I'll get right to the point. Basically, our upcoming missions training (which starts tomorrow!!) and the prep needed for that, has virtually taken over our lives as of late. We found out at the end of July, that our salary during training wouldn't be enough for us to stay in our townhouse and had to quickly start the process of trying to get renters. Thankfully, we were offered the ground level suite of a house through some people at our church, so we knew we had somewhere to live, but our townhouse strata doesn't allow rentals and we knew it would be a hassle to get permission.
Turns out, it was.
First we had to write a formal letter, explaining our situation and requesting permission to rent out our house. Then after several trips to the council president's house, gently hounding them to please hurry up as we didn't have a lot of time, we ended up getting a letter stating that we would have to provide documents proving our "financial hardship." So... I had to put together our monthly costs break-down, with a signed letter from MBMSI stating our monthly salary amount, and we sent everything into our strata.
And then we waited. And waited. And WAITED.
Finally, after weeks of waiting and being left with little to no time to find renters, we got the official approval to rent out our place. We had a couple of people through to look at it, but no bites.
Thus, Sept. 1 came and went, and because we had to move into our new place before the start of training, and for the sake of the people we're renting from (as they had left it vacant, waiting for us for 2 months), it meant having the burden of not only rent payment but also our mortgage and all other utilities on top of that. At first, this was terribly stressful and we weren't sure how it was going to work. But God is GOOD and ALWAYS provides. We were able to pay the bills (through a series of small miracles), move into our new place (we spent this last Friday & Saturday moving) and didn't have to be rushed by renters who were needing to move in.
So that brings us to yesterday. We still had some significant details that needed to be taken care of before the start of training (ie: childcare for Callie this fall, cleaning our townhouse, & finding renters... just to name a few).
Well.... not only did God provide us with a wonderful lady to watch Callie this fall (just in the nick of time!), but he also provided us with ridiculously generous friends who called last night to say that they're paying professional cleaners to come and clean our townhouse for us, so that we don't have to!!!! How amazing is that!?!?! So rather than spending another day away from Callie, and having to clean til we're blue in the face, I get to be at home with my sweet girl today, unpacking and getting ready for the start of classes tomorrow. Jon went to our old place to do a bit of touch-up work and to have the carpets cleaned, but other than that, we don't have to do the rest. And that, my friends, is one of the most incredible gifts imaginable right now.
So... THANK-YOU TO OUR DEAR, DEAR FRIENDS FOR YOUR INCREDIBLE GENEROSITY! You know who you are and we cannot thank you enough.
All that to say, classes with MBMSI start tomorrow and though we've had virtually no time to even think about it, let alone prepare for it, we're excited and very ready to start this next phase of the journey.
That brings me to another big item---- We also found out in late July, that our time frame is going to look a lot different with this whole missions process. We originally thought (and had planned to) commit 10+ years with MBMSI, right off the bat. Turns out, we're going to start out with their "Jornada" program, which means we'll be doing a 3 year term, and then evaluating to see if we want to/feel called to/MBMSI wants us to, continue on. Rather than do the 4 months of training, 1 month trip to our country, and then 2 month internship & fundraising (the 10+year commitment version), now we'll only be doing 4 months of training, then fundraising, and then we're gone (Jornada version)!
So instead of being here in Chilliwack for another year and a half or so, we'll be here for approx. 6 more months and then we'll mobilize to our country. Shocking? Yes. It was to us, at first. But we're seeing that there is value in this and it will give us a chance to get a bit more experience under our belts before we commit really long-term. The other difference to our plans, is that rather than start a new team of people and then mobilize to our country, we'll be going by ourselves and joining an existing team and learning/helping them for the next few years.
All in all, it was a bit tough to swallow at first (especially because it was never presented to us before hand) but we're honestly feeling totally at peace about it and trusting that God is going to teach us incredible things over the next 3 years. We're excited to see where He's going to take us (not only globally, but emotionally, spiritually & physically too), the situations/adventures we're going to encounter, and the lives we're going to be touched by, and hopefully, in return, touch as well.
So, its going to be a crazy few months, with full-time classes & trying to fit in as much time with friends & family as possible, before we leave. But we feel confident its going to be good. I can't promise that I will be able to blog often, but I'll definitely try to keep you in the loop with where things are at. And to show you pictures of our sweet-ever-growing-mischievous-1-year-old-girl.
Thanks for all of your support!