For those of you who know us, you know that being missionaries is our livelihood, it’s what we live for and it’s what we know we are called to. You also may know that it has been a LONG time coming to actually BECOME long-term missionaries. Kim felt God nudging her to be a missionary when she was 10 years old, Joel when he was in college. We felt God weaving our dreams together before we got married, Joel had a burden for children and helping them through homes or centers for at-risk children, Kim saw nurses running clinics on their own and she thought this is what God was wanting her to do. Our lives have been woven together by God’s thread and after we got married 11 years ago, we began searching for where God might want us to go long-term. Much searching led us to Ecuador. Our schooling at North Park seminary and university lead us to the Evangelical Covenant Church and our home church of Northwest Covenant Church has kept us in the Covenant. We began seeking a call with the Covenant to be missionaries and started our short-term service in Ecuador in 2010. Yes, you are reading this correctly that it has been over 11 years that this has been in the making.
We are pleased to announce however, that today, we area OFFICIALLY LONG-TERM MISSIONARIES! HALLELUJAH!
On Friday evening of the Annual Meeting of the Evangelical Covenant Church, we were commissioned as long term missionaries, along with 7 other friends and colleagues. Our denomination, family and friends laid hands on us and ‘sent us out’ just like the missionaries in the Bible! What a humbling and amazing experience! After more than 11 years, our journey as long-term missionaries finally begins!
On Saturday, Joel was ordained (yes he is now OFFICIALLY a Reverend) and Kim was consecrated. We were prayed for and hands laid on us by mentors and leaders.
You may wonder how we felt during these events. I will speak for myself (Kim). On Friday for the commissioning, I just felt it was SUCH a time of celebration. I had been waiting for that period in time for the majority of my life. It was quite surreal in the midst of it, but such an exciting experience. Listening to those around us pray for us specifically in such specific manors, showed me that people have been walking with us on this journey and that is truly humbling.
For the consecration, it was very different. I felt, like I never have before the responsibility that taking the message of the gospel to the ends of the earth. I reflected on this responsibility and wanted to listen to every word being spoken. I was focused and concentrated.
For Joel, the overwhelming feeling throughout the weekend has been… finally!!! In addition to all of this time of planning and preparing for long-term missionary service, he also has been moving all along to Ordination. He started Seminary in 2001 and so it has actually be 12 years until that call (of receiving a MDIV and becoming Ordained) has been an even longer process.
Safe to say, we are both happy to be done but also both feel extremely blessed by God for His providence and steadfast love and to be blessed by so many wonderful friends and family members who have supported us and encouraged us along the way. Thank you for being who you are!!!
Here are some pics from the weekend: