Photos courtesy of Ryan Prouty

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

We made it!

Jaclyn Pitcher, Alayna, and Briana Holt played as we packed. As you can see, Jaclyn and Alayna have a passion for dress up and found some "costumes" in Alayna's room!
Packing made a mess of the house!! Wow, were we grateful for the help we got!
The kids took a break for supper on the floor.
The moving van filled up and careful planning allowed almost all of our posessions to fit!
Our hearts were touched beyond words for the love poured out on us by all who helped us get packed and loaded and on our way to fulfilling our calling in Florida.

Wow, it has been a strange, long 11 days without internet access! We are realizing just how much we utilize it on a regular basis. Well, we are up and running finally here in Florida! Thanks for your patience. I will try to have a logical order to what we have been up to since we left. Paul, Gabe and Riley left on Friday the 13th with the moving truck early in the morning, hours before the interstate was closed. They made it to Atlanta that night. They stayed with my dad and stepmom and headed on, arriving in Venice Saturday early evening. Holden, Alayna and I drove to Mandy Mallicoat’s parents’ home that was so graciously opened for us when we knew we would have a difficult time getting to Moline due to the interstate closures. We detoured through Mount Vernon and made it to their home in less than 2 hours. We were up at 3:30 to get to the airport for the 5:55 am flight. Paul and the boys met us in Sarasota with our new to us minivan (just like our old one only white!). We went to the house we hoped to rent and got our first look at the home. We spent the next couple days looking at furniture we had found on Craig’s list and relaxing while we waited to be able to move in. We were allowed to move in on Wednesday morning while the owners moved out at the same time. We have spent almost every second since then becoming somewhat settled. I am desperate to paint some of the areas (and have permission to do so!), so we are not doing much with those areas, but the kids rooms are all fine and they even have window treatments up in their rooms! Most importantly, we have a guest room (aka Gabe’s room) all set up with a King size bed and its own bathroom and room on the floor for air mattresses and a pack and play!! We are ready for visitors!!! We are finding our way around the town and have visited 2 churches already. Of course none measure up to Grace (high standard!!), but we had really good teaching at one of the churches and the other had really good social programs and Bible studies in place for us and the kids. We will continue to search. The kids are at VBS this week at another church where they are teaching sports with their curriculum. That seems to be a major emphasis around here. Almost everyone we meet asks what sports the boys are involved in. We sheepishly answer that Gabe is the only one who has played on an organized team. People here are very warm and we have yet to meet a single person who hasn’t heard of Cedar Rapids, Iowa. They are all very sympathetic to the flooding you are all enduring in some form or another back home. It has been so hard not to know how you are all doing and how things turned out in Iowa City. We have heard a few blurbs on the news, but not much and no internet to check. We have spoken to a few of you and are grateful for the news you have shared with us. I would say that we are adjusting well so far. I was surprised that going to church was the hardest thing to do. I kept comparing where we were with where we left and felt the flaming arrows of the enemy as he dangled all I had given up to follow Christ, in front of me. I am most grateful for the recent sermon series and my ability to now recognize those as arrows and for the tools to extinguish them. The next hardest thing has been hearing about happenings around there that we are missing out on. I do hope that will get easier soon. God keeps placing confirmation of our call in front of us and has not failed to supply his grace when needed. We initially thought we would have to find a place to store all of our things until July 1, when the home we are renting was going to be available, but God worked on their hearts and not only did they let us move in, but they didn’t charge us any rent for the month of June. The moving company allowed us to keep the moving truck an extra 6 hours and didn’t charge us for it. We have met a family with a boy who will be in Holden’s class at school. We have met a family at one of the churches who lives in our neighborhood (I had prayed specifically for that one!). Please know that we hold you so tightly and regularly in our prayers and that our hearts ache at the loss of homes and businesses in the area. We continue to ask for your prayers for our family as well. Here are some specific requests:
1) We have not finished raising support and will need to figure out how to do that from here, or plan a trip back to complete it.
2) For our families as they process through this change with us including our kids and parents.
3) For new friendships in God’s timing and the patience to wait on His perfect plan.
4) For God’s direction in finding a new church home that has everything we are needing. For us to be open to His leading too!
5) For Sue and Burke Wasserman (we are renting their home) who unaware that God is drawing them to Himself through our rental agreement!

