We cannot wait to be in Chile. We eagerly anticipate settling in to our new home, learning the culture of the Aymara, and beginning our ministry with our new friends and partners. At times, the excitement is overwhelming!
All that makes it even harder to accept a delay in our schedule, but that is exactly what we have received. Thanks to rising travel costs, we chose to raise our budget, leaving us further than we would like to be from our goal, $13,000 away to be more exact. This amount of money means that a mid-October departure is probably as optimistic as we should be.
This was quite the disappointment. Bekah and I both felt down; we had let our eagerness cloud our judgment. If it wasn’t for CBF’s 100% rule, we would probably have left partially funded, with more hurt in the long-term than in the short. We are that ready to start our new work.
We were also afraid, honestly, of letting down our Chilean partners. They’ve seen June become July, become August, become September, and now October. We finally decided, though, that we had to sit down and pound out an email letting them know of our situation and why the delay, and hope that they would not be disappointed.
Surprisingly they were very gracious and encouraging. I don’t know why it is surprising; we probably should expect no less from them. They are such kind, generous, and loving people. It turns out the disappointment is more our own, but their encouraging responses lifted us out of the slump we were in and reminded us what we are working for.
Marcelo told us, “The dates are not important. What is important is that you do not become discouraged in your vision of coming to Chile. We love you very much, and we are always praying for you.”
Viviana, the director of the Baptist Union of Chile’s missions branch said, “We encourage you in the Lord to not become discouraged before this dream and plan that God has for you here in Chile. When you arrive you will be very welcomed, whenever that time may be.”
Mauricio, the president of the Baptist Union of Chile said, “Receive a affectionant hug from Chile! We have been praying for you all, and we will continue doing so.We know that the work you are doing in the United States is not easy, but cheer up! God never promised that it would all be easy.” Then he shared wise words from a former professor of his: “While more time may pass with the fruit on the branch, the better flavor it will have when it has been harvested.”
The work before us is still daunting, and we are still saddened that our departure date has been pushed back once again. It is comforting, though, to know that, whenever we arrive, we will be well received, and the work that God has called us to will take place in God’s timing. It took our Chilean friends to remind us of that, and it is a comforting thought as we continue in this stage of our journey, contacting churches, meeting with partners and working on our visas.