July 9th, 2014. Looking at my calendar, I see that July 9th will be a Wednesday this year. It’s the 190th day of the year and the 19th day of (official) summer. It will mark the births of OJ Simpson, Tom Hanks, Courtney Love, and Fred Savage… as well as that of a plumber named Mario, who first appeared on July 9th in a game called Donkey Kong.
Oh: and July 9th is also the day that our family will depart for Mexico!
Since beginning this season of partnership development, the timing of our departure for Mexico has been a big question mark. We knew that we were required to wait until at least 75% of our support budget was coming in each month… but we did not know when that would happen (and still don’t!), so there was no date circled in red on our family calendar.
Yet over the past four weeks, we have seen God clarify His timing for this transition in many ways – often surprising and unexpected!
- Another missionary couple, Don and Chrissy Chubb, are also heading to Mexico this year! Our leadership in NTM-Mexico has asked us to arrive at about the same time.
- The lady who directs our field orientation program will be in the United States this summer, limiting how early we can practically leave.
- With the exciting news that Amy is pregnant with our third child in late September, we are also limited in how late we can reasonably go! If we could not arrive in Mexico by early August, we would need to wait several months.
There are many other factors in play, and we certainly don’t have answers to all of the questions yet! But let me try to fill in a few more blanks by answering some questions you may now have:
July 9th? How firm is that departure date?
It’s fairly solid, actually! There are a few details to work out, because we want to use our journey to Mexico as an opportunity to meet with friends and partners along the way. We will also need to ensure we have enough time in El Paso to prepare for crossing the border, and enough time in Chihuahua to prepare for our new baby!
Therefore, if our departure date were to change… we would likely leave a week or two earlier than July 9th. Otherwise, it seems we’re set! 133 days and counting…
Will it take you long to get from Spokane to Chihuahua?
With our travel plans involving so many stops along the way, we anticipate being on the road (and in El Paso) for up to a month before crossing over into Mexico. We will also be towing a trailer as we travel, and expect that this will slow us down significantly! We hope to refine this estimate significantly over the weeks and months to come.
Does this mean you now have 75% of your support coming in each month?
No, we don’t. Reaching 75% of our budget is still a requirement we must meet before our travel plans can become official, and we are still about $850/mo short of that mark (much less the 100% mark we ultimately will need). Yet God faithfully continues to build our team of partners in ways that have nothing to do with us! We see His hand at work in all of these details coming together, and are confident that He will provide for all of our needs as we go in His timing.
How can we pray for you guys right now?
I am so glad you asked!
- There is a ton of work to do preparing for the logistics of this transition… including planning, sorting, packing, ‘paperworking’, scheduling, and even a few forays into uncharted waters (like purchasing a cargo trailer, and upgrading our Chevy Uplander with the ability to tow it!). Please pray for wisdom and clear guidance from God regarding all of the details.
- While those projects come into focus, our current work continues! Pray for us as we continue sharing our ministry, teaching our kids, serving in ministry opportunities, calculating our taxes (!!!), and more. In particular, please pray for Amy as she keeps all her work in balance with the needs of her pregnancy!
- Finally (for now): God has recently brought our family to the attention of several churches who are interested in how God is using us. We have not pursued any of them; they are the ones coming to us! Please pray for God to lead each clearly as they consider partnering with us. Every church that chooses to pray for and encourage us is a really big deal… far above and beyond any financial impact they may have on our support level!