Back around Christmas time, Steve’s sister and her husband let the family know that they had been called and asked to serve as mission leaders for our church – a three year commitment. Their location assignment at the time was unknown, but already they were making preparations to step away from their life and family for an extended period of time.
Almost a month later, we were invited to their home where they read the letter announcing their location assignment. We all made our guesses. Christy and James already knew the assignment, but they were asked to wait to announce it to anyone until that evening. So we were trying to read clues and body language as to where they might go.
We knew they had been asked if they would be willing to go to a “hard” mission to which James was eager and Christy was reluctant but agreeable. James learned french on his mission when he was younger so Steve and I started to speculate they would be assigned to an African country, french speaking…we weren’t far off. They were called to Sierra Leone, Freetown mission (however, not french speaking).
Upon hearing the announcement, Steve’s parents were more excited than anyone having served the people of Ghana for years. I think it’s safe to say everyone else was nervously excited for them. Being mission leaders is no small task – having that assignment in Africa is an even bigger task. Not only are they learning how to lead, they’re learning new cultures and languages. (Not to mention they may not have family visitors like they would in other missions that are a little easier and cheaper to get to!)
Our family was able to go visit them and bid farewell just before they left. Their house was in the process of being packed up (their son is going to move in while they’re away), their suitcases were open in the living room, full of necessities and food products (they already shipped a container of goods), and the nerves were palpable. I can’t imagine what they’re feeling and the anticipation they must have.
Bottom line: These two are going to be amazing leaders and I can only hope my children have mission leaders like them when they serve. They are loving and doting parents and grandparents who are uprooting their lives to serve and their entire family is making a sacrifice with them. We are beyond anxious to start following their journey from afar.