Thursday, May 14, 2009

Celebration & Information

It seems I need to start every post with an apology for the length of time that has passed since my previous post. So, once again I apologize that we are not keeping up! While I'm done making promises I can't keep, I do promise that once Jared & Stacey are in Haiti, updates will be much more frequent. I hope we can get into a weekly or bi-weekly rhythm at that point so that prayer needs can be frequently shared and you can experience some of what the Nikkels are living in Haiti.

At this point, final preparations are in full swing. Major fundraising efforts are complete, and we're left to the details of travel, packing, and planning. A couple things MUST be highlighted! God is so good! He continues to open doors and bless our efforts in His name.

1) The Meals With a Mission fundraiser in April was huge success! More than $12,000 worth of orders for frozen meals, Dutch letters, cookie dough and coffee were filled, raising over $7,000 in profit for the Nikkel start-up costs. (All this even without a single mention on the blog...I'm so ashamed!) Thank you so much both to those who ordered and those who offered their time to help us prepare all those meals! I don't know all the numbers, but I do know that over 5,000 cookies were scooped! You can use your imagination for numbers of hamballs scooped, chicken pot pies fluted and pounds of chicken cut. Another job well done by fundraising leaders Nancy Henry and Tiffany Van Zee.

2) SOLD! Jared and Stacey's house is officially sold! Stacey told me over and over again that "it was already sold," and her faith became sight. A young couple soon to be married will make their home in Kilduff, and they were two of just a handful of people to show interest. God had the right people in mind, and He opened the door. Such a relief and blessing.

Current Updates:
1) Currently Stacey is in North Carolina for a 10-day medical missionary training, learning things like how to do stitches, give injections, put in air tubes, etc. It sounds like it is very hands-on and somewhat primitive, which I suppose is just how it will be in Haiti if she needs to use these skills. Jared reports that she is doing well, but is ready to come home. She still has one week left; she returns Thursday, May 21. Jared is home with the kids. Please pray for all of them in this time away from one another. The kids are doing well, but it's always tough without Mom.

2) Jared is technically on "vacation" right now, but is officially finished with his job with Jasper County law enforcement. While in some ways he was ready to be done, it is still a loss and transition to adjust to. They are thankful for the time Jared has to dedicate to the kids while Stacey is gone and to give to preparations for their quickly approaching move.

3) A Commissioning Service is planned for Sunday, June 7, at Third Church, and the Nikkels will be moving the following week. They will first spend a few days in Florida and then will fly into Haiti the following week. I don't have specific details (dates/times) of all this right now, but will try to get it on the blog in the next couple weeks.

Will you please be diligent in prayer for Jared, Stacey, Will & Natalie in the next few weeks? You can imagine all the emotional and practical implications of this move. Between now and the second week of June, many details of travel and moving will be finalized, the house will be handed to its new owners, many events and farewells will take place with family, friends and supporters, and the reality of this major life change will continue to become more real both for the Nikkels and those close to them. You can imagine that the Enemy will also be hard at work creating confusion and discouragement. Pray for a heavyness of God's Spirit over the Nikkels, for protection against the Enemy and for God to continue opening doors and "making the path straight."

Thank you for your support!