Hi friends, I've gotten the hint that a few of you may be interested in an update on us Westons. I'm home sick from work today, too ill to do my job, cough cough, but not too incapacitated to write, so hopefully this will work out well!
By now most of you know that we are living in Sacramento and Gary is doing full time school. We made the move at the end of last October, after four months of house hunting in the Sacramento area. The timing aligned fairly well: our housing in Concord was no longer available, Molly was heading out on her mission trip, and Gary's fall semester was starting up at the Sacramento campus of Western Seminary.
We found a home in the Natomas area that looked like a great deal - unfortunately we were outbid in cash and had to start the search over. We ended up purchasing a 2 bed 2 bath home, also in Natomas. What with the housing market crash, combined with our saved down payment, our mortgage is less than half of what we were paying for our first home. That is definitely a blessing while Gary is in full time school! We're probably a couple of miles from the apartment that was our first newlywed home, and the house we had owned prior to the World Race. We are adjusting to the smaller living quarters and looking forward to summertime BBQs on the gorgeous back patio. I just last weekend unpacked the last box in the house - a victory in and of itself! (Our garage will be the next project to tackle...) Our Shih Tzu, Billy, has a chair set up by the front window where he loves to lay and watch the neighborhood goings-on. We are walking distance from the power line easement that runs through the neighborhood, and it's got a good paved trail that is perfect for walking the dog on good weather days. We have met several of our neighbors and are developing some good relationships. The neighborhood is incredibly diverse, which I love, and most of the residents have been here over ten years.
We have found a church in the area that we've been attending: Gateway Fellowship, pastored by Mike Phillips, which has been a good place for us to land and get involved. Gary and I have been enjoying a Sunday afternoon adult small group, led by the pastor, and Molly has been getting involved with the thriving young adult ministry. A fun fact for us is that Pastor Mike had been close to our former pastor, Darrin Sligar, during the Jacob's Well days. In that sense, Gateway feels like extended family that we are just now getting to know. Gateway is a Christian and Missionary Alliance church, with a high priority placed on supporting missions. Another Gateway distinctive is their commitment to the Spanish speaking community. English and Spanish services are held simultaneously, and once a month the two congregations merge to share a powerful time of communion and worship!
Molly continues to be a valuable part of our lives and we feel so blessed to have her in our home. She first moved in with us a year and a half ago for a summer of discipleship, and since then we have grown into a family. She had spent over a year preparing for the mission field and departed last September for missions team training in Mexico. During the training, she had to unexpectedly return home for health reasons, and though she recovered quickly was told by her organization that she would not be allowed to return on that particular trip. Since then, the program she had signed up for has been discontinued.
A career on the mission field, hopefully in Africa, continues to be Molly's passion and goal, and we are praying with her about when, where, and how that will take place. In the meantime, she is optimizing her time at home by studying at a local community college for her EMT Basic certificate. She has been extremely diligent in her studies and is at the top of her class! I am excited for her that once she does return to the mission field, she will be equipped with skills in the medical field that I'm sure will be a blessing to many.
Gary is now in the latter half of his M. Div. degree program through Western Seminary. He is currently studying church history, theology, and evangelism, and at any given moment will be found reading yet another book! With the move back to Sacramento, he's had the opportunity to jump back into a weekly men's breakfast he had participated in five years ago. The group has shifted somewhat, but the core members are going strong! Gary will also soon have the opportunity for some part-time work as the Driver's Training school he worked at in Concord is expanding into the Sacramento region. I know you are all jealous of those high school kids that get to do their training in the bright blue DriversEd.com mini-cooper!
Overall, life feels as if it's whizzing by... It's frustrating at times to still be in the middle of transition and wonder where we will be two years from now, but we are surrounded by so many blessings that I have to just remind myself to keep taking it one day at a time. One thing is for sure, we're not bored!