Okay, I didn't really expect so many of you would check this out minutes after I sent it!! I thought I would have a few days to figure it out and then tell our story. I will just get to it and figure out this blog thing later. It does get easier as I go.
Most of you likely got a Christmas letter detailing Paul's upcoming career change and our "peek" into what we thought God was bringing us here in Iowa. If not, you have heard about it from one of us! We thought this was where we were headed and Paul had months off for his surgery to correct his bunions. This afforded him a lot of quiet time with God to pray and meditate on His word in spite of being a full time grad student. He couldn't deny the prompting to check into missions opportunities and posted his resume on InterChristo (website for Christian job opportunities), that was all he felt led to do at that point. Charlie Gardner contacted Paul almost immediately filling Paul in on who he was and what his organization was about. He is the CEO of Agape Flights based in Venice, Florida. The mission organization provides logistical support to missionaries based in Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Now, you may remember that 1 year ago we visited Haiti on a short term mission trip and that 2 years ago we visited the Dominican Republic for a brief vacation, falling in love with the place and ultimately purchasing property there. Isn't God funny??? Anyway, Agape Flights flies weekly to both countries to deliver supplies, mission teams, mail and packages to the missionaries. They needed somone to help as the Missionary Director with the logistical support (making sure everyone got what they needed when they needed it) and more in Venice. If you would like more information about the organization, go to their website: www.agapeflights.com. After agonizing about the decision between the two jobs, we decided we were not fit to make such a choice and left it up to God. We determined we would not go on the mission field and end up putting our children in public school as our kids have flourished in the Christian school for the past 2 years and we were certain that was where God wanted them no matter the sacrifices we had to make to put them there. BUT, the Christian School in Venice didn't have room for our oldest boys. Their classes were capped when we were hashing out this decision. We earnestly prayed for God to move out the families that would make room for our boys if Venice was really where He wanted us. Paul went to visit and was told he would find out if the space becomes available or not within a week. That day came and we found out there was room for Gabriel, but so far, they needed to hear from one more family and they didn' t think there would be room for Riley. Riley very sweetly offered to go to a different school, but we explained that if God wanted us there, there would be a place for him in the school we wanted him in. One more very long week later (March 10th)we received the call that a place had opened for Riley, the decision was made to accept the position in Florida. 5 days later we were loading up the van for a 22 1/2 hour drive to check out our future home. We spent Spring Break house hunting, becoming familiar with the city, experiencing the ocean (actually the Gulf of Mexico) for the first time for all the kids, visiting the local MOPS group, and rejoicing in God's plan! My sister JoDee went with us, helping us immensely with taking care of the kids while we looked at houses, and also doing a bit of job searching herself. Venice is a beautiful area, every neighborhood is 15 minutes or less from the beach. We were able to find a house, but are still not sure if we will rent for a while or purchase right away. We continue to trust God to sell our home which has been for sale well over a year. Looking back, I can see His plan and the reason why we haven't been able to sell, saving us from being in the middle of a construction project, or a new house to sell (again!!). I have no doubt that he will sell this house at the perfect time.
So, all this being said, we would love to have you praying for us as we start this new adventure!! Here is how you can be lifting us up at this point: 1) Sale of our home and property in the Dominican Republic. 2) Patience with the computer as we try to figure out how to make labels print (learning how to import and export is SO frustrating!), how to set up a blog, and how to explain to everyone what we are doing and that we really haven't lost our minds!! 3) Perseverence in the race He has marked out before us (Hebrews 12:1-3). That we would be able to raise our prayer and financial support in time for the kids to start school in August. 4) Emotional well-being as we adjust to leaving everyone we know, dear friends, grandparents, aunties and school friends. Pray that we will see so clearly that God is enough, His grace is sufficient for us (2 Corinthians 12:9).
I hope this blog is the beginning of an open dialogue with all who read it. I hope you will share your plans, hopes, dreams and prayer requests with us here as well. We would love to be in prayer for you as we go on life's journey together!
1 week ago