If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. Psalm 139: 9-10
When was the last time you experienced change? Maybe you are currently going through a big life transition with a recent graduation, a new job, a divorce, a loss of a loved one, or a health diagnosis. As you know, I am in the midst of transitioning from building my network of financial and prayer partners to full-time ministry in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia to begin the work that God has called me to.
When I was at my cross-cultural training last summer we focused one of our days on transition. I learned that there are five stages of transition. First is called the settled stage, second is the unsettled stage, third is the chaos stage, fourth is the re-settling stage, and lastly is the “new” settled stage. There was a drawing of a huge suspension bridge that was drawn on the wall. The instructor asked us to name some words to describe our feelings for each stage. On the side of the bridge that represented “settled” there were words: comfort, routine, peace. Then moving towards “unsettling” stage: unknown, anticipation, goodbyes, exciting, prep, learning. Then to the “chaos” stage: confusion, exhausting, uncomfortable. Then crossing to the other side to the “re-settling” stage: adventure, discovery, learning the new normal. Finally, to “new settled stage”: thankful, hopeful, ready, relief, adjusting, familiar.
I feel that I am in the unsettling stage of transition. I have already started to say goodbye to family members and friends. I said goodbye to some of my things with the help of Marie Kondo (thanks to her show Tidying Up on Netflix). One of the big unknowns is, when am I going to reach 100%? I believe that it will be very soon! God has been so faithful and I know that he will provide! I’m excited to say that my current recurring pledges are at 98% and am in need of 2 partners to join at $50 per month and 1 partner to join at $25 per month for my ministry to be sustainable. Will you join my team of financial support partners? Give online by clicking the link below or calling IM Donor Services to set up a recurring gift at 610-768-2323. Thank you in advance for your generosity! If you are already one of my partners in ministry, thank you for your ongoing support and your prayers!
After we named our feelings we had an activity with a pretend bridge made up of unstable chairs and exercise balls. First a missionary tried to cross the bridge alone, but didn’t make it. Later, a missionary team crossed together, but didn’t make it. The instructor had the team try to cross the bridge again, but this time invited everyone in the class to gather around the team to help them get across. We were there to lend a hand, encouraging word, and someone even started praying during the most challenging part! With our help the missionary team made it smoothly and safely across the transition bridge. One of my take aways from that day was that I need people. Period. I cannot do this alone. I knew this, but with this activity it really gave me a clear picture and has helped me process. In order to have a successful transition and to flourish in ministry, missionaries need the prayer support, encouraging words, and financial support to make their ministry possible!
I am very eager to get to the “re-settling” stage in Bolivia. I will be attending my assignment orientation at International Ministries in March along with my colleagues, Lynette and Brian Smith and their boys. Please pray for me and The Smiths as we make final preparations to moving to our respective countries of service shortly after this orientation.
Where ever you find yourself today, I pray that you feel God’s loving arms surround you. May you be surrounded by a community of people and be filled with hope to continue on the journey across whatever transition bridge you are faced with. Thank you for being my people.
Together in God’s mission,