The most common question we’ve been asked is, “How did you decide to do this and why? Several Reasons:
Making my wife’s dreams come true. I joke that my wife has the soul of a 70 year old vagabond. Wanderlust is in her makeup. Mine too to a lesser extent. But having an RV has always been a dream for her. Behind that dream is the idea that we could pick up and go wherever and whenever we want.
Weird opportunity. For about 8 months we’ve been planning to spend this summer serving at the special needs orphanage we support, Hogares Luz y Vida (Home of Light and Life) in Bogota, Colombia. Our plan was to get an apartment in Bogota for June-August. We go there at least once a year. We take teams of people on short term mission trips there. Brooke serves on the board of the U.S. organization that raises money for them, and we dearly love the kids, the staff, and the place. So we set up life to clear the time this summer to go. Brooke is leaving her job the first week of June, and our amazing friend and coffee house manager, Rose, is taking care of TAZA and the Riddle House while we are gone. (We are deeply indebted to Rose – as always 🙂 And yet the Colombia trip just didn’t ever feel right. We think we’ll do this eventually. We’d love to immerse the boys in their native culture – and for the whole family to be immersed in the language for an extended period of time. But again, as excited as we were, it just didn’t seem like this time was the right time. So we’re seizing the window of opportunity.
Twist of Fate. We were recently at a Pastors Sabbath Retreat put on by Vineyard USA. We went on this trip with lots of questions about our next steps in life, ministry, along with some specific questions including how we’d spend our summer. We began joking about getting an RV and driving around the country. Three of the other couples on the trip said, “We have an RV hookup in our driveway.” By the end of the time there, I was beginning to fear it wasn’t a joke. When Brooke came home from the retreat she mentioned the idea to her dad who had looked at an RV that morning and was considering buying one. He did. So that made it officially possible.
An Extended Break: We left “full-time” ministry at the end of 2009 – almost exactly 7 1/2 years after we started. We declared 2010 the year of restoration. We wanted to bolt for an extended break in January, but opted to keep the boys in their routine with school and hold off until the summer. Those of you who are or have been in ministry understand that it’s different. It becomes your life in a way that the other jobs/careers we’ve had don’t. And when it’s gone, you not only lose your job, but often your church, your community, and a big piece of your identity. For us we’re still immersed in the community because we live, work, and play here. We still feel called here – or at least not released. We still live in the community house where we started the ministry, and we now own and run the coffee house we started with the community and where our church met for much of it’s existence. So while everything changed everything stayed the same. We felt like we needed to step outside of the context for an extended time to get some perspective. We needed to rest – a sabbatical. If we begin again, there must be a significant break for learning, healing and reorienting before that time. We also need to learn how to rest and how to just have fun without the agendas that ministry often place on your social life and relationships.
Chasing the Wild Goose: There’s a myth that says the ancient Celtic Christians referred to the Holy Spirit as the Wild Goose (instead of a dove). So part of our “Wild Goose chase across America the Beautiful” is to see what God is up to and learn. We’re visiting some ministries we have wanted to learn about, some friends who are leading churches or doing cool things, and we may even be speaking a couple places about our adoption stories and the heart of the Father for the fatherless.
The Grand Adventure: This is what Mac and Te are calling this. They are SO excited. We feel so fortunate to have the opportunity and ability to take this grand adventure. So we’re seizing the opportunity and hoping to have a blast with our family and make some memories.
So those are the basic answers. 9 Days until we leave, and at least 11 days worth of work to get ready 🙂