Over the last couple of weeks several of you have asked me to write an article updating you on where we stand in the application process with the IMB. Before I do that I just want to thank everyone for your encouragement. You have no idea what a blessing it is for our family to know we will have the support of this church once we are overseas. God has been so gracious to bless us with Oak Crest.
There are three phases to the application process with the IMB. The first phase is the Prospect Phase when applicants have their initial interview, provide basic info about themselves, and attend a missions expo to learn more about how the IMB functions. Basically this is the part where the IMB makes sure you aren’t a crazy person. Morgan and I attended our expo in September of last year. The second phase is the Applicant Phase. This is a time of more in depth exploration about calling, physical and mental health, and giftedness. The final phase is the Candidate Phase. Here the candidate is matched with a job, their references are released, and they go before the trustees for approval. This all took place in August and September and we were recommended for appointment on September 28th.
What’s left for us moving forward? Now that we are recommended to be appointed as IMB missionaries we will attend appointment week November 3-9th in New Orleans. After training and lots of meetings we will participate in the appointment service, Lord willing, on November 8th at which point we will officially be IMB missionaries. Our last official day at Oak Crest will be December 18th and we will start training in Virginia on January 18th and be finished on March 18th. Between appointment and training we will be visiting churches that would like to be prayer partners with us. We will not be looking for any financial support as we will be fully supported through the Cooperative Program but we do want to bring several churches alongside us to commit to pray for us.
After training in March we will then go to Southeast Asia for a year of language school before we transition to our final destination and begin our work. Our first term will be three to four years, including the year of language school, and we will then return to the states for a time of furlough.
We’ve walked through this entire process understanding that everything set before us will only happen if it is the Lord’s will. All of these plans are subject to change as things are always changing in the world of missions. But we know that God is sovereign over all of this and there is no reason why we should be at the point we are right now apart from his working. We trust that his will is being done and we long for the day when we can be on the front lines of reaching the Unreached in Southeast Asia.