Rather than apologize profusely for not having updated in a long time, and promising to update at least X times per week, I’ve decided to just post about what we are doing!
Rachel and I are now living in a different house! It’s actually a fairly nice house in a nice (upper-middle-class) neighborhood, complete with annoying and restrictive covenants. It’s a really awesome house, that we were able to afford due to the fact that we are leasing it along with Justin and Amber, a couple whom we are close friends with. This “communal” living situation has brought challenges, but none that we were not prepared to face, and all of which have made us stronger as individuals, and more flexible as couples. (As a short aside, Rachel and I are guarding our marriage in every way, and valuing it above our friendship with Justin and Amber… and all is still well).
The new house is much closer to my parents, our church, and Rachel’s work, and living with Justin and Amber has eliminated the need for us to drive somewhere to see them (although we still drive halfway across town for other friends). It has a dishwasher, air conditioning and room to store stuff (like a 2 car garage!), which our older house did not have. This house has definitely been a blessing to both couples, and we are all very grateful to God for orchestrating things so nicely.
Aside from the new house, most things remain fairly constant. Rachel is still nannying for the same family (as well as doing the work of a maid and cook), and I am still working with my dad doing hardwood flooring. Business has been going well for both of us, and we’ve not had to put any holds on our school savings (even if our sometimes outdated thermometer picture says differently).
Speaking of school, things are still going well in our preparations to leave in the summer of 2011 to begin our training with New Tribes Mission, that will hopefully culminate in our bringing the gospel to a previously unreached people group. I have noticed recently, however, that God has been opening up my mind to other possible ministries, and I am more prepared than ever to follow His direction for our lives… but I am still hoping that it includes ministering to an unreached people group. As always, only God knows what He has in store for us, and we are trying our best to follow Him there.
Well that concludes the general update, but I’d like to share about our adventure this weekend (which is really why I had the motivation to sit down and write)! Rachel and I went camping by ourselves (for the first time since our first anniversary) in order to escape from life as usual.
We started by driving up Rampart Range Road into Pike National Forest, looking for a good spot to camp. On our way we passed several amazing views as breathtaking as this one, and some even more so (of which we failed to get pictures). Some spots afforded the view of the entirety of Colorado Springs, as well as some towns off to the east. I was awestricken by the beauty of God’s creation, and how, although amazing, the city in no way compared with the mountains and valleys like you see in this picture.
(What you are about to see is NOT our vehicle, and we believe no one was hurt) During the drive up, Rachel made her usual half-joking (but half serious) comments, imploring me to stay on the road as opposed to driving over the edge. Well, we were about as surprised as anyone to come around a corner and find a truck that had done just that! These pictures are from our return trip on Sunday, and the truck had been there since at least Friday.From the tire marks and the position of the tires, it seemed like the driver simply drove off the side of the road, with little or no effort to get back on. I assume they had fallen asleep or were less than sober at the time, but I’m no Sherlock Holmes.
Continuing on, we found a few great spots that already had tents on them, and a few roads that Aiko (my Mazda Protege) and I could not traverse no matter how hard we tried. Then we came upon a great, unclaimed spot at which Rachel exclaimed “This one!” She was not thrilled when I responded by saying “Last time we were here, we put our tent right over there.” Sure enough, in the webbed maze of roads on and around Rampart Range Road, we had stumbled upon the same site we had camped on for our first anniversary! This time, however, the road was in better shape and I was able to guide Aiko much further until we had found an amazingly secluded little spot. It was so well “hidden” (we were car camping, so your car has to stay on the road and you can’t camp too far from it) that we only ever saw one other soul (well, two technically, but they were in the same car) the whole weekend (we stayed from Friday to Sunday).
Aside for the excitement of inspecting the unfortunate cliff-jumping truck (which, by the way, had a note on it saying a tow truck was on the way), we had a fairly relaxing time. We went for a couple walks (one of which ended up being more of a long exploration than a short walk), and sat around reading a lot. It was a most excellent trip, and I think we’re both quite thankful for the experience.
For more pictures, keep an eye on Rachel’s Facebook, ’cause she took a ton of pictures and will probably post some in the next couple weeks here.