Friday, July 25, 2008

Slow/Busy Week

Hello Everyone-

We have begun the countdown for our bittersweet homecoming...7 nights to go. It’s sad leaving such a beautiful place with so many newly gained hardly feels like it’s been 6 months feels more like a couple days. We are excited to see our family and friends though, and know that our time here is coming to an end as the doors for opportunities to serve are closing.

Joel and I had a nice weekend last weekend. We went to Pan de Vida on Saturday morning to find out that there was no school. We went grocery shopping and took our neighbor, Leña to the beach. She had a great time boogie boarding with us. Sunday was Joel’s last time leading worship which he’s done a great job at, especially while Joy has been gone. We just relaxed on Sunday afternoon. We also had a fun time taking out Joel’s braids that he got at the beach last week...he was a fluff head by the time we were done!

Joel’s been working a lot for Fine Designs this week and we took our usual beach day on Tuesday. We went to a different beach than Sayulita...we went to a place called Destiladeros. The waves were awesome and we had a great time using our boogie boards. This Tuesday was our last “Tuesday at the beach,” as we will be helping with the mission team next week.

Wednesday we began packing (tear)...We took down all our decorations, sorted through our clothes, etc. We will be coming home with 5 bags and 1 box, and everything fits! We will be leaving behind a small guitar purchased in Guadalajara and a vase, and maybe a few other things. We will leave those things at Vera’s house and pick them up when we come again. We started packing so early because we will be busy with the mission team next week. We basically have enough clothes for a 9-day vacation...pretty much all the rest will be going to Vera’s in a box for the lady who will be starting to rent our apartment in September. One of Vera’s friends has asked to rent the apartment from September until March and has paid us to leave all our “supplies” behind...dishes, towels, etc...That works out really nice for us because we don’t have to worry about what to do with it and it gave us some extra spending money while in Guadalajara.

Thursday was spent packing some more while Joel went to help Lee Short with construction on his house in Mezcales. He was put to work painting boards with old car oil to become concrete forms. It’s sad that we don’t have any pictures of the construction progress. The only thing standing when we first started helping was the foundation. As the weeks have gone by, the wall panels are already up and it’s actually starting looking like a house!

This morning we went to Pan de Vida for a last “hurrah!.” There was a mission team there doing Bible Lessons and puppet shows. It was a very emotional “goodbye,” especially with Luis Miguel and Lupita. There are no words to describe the impact that the kids and the adults at Pan de Vida have had on our lives. Luis and Lupita gave us T-shirts that say “I serve Jesus Christ” in Spanish. They said that they have 3 different t-shirts...the first one they give when you first except Jesus in your life, the second one is when you learn about the Bible and Jesus, and the third one, which we got, is when you start serving for the Lord. It was such an emotional thing for me as I have been called for this experience since I was 13 years old, and though it’s sad that it’s coming to an end, I feel so incredibly blessed that God has been faithful to allow me to “live my dream.” I’m so grateful for this opportunity, and going to Pan de Vida this morning really re-affirmed that this was the right thing for us and it was powerful to look back over the past six months to see how we have been blessed....even more than the people we have been serving.

The thunder storms have been getting louder and louder and the rain, stronger. Last night was the loudest it’s been... As this week comes to a wrap up, Joel plans on working some more for Fine Designs and I plan on packing up whatever else I can, including gathering things that we’re not using anymore to give to Vera’s friend. The mission team comes in this Saturday and we have been assigned to drive Ric’s 12-passenger van all week next week while he drives our car around to the various sites where the teams will be working. We also found out that we will be hosting 3 members of the mission team while they are here...sounds pretty stressful, considering that we are working on moving out, but God will work everything out.

That’s all for now...please be praying for peace and comfort about leaving and for a smooth transition home. Please be praying also that we can get the most out of the time we have left and for safe travels back home. We appreciate you checking in!

Joel and Leslie


JeanneMom said...

Obedience brings blessing. Joy is the confirmation that your sacrifice of service glorified HIM. The Good Shepherd is about to move you into another pasture and turn you loose to serve Him further. Thanks for sharing how you feel about the PVR experience from this perspective. It was a time of growth in many ways.

Isn't it just like God to give you a distraction for your last guests...less time to drift into melancholy.

Can the silver bullet hold everything you are bringing with you?

We will be glad to have you to hug.

Con amor, Madre y Padre y Carlos

MoBarbiAva said...

We will definitely continue praying for you, Joel and Leslie.

You would think that being down there, you're only affecting the spiritual lives of the people you come into contact with and yourselves, but it's awesome to see God's provision poured out on you, and it shows me to trust in Him more! We serve such a loving and POWERFUL God, and seeing His hand move is incredible.

I'm so thankful the Lord put you in our life, and really appreciate your friendship. Call us as soon as you get home! We miss you, and have some important news to tell you (hint: I was crying as I wrote this...)!!!!

We love you. ~Mo, Barbi & Ava

butch said...

Less than a week now, kids, and you will be Sumner bound, back to the Northwest. I think you might feel "cold" for the first few days. The weather has been perfect for us, like in the 70's, but you have adjusted to living basically in the tropics. That's alright. Your blood will thicken up quickly, and we have sweatshirts and sweaters to share if you need them. Like Jeanne said, we are all anxious to hug you in person, and your two nephews, Ethan and Austin are looking forward to family time with you.

Hugs: Glenn

Sarah said...

You both have blessed so many in ways you will never understand. I am so proud of you both for stepping out in faith on your adventure with him. It has been so exciting to see the two of you grow while away from all of us. And though I understand your sadness in having to leave new friends behind and such a beautiful place. . .I am soo excited for you to come home. I miss you guys terribly. But God bless and John and i will keep your final days and travels in our prayers.

In His grip,
Sarah and John Smith

Christian and Melissa said...

We can't wait to see you guys again! I am really happy to hear all the great things that have happened while you have been in PV. It sounds like you have gained a lot in your time there. Call us after you get settled back, we can't wait to hear more about Mexico and Pan de Vida.

Melissa said...

Leslie! It's Ms. Dunkel (now Mrs. Teppo), and I just caught up on all your happenings. I'm so excited you're doing so wonderfully. I saw Andrea at Starbuck's and she gave me this URL. Such an unexpected pleasure to have reconnected with you both, even in this tenuous way. Always have wondered how you were and have missed your smiling face--and *man* you make me laugh, so I've missed that too! You and your husband look happy, healthy, and you are making the world a better place. I'm proud of you! Be well & take care!