Late winter and into spring of 2010, I started blogging about our potential path to the mission field. Then in May I dumped our support letter onto the blog with little explanation. I've been absent from the blogger world ever since. Sorry.
We went to Rwanda for the last 2 weeks of May and it was an INCREDIBLE trip (my next post will be a copy of our letter with the details of the trip). In short, we plan to go back long-term. By the time we left there we were thinking that that is what God wanted us to do. But before announcing that to the whole world, we wanted to have confirmation from our church that they believed that we should be heading there. After all, they are the ones who know us best and ultimately would be sending us as an extension of the local church. We figured it would be a few weeks of conversations, then we would send a follow-up letter (hopefully) exclaiming that we were going to go back!
June came and went and the conversations with the church were sluggish, at best. July came and went with little improvement. We began wondering if they were hesitant about our call to ministry, despite the fact that the conversations that we HAD had were all positive. But we just couldn't seem to get a firm go ahead from them. Very discouraging. It left us both with little to say to anyone who asked follow-up questions about Rwanda. Everything seemed conflicted and in limbo and although we were both still excited about the ministry there, we just weren't sure what was going on. Hence the silence. No follow-up letter to the many, many people who prayed for us and even gave to help cover the cost of the trip. No blogging or posting on Facebook about it. Unless we were directly asked, we rarely even brought it up. We just didn't know what to say.
Finally, in early August, things started moving. We met with 2 of our pastors who enthusiastically said that the church was behind us in this. They had a plan laid out for us to minister in our community and in our church, and for them to mentor us in this preparation process. The waiting and confusion were more related to transitions that the church was going through and confusion that arose from that, and really didn't have much to do with us. It was SO encouraging to have that conversation. We really felt that if God wanted us to go to Rwanda, our church would be a part of that process. Having them finally join us in our enthusiasm for it just pulled everything together and confirmed what we already felt.
So what's next? We plan to apply with the mission board with the goal of being officially appointed with them in June. Being appointed just means that they have approved us to join their mission board, specifically with the Rwanda team. From that point, we will begin connecting with churches and individuals who want to come alongside us and partner with us as our "senders." We'll have a lot of money that needs to be raised and we'll want a lot of people to plan to pray for us. Once that process is complete, we get to go! That process tends to be about a year or so, though. So if you are following the timeline, it's looking like summer 2012 is when we might be actually heading to Rwanda, although I'm sure that timeframe will be adjusted as we go through the process and find that some things move faster or slower than planned.
Meanwhile, Luke is finishing up classes this fall and will have one major test in the spring to complete his master's degree. I am already a day past my due date with baby boy #2, so I plan to have my life turned up-side-down at any moment now. Little Ayden is completely oblivious to the million transitions swirling around him and is just enjoying life as a toddler in the summertime.
I should also note, another reason that I have been so absent from this blog is that I have felt like I needed to lay out where we are in the process (as I just did) before I could really just sit and talk about what I think about it all. So even though I've had thoughts that I might have wanted to post, it seemed too cumbersome to prepare all of the details first. So now I've gotten through that and I plan to post our follow-up letter that we mailed out a few days ago as well. So the story of it all should be up to date and now I can just post what I think about it.
So there you have it. I hope to make this a more active blog again, despite my lack of writing recently. It helps me process. It connects me to others. It seems fitting for me.
And we're going to RWANDA!!! WOO HOO!!