Sundays are interesting for me these days. I heard two things at least 20 times today (no exaggeration): “When are you leaving?” or “I thought you were already gone.” Seems like everyone is anxious to get rid of me! I’ve gotten quite good at smiling and saying, “My goal is to leave in April, but it entirely depends on how my fund raising and training goes.” Please don’t be offended if you’ve said one of the above to me in recent memory. I love that people are interested in what I’m up to! It’s just that I answer that question in about 50% or more of my conversations when I’m around people that I don’t see everyday, like on Sundays. I wish I had a more definitive answer too! There’s a small part of me that would like to answer, “I can leave sooner if you could just donate $18,300 and make a commitment of $2,750 per month on an ongoing basis.” I’ve never really been able to pull off sarcasm too well, though. That’s my older sister’s job. So, instead I give my well rehearsed, pat answer. I am also tempted to point out to people that if they’d read my recent newsletter that arrived in their mailbox then they would know the answer to that question, but that probably wouldn’t go over too well either.

I’m finding that much of this leg of my journey is educating people about the process of becoming a career missionary. Most people are familiar with the fund raising that goes on for a short term trip. Someone raises money, goes on their trip, and is back before you even missed them. Not so when it’s a long-term move to another country. There are a few more logistics to deal with in this case! Not only is my financial need significantly different, but I’m not planning to leave a life here in a storage unit. I’ll perhaps have a few plastic bins in my sister’s attic, but what little I take with me will constitute the majority of my earthly possessions. There’s also no real end to this commitment. I’m not going with the intention of returning to life in the US at a certain point. That doesn’t mean that God may not direct my path back this way, but I’m not planning for a specific return date. It’s not what people are used to, so I’m also learning not to be too offended by the blank stares when people can’t think what to say next. I shouldn’t be too surprised. I had a pretty steep learning curve myself when I started down this path!

Quick progress update: I have sent out my first round of newsletters that included my official SIM brochure telling about my role and support needs. If you didn’t get a letter and would like to receive it, please let me know. I’d be more than happy to send one along to you. I need all the support I can get! I’ve also added a FAQ page to my website if you’re still wondering about things that my newsletter didn’t cover. I’m starting to hear back from people who received the newsletter, so it’s encouraging! Each commitment puts me one step closer to Peru! The list of classes to take is still long and I’m still looking for a home for the cat so that I can get the house-selling process moving forward too. Plenty of things to do and pray about! Would love to have you praying with me as I continue to pursue that which He has for me.