Rapid City: doing our last favorite things

Last Friday was our final day in Rapid City. We’d hoped to be completely packed and to just enjoy a day of fun. That wasn’t entirely the case, but we still crammed in about as many of our last favorite things as possible.

Earlier in the week, we visited Dinosaur Park with our pastor and his wife. Dinosaur Park is one of the places we visited the most during our four years in Rapid City. Located on a hilltop in the center of town and a free destination, the enormous dinosaur structures with great views of the city quickly became a favorite for the kids and us.

Tally’s Silver Spoon in the historic downdown for a delicious breakfast — my parents treated us to breakfast at Tally’s during their visit shortly after we arrived in Rapid and it has been a special place ever since.

One last trip creek walking at Rushmore Lions Nature Park — we are so thankful to have had such lovely places to play, right in town!

Squeezing in our final packing up! And, we even parked our truck overnight at one of our favorite places — our friends, the Haan’s house! Our very first neighbors and friends in Rapid City.

And the last, last favorite place – Armadillos Ice Cream Shoppe! Our kind neighbor gave us a generous gift card as a going away present and we definitely needed to use it ALL. So we each got our own sundae! Wow, they were delicious end to our Rapid City experience.

Leaving…the Black Hills, our home & our friends

After nearly four years in the Black Hills, we are moving on–with hearts that are both excited and sad. Completely thrilled at what is before us, but heart-broken at the community and home we leave behind us. Three years and eleven months is the absolute longest we have lived anywhere in the past 15 years, so for us it definitely feels like we have put down roots.

Our house sale closed on August 13th and we did our best to enjoy our home until the last. I sure loved that little house that we made into a home.

We were able to stay in Rapid City at a campground cottage for Jason’s last two weeks at work. A lovely space to stay and a great chance to spend just a little more time with all our special friends.

We hit the road very early Saturday morning — Jason with the U-Haul and me with the kids. Not sure who had the tougher drive? We headed West, returning to a previous hometown of ours: Moscow, Idaho.

Guatemala Bound!

We are selling our South Dakota home and moving to Guatemala to support missionaries who are directly caring for the needs of the local population. Eight years ago we had the opportunity to live in Guatemala for a year and quickly fell in love with the people, culture and landscape.

Life and family responsibilities pulled us in a different direction for a while, but we have continued to feel strongly about returning. This year, after much prayer and consideration we have decided to sell our home in South Dakota so that we could move our family back to Guatemala and assist missionaries working in the Lake Atitlan region.

We hope to move there in November 2021 and plan to primarily support our dear friends, the Deeds family, who will also be returning this Fall.

The Deeds family is returning to Guatemala to work with La Casa de la Paz, an organization supporting women/children living in domestic abuse or neglect.

We also hope to volunteer with the two more organizations:

Porch de Salomon (home construction and humanitarian aid to Guatemala’s indigenous population)

Cultiva International (providing garden education & square foot gardening boxes)

Guatemala is located in Central America, immediately south of Mexico and is the location of much of the Mayan civilization. According to the World Bank “Guatemala has the fourth highest rate of chronic malnutrition in the world with Indigenous and rural populations disproportionately affected. Chronic childhood malnutrition (and stunting) affects 47 % of all children under the age of five, 58 % of indigenous children, and 66 % of children in the lowest income quintile. In 2019, Guatemala ranked 68th in food security out of 113 countries, with only 40 % of Guatemalan families enjoying food security.”

Although we expect to support ourselves off the proceeds from our home sale, we could use help with the transportation costs of getting our family of four to Guatamala. We expect flights, ground transportation and covid testing costs to come to about $3,000 total. If you are interested in partnering with us financially, please visit https://gofund.me/1879a422