When I pictured our stay here in Richmond, I imagined a conference center in the downtown region. Not so. We drove out into the outskirts of town past farms and streams until we arrived at... the compound. I was not prepared for the security guard and gate, nor for the secrecy of this place. I guess there are missionaries who serve in closed countries and they want to protect their safety; I hadn't considered that before. After I got over feeling like a "Branch Davidian," I began to take in the place. It was like stepping into a dream world. There are globes, maps, flags, and international photography everywhere. Everything is decorated so uniquely with cultural artifacts. Yes, Melissa, the food is amazing! I had a Athenian salad today for lunch. A lot of people here just look like missionaries with their cool tribal skirts or unique clothes. I feel like I'm in the cool club here.
Yesterday was a pretty emotional day. I think it became more of a reality that we are actually moving and leaving comfortable things behind. I feel like I've been surrendered to this since a very young age, but EVERYTHING changes when you become a mother. I have been very concerned about how all of this is going to affect the girls (especially my little particular Haley Jane). It got worse yesterday when I flippantly asked a mom in the cafeteria what happened with the kids during our two month training. She explained that they would be in a preschool type setting every day from 8:00-3:00 (sometimes 5:00). I started to lose it. She went on to explain that, since we'd never put them in preschool, they would most definitely scream the first day, but they would eventually get used to it. Tears were falling onto my plate of barbecue and coleslaw. She told me I didn't have to go through with this whole missions thing if I really didn't want to.
I got myself together for the rest of lunch and the rest of the regional job presentations. We then went to a session for parents of dependent children. They let us see some of the facilities that our kids will stay in and answered all of our questions. During that session I began to feel like my kids were the luckiest kids in the world. Their classrooms are so rich with global awareness, and the teachers are amazing. There are clocks set for different regions of the world, a pseudo rain forest complete with parrots and animals, and even a life size blow-up of Lottie Moon for them to "size up" next to! I cannot imagine what kind of impact this environment will have on them.
We are now about to go to our BIG interview. Apparently most people come out of it crying. Anyway, any prayers for the next two hours would be much appreciated!!