[Warning: Somewhat rambling post ahead. I really hope you make it to the end.]
Hi everyone, it's Ben. This post goes out to all my friends and family, just to get everyone on the same page with what's going on with us. As some of you know or may have heard, we are going to be moving to Wisconsin early in August. We've had a chance to explain to some of you but I know for a fact that I am not that great at communicating, so for anyone who's wondering, here's the 'why:'
1. We feel that God is not letting us be satisfied to stay where we are, with the idea of starting a career, and living a day to day life.
2. We have a desire to teach the Bible, or to serve the church body somehow, and model a Christ-following family to those who have no examples of Christ in their lives. We are excited that we may have a once in a lifetime chance to 'have a job' doing just that.
Let me explain this statement quick, because I want to avoid a mis-communication. We don't have any problem whatsoever with the idea of having a career in the United States. We've spent a lot of time trying to make a life where we are...I've lost count of how many times we've tried to buy a house, move up the ladder in our jobs, considered career-oriented school/training, etcetera. The best way to describe the statement above, is that God isn't *letting* us settle in. He has taken away those options from us on every occasion that they've risen.
Where is this coming from? You can probably scroll all the way back to the first post on this blog to get this history about us, but I'm sure most of you are already about to close this window out and go back to looking at Facebook, so I'll save you having to do that. :) Basically, Gina & I met at New Tribes Bible Institute (NTBI) in Waukesha, Wisconsin back in '04. We were both going to school to study the Bible but neither of us were really sure what to do with our lives at that point. We fell in love and got married in '05, but dropped out of school to settle down and try to get some direction.
Since then, we've lived in 3 states, worked in a cafe', a machine shop, from home over the internet, run our own photography business, interned at a church, of course worked at Dixie Stampede, and raised 2 beautiful little girls from scratch. Through all this, we've done a lot of growing up and changing, and have begun to develop our own convictions about life and the way we want to live and raise our kids.
A lot of people reading this probably know me from Dixie, where I've sort of developed an outspoken aspect of my personality. Some might have met me at church, and I'm sure by now have been horrified by how weird I am. Some of you might not know me at all because you're Gina's friend and have never met me. My intention with this blog is to be as real as possible, and to avoid seeming like we've "got it all together." This is a pretty big, unknown step for us, that has at times left us feeling hopeless.
We are going to go finish our Bible education, and beyond that we are looking in to the possibility of becoming full time missionaries with New Tribes Mission. We haven't had a sudden epiphany, we don't (at the moment) feel like missionaries at all. We have no idea where we would want to go, or what we would even do as missionaries. This is a lot of unknown and to some of you probably seems like a pretty reckless thing to do with 2 little kids. Believe me, we feel the same way sometimes - and the kids aren't a consideration we're ignoring. We have always focused on a family environment where the girls are a priority. Gina has stayed home for years even though it has stretched us financially. We don't like to busy ourselves to the point where we don't see our kids much. We will also hold this conviction in the future, they are definitely a priority.
Really through all these fears and doubts we always come back to the statement at the beginning. We are seeing God put the pieces together. We are genuinely excited to take this step, regardless of not knowing all the answers. We don't feel the hopelessness anymore, because this is a real chance to make a difference with our lives. There is still the fear that this plan won't work out either -- but it's a fear that we can't let control us.
Ok, you made it all the way to the end of this post, congratulations! More to come in the future about our goals, things we've been learning, rants, general silliness and hopefully a lot more pictures. Our Bible school experience so far has given us a small taste of the need that we all have for the gospel. We still have a lot to learn, and are hoping that God teaches us in the areas we know we're lacking. Our attitude isn't perfect and I'm nervous whether or not we're going to 'fit in' to a largely Christian culture, but I'm sure we could write a lot about whether or not we even want to. Thanks for reading!