It’s funny how news travels. I am often baffled by the grapevine, but even more often I’m shocked at how inaccurate it can be. Small things can cause quite a misunderstanding down the line… things like titling a yard sale as “Moving Sale.” The intent was innocent enough: I wanted those who read the ad to understand that this wasn’t me cleaning out the attic and trying to sell junk that no one wanted. Instead, I wanted to convey that I was moving out of the country and downsizing: i.e. I’m selling things that I would otherwise keep and utilize if I weren’t moving. Apparently in my innocence I’ve caused a whole host of people to panic because they think I’m moving immediately. It’s good to know I’m loved!

On the contrary, I will be in the country another 8-12 months, and possibly more! I’ve previously described the timeline in some details, but for newer readers let me reiterate that I have tons to do before I can move to Peru:

  • July 10 – 30: SIM Candidate Orientation (SIMCO) – This three-week training will take place at SIM-USA in Charlotte, NC. During the 3rd week I will meet the board of directors and, Lord willing, become commissioned as a member of SIM. That’s the checkmark I need to begin raising support.
  • August and following: Fundraising – I’m told fundraising times range from 6 months to 1.5 years for a single person. I am praying for the lower end of that range and would love for you to pray with me to that end!
  • August and following: Training Track – I have a training track that requires about 30 hours of Bible and missions classes. I must complete these before going to Peru. Additionally I believe I still have at least 3 assigned books to read before going.
  • 2 months prior to leaving: When I have at least 80% of my support raised, I will be able to stop my full-time work here in the States and attend about 7 weeks of Intercultural Ministry Training. The hope and prayer would be that the remaining support would come in while I attend that training so that I could put the new skills to use soon! Those classes begin in early February or mid-to-late May. My attendance depends on funding.

As you can see, there is some uncertainty associated with this timeline. The uncertainty centers mostly around the time required for support raising. I’m told that it is rarely training that holds a person back from the field, though as I wade through these classes I sometimes think support raising will come much quicker! But to my original point, the earliest I could possibly leave, based on funding and class scheduling, would be April 2011. It’s entirely possible that I will need to wait until July 2011. So, never fear my faithful fans, you still have me for a while!

On another note related to the moving sale, I have been blessed with more confirmation that I am walking in the path of that which He has for me. I never knew that yard sales could be so stressful! It was quite intense and I got very little sleep as the time for the sale approached. I became increasingly worried that I was going to place a good chunk of my worldly possessions on my sister’s driveway and be disappointed with the monetary results in the end! It was very tough for me, emotionally, to box up my things… I know that it’s just stuff, but I knew who had given it to me, where I’d purchased it, who was with me, and all those other sentimental things! My logical side understood that I don’t need it in Peru, but my emotional side wanted to pack it all up and ship it there anyway!

The night before the sale I finally prayed about my fears (if only I could learn to turn there sooner!!). I told God about my fears, but I also told Him that I wanted to be about that which He has for me during the sale. I didn’t want to miss anything when so many people were going to cross my path the next day. I felt better. Funny how prayer does that.

The day of the sale I caused traffic jams on my sister’s neighborhood road. There were so many people that I hardly looked up from the money belt. I never imagined I could cram so many deals into 3 hours! Well, 3.75 hours since the first people showed up at 6:15 AM for a 7 AM sale. Nevertheless, it was a fantastic day. I was able to collect enough from my sales to cover the cost of SIMCO ($600) plus purchase new light fixtures and paint for my condo so that I can stage it for selling! Not only was I pleasantly surprised, but I didn’t face the day with the lingering trepidation that had plagued me the days prior! If only I can remember this lesson the next time I feel stressed!!

I told someone the other day that nothing has been simple for me since I decided to pursue full-time mission work in Peru. There has been opposition every step of the way! Thankfully, God continues to give me little (and HUGE!) blessings along the way too. I pray that I can continue to be about that which He has for me and that I will give Him the glory at all times. It is most definitely only in Christ that I can take steps forward along this path.