We have received some of the same questions at multiple Munchies & Missions evenings this fall and thought it would be a good idea to create a FAQ post. We will try to update this post as new questions come up or as answers to some of the questions evolve. We’ll also be posting a link to this post under Learn More on the right so you can access it easily!
Question: When are you leaving?
Answer: Sometime in July, 2012, assuming we raise 100% of our support target. We are still waiting on the exact date of departure.
Q: How is your financial support-raising coming along?
A: Great! We are at 72% for our monthly pledge amount (updated as of 11.30.11)
Q: How long will you be gone?
A: We’ve signed up for a 2 year commitment. Neither of us feel strongly about this being for 2 years or for the next 20. We are open to what the Lord has for us after our first term. This could mean another term of 2, 3 or 4 years. We’ll need to know by the end of our first year what we are planning on for the following term, if any.
Q: What are you doing with your house?
A: We will try to sell it (spread the word!) by owner first, then probably use a realtor if we don’t have success after a few months. Renting seems to be too much of a hassle, without any guarantees of how much we could get out of rent or whether it would be consistently leased.
Q: What prayer requests do you have?
A: Lots! 1. For family, friends, and ourselves as we prepare to be apart for a few years. Pray that the proper grieving would take place among us all.
2. Ethan is nervous about how “long” the trip there will take. Pray for peace for him.
3. Tons of decisions to be made about our life “back here” while we’re gone – what to do with possessions, etc.
4. We’ve been blessed with almost NO anxiety about the fact that we’re moving to Africa, to a place we’ve never been. Pray that the Lord will keep us in that mindset, relying on Him for our provision and safety.
Q: We know Dan will be teaching math. What will Courtney do?
A: Courtney will be involved in her current full-time job as the mother of our three growing children. There will also be many ways to get involved on campus, with the students and the school. The staff who live there wear many different hats and we will both be wearing several that we aren’t even aware of yet. Courtney is especially looking forward to coming alongside some of the girls boarding there, hoping to mentor them and encourage them and be a mother-figure to them in their walk with Christ.
Q: What will your living arrangements be?
A: We will live in a house on campus. The campus is large (100 acres including the land that Kijabe Hospital is on) and has several houses that are used by staff members of the school and the hospital. Housing assignments are determined by family size, so the house we start out in may not necessarily be the house we stay in permanently. From what we understand, housing arrangements are re-assessed each year, depending on the families that will be serving there. A three bedroom ranch-style house seems to be the most common type of arrangement for our family size.
Q: Will Ethan go to Kindergarten there?
A: Yes, but not until our second year. The cut-off date for Kindergarten is age 5 by September 5th (similar to Pennsylvania’s Sept 1st cut-off). Ethan will therefore start Kindergarten during the 2013-2014 school year. RVA does have a 4 year old pre-school that mothers on campus take turns teaching, three days a week.
Q: Is it safe where you’re going?
A: Yes. The riskiest moment of our journey, statistically speaking, will be when we drive to the airport preparing to leave the U.S. this July. Safety is relative – and relative to many places in Africa (and many places in the U.S.) we will be safe. We always go back to the truth that “the safest place you can be is in the center of the Lord’s will.”
Q: What do you do with all your stuff?
A: Sell it, Toss it, Lend it, Store it & Take it – A little of everything. Things that are near and dear to us, we will most certainly be keeping in storage with friends or taking with us. That being said, we certainly have collected a lot of stuff over the 7 years we’ve been married. This is kind of a neat excuse to “clean house.” It really forces us to ask the questions about what we need and what we actually use on a regular basis. Courtney loves de-cluttering, Dan is more of a pack-rat, so please pray for us as we are sure to have many interesting discussions about what to do with different possessions!
Q: What are the options for communication back to the States when you’re over there?
A: Email, Skype, Facebook, Blogging, Phone - Anything Internet related WILL be available to us. Our internet connection won’t be as fast as what we have here, but we will have one. Phone calls will also be made, I’m sure. We’re still looking into the international plan options that are available. The bottom line is that we plan to be just as connected to many of our loved ones as we are now – just without the periodic visits in person. We don’t say that to belittle the fact that we will still be gone for two years, but we are encouraged that we can still be actively involved in the lives of those we care about. Also, its neat to foresee how much more intentional we’ll have to be in those relationships – that can only be a good thing!