Over the course of our summer travels, there were some questions we were asked quite often. So if you’re one of the people who wanted to ask those questions but never got around to it, or have questions about the missionary life but don’t even know where to start asking… this post is for you!
1. ” What’s next???”
We have several moves ahead of us before the BIG MOVE to Tanzania in about a year. Here’s our tentative timeline:
– August: Move to Oklahoma for Asmara’s linguistic practicum with the Cherokee Indians. October: Move back to Missouri for John’s Greek class. December: 4-day road trip back to Spokane, WA. January – July: Live in the Spokane area to get ready and build our ministry team. August: Fly to Germany to be with Asmara’s family. September 2016: Off to Tanzania!
2. “Where will you go and what will you do in Tanzania?”
Our first 2-3 years will be spent in Dar es Salaam, the largest city in Tanzania. Our task there will be to learn the national language, which is Swahili, and the African culture. We will be living in our own home, in a Tanzanian neighborhood, go to language school for several months, have a one-on-one language helper, and a host family and a host church to guide us through this complex process of language and culture learning.
3. “And what after those first 2-3 years?”
What comes then is still unknown to us (but definitely known to our God!). One possibility is that we would move into a more remote location into a tribe that is considered unreached with the Gospel (which opens another big box of questions that I won’t address now). Another possibility is that we get involved with training national missionaries who could then be sent out. Bottom line: We don’t know :)!
4. “What about your kids?”
They’re coming with us, of course! We’re in this as a family and our children are and continue to be our most important ministry. We want them to be as involved as possible, learn the language, have Tanzanian friends, and learn to love our new “home.” Most likely, they will be in a preschool while we’re in language school for half the day. We are very excited about the educational options they have in Dar es Salaam once they’re old enough. We’ve already enrolled Judah in Kindergarten at Haven of Peace Academy (www.hopac.net), a private, Christian, English-speaking school in the city. If we leave the big city, chances are that we would transition to homeschooling, which I would be very excited about and consider a great privilege and opportunity.
5. “Aaaaand…you don’t make any money?”
Nope! At least not in the traditional sense :). As many missionaries around the world, we are going by faith and are supported by churches and individuals who are fulfilling the Great Commission as senders (and us goers could NOT do it without them!). They support us in prayer, logistics, encouragement, communications, and finances. It is a-m-a-z-i-n-g to see how the Lord has been building our ministry team and we are expectant as we look ahead to see how He will continue to open doors. As of now, we’re at about 31% of what we need financially. The grand total budget for our family of 4 is $6,800 per month. Seems like a lot, doesn’t it? Breaking it down sheds a little light on the amount: 30% Benefits (taxes, insurance,…), 35% Ministry expenses (materials, any travel costs,…), 35% Living expenses (food, housing,…). Lots of money in our eyes; peanuts for the God of all provision!
Please, please, please contact us if you have any other questions. We’d love to talk to you about our ministry. Until then, THANK YOU for being part of our journey already (you reading this blog makes you part of it 🙂 )