Our current situation is a little bit up-side-down and very much the right way up. It’s very busy, yet wide open. And I haven’t quite figured out how to explain us in 2 sentences or less… You know, the kind of response you need when the person next to you at a potluck asks “So, tell me about yourself!”
We are Tom and Candice and we are on a journey heading into full time missions. Our destination is Elkhart, Indiana. We will be serving with Reach Beyond… Which was formerly (as in, like last week) HCJB Global… They have two main focuses: Media ministries and health care. Tom is an engineer and I’m a nutritionist and we both feel passionate about reaching beyond our comfort levels to improve the lives of those in need. So really, Reach Beyond is a really great fit. So about a year and a half ago we began lining up our lives to (eventually) leave our jobs, leave our home, and leave our life as we knew it to relocate to Elkhart, Indiana to work full time as missionaries serving at the Technology Center. Tom will work on radio, media, and fresh water projects. I will be a consultant (by distance) to health care and community development projects and take care of the family on the home front. As resources and opportunities allow, we will also travel to field sites and assist in these projects in the field. Reach Beyond works in over 150 different countries.
So the above is about as short as I’ve gotten it so far. But the next question usually requires nearly as complicated of an answer: Where are you from?
Tom and I were both born in Manitoba (Canada). Tom’s from Winnipeg and I’m from Dauphin. After we were married in 2997 we moved to Montreal and have called that ‘home’ ever since. During our time in Montreal we served on a few short term missions – 6 months in Costa Rica and 2 months in Ecuador. The experiences of those mission trips led us to the path we are currently on. About a year and a half ago we started the (daunting) climb of finding our support team to head into full time missions. You see, to be missionaries with Reach Beyond, we need to find our own support (ie – a team of people willing to financially support the work we will be doing on an on-going basis to cover the financial cost of being a missionary. This includes a living allowance, health insurance, contribution to Canadian Pension Plan, etc). This is no simple nor small task. As you could imagine, all those add up for a family of four. Which takes us back to the question of ‘Where are you from?’ Because after a while where you are, there are no more opportunities to tell your story, your mission, and your needs. So you need to move on. So after about a year of support raising in Montreal we packed our bags and took a leap of faith… Laying our needs, our desires, and our family in God’s hands.
So currently nowhere is home, but also our home is everywhere. We are following any and all opportunities to speak about our mission and our needs and letting the Lord provide as He wills. It is our desire to be in Elkhart to start work on June 1st (of this year), but we are waiting on miracles to make that happen: We still need to find the remaining 20% of our funding, secure visas to work in the states, and over come some logistics of moving our family there.
Thankfully we get to rely on God for all of it.
He has taken care of logistics (everywhere we’ve been, someone has offered us a vehicle to use WITHOUT us asking!), finding us supporters (we ARE 80% of the way there!!!), and places to be (in the past 2 months we’ve spoken at multiple events in 3 different provinces). We’ve been connected with families, churches, and small groups that I never thought possible. He has found us a home in the midst of this awesome chaos we currently find ourselves in. So we are riding this wave. This awesome, stretch-us-beyond-our-limit wave. And trusting. Trusting Him with everything in our lives – our needs, our desires, our future… even our precious young sons… And are confident that we will end up where we need to be when we need to be.