When I posted my last entry on this blog, I had neither idea nor intention to wait over a year before posting again — wow! That’s unreal.
But it seems like a reasonable time to get back at it. For starters, I’ve missed it. I love to string words together toward some form of meaningful sharing. Secondly, our family is queued up for a very different-than-usual year. Who knows? Perhaps there’ll be something worth writing about. 😉
So what are we up to?
In a sentence: I’ve been granted an eight-month sabbatical from my ministry position, and we’ve determined to spend it in northern California.
What will we do there?
Another sentence: Shannon and I will attend a ministry school operated by Bethel Church in Redding, while our girls all complete a year of school here (Gr 2, Gr 1, and Pre-K).
So how did this plan come about?
That will take way more than a sentence. Those of you who live closely with us will know much of that lengthy story already, but for others who care, I’m aiming to post portions of our journey over the coming weeks, before our classes begin in early September. For now, allow me to make some more mundane observations about our first few days of life in Redding, CA.
It is stunningly hot here!
We’ve been in the mid-40’s since we arrived on Tuesday, and the locals say we’re not at the top of the scale yet. Our suite is part of a complex that has two pools — we plunged into one for the first time today. And then we wondered why we waited so long! Seriously, the “most comfortable place in town” by Shannon’s delirious description. It’ll likely be on the list again tomorrow. And Saturday again.
Getting set up takes work and dollars.
It’s been a while since I walked into an empty home and began again. While our eight-day trip down here was vacation-like, as much as 28-ish hours in a van can be, it’s been fairly work-like since arriving. Steady attention has gone into tracking down basic furnishings to make this place feel homey, setting up accounts for utilities and mail and internet and more. Today we had meet-the-teacher time with our oldest two daughters; tomorrow we’ll do it again with our youngest. Both of their schools (the elementary and the preschool) have orientation processes and parent volunteer hours to fulfill, so we’re wading through info at a quick pace these days. And between those tasks and keeping children happily alive, we’re getting a feel for the city and its layout and visiting Target and Dollar Stores way too much!
There are lots of good people in lots of good places.
Even in a few short days, I’m impressed at fine folks we’ve met: The oh-so-helpful techie who set up our TV and internet today (he’d worked an earlier season of his life in Colorado with a bunch of Canadians following an oil boom); two friendly neighbour boys, Umberto (12) and Omar (18), who came to introduce themselves; Jan, from Florida, who sold us a futon (if you’re visiting, we’ve got your bed) and then shared some fantastic insights about her past experiences at the ministry school; and Paul & Rachel, a retirement-age New Zealand couple from whom we’ve bought some furnishings and who spent an earlier season of life in Moose Jaw and a more recent season helping international families settle into Redding. We’ve also meet a handful of folks who will be our classmates this year, ranging from hometowns in San Diego, CA and Eugene, OR and Steinbach, MB. As humans, we live in a small world, and as Christians, we live in a grand Kingdom. Even my first few days here have confirmed that we are set to spend the year surrounded by folks who love the Body of Christ, who long to see the Church built up, and who wish to see His Kingdom come. And they use capital letters on all those words, not just in spelling but in living. And that just seems a steady mark of the great folks I know everywhere I go. Thanks to so many of you who have blessed my path by “teaching me which words to capitalize” too. 🙂
Allow that to suffice for tonight. I’d love to hear from you — long-time friend or first-time reader or anyone in between. Stay tuned for more from one Canadian family seeking God in the burning-up city of Redding.