So I’ve got some big news, and I think the best way is just to drop it on you. So here it is.
We’re moving to Colombia! You know, the South American one?
“Wait, what? What about Costa Rica?” I know that’s what you’re thinking.
Now that you’re completely confused, let me go back and explain a little.
Nate and I (and another family) are heading to the mission field in a few months. The plan from day one has been to help our missions agency (MTW) to develop a training program for missionaries who want to start new ministries in unreached areas. We will participate in this training program for 2 years, then head out to start a new work in another Latin American country.
Well the plan so far has been to do this training program in Costa Rica, but the team working there is brand new, and it would be hard for us to try to put this training program on top of all of their hard work of establishing a new ministry. So MTW started looking at other teams who are a little more established and might be better prepared to sustain a big training program.
And Colombia is it. Bogota, Colombia to be exact.
The team there is big, plus its been there for about 16 years. (…minus a few years in the early 2000s when they had to leave for safety reasons. But then they went back, and it’s much safer there now, I promise!) And there are several new church plants there in various stages of development, so they’ll be able to train us in church planting at each of those stages. And on top of all that, it turns out that the church in Colombia is receiving regular requests from other countries to please send missionaries, church planters, and pastors so they can start establishing similar ministries in other areas of Latin America. Bogota, Colombia, is becoming a regular hub of gospel outreach all over Latin America! As a result, we’ll have a much better opportunity to network and discern where the Lord might be calling us long-term after our 2 years of training.
(by the way, if you want to know more about this, please click on over to our missions blog. Nate and Josh have posted a video and letter about the switch.)
Pretty dadgum exciting. Of course, I had to go tell my parents that I’m moving their grandchildren to COLOMBIA, which wasn’t fun. But the good thing is that Colombia has really turned around over the past 10 years or so, and its now a really beautiful, safe place to live and visit. The last two Colombian presidents have worked their tails off to turn things around down there. (Unfortunately, it takes longer for the reputation to get turned around!)
So everything else is still on track – nothing has changed about our vision, our overall plan, or our timeline. Still leaving in August, still training for two years, still starting a new work in Latin America when we’re done training. The only thing that’s changed is the city on the plane ticket.
This has all been worked out in the past 2-3 weeks, so we’ve basically been running around like madmen trying to sort out the details. But despite the insanity of having to reprint every single piece of literature we have and re-record all of our videos to say Colombia instead of Costa Rica, we have had an amazing sense of peace about this whole thing. We’ve prayed about it, talked about it, researched it, talked with our bosses, talked with both the Costa Rican and Colombian teams, and everyone involved feels the same way: this just seems to be the right fit.
This sure has been an exciting journey, and we haven’t even gone anywhere yet! But I’ll tell you this: It sure is amazing to see how God works out all my questions far in advance. He’s got the details handled, so I’m just going to go with it.
And now for the next question you might be asking…”what about your Costa Rican adoption?” That’s an exciting story too. And I’ll answer that one tomorrow (: