I write to you from our last day at COP in Florida. We will be leaving at 4:00 tomorrow morning to head back home to cold and rainy Northern California where we will try to put into action some of the steps we need to take before going to the mission field. Yes, that's right... we survived our orientation program and are now "candidates in process." We have been affirmed in our call to overseas missions, but they could not appoint us as missionaries or members yet because of some of the things that we need to take care of first: like our health.
This has been a wonderful week for us where we have been faced with some hard questions. One of which is this: if I am this unhealthy in the States, how am I going to survive on the mission field? The results of our psychological evaluations revealed to us that my physical symptoms were just a manifestation of my emotional state. We are learning that it will take a lot of work to help me recover, but it is possible for me to be a healthy normal functioning human being again. We knew there were some issues, we just hadn't realized how bad we had let things get. But there is great hope! We now have a connection at the Mayo Clinic with someone who is experienced with these types of issues and has had great success! Please be praying for us as we undergo multiple tests and travel across the country to visit with doctors and begin treatment.
This journey has led us to the decision that it is time to move on to better things. Matthew is looking for a better paying job and we are looking for a new living situation more conducive to my emotional and physical healing. I will continue working my nanny position until that time that we can find something better and I am going to continue working my Premier business while we save money for our survey trip.
Once we have been able to stabilize our health and financial situation a little more, we will become "appointees" and at that time will be able to start planning our long awaited vision trip (or survey trip, as Pioneers calls it). This will be a 2 week to 3 month trip where we will visit teams in Indonesia who have invited us to look into joining their work. After we have determined what team we want to work with long term, we will return to the states to complete our pre-field training which includes a year internship with our local church to learn more about church planting and missions. Matthew also needs to complete some Bible classes as part of our pre-field training, but we have 5 years to complete this requirement after our appointment date.
We have been appointed a pre-field coach who will help us through this process, which should take 1-3 years before we can go to the field long term. Many of the staff in Orlando were previous missionaries in Indonesia and I was very encouraged to hear their stories and they were just as excited to hear how God had been calling us towards the country that they had poured years of their lives into. We are so blessed to know so many who have gone before to lay the ground work. We will be able to go and reap the harvest that many have died to sow.
Thank you for partnering with us through your consistent prayers and encouragement this week as we have sought God's heart for our lives and dreamed with Him for Indonesia. We have received wise counsel, and are looking forward to the journey ahead.