For those of you who truly know me, you have to chuckle at the title. You have to!
One crate. After three years of teaching English to inner-city students in the U.S., I gave most of my resources to teacher friends and packed “the important stuff” into one crate and took a deep breath. Intentionally, I saved the best and hardest for last: my board of “gifts” from students and peers throughout the year. I read every folded paper, thank you card, and post-it note until at last I compiled them all into a heap, clipped them together, and tucked them into my crate of memories. I’ve officially resigned as a high school English teacher in the U.S., and now, after a Saturday graduation at both of my schools, T.C. Howe and Emmerich Manual, with some of the toughest good-byes I have ever endured, I took both a final step and a first step. One path ended. Another has begun. Please pray as we travel this summer with the hopes of raising not only support for the coming years ahead of us, but also finances to support us while we travel. We serve a great God with plans much larger than our own. Now, one step at a time, we are moving in the direction He has for us.
“Mr. Reach, we’re going to total your vehicle…”
Those were the words the insurance adjuster told me a few weeks ago. After a month of waiting for the parts to come in to repair our Dodge Journey because “some critter” crawled into our engine and chewed up our wiring harness, our insurance finally determined our vehicle was simply not able to be repaired correctly. This was good news and bad news. Now, I realize there are likely quite a few people reading this thinking, “What could possibly be the bad news? You’re about to go to the mission field and you just sold your car for the maximum amount of its worth without having to get into a wreck!” True…but we still have to travel and raise support, first. Now we are in need of a family vehicle capable of fitting all of us as we travel this summer to raise support. Please agree with us in prayer as we trust God to provide during this season.
This week has been an eventful week so far.
Monday, Cassi filed paperwork to establish OutReach360 as a 501c3 not-for-profit organization while I took our five-passenger lease vehicle in to the dealership to see if we could renegotiate for a larger vehicle. As I explained our reason for upgrading, the salesman said, “Romania? One of our coworkers is from Romania…” Of course she is… God is so funny.
Tuesday, we met with a great local auctioneer about selling our possessions, and had a Skype discussion with some of our missionary friends in Romania about life, evangelism, and discipleship. We were able to view a third perspective of life in the country, as well as another glimpse of considerations on how we should budget. We are so thankful for the relationships God has given us throughout the years.
Wednesday, we took our children on a $12 home-school field trip to Conner Prairie with Grandma. The kiddos are enjoying the change of pace, and though they miss their school schedule dearly (sarcasm), the excitement for Romania is increasing every day.
Thursday, we text and called pastor friends, spent time with Grandma, and tried to fill slots in our travel calendar.
Today, we are cleaning house; packing and sorting keepsakes; saying tough good-byes to broken toys and old clothes, and making bags of gifts for other families and the Salvation Army. Then, this weekend…to southern Illinois. We may or may not stop in Casey, Illinois along the way to see the world’s largest mailbox (I know, you’re jealous…).
We love you, and we cannot thank you enough for your steadfast prayers and encouragement. If you would like to hear about our vision to work in Romania, please leave a message below. We would love to visit and share our hearts for evangelism, discipleship and missions, both domestic and foreign.
Until the Whole World Hears,
Mike & Cassi