One month from today we are scheduled to arrive in Madagascar - July 14. There is a lot to be done in the next few weeks but we are very excited about being this close to starting the next phase of this journey! Preparations are moving forward in Madagascar and US: school is done for the kids, the car has been purchased, the house in Santa Barbara has been rented, Josh is wrapping up at work, and we will start packing bags this week. We will write more in upcoming weeks as departure gets closer.
Many people have also asked how we are doing with support. We have raised approximately 80% of our total support from the year in Madagascar and are trusting for the remainder of support to come in (approximately $23,000 left to raise). And while its normally my lovely wife that makes lists, I will venture into the worlds of lists with thoughts about support:
1) Living abroad is expensive. Living in a 3rd world country should be cheap, right? When you hear statistics about people living on $2 per day, its hard to understand the expense. For anyone that has supported missionaries or wondered about the costs, I strongly encourage you to check out this very good article about the cost of living abroad.
2) Trusting God with finances doesn't come naturally. As we share about our plans, there is a visible change in countenance and tone when we share that we don't have assurance of a job when we return (although Josh has talked to his company about future options....) But we have seen God's hand in this process and trust him to provide - not only for the finances, but throughout each step of this journey and beyond.
3) It is humbling to ask for money. This process would be easier if we were independently wealthy. But inviting others to partner with us has been one of the most incredible parts of the journey. It gives us the opportunity to share our hearts & others the opportunity to join us in the work being done in Madagascar. What encouragement we have received to see how many people have chosen to partner with us and support our family. It is a constant reminder that we are not alone in this journey. Thank you!
4) We are constantly amazed with God's provision. In both the big things and small, we've seen His hand throughout the process. We will rely on Him in Madagascar but also in the preparations. Raising support has shown us - even before we leave - that He is part of this and all that we do is because of Him and through Him.
We are hoping and praying to be 100% funded by the time we leave. This will let us stay 100% focused on the work at hand - rather than raising support.
Would you partner with us to support our family in bringing the hope of Christ, health, and jobs to the people of Madagascar through reforestation? Click on the button below to make a one-time gift or monthly support for the year.
Josh and Amanda