Several people have expressed confusion as to what exactly this physical move means in regards to my work in Micronesia. I will continue to serve PIU and the people of Micronesia with the same commitment as when I was physically living in Guam. The difference will be in HOW I go about my work. To accomplish this, I will rely heavily on modern technology, travel, and I am now blessed to have access to resources that will enable me to do the research necessary to develop strategies to address the tragically high rates of sexual abuse, domestic violence, and suicide throughout Micronesia. Eric will be working full-time as the pastor for adult ministries at Community Covenant Church of Goleta (part of his job description is coordinating the North Park Seminary Extension classes that utilize the church’s classrooms, so it’s similar to what he’s been doing). As his schedule allows, he will continue to provide pastoral training to remote island pastors (currently, we are planning to be in Yap in February), and he looks forward to cultivating ministry among Micronesians who have relocated here to the states. He will also be providing the lectures for the fall class he was slotted to teach at PIU prior to us knowing we would be in a new location!
Certainly, we are surprised by many of the changes that have come our way, but we remain confident that God is directing our course. I had a dream just last night that I think symbolizes this concept well. I was riding a camel (no I have NEVER ridden a camel) and the camel didn’t even have a bridal in its mouth by which to control it! I knew I was supposed to keep the camel moving up a twisting and turning path with many caves and rock formations and hundreds of path tributaries. I wasn’t exactly sure which route to take to get to the top. Was one a short-cut? Was one riddled with danger? Add to this that my camel wasn’t particularly cooperative. The dromedary especially wanted to stop and eat any grass it saw and it often acted ornery. I had to be creative to keep it moving and I wished I had a clearly marked map. As I reflected on this dream, I realized that one thing was certain, I KNEW I was suppose to keep heading up the mountain. And so it is, “I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace.” (Acts 20:24).
Addendum: Since we wrote this, our cargo container arrived and all the contents were transferred into the parsonage where we are living. So, as we type this, there are unpacked boxes throughout the house, and a lot of chaos. We are extremely grateful to God that our belongings have arrived safely, and we'll be even more grateful when they are all put away so that we can devote ourselves more fully to our work.