When we married in the Spring of 2010 we made a plan to pay off all of our student debt as soon as possible so that we would be free to pursue ministry overseas. So we set out to work very hard and over the course of two years, with wise counsel and the help of loved ones, we were able to pay off over $25,000. In fact, the month we paid off the last of our student loans is the month our first daughter, Evangeline, was born.
We have felt strongly for overseas ministry since we met on a summer project in East Asia with Cru back in 2007. It is one of the big reasons we chose to marry as we both shared the same heart for experiencing other cultures and sharing the good news of Christ’s life, death and resurrection for all people. While we were paying off our debt we were intentional in seeking out different avenues we might pursue one day for overseas ministry. From visiting the New Tribe Missions Training Center on our honeymoon to taking time to invite others to pray with us as we sought God’s will for where He would send us.
At the end of May, 2014 we had an opportunity to join our local church, Karis, on a vision trip to Tokyo, Japan with our pastor and a couple who were already in the process of planning to move back for the purpose of church planting. We decided to bring along our 15 month old daughter with us on this trip. By the end of our 10 days in Tokyo, Leanna and I were done. It was the hardest trip we had ever been on and we felt like failures as parents due to the hard time our daughter had in adjusting to the time difference, jet lag and overall stimulation of the largest city in the world.
a few weeks upon our return, we began to process the trip. Ultimately, we came to answer three questions that now are having a direct impact on the trajectory of our lives. You can about those 3 questions here!