There are a lot of things going on in my life, and I haven't spoken to a lot of you since many of these new developments. So, this is a catch-all update blog. Hopefully this will prevent me from forgetting to tell someone something important and telling someone else twice instead.
Item 1 - Friends.
Jason and Ryan are both out and doing very well. It is crazily wonderful to have them around again. Ryan is working at the car dealership with my Dad and Jason is working a few different jobs, still looking for something dependable and steady. Both are saving up for a place to live. Jason just bought a car and Ryan is still trying to save up enough money to get his driver's license reinstated. Please continue to pray for them as they adjust to life outside the walls and try to carry their responsibilities with honor, integrity, and strength and love rooted in Christ.
Item 2 - Residence.
My sister and I are buying a house! I think most of you probably knew that already. We were supposed to close yesterday, but our mortgage basically exploded over the weekend (while we were both out of town) and we had to run around like crazy people all day yesterday trying to fix everything. Hopefully, we are all set at this point and lack only the final walkthrough. We are supposed to close Friday afternoon, and we'll be moving all day Saturday (the 10th). In true Smith fashion, we began packing last night! Feel free to come lend a hand! :-)
Item 3 - Work.
My job at ProVision is going well. I have two more months in which to finish my orphan care research and write a large document detailing my findings. I just got back from the Christian Alliance for Orphans Summit last weekend in Ft. Lauderdale. It was incredible to be around people who are passionate about the same things I'm passionate about. And it allowed me to soak in information from people who have been doing this for longer than I've been alive, which is always a great resource. I could write a series of blogs about the conference alone (in fact, I might post my summaries later). My work is also moving offices, which means that I not only have to pack and move everything at my home, but also at my office. ha ha
Item 4 - Future Work.
Details are still being nailed down (which makes me nervous, as I'm a habitual planner), but the plan is still for me to begin working full time with One Vision International in July. If you are interested in financially supporting the administrative needs of this organization (i.e. my salary), please contact me for more information on how you can do so. There are also many opportunities to get involved with One Vision, including pancake breakfasts, a golf tournament, and of course, tons of different mission trips happening this summer! Let me know if any of this peaks your interest!
Item 5 - Family.
My grandfather passed away last week after a long and painful battle with cancer. He loved the Lord with all his heart and was a faithful servant, loving husband, and incredible grandfather. His love for us, his passion for the gospel, and his unremitting sense of humor will be deeply missed. But we are thankful that he is no longer suffering and is with his Lord, Savior, and Treasure Jesus Christ. Desiring God had a great blog this morning about the death of the apostle James, and it really helped me as I think about my grandfather and his life. I was unable to go to the funeral because of the conference (a very, very difficult choice for me), but my family told me that he was buried with one of his favorite books that I bought for him. Even though I know material things mean even less now than they did when he was alive, it helps me feel closer to him.
Well, I'm trying to think of anything I've forgotten, but I'm coming up blank. My sister and I are both under a lot of stress right now, so if you get a chance, say a little prayer for us! I'm sorry if I've missed any of your calls recently. Hopefully this helps explain (though not excuse) my recent lack of communication. Leave me some love!! Yes, I equate blog comments with love. I'm high maintenance and irrational like that. :-)