Welcome to March! I know...it's halfway over...I really am that behind. This month so far has been a blur in many different directions as we try to sort out all the final processes before moving from Early in less than THREE weeks. Geoff's last Sunday is April 1st, and we will transfer to Belton from here in transition to...ECUADOR!
I realized after the last post that I never said where we were moving, so again, Ecuador! We looked at several areas when deciding where to move, starting with Roatan, Honduras where we had contacts already and one of my favorite families on earth were planning to move there as well. Their plans were delayed, but we were already excited about Latin america and learning Spanish so we began to explore the opportunities in countries throughout Central and South America. We finally decided on Ecuador (it won a tight contest with Costa Rica) due to the low cost of living, good availability of Spanish schools, and easier visa requirements. Those are the practical reasons we chose Ecuador. There are of course many additional details about Ecuador that we are very excited to experience. We plan to travel there with a 6 month visa, with learning Spanish as our top priority. If all goes well and the Lord blesses us to remain - we plan to apply for a 2 year visa, and repeat as desired.
Since Geoff and I were first married, we have tried to be as responsible with our income as possible in order to pay off all student loan and other debt so we could have the freedom to do something like this. We were able to pay off all of our debts by the end of last year, and have been saving like crazy since then. We are selling almost everything of value that we own and our prayer is to have enough to move to Ecuador and be self-supported for as long as possible. By self supported, I do not mean we aren't trusting in God's provision, but that we don't feel led to ask a church or individuals to sponsor us, or help pay for this venture. That's where we are right now. We may get involved with outreaches and opportunities that might warrant fundraising, but as far as our personal expenses go, we are dedicated for now to working for that as much as possible.
So, why are we moving? We want to learn Spanish, and we want to live in another culture. Those are our primary motivations. We have further hopes and dreams about ministry possibilities, but we are starting here for now because until our Spanish greatly improves we can't be much use to a ministry in the area! Even if we return to the US after a short time, we know the experience of living in another culture and having a better grasp of the Spanish language would refine us and be a blessing. We are excited about spending our time in Ecuador building relationships with people who are so much like us, and yet so very different in culture. We are excited about taking Spanish lessons and being able to us the language on a daily basis, hopefully making it easier to master! We are excited about volunteering in the community we live in, whether teaching English or working with orphanages, all while bringing the presence of Jesus into the lives of all we encounter.
We will be launching a website soon that will have updates, our mission, pictures, and contact info on it. We want as many people as possible to experience this journey with us, whether following along online or flying down for a visit! Thank you to all of you who have already been an incredible encouragement as we take this leap of faith in hopes that God will do great things through us! We are really excited!