Sunday, December 28, 2008

All the Hurd family together in West Virginia....not likely we'll all be one place again for years! We are headed to Kenya. Mom and Dad hope to finish a translation in Papua New Guinea that will take 1-3 years.The 9 grandchildren have had a blast getting to know each other (again) and playing nonstop.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas Eve!!!

When we got to NY, we didn't realize our stuff to be shipped was supposed to be inventoried, so that delayed us a bit on our departure to West Virginia (okay, it delayed us a whole day!!) We DID eventually get our stuff to be shipped to Kenya inventoried, weighed and labeled. It's all sitting on pallets, mostly ready to go! They (awesome AIM logistics/ shipping experts) will wrap it and secure it...but by the time we got done with all that, some banking and a few other last minute things that added up to a lot of time, we didn't get out of NY 'til 11:00pm last night!!! So Jerry (What a man! I know I keep saying it, but he's just awesome!) drove through the night to get us here to our cabin retreat with Jerry's family on the top of a mountain in West Virginia! Just wanted to let you know that we are done with the "to-do" list, at least for our Christmas time away! Have a blessed day with your family or those close to you and if you're not with them, know you're close at heart to us!!

Monday, December 22, 2008


We made it. Here with all our junk, soon to be unloaded from the trailer and loaded into a shipping container where we won't have to worry about it for a good three months or so. Nice.

Jerry -what a man - stayed up all night after driving all day, to edit a video we shot in the car.

Tomorrow we're off to family Christmas fun in West Virginia.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

On the road again!

Yeah, the packing's done!! I am writing rather bleary eyed after staying up all night to get said packing done. Jerry got up at 6am and made coffee, then I went to bed and he loaded the trailer. We're near Pittsburgh, PA tonight, New York bound. We're looking forward to delivering our cargo and being rid of the big heavy trailer and off to celebrate Christmas with family!! Less than a month 'til we arrive in Kenya, wow!

Here, we need to send a shout out to God...many thanks for working out numerous details and potential road blocks these past few days! He never ceases to amaze!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Packing Again

Today is our big packing today before we leave tomorrow for headquarters in New York with everything that will go with us to Africa in a trailer. Whew! After that we relax a little with Jerry's family at a retreat center in West Virginia. We're less than a month away from our flight out of New York for Kenya! Wahoo!!! Thank you, thank you, asante sana to all of you making it possible; we COULD NOT do it without you!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Through rain, sleet or snow ... farewell to Minnesota

Welcome back to Minnesota! "You picked a great week to come back!" That was what I have heard most these past four days. The high yesterday was about -2F (not counting windchill).
Yesterday I hit the remote starter to get the car running so I could pick up the U-haul trailer. The parking lights flashed, but there wasn't any sign of vapor out of the exhaust. I hit the button again ... nothing! So, I put on shoes, coat, hat, gloves, pried the door open, mashed the key into the ignition, and ... just a click! AHH, of course, why WOULD the car start on the coldest day yet this winter?

Olivia and I stayed with John, Gioconda, Kattiana, and Karsten in Worthington, Minnesota, where we lived for the last year. Olivia spent a little more time with her friends, and I went through our "essentials" we want to take to Africa. They were in the basement of our old house at the airport. There was less there than I remembered, AND Breanna had done an awesome job of labelling everything before we left. So, I tallied up the cubic feet for each category, generated a Google spreadsheet, prioritized what I thought needed to go, then shared it with Breanna.

Today, everything is loaded (thanks to three other guys helping, including John), the car is working, and we are set to take off into the falling snow! What a great way to remember our time here! I bet I will miss the bitter cold it in a handful of months as pour out sweat half a world away.

And as a friend said here at our church "We may have cold weather, but we have warm hearts." Those I will definitely miss.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

As the dust settles, the outcome is ... all systems go!

It is Thursday and has been for the last 1.5 hours. Wednesday (our financial deadline day) will be one of my most thrilling days in a long time ... when we first put up the airspeed indicator to the right it read something like 39%. Now it is sitting at a titillating 99.45% (How funny is that ... can that be rounded up? )
As you can guess from the graphic, WE ARE GOING IN JANUARY! God really has stretched my myopic vision to see beyond what I thought was impossible... The highlight of this is that we are finally (after 5 + years) ready to hit the mission field and serve in the best way we know how! The second highlight is ALL the phone calls and e-mails I have had; many from friends I have not heard from in a while!
So what impossibilities did God overcome?
  1. About a month ago I finished my aviation orientation. The amount we needed in order to leave was an additional $18000 and this was due in a month's time.
  2. The country is in a challenging economic timeframe
  3. The online support page has not been working properly for weeks.
  4. Our e-mail system appears to be also going through some problems!
Despite these challenges of a month to accomplish the impossible, God worked and because of many of you reading this, our awesome support team, the plan to leave in January no longer has any if's left.

Obviously, we are not quite at 100% for our monthly or outgoing, but we anticipate we will be able to reach this by our departure date.

