Raleigh and Opal and their two children, Robbie (2) and Anna* (7 months) will be moving to North Africa later this year. Right now, on top of jobs and raising kids, they are working at fundraising and training and looking ahead to a year full of good-byes, changes, adjustments, and language learning. Without a doubt, they could use our prayers! We asked Raleigh and Opal to help us get to know them as they prepare to go. Thanks for encouraging them and lifting them up!
*Names changed for security
Hi Raleigh and Opal! First of all, where are you from originally and where are you now living and working?
Opal: I grew up at Turkey Run Mennonite Church near Logan, OH. As a junior in college I transferred to Eastern Mennonite University, met Raleigh through his sister, and eventually married him! We’ve lived in Harrisonburg most of our married lives, excluding a year we spent in the Middle East.
Recently, our family went through some changes, and I now work while Raleigh stays with the children. We are really enjoying this transition. I work as an instructor at EMU in their Intensive English Program and love interacting with students from around the world. Before the recent change, I spent three years in graduate school and in the life-giving work of raising our two children.
Raleigh: I grew up in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley. My dad was a pastor at Dayton Mennonite Church, where I spent my formative years. I’m thankful for the many friends—both peers and mentors—who nurtured me at Dayton and continue to bless me with their friendship and encouragement.
The last three years I’ve been the executive director of a grassroots Christian organization in Harrisonburg called Our Community Place, which seeks to love the people on the fringes of society. It was an incredible time of growth and learning as my staff and I sought innovative ways to bring the gospel to life, build trusting relationships in community, and effect healthy transformation in individuals’ lives. Presently, I am very much enjoying my new role as stay-at-home dad for my two lovely little children! My oldest calls me “Baba,” which is Arabic for “Daddy.”
Continue reading "Getting to Know Raleigh and Opal " »