Many of you are aware that Janessa and I will be flying back to Narnia on Saturday to try to get back in the groove again. We are extremely thankful for the time we have been able to spend with family to attempt to sort through the mess of emotions that mom’s death left in us. To be in a position financially to get back to the States with the sort of work that we do being thousands of miles away, yet still be able to spend this sort of time with family is a huge blessing. We count those blessings and understand they are by no means to be taken for granted. Living in a country where many cannot afford the next meal makes these blessings all the more real for us.

While my heart still aches and the pain of watching those I love suffer through this sort of loss is unbearable at times, I know we need to get back in the saddle and ride. Mom would want that and more importantly, it is just a necessary part of moving forward. So we’re still broken, but eager to get back into language study with an eventual move to the village in October. We also will likely have a couple new teammates coming around that time which is super-exciting as well. October gives us a vivid picture and time to look forward to in developing language skills and deepening our understanding of our new community.

Another reality really pushing us to get back is Janessa’s 7 month pregnancy. The baby is use soon and we’d be unable to fly if we don’t head back sooner than later. It has been our commitment from the beginning to have our little guy in Narnia as we feel the facilities and doctors are adequate and we have talked for years about living among the folks we serve and trying our best to live at a similar level they do. We will always and forever have a dollar sign on our forehead but having our baby in Narnia is a personal commitment we talked about years before the pregnancy. We are extremely excited about having our baby in the capital and raising him in the village.

People keep asking me if we’ll be able to live in the village or raise our child there. (This is usually preceded by asking why we don’t just stay in the US to have our child) I get where their question is coming from. Of course we couldn’t answer this question since we’ve never done it before. But Narnians have been doing it for years – having babies, raising them, and seeing them develop into strong men and women. We pray that we can do the same but model a Christ-centered, Christ-exalting family as we go. None of us are ever promised success and, at least in my life, the things God wants for me are typically uncomfortable. The very things that give God the most glory often times are the most challenging. So to that end, we keep obeying Jesus and let the nay sayers talk, watching the chips fall where they may. Man, what would we ever do without the encouragement of the Holy Spirit and a band of people around us who love Jesus? So thankful!

We wouldn’t want to live any other way and I’m thankful to have a wife who is so committed to Jesus, living simply, and loves Narnians so, so much. Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more baby news and the progress of our language study. Excited to get back despite the difficult goodbyes to come.