Two days after I left my job in 2010, a missionary from Nepal was speaking at our church. He spoke on the passage in Genesis about Isaac settling in the land of his father, Abraham and digging wells. The first two wells were meant for others. The third well was blessed for Isaac and God flourished his family greatly there. That well was called Rehoboth. That was one of the first signs we had that we were transitioning out of a well meant for others back in 2010.
Fast forward a few years and we are at another well, a well that we love and worked hard to help build. God has wells for all of us, some just for a season, others for a lifetime. At times, new wells must be dug to continue building the Kingdom.
Around Christmas a few months ago, we started praying about what God had for us next. It was the first time in four years, including through the transition of losing half of the staff team in Cancun, that Anna and I had felt God opening the door to even pray about something other than where he called us so assuredly in 2011.
As we began seeking out wisdom and guidance, we began by asking that God make the next move as clear a calling as he had when He called us to Cancun. If you remember from a past blog post from 2011 and one from 2012, God was very intentional in our call. We knew that if there was a new door opening, He would open it widely.
In our first few weeks of praying about what God had next, several things became clear. The first, was that the two ministry partners that we served here in Cancun were going through transition as well.
Dalila’s family was moving toward self sufficiency and would require very little interaction on the part of Back2Back staff other than continued tutoring and the occasional dental visit along with Hope Program scholarships for the kids when they reached high school and college through the continued support of their sponsors.
The second area, Casa Hogar San Jose, is undergoing a change of leadership during 2015. While this situation remains fluid and we are in talks with the current leadership of the home, and prayerfully expectant about the new leaders willingness to continue their partnership with Back2Back, we are working on a transitionary staffing plan that will help out until the new leadership is in place and can fully commit to the ministry partnership guidelines that Back2Back requires.
With these relationships scaling down and transitioning to new staff, Anna’s decision to step back from working full-time and begin homeschooling Kai in the fall, and my role shifting to be more focused on the marketing and development side of the organization, specifically in Mexico, we felt the Lord leading us to a shift.
We spent a few months praying about possibly going to Monterrey, but never felt a total peace about this. Before we could bring this up with Back2Back’s leadership, we were asked by the Executive Director to consider a move to work in the U.S. office in Cincinnati.
At first, we were shocked. We had not even begun to consider moving back to the states to work in the U.S. office as a possibility. We took a week to pray and think about the possibility and spend time processing what this would mean for our family.
God opened the door wide when it was time to leave the U.S. back in 2010, and he did the same last month when it was time for the next phase of this adventure he has us on.
So, here we are, once again, weeks away from a new baby, and beckoned to walk through a door that has been opened wide. We are excited about what God has in store for this next chapter that He has called us to. At the same time, we are having hard conversations with friends and ministry partners here where we have made our home and lived in community for the last three and half years.
We covet your prayers and support as we make this transition back to the United States. I never imagined it would be this hard to move back “home.” The truth is, as I wrote in previous post, home is much more than a place for us anymore and we feel we are leaving home as much as we are returning to it.
Many people have asked us if this means that we no longer have to raise support. Luckily (The 2010 Andrew would never have thought using the word luckily in reference to fundraising would have been possible) we will still be fundraising for all of our ministry expenses such as salary and health insurance. I say “luckily” because it really is an honor to be able to invite people to invest in God’s work through supporting us as staff of Back2Back. The relationships and friendships that we have made and ability to offer people an opportunity to be a part of God’s work with orphaned and vulnerable children around the world really is a privilege.
In fact, we may actually need to raise more money this year to help cover the cost of the move and the increased expenses of living in the United States.
Moving forward, we are going to be fully engaged in the craziness that is a Back2Back summer season with teams here in Cancun. We also have our baby girl arriving mid July (if not earlier) which will determine much of our schedule for moving to the states as it will take us about two months to get the paperwork finished and both her Mexican and US passports before we leave the country. We expect to report to the U.S. office on the north side of Cincinnati sometime this fall.
Just for fun, here is a recent family picture of us so this big news update isn’t overly wordy (too late.)