I am SO excited in so many ways to FINALLY be writing this post! A lot, and I mean a lot, has been happening over the last two months, and weeks in particular, and I am glad I can finally share it with all of you!
Since getting married almost seven years ago, Ryan and I have been through our fair of major life changes. We have:
- turned down a good paying job in Japan to take low paying jobs in Hungary
- had a baby in Hungary
- accepted a job in Ottawa, Canada the day before we left Hungary
- had a baby in Ottawa
- Ryan started grad school
- moved ‘home’ to Oregon to pay for grad school without loans
Each step in our journey has been one of faith and with each step we see that God is infinitely more faithful than we are. We also see that the next step always requires more faith.
This year in Oregon has been extremely faith building. God has called us to have faith in him time and time again. We never knew if we were going to be able to make the next tuition payment (we made every one) and we waited and waited and waited for an internship to come together.
While it became easier for me to trust that God would somehow provide the money for tuition, I’ve had a hard time believing that he would bring an internship together. I feared we would end up stuck in our small town for the rest of our lives. Irrational, I know, but that’s what fear does to me. It’s not pretty.
Before Ryan started the program it seemed like he had an internship in Cyprus and it become more certain as time went on. But in the fall the situation changed and it fell through. Stuck back at square one Ryan began searching as much as he could between working full-time, studying full-time and, oh, you know, being a dad and husband. No real options came up and eventually the search was put on the back burner while Ryan focused on finishing classes.
In March we met with a missionary from Ryan’s childhood church. We knew he was well connected and thought he might know someone (or at least know someone who knows someone) who might be able to help.
He put us in contact with a man who works in the Balkans, the region of the world we want to live in. That man wrote a Macedonian colleague he thought might know of some options for us.
He wrote back to the first man and said that his foundation would be willing to have Ryan as an intern, though they wouldn’t be able to pay him. The first man forwarded the email to us.
Ryan wrote to the man in Macedonia right away, saying he was very interested in the internship and that he wanted to start figuring out the details.
He didn’t hear back.
Several weeks later he wrote again.
He didn’t hear back.
He wrote again.
By this time I’m panicking. It was June and Ryan was at school in Victoria and he was the only one in his cohort who didn’t have something lined up for the next year. He had to start the internship by the end of September so we didn’t have a lot of time.
Then one of the students told Ryan she could get him an internship in Rwanda and a couple of days later had one lined up.
If I was panicking before I was hysterical at this point. There are four things I’ve told God I will NEVER do: 1) raise financial support (Ryan’s getting his MA so he can get a paid job) 2) live in Africa (visit: YES! live: HELL NO!) 3) homeschool (I want to enjoy my children) 4) adopt (it’s too high of a calling for me).
It already seemed like for Ryan to do an internship #1 was inevitable and now #2 was looking like a real possibility (and I knew #2 would lead to #3 and #4).
After a lot of prayer both Ryan and I were okay with pursuing the internship in Rwanda. If that was where God wanted us to go, we were willing (and I would do my best to not go kicking and screaming). We decided Ryan would email the man in Macedonia one more time but if he didn’t respond quickly, we would go to Rwanda.
I prayed so hard for an answer to that email.
Ryan got a different email address and this time he got a response within two hours. The other emails had gone to spam and the man wanted to talk on Skype the next day.
They talked and Ryan knew it would be a good fit for him and for our family. He’s going to set up a program that will bring kids from the various ethnic groups together to play sports and build relationships that will ease tensions between the groups. It’s exactly what he wants to do.
After so many months of not knowing, of uncertainty, of limbo, we know. We know where we’re going. We know where our next ‘home’ is going to be.
I was so excited I even forgot that we-won’t-have-an-income-for-six-months. Pfff. WE’RE MOVING BACK TO EUROPE!
But, yea, about that whole no income thing…
We are raising support. It’s very humbling for me but even in the very short amount of time we’ve actually been doing it, I am seeing God’s faithfulness in amazing ways. We just launched an Indigogo campaign and we are trying to raise $6,000 through that avenue. Please check it out and consider giving.
We’ve got a lot ahead of us, besides the money. We plan to leave in early to mid September and, oh man, life is crazy. But it’s (mostly) the good kind of crazy.
The exciting crazy.
The ‘we’re actually doing this!’ crazy.
The ‘are we crazy? crazy’
The faith-building crazy.
And that’s where we want to be: where our faith can grow.