Monday, June 13, 2011

Our First Newsletter

We just sent out this update today.
I thought it would be nice to post it here, too.
If you didnt get an email and would like to be added to the list, just email me.

Dearest friends,
We figured that before we leave the USA we should send out our first newsletter. We’re feeling a whole host of emotions right now. The only thing I can compare it to from ever before is like having a baby. You know, you’re exhausted, still in a little pain, shocked at the reality that your whole life just changed in an instant, terrified at what the future holds, but all at the same time completely overwhelmed with gratitude and blessing. That’s how I felt anyway. That’s pretty comparable to what we are feeling now. The movers are packing our boxes (thank you Uncle Sam for the last move out of the Army being paid for!) and preparing to put them into storage for us. That’s been hard to watch for us and especially for the boys. We’re getting ready to leave this home that we love and worked so hard for and go to honestly, who knows what kind of home? We are saying a dozen goodbyes every day and getting letters and emails and scrapbooks from friends that make us laugh and cry. We are filled with a mix of emotions.

But the overwhelming feeling of thankfulness outweighs them all. We are so grateful to all who support us, encourage us, love us, and pray for us. As our “home” church here in North Carolina said goodbye yesterday with prayer and blessing (and yes, quite a few tears), we felt God holding us, reminding us that He is with us. He is our provider, our protector, our strength, and our shield. He is in Cambodia already making a place for us and preparing hearts to hear what we have to share.

We need your prayers especially in these next two weeks. After all the planning and preparation, the time is finally here. We are leaving on Friday June 17th to fly to Nevada, where we’ll stay with Stephen’s dad for a few days before we leave the country. On Tuesday, June 21st at around 10am Pacific time, we start our flight to Cambodia. It is over 20 hours of flying time with a landing really late at night after the time (and date!) changes. Leading up to this is a lot of packing still to do with our luggage. We get 2 suitcases each. And trying to get suitcases down to 50lbs is stressful and keeping us all on edge! Please pray for our family during the transition here and then for the initial culture shock there in Cambodia.

Here’s a list of areas we need prayer for:
• Finishing up things at our house and handing over keys to a couple who is renting out our home
• Parker and Jack’s mix of emotions that probably feels like ours but is being expressed in toddler and preschool maturity, making it difficult for us to understand or to comfort
• Safety in travel and smooth plane transitions in foreign airports, and that our bags all make it safely and complete with all we packed in them
• The culture shock we’ll inevitably face in Cambodia right from the start (for those who don’t know, we’ve NEVER been anywhere like this before!)
• Good communication back to the states quickly so our families don’t worry about us for too long
• The job and the people waiting for us there. God is preparing them, too.

And here’s what we would LOVE for you to do…. Starting any time on June 21st, when our plane takes off to when it lands a full day later, PRAY. Commit a bit of your time to pray for us. Post on our facebook page if you can to say that you’re praying at that moment. We have people all over the world getting this newsletter and we feel like we can be covered in prayer every hour of our travels. We won’t see your posts, but it’ll show others what times of day need more people praying. And after we land and can look back at it, it’s a great reminder to us of the body of Christ working as one. This journey started when we read “Wild Goose Chase” by Mark Batterson. It’s about following the Holy Spirit anywhere; about the adventure of following God. Well, this is going to be an adventure for sure, and we hope to bring you all along with news and updates and lots of pictures!
Thanks again for the encouragement, prayer, and financial support. We are very excited to start our own wild goose chase.

We’ll update you from Cambodia just as soon as we can!

Passionately pursuing His call,
The Schiffmans
Stephen, Kim, and family

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