Well, the final countdown is here. In less than eight weeks we will be on a plane to London (flying out from Vancouver, CA on September 7th). When I think about all that must be done between now and then, I struggle to see straight! To bring you up to speed, here is a little update.
I am finishing up my last few weeks at the women’s house we run, and we will be moving out August 1st. In the beginning of June another great couple moved in with us to be trained up to take our place. They are a God-send, and I am confident that they will fill our shoes better than we did! It has been a crazy two years working in this recovery program, one that requires a time of reflection and debrief…sometime in the future when I have time!
On August 1st, we will be moving into Dave and Cindy Scammell’s house for a month of fellowship and preparation. Ladd finishes his position as one of our church youth pastors on August 15th. This next 10 days he and the other youth leaders are taking nearly one hundred middle and high schoolers camping, so pray for him for strength!
As far as our move to London, where Ladd will be pursuing graduate school studying East African Development, it is difficult to have much figured out before we arrive. We have a couple friends who are graciously renting a room to us for the first month in central London while we explore a place to live. We would very much like to live in the city, close to the university (The London School of Economics and Politics). However, living in the city costs an asinine amount of money. At this point, finding a place to live that fits within our budget will be a miracle – good thing we serve a God who is in the business of just that! We would absolutely love to find a place with a guest bedroom for visitors, but that is, quite honestly, impossible. So we will pray and see what God does!
If we cannot live within the city, we trust the Lord to find a place for us outside of the city where housing costs less and commuting in is required. At this point, we have open hands and hearts to what God has planned and know that wherever he leads, it will work for his glory and our good!
We are still unsure of how long we will actually be living in London. We are guessing at least one year, possibly three. This depends on if Ladd gets in to the PhD program at LSE, where he will need to do the first year in London before potentially moving back to East Africa where he will do the research portion of his doctorate. East Africa is the destination and the reason for this degree, so that is our direction, but God knows! “In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps (Prov. 16:9).”
I will continue with my final year of school this fall, completing my bachelor’s degree in Theology from Liberty University Online. For me, school begins actually ten days before we fly out to London. When I begin to think about how I will fit 20-30 hours of school into the week before we leave, I am overwhelmed. Yet, God gives us grace the moment we need it and not a moment before, so I am banking on his faithfulness because at this point, that sounds insane to me!
As much as this update has been about schooling and jobs, but I want to make sure that our heart is clear – our focus is the Kingdom of God and bringing the Gospel to the unreached people groups of East Africa. We very much see the next few years in the UK not as accumulating accolades, but as missional training so that we may better understand, love and serve the people to whom we are called in East Africa.
So that is where we are at up to the present moment. The grieving process has already begun. I am easily brought to tears every single day as “the lasts” hit me. However, having been through this process before, I have learned to not suppress it or feel guilty, but to embrace the process of grief and loss. It doesn’t mean that I am not excited for what is to come, because I definitely am! However, we love our home in Coeur d’ Alene. We have deep, intimate friendships here that feel impossible to leave and remain whole. The closing of our season here is heavy also because we thought we would be moving abroad again with kiddos, so there is grief in that as well. The enemy has been quick to attack me specifically with panic and fear. Please pray for us for protection from Satan’s schemes and lies. Our hope is in the Lord!
As I read through the Psalms in this season, I came across this verse today, which I date-marked before: “May 2013, deciding to stay or leave Burundi.” It reads: “My help comes from the Lord…He will not let your foot be moved; he who keeps you will not slumber…The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forevermore (Psalm 121).”
I am struck by the paradox of God not letting our feet be moved, while still requiring a ‘going out and coming in.’ I know that even though God may physically move our feet, he will not let us slip or fall if our eyes are set on Jesus. Just as in May 2013, he kept us in our coming and going, he will keep us now!
Thank you for joining us in prayer and support. It is appreciated now more than ever.
**The last time we were all packed up and ready to move – June 2014. At least this time we get eight suitcases instead of four! **