Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Exciting News

Dear Family, Friends & Supporters,

We want to share with you an exciting opportunity!  RMI leadership wants us, as the Haiti Field Director, to have the best resources to better serve the US churches, national church leaders and the RMI missionaries, and to this end, they have requested that we come off the field for 3 months in 2007 and a college semester in 2008 returning to Haiti in late spring.  The goal is to get professional training to provide us with additional tools to enhance our leadership skills.  The RMI leadership is designing a program for our professional and personal enrichment which will include personal mentoring, a series of seminars including spiritual transformation, leadership development, lay counseling training and formal Bible and theology education courses.

We are working with the RMI leadership to put in place a good plan of action to cover the successful operation of the field in our absence.  We have good national and missionary staff that can step into the gap and feel confident that our responsibilities will be able to be fulfilled while we take this hiatus.

There are many details being worked out at this writing. At this point, it looks like we’ll be leaving Haiti on October 3rd, 2007 to begin this training.  The girls will be coming with us, of course, bringing their school work with them.  It will mean some travel for us, much study, hard work, and a lot of faith.  It’s a new adventure - one that we are very excited about and feel ready for.  It is a huge step of faith as well.  We will need your continued financial support more than ever during these months.  The seminars and Bible college training are costly as well as there will be travel and living expenses to cover.  Equally, we earnestly desire your prayers for us!  We want to make the most of this opportunity.  Pray that the Lord would bring the myriad of details into place, that He would give us peace of mind and clarity of thought as we prepare to leave.


Here is our schedule as we see it now:

October 3, 2007 ~ Depart Haiti headed to Florida

October 4, 2007 ~ Leave Florida and head for Texas

October 8, 2007 ~ Arrive in Texas – Savana & McKenna will be staying with family until the end of October. This will give us an opportunity to get the first two weeks of training done and get settled into being “students” again.

October 10, 2007 ~ Billy & Debbie leave Texas and drive to Atlanta, Georgia

October 14-28, 2007 ~ First two weeks of training

October 28 ~ Savana & McKenna fly to Atlanta to join Billy & Deb

October 30 – Nov. 16 ~ Next 3 weeks of training

November 17 - 25 ~ Thanksgiving break we will be with friends in Cape May, New Jersey

November 26 – Dec. 14 ~ Last 3 weeks of training in Georgia

Dec. 18 - ? ~ Travel to Dallas, Texas for Christmas with family

January ? ~ Begin classes at Columbia International University (CIU) in Columbia, South Carolina

Late May ~ Return to Haiti

A note from the RMI Vice President of International Development:

It is respectfully requested that inquiries concerning other communication with Billy and Debbie regarding their response, progress or frustration level be limited to their immediate supervisor and the RMI President. They need to remain isolated from all outside distractions from family (except children), friends, and fellow workers, superiors in mission and church as much as possible for maximum impact to be accomplished. This is especially true from October 14 through December 18, 2007. All must recognize that participants will be fully engaged from morning until night with classes, meetings and home assignments that require full concentration. The week of October 14-20, it is critical that no contacts should transpire from any source or originate from them to the outside unless it is brief regarding their children. They should plan in advance not to be producing blogs,  be responding to email, sending email or receiving incoming calls about work on the field or about anything else, unless from the President of RMI from October 14 through October 29. From October 30-December 18, extremely limited communication to or from Billy and Debbie must be observed.  We do not believe this to be necessary during the semester planned at CIU. They will be able to breathe from November 17 through November 25 for Thanksgiving break and later for a Christmas break. Some assignments will need to be accomplished over these holidays.

This legalistic sounding statement is full of love even though it appears to be written by a hard nosed lawyer sitting on nails. I apologize for legalistic language but believe this is such an important venture for Billy and Debbie and an expensive investment that every care must be taken to assure their success.

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