We’re finally moved in to our new digs! Stanglin Manor is now firmly established on the very fancy sounding Castleford Road here in Midland. And while we are still very much living out of boxes, and might be for a while, our hearts are full of thanksgiving and love for the kindness and the sweet generosity of our church family at GCR and our new neighbors who are making this transition very easy and a lot of fun. We spent Friday just getting all the boxes into the garage and then all day Saturday getting those boxes to the rightful areas of the house – and attic!
Speaking of Saturday, we were all three thrilled to participate in KWO’s 12th annual Kick for Kenya 10K, 5K, and 1K run that starts and finishes in our parking lot at GCR. More than 400 good people of all ages and athletic stamina ran to raise over $50,000 for KWO’s work in feeding, equipping, and educating 2,700 widows and orphans in Nairobi. KWO just opened their 16th children’s home in Nairobi this past year and GCR is honored by God to be a partner in this great work. I was privileged to help welcome the runners to this important event and to pray over them before the race. And then we just watched and cheered them on. Most of our new friends at GCR rightly assumed I would not be running. But when I was asked a couple of times Saturday morning if I would be walking, I answered, “Yes. I’m walking from my truck to the breakfast burrito table and then back to my truck.”
Sunday morning at GCR we celebrated all God is doing in us and through us in Kenya with pictures and videos and an inspirational story from Tim, who just returned from a two week visit to Nairobi. Callie and Will blessed us with a dynamic reading from Ezekiel 34 in which our God promises to bind up the injured and strengthen the weak. And Iliana brought tears to our eyes and praise from our hearts with her powerful testimony and moving rendition of “Oceans.” A glorious day with our God and his people.
Then, after lunch, we came back together in the GCR parking lot to pass out food boxes to more than a hundred needy families in Midland through our great partnership with Mission Agape. It was really cool to distribute the Thanksgiving meals and the gift cards and the cookies to each of these deserving families. But the real joy came in praying over these good people and lifting up their specific and personal needs to our Father. What a sacred time that was. What a blessing that our God would deem us capable of acting as priests on behalf of these neighbors in Midland and the surrounding communities.
The weekend wrapped up last night the way most Sunday nights end at Stanglin Manor. Whitney and I dueled to the death over a hot backgammon board (she beat me 3-2) and I made popcorn. Yes, the first thing cooked in our new kitchen was my popcorn. And, yes, it felt like home.