You’re not alone. It’s easy to forget what in the world we are doing or where in the world we are. I don’t blame anyone, this journey began almost 9 years ago and we moved countless times. Here’s a timeline if it helps.
2007 – We met at Glen Eyrie in Colorado – missions was already in seedling form in our individual hearts
2008 – Started dating and thinking about missions together
2009 – Engaged in February and got married in September
2010 – Went off to Bible School in Michigan
2011 – Still in Bible School, but spent the summers interning at ABEFC in Colorado
2012 – Finished Bible School and headed to Missouri for cross cultural training
2013 – Graduated at the end of the year
2014 – Spent the year between Michigan, Colorado and California (while on our adoption journey)
2015 – March we landed in Asia Pacific and started learning the language, July- Finn was born!
2016 – Here we are!
BIG PICTURE: Our hearts desire is to be involved in bringing the truth of the Gospel to the unreached of Asia Pacific. We hope to one day seeing a people group transformed by God’s Message in their heart language, as well as a group of believers growing, thriving, and reaching out to those around them. (It feels so awkward to attempt to put that concisely and into a few small sentences.)
Why the island hopping? Java is usually just a good stepping stone to introduce new arrivals to the general culture here. Java hosts the majority of the population and uses the most formal forms of language as well, giving us a good foundation for our language study. Also, the Javanese are also known to be the most friendly and polite. But, really, if you want to work interior, you will probably be spending a fair amount of time in a city close to where you want to eventually end up (for supplies, breaks, medical, etc). For us, we felt that God was leading us toward Sulawesi. Each island is extremely different since this country is so vast and populated by hundreds of distinct people groups. It’s important that we get used to wherever we will spend the most time in the future.
What will your time in Sulawesi look like? We have 18 months to 2 years left until we finish up our language study. In the meantime we will be building relationships with the church in our new city as well as getting to know the lay of the land, its history, and its diverse people groups. Over time, we’re confident God will direct us to our future place of ministry. Usually, that doesn’t happen by just hopping in a plane, helicopter, or canoe and scouring the countryside for people, but instead you meet people in the city who are looking for work in town but are originally from a village interior. It’s relationships that help to open doors. We’ll also likely be working alongside other people from the church here, and it takes time for good friendships to be formed. Our language is just at that beautiful point where speaking isn’t so painful and friendship is possible. I can’t even explain how lovely it is to finally be getting to this point in language! To be able to fellowship with believers in a deeper way, will also be so refreshing.
Wait…Remember, this isn’t just about finishing this language and jumping into the “real” work later on. At this very instant, we are ever-so-slowly being transformed into the ministers that God wants us to be. We are learning what’s it’s like to persevere and walk with God. We are discovering more of who God is in every possible circumstance and how to trust him. God is continually unearthing more yuck that’s in our hearts and exposing it to the light.
So, even if you forget where exactly we are, you can assume God is at work in our hearts and that we need prayer! You can always pray…
That He would expose sin in our lives (sin ruins things incredibly fast!)
That we would be sensitive to the Holy Spirit and be quick to repent
That we would have eyes to see people and circumstances the way God does
That we wouldn’t play the blame game when things don’t go our way
That our hearts would be strengthened when life is just plain uncomfortable
That our marriage would be strong (if we’re weak here, everything else falls apart)
That we would have the diligence to daily feed ourselves God’s Truth
That we would draw from the true source of life rather than searching elsewhere
Thanks for coming along on the journey!