Yes, this is big.
This has been in the works for about 5 months. Becky and I have always been open to the possibility of going overseas if God made that clear to us. Well, about 5 months ago, He made it clear. With deep conviction, we believe God has ordained this step for us at this time. Due to books we have read, conferences we have attended (recent GIC at McGregor was key), prayer, Bible study, conversations with wise counsel, sermons, opportunity, need and circumstance, we are confident that God has lead us in this direction. We have consulted with the RMI Board. They have prayerfully embraced this and are enthusiastically supportive of our future ministry together in Haiti. We believe we have been patient in seeking His direction for our lives. In our patience, God has clearly led us. We would love to share the whole story with you at a later time.
Primarily, God has led us to do this. Secondarily, we see such broad opportunity to be the hands and feet of Jesus as we seek to extend His kingdom, specifically through RMI’s Sister Church Program. We will have constant opportunity to invest in people, build them up, and mobilize them for ministry, there in Haiti and throughout the United States. We will have loads of opportunity to love and care for the poor and broken. We will have much opportunity to learn, be stretched and challenged. We will work directly with Haitians there on the field as well as Americans as they visit their RMI Sister Churches. The harvest is truly plentiful, and the workers are truly few. God has called us all to go. We believe our specific call at this time is Haiti.
I will primarily be the Haiti Field Director and Becky will primarily be caring for our children. I can’t wait to get down and start working with RMI’s missionaries down there. I will need to do a lot of listening and learning in order to manage and lead the field. I will have opportunity to go out with RMI Sister Church teams. I will be providing direct oversight to all the ministries, church relationships, Hope for Kidz, projects, missionaries, national staff and finances on the field. Becky looks forward to being involved in hospitality at RMI’s Guest House there on the Mission Center. She also looks forward to helping from time to time with church medical teams as well as at the pharmacy at the Medical Clinic on the Mission Center where we will live.
What about your job responsibilities in FL?
Some of my responsibilities are now covered with the automated systems that I have put in place. Some of my responsibilities will need to be covered by others here in the office. Some of my responsibilities I will temporarily continue to carry even while in Haiti. We are praying that God leads another person to come in and pick up where I left off here in FL as office/business/finance/personnel administrator and manager. Interested?
What about your house in FL?
Due to the current economic situation in the United States, especially here in SW Florida, it is impossible to sell our home at this time. Therefore, based upon some discussions with some local realtors, we are trusting that we will be able to rent it.
Where will you live?
Generally speaking, we will be living in Les Cayes, Haiti, on the MEBSH Mission’s Center where many other missionaries live. We are still working to determine which home we will live in.
When will you be moving?
Our goal is early 2010. Yes, that is only 7/8 months away! There is much to be done.
Will you need to raise additional funds to go?
Yes. We need to raise approximately $2000 more a month, plus approximately $65,000 in onetime expenses (vehicles, moving, set up, equipment, cross-cultural training). It’s not cheaper to live in a 3rd world country! This won’t be easy, but then again, with Him, all things are possible. We will be meeting with many people, churches and groups to seek this funding.
What about the Kids?
They are firmly in the hands of the Lord. The kids are excited, although we understand that they really don’t understand. Drew is excited about 4 wheelers and mountain climbing and Tessa is excited about banana trees! We don’t know yet if Becky will do home school with them or if we will send them to the school on the Mission Center. There are currently several children their age on the Mission Center that they will have fun growing up with (there are 27 children under 18). We are trusting that God will care for their every need as they develop into who God wants them to be as they grow up in Haiti.
Yes, we have many questions unanswered. Yes, we still have many obstacles before us. Yes, we have many concerns. Yet, we believe that as we step out in faith, God will care for us and provide as we need. As He more and more becomes the desire of our hearts, His will will be more and more accomplished in and through our lives and ministry.
Rob (and Becky)