About 15 years ago, Ted and I were at Messiah College and we came across some literature from Wycliffe Bible Translators. They were looking for ethnomusicologists and computer programmers. “Huh?” we thought, “That sounds kinda like us.” It was a fun idea, but we didn’t really feel called, and we had other plans at the time.
Once in a while over the next 14 years, we would occasionally talk and dream of someday traveling around the world with the kids (once there were kids). I always said we needed to wait until the kids were all older–old enough to remember the trip!
Then, last September, when I was 8 months pregnant with Rosebud, we went to the New York Mennonite Conference’s fall Celebration. While wandering around there, trying to keep a certain 3-year-old from disrupting the service, I was browsing the information tables and I came across Eastern Mennonite Missions’s (EMM) Missionary Messenger magazine from last September. It happened to be about Families in Short-Term Missions. I had never really thought about the possibility of us taking an international trip that included missions–especially as a family and just on a short-term basis. I picked up the magazine and read it through, but then I put it away. It sounded great, but still wasn’t something I was ready to consider anytime soon.
Fast forward about six months. Rosebud is now just over four months. Ted is at a place in his career that allows him to take some time off. He was looking for some ideas of things to do and came across a missions website. A while later, he handed me the computer with this page open and said, “This is what I want to do.” Then, an absolutely amazing thing happened: I looked at it, sat down and read through the options, and said, “Yes, we should do this.” Then I pulled out the issue of Missionary Messenger that I had tucked away and gave it to him. God had been working on me behind the scenes without my knowledge, and the time was right!
Two days later, we had both talked to other people about the idea and got very positive feedback. Within two weeks we had talked with both our parents and a couple other friends/advisors, so we contacted EMM. They were excited to hear from us and encouraged us to fill out an application to start the process with them. We had the applications complete in less than a week. (And if you know anything about Ted, this timeline is quite fast!)
We had already planned a visit to my parents for three weeks later (to have a yard sale to clear out loads of baby clothes and others things we had accumulated over the years). Since my parents live in Lancaster County, where EMM is headquartered, we setup an interview for during that visit. Thursday morning we had a wonderful interview with a placement coach from EMM. By that afternoon, we were officially invited to pursue a GO! assignment with EMM!