So jimi says, “wait. california?” and Tammy thinks we are really looking at houses right now, and I haven’t even explained it all to my own mom yet! Maybe I should clarify and tell what’s going to be happening with our family soon.
(from our March newsletter)
Our term as team leaders for this short term team ends in May. We will return to Columbus, Ohio around May 10 (give or take a few days for airline delays!). We are counting the days to see our family and friends in Ohio, though we think maybe they are more excited to see Baby Lily than us!
Serving in Iraq the past six months only cemented in our hearts our desire to return here to continue our work. However, our funding and support base is simply not strong enough at this point to make that move. Long term teams in our city typically raise between approx. $6500 and $8000/monthly support. Our average monthly support at this time is $750. We have faithful supporters for whom we are SO thankful (without you, we would not have been able to lay the groundwork for the work we have done so far!), but we need to spend time in the States investing in building additional relationships with people who are interested in investing in the Work in Iraq just as our current investors are doing. We will continue to raise support and once we have reached our monthly support goal, we will return to our same city in Iraq.
But, our work with the Kurds will not stop while we are in the States!
You may remember the training program in California we have attended both as participants and trainers over the past several years, preparing team members to serve in this work in Iraq. They live with a Kurdish family for a month, learning the culture of the Kurds first hand, while at the same time learning the language. During the last course, Billy taught the language portion and shared his experiences living here with the teams about to depart.
Billy has been invited to teach again this summer for the next teams leaving for the field.
Participating in that program several times, we have been drawn to the Kurdish families and the community involved. You might also remember that the Grandmother threatened to “hunt us down and kill us” if we didn’t return to California after living in Iraq! We have prayed about it and decided that we shouldn’t disappoint her.
Our family will relocate to San Diego this summer to continue working with the 10,000+ Kurds living there, while we keep raising funds for our next trip to Iraq. There are several organizations there who have expressed an interest in having an active work to the Kurds, but have lacked workers to do so. As well, we will be able to do work with an organization that helps Kurdish refugees and immigrants become self sufficient.
We are planning on moving to California around June 15, if all goes as is planned right now. The director of our training programs owns a house which is used only for training (two times a year maybe), and has offered to let us stay there when we first move there and Bob is looking for a job. He is also going to help direct us to some local organizations that might be interested in our work. Also during the time that we are there, we will be raising support (and hopefully, living on that support until we use it to return to Iraq). The ideal scenario is that our support levels are enough that Bob and I can work full time with the Kurds there, rather than Bob having to take a job. Inshallah.
The houses I posted below aren’t actual houses that we’re looking at then, because we don’t need a house right now. I was just looking at the houses in the area and thought I would post them. I hope that I didn’t worry anyone who knew that we have housing arranged already! We will have a roof (a nice roof) over our heads when we get there for many months.
That’s it in a nutshell (very small nutsell, albeit). Any questions?