Spring has sprung! The Rouse’s love the warm weather, blooming flowers, and outdoor activities. But we hate the allergies that come along with it!!! This year we are trying to enjoy every moment of Spring with the idea that we only have a few more months left until we leave for South Africa. The past few weeks have been a lot of fun but super busy. Spanky ran his second Spartan race, Mac joined the social media realm (IG), Spring Break arrived just in time, we went to see our favorite band in concert, Lara is working hard on our silent auction event, and fundraising is moving along well!
Over Spring Break Mac had the chance to go to the mountains with some friends from church. From all of the stories that he has told us it was lots of fun! He went hiking, zip lining, shopping, junk food eating, stayed up late, and played games. I think his favorite part of the trip was saying up late and hanging out in a hot tub in the cold mountain weather.
Oh yea, Mac also got his own Instagram account. It’s a new season for us as parents but thankfully our first teenager is a remarkable guy, therefore social media doesn’t seem too scary…yet! His Instagram name is causing_wonder incase you may want to check out some of his posts. He chose that name because he wants his life to cause people to wonder, why is he different? I think it is a very accurate description of this young man. I am constantly in wonder of this guy, he is ridiculously awesome!
Spanky ran his second Spartan race with a team from our gym, Carolina Sweat. They had been training hard and it paid off. The team came in the top 5% of all teams and Spanky came in the top 2.7% of participants on Saturday. It was muddier than normal, cooler than he would have liked, longer than planned but invigorating! Next we are going to try another mud run as a couple in June! Couples that get muddy together….
Carolina Sweat Team – before the mud
My buddy Justin and I jumping the fire at the finish line!
Mac hung out with us old men but had fun
We found ourselves needing to take a break from the regular routines of life which is why we were so looking forward to Spring Break this year. Breaks like this one offer us the chance to forget bed times, ignore some of our responsibilities, soak up the sun and forget the diets. Spring Break 2017 was a success! On Monday we went on a nice looong (Elly, “I’m not going to make it”) hike up Crowders Mountain. We started the hike off with excitement and energy but come 6.5 miles later we were so glad to be in the car heading to Rita’s Italian Ice for a nice reward!
We also had the chance to head to the beach for 2 days with RuRu (Lara’s mom). We LOVE the beach! We are immediately refreshed by sitting on the beach with our feet in the sand. The weather was perfect but the water was freezing. That did not stop the kids though from going in head first. Our kids seem to have a different internal thermometer than we do.
An update on where we are in preparations and fundraising for our big move to South Africa…
We have begun to realize that our time for departure is coming near, and fast! We are thinking about and actively working towards selling our furniture and other home furnishings, applying for visas, figuring out plans for our home here in Piney Grove/Charlotte, ordering school supplies, picking out the limited amount of clothes we are taking and working on roughly 1 million other items that are on the check list. Even though Spanky helps others move over seas regularly as a job it never seemed like that big of an ordeal until we started going through it ourselves. There’s a whole lot of work that goes into it. We are constantly being reminded and are so grateful that God is at work for us.
Fundraising Update: Things were slow-moving for a few weeks even though we keep having great meetings with great people. During this time we were hearing from the Lord a lot and He was constantly shaping our hearts. Over the past two weeks it has really picked up and we are very thankful! Support raising initially was this dreaded necessary evil that we knew we just had to endure to pursue this passion of ours. Today we can say that we are actually enjoying it, well just a little more than we use too. We are grateful for the opportunity to share our story and passions with other people. The best thing about support raising, donor building, fundraising, or whatever you want to call it are the relationships that are formed, for sure! God is raising up people who have a real heart for our family, believe in us, and desire to bless us and be apart of what He is doing all over the world. We can’t express enough what this means to us and how this community fuels our tanks! If you are currently one of our “people” we say a HUGE thank you for playing such a great role in our lives and journey!
We are currently at 67% of our monthly funding need. We NEED to be at 100% by June 1st (FYI, that is my birthday if you didn’t know)! We have a bunch of asks out there that we are waiting to hear back on but are still needing to find a few more families, individuals, or churches that would be willing to support our family and ministry. PLEASE get the word out and connect us with those you may know! If you would like to become one of our partners you can learn how here.
In lieu of my birthday we are hosting a silent auction fundraiser on the evening of June 2nd at a fun venue from 6-10pm. Proceeds will go towards our set up and travel expenses. STAY TUNED for more details and an announcement coming soon!
Things you can join us in Prayer about:
- Decisions on what to do with our home. Rent it or sell it?
- Finishing up fundraising, 100% by June 1st
- Ears to hear, eyes to see, and hearts to know the Father’s leading in every plan and decision as we prepare to move
- Successful silent auction fundraiser and all the planning that goes into it.
- From our family’s prayer card, the letter J – joy: That we may be filled to an overflow of His joy. Romans 15:13