Since my latest newsletter points everyone to my blog, I am due for an update! It’s been entirely too long, admittedly, but I’ve been rather busy. Preparing for the mission field and fund raising while still working is akin to having two full time jobs. I could quite easily still fill my days even if I weren’t still working my current job at Hannover Life Re! As it’s been a while since my last update, today’s blog stands to be fairly practical with the extended version of the details on my latest newsletter.

Support Progress

First, I’ve been blessed with many amazing fund raising opportunities through some creative friends!

  • My friend, Monica Hickman, held a Mary Kay party in my honor and donated her entire commission from orders at the party to my account at SIM! She raised nearly $200 for me with this party. What a cool and generous idea!
  • My friends Amanda Stone and Amy Hutchison hold an annual Christmas “party with a purpose.” This year they contacted me to ask if I could be that purpose. The people who came to the party made donations toward my upcoming work in Peru and the party raised $880!
  • My company, Hannover Life Re, allows our office in Charlotte to choose a local charity each fourth quarter. I was excited that my office voted to support my account at SIM as the 4th quarter charity! They planned fund raisers at McAlister’s Deli and Chick-Fil-A. They held events in the office with chili pitch-in meals, bingo lunches, and a balloon-pop lunch with prizes! There were letters from Santa, prices on the office candy dishes, a book sale, a jewelry sale, and more! They even auctioned off an iPad! During the course of 4th quarter they raised over $7,500! What’s more, our company matched what they raised for a grand total of over $15,000. What a tremendous blessing!

With these awesome contributions and some fantastic gifts from individuals, my one-time financial needs have been met! These funds will pay for training in the US, language school in Peru, moving to Peru, setting up house in Peru, and other one-time expenses. Additional one-time gifts will remain in my ministry account until there is another one-time financial need or to help with support if there is a time in the future when my on-going support falls below 100%.

As far as finances go, there is also a need for ongoing support. The one-time gifts get me there, but I need ongoing support to keep me there over time. Ongoing support covers all those things one would typically expect a paycheck to cover: housing, medical insurance, salary, etc. There are also provisions to save for travel expenses to return to the US for home assignment, and also for the additional cost of housing when in the US during that time. A portion of those ongoing expenses also goes to my ministry account  – it will act like a corporate expense account to support expenses incurred during my work. I currently have pledges for approximately 58.4% of my ongoing support needs of $2,700 per month. These are gifts of $10, 25, 50, or even 200 a month, every month. People often ask me, “How long is ongoing?” At this time, I am making a career move. I am not committing to a term of any particular length. Thus, those who are committing to support me on an ongoing basis are not committing for any particular amount of time either. Certainly, circumstances change and supporters may need to discontinue their support in the future, but ongoing support it a commitment for the foreseeable future. It is by this ongoing support that I will be able to stay in Peru and continue the work that God has set before me. I would love to have you on my support team!

Current Timeline

Since I began raising support in August, I have had a goal set to be ready to leave in April. That goal was determined by looking at one of the courses that I will be required to take just before leaving. Since that course was offered in February and March, I’d hoped to be able to stop work in January, take the full-time course, and leave in April. More recently I have had to adjust my timeline. I will be taking a course called Perspectives on the World Christian Movement. Since it meets once a week from January – May, I clearly can’t leave in April! Thankfully, the full-time course that I need to take is offered at another school in May and June. Thus, this is a picture of my current proposed timeline (still subject to change!):

  • Now – April: Continue to work at my current job at Hannover Life Re
  • January 18 – May 11: Attend the course “Perspective on the World Christian Movement” (http://www.perspectives.org) once a week, on Tuesday nights, in Charlotte.
  • May – June: Attend Missionary Training Institute (http://www.mti.org/homepage.htm) in Colorado to take the SPLICE and PILAT courses (preparing to enter a new culture and language acquisitions techniques, respectively).
  • July: depart for Peru!

There are certainly some possible hindrances to this plan:

  • I have all of my one-time financial needs, but I must have pledges for 100% of my ongoing needs as well.
  • I must sell my home (and no, renting is not an option – my missionary salary won’t cover the mortgage & HOA dues in a month when the home is not rented)
  • I must sell my car (anyone need a 2003 Toyota Celica GT with just under 97K miles on it?)
  • I must complete all my required courses: Perspectives, SPLICE, PILAT, as well as two theology courses, a hermeneutics course, and another missions course through the Dimensions courses at Gordon Conwell (http://www.gordonconwell.edu/dimensions/). Oh, and I have a couple of  required books to read too!

Thus, the current plan will be to leave in July, D.V. (Lord willing!).

An Upcoming Survey Trip

Since my move has been postponed to July-ish, I am planning a short survey trip to Peru in March or April. I had considered going in mid-to-late March, but since my Perspectives class will be taking a week off on April 5th, I am now considering going around April 1-10. I’m currently watching for the prices of flights to drop back to more acceptable levels and then the trip dates will be booked!

I am excited about an opportunity to see Peru without the pressure of moving there at the same time. I admit that I will be relieved to go through customs with only my computer and one bag instead of everything that I will be moving with – a practice run, if you will. I also hope that seeing Lima, staying at the guest house, and visiting some stores in the area will give me some insight into how to pack and prepare for the move. I also plan to visit Arequipa where more SIM folks live and work , specifically our personnel director! Arequipa is also one possible location of language school when I move to Peru. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to have a little look-see into this place God is directing me to!

I believe that gets everyone up-to-date on the more detailed version of this journey. My newsletters contain only snippets because I understand that most people will not read newsletters except to get that level of information. For those of you who want the nitty-gritty, check back here! Thanks for reading and thank you for your continued prayers!

I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

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