Like we stated in a previous post, we are so grateful to my parents for allowing us to live with them during our time of transition from one chapter of our lives to another. David officially completed his Masters of Divinity at Southern Seminary in Louisville in August, and he resigned as pastor from New Hope Baptist Church in Springfield, KY in May. We were so thankful that he finished seminary in such a timely manner, but the time to leave New Hope came all too soon, proving to be very hard to say good-bye to our dear church family. We love them so, and we were so grateful for how they took care of us while David was in school. What a blessing they were and continue to be in our lives.
So, that chapter closed, and we proceeded to move to Alabama to spend precious time with family before heading for our training with the IMB. Our brief ~ yet memorable ~ Alabama chapter was also completed so quickly, and we have now begun our Field Personnel Orientation in Richmond, VA. Training officially started on Wednesday, Oct. 22nd. However, we were given permission to arrive by noon on Monday to start moving into our "quads" and getting settled. I will post pictures in the future about our living arrangements, which have proven to be quite comfortable (I hope that this is encouragement to you, Hannah Attaway! :) We were very thankful for being allowed to arrive early, for it gave John David some time to get comfortable with his new surroundings. (He has been such a trooper through all of this transition, and thankfully, has been sleeping well despite many new settings. Praise the Lord ~ this was a huge answer to prayer!) As of Wednesday, David and I have been attending various training classes from around 8 am to 3 pm. Because we are in classes the majority of the day, John David has had to be in day care (well, we call it "school"; it sounds a little better :) This was what I have been most concerned about in regard to us coming to this time of training. But, of course, God has proven to be so faithful in allowing John David (and his Mom & Dad!) to transition well to this seperation. Everything that we do - eat, sleep, and learn - is located on the International Learning Center campus, so, thankfully, the building where John David is during the day is very near. They also gave all the parents beepers if they ever need to reach us. The child care workers could not be more precious or accommodating! Each day when we pick him up, we receive a "daily report" which tells us what he ate, how long he napped, etc., along with a little "teacher note" at the bottom. His teacher is so dear and encouraging. We are so thankful that John David is a good eater, so that has not been a problem. Praise the Lord he has been napping so well, going to sleep easily in a new place with other children around. (Aunt Lynn, they did end up putting him in a crib instead of on a mat ~ that made the transition much easier for him.) Anyway, more to come about specifics of our orientation as we continue to figure out the new routine for ourselves.
David and I wanted to have access to a car while training in Virginia, so we chose to drive instead of fly. Therefore, we decided to break up the trip so that it would not be so long for our little man! Thankfully, we have some dear friends who live in Lexington, South Carolina, which proved to be a perfect half-way point to stop for a few nights of rest and refreshment. We truly were refreshed, as we always are when privileged to spend time with Shane and Lydia Parker, and their son, Wiley (who, although only a few months over 2, shows unbelievable athletic ability and amazing potential...I've already given Nick Saban his number...well, not yet anyway.) They are also expecting another little Parker in mid-March. (I may have two names to give you, Nick!) They suggested a trip to the zoo there in Lexington. John David LOVES animals, so we definitely wanted to be a part of this outing. Also, we thought it best to visit the zoo prior to going to Zambia, for after that, a zoo may just look like someone's back yard to John David! Here are a few pictures from our day.
Thank you, Parker family, for such a fun visit!
After we left the Parker home to complete the other half of the journey to Richmond, we stopped at Cracker Barrel for lunch. You know your child is growing up when you can order him his own meal from the menu. With our "not-so-little-anymore" John David, it seems that every situation is a good opportunity for a photo opp...
This is not a good picture of me, but
I loved the arms around the shoulders.
It's so much fun being a mom! :)
My boys enjoying some good home cookin'!