Passports, Pocket Change, and Campfires

After spending several days this week trying to get passport photos that fit all the requirements (ever try that with a 3-year-old and 6-month-old? “Don’t smile; no, don’t tilt your head; look at the camera; nope, you can’t smile;” etc; etc), we finally called it good enough and had them printed. So, yesterday we all trouped down to the local post office to send off the applications. We should all have the official paperwork to prove we are U.S. citizens within 4-6 weeks!

ImageAnother chunk of time this week was spent with a 20-year-old five-gallon water bottle. A friend in high school gave me this jug as a reject from the bottling company where he worked. I (and then Ted) have since been using it to put our pocket change in–saving it for something big, someday. Last week, the kids decided this trip is “someday.” So, we started counting, and counting, and counting… We finally dumped the final coins from the jar last night, and the grand total was just under $1400! We’ll use just over half of that to pay for the passports and put the rest toward our trip.

One night this week we had some friends over for a nice chat around a campfire (and s’mores, of course). It was quite nice to catch up with them as we hadn’t seen a couple of them in quite a while. As we were chatting, the conversation naturally turned to our trip and what we hoped to do. Ted shared some of his thoughts on building businesses in poorer countries and how to do that to best help and not hurt the poor. The others then shared some of their thoughts and experiences on the same topic. It was enlightening and refreshing to hear about other projects and ideas with the same goals. All of the couples present shared a desire to someday (some sooner than others) be a vehicle to bring reconciliation (see my last post) to others around the world. God is truly opening my eyes to how much we truly do take for granted in this country and it’s exciting to think that we can be agents for Him in bringing hope to others. (Of course, that doesn’t have to mean traveling around the world. God calls each of us to a different place.)

This week I finished up school and all the reporting required, submitted the camp cookbook that I’d been in charge of, and got the passport pictures taken and applied for. Now, I just have to figure out how to pack up the family and the house for a month. I must confess it’s a bit overwhelming at the moment. I’m very thankful for friends who have helped in big and small ways.  

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