Good question! It was a surprise to us, too. Our schedule took an unexpected turn last week. We were in Vilnius, Lithuania, scheduled to fly to Norway to see friends we’d made along the way. But the travel times of our trip made our meeting our friends impossible, and we found ourselves staring at expensive hostel housing, and expensive airfare to our next ministry commitment in Sofia, Bulgaria, all for the one two-hour meeting that remained in our schedule there. Rich said aloud, the night before our flight, “I wish we weren’t going to Norway. It’s going to be so expensive.” I said, “Shall we cancel?” He mused, “What if we bussed down to Bulgaria, and just overshot it by a few hours. We’d be in Greece!” So, after a flurry of internet research and e-mails cancelling flights, at 10pm the next night we boarded a bus, and after 36 rather longish hours on buses and trains, we arrived in Northern Greece, at a savings of hundreds of dollars. We’re in a budget hotel in a budget town, surrounded by happy Russians and Serbians on holiday. We’re enjoying the beach, but also getting in some prep for the final three events in our schedule, which are as follows:
Please pray that our stamina and motivation to serve students and staff would remain strong for this final stretch. We feel so grateful for this few days in a restful town here in Greece; after recovering from the crazy bus ride we feel rested and energized for these last three stops. Pray that we would connect well with the non-Christian students at the English camps, and that they would take steps toward following Jesus.
Please pray for our transition to Southern California. We return with no cars, and you who live in LA know that it is sadly not an easy city to navigate without a car. We are grateful for the loaners that are beginning to come into place and the possibility of one longer-term. Anyone looking to sell a used car at a good price is encouraged to contact us! Our housing is another challenge, but we see God’s provision there as well. We will stay in the missionary housing of the Presbyterian Church, House of Rest, in Pasadena for our first three months back, and look forward very much to returning to our home in November.
Pray as well for our return to work: Rich will begin work right away at Tanner, and I will have one course to teach at Fuller each quarter. I will be recertified to host a person with disabilities again in our home and to tutor. I continue to hope to be in pastoral ministry, and applied to another church this morning, but search processes are slow and jobs scarce, so I will do the work that I can do in the meantime. We also are quite excited to have both our children in Pasadena with us for ten days (Mark) and three weeks (Becca) before Becca heads off for a semester abroad in Pune, India and Mark returns to London. Pray that in the midst of all the details of renewing expired driver’s licenses, renegotiating our insurance, and remembering how to cook food, we would have time to process all that we have learned and experienced this year. We continue to be so, so grateful for the gift and opportunity it has been, and so thankful to you who have given and prayed along the way!
Rich and Lisa Lamb