Sunday, June 8, 2008

When will you leave?

We try not to imagine that people are anxious to be rid of us when we are asked this question, which we seem to be asked quite often now that we are officially appointed as missionaries to France. The answer is somewhat nebulous, as our departure date will depend entirely on how quickly (or slowly) our fundraising goes. GEM does not release missionaries to the field until they have raised 100% of their support. Based on the current exchange rate and the cost of living in France, GEM estimates that this process will take us about 18 to 24 months. Until then we will live at our current address, go to our current jobs/schools, and do pretty much what we do now, with the added excitement of watching God work to build our support and agreeing to cooperate with Him in that process. So the short answer is this: we really don't know when we will leave, but we hope to be moving to France sometime in the year 2009.

In the meantime, we are being encouraged to make an exploratory trip to France as a family this coming October. During that trip we would meet with other GEM missionaries, visit places and churches where we might be posted, and probably most importantly, introduce our boys to France. The trip is expected to last 2-3 weeks, and it would be our children's first international experience. Just yesterday we had passport photos made for them at Costco. Little steps like those seem to be making this adventure more real in my mind.

I asked David when he thought it would finally sink in--not just the exploratory trip, but the whole "move to France and become missionaries" thing--and he said, "When I buy four one-way tickets to Paris!" Yikes! That will be weird!

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