Tuesday, December 22, 2015

We're Moving!

From when Ben and I got accepted for our Envision internship back in November 2013, it took us four quick months to share our vision with others, fundraise, buy plane tickets, put all of our belongings in storage, step down from our jobs, and actually make it to Burkina Faso for the start of what would become sixteen incredible months of ministering to and alongside many incredible people. 
Ben and I in Burkina in July at one of the last projects we took part in before the end of our internship—teaching at a
week-long Christian English camp outreach for local students

I never imagined, though, that it would additionally take us four long months to get settled back in once we returned from our internship. 

Since we got back to the U.S. in the middle of August 2015, we've been in the nonstop process of trying to find new jobs and follow God to where He wants us next. We had no idea what that would look like, but it didn't seem like it should be too complicated. We both have bachelor's degrees and some decent job experience, so we just thought that everything would come together and we'd be living in our own cute little house in the ideal city within a month or so of returning from Burkina. Oh, how we were mistaken!

As it turned out, reentering life in the U.S. after being overseas was really complicated for us. Since we had no set city or even state where we intended to move, our plan was that Ben would secure a good job and then I would start looking for jobs in that area where he found one. Over the course of these past few months, Ben applied to so many jobs in so many different fields and so many different states, but not until November did he start getting a couple of calls back from interested companies. 

To be perfectly honest with you, I think that returning from our internship was just as difficult as preparing to go was for us. And preparing to go was quite difficult from the standpoint of having to take care of so many things and change nearly every aspect of our lives for the unknowns of living life in another country. But returning to the U.S. without any clear direction from God on where to go next, without the potential job situations we had heard about working out right for us, and without having any set source of income has made for an emotionally draining four months of transition. 

However, God has still taken care of all of our needs during this time, and we trust He always will as we seek to follow Him. We have much to be thankful for despite the hardships. As Romans 8:28 reminds me, "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."
One way that God took care of and blessed us during this transition time was allowing us extra time to spend with our families, and we got to visit family members in places such as Chicago (pictured).

In November, Ben did a phone interview with Allstate in Maryland. He then went for an interview up in Massachusetts for a manager trainee position at a Firestone store. We both liked that area and felt that we could see ourselves moving to Massachusetts, but just after his interview on that same afternoon, he got a call asking him to come in for an interview at the Maryland Allstate the following week. This turned out to be a bit of a dilemma. Firestone had offered Ben the job on the spot during the interview, but the Allstate job was what he thought would be a better fit. Long story short, he decided to turn down Firestone in hopes that he'd get an offer at Allstate. And after several more interviews and lots of waiting to hear back, he did! 

So we're excited to let you know that we will be moving to the Columbia, Maryland, area next week! Ben will be working at Allstate as an inside auto claims adjuster, and I will be looking to get a job there as soon as I can. We've since been working out the details of figuring out the area, renting an apartment, and getting our belongings moved there from Ohio.

Thank you for your continued prayers for us as we completed our transition back to life in the U.S. I still am so amazed and thankful for all of the wonderful people who God has brought into our lives to encourage and support us through all of this. Our new location will be close to a lot of major things, so if anyone ever plans to be in the D.C. or Baltimore area, let us know and we'd seriously love to meet up or have you over!

We really didn't try to end up in Maryland. As I said, Ben applied all over the place and many of you even know that our first plan was to try to move to North Carolina, but I find it kind of funny that God has moved us now from one of the poorest countries in the world to one of the richest counties in the United States (also ironic because we really aren't at all the "wealthy type" of people and it costs A LOT to live there). I don't think that our missionary days are necessarily over. We both still feel a draw to the overseas mission field, and we very well could end up overseas again if God calls us there. But for now, our new mission field is in Maryland. I have no idea how long we'll stay there or what all is in store for us in this new state, but I trust that God has a plan in moving us there and I'm excited to find out what He has for us!