Natasha and I always imagined that we would end up serving internationally at some point. The when and where of that plan and hope have been much more up in the air. Natasha served in Poland for a year; I made connections in Germany while studying abroad. For a good while, we assumed it would be those connections that would eventually lead us to pack our bags. It hasn’t worked out that way, but we know those experiences paved the way for what’s next.
While we started/finished grad school and began our careers, we committed to making this area (northern Chicagoland) our home. Simply “passing through” was not a reasonable option for us. We’ve invested in friendships, our church, and the community in significant ways. Not every aspect of this has been super great (there have been some difficult jobs, especially for Natasha), but we’ve also found our place here and have experienced God’s faithfulness.
Specifically, Church of the Redeemer has been a place to grow, learn, heal, and connect. We can’t emphasize enough how much it’s meant to be part of a body of believers that truly care for one another and do life together, day to day and in the Sunday liturgy.
It was hard to even imagine the idea of leaving. That’s what’s made this process so strange — in the midst of unease and sadness, we’ve also experienced a true peace in our decision, which has affirmed our call to go. Also, in a very real sense, we’ve been comforted by the fact that moving to Rwanda is the one place in the world where we will still have deep connections with the Redeemer family. We’re thankful to have Facetime to connect with our friends and family in Minnesota and everwhere else (Grammy is currently being trained how to use Skype). I can’t imagine taking on a venture like this without strong community support. I’m not worried that we’re sad to leave. But yes, we’re definitely sad in the midst of our excitement. I wouldn’t want it any other way.
We’re moving somewhere new.
We’re taking risks.
We’re also deepening relationships.
We’re not saying goodbye for good.
This is an opportunity for us to grow individually and as a couple; it’s a unique opportunity to serve together, use our gifts, and play a small role in the work that God is doing around the world.
Redeemer matters to us.
Rwanda matters to us.
Relationships matter to us.
And now we get to partner with our church, with Christians around the world, and with all those who are supporting us in order to serve others as we are all called to do. KICS has a solid mission, they have great people, and they make a huge difference in students’ lives. I don’t believe it is grandiose to claim that the work of KICS has a direct impact in the progress and development of Rwanda as a country. That’s beyond exciting. We have the privilege to join something amazing.
Alrighty, there’s a few thoughts for you. Now it’s time to get back to letter writing and Craigslist posting. Hopefully we have some time to get the grill going too. Have a great Memorial Day weekend.
We are now able to receive financial support through online giving, direct deposit, or check. Please take a look at our support page. We truly appreciate your partnership in this ministry and could not do this alone.