Friday, April 28, 2006

Non-financial needs -- HELP!

If you live in my area and have some time, I'll take whatever time you can give me to help with packing and stuff like that. I am still working 3 jobs and trying to get this all done. This is a list of what I need right now. Call me if you think you can help.

  • Boxes -- if you pick some up, leave them on my porch any time.
  • Someone to take my furniture to the consignment store -- sooner rather than later. I need to get everything outta here except the bed, a TV and a couch. I'm SERIOUS. The place won't sell or rent with all this junk in here. :)
  • Someone to take little stuff to Goodwill or the charity of your choice. I've got to get it off the porch. Or call Goodwill and arrange for them to come get it.
  • Someone to help me pack.
  • Someone who might have a climate-controlled area to store the things we aren't going to sell or take with us: Some boxes of scrapbooks and family mementos, some family furniture I don't want to sell: a desk, hall table, dresser and bedstand (you can use it or store it).

More to come

ups and downs

Just got an e-mail today from a group of women I have known since Sept 1999. That is the month we sent our paperwork to china for our babies. I have only met a few of them, but we are very close. They said they would pay for our passports! That is just too much. I don't even know what to say.

It has been an overwhelming day. I talked to Raj this morning, directed my 8th graders in their big production of Caesar this morning after teaching my 8 a.m. class at the Tech School here. Had conflicting advice from people I really respect about how to handle my car and house and it seems overwhleming to ever get ready in 6 weeks.

On the other hand, I've been getting a lot of confirmation that this is right for me. I LOVE Raj as a "boss" and I'm ready to go. I'm just NOT ready to do all the packing. Why do I have so much stuff?!?

If you live near me and are willing to help out with some things, please contact me. I need stuff. I'll put it on another blog entry.


Thursday, April 27, 2006

april 27 update out of order

THis update is published out of order. I found it in my drafts box! But wanted to get it up here. Don't know how to change the order of things. Sorry. But please read the more cenent updates.

Some of these are prayer requests and others are needs I have (financial, etc.) I don't want to be disingenuous and pretend to ask for prayer when I really want money (or something else) but I truly do want you to pray. If you feel moved to give money or time or whatever, DON'T do it unless you are SURE it is what God wants you to do. He can totally meet my needs. He has the money.

  • I told Raj I want to go and he is going to check my references. Please pray about this as my current boss does NOT like me AT ALL.
  • Since I've been unemployed or part-time employed for the past 4 years, I don't have any extra cash anywhere to spare. I am going to ask Raj if I can raise some support to help me with expenses involved in getting to Japan and to help pay for care for Bonnie while I'm there. Not sure if he will allow that to go through his organization or if I need to have someone else do it, but no WAY do I want the money to go to me. There needs to be accountability AND I am hoping I can get tax-exempt status if it goes to Raj's ministry for my use (like missionaries typically do).
  • Urgent: $350 to get Bonnie's and my passports. I can't even begin the process until I have the money to pay and then it takes about 2 weeks.
  • Help packing up. I don't have much time to empty this place out and take things to storage, consignment stores and good will. I'd like to have a garage sale to raise some of the money I need, but not sure i have the time/energy since I am still working!!!!! My dream is that someone would volunteer to do that for me. :) Ha!
  • I need to get out of the lease on my car. I've been told this will be impossible -- but we know God can do it. Please pray about this. IF I can't get out of it, I will have to either: abandon my plans to go to Japan, declare bankruptcy or let them repossess the car. I need God's intervention, frankly -- a miracle.
  • A place to store my stuff. I think I can get it down to a few boxes, but I can't leave them in an attic becuase my photos and stuff can't be exposed to the elements.
  • A property management company willing to take this on for a reasonable price. I have NO idea what I'm getting into here and need wisdom.
  • Stamina to finish my responsibilities at my two schools. York Tech finishes next week. Woodlawn finishes the first week in June. Bonnie finishes May 23.
  • Money to pay to send some boxes to Japan since we can only take suitcases each.
  • Someone to volunteer to send us American food, TV shows/movies and possibly music (from radio), church services etc. Also some medicines -- over the counter and prescription. I will NOT be able to survive in Japan without it.
  • Figure out what to do about my allergy shots. I'm allergic to rice, soy and chicken so I need to be able to take these shots in Japan. I can give them to myself, but the serum only lasts a few weeks. :(

Does this seem daunting? It seems challenging to me. God is so gracious! I have the attitude (which could only come from HIM) that He is in control and it will all be OK. For Bonnie's sake, I refuse to panic. IF God is sending us, it will be a calm and peaceful process with NO YELLING!

