To Beirut....

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I meant to totally update this a little earlier but I've been sick since March 28th...a cold I think but it was enough to put me in bed for a while and I've been forced to take it easy. It has only been in the last week that I've had the strength and been able to breath well enough to resume rock climbing again.

Well, the news that I was going to post (see last update) was that I am at 100% support and will be leaving soon, like April 17th soon. 10 days left and counting until I leave for Beirut. People have been asking many questions, perhaps the most common ones being, "Are you nervous?" or "How does it feel to be leaving so soon?" I haven't really been nervous other than the normal stress felt during a move or a new job being attempted. What I will be doing in Lebanon will be quite similar to what I was doing in Lynchburg, with less court involvement and more counseling. So, what am I feeling now that the date is steadily coming up? I feel a bit like a student who had all semester to work on a paper but chose to complete it on the night before it was due...yes, I spent far too many nights in college and grad school doing this, old habits die hard. I still have a few legal things to work out (will, power of attorney, etc), some financial preparations to make, and pack. I have a feeling that the packing will take place on the 15th and 16th. I also feel a sense of completion and expectation. The year long journey of fundraising and gaining support has been completed and the page is turning from preparing to leave to actually leaving. The sense of expectation lies in the days leading up to the departing flight and arriving in Beirut.

What do the last few days of being in the States hold?
Rock climbing...though not the main activity it is something I will be doing almost daily until I leave. I'll be going home for Easter to visit family and supporters (and drop off stuff that I am unable to take with me to Lebanon). Next week I am going to try to catch up with some friends and supporters and finish up my pre-departure to-do list. If all goes well I will be in Beirut on April 18th.

How can people pray for you?
Travel: This Friday I am taking some stuff back to my parents' house, I am praying for nice weather (no rain!) so I can put all of it in the back of my truck. I am also praying for nice weather on the 17th so I can take all my luggage to DC in the back of my truck too. The layover is short and the overall travel time is only about 16 hours, from Virginia to Beirut...I will be taking at least 4, probably 5 bags of clothing, books, and resources with me so here's hoping and praying it all gets there in one piece.

Work: Once in Beirut I will pretty much hit the ground running, so I will need to start connecting with the kids and developing a system to manage my time with them. Between the population of the school and the residential program my caseload is going to be close to 10 times what my maximum caseload at Opportunity House was, so I will be busy. Part of my job description is to teach a bit (social skills and stuff like that) and do some groups. While at Opportunity House I have to say that I was pretty adept at avoiding group work, so this will be a growth period for me as I will not be able to avoid this.

Children: The children we serve at Dar el-Awlad come from a variety of backgrounds and cultures with different needs, hurts, and personalities. My experience has been with teenagers for the past 10 years and this will be the first time I have any real exposure and contact with younger children...so I have to be able to adapt and be willing to bend even more than they do.

Staff and Missionaries: Anytime there is an addition to a system (family, school, friends, work, etc) there is a period of adjustment. There are two new missionaries arriving to Dar el-Awlad, so the established order will need to adapt to new personalities and the new arrivals will need to adjust to those already there. Please pray for a smooth adjustment period for all of us. Love covers a multitude of sins...

Future: As I prayed and sought to work with Kids Alive it was my intention to find a way to serve and live in Lebanon long term. The desire to remain in Lebanon beyond my initial two years of service is still strong and still something I am praying for. I don't know what these two years will bring, so please join with me in praying that God gives me direction while, that He makes Himself present to the children, families, and people I will encounter. And...for me to remember that in all things God is in control, it is about Him and not me, and that with all I do He be seen.

Support Team: I have a great support team that has given (often sacrificially) of their time, friendship, resources, and finances. Please pray that they would be blessed and continue to be an active part of the work I am privileged to share with them.

I have changed my mailing address and will be receiving mail at my parents' house, that address I will send out in an email update here soon. If you want to send mail or anything to me in Beirut you may use the following address...

Kahlil Pfaff
c/o Dar el-Awlad
P.O. Box 64
Mansourieh
El Metn
Lebanon

Once I arrive I will obtain a Lebanese phone number, which I will provide via an email update. My American number will only be used to send text messages and I will terminate it once I have a local number in Beirut.

You can use this link to send me an email or message if you don't already have a way to contact me.

Thank you for your prayers, patience, friendship, and support. This past year has been a journey and I am excited to see where it leads.

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