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Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Where in the World are the Myhres?

Maybe no one is actually wondering, but in case there are one or two out there. . .

Short Answer:  Sago WV, Durham NC, Charlottesville VA, and North Africa, with a bit of Spain and a lot more historical desert thrown in, not to mention Vienna VA.

Longer Answer:
We landed in the USA and began settling into this hundred-year-old farmhouse in August.  Luke was recovering from knee surgery, and Caleb managed a heroic drop-in on a 96 hour pass, and my extended family all gathered.  Then we took Jack and Julia to Duke, with all the orientation propaganda and life set-up that entails.  We returned to nest in our so-called empty nest, which was not as jarring as it would have been had our family actually spent their lives here.

In September we flew to Spain where Serge leadership meetings focused on strategy-revision, long talks, and many prayers.  Twice a year the Area Directors (we and 4 other couples) meet with the Executive Leadership team to keep our organization focused on our mission and vision, and to support all our team leaders on the field.  In order to come alongside what God is already doing, we anticipate nearly doubling in size in the next five years, which comes with its own host of adjustments.  How can we stay prayer-driven, intimate, flexible, and yet accept the growth that it spurring us on?  We spent hours immersed in metrics, in recruitment, in dreaming, in shifting the methods we've used for leadership training.  And a large part of these meetings is just to build fellowship as a group, over meals and prayer and Bocce.

From there Scott and I flew to North Africa, where Caleb is spending a semester abroad.  He's minoring in Arabic (while majoring in Mechanical Engineering, which is no small effort of a combination).  His language intensive program allows for some weekend exploring, so we ended up renting a car and taking several of his class mates along.  Ancient medinas, Roman ruins, rolling surf, dusty sunsets, insane drivers, and abundant hospitality all made for a memorable few days.  After leaving Caleb in his university we spent a couple more days hitting a tourist spot and visiting some friends before flying back to the USA.

We landed in Virginia where we spent the weekend with our main supporters:  Grace OPC in Vienna.  This congregation has prayed for us in the Sunday service weekly for 22 years.  They know and love us and we were glad to share our new short video (which took many hours and days of Scott's effort in August) and speak from our hearts, giving them thanks.  This is the main point of being in the USA this year.

Which brings us up to about a week ago, when I got slammed with a flu-like virus.  We barely made it back to our home base before I was shivering with fever.  That week was kind of a blur.  Sometimes there are so many things that all fall apart at once that you know there is a spiritual shift, the heavenly realms and all that.  My mom was super sick (better now), our kids were all having various struggles, our new missionaries landed in Uganda with a partial lung collapse, a kid from Christ School was thought to be attacked by cannibalistic night dancers leading to a student panic-revolt, our Mundri friends fled their S Sudan homes AGAIN due to looting and burning by military, our Burundi friends listened to grenades and gun battles as a failed assassination attempt went down, you get the picture.  A week later we can report that on every front there are at least glimmers of hope.  Better health, a new head teacher signing the contract at Christ School, a building calm in Mundri as people trickle back.  The good prevails, but only by a faltering thread.

This week Luke is home for Fall Break for a few days.  He is studying for med school boards and I am studying for my paeds recertification.  Scott had set up internet and a cell phone booster, and is embarking upon our pizza oven project.  We're doing skype meetings, reading, corresponding, preparing.  Oh, and resting, here and there.

Thanks for bearing with our silence in this space.  Once a week or two slips by, it's hard to know how to restart.  But we're back.
 Highest point in Spain  .  . . a strenuous day-hike.

 This is how we roll at Serge . .

 Midnight dinner with Caleb and friends.


Troy Simpson said...

Actually- I read your blog! And I have for almost a year. We know the Chen family (my husband grew up with Catherine)-now at Kijabe- and they had referenced your blog some time ago (also Shirk Adventure which I read). So all that to say that I'm reading/praying for you! Blessings!
-Amy Simpson

Mandie said...

How is your pizza oven coming along... do you need your book? Ours is still in my dreams. Miss you guys. No looking back and no hesitation, Paul