Although I am by no means counting down my time left in Manila just waiting to “get home,” I am aware of the fact that 10+ months (of our “give a year and pray about a lifetime” commitment) in the Philippines means 1.5 months until we return to the States. I’m so thankful that school ends a month before we need to wrap things up to allow me to be completely present my last few weeks of school without trying to pack up and finish school all at the same time. May is a FULL month for Alex and me as it is! Nevertheless, in the back of my mind, I’m starting to think about the most efficient ways to pack our stuff as we return to the states, the goodbyes we’ll have to say on this end, and the catching up we look forward to doing on the other end. Here are some of what I will miss and what I look forward to:

What Betsy’s looking forward to: Seeing and catching up with family and friends (hint, hint ; ) Chipotle, Jimmy John’s, iKiwi Farmer’s Market fruits and veggies Temperatures below 80 degrees (more fall and spring than winter : ) Downtown Naperville Riverwalk, Wheaton Bible Church path, Herrick Lake paths, Hubble Middle School’s fitness center A bathroom sink that fits my huge hands, has water pressure, and in which i can wash my face without bumping it on a shelf ; ) Liberty Street lined with trees on both sides Driving an automatic car A trip to Chitown with a walk to Millenium Park

What Betsy will miss: The Faith community, APMedia staff, neighbor Mao, and other friends we’ve made here in Manila The friendliness of Filipinos Having the grocery store in the mall Back porch full of beautiful tropical plants Faith pool for swimming laps and campus 1km route for walking Aqua kitchen cabinets with glass doors and full windows in the back Flowers blooming year round Lack of cold weather Filipinos’ gratefulness and generosity, as well as emphasis on the group and on relationships

For the curious, our plans upon returning to the states are flexible and often changing. ; ) It looks, however, like my parents and sister will come to visit us in the Chicago suburbs upon our return. (Thank you, Regenfi!!!) Alex and I plan to return to our townhouse in Aurora, I will teach at CUSD200 in some capacity, and Alex will be launching a new division of LyonTamer Productions. Have grace and patience with us, as we don’t know exactly what the transition back to the suburbs will hold. What we do know is that in the difficult times as in the mountaintops, our God is with us. He goes before us. He will never leave us or forsake us. He protects us from behind. He has a plan. And no matter what, we want to be in the center of His will for our lives! We will be taking the first few months back in the states to continue praying about God’s plan for our future. Please pray with us for wisdom and clarity.