After wrapping up the school year at Northwest Christian and staying in the homes of Bob and Barb Parks and Gary and Sherry Brooten, the time finally arrived for the big move east. We are so grateful for the Parks’ and Brooten’s generosity in providing us with a place to stay for so long! On Wednesday, June 13, a whole army of helpers from Northview Bible Church arrived at our storage unit to help load the trucks. As Rachel and I stayed at the Brooten’s house packing up what we didn’t immediately need for the drive to Ohio, Jason, Ryan, Pastor Norm, and many, many of our friends helped load the two moving trucks. We then put our two cars on trailers behind the trucks and the next day we pulled out of Spokane and headed to Paradise, Montana.
We stayed Thursday night with our friends, Adam and Sheena Rice (Jason was Adam’s youth pastor when we were serving in Clatskanie, OR) who are serving as missionaries at Camp Bighorn. Adam runs the Journey program where young adults spend the fall through spring months working through a discipleship and missions program with an outdoor adventure focus. The camp is absolutely beautiful nestled between the Clark Fork river and soaring rock cliffs. It truly is a paradise!
After leaving the Rice’s early Friday morning, we headed out to North Dakota where we stayed the night in Dickinson. The next day was another early rise and shine then drive to Tomah, Wisconsin. On Sunday, we then drove to Ohio stopping first at our new home to do a final walk-through, then we headed north to Lancaster where we stayed the night with Glenn and Dee Luppold. Monday morning we signed the papers on the house at our agent’s office in Lancaster, then drove back to our house to begin the move-in process.
We had noticed during the walk-through Sunday evening that the cigarette smoke smell from the master (which we were previously aware of) was more pungent than it was when Jason and our agent first saw it back in May and that the house hadn’t been cleaned as was in the contract so we started an unplanned scrubbing of the house as soon as we got in on Monday. One of my (Lisa’s) co-workers, Lori Mathis from Chillicothe High School, her husband and his brother all showed up on the hottest and most humid summer day they could remember in a long time and helped us unload the trucks that afternoon. Since the house needed so much work, we just put everything in the garage. The next night, Lori brought us a much needed and deeply appreciated dinner as we continued to clean the house. Finally, on Friday, all but Rachel were sleeping in our rooms. We took a much needed sabbath day yesterday (Sunday) and spent the day resting.
Today, Monday, we have resumed the needed fixes. As of today, the master bedroom and bathroom (including the attic above) have had the walls and ceilings washed with a TSP solution, had a coat of Kilz sprayed on them, the carpet cleaned, trim removed and scrubbed, all cabinetry and blinds cleaned, the bathroom fan replaced (including the insulation around it, the HVAC run from it and a vent installed), and new lighting. All of the carpets in the house have been cleaned, the cupboards and drawers in the kitchen emptied (yes – two cupboards still had the previous owner’s things in them and the refrigerator still had some food in it) and scrubbed from top to bottom. Rachel’s room had a flying ant problem and after 3 tries, Jason was finally able to get rid of them. Jason is now working on replacing the guest bath fan (which we knew didn’t work when we bought the house) and Ryan is repairing the drainage system from the house gutters to redirect water away from the basement (which is unfinished but is damp from water seepage). We were able to get internet installed Friday afternoon so we now feel connected to our friends and family again!
Some other things we’ve learned since we’ve been here – it rains more here than in Seattle and you actually need an umbrella here since the rain drops are bigger and you can get completely dripping-wet-drenched between your car and the grocery store (some of us have to learn from experience!). Fireflies will float up into the trees making them glitter all night long. There is more Native American history here than we knew existed including ancient mounds that are related to the more famous Serpent Mound just south of us. Part of my (Lisa’s) teacher orientation in August is an afternoon tour around the area that the school district takes us on to show us the history of this great region. I am so looking forward to that!
Jason took the week off from ministry last week, started back a little today, and resumes things tomorrow. Projects we have ahead of us are: alterations to the kitchen and laundry storage so we can finish unpacking, ensuring the basement water problem is resolved, finishing the bathroom repairs, finishing repainting the interior of the house, and landscaping the yard which is a blank canvas since the house literally sits at the edge of a farm field.
Please pray for the following:
Praise God for a safe journey east! We all survived including our cats. We are thankful for the beauty of the area we have been brought to.
Endurance and safety as we work and are still very tired.
Praise God for those virtual strangers (but also brothers and sisters in the Lord) who helped us unload and brought us dinner and made us feel welcomed to our new community.
Open opportunities to minister here and to those we serve through InFaith.
Jason & Lisa