97.81 %

Just received my update for the week. I am officially at 97.81%, which means I am $32 in monthly support away from reaching Beirut (having a grand total of $768 left to raise overall). Thanks for your prayers, they are still needed at I wait for the rest of the finances to come in and prepare to make this step to Lebanon.

One a side note, I have several friends here in the States that are recovering from and facing some major health issues. For the sake of privacy I will not list names or problems, but I will ask that you keep them in prayer. God knows their needs and our hearts, so lets lift them up and expect great things.

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Musings from Panera


Well, things are looking rather good for a Spring arrival in Lebanon. There is still much that has to be done before I take flight to Beirut. Its cold, raining, snowing, sleeting, and otherwise overcast here in Lynchburg today. I am sitting in Panera, my "mobile office", drinking coffee as I write this.

I am now in the process of working on securing the visa for my time in Lebanon. In the past I've been able to enter using a tourist visa, which can be gotten at the airport cheaply (free) and easily. Since I will be in country for the next 2 years I must have a different type as well as a residence permit. I don't expect this to be too difficult to acquire but you never know. There are many people involved and we all have to be in sync. I'll be in DC next week and I'd love to be able to do this in person, at the Lebanese Embassy. If that isn't possible I'll be forced to mail in my passport to the embassy, something I'd rather not do. Note: I've gotten word on the proper way to go about this and it is a lot less complicated than I thought it would be. Please keep this in prayer, that it goes smoothly, but I don't have to do it in person or mail out my passport :)

Searching for great deals on flights to Lebanon has been another item on my agenda. I've found some good deals but they don't always match up with my needs (too long a flight, layover, or through geographic areas I'd rather not lug my suitcases through). I am not sure how or what I will pack. The basic items I have to take are clothing, books/resources, and computer. Sounds simple but I am trying to figure out what goes and what stays. Everything I need for daily life can be gotten in Lebanon, so I won't have to pack many of those items. It probably sounds funny for a man to say this but one of the biggest challenges I'm facing is how many pairs of shoes to pack! Hiking books, sports shoes, rock climbing shoes (must go, not an option to leave), dress shoes, etc. Two years (and praying for a lifetime) of travel-packing is much different than two weeks.

Great news!!! My monthly support is pretty much at 97%, a rather significant jump from the 76% level I reported in the last update. I am about $1056 away from meeting my total budget for two years, which breaks down to a monthly need of $44/mo.

Support and Contacts
During the next few weeks, amidst the preparation for leaving and all that goes along with it, I'll be making contact with some business and churches. I hope that those contacts will be a pool of prayer support as well as future partners for continued work in Lebanon after the next two years are completed.

As I said earlier, I will be in DC for a few days next week and between now and April I hope to make it down to Danville and North Carolina to catch up with friends. If you're going to be around those areas and want to catch up let me know...if you're going to be in Virginia anytime soon and want to catch up let me know as well. I still have two more sessions of climbing class and am considering taking a third course, three Wednesdays in March, that will focus on movement. The blisters and pulled muscles from previous classes and times at the gym are all healed up, I guess I think I need some more.

Stay tuned for more details, as soon as I hit 100% funding I will let you all know.

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Februrary Newsletter and Update, "On the Edge"

Here is my current newsletter. I'll also be emailing a copy out here soon. The three images are in jpg format, each image representing a page in the newsletter. Here is a copy in PDF format you can download. If you download the PDF version and want to print it you need to make sure you scale to paper size (I've cheated some on the margins). The PDF version is a little different than the one pictured below, there have been a few editorial tweaks, but the content and message is the same.

If you want or need additional pledge cards click here (PDF format)

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So long and thanks for all the fish ;)


Almost 10 years down this road, hard to believe. I joined up with the City of Lynchburg and Opportunity House back in 1999 as a relief worker. Quickly I moved from relief to permanent part-time, and then to full time youth counselor. In 2004 my role changed once again as I took over the youth & family caseworker position, which I am currently holding until I leave the office today (Feb. 5th).

I cannot say that it has been easy, we've moved several times and had many changes over the past few years, but we survived. The skills and endurance I've acquired while working here will help me greatly as I work with the children in Beirut. One of the things I tell the kids here (when they ask) is I hope to be able to help them develop a new perspective and look at things differently. I feel this will transfer well to Lebanon also. Although the details are often quite different the challenges at-risk children face in Lynchburg are not too terribly dissimilar than those experienced in Lebanon and in other parts of the world.

Not sure what the future holds but I do know where I have come from.

(The above photo was linked to from the City of Lynchburg's website. If I am not mistaken I may have been the photographer)


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