We are often asked, "How were you ever led to move to New Zealand as missionaries?" Answering that question seems like a good place to start our blog.
We met, courted and wed while studying for our Masters in Theology at Franciscan University of Steubenville. Shortly after meeting each other, we met Fr. Mike, who had traveled to the States from NZ and was studying in our program. He became such a close friend that we asked him to perform our wedding ceremony shortly before he returned to his homeland.
A few months before the birth of our second daughter, Fr. Mike called and invited us to prayerfully consider following the two American missionaries he was currently hosting at his parish. They were about halfway through their own two year commitment when he issued this invitation to us. He gave us a month to decide. We offered a 30 day novena to St. Joseph and then accepted! It was (and is) overwhelming to face the prospect of moving so far away, with two small children, to work without pay or reimbursement for travel expenses, health insurance, etc...
However, there is simply no doubt that this is from the Lord, and that truth becomes clearer every month as He provides funds, arranges wonderful "coincidences", and gives us the graces we need to trust Him.
Right now we have about 6 months until departure and there is so much to do. Our main focus right now is fundraising and spiritual preparation (and in both areas, we are off to a very good start but still have miles and miles to go!) We are also in the midst of passport and visa applications, researching international health insurance and figuring out what to do with our house and cats.
We are especially excited that we bought our tickets to NZ this week and know that May 24 is our last day in our home here - and that we will arrive in NZ on May 27, 2010. At this point, we ask prayers for our fundraising efforts and for the graces to be fruitful and faithful stewards of all that has been entrusted to us by the Lord and by all our benefactors.