April 3, 2013 - We’re Not In Kansas Anymore!
March 7, 2013 – France Trip Report
February 14, 2013 – SoJournal Update
December 20, 2012
Christmas 2011 – Smith Sojournal
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August 20, 2011 – TCK—From Oregon to Florida!
We had TCKs over in Oregon—and in Florida! We LOVE those third culture kids so much!!!
1. Trying to get a few of the games.
2. Our four….peeking through the leaves!
3. & 4. Checking out the video games, movies and “hanging out” at the Smith household is nearly a daily event with mostly TCK’s—some non-tck’s too!
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July 29, 2011 – Learning to Land & Prayer Requests
You would think after 12 different places of residence since we married in 1989 that landing would feel like a normal tradition but it doesn’t. At least not for me. Transitioning is never an easy process. You have the agony of leaving ones you love and God has blessed your life with. Then you have the inner urging to follow God’s lead and be where your husband needs to be for work or ministry or job or schooling. So you begin to pray that God will help you wrap yourself around this new development and massive change. I have had peace the entire time that this was God’s plan for our family and that He knew better than me when I so badly wanted to stay in Oregon and keep my same job and friends. I still get to keep the friends, gratefully, albeit they are there and I am 3000 miles southeast now. It is always bittersweet to move.
The drive across America was informative, enjoyable and absolutely gorgeous! We had no rain except in Tennessee one little shower. It cooled off the earth and that childhood smell blessed me so of hot pavement with fresh, warm, summer rain on it! SMELLS so good! So we easily found our exits and turn offs all 3000 miles. (with one exception in Nebraska when we got a bit turned around in corn fields due to flooding rivers and bridges closed!:() The local people were so friendly and helpful though and we eventually found our way through the corn maze to Kansas City!
Benjamin was blessed with a great outdoor job in Orlando so he flew to Orlando June 11th. He began working June 13th. He has worked nearly every day since. We are so proud of him! His boss has him in a leadership role and is teaching him so much. He says he loves working outside and getting tough hands and body. He does all kinds of work on the KOA and PIONEERS grounds. Nate and Tim arrived with the moving truck on June 30th. They got the key to the rental house and unpacked the truck July 1st. Tim had tables assembled and furniture in great spots, kitchen unpacked and put away when the girls and I arrived at 1 a.m. July 12. Wow. I married well.
The girls and I took our time in Kansas and saw some family and friends in our few days there. It was great to be reunited with dear long time friends from our home church. I was amazed how many of them showed up at church the same Sunday we were there and the same service! What a gift from God!! That was so much fun. I was moved to tears several times that day from joy and the overwhelming emotions that come from being in transition and seeing friends who have loved you so well for so long! What precious times.
I took photos all the way across America and will share more with time but here are a few ‘family on the move’ photos. Thank you for praying for our safety and survival. We made it and are now in the beginning to embrace phase! Shaylee said it well in Kansas, “mom it’s just hard not to be sad because it’s like the “sads” just remain with you until you get to see and be in the new place!” The “sads” remain even as we embrace Florida. However there were plenty of belly laughs and reasons to celebrate all along the journey and now as we reunite with old friends, our church, work friends here the “sads” are beginning to fade away. That does NOT mean we don’t miss those dear ones in the NW. Believe me we do. We have several places in Oregon that we will dearly miss too.
AND this is where we belong! We loved our three years in Oregon and it is also great to be back and instead of Tim flying to the conference next week (as he has for 3 years) we all jump in the car and go help him work!
* We feel the Lord is really answering our prayers in terms of our kids readjusting to Florida. Nate went to church camp last week and Shaylee is going next week. Nate said “that was the best thing you could ever do to help me make friends.” Warms a parent’s heart. Thank YOU for praying for him. He starts football practice next Monday with his new team.
* Pray for Hannah as she seeks good friends. Pray that she finds good friends at church, school and the neighborhood – most of her old friends are no longer here.
* Starting this Sunday is Connect – our debriefing program for parents and Kids here at PIONEERS. Tim and Jada are working together (yeah!) to teach 10 six to nine year old TCKs from the Middle East, Japan and India. Hannah (9) is volunteering with the babies – there are five 1-5 year olds for her to hang out with and care for. Pray for good connections with us as their teachers, with each other as Third Culture Kids and with God. We teach in the mornings and do educational and fun field trips with them in the afternoon. TCKs are privileged and also pay a price for their parents calling. Pray especially for this group as most of them are children who live in the Middle East.
* It is so good to be back in the building with my old team. I started coming to the office this week. I should have an office by the end of the summer but for now I’m “desk surfing.” It is so fun to reconnect with my team and I’m already so grateful for them.
