We are beyond excited to share that we have officially been appointed as missionaries to Kenya!!
Wait, didn’t we already know we would be going to Kenya? Yes, that has been our hope, but after lots of questions and paperwork and applications and a weekend of interviews in Indiana, we have been accepted with an organization that will be working alongside us to actually get us there. They will be coordinating all of our training, guiding our fundraising, and working out the mountain of details that a family of four needs to take care of when moving halfway around the world. We thought it might be easiest to answer lots of the questions around this big announcement through a little Q&A session. So, here it goes.
Q: What organization did you end up choosing?
A: Now that it’s official, we’re thrilled to be able to say that we’ll be signing with World Gospel Mission (WGM), an organization that has missionaries all over the world. This is the same organization I spent a year and a half with in Honduras beginning in 2002. I’ve stayed in close contact with many of the missionaries I met during my time there and have been able to see their relationship with WGM. We love all that the organization encompasses and their vision for the future of Kenyan medicine. Personally, I am blown away with the way God has orchestrated the path to WGM. I had no idea 12 years ago that I would end up working with them in this capacity!
Q: Do you still plan on going with the Horns?
A: Absolutely!! They’ve been accepted with WGM, too!
Q: When do you think you’ll be leaving for Kenya?
A: It is our hope to leave in early 2016. Of course, we hold our timeline with an open hand, knowing that things can change at any time.
Q: Why can’t you leave sooner?
A: As much as we would love to be able to head back to Kenya right now, we have a lot to get done before we can make the big move. First, Pete needs to finish his two-year contract in the emergency room. We’ve wanted to have those two years of a steady income in order to work on paying off our student loans (his medical school and my grad school) as well as our house. A second reason is that there is a lot of training we’ll go through before moving. Training will cover things like raising funds, educating our kids in another country, and working cross-culturally. We’ll officially begin all of this training in January 2015. It typically takes about a year to go from that point to the mission field.
Q: Do you plan to live in Kenya for a long time?
A: We do. We hope to be in Kenya for as long as we feel God is still using us there, which we pray will be a very long time.
Q: Where exactly will you be living in Kenya?
A: We’re still working out the details of where we’ll be. We have a few ideas, but a lot can happen between now and when we actually move. Overall, we’d love to be in a rural community with a hospital that trains new doctors.
Q: Do you have to buy your own house when you get there?
A: Nope, that will be taken care of for us by WGM. It’s possible that, in the future, we’ll want to build our own house, as some of our friends have done, but that’s a ways down the road. We do plan to keep our house in Duluth and rent it while we’re away, though we plan to sell most of what we own before leaving for Kenya.
Q: Will you be homeschooling the kids?
A: Yes. Living in a small, rural community will require me to teach the kids at home. This is very common for missionary kids. We want to make sure they are learning everything they need to know to transition back to the States well in the future and to possibly attend college here someday. I have no doubt that Ella will keep us on our toes with homeschooling and I’m so looking forward to teaching Sam in a style that will fit him best. Because of this, I’m very thankful to have my Masters of Education and some amount of special education experience, as well. I will be attending specialized training before our move so that we can meet our children’s educational needs the very best ways possible. No only will I be homeschooling our kids, but it is quite possible that I will be a part of coordinating the education with other missionary kids who are at our same location.
Q: What about Sam? Will he be able to get everything he needs?
A: Of course, this is one of our main concerns with our move. Through the last two years, we have been going after as much as possible. Things like physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, music classes, and social learning opportunities. These early years are critical to his development, which is why we are glad we’re not moving sooner. Educationally, I will be able to meet most of his future needs, which may, at times, require assistance from the many resources and contacts I’ve accumulated since my undergrad days. Physically, we’ll see how he does. We plan to wait and see what resources we’ll have at the hospital in our area, because physical and occupational therapists may be available. If they are not, Nairobi, the capital of Kenya, is quite advanced and will surely have further options for him, if necessary. However, if we do run into a time when we feel Sam needs more than we can offer him through any of these routes, it will be possible for us to return to Minnesota to concentrate on specific needs. It helps tremendously that we are not going into this without guidance. We are in contact with multiple families who are currently or have recently raised children with special needs on the mission field. I think it will always be a learning experience for us as parents, but we have the confidence that God has called us to this unique path and that He will continue to guide us.
Do you have more questions? Feel free to comment on this post or on our Facebook page & I’ll try to get them answered.
After years of praying and dreaming, this is a huge step toward Kenya. Please continue to pray for us as we move forward. We can not make this move without your prayers and support!