It’s all I have left.
In fourteen days, the six kids and I will say goodbye to dad and to Indonesia.
We’ll say hello to dad again a month later. But Indonesia, well, it is going to be a (probable) permanent goodbye.
It’s a long and winding story — one that I hope to share more of over the next few months —and along the way are amazing markers of God’s love and faithfulness. Never did we expect to arrive back in Indonesia last July only to be back for one school year. And yet, it became clear to us back in October that this would be our last year. We wavered a bit (because we are so sad to leave) and yet every time we took it to the Lord in prayer, we felt sure once again that we were headed in the right direction. Even when other opportunities presented themselves, we heartbreakingly had to turn them down knowing that America needed to be “home” for a bit.
In the coming months I will share more of our future plans, but suffice it to say, God seems to be up to some pretty amazing thing. Oh the stories I will have to tell! For now, though, we will be headed back to North Carolina. We will be living with my amazing Aunt & Uncle (who really aren’t my aunt and uncle but it is easier than saying “my first cousin once removed.”) and wallowing in their love until September. At that point, we will move back into “our” home at the missionary center in North Carolina.
We are so sad to leave Indonesia and the last six years of relationships, ministry, and memories. And yet, we are thrilled to be heading back to our home church, family, and friends we didn’t get to spend nearly enough time with last year. We have no idea what our lives will look like over the coming months, but we are anticipating great things.
One of the main reasons for us leaving Indonesia is to seek help for our sweet Caleb. His learning difficulties have reached a point where we need outside help. Unfortunately, the help we need isn’t available to us here. However, God’s faithfulness has shown through in amazing ways and as always, He is looking out for Caleb more diligently than we ever could. I have made a number of connections with people over the past few months and we are starting to map out a course for our dear boy. One of the (very unexpected) things that we are doing to help him is for me to undergo the first of three levels of training in order to be certified in educational therapy. We hope and pray that God allows us to come back overseas in the future. With me having been trained, I can be confident that Caleb (and any of our other children who might struggle) will always have someone who can help. We also want to be a resource for other struggling families. Walking this road without connections and resources overseas has been incredibly challenging. We want to prevent other families from having to make the decision to keep on in ministry or meet their child’s educational needs. Ideally, it should never be an either/or decision. We’ve had to do some financial and calendar juggling, but Lord willing, I will complete level one this summer. Level two will be summer 2015 and level 3 (if we are still Stateside) in 2016. We’d appreciate your prayers for our boy. He’s an amazing kid and we just want to help him be all that God created him to be.
Yes, there are big changes ahead. Thankfully, we walk with a very big God. These words reverberate in my heart on a daily basis:
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
And through the rivers, they will not overflow you.
When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched,
Nor will the flame burn you.
Caleb and I ran our first 10K together this past weekend. We both got first place in our age divisions (which was easy since it was just the two of us in the entire race). We’re looking forward to a “real” race back in the States. He melts my heart. He said to me a few months back, “On the days when I don’t feel like running, I just imagine myself running a race with you and holding your hand as we cross the finish line. That thought just makes me keep going!”