Although we left Detroit a few weeks ago, we will not really be settling in Nashville until mid-September. We were in Nashville for about ten days at the end of July, and then we launched into our Partnership Tour, which is taking us all the way out to Oregon and back over the next 6 weeks.
Our time in Nashville was full of lots of activities. The Hillsboro church formally introduced us to the congregation on our first Sunday there; we attended their VBS; and we spent several days having meals with and getting to know some of the elders, the missions committee, and church members. The church has been so wonderful and welcoming and has really taken great care of us. We are looking forward to spending more time there this fall getting to know people and building relationships with them.
A week ago Monday, we left Nashville and headed west. Our first stop was Memphis, where we discovered Park Avenue (our church when we lived in Memphis) was having their VBS. So we went by and were able to reconnect with some of our friends there. Alex got to see his BFF Mackenzie from Harding Grad, and he was very excited about that.
On Tuesday, we spent a couple of hours unearthing all our camping supplies from the depths of our storage unit. Then, we headed to Oklahoma City. We were able to meet up with old friends from our Japan days... the Lj's, Chan's, and Britton's. It was great to see them again, and it was especially touching to watch Alex, Stone, and Freedom playing together. (There are a couple of pics on Facebook... when I have more time, I will try to upload one here to the blog.)
On Wednesday, we drove to Burlington, OK, where Rusty spoke about Angola during the evening class-time at the church of Christ there. We spent the night in a member's home just over the state line in Kiowa, KS.
On Thursday, we had a long drive from south-central Kansas to Colorado Springs. It is beautiful here, and the weather is amazing! We have spent the last several days here, meeting with our team, and visiting our teammate Nathan's supporting church. We have had several productive "meeting" days, but we wanted to include some fun, recreational time, so tomorrow, we are headed to Rocky Mountain National park for a couple of days of camping. Then, across the mountains and westward we go!
We will be in the Northwest for a couple of weeks at the end of August, then in Montana for about a week, and we may spend a little more time in the Oklahoma City area before heading back to Nashville. We are calling this our "Partnership Tour" because we are trying to drum up the remainder of our support for our work in Angola. If we will be coming to your area, and you would like for us to visit your church, please contact us at rustyandlaura AT gmail DOT com (or just leave a comment). We would love to share about the amazing things God is already doing in Angola and how we hope to join in that work very soon!