Greetings friends and family,
It's only been about 2 months since we last wrote but in that short amount of time- EVERYTHING has changed! Our busy summer finished well and we have many wonderful stories of how God worked through the Jubilee team trip and the work that was done in the past 2 months. However, we are going to save those stories for another day and for the sake of brevity focus on all those changes I mentioned. Without further ado...
Big Change #1: Baby!!
Many of you might have already seen from Facebook or heard from word of mouth that Baby K-Lav is on the way and due in March. We are incredibly excited and feel so blessed that our family is growing! The timing was a bit unexpected, which means that some of the changes that were planned for the future are happening on a very accelerated time frame!
Big Change #2: Moving to Seoul and beginning a new ministry
Over the past year, Ryan and I were praying about what God may have in store for us in the next season of our lives as our contract with FH winds down. We have distinctly felt God calling us to expand our vision from Indonesia to all of Asia. This past year, we have been in ongoing dialogue with our pastors from Jubilee Church about the possibility of joining them in founding a missions center in the future, expanding the scope and reach of our ministry.
The missions center, located in Seoul, would be for all missionaries/overseas workers in Asia, open to all organizations and churches. The center would offer counseling services, plug people into quality medical care, trainings to help missionaries with needed skills for their fields like business, agriculture, etc.. and provide opportunities for short-term trips, as well. It would be a place for missionaries to be revived, to be trained and to network with other organizations and missionaries. As we talked about the missions center with our pastors and with each other, our hearts have came alive with this vision. Our time in Indonesia has showed us firsthand the need for missionaries and ministries to be supported here in Asia, where most missionaries are literally on the other side of the world from their sending agencies, and don’t have access to a local church. We have seen missionaries burn out, conflicts arise, and experienced our own challenges here, which has made it clear to us the huge need for regional support for missions. Through prayer, reflection and seeking the counsel of others, it became clear that God was indeed leading us to move to Seoul to start the missions center after our contract with FH ends.
Big Change # 3: Leaving Indonesia in November
This is a big decision and has not been made lightly! Before Baby was in existence we already knew that God was leading us into a new season of ministry in Seoul. However, when we found out we were expecting we had some big things to consider in regards to where the baby would be born and how our transition timeline would work out. After talking with local missionary friends and taking in to account our own experiences here, we decided we would not be giving birth here in Indonesia due to the healthcare available to us. We also had a home leave scheduled with tickets bought and paid for for November and December. Taking in to account that I would not be able to fly after February and we would need some time for the baby's immune system to strengthen before we could return to Indonesia- we saw we would only have about 6 weeks in Indonesia before the end of our contract. We had many calls with Food for the Hungry, our families and pastors and there was broad agreement that the best option was for us to end our contract with FH in Indonesia early and to move to Korea in January. We will have a short amount of time to get settled in Seoul before the baby is born in March.
Phew! There it all is! We are incredibly excited about the changes before us. We really see that God is leading us into a season of expansion: expanding our family and expanding our ministry field from Indonesia to all of Asia. We can also see how God has been using our time here in Indonesia to prepare us to begin this mission center in Korea. We have received so much confirmation from our mentors, close friends and family that this is the right move for us and it is so exciting to be walking in God's will like this and to be part of something new and fresh.
We are so happy that we are leaving this season of ministry with the blessing and encouragement of Food for the Hungry and local staff here. We are spending these final weeks in Indonesia training staff to take over our roles to ensure that all staff are well prepared for the transition. We do also want to say that just because we are physically leaving Indonesia, our relationship with Indonesia isn't ending! We still plan to visit through short term trips and support the work here from Korea through the missions center.
We will continue to be on support as we begin the missions center in Korea and if you feel lead to support this new ministry regularly or just give one time to help with the moving costs, that would be a huge blessing to us! We would ask for your prayers during this season of transition, as we have a lot of logistics to work out regarding the moves and a lot of travel in the coming months (this is going to be one well traveled fetus!) Please also pray for a healthy pregnancy and baby and that we can have good goodbyes as we leave Indonesia.
Thank you all for your prayers, love, and support. We have felt incredibly loved and supported these past 2 1/2 years in Indonesia and are excited for what God will do in the future as we serve in Korea!
Much love in Him,
Carolyn and Ryan