Here are some of our most frequently asked questions, along with some questions we presume you may have.
1. So… Bend. That’s it for being overseas, eh?
Oh, we hope not. We are willing to move back overseas whenever God leads us that way. For now, though, we see that He has us stateside. Reed still needs regular, intensive speech therapy to get him up to speed for his age; this is a major reason why the position offered us through LI is such a blessing. Along with it being a great fit for our skills, experience, and desires.
Our hope is to eventually return overseas and run one of the guest houses, after serving as Director of Operations and becoming trained as life coaches.
2. Speaking of, how is Reed’s speech?
He’s come a long way since we first arrived in the U.S. a year ago. We are so thankful to have found the root cause of his speech delay, and that it was a motor issue and not cognitive (his ears were clogged with old fluid that was probably at least a year old; it was so bad it was as though he was hearing underwater). So Reed is now about a year behind in speech — much better than not even babbling 12 months ago.
We’ll keep going with speech therapy until he’s on par with his age appropriate development, and when we feel comfortable as a family with his progress.
3. Is there a hidden reason you’re leaving PI?
Nope, not at all. In fact, we love PI, and are sad to have said goodbye. It’s bittersweet, because while we are excited about our new ministry roles and the avenue through which we can do them, we hate to close the door on our association with PI. So we’re excited that our new ministry will actually serve many of those people we love — fellow cross-cultural workers.
4. So LI serves PI? Is that it?
No, Life Impact is available for any ministry organization with personnel in need of rest. This obviously involves cross-cultural workers of many types, but also pastors and other church leaders as well.
5. How long will you be in Bend? And how long will Kyle’s job last?
We’re honestly not sure, just as many of you aren’t sure about where you’ll be and what kind of work you’ll be in 10 years from now. We know we’ll be there until God moves us on to the next place. And yes, we definitely want to move back overseas, and pray in the direction that if God leads, we will go.
6. Will you go back where you were?
Permanently — probably not (though God’s done crazier things before). Since we plan to be in member care for quite awhile now, it makes sense that where we serve is near where many on the front lines are working, but not necessarily smack dab in the middle of those front lines. Where we serve will hopefully be open to us serving workers, easy for other workers to visit, and relatively peaceful and relaxing for those we serve.
However, Tsh and Tate are hoping to return to our former host country this fall (2011), in order to visit friends, places, and find closure. They weren’t able to visit one last time when Kyle returned for most of our things, so the last time they were there, they assumed they’d be back in five weeks.
Over a year later, and we’re still here. It’s been a rough mental and emotional transition, to be honest. Leaving and selling our home’s possessions from 6,000 miles away is not unlike an evacuation.
7. How did you get connected to LI?
We were on home assignment back in late ’08-early ’09. While we were in Oregon, we were encouraged to stay at the Sunriver Oasis, so we went through a few debriefing sessions with LI’s president and his wife, Dave and Sherri Grissen. Although we had a great time, we didn’t have any inclination of joining LI — after all, we were heading back overseas.
Fast forward two years, and we were in Colorado Springs for a debriefing conference during our medical leave. There, we shared our interest in member care, and one of the people we met with suggested attending an upcoming conference called PTM (Pastoring to M-ssionaries). Only Kyle was able to go, but it was here that he was reunited with the Grissens. They chatted off and on, and by the end of the week, Dave suggested that we pray about joining them with LI. We prayed for several months, and by December, we decided to send Kyle to their staff conference. Here, Kyle had a peace about LI, its mission, and our personalities being a good fit with them. After a number of Skype conversations, wisdom from elders, and lots of prayer, we decided this was the Lord’s direction.
8. How does Tsh’s blog fit in with your new ministry work?
Actually, her SLM network fits beautifully with our ministry — because it’s also a ministry. As she writes from home, Tsh is able to encourage other women (men, too) in creating intentional family environments at home that reflect their values. It has also opened the doors for speaking opportunities.
LI is fully on board with Tsh running her business alongside our ministry of member care.
9. So I hear professional bloggers can buy gold toilet paper and own six houses while only working 10 hours a week. Why are you still living on ministry support?
Yes, we earn a side income from SLM, and Lord-willing, it will continue to grow. But it’s definitely not enough to live on exclusively, nor is it easy work. Blogging — and all that it entails — requires a lot of work, and unless our life stage miraculously changes next year, we won’t be able to devote the hours and manpower it requires to transform it into a full-time business. So until then, we are content for SLM to be a nice side business.
All our blog revenue is currently channeled to our shorter and long-term investments — retirement, kid’s education, vacations, and the like. As of now, we are not raising support for those things.
Lord-willing, SLM will grow enough to provide more and more of our household income. We’d like to slowly transition from living on ministry support to exclusively blog income, a little at a time. Perhaps next year, our income can be from 70% support and 30% blog; the following year, 50/50; until eventually, our only support needs are for business expenses. This is just an example, of course; only God knows where He’ll take the blog. In the meantime, we are humbled and honored that we can earn just a little from Tsh’s little corner of the Internet.
10. How is Tsh’s book faring?
Organized Simplicity is doing well — within the first month of its release, it climbed to number 1 in its category on Amazon, and has remained there since (as of late February 2011). A big thanks to the many of you who’ve bought it!
11. How much support do you need?
Right now (spring 2011), we are raising about $1,000 monthly. This amount dropped off during our medical leave in the States, so we need to build this back up in order to be fully-funded. Funnily enough, our total monthly need is the exact same amount as in our previous ministry.
We are also raising as much one-time funds as we can gather for moving to Oregon and setting up a home. At minimum, we estimate this to be about $3,000. But we are also still trusting God for additional funds to get the remainder of our things from overseas (currently stored in our friends’ basement). Our hope is for Tsh and Tate to travel there this fall to retrieve the items and visit one last time.
Likewise, we are still owed about $3,000 in reimbursement funds from our former organization, and we would like to raise that amount so that we can evenly settle our personal accounts (PI is unable to reimburse us if we aren’t receiving the support funds).
All in all, we are raising $1,000 in recurring monthly support, and a minimum of $3,000 in one-time gifts (though more would be a huge blessing).
12. How can we support you?
Thanks for asking. Head here to learn more.