Monday, July 02, 2007

The Goodbye's Begin

While our projected date of departure for Scotland isn't until Septemberish, our renters will be moving in soon, which means we'll be leaving our home, our neighborhood, and our beloved Churchill. Below is a letter I wrote to our immediate neighbors, but the same sentiments go out to all of our Churchill neighbors. Thanks to all of you for making this a great place to live!

Dear Neighbor and Friend,

It’s with joy and sadness we write this farewell letter. After a year and a half of planning and preparation, we are getting very close to the time we will move to Scotland for 2 years. In case you don’t know the details, we’ve been raising funds to live and work in Dornoch, Scotland. We’ll be working for a church that is in a partnership with the church we attend here in the metro Richmond area. Mainly we’ll be assisting with the church’s service to the children, youth, and young adults of the town. We’re hoping for an early September departure date, but the exact date has not been set.

We’re very excited about this opportunity, but we are heartbroken to have to leave our home in Churchill. This is the first home we’ve bought, and we didn’t know what to expect of Churchill or of our immediate neighborhood. I can assure you, our expectations have been exceeded far beyond what we could ever imagine. You have all had a huge impact on our lives here. From the simple hello’s from across the street, to the quick catch-up conversation in passing during dog walks, to talking about the significant aspects of each others lives: being a part of your lives has been a huge blessing in ours.

When we first moved in, we were one of three occupied homes on our block. You can imagine our excitement when, in the first month, we saw a moving truck bringing us another neighbor. Now, after 2.5 years, there are only 3 vacant houses left, with two of those under renovation! I think that’s pretty significant. But the changes we’ve witnessed don’t end with the houses. We’ve seen a new litter of puppies, a couple of marriages, and 3 new babies (with one on the way!), all within a three-block area.

The sense of community here is amazing. I’ve bragged, countless times, about my “awesome neighbors,” and the way everyone looks out for one another. That was one of the first things that I noticed, and have not once been disappointed. We've learned how much better living in a community like this one is, compared to the suburbs. Now, after living here, and with neighbors like you, we know that the city is where our hearts are.

We will be back in a couple of years, and we can’t wait to see how much the neighborhood will have changed, as well as see all of you again! Please feel free to contact us and keep us updated on the happenings of Churchill, and our little corner of the neighborhood!
-James and Jennifer

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