In Chad, when people would talk about something that was to come, they always tacked on “Inshallah”, best translated, “God willing…”  Mostly they said this because of a certain fatalism in their worldview, but as Christians it is worth recognizing that our lives are in God’s hands.  Whereas a fatalistic worldview believes that the future will happen in a certain way regardless, the Bible teaches us that as Christians we can fully trust the Lord that “in all things God works for the good of those who love him” (Romans 8:28).  And Proverbs teaches us that in our heart we make plans, but it is the Lord who directs our steps (Proverbs 16:9). 

Frankly, our life is a testimony to God’s goodness to us and His shepherding of us.  Who would have thought that when we married just 8 years ago we would have four daughters, live in 4 different countries, learn several different languages, make hundreds of friends, travel thousands of miles, and gather enough stories for a lifetime?  God knew it! 

So it’s with excitement that we get to take the next step in His journey for us!  In August, we’ll be starting classes at Phoenix Seminary with the goal of returning overseas to prepare believers for service and join in with what God is doing around the world.  These are exciting times and God is moving in Africa and around the world.  We had prayed that God would open a door for us to continue our education and He answered in wonderful ways.  First, our mission, Africa Inland Mission, gave us the thumbs up to do this since preparing leaders is one major aspect of seeing the continent transformed by the Gospel.  Second, we prayed that God would open the door financially for us to do this and He has provided us with a 100% scholarship for our studies!  The last piece of the puzzle was to find a place to stay in the Phoenix area and, thanks be to God, we found a place in a convenient location that met all the needs of our family.  So thanks be to God for his goodness, thank you also for your prayers with us in all this!

So what’s the plan? So sometime in early August we’ll be moving from Minnesota to Phoenix.  New student orientation is the 20th of August and classes will start the 22nd. What will be our relationship with Africa Inland Mission? We will stay on as full-time members of AIM and will need to stay on support.  Since the scholarship we have received only covers tuition, books, and fees, we will still need to cover all things housing-related and day-to-day necessities from our own pockets.  How long will we be there? It’s a three to five year program depending on how fast someone wants to go through it.  But for us, we were able to transfer credits from online work we did a few years ago and are hoping to be done in about two years… God willing! 

How can you pray for us? Please pray that our transition to a new city goes well.  We’ll have to make new friends, find a new church, etc., and you’d think that being missionaries we’d be used to that, but it’s still hard for us every time we do it and it always takes time.  So please pray especially that God would guide us to the right people and right church.  Pray that He would open doors for us to use our spiritual gifts and the things we’ve learned in Africa in order to bless others.

Thank you for your prayers, support, and encouragement!  We are truly blessed to have you standing with us in this adventure!  And know that you will always have a place to stay with us if you ever need to visit Phoenix!