Tanked Up & Ready to Go!

by Jess Cropsey

Our family has been blessed to be back in the States since language school finished in early July.  The wedding of my youngest sister was the primary motivation to return.  Elise & I both had a lot of fun being in the wedding party, and John served as the M.C. for the reception.  We had gorgeous weather and it was a very beautiful outdoor wedding at my parents' house.  We treasured every moment with our family.   

Getting our team container ready for shipment was another top priority.  The container is now on its way to Burundi.  (Click here for a previous blog post of this adventure.  Make sure you watch the video!) 

Another important to-do item for John & I was some scheduled rest.  Each of us set aside 3 days for a personal retreat to refill our emotional and spiritual gas tanks before heading to Burundi. 

As an introvert with three small children, the idea of 3 days by myself sounded like pure heaven.  And, yes, it was very much like that. My aunt & uncle gave me the use of their wonderful cottage on Lake Huron.  I enjoyed some leisure activities (a couple videos, Blitz on the Ipad, walk on the beach, lots of sleep), but also spent a significant portion of my time praying, listening to sermons, reading Scripture, and journaling.  My soul was both challenged and refreshed. 

I also saw this as an opportunity to "tank up" on all the food goodies that I anticipate missing when we move to Burundi.  In case you're curious what those food items are, here's a sneak peek into the very unhealthy (but yummy!) menu of this Africa-bound missionary during my retreat:
*Reese's pieces, peanut M&Ms, & Twizzlers
*Boboli pizza crusts with lots of cheese & pepperoni
*bagels & cream cheese
*Sun Chips (Harvest Cheddar)
*Ruffles & French onion dip
*berries, grapes, & yogurt
*deli meat & provolone cheese with pitas (I was crushed that the croissants were sold out.)
*bacon -- lots of it!
*Dr. Pepper
*Swiss Miss hot chocolate

Our departure for Burundi is now less than 3 days away.  Our last few days in the U.S. will be full of many hard goodbyes since we do not anticipate returning as a family for 3 years.  My beautiful little niece and brand-new nephew will be close to Micah's age next time we're back! (As you can see, Evie is very concerned about this as well!)

We're already grieving the many special events that we will miss in the coming years.  And yet, we are confident that this is the journey God has called our family and team to.  Please pray for us in these final days and for our precious families who so graciously send us even though our choice to go becomes their sacrifice. 

Your prayers for our travels and transition would also be much appreciated.  (The McLaughlins & Jason leave from Nairobi on Monday, Carlan leaves from somewhere in Europe on Tuesday morning, and the rest of us leave from the USA on Tuesday afternoon.)  We're not sure what our internet situation will be in Burundi, so don't be alarmed if there are no blogs for a little while!           


tscarlet said...

Your introvert's retreat sounds heavenly! I think I need one of those!
We are praying not just for the travel and expected settling-in challenges, but also for all the unknown challenges ahead. I am praying specifically for unity of the team, learning how to support each other in times of need (and understanding that each one's time of need looks unique).
We are excited with you all as you take off!

Sarah Lorenz said...

Glad the wedding and your retreat went so well. It was so good to see all of you! We are looking forward to hearing about all of your upcoming adventures.