As many of you already know, our family will be moving back to the States in one month. While we've known our time in the D.R. was drawing to a close, this latest change in our timetable occurred rather suddenly.
When we made our transition from JCS to Escuela Caribe we originally planned to finish out that school year and move back. However, after a few months we decided to renew Daniel's contract for one more year before leaving the D.R. We could already feel ourselves transitioning as we became more removed from Dominican culture and our friends in town. While we enjoyed what we were doing, we felt God preparing us to go back and felt the pull on our hearts to have our boys (and us) closer to family.
However, after moving to a slightly larger house on campus in September and buying chickens in October, we began to feel "comfortable" with life and struggled again with the decision about whether to move back. After much prayer, we felt God calling us back to Indiana (we'd previously been thinking North Carolina). We made the decision to move this June and began thinking and planning towards that.
Due to the low numbers of students here at Escuela Caribe currently, Daniel had at one point told the admin that if they needed staff to leave, we could leave early. However, everything still pointed towards our June timetable.
And then about three weeks ago Daniel had a dream. He wrote this in a message he sent out to fellow staff:
"Just to confirm how much God is in this, I had a dream on Monday night (before meeting Tuesday) that my family was riding on a train and we didn't know when/where we were supposed to get off. We were standing ready at the front of the train, watching ahead for some idea that we were supposed to get off. Then, the train stopped and somebody asked us, "What are you still doing here? This is the end of the line. You need to get off now." What had looked to me like tracks continuing, was really a decorated sidewalk that continued on. After we got off the train, we walked a short distance and saw a huge cathedral/castle-type building and were just lost in awe. I didn't understand it at the time, but God made it clear to me during meeting this morning."
That same day, after the staff meeting, we were told that they would need us to leave early, after all.
While this is still very difficult, as Daniel has said- we feel God's hand in it and trust His timing. Tomorrow is Daniel's last day of work, we meet up with Daniel's family in Santo Domingo for a previously planned trip, return in time to participate in the E.C. student retreat, and them leave on Tuesday March 22. We'll fly to Chicago, spend some time with family in Wheaton, and then move out to the Marion area at some point.
While Daniel is actively seeking jobs, we still have no idea what we'll be doing or where we'll live, but God is faithful and we are seeking His face in all of this!
We've enjoyed our time here both at JCS and E.C. and will miss the ministries, our friends, and the students. But we're also looking forward to be closer to our friends and family in the U.S.
Please pray for us as we make this transition. We are also hoping to attend a week long missionary de-briefing in May or August and will need to raise about $1500 for this (for the retreat and transportation).
Also, please have patience with us as it will take us some time to adjust to "changing countries!"
And if any of you want to understand a little more about what we'll be going through, we recommend reading this book (recommended both for those leaving missions and their close family and friends) :)