It’s been a crazy time for us this last while. Our plans have undergone a bit of an adjustment in light of new opportunities in front of us. I was about to write all about it, but since this has already been done for a newsletter we just sent out, it seems unnecessary to write it all over again. Therefore, I’ve pasted the text below which gives a good description of what we are looking at. More details and posts will be upcoming as things unfold. Thanks for following along with us!
Fundraising and otherwise preparing to leave as a missionary is, most of the time, a ‘steady as she goes’ journey. But every once in a while a week comes along that stands right out. These are the fun ones to talk about!
In the middle of our preparations for Italy a new offer has come along, this time to spend some time in London, England working with a church as it seeks to develop leadership for its youth program. In exchange, we would receive a place to live and a small allowance.
Our first response was to dismiss the idea. We are after all called to Italy. Wouldn’t London just be a distraction?
But as we thought about the offer, it began to make some sense, like maybe the Father has had something in mind all along…
First, although not Italy, London is a lot closer than British Columbia, which may be a bit too obvious to count for much. But it does mean that we will have access to Trieste for not much money (€33), which will give us access to what is happening in Italy and allow us to begin ministry, albeit on a somewhat limited basis. We are incredibly excited to be able to begin contributing to what is already underway, and earlier that we had begun to expect. We are anxious to begin the mission we have been preparing for so long, and going to London allows us to do so, although in a different way than we had imagined.
Secondly, the gradual transition is appealing for how it will help our whole family adjust to a new life. Making the change in stages seems to make sense, especially with an English speaking country in the middle. We will be able to begin learning Italian while in London-the advantage of living in such a multicultural city-and so will be that much more prepared for the move to Trieste.
Finally, we are excited about the chance to build relationships in a church that will be so accessible to us while we are working in Italy. The life of a missionary, with the usual stress of ministry exasperated by the cross-cultural context, can burn anyone out. To have a support base available nearby will be a huge blessing.
All of this has led us to see London as a terrific opportunity that we need to take seriously. To be clear, nothing is decided yet. Brad will be in London from November 24 to December 2 to get to know the church a bit better and complete the process of discerning the best next step. If it indeed is the right place for us to begin ministry in Europe, we may be able to move very early in the New Year.
If you are curious about the church, google Eltham Green Community Church (Eltham is the area of London in which the church is located). We have had a great impression of the church so far as it seems like an active place with a great passion for ministry in the neighbourhood, just the kind of community we want to be a part of.
We will be involved in this church on a part-time basis working to establish leadership from within the church that can lead the youth program once we leave. For the rest of our time we will be learning Italian, participating in what is going on in Trieste and other parts of Italy, possibly participating in ministry to Italians in London, and of course fundraising.
So where does this leave us?
If London is indeed the place for us we have a good amount of logistical stuff to take care of, such as visas, figuring out the school situation for the kids, and all that goes into the move. None of these are insurmountable, however we are beginning to realize that it is a bit more difficult than we had originally assumed, especially in our target timeframe. That said, we have always operated under the conviction that, when we step out in obedience, it is God’s responsibility to work out the difficulties, which he is more than capable and faithful to do. We would appreciate all of your prayers as we navigate all that will go into this move.
I want to make clear that none of this means that we have abandoned our plans to serve in Italy. We have every intention of fulfilling our original plans. However, if we were to wait until all of our support was in for us to live for Italy, it would simply take too long. This switch allows us to leave now and continue the preparation from a different place.
While we will need to commit to a certain amount of time in England, we know that God has ultimately called us to contribute to his work in Italy.
We continue to work to raise the necessary support for our future ministry in Italy. If you have been planning on supporting us but haven’t gotten around to it yet, we would appreciate hearing from you soon. If you haven’t yet thought about contributing, please give it some thought. Every contribution is appreciated, and goes a long way towards making this ministry possible. We currently have 53% of the support we will need to be fully supported.