It has been just over 1 month since we joined the Tigak team, and now we are just a few short weeks away from allocating (moving in) to the tribe! We have been keeping VERY busy with the many details of preparing for this big transition. Just a few things on our list have been:
Getting medical supplies packed. We won't have access to a decent medical facility or doctor, so having preventatives and treatments on hand is crucial.
Shipping our belongings to the islands. We were able to eliminate a LOT of 'stuff' - (building materials, household items, etc.) since we are going into an existing work with a house already built. So that's a huge blessing! The things we are choosing to ship over are mostly basics to help us be efficient with our time and resources so we can spend more time with the people! That is why we are here, after all. Our goal is not to survive alongside them, but to live efficiently so we can put our time into understanding and loving them well SO THAT we can guide them into the understanding and love of our Lord!
Annual school testing. Each year, our mission provides standardized testing for all homeschool students in Grade 1 and older so that we can evaluate their progress, areas of strengths and weaknesses, and better equip both homeschooling moms/teachers and students. The big picture of this is so they are prepared to attend college in their home country, and/or even the mission school in high school if they so desire. If we as parents neglect their education, we aren't setting them up for future success, and we desire to do our part to equip them!
Taxes. Yes, that's been an added joy in the midst of allocation. ;)
Airfare and travel plans. Our location is very 'far out' (yes it's "cool", but that's not what I mean...), and we don't have the option of our mission's aviation for regular travel or med-evac. *Yes, this is related to the new Kodiak airplanes and was very much affected by Jon Leedahl's accident in October. The intense need for Kodiak pilots remains. Pray for the Lord to raise up more mission pilots! And continue praying for the Leedahls - http://theleedahls.com/ So we've purchased our commercial tickets, and before we move into the tribe we are excited to attend the regional missionary conference with our new co-workers!
Supply lists for allocation. We will purchase 2-3 months of supplies (groceries, household items) at a time, so that we aren't pulled into town too often. We're also thankful to have the mission center managers in the nearby town who are willing to purchase some basic supplies for us in advance. This way, we can move in right after the regional missionary conference and have some food and household supplies there to get us started until we can do our big supply buy!
Learning the state of the existing church. As soon as we move in, several men, both mission leaders and tribal church elders, will be coming in to meet with the Tigak church and evaluate where the church is in regards to growth and maturity. This will be a huge help to us as we look toward the big picture of coming alongside the Tigak church in discipleship and encouragement.
There is much more that's been on our plate lately, but that's a pretty good glimpse for you.
We've been savoring this time on the mainland before we dive in to our ministry in Tigak. It's very similar to diving actually- we are essentially 'taking a deep breath' right now, because once we move in, we will be starting CLA (Culture and Language Acquisition) pretty much right away! That's right- now that we've learned enough Tok Pisin to communicate relatively well, we are diving in to learning the tribal language. (Yes, that's right again, the girls and I will be tri-lingual, and Noe will be... quatro-lingual? What is the term for that?! Anyway, I'm super proud of him, and I'm sure you are too!)
Diving is a good analogy of the ministry we are about to begin. Diving can be a bit intimidating. It requires you to be 'all in'. It requires full commitment. It also requires you to learn to pace yourself. And it also requires a great deal of trust, of resting in the One who is in control.
"The Christian life from start to finish is based upon this principle of utter dependence upon the Lord Jesus. There is no limit to the grace God is willing to bestow upon us. He will give us everything, but we can receive none of it except as we rest in Him." ~Watchman Nee
Pray for us:
-That the Lord will bless this 'deep breath' before we dive in to CLA!
-That the Lord will be our strength when we do start CLA and that we will run the race well!
the Martinez family
PS- We've also enjoyed celebrating our 9th wedding anniversary and my (Lisa's) 30th birthday this month! Woohoo!