Driving east on I-40, we were about seven miles from our new home, I turned the wheel, steering our 12' Penske moving truck onto the ramp for Danny Thomas Blvd. Amber was trailing in our Buick Century with her mom in the passenger seat, my parents in tow and Amber's dad and his friend forming the caboose. The nerves and excitement were surging through my veins. My stomach was turning circles like a load of laundry. Are we really moving to Memphis?! What are we getting ourselves into?! We need you, Father!
We drove down Poplar Ave, passing familiar sites from previous visits. Amber turned into SOS headquarters to pick up the keys to our new home, a house we had only seen from Google Street View when we were mailed the address. I led the rest of the caravan down the street a couple more blocks to Collins and took a left. The excitement was building; we were almost there! We passed the home of Ms. June where our team worked this past Spring; the grass seed we planted had turned into a lush green yard! One more block. I turned left into our new neighborhood to find a quaint home with a front porch and a porch swing. Amber pulled into the drive just a few minutes later and in a rush of excitement we unlocked the doors and hurried inside to get a good look.
Our house is incredible! SOS has really treated us quite well. It is very clean and updated. Plenty of space. Hardwood floors and windows in every room. A spacious backyard with a fire pit. Right across the street from an active park where we have seen several kids playing soccer already.
Within minutes, Amber's new boss, Robert, arrived to welcome us to the neighborhood. Towering about eight inches over my head, Robert was super friendly and very hospitable. About 10 guys and gals from SOS and the BDC drove up to unpack our things and 25 minutes later it was all unloaded! A few other new friends popped in throughout the day to welcome us to the neighborhood and see if we needed anything. We have been overwhelmed by everyones kindness and hospitality. We were especially blessed to have our parents there with us to help us unpack and clean (your stuff gets kinda dirty while in storage for three months).
We took our parents out for dinner at Corky's before they left and dad said that the Memphis dry rub ribs were the best he'd ever had. The fresh peach cobbler wasn't too shabby either!
Philip, the director at SOS, and his wife, Kelsey, invited us to worship with them yesterday and then over for lunch with a bunch of folks who have worked with SOS summer staff in the past. We had a blast getting to know some folks our age, and to hear their stories about living in the neighborhood.
I've shared a lot of facts here, but in terms of how we are doing: we have faced occassional nervousness, but all in all, we are doing great! We are really enjoying Memphis so far! The people and the weather have been fantastic. God is good and he is with us.
More updates coming soon.