Togo Timeline

When are you going?

We get this question all the time. It's a hard one to answer, because there are several answers.

First of all, we are going in May, 2015 (but not all of us, and not permanently).

HBB, here we come!
That is, Seth and I are going to Togo for a three-week trip starting May 10. This is called a "survey trip," in which Seth will spend some time getting a feel for the hospital there and the work he will be doing, before we move there permanently. I, presumably, will find something useful to do, too. (Here's hoping!)
Where will the kids be? At the grandparents'! We really wanted to take them with us, but it just wasn't feasible for the short-term trip. We know they will love spending that much time with their extended family, though.
Prayer requests: That we can raise the necessary finances for the trip, that we have a safe trip, and that the kids stay safe and happy while we are gone.

Secondly, we are going in July (but not to Togo, or even overseas).
At the end of July we will be attending a week-long orientation with World Medical Mission in North Carolina. I cannot overstate my excitement about this. This is such a wonderful organization and I'm thrilled that we get to spend so much time training under them. Plus, we're taking all the kids and getting to introduce them to their North Carolina cousins. I am bursting with enthusiasm. Seth, thinking about this long road trip with four children (probably more realistically than I am), is slightly less enthused.
Prayer requests: That we have a safe trip, that we learn a lot at our orientation, that we have a great time with family, and that the kids will learn to enjoy 10 hours of sitting in the car (with God all things are possible, right?).
If we're lucky, they'll spend the entire trip like this. But we're probably not that lucky.

Thirdly, we are going in January, 2016 (but, once again, not to Togo).
If you're going to serve people in a French-speaking nation, you kind of need to learn French. The cool thing is that the Post-Residency Program realizes that, and is sending us off to language school in France for a whole year before we start our work in Togo. The language school we have applied to is a Christian language school in Albertville, France, the Centre Chrétien d'Enseignement du Français. While Seth and I are doing full-time language studies, the children will be in French school or in daycare. This will be new territory for us, not only because of the language, but because the children have always been home-schooled! However, we are confident that immersing all of us in the language in this way will be the best way for us to learn it. And, Albertville looks like an amazing place to live. 

Seriously, who doesn't want to live here? It looks like a story-book village. (Photo taken from the CCEF website.)
It is important to note that, while we will be moving first to France, not Togo, January 2016 is the date of our actual, final, official move overseas. We will be going straight to Togo from France, so if, when you ask, "When do you go?" you actually mean, "When are you moving away from the United States?" then January of 2016 is the answer. While that may still seem like a long time from now, there is so much we need to accomplish before then, such as fixing up and selling our house, getting rid of most of our things and packing the rest, applying for our French visas, raising financial support... the list goes on and on!
Prayer requests: That we will be able to accomplish everything we need to do before our move in a smooth and orderly fashion, raise the funds we need to pay for our family's move to France, adjust well to a brand-new way of life, and learn French quickly and well.

Finally, we are going to Togo! (Hopefully December of 2016?)
Obviously, this is going to be a long journey, and while we are sure we will love our last few months here in the U.S. and our year of studying French, what we are really looking forward to is our final move to Togo as a family. Our commitment at the hospital in Togo with the Post-Residency Program is a two-year one, so we know we will be there at least that long. However, our desire is that, after those first two years with the Post-Residency Program, we will be able to continue on as full-time missionaries indefinitely! We definitely appreciate all of your prayers and support, and we will do our best to keep updating all of you as we continue on this journey.

Hilarious Tribute to Baptist Refigerators and Missionary Prayer Cards

Our friend Trevor blogged a response to receiving our prayer card, and it was pretty great. We hope you will all read it and laugh with us, and then, if you haven't yet received your prayer card from us, send us an e-mail! We would love to have a place on your refrigerator, even if you aren't Baptist!

The Madman in the Attic: The Ravings of a Confirmed Bachelor: Baptist Refrigerators: For More Than Potluck Lefto...: Have you ever seen a Baptist's refrigerator? Under a clutter of magnets there's always a dozen of those glossy postcards with family...

Prayer Card Time!

Everyone knows you're not a real missionary if you don't have a prayer card.

Obviously, we jest, but the good folks at World Medical Mission generously offered to make a prayer card for us if we sent them a family photo, so off we went to the local photographer.
Now, taking a family photo can be tricky when you have four small children (which explains why we haven't taken a decent family photo in about five years).

Usually, at least one person won't look at the camera.

Okay, no one was looking at the camera in this one.

Then, someone doesn't like the way she was told to sit, and decides to glare at the camera instead.
If looks could kill...

But finally, we got one that turned out all right, and here is the final result:

We recently mailed these out to several of our friends and family, but if you have not yet received one and want one, please shoot us an e-mail at with your current mailing address.

A big thank-you to Expressions Photography and Design for the photos and World Medical Mission for the prayer cards.