So, it feels like we're in a season of transition again. No epic changes are coming up, but our summer commitments have come and gone and things are moving quickly toward the fall season. I'm not exactly ready to "reflect" on the summer, but I will answer a few frequently asked questions.
We spent two weeks in Sudan ministering to a brand new church in the bush (and holding beautiful babies, eating goat, sleeping under a mosquito net, and riding in a huge land cruiser. I wrote about it here and here)
We spent two weeks in Pennsylvania where Michael was "interim" pastor at a friend's church. He officiated a wedding, gave a funeral, and preached two sermons in addition to doing hospital and home visits. (I wrote about it here)
One question we've gotten a lot is "so, are you going to move back to Africa?" or, "So, does Michael want to be a pastor?" Well, here's the news: we don't know yet! What we do know is that we want to be in ministry together, and we want to be where the church is not. (Side note: obviously that can carry different meanings with it. When we say "where the church is not", we're contrasting that with Dallas- where almost every church in town numbers in the thousands, where it's hard to find a co-worker that isn't a believer or who hasn't heard of Jesus, where the number of Christian book stores rivals the number of Chic-fil-A's, etc.) We know many people serving in Dallas who are truly making a difference and honoring a holy calling, and we absolutely respect them. We are just learning that our ""function in the body" is different, and we are ok with that!
So, in other words, we could end up back in certain parts of Africa, or in T-rkey, or in New Jersey or Oregon- because what matters to us is not the weather or the culture but God's heart for those who do not yet know Him. We want to pursue relationships with those who have not yet heard or seen the Good News in their communities. And here's what going to Africa helped me realize: this has nothing to do with the color of people's skin or their geographical location. It has nothing to do with being somewhere exotic or having a job description that impresses church people. It's not about trying to gain "Varsity" Christian status or going abroad because people "out there" have more needs, or are somehow more deserving, than people here. It's about making much of Jesus and sharing what He has done- whether it's with a co-worker at Starbucks or with a witchdoctor in the bush. So, we are seriously considering moving to another country after graduation. But we're also totally open to moving back to Princeton and picking up a job at Starbucks! Where the paycheck comes from really doesn't matter at this point. All that matters is that we get to open our mouths about who Jesus Christ is.
So, there's our answer, sorry if it's frustratingly unclear! It's funny how as God has given us more clarity about calling, it has caused our "future plan" to look less and less clear. I think that might be how He wants it, though, because I'm learning that peace and clarity about the future don't always go hand in hand! And that's a beautiful thing.