We made it. Hannah, the girls and and I have finally made it to San Jose, Costa Rica. In some ways it seems like the journey is just beginning. In other ways it feels like it has been on going for many years. The actual working towards our move was about 2 1/2 years in the making. The getting prepared was a lifetime in the making.
When Hannah and I were dating we discussed the possibility of someday becoming full-time missionaries. We knew that someday we would move somewhere in the world to share the Gospel of Jesus. We also knew that we have plenty of training that could help people out with basic life skills. I am a plumber and Hannah a dental assistant. We felt that we had lots to offer, contrary to what some people have told us. More importantly we were willing to go. We were seeking God and being obedient to his call.
A few years ago, when we first were considering full-time missions, we had lots of earthly obstacles. We had just built our dream house. It had a nice big back yard with an amazing view. We built it thinking that we would live there forever (In retrospect, I think we were being defiant). It had a big mortgage, I had a good job. We had 2 dogs and nice truck and a nice car. We had it all. Something wasn’t right. I was supposed to be happy but my life still seemed a little off. The construction market was up and down and that contributed to some of the “off feelings” but I knew that it was something deeper than that. God was leading me just like he had been leading me all along. The difference was this time I was pursuing, not running from God.
After lots of prayer we decided to sell the house. We talked to the mission director at our home church and asked when the next trip to Honduras was. We were told we could plan our own mission trip as a family and go, so we did. We left on the last Friday in August, 2011. We signed the closing papers on our house the morning that we flew out to Honduras. We flew home on a Sunday and had to be out of the house by Friday night. Life has been a whirlwind since we decided to pursue this calling. We were in a rental house for 2 years before moving to Costa Rica. We had several fundraisers, which went really well (although we are still in need of monthly support but that is part of living in faith). We took a missions class called “Perspectives” that was 3 hours a week with about 5 hours of homework per week. When things just seemed to slow down I got put on a construction job that was about 2 hours away from my house. Life was very busy. We had to get rid of our dogs, our stuff, find places to store some things that we are keeping, We had to say “see you later” to some people and “goodbye” to others. Then we had to get our life into 8-50 lb checked bags and 8 carry-ons. Now we are in Costa Rica. I am a day away from starting language school. I haven’t been to school for 18 years or so and I was never very good at it. Imagine getting your life into what you can carry then moving to place where you don’t really know anybody and you don’t speak the language. It can seem a little overwhelming.
Like every major decision that people make, we have had our “great” days and our “what are we doing” days. We have learned a lot about ourselves in this journey. God has taught us even more. I am one of those people who always wants a sign from God. I want to be sure that I am doing the right thing. One day while praying and asking for a sign I heard a voice. It was as clear as day and HE whispered to me “How can I teach you faith if I have to keep giving you signs.” Okay God, I get it. I am slow, very slow but I get it. I will pursue this missionary life. I will be ready for the detractors because my faith is not in people (If you are like me and your love language is “words of affirmation” then you will understand how hard this can be for me ). I am ready for the difficult times because they will come, the proof is in the Bible. I am ready to be used mightily and I trust it will happen. I pray I will be humble and Christ-seeking through it all. I am thankful that God has brought us here and I can’t wait to see what is next.
Hannah and the girls at our new home while we are at language school.