In June 2008 – we headed back to PNG (Wanda for her classroom and Brad back to the Finance Office) for our 6th four-year overseas term. Well, that was the plan. After about a year and a half the Lord made it clear that our time in PNG was soon to end. There were a lot of “things” the Lord used to make this clear. I would be happy to share if any one reading this is curious. But, a real quick summary would be: cost of living in PNG exceeding our income – with no evidence of change; medical issues that could not be addressed in PNG; running out of work (Brad); and God’s grace & peace lacking to stay there any longer. He had something else in mind for us.
So, on June 28, 2010 we left PNG – probably never to see it again. Our heart remained in missions and we were very curious to know what He had in mind for our future.
Upon returning home, we sought His direction. He made it possible for the various medical issues to be addressed – with yearly checkups, x-rays, tests, etc. We spent time touching base with supporters and friends. And set a “deadline” (if you can do that?) to have positive direction in the what’s and where’s of His next place (s?) of service.
Labor Day 2010 – we visited our mission headquarters in Sanford Florida. We needed to touch base “in person” with our leadership there. We had been attempting to do everything via email and phone – but that didn’t seem to be working out too well. As it turns out there were numerous jobs available to us. One of those jobs became available – the day we arrived in Florida – and seems like about 85% of the job description was written for me (Brad). NTM also has a small school mainly geared for MK’s (Missionary Kids). Seemed like the doors were open for Wanda to pursue that avenue.
The end of March 2011 – we moved south to Florida. Brad to work in the NTM-Homes Finance Office and Wanda to teach 1st & 2nd grades in the NTM school LMCA (Lake Monroe Christian Academy).
At that time, I really didn’t quite know how to explain how working in the NTM-Homes retirement center advanced the gospel of Christ to unknown regions. After considering it, and praying about it – and after serving here for some months now and visiting with folks, I can much better understand and share the following. All residents here have labored at least 30 years in NTM. These folks are of the generation that – when they stepped out in faith to serve their Savior – they sold all they had, took up the Cross to follow Him. They had nothing to return to, fully expecting His return in their lifetime. When they reached their “golden years” and could no longer function overseas, they had nowhere to go. Many have children and grandchildren actively working in NTM (and some other missions). These folks could not be active overseas if we were not here to minister to their parents and grandparents. Even since our arrival here I have received thanks from numerous MK’s and “MGK’s” (Missionary Grand Kids) expressing their appreciation. I have also noticed that most of our “retirees” have a different definition of the word “retire” than the rest of the world. To them it means something more along the lines of “keep working – doing all you can for His Glory”. It is a privilege to be a part if His ongoing job of world evangelization. If you want to know more about NTM-Homes, either ask us or check out the website.
We are still adjusting to our “home culture” – but don’t believe we will ever really “fit back in.” Then again – that is probably a good thing. We don’t know how long the Lord will want us here – but He seems to have us in places for the long haul. Please continue to pray for health needs (for both of us), for financial needs, for safety, for His sustaining – guiding – upholding – enlightening Grace and Peace.
We thank you all for your continued interest in how He guides leads and sustains in our lives. We are constantly humbled by your friendships and support (both financial and prayerful and interactions).