Day 5 – May 16

Friday May 16 – things are starting to settle down into a little bit more of a routine for us. One of the biggest blessing of being here has been having dinner with a different missionary family each evening. If I said what wonderful people they were, you might just slip that it some pre-defined slot you have about clergy/missionaries and say – “sure, they’re wonderful people”. No surprise there. What we are finding here aren’t people who have their head in the clouds and who aren’t trying to impress us with their spirituality. What we find are just really warm, caring people who are involved in a intense community. I say intense here to refer to the community because they work and socialize (for the most part) together. Yes, there are enough families here that they can “choose” who they will be closest with – but everyone knows essentially everything that is going on with every family here (it is a fishbowl – very little privacy). In the midst of that, we see grace and genuine caring. That’s not easy to pull off here – and that is where their spirituality (spiritual maturity) really shows it self. One of the best examples of this is the Faulls. Ted and Maggie Faull and the five daughters define all that is good about missionary families here at Loma De Luz. We had a wonderful dinner with them last night. Each evening, we sit around the table lingering long over dinner discussing all of the things that are new to us and so familiar to them:

What will your budget be when you are down here? In the missionary world (at least here) everyone’s monthly support amount and expenditures are an open book. In order to move down here, we’ll have to a) have a realistic budget and b) demonstrate income and/or support that will meet that budget for the amount of time that we are pledged to be down here. Initially, it looks like it will cost around $3,000.00 per month to live here, but we still have a lot of work to do on this topic.

Who will your “sending agency be”? The term sending agency was new to us before we encountered Loma De Luz. We now understand it to be the organization under whom we operate from here in the states. A sending agency functions as our “covering” – meaning that they pray for us and the hold us accountable to Christian standards in the field in terms of behavior and how we spend our money. They accept tax-deductible contributions on our behalf and then disperse that money to us in a way that keeps us accountable for how it is being used. They help us with things like stateside mail and stateside financial matters, insurance, etc. We had done some initial research on this – but have many more ideas now that we have been down here awhile. Needless to say, we have a lot of work to do in this area.

Will you be going to language school? There is a deep deep need (obviously) for the missionaries here to be able to reach out to the local population with the love of Christ. This can’t be done unless you can reach out to them in their own tongue (Spanish in this case). Our situation is a bit different in that my position here will be IT related. I will interact with many English speakers. It may be possible for us to come down here and get to work (on the computers) and then get a tutor to complete our Spanish training and gain fluency. We may, however, just have to go to a full time (4 hours per day) language school for three or six months before ever coming here and get that taken care of first. There are a lot of reasons why language school makes sense for us. We still have a lot of work to do on this topic as well.

Who knew that there were so many administrative type items that had to be considered and determined before going to serve!? We felt the call, and we are ready to move. Unfortunately, many missionaries who feel the call and “just move” end up having to move back home because they didn’t have the finances straightened out before hand or they didn’t have a good grasp of the language.

Well, I’m not sure that any of this is even remotely interesting to anyone reading all of this, but I did want to share some of what we’ve been learning the next few days. We would really appreciate your prayers as we begin to grapple with these very important matters that don’t at all have clear or immediate answers. As in all things we must “dedicate our ways to the Lord, and He will make our paths straight”!

So as our dinner wrapped up with the Faulls – I think we left with more questions than answers, but that’s ok – God will take care of this all in His timing. 🙂