Through all of this, I hope ONE thing is brought to bear: God deserves the credit, fame, and glory for this entire time we have been preparing; especially this last month. It is to Him I am sincerely grateful.

Well, I'm going to get some sleep, and get ready to drive to Minnesota on Friday with Olivia to pick up our possessions we left there. Please pray for safety for that trip and all the travel we have ahead of us!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Charts, for the engineer in all of us

I wanted to show this as a way of encouraging all of us, and to give God full credit to where we came from as we get closer to the deadline.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

One Day Left

Wow, for a nailbiting finale, this can't be beat! Our clearance is Wednesday. We need to be at 100% by then.

You may have noticed that our monthly was at 95%. Unfortunately there were some miscounts between us and the home office in NY. We sorted them out, and found we were actually at 89%. Disheartening, but not tragic. And yes, that last sentence was a fragment, but that's how cool writers write, right? So there, Miss Lim...

The really encouraging news is people continue to mention to me they are talking to their churches, or their sunday school. A friend of mine is hoping to complete a major project at work. He is paid per project, and he wants this one to go towards helping us ... it is a sizeable amount.

All this is very invigorating to be suspended between staying and going. My faith is heightened, prayer life has increased, and my awareness of God's provision has been sharpened. I am doing cartwheels inside as I hear from our support team... I can't believe your generosity and energy on our behalf.

How to Move to Africa

or how could we possibly make this more complicated?

BTW, today, there is only ONE more day 'til financial clearance which is "no/no go" day from our mission's decision guy. It means no/ no go for January 16, our planned departure date. We ARE going to Africa...if we don't make it for Jan. 16 it will be in July. We're rooting for Jan. 16 and so ask you to please pray today for God to complete this miracle he's been amazing us with this past month as friends, family, churches have made our jaws drop further than we thought possible...THANK YOU to you all for your generosity to our ministry through aviation in Africa!!!

Okay, back to the complicated move. Ever heard the logic problem about getting the farmer, his chicken and fox across the river in a boat that only holds two at a time? That's kind of how this feels.

Here's the dealio: We are in Indiana with a portion of our "stuff". We have our Land Cruiser, but it needs to be sold before we leave. Most of the "stuff" we had planned to take to Africa is in the basement of the house we were living in, in Minnesota.

We fly out for Africa from New York, where Africa Inland Mission's US headquarters are located. Some of our stuff will fly with us, but the rest will go via shipping container. So Jerry ( a former engineer, you'll recall) has been trying to find the cheapest/ most efficient (but mostly cheapest) way to get the stuff in Minnesota sorted, once again, and to New York.

Factor into this that we will be celebrating Christmas in West Virginia with Jerry's family and will be there until Jan. 1. We then have "time to kill" until Jan. 14 when we need to be in New York for debrief with the mission before Jan. 16 departure.

The plan we're set on, right now, is that Jerry and Olivia (since she wants to see her friends again) will drive in TLC (the Land Cruiser) to Minnesota this Friday and Jerry will sort the stuff (since we now have a clearer picture of what we want to take now that we know it will cost us $12/ cubic foot to ship it...) Meanwhile, Olivia will be partyin' with her pals.

Then, next week, Wednesday or Thursday, Jerry and Olivia will return with U-haul trailer packed, probably overnighting along the way since travel with a trailer is slower.

Once they arrive in back here in Indiana's at Bre's folks', Bre and Jerry will sort again the trailer stuff and other stuff already packed at mom and dad's. We then will pack ALL the stuff going to Africa in the trailer, and the kids in the car. We'll drive to New York and headquarters to drop off all the stuff going to Africa. Then we go back to West Virginia for Christmas with Jerry's side of the family. We'll be there until Jan. 1. We then spend our last two weeks back in Indiana with Mom and Dad. Mom and Dad have generously donated their frequent flier miles to us, which equal three tickets, so Breanna, Olivia and Grace will fly to New York. The boys will come on Amtrak, which is cheaper than flying and Isaiah will love it. We'll meet at headquarters, along with everyone else flying out to Africa with AIM at this time. We'll pow wow, get briefed, pray and learn whatever else last minute they want us to know and then FINALLY fly out Jan. 16. Whew!!!

Please pray for Jerry, who's had trouble getting to sleep at night, I think mostly his mind a-whirlin' with all the details he's got to figure out!!

Monday, December 08, 2008

From my devotions several days ago

But I'll take the hand of those who don't know the way,
who can't see where they're going.
I'll be a personal guide to them,
directing them through unknown country.
Isaiah 42:16 (Message)

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Highlights so far!

Some highlights:

  • Several of you, from the frozen north to the warmer desert, have given large amounts personally. THANK YOU so much!
  • Many have volunteered (their kiddos included!) a Christmas gift either they received or one in honor of someone else! THANK YOU for remembering us during this hectic season.
  • Several are contacting their home churches to see if there is something THEIR church can do to help. That means SO much to know you are willing to sacrifice your time to advocate on our behalf!

And there are many more stories we have not heard, I am sure!