Hello from Lubbock!

Hello everyone, As the dust settles again … and again … and again. Last week the 2012 AIM class packed up and moved out of Lubbock on a windy, dusty day. For some it was a simple drive across town or a few hours but for others it was a drive or flight across the country. They will be spending a month or so at home before they start heading to their mission fields in May. Please keep them in your prayers as most have a little bit more support to raise as well as visas to apply for. However there are a few who are really in need of still finding the majority of their support so please pray for them and if you would like to help support one or have any ideas for them please let me know. Lubbock continues to grow and now we hear that we are getting several Steak and Shakes soon. Who knows what will be next. We were recently declared to have the worst weather in the country by the Weather Channel poll and also to be #6 in the country with violent crime (per capita) according to FBI statistics. Whether those are 100% accurate or not, it does say something about this place. I guess on the good side, the people here are great and I think some pretty significant things are happening here concerning world missions! When we look forward to the next AIM class coming in August all I can say right now is, Wow! It is shaping up to be a big class. We are slightly ahead in numbers (at this time of year) than we were a few years ago when we had 66 students so we could end up over 70! That should pretty exciting and we are really looking forward to it. It does create some challenges with housing, trips and travel, etc. So be praying that God provides all we need to handle it. We could sure use a nice bus so if you have any ideas let me know. The Sunset bus is just too old to use any more and chartering is just too expensive to make most of the trips realistic. I know the 2011 class is getting close to the time when some will begin to return back. I want to encourage all of you to make this the best part of your field time and not just to coast to the end. Spend more time with people in meaningful conversations and certainly get around to say thank you’s to everyone before you leave. There will be lots of mixed emotions when that time comes but one key ingredient to coming back and making it through reverse culture shock is to decide ahead of time that you are going to push through it no matter what. It also helps if you are coming back to some other focus as well such as college, jobs, etc. You will have to make up your mind to get plugged in at church and not flounder or float around without making any commitments. If you come back with the same attitude that you went to the field with, you will be fine … and that is that you know you will have to adjust to the new culture if you are going to be effective and feel at home. That same thinking applies to coming back too, so be humble! Please, please everyone be sure to be here for re-entry and your graduation next March! It is super important to everyone but I also believe very good for you too. To the 2012 class, we are super excited for you. Spend your time at home well because it will go by quickly. Make sure to love on your family since they will surely miss you. Let us know your plans and how things are coming along as well as when you finally arrive on your field. If things get tough or discouraging, remember to not leave God out of the picture! You walked by faith getting here, it will take that same willingness throughout the next 2 years as well. Your class picture is being framed right now and soon it will be hanging in the AIM office. We think of you often and know that you are prayed for! AIMing with you, Kris