This semester has been interesting to say the LEAST. Bart and I have entirely switched roles, if that is possible. I have been taking one class, and he has been being an awesome dad to our kids, taking care of the house and letting me have the time I need to learn and absorb all that “Missiological Anthropology” has to offer.
Let’s backtrack for a second. Many of you may be wondering why we are still here in Dallas. Our classes are online from this point forward and we have very few connections here. Let me take a second and answer that question, and then follow up with our future plans…er…options!
The Residency, our hands-on/mentor-led practicum ended in December. This practicum was a first time for everybody, so we gathered together with our teammates and one of our Professors and talked about the ups and downs of the whole experience. We spent Christmas with a church family here in Dallas and joyfully welcomed snow! In January I started class, and Bart became stay-at-home papa. We have stayed in Dallas while taking online classes for 3 main reasons. First, our teammates are here, and the closer we build our relationship stateside, the more likely we are to stay healthy and functioning well overseas. Our second reason is stability for our kids. We have lived in 4 houses in Lucas’ life and 3 in Hosanna’s. We understand that life on the mission field will mean a lot of travel, but we are trying to transition and prepare them gradually, meaning not dragging them all over creation if we can help it. Lastly, finances. We have not had the opportunities to raise support as we would have liked while in Dallas, because most of our supporters are in Tennessee & Indiana. Support is a challenge to raise over the phone. Not impossible, but definitely not ideal.
We have regular meetings with our on-site team counselor, and Eric & Melissa Davis (our teammates!). These meetings are an awesome opportunity for us to evaluate our personality types through many different tests, discuss our conflict resolution styles, and be guided into activities that help us grow closer and more effective as a team. Melissa and I have been getting together regularly to pray for one another. It has been a remarkable experience to get to be a part of their lives as we both prepare for a new and terrifying journey! Eric & Bart will be working closely together when we get to West Africa in order to do what is known as trekking. Taking the New Testament, by whatever means available to villages surrounding the town we will be in. Melissa and I will be making relationships with the women and children around us at first. Our most effective means of spreading the gospel is by competence in the language. This requires Language Acquisition School in France. Yes…you heard right, France. This leads me to the next item at hand.
Bart recently received an email that his class that was to begin in early March has been cancelled. It has been moved to May. In May he has another very challenging class (as do I, the same class). This means that neither of us have class for nearly 10 weeks. We can’t simply sit here in Dallas when we know that we need to be raising support. This said, we have gone back and forth with our options. We absolutely need to be settled somewhere by May for a very intense class that we are both taking. We can do one of two things: make an extended trip in late February, or early March and come back in time for the arrival of Eric & Melissa’s first baby (Sophia!). Then move the middle of April in order to be settled into a location for partnership development and our final class. Or we can stay here through March, until baby Sophia arrives, and then move and do some more partnership development before our May classes. This is our most likely option. Next we have to decide upon a place to live….THAT will be for our next blog!
A short recap of the happenings of the last month. Bart’s dad Bruce was on his sabbatical time and paid us a weeklong visit. We were so happy to have him come, and the kids were ecstatic. Even Hosanna was thrilled that Papaw got her from her crib in the morning! A friend gifted us with the Insanity workout, so we have been able to continue exercising (crucial for the amount of at home work we do!). Lucas just received his first big boy hair cut. He now has “Spikey” hair and loves it. Hosanna FINALLY received her first tooth!!!! The bottom left front tooth came in!
I am busy trying to finish up school, and possibly plan a Texan early 3rd & 1st Birthday Party for Lucas & Hosanna so that friends here can celebrate both birthdays with us. Bart is trying to stay on top of….well…everything! He has recently taken a twice a week cleaning position for one of PBT’s older buildings, as well as being a full time dad, keeping track of our finances (this side) and Newsletter writing! I am so blessed to get to celebrate our 6th Valentine’s Day together.
Thank you for taking your time to read this! We are happy to have you as a part of our story. God is doing big things in our lives right now and we need your prayers! We also want to hear from you! If you have any questions or comments please let us know below! You can also email us at firstname.lastname@example.org