Whew! A lot going on these days – here is the latest:
1. We now have an official countdown to Cambodia! We depart in 37 days, on Jan. 23, with five one-way tickets. Our travel takes us through Detroit, Seoul, and then Phnom Penh. It's roughly 27 hours total, with just three hours in the two connecting airports.
2. My 22-year career at Graves, Dougherty, Hearon & Moody, P.C. goes on an extended pause as of Jan. 1. I am grateful for the tremendous support and encouragement of my law partners as we prepare to head on this journey.
3. Thais and I will travel to Washington, D.C. on Jan. 8 for a week of training with IJM. We will be with many other IJM fellows who will soon be deploying to fight injustice on a volunteer basis in seventeen different locations around the world.
4. In January we will have two weeks in Austin for packing up and cleaning the house and packing for our year abroad – one week before D.C., and another after.
5. In perhaps the best news of the last month or so, the kids have all been admitted to attend a wonderful school in Phnom Penh -- the best and most affordable English-speaking option that was recommended to us by those in the field office where we will be working. It’s an accredited school that was set up for missionary families, with substantial discounts for those who are serving with a Christian-based NGO. The kids will have plenty of peers who are there for similar reasons, and the students originate from 30 different nationalities.
6. Our house is now on the market for lease. If you know someone who needs to rent a great family house just 5.5 miles northwest of downtown Austin for 10-11 months starting in late January, please let us know. Prayers appreciated for a quality tenant, and soon!
7. Every now and then, intense preparation throws you a curveball. A recent visit from a plumber resulted in an unwelcome discovery – rotting sub-floor boards under a hallway bathroom. Our 1950s-era cast iron tub was on the verge of making a most untimely descent through said floor boards. So, we now have demo work underway on a bathroom, with our house on the rental market and just days before Christmas. Perfect timing, right? No place like home for the holidays! The good news is that our lucky tenants will have a newly remodeled bathroom to enjoy!
8. Fundraising is going well so far, and we are so very grateful for your support. We are closing in on the halfway mark for the funds we will need for our volunteer fellowship work with IJM. Go to our "How to Help" page to make a donation -- the information is toward the bottom of the page. Thank you so much!
9. Thais has already gotten her shots -- Japanese encephalitis, typhoid, hepatitis, tetanus -- along with consultation about preventing malaria. The rest of us will soon follow, once the school calendar gives way to Christmas break.
10. Less than two months after it launched, www.kildayfamily.com has been visited more than 2,500 times, by more than 1,800 people, and with over 5,300 page views. (Wow!) We are so honored to be on this journey with you. Thank you for being with us, thank you for praying for us, and thank you for being our friends!
11. In addition to the "dialogue sermon" in late October, Thais and I have now given presentations about the fight against slavery and our fellowships with IJM to a number of different groups -- the law firm, our church, the combined children's Sunday school, and a gathering of Austin lawyers.
12. After weeks of planning for January while neglecting December, we finally started getting serious about Christmas yesterday. Tonight we are looking forward to an annual Christmas tradition for our family -- Ballet Austin's production of The Nutcracker. That should set the stage nicely for Christmas week.
That's it for now -- we'll stop at twelve. (And a partridge in a pear tree.) Have a very Merry Christmas week!