a heavy anticipation for departure

Have you wondered what happened to Tandem Living updates? Maybe you thought . . .
A. she made it to CIT training and hasn’t had time to post
B. she made it to Austria and hasn’t had time to post
C. she got trapped under something heavy
D. none of the above

When in actuality the answer is D., I have had a little time to post, but have lacked the words to say. Friends, thank you for your patience, constant support through both prayers and financial giving. As you probably read in my summer newsletter I have made it to 100 percent for all of my outgoing/start-up funds. Thank you so much for your generosity! That was a huge hurdle and I’m excited to be in that spot. Praise God!

As far as monthly support I keep inching my way toward 75 percent, but in this lengthy process of getting to Austria I’ve had some supporters/teammates who are unable to continue. I’m so thankful for them and the part they’ve played on this team and know they will continue to play a huge prayer part! Sometimes it feels like a step forward and a step back, and it becomes easy to forget which way I’m headed. πŸ˜‰

Would you pray that God will fill in the necessary gaps of support? Would you pray for me to remember that He’s my Sustainer, Provider and completely Faithful?!

i’m headed to Austria (in January)!

Yes, you read that correctly. On New Year’s Day 2010 I’ll board a plane and head to Vienna for an entire month. The reason for this trip is to continue my visa application (aka “saga”), participate in a month of language school and attend the GEM Vienna team retreat.

As you remember I applied for my visa last year with a 007 number. (I think this experience is actually a Mission Impossible movie rather than relating to James Bond.) Unfortunately I still lack some info Austria needs such as showing I have health insurance coverage in Austria and sufficient funds to live in Vienna. This is sort of a catch-22 because until I have 100% of my support this will be somewhat of a hurdle. When 100% of my monthly support pledges has been reached then I’m able to apply for health insurance group coverage through GEM and can begin receiving my monthly support to show sufficient bank account funds.

My goal is to have the final bit of my monthly support raised by December so these visa hurdles and financial hurdles can be cleared. Will you join me in praying about this?! I’m thanking God for how He will provide in these next few months. He knows the timing and details for sure! Pray that God will move in this need and lead me to those opportunities for monthly supporters. Maybe God is leading you to join this team on a monthly basis, click here to find out more info! Or maybe you know of an opportunity where I could share about Austria to your small group, Sunday school class or friends you think might be interested.

A final reason for completing all the necessary monthly support raising by December is that when I return from Vienna I will immediately leave for training at CIT in North Carolina (as long as I am at 90% of my support or above). This training begins February 9 and will last until April. It is recommended that you not try to raise financial support during this time.

This gives you a taste of what’s going on, so for the rest of this post I thought I’d do a little interview with myself, so you can skim and hopefully get the info you seek. Here are some questions and the best way I know to answer them. Enjoy!

when are you leaving?
As far as I can see, if these next goals are met I anticipate my permanent move will be in May 2010.

why do you think it’s taking so long?

That’s a great question, and one I don’t have an answer for. I’ve heard it typically takes long-term missionaries about two years to raise outgoing and monthly funds depending on where they’re headed. I started in the fall of 2007 (Labor Day weekend), so I’m right at that two year mark.

It’s easy for me to beat up on myself and say I don’t do enough to gather support when I don’t have any other answers for why I’m still in this spot. I hope that through this, somehow, God will be glorified! I also hope I’ll look back and see how I was refined, leaving me with much less of “me” than there was in the beginning of this journey.

Right now I’m participating in a Bible study called One in a Million by Priscilla Shirer. It focuses on how God led the Israelites to leave Egypt and head toward the Promised Land. Remember how the Israelites spent a good long time in the wilderness. Well, it seems that is my current location. However, I’m excited about what’s coming around the corner. I can almost see the finish line of this initial support raising season.

what’s your biggest struggle right now?

I struggle with knowing where to live between waiting actively and waiting patiently. I wish God would send me address labels or something, so I could move out of the tension and into the core of where He wants me in the waiting.

what are you up to these days?

The motto this fall is to serve wherever possible and see how God moves in this monthly support need, and here are the spots I’ve been led to:

Mondays and Thursdays: I work a very part-time job of cleaning houses and empty apartments. It’s one of those Dirty Jobs, but someone has to do it. πŸ™‚

Also, Monday nights I attend a class call Perspectives. It’s a course (you can take for college credit) that focuses on the World Christian Movement. I find it intriguing and challenging! I know it’s another way God is using this time to grow and shape and prepare me.

Tuesdays: Attend a planning meeting for junior high and high school ministry at Southeast Christian (Indiana campus). This is where we figure out the elements of our Sunday and Wednesday night programming. A group of us work with the youth pastor and the themes set for that month so more teens in southern Indiana might come to know Jesus, love Him completely and radically follow Him.

A few hours after this meeting I have women’s Bible study in the same building. I look forward to meeting with the ladies at my church.

Wednesdays: Twice a month I work with MOPs in Louisville, KY at Woodland Hills Baptist. During this month I’ve subbed as a teacher and have had my hands full with four and five year olds. I love kiddos, but in some ways God has confirmed my heart for youth ministry through this experience. I admire preschool teachers and moms sooooo much!!

Fridays and Saturdays: I have some time off to catch up on support raising and rest up for the next week.

Sundays: Church and that evening I’m a youth volunteer for high schoolers at Southeast Christian (Indiana campus).

what are you most excited about for this fall?

Khloe! I have a niece arriving next month and I can’t wait to meet her. It’s such a blessing to be here for her birth. This is a photo from a 3-D ultrasound about a month ago. Our family has already started celebrating with baby showers and showering Kev and Marissa with plenty of things for little girls.

have you done any traveling lately?
I went to Colorado Springs for a quick trip in September. This was primarily for Suzanne’s wedding. Suzanne and I were roommates when I lived on Old Ranch Rd. There were four of us living in that house and we all worked at Focus on the Family. Those were good times! I enjoyed being a part of her wedding day!

While I was there I took a trip up the Cog Railway to the top of Pike’s Peak. Last time I was up there it was completely cloud covered and you couldn’t see anything. This time it was a beautiful day.

what’s one reminder from God during this journey?
“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near” (Philippians 4:4-5).

I know I’ve used this verse before, but He really does remind me that praise should constantly be on my lips, especially when complaining finds its way there first.

I hope you have a great week and are reminded of God’s goodness and faithfulness. Thanks for reading, and please let me know how I can pray for you.

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