I thought that you said that you had retired.

Well, we thought we had retired!

However, Ellen, at least, has been called out of retirement from August – November, 2023. How does that work? Well, John Myrick, an experienced TCK (Third Culture Kid) educator, became the TCK Education consultant in January of 2022 and has been doing an excellent job. However, the third-grade teacher at Rift Valley Academy and her family will be in the US for their Home Assignment from August – November of this year. John, along with his wife and two girls, will be heading to Kenya at the beginning of August so that John can fill this gap at the school. His wife, Becky, is also an elementary school teacher and will serve as a tutor. In a fun twist, both of their girls are rising third graders, so you guessed it – they will be in their dad’s class! This means that John is not available to fill the role of TCK Education consultant for the fall – I was asked if I could fill in and Bob and I agreed.

What does this mean? I will be part of the Children’s team for Waypoint from July 29th – August 4th in Lake Junaluska, North Carolina. I will also be part of the Engage staff at Peachtree City, GA November 5th- 9th.

The Waypoint Retreat offers:

* Time alone with God in a beautiful, restful environment
* Time to share experiences serving cross-culturally and their impact within a small group and individually with a trained debriefer
* Dedicated, age-appropriate debriefing program for children and teens (through grade 12)
* Wide range of recreation options

Engage AIM is held at AIM’s Headquarters just outside of Atlanta as a final evaluation in determining if AIM is a good fit for our candidates. The week will orient missionary candidates to AIM and provide an introduction to African culture, insight into the missionary life, and training for raising financial support. These events are held in March, June, and November, with an age-appropriate children’s program running in parallel. A final decision on appointment to AIM will come about week after the event. Other responsibilities will include being in touch with each of our families who have been appointed and work with them on their Education Plan.

I will also be in touch with each family who is in the US on their Home Assignment and work with them on updating their plans for their children’s education. I am looking forward to this time of reconnecting with families that I have worked with in the past and getting to know new families at the beginning stages of their career.

Bob and I attended Waypoint at the beginning of 2022 as participants and believe that it is a very worthwhile program. He will be with me this time around as well and helping as he can.

In June we were able to visit two of our kids and their families. Much of the month was spent with Ginny, Stephen, Luke and “Little Blue” Bracht. We enjoyed camping at the Grand Canyon and Ghost Ranch as well as time with them in their home in Albuquerque.

In the middle of that trip, we were able to spend about 10 days in British Columbia with James, Daphne, and Peter (with Luke and Ginny joining us for a few days). Being together was amazing, but the big highlight was that James was ordained as a priest in the Antiochian Orthodox Church! The music sounded like a heavenly choir and now James is further able to officially use the gifts that God has given him.

Otherwise, we are becoming reengaged in our sending church, Creekside Community Church, spending time with Bob’s mom who is now in a wonderful memory care unit in Gainesville, working on projects in Bob’s mom’s 64 year old house where we are currently living, and visiting our kids, grand kids and other friends.

July 22nd marked one year since Bob’s open-heart surgery. His cardiologist recently told him his heart was beating strong and steady. We praise God for his good health

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Tropical Agronomist