A new adventure…

This summer has been a bittersweet time of hello’s and goodbye’s.

In early June, I had the joy of meeting some incredibly interesting people at the Young Ambassadors for Opportunity (YAO) June 12th regional event, at which we raised awareness and funds for Opportunity, International, an organization that specializes in micro-loan solutions for emerging communities around the world.

After a busy two months of work in May and June, I celebrated with my friend Alexandra as we sent her off to Rwanda for four months in early July.  It’s been such a blessing to see how God is already using her in ministry and service with those in her local community…

Two weeks ago, I moved to D.C. into an apartment with my dear friend, Megan Roberts.  Megan and I met in April through Alexandra, and are now roommates!   Not only am I living with an incredible friend and woman of God, but am also five minutes from my office, within walking distance from Trader Joe’s, Georgetown, local pool/tennis courts, and Dupont Circle.  After two years of making the long trek from Gaithersburg to DC every day, I am just astounded to have roughly 12 hours a week back in my life to do other things!

With this move to D.C. came goodbye’s – to living at home, to being a part of my church of 25+ years, Covenant Life, and being a housemate for a year and a half with my best friend, Britt.  As I think back on the past two years, the word that comes to mind is sustained.  God sustained my parents through the darkest hours of their lives, and our family through significant unknowns.  God sustained my church, pastors, and lifelong friends through painful and challenging relational trials.  God used my church family to care and pray for our family.  God used Britt to help sustain my joy and faith.  God sustained my parents’ ability to keep their home.  God sustained our souls from unbelief, hopelessness, and doubts.

God also sustained my brother Brett on his four-month study abroad trip to Israel – it’s been fun to have him back 🙂

I also just welcomed my new friends, Ben and Becky Bouman-Buursma to DC this past week!  Becky’s Dad and my Dad were college roommates at Calvin College in Michigan back in the 70’s, and after meeting several years ago, Becky and I have maintained a friendship from afar.  Ben and Becky just moved here after serving in Jakarta, Indonesia for two years, and we have already enjoyed hanging out and are looking forward to fun times to come.

And, now, in one week, my amazing sister Nora Shank and my brother-in-law Travis, and my niece Kate and nephew Grant will move back East!  After seven years of them living in Phoenix, AZ, they have decided to take a job here in the DC metro area and settle back in this area this fall.  What a blessing!

On top of that, my Dad got a JOB three weeks ago after searching and applying and praying for nearly a year to find full time employment.  After just one week, he LOVES his new job and is already jumping right into his new role.  For those who actively prayed for this provision, THANK YOU!  He has come so so far, and we as a family are rejoicing in God’s faithfulness.

And, if it couldn’t be more perfect timing, we are heading back to our beloved beach house, “Gift from the Sea” in the Outer Banks of North Carolina on August 25th for our annual family vacation!

As we enjoy this “Olympic” season, I am reminded of Hebrews 12:

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.”

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