Well, it’s Official. We’ll be on Canadian Soil (and Snow) Until Spring 2014
Hello to all of you, our friends and family on this beautiful Thanksgiving Monday.
In our email update sent out last week, we let you know that we would be making a final decision about our return to the Philippines by this weekend. Since then & prior to that, we have had conversations with leadership in both PAOC & ACTION, and also with Carl Loewen, the former ministry leader of Honest Hands Discipleship Home. We have also spent a considerable amount of time praying about the decision, and have asked friends, family and supporters to pray with us.
Through these conversations and prayers, even though our desire is to get settled into life and ministry in the Philippines and begin ministering to young men who desire to be discipled, we believe that it would be best to delay our return to the Philippines, and wait to start the Honest Hands Discipleship home program until after the baby is born. There are three main reasons for this:

  1.  Our Monthly Support Level is Still Not Where it Needs To Be: Leadership has advised us that it would be best to continue to work on support development to get our monthly support to where it needs to be. We do want to be fully prepared to minister and not have to focus on and be concerned about a lack of support month by month, so that we can focus on the task that God has called us to. Currently, we have money saved up in our ACTION account from support that has been given over the past number of years, but our monthly financial support needed to cover our personal and ministry expenses is only at about 50%. If you are considering supporting us financially monthly we would appreciate you emailing us back to let us know your intentions so we can better plan for our return. We can send you details on different options for supporting us, or you can visit our PAOC profile page here for secure online giving.
  2. It Will be Better to Have the Baby Born at Home: If we would get to the Philippines by the end of November, there would be a lot to figure out for the birth of our child in the two months before the due date. Having the baby here in Canada will mean that Sarah will be in the care of midwives she has gotten to know over the past number of months, in a hospital and medical system she is familiar with, and have the support of friends and family here at home.
  3. For Better Long-term Preparation: We are committed to long-term ministry at Hones Hands, and we believe that this short-term delay will be more beneficial financially, emotionally & spiritually in the long run.

The plan is to return around 6 – 8 weeks after the baby is born if our monthly support level is sufficient. While at home, we will continue to contact churches to ask for the opportunity to share about the vision of Honest Hands. After I recover from my wrist surgery, I will continue to work part-time or possibly even take on full-time hours. We will also take this time to talk with other ministry leaders in similar ministries and read books that would help in working with young men from difficult life situations. This is in order to be more prepared to work with young men that have been all too often exposed to many evil & detrimental life experiences that no one should have to face, especially at such a young age.

We ask that you continue to keep us in your thoughts and prayers during this time of preparation. Pray that it really will be a fruitful time for preparing for long-term ministry at Honest Hands, Philippines. We would appreciate any feedback, and thoughts on this decision. Thank you for continuing to journey along with us as we seek to follow God’s leading for our lives and ministry.
We ask that you continue to keep us in your thoughts and prayers during this time of preparation. Pray that it really will be a fruitful time for preparing for long-term ministry at Honest Hands, Philippines. We would appreciate any feedback, and thoughts on this decision. Thank you for continuing to journey along with us as we seek to follow God’s leading for our lives and ministry.