After two years of bible school, another two years of missionary training, 7 months of linguistic training and over a year of support raising we felt very ready to leave for Asia Pacific. And after 6 years we were hopeful to be leaving in November; we got our passports and finished all the paperwork in order to get our visas.
But, the Lord is good and we can trust in His good plan for our family. August first was the deadline for submitting our visa applications but we hadn’t reached the level of support required. Because of that we are now moved back five months. Our new scheduled date to leave is April of 2013.
Many have pledged their support and we are very hopeful to make this next date. We have plans and are continuing to make dates to share our ministry. Several have shown a desire to start supporting us close to our departure date. We are so very thankful; however New Tribes requires that we be at or near 60% three months before our date to leave. This is because the in-country board that sponsors our visas can only get so many at a time. They want to make sure that when we come we are ready to stay there for the long haul. If we had to go home early due to financial hardship, it could hinder their ability to get visas in the future. While we want to be leaving now, we respect that requirement and see wisdom in spending more time at this point to see our support level go up. Currently we are at about 35% financially supported.
We understand that some who have just started supporting us may wonder what this setback means. Are five months of support just wasted? Absolutely not! Your support right now enables us to travel to churches and share the ministry. Between that and ministry at our church, we are busy full time. Your support is what we live off of even at this time. Please know that any support given is not being wasted! If our support level exceeds our expenses between now and April, it will go into savings for future ministry expenses such as travel, plane tickets, visas and prepping our new home in Asia Pacific.
Besides the anxiety of wondering whether or not we would be leaving in November, the past two months have been very busy but encouraging. We were able to work at camp for a week with 120 6th and 7th graders. We traveled a lot and had opportunities to present our ministry nine different times! We have been so blessed by those we’ve met and look forward to many lasting friendships. Traveling with the two girls has been getting easier, but it is always nice to get home. On one trip in July we got to stop at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Nicole absolutely loved it! We are now looking forward to spending a week relaxing at Family Camp with our church at the lake before hitting the road again.
Please pray that we would trust God and His perfect timing to get us to the field. Please pray also that God would continue to bring people along to partner with us to get the gospel to those who don’t have it.