Last week I wrote about some of the things that made our move to Dublin difficult. But there was so much during the process that was amazing. I want to share a few of those stories. I will likely miss a few…and hopefully someone will remind me. If that happens we’ll add them in another post.
Here are some of the people who brought life to this journey for us.
From the very start, Bill Williams, who was part of our church council, seemed to make our successful transition from Ithaca to Dublin his responsibility. Bill is a project manager, and we definitely benefited from his gifts during that period. He coordinated so much of the transition at the church. He spent hours each month for two years managing our support, payroll and tax stuff…and even organized a great farewell party!
One of the projects that had to happen before we could move here was that all of our stuff would need to be sold. Ariel Beverly led a team of people who helped sell most everything we owned, online and then with a huge yard sale.
I wrote previously that we had a difficult transition specifically with the kids. Four of our friends in the Vineyard, Mark Tindall, Rick Colquhoun, Jeff Printy, and Bob Morris were each willing to listen and pray for us…At times there were even conversations they had with the kids that really made a difference.
Speaking of Rick, he and Dennis Liu suggested over lunch one day that I talk to Jerry Reddix who was a missions/culture coach. Not only did meeting with Jerry prove to be one of the most important things we did during that time, I don’t know where we would be now with out him. He was also a tremendous help when we landed here and found ourselves walking through a mine field in the church we’d come hoping to work with.
And although they barely knew us, James and Melissa Garza and their kids opened up their home to us, so we had a place to stay when we landed. They also helped with looking for apartments, and cars…advice on what to say and what not to say…and being our first friends when we got to Dublin!
If you had asked me back when this whole process started if support raising would end up on the “hard stuff” or the “good stuff” list, I would have definitely said hard. Truth is, it belongs on both. Support raising has been challenging. But something happened that I was not expecting. I called a person I hadn’t spoken to in over a decade, and it was like we picked up where we left off. Since then that relationship has been picked up and we keep in regular contact…mainly via Skype. And the same thing kept happening with others who had been part of the church in Ithaca, or the campus ministries at Albany and Cornell. We’d reach out…always a bit nervous about what the response would be…but over and over we ended up reconnected with people who were an important part of our lives in Albany and Ithaca. And with many of them, we’ve been able to keep in touch thought Skype, or on our trips back to the States. At the same time, we’ve made new friends who we never would have gotten to know, had Ireland not popped on our radar.
Probably more than anything, the people who were excited to hear from us, and be part of what we are doing here has been wildly encouraging!
As I mentioned earlier, there are likely people I’ve forgotten…it was 5-6 years ago:) I apologize in advance.
That two year period was so exciting in so many ways…thanks to each of you who made it so memorable!