We've been a little bit silent about our mission plans since the big trip to Arizona last month. There was one issue we needed to discuss further with New Tribes Mission afterward regarding a set of doctrinal teaching statements they subscribe to, but don't advertise until later in the process of application. It was something that was not a big issue with us, just a difference of interpretation of what God's word says on the issue. Not the “hill we want(ed) to die on” so to speak. I probably will not be sharing the particular issue, just because it is difficult to “flesh out” in this type of forum, but if you know us in real life and want more particulars, feel free to ask.
Anyway, the Friday before last we found out that the above doctrinal issue is a big concern for New Tribes and we have been "unaccepted" from training further with them. From our understanding, this issue has created division with missionaries on the field working with New Tribes in the recent past. Although we initially felt blind-sided and heart-sick(and still do a bit) by the whole thing, we are taking comfort in the fact that God was in control and He knew this would happen(Proverbs 16:9). Now we are in the process of figuring out a plan B, since for 2 1/2 years we had been preparing for what we believed (along with our church's pastor and elders) was ultimately God's will in missions for us.
Looking back, we don't think we misread God's leading, but that He had a good purpose in taking us this direction. Not sure what exactly that good purpose is at this point (Romans 8:28-29) but that doesn't negate it. Unfortunately this also affects the trip we have been planning to Papua New Guinea not in that we cannot go (it is a New Tribes trip, but you don't have to be a member of New Tribes to go) but that we now need to decide some things about the future and need the time to sort things out and possibly get further training before we are accepted to another mission.
The first thing we need to consider is a way to earn money to live on (aka work for Daniel) which is further complicated by the lack of helicopter maintenance jobs in the area. We both had turned in our notices (mine effective at the end of this school year) to quit our jobs. The second consideration is God's leading with regards to overseas missions in the near future. At this point, after much prayer, discussion between us and our pastor and his wife, we feel that God continues to lead us to do missionary aviation. Because of this we need to continue to research and apply with mission organization(s). This will take some time as we need to go through the entire process once again.
We are blessed in that we have options, have no debt, and have a supportive family as well as church family. Our church family here has been so wonderful through all this, counseling and supporting us in numerous ways. Since first writing this, we now have more direction for the near future so I will share all that soon. Thank you to those of you who have been praying for us during this time of uncertainty and change!