Japan Prayer Needs

This is the first set of prayer requests that I sent out. Answers are in blue.

  • Reassurance that this is the right thing to do. On 4-27, I told Raj I felt God wanted me to go forward. Many of my friends have pointed out the pros and cons and I appreciate all of you. I don't want people to just agree with me! I need to go into this realistically. I feel God could be "calling" me to Japan. Now I just wait for the open/closed doors.
  • An indication from Bonnie that she is willing to go (so far, so good) We have talked about it. She cried a little at the thought of leaving all her friends, but generally she is positive and sometimes even excited! But she really has no clue what she is getting into. Please pray for her
  • The same peace that I had about going to Japan the first time (doesn’t mean absence from fear! I had plenty of that, but I knew it was from God. Raj and I both know that when things get tough in Japan I will need to remember that God wants me there.) On Wednesday, I asked God to just give me reassurance that He was with me though this and He graciously gave me even more -- the peace -- the same peace I had before that He knows what He created when He formed me and He knows where I will thrive, even if it flies in the face of man's logic. Japan is good for me -- it was before and it will be again. (And if it isn't, we can always go home!)
  • Support from some people I respect who know me and what I’ve been going through the past few years (some of those people may be YOU!)
  • Indication that I will be able to sell my car
  • and RENT my condo (I don’t want to sell it – long story) I've been given the names of several property management companies who may be interested which is good enough for me to move forward. Of course, I need to be praying that someone will be willing to do it for the right price. Fortunately, my mortgage is pretty low.
  • The “right” answers from Raj about a couple of concerns
  • Indication that some of my friends will support us (prayer, initial finances to get over there, help with the condo, connections sending stuff and helping me with my U.S. banking while we’re in Japan).
  • Indication that we’ll be able to get passports by mid-June (both of ours have expired). No problem with timing, but they will be very expensive and I don't have the $350 this will take.
  • Please also pray for the Crafts, Bonnie’s adopted grandparents. This will be VERY hard for them to deal with. Pray especially for Howard. Merle was very supportive when I told her, but I knew it would be harder on Howard, especially since his son died last year. I cried when I told Merle about all of this, but she was so sweet. Please continue to pray for Howard.

Rising Sun -- maybe

BIG STUFF happening here. Let me give you the story as it happened. On Monday I went to church to sign my daughter up for summer sports camps. While there, I see a notice on the employment bulletin board about a guy I know who is looking for teacher's in Japan. This reminds me that a friend had mentioned this opportunity to me before and I need to check it out. I call the guy and we start talking about it. Sounds a lot like what I did in Japan for six years - working at a private school, teaching mostly kids. I casually ask him where the school is. "Kurashiki," he answers. I almost drop the phone. Kurashiki is the town one train stop away from where I lived in Japan. I actually TAUGHT at a school in Kurashiki for several years. Kurashiki is one of my favorite places in Japan. It is "home." I start to get excited and we decide to meet the next day. By the end of our conversation, he tells me that he would like me to come to Japan for at least a year, possibly long-term/semi-permanently as a teacher/manager of the school. I am supposed to give him an answer by Tuesday, May 2 BECAUSE he needs this person to start mid-June (yes, folks, that is less than 6 weeks from now). So I am thinking about it until Tuesday and then if I decide to go forward, it will depend on things like getting a passport in time, selling my car(I'm in a very unfriendly lease) and renting out my condo. If all of that works out, we will be OUTTA here mid June. Unbelievable.

So, I think this blog may transition into a place to record this saga so everyone can keep up. :) Should be an exciting journey.