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July 23, 2011 – Smith Sojournal – The Big Move to Florida; Peru Report
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April 1, 2011 – Smith Sojournal: moving back to Orlando!
Dear friends and family,
We have made a decision to move back to Orlando to more effectively minister to the growing number of kids and families of Pioneers.
Super Short version:
Really, when? July 2011
Why? Tim feels that he can be more effective from Orlando working with his team on a daily basis
What about Ben? Ben has decided on his own to move with us and transfer to University of Central Florida
The other kids? It is hard to leave but they are all excited to be back with their friends in Florida
Will your ministry change? No! Still work with missionary kids and their parents
Still need support? Yes!
How’s Shaylee? Recovering nicely, doctor wants to keep monitoring her for a couple more years
Really, when? July 2011 – this summer! Our lease expires June 30 and will not be renewed (because the owner is selling the house).
How did this come about? Tim came to this conclusion during some sabbatical rest and reflection time (and Jada agrees!). He has really missed daily face to face interaction with his team and sometimes feels isolated working from a home office. Tim always looks forward to his 6 trips to Orlando every year when he gets to minister alongside his team. He also will get to spend more time with the missionary families who regularly visit the Orlando office. Additionally, it is getting expensive to fly back and forth for every TCK program and event. A bonus will be greater family ministry as Jada and the kids can help Tim with kids programs. As Tim brought it up with the family, there has been an increasing sense that this is the right time to move back, even though it creates some significant upheaval for Ben and Nate especially. Both PIONEERS and our sending church are enthusiastically supportive of our decision.
Will your ministry change? No, not at all. Tim will resume ministry to the growing number of kids and families in Pioneers, only from the home office. His title will stay the same (TCK Consultant) and he will be on the same team, the Member Development Team.
Will you continue to need to raise full financial support? Yes! We are expected to raise our full salary as usual.
So, why did you move to Oregon in the first place? Three years ago PIONEERS graciously allowed us to work remotely for some personal reasons. Those reasons were: we wanted to be close to Tim’s parents and brothers, to be back in the Pacific Northwest where we met, to escape the heat of Central Florida and simply for a change of some sort after 9 years in Orlando (it’s a TCK thing). Gratefully we as a family have spent more time with Tim’s parents and brothers in the past 3 years than we have in the past 20 years combined. In fact, one positive outcome is that family is on Tim’s radar in a way that it hasn’t been before. We are returning with some good memories of time spent with Uncle Dan, Uncle Jonathan (who now lives in North Carolina) and Grandma and Granddad Smith. We have also grown through some challenges out here and are going back stronger.
What about Ben? Ben (19) is doing really well at Oregon State. He initially told us that he would like to stay at Oregon State where he has a scholarship, great friends and instate tuition. However, a few days ago he called and told us that he had been praying about it and has decided to move with us. He will work for a year and then resume his college studies at the University of Central Florida.
How are the other kids with this? Nate (17) has a lot to grieve as he is a sophomore in high school. He starts on a football team that has only lost one game in 3 years. They have plans to win state their senior year. He also has a ton of friends and has really come into his own. He is warming up to the idea of Florida but it isn’t easy for him. He knows he will like Florida again as he did before but is grieving what he has here. Shaylee (13) is ecstatic that we are moving back – she has kept in close contact with her Florida friends and can’t wait to get back. Hannah (9) was cool to the idea at first but has warmed to it and is now excited about it. Both Shaylee and Hannah have loved their school, Gaarde Christian School, and will sorely miss their friends and teachers there. Jada, too, taught preschool part-time at Gaarde Christian School this year and wishes that she could move the whole school to Orlando (they aren’t going to go for this apparently L ). It will be really hard for her to say goodbye to the teachers and 4 year olds she has grown to love over the year. Of course, all of us are happy that Ben is moving with us.
What about the heat? We reserve the right to continue to dislike the heat and humidity of Orlando. However, we are going back with a greater sense of gratefulness of what we had in Florida, and look for a house with a good air conditioner!! J
How’s Shaylee doing after her surgery? Her incision is healing up nicely. The doctor wants to monitor her for a couple more years but the tumor has been removed and the pathology report confirmed that it was benign. We are still praising the Lord!
Thank you for praying for us as we transition back to Orlando.
Psalm 115:1 “Not to us, O LORD, not to us, but to your name give glory, for the sake of your steadfast love and your faithfulness!”
Moving forward with His steadfast love and faithfulness,
Tim and Jada, Ben, Nate, Shaylee and Hannah, and Rugs (our Shih tzu)