I have interviewed each of the kids, asking them what they would like to say to their friends back home. Parents please pass their messages along for them:
Gabe: It is nice and warm down here. My brother Holden is addicted to catching geckos and lizards. Where we are living right now has an orange tree and a grapefruit tree and we have a little pool in our back yard. The ocean right now is really warm and clear, but in the spring it is dirty and cold. I will miss everyone! I should say I do miss everyone! I miss you and I hope I will see you sometime, bye!
Riley: Hi friends! It is hot down here. The ocean is really sandy and dirty. I moved into a house with a swimming pool. It is not big. I have a bunk bed in my room and I sleep on the top with Holden on the bottom. My dad’s work will have a plane fly down to the island called Haiti and the Dominican Republic. I feel good about moving. I am going to a sports camp and I am learning more about soccer this week (through Venice Bible Church VBS), Holden is too. Gabe is practicing basketball at the camp too. How is the flooding doing? Has it gone back down over the 380 bridge? See you later, I hope to hear from you!
Holden: Cristina, you are a good friend! I have made some new friends and I hope you have a great time in Iowa. Victoria, I hope you have a good time with all the snow and stuff, I hope you have a good time playing with each other and playing games and make one or two more friends. Levi, I hope you have a good time with your brother and I hope you can have a fun time if you know where the North Liberty pool is. I got my letter Monday from you, I love you too!! Alex, I hope you have a good time with the snow and your brother and be in the snow and play in the snow, have a snowball fight, all kinds of stuff and have fun at school. I have been swimming a lot and I have been going to the beach and I have gotten to go swimming in our swimming pool a lot this year. I hope you are all having fun, bye my class, BYE! I hope you have a good time Ms. B!
Alayna: Victoria and Cristina, I never get to play in the pool with them, or play dress up or play with their tigers and jump in the pool with the girls with their swimsuits and hunt for geckos and butterflies. We play dress up and cook food and my brothers hunt for grapefruit (we have a tree in our yard with lots!). I got 5 shots Monday so I will be ready to go to school (on August 18th) with my brothers. I got an airplane ride to Florida, I liked it. I played with my stuff and my mom braided my hair and I had pretzels and orange juice. I slept the entire 2nd flight and woke up as we landed asking when we were going to leave! Dear Abby and Jaclyn, Ashlyn, and Amanda, I miss you, I never get to dress up with them, go to the pool with them, jump around with them, and never climb trees. Come see me soon!
Our package for internet/phone allows us to have FREE, UNLIMITED long distance also, so when you want to talk, give us a call and we will call you back to avoid cell minutes or long distance charges on your end! Email us for our address and phone number.


CihaPet said...

Hey Prachars!
Glad to hear all went so well... Then again, should we be surprised that HE takes good care of His Own?!?
God is good! Be blessed and a blessing in Florida (and beyond)!

Deb said...

Dear Alayna,
I miss you. How about I come to Florida and then let's dress up! I miss how you can dress up in my house.

McDill Family said...

Prachar Family,

We are very excited (but not surprised) to hear how God is providing for you all. We see it everyday as well. We are high and dry here in Cedar Rapids. We miss you all very much and we'll pray the Lord leads you to the church family He has for you.

Love, The McDills

Barb Wilson said...

Thanks for the family update. Glad you are starting to get settled in and I trust that you will soon find a church home as well. Grace is pretty hard to beat but God has a place for you and for your ministry!

Barb & Steve said...

Glad that you made it okay. We shall be praying that you soon find a church home. Grace is pretty hard to beat but it isn't about 'beating' it is about where you can fit in and use your talents for Him. Trust that you will be able to continue trusting Him to supply your every need. Miss seeing your family at Grace already.

Lisa said...

So glad you guys made it. I love reading your will find it is sometimes like therapy and a great witness too! :-) I'm a bit jealous of the sand, beach and pool pics by the way! I'll just have to keep reminding you of the lovely humidity we are having! YUCK!