From Candidates to Fledglings
We arrived in Georgia for MTWReadiness Evaluation (REV) at the end of July as missionary candidates. We emerged at the end of the week as missionaries, qualified and ready to serve in our proposed field of Japan!A huge THANK YOU to all who lifted us up in prayer!
It was thrilling to have other candidates and evaluators affirm our calling and give us recommendations for ways we can become better-equipped while we’re in this preparatory phase. All the recommendations were things we had talked about in the past few months, so this is confirmation for us that we’re on the right track and should continue to pursue the things we’ve been praying about, both in terms of our calling to Japan and our family’s preparations.
REV was intense. It was difficult. It was delightful. Truly, for me, it was a very refreshing time - for one thing, I’m not used to having so much adult conversation! I may have had trouble concentrating from time to time (and gotten a couple headaches from thinking so hard). But we forged new friendships, we left our comfort zones, we did new things, and we left feeling uplifted and excited for the future.
The week following REV has not been without its challenges. Parenting is hard, and we have a preschooler, a toddler, and a newborn at home. This is probably the hardest it’s going to get, physically. The sleep deprivation and frustration are a big deal. My illness has flared up again, which always leaves me desperately asking God for a greater measure of faith to believe that He will continue to get me through what’s ahead. And the shocking and sudden death of another missionary family headed to Japan was a sobering reminder of many things…that life is a vapor, that all flesh is like the flowers of the field, that we have a very real enemy who does not want us to take the Gospel of Jesus anywhere at all.We did not personally know this family but it’s likely we might have come to know them since they were headed to Nagoya, where there is an MTW team as well as a seminary with which we might be involved in a few years’ time. We are praying for their family, for everyone they left behind. And I, personally, am praying for courage to continue on, both for myself and for others considering making the leap into missions.
We are missionaries now. But we are like fledglings,just getting ready to leave the nest, preparing ourselves for flight but knowing that it will not be achieved nor mastered in a day. There is much to do. Pray that we will work diligently, meeting every obstacle with prayer and all suffering with faith and trust. Our next big steps are Jonas beginning work this month on a Master of Arts degree at Reformed Theological Seminary in Charlotte, NC, and then attending MTW’s Launch event/training at the end of September, after which we can officially begin raising financial partners.
We hope to bring you some more interesting blog posts soon…Jonas and I have been using our extensive time in the car these past couple weeks to talk about some really cool things we’re learning about Japanese culture and how we can draw connections to the Gospel. We look forward to your input and commentaries on those topics!