Little and Big List!
These are some of the details floating around in our hearts, & brains, & prayers. Please join us in prayer as you are led.
1. Mike & I met with our church council last week to keep them in the loop & come up with some “next steps” at least when it comes to my current position at the Covenant Church. They are supportive & still trying to get their minds around what it looks like for them here without me. The official “Leave of Absence” policy is only 90 days, so I was delighted to learn I currently have 5 ½ weeks of vacation available that we can use towards our proposed 6 months away. The council also asked that I write a job description for an interim fill. We are hoping to complete this whole process before the end of September.
Update: I was able to complete and turn in a job description for an interim Children’s Minister. It was much harder to do than I expected, but it feels really good to have turned into the council!
The council has given me a written plan of how they want to handle my leave. A letter will be going out soon to all regualr attenders of our church. I’ll be sure to post a copy on here as soon as I can.
2. We are praying for discernment on when and how to approach Mike’s employer. Un-official conversations have been had but no formal request has been made yet. We do know that their policy also reads a “maximum of 90 days”.
Mike has been in conversation with one of the VP’s from the company he works for. He will be going to corporate on our behalf. We initially thought we might hear back right away, but we didn’t. We are trusting God for His timing.
3. We will meet with our Church Mission’s Team on September 17th & ask them for both prayer & financial support.
Update: We had a great meeting with the Missions Team and left feeling both encouraged and supported.
4. We are working on a monthly budget for our time in Nicaragua. We are just waiting on our friend Jane (our primary Nica. contact) to get back from Nicaragua to finalize this up. We are praying to find safe yet affordable housing for our family right in town (as we won’t have a car) as this is a major component to our monthly expenses. We will officially begin to fund raise for support once we have our budget more complete.
Update: We got this finished up. Take a look for yourself – the budget tab is located under “Donate” on our main menu.
5. We have decided to rent our house here & hope to store no more than what will fit in a 10 x 10 self-storage or what we can rent for $100.00 or less a month. (Wesley is currently researching best options for us if you have any good leads). We are selling a few things, but mostly going through our house room by room & giving about ½ of the contents away. We are finding many things easy to part with but some things waiting perhaps for a second “go through”. In general, this feels REALLY good.
The sort continues!
6. To get our house ready for a renter, we will need to finish up many projects we’ve already started. You could say we’re in a state of mid-remodel, & would benefit greatly by folks willing to come lend a hand. We need to finish up some painting (including a little texturing), putting in a wood floor (nearly done!), help to make decisions on other flooring issues, a few general things that just need fixing, & a bathroom in need of some lovin’. Our yard is also in need of some vision if that happens to be fun for you! At the moment, this feels like a big hurdle.
[Just in case you are curious, our home is 2400 square feet. It has 4 bedrooms & an office (that we also use as a bedroom), 3 bathrooms, and a double car garage. We’ve been told it should rent for the $1300 to $1600 range.]
We hosted a work day yesterday, and got a ton done. We are so grateful to Dan & Ian Seavey, Mike Phippin, Dean & Pat Anderson, & Brent & Katie Hisgen for coming to help. We absolutely couldn’t have done it with out you!
7. We would love to rent our two cars while we are gone. Interested? Know someone who might be? We’d love to talk logistics. We have a 2009 Volkswagen Beetle & a 2006 Scion Xb.
Update: We have rented our Volkswagen!
8. We are super encouraged to have been pursued by our denomination to be “Covenanter’s in Mission” a small group of folks being sent out with other sending organizations. We are excited that they will consider each member of our family a missionary vs. just the adults. We are also thrilled for the extra prayer support this will bring our way. The Ameya church has never formally gone through the process to become “officially” Covenant. We are praying that God would use our family help bring the two together and bring Nicaragua into the Latin America Conference which would bring them additional resources and training for their pastor.
Update: We’ve been able to get further information on how our denomination works with international churches. To bring the Ameya church on board in an official capacity is a way bigger process than we imagined. We continue to be excited for the networking we can be a part of.
9. We want to give a lot of focus to improving our Spanish. Going to school as a whole family to see what we can do to eliminate our language barriers. We have already begun learning as a family & hope to attend school there for a minimum of our first 4 weeks in Nicaragua. There are many options for classes. We are praying to land in the right fit for our family of varied ages and stages.
10. We are starting to find it difficult to be present when we are giving so much thought towards 2013. We would appreciate prayers for us as we focus on the day to day as well.