. We believe that God wants us to go. We believe that we are to reach out to others with the ability we have been given. We believe that God has given us unique experiences to bring us to this place. We believe that God will use us to both help others, as well as further experience Him for ourselves. This is our path to God.

We simply are hoping to walk on this path, and to be a part of His story. And so far, the journey is amazing. God continues to part waters as we step forward. Over the past two weeks, provision has come from seemingly no-where. We are reminded daily that we are on the right path. 

Today I was able to spend a few hours with Caleb as together we assembled the shelves that would become the walls in S.T.U.B.  I told him how soon we would be raising walls for families that had never slept under a secure roof. We talked how he would meet Guatemalan boys his age, and that soon our days would change. We spoke of how we are going to put our faith in action, and to try our best to obey the law of God.

We have a few more days to say goodbye to this past stage of our lives. We plan to have another campfire in the pit, and maybe to catch a final bike ride to the park. We will have a few final dinners together in the dining room, and then we will load our essential belongings in the trailer and set up base for the next 13 months that will transition us to a flight that takes us to our calling.

Our focus for today:

6 “Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their forefathers to give them.
7 Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go.
8 Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.
9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” -Joshua 1:6-9

But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind 
and straining toward what is ahead,  I press on toward 
the goal to win the prize for which God has called me 
heavenward in Christ Jesus. - Philippians 3:13-14

Pray with us as we strive to meditate on the word of God, consider whether your partnership is part of our journey. We look to the sky. We are excited! 

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