Big changes are coming…but what exactly are those changes?
It’s hard to believe that in just over two months our family will find ourselves relocated back in the US for our one-year home assignment, and while that doesn’t bring a lot of changes for all of you, it does mean a move across the world for us! We’ve heard a lot of questions coming in from friends and supporters, and this is a great time to answer some of those.
- What is “home assignment”? Home assignment, more properly termed “US/Puerto Rico Assignment,” is the time when missionaries temporarily come off the field and head back to their passport country. During this time, they attend special conferences for missionaries, help International Ministries with work stateside (such as the Biennial Convention and Hear the Call Retreats), enjoy some rest and time with family, and most importantly, visit the wonderful churches and individuals who have been so faithful in supporting them – as well as seeking new friends with whom to partner on our mission journey.
- Are you moving back to the US for good? At this time, we still strongly feel God’s call to minister with the Karen people in Thailand. This home assignment will last for one year, and our plan is to return to Thailand at the end of May 2020, as long as we can build and maintain the support needed.
- Where will you live? Well, that is a really good question… and one we wish we had the answer to! We know that God has the answer, and we are trusting Him to reveal it in His time. We feel pretty strongly that our children need to feel as “at home” as possible during this tough time of transition. Since we lived in Indiana for 15 years before moving overseas – and Indiana is where the majority of our supporters reside – we are currently looking to move back to Indiana for our home assignment time.
- When are you coming back to the US? Debby and Julia will be returning to the US mid-April in order to try and secure housing and make final plans for the family. Kyle, Brennan, and Emma will follow at the beginning of May.
- If you’ll be in the US, do you still need our support? YES! In fact, we need your support more than ever, because it is more expensive to live in the US than it is to live in Thailand. Plus, our time in the US is not a vacation (although we will have some vacation time during the year, like most families do!) – we are still working, employed by IM, and we will in fact be quite busy during the year! We are thankful for all of our partners, and we are actively seeking to form new partnerships. If you’d like to become a part of God’s work in Thailand by making a gift to IM on our behalf, you can do so by clicking the GIVE button above.
- What will you be doing during this year in the US? Oh my, where to begin… the majority of our time will be spent visiting churches and individuals who have been so faithful in supporting us, and we look forward to those joyful reunions. We will also be seeking new churches and individuals to start new partnerships with us. But in addition to that, there are some special things happening. We will be attending the Biennial Mission Summit in Virginia Beach in June.You can attend, too, by registering here. We will join other missionaries in leadership roles and in providing information about our ministry. We will also be partnering with Campbellsville University in Kentucky as visiting missionaries. Campbellsville began a new partnership with American Baptist Churches a few years ago, and we are excited to join them in their promotion of missions on their campus at various events throughout the school year.
- How can we pray for you? Pray that we will clearly see God’s direction in where we are supposed to live and will be able to secure the housing we need upon return to the US. And please pray for our family (both the children and the adults!) as we make this transition. A full year in the US is quite different than a visit of a few weeks. We will be leaving our ministry, our church, and friends that we love for a full year. Even though we are headed to see family, friends, and other people who are very important to us, we have to admit that there are things that have the potential to worry us: will we forget how to speak Thai? Will our friends here move away while we are gone? (we already know that some of them will not be here when we return) Will our dog and cat be ok? And in the meantime, there is still a lot of work to do to make everything happen!
So that’s what we’re talking about when we say “home assignment.” We’re looking forward to seeing so many of you during that time. Be sure to have your church contact us to schedule a time for us to visit!
Have a question we didn’t answer?
Just ask! We encourage you to keep in touch with us – we love to hear from you, whether by email (you can respond directly to this post using the CONTACT US button below, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org) or by Facebook message at The Witmers in Thailand. Thanks so much for your prayers and support. The love of the Lord Jesus be